Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Our Top Five favorite superheroines before and After the Golden Age
Amongst the many new titles coming out today at a bookseller near you is Carrie Vaughn's latest novel,After the Golden Age,which takes a new twist on the superhero theme.
The leading lady of this story,Celia West,is the daughter of two of Commerce City's greatest champions for justice yet has no natural super powers of her own. While Celia has gotten used to being kidnapped by enterprising villains over the years, she prefers to lead as quiet a life as possible away from the crime fighting antics of her family.
However,her skills as a top accountant land her smack dab in the middle of a major tax fraud trial being held for The Destructor,one of the worst evil doers out there. During the investigation,Celia unearths a few secrets regarding her parents that threaten to widen the emotional gap between them and her even further than before. Can she put aside her personal feelings about the past in order to save the present day?
I've been a fan of Vaughn's writing ever since I read the first books in her Kitty Norville series and now happy to see that she's coming out with more engaging new reads outside of that saga.
In addition to After the Golden Age,Vaughn also has a YA fantasy series and a collection of Kitty related short stories,due out this August,and another stand alone novel now in paperback called Discord's Apple.
So,as a celebration of her new comic book themed novel,we at LRG present to you our Top Five list of favorite super heroines. Most of these picks are childhood based but that is precisely when it's the best time to start planting the seeds of fantasy appreciation,if you ask me. Well then,without further ado....
5) BAT GIRL
While there have been numerous versions of this best known Batman sidekick(next to Robin,that is),the one that made her early impression on me was Yvonne Craig in the campy Adam West live action series.
To me,the true Batgirl is Barbara Gordon,the spunky daughter of Commissioner Gordon who has a rather strong streak of Nancy Drew in her.
The original Barbara Gordon comic book character later morphed into Oracle,the electronic eyes and ears of a crime fighting group known as Birds of Prey which had a short run as a TV series back in 2002. Regardless of that,Craig's sparkle as Batgirl made that character a steady icon for many a gal looking to be her own hero:
4) HIT GIRL
She's a relative newcomer to the playing field but Mindy McCready,aka Hit Girl,has quite a legion of fans as well as foes trembling in her wake. Her blunt language and brutal take no prisoners policy may not go over well with everyone but this pint sized powerhouse has proven herself to be the real kick in the ass that this genre needs:
Unlike the other ladies on our list,Isis was first conceived for television,namely a 1970s Saturday morning sidebar to a Captain Marvel series(titled Shazam!).
However,the folks at DC Comics eventually issued a few tie-in comics and long after the show was gone from the airwaves,the character was revived and integrated into other comic book story lines.
Isis stood out for me back then,not only as another super powered role model but one that was based on an actual figure from Egyptian lore. Giving such a mythical goddess the chance to be reborn on the small screen may have simply been a calculated commercial move but it was a good platform for this elegant ancient deity to come to life upon:
Picking just one of the multitudes of powerful women from the ranks of the X-Men isn't easy yet denying the power of Ororo Munroe,better known as Storm can be a foolish mistake,as many of her enemies know.
From being worshiped as a goddess to earning top position in the misfit mutant crew called the Morlocks,she's been handed leadership status time and time again for her cool head in a crisis but this is not a woman with a cold heart.
Storm's determination to use her weather control abilities for the good of others as well as help those around her in more down to earth ways is what makes this character so enduring. She's been featured in various X Men adaptations,including the popular Hollywood films,but so far no one has been able to capture that elusive energy that radiates from Storm both within and without:
1) WONDER WOMAN
No matter how long we have to wait for the right alignment of stars in the Hollywood sky to get a decent Wonder Woman film, it will be well worth our pop culture patience.
After all,this Amazonian princess has lasted throughout several decades and faced many ups and downs-Nazis, deceitful Greek gods and bad costume change decisions-and is still standing tall and proud.
To be fair,there have been some excellent depictions of Wonder Woman during that time,including Lynda Carter's iconic mark on the role as well as on the animated field in recent years.
Yet,it would be nice to see a major movie version that captured the true power and grace of the character from the comics. It could happen within our lifetime,I hold some hope. They don't call her a wonder of a woman for nothing,folks:
So,congratulations to Carrie and best of luck with After the Golden Age,now available everywhere. Hopefully,it will be climbing the bestseller lists faster than a speeding bullet. I am in no doubt that this book can herald forth more offbeat looks at the comic book world and be as electrifying encouraging to female fans as some of our more campy but beloved super sisters from the past:
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