Hero Poem: The Heroine (Can We Still Use that Word?)

Supergirl through the years

Supergirl through the years

The same and different
From the male equivalent
Uniforms both tight
Skirts instead of outer undies
A female badass
Strong and quick
Not willing to back down
Always entering the fray
With bravery and might

                                                                                                                                                                                                               

I had some trouble with this one because I know very little about Supergirl outside of the Superman Animated Series.  I also realized that she is a big point of debate among people because she is always in skirts with a tight top.  Then I realized how so many male heroes are always in spandex with rippling muscles.  Some only wear underwear . . . I’m looking at you, Namor!  Prince of Atlantis can’t afford pants?  Not really sure where I was going with this one.  (Still more clothed than Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen . . . I can’t bring myself to put up that picture.  Look it up if you dare and don’t have kids around.)

Namor

Namor

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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18 Responses to Hero Poem: The Heroine (Can We Still Use that Word?)

  1. Nezra's Opiate says:

    Good piece.
    I guess the less clothes, the better they save us?
    lol

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  2. How old is that girl anyway? I’m going to tell her mother.

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    • Well the one in the top right (Power Girl) is probably in her early 20’s. Not sure about the other ones, but they come from a family where the most famous member used to wear his underwear on the outside and his spandex leaves little to the imagination.

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  3. Fair is fair I suppose…equality for all even in the superhero world. 🙂

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    • Yup. Though there’s a ton of female/male variants when it comes to superheroes. I read that some of them were done because one company wanted to make sure competitors didn’t do it first. That’s where Spider-Woman came from and why there’s Power Man (Marvel) and Power Girl (DC).

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  4. I had a super dream last night, it was like many of my other dreams but I was wearing a cape! good post. Political correctness taking on comic books again? My favourite heroine was xmen’s psyclocke (I think it was the black and purple hair, cool psycic blades that had like a purple nimbus and tight outfit that did it for me but she was cool because she was smarter than most of the male xmen and had some funny put-downs too). Objectivity in comic books could be an interesting debate but where the heck does it stop? good post, Charles.

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    • Just remember what we learned from ‘The Incredibles’: No capes!

      I think a challenge for comic books is establishing female heroes without connecting them to a pre-existing male hero. That gets hard these days because even new male heroes tend to get connected to a previous one. So you see some strange decisions that are hit and miss. Like ‘Female Thor’ that has people riled right now.

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  5. You’d need a lot of bravery and might to use that word out of context, anyway… 🙂

    You’d also need a lot of bravery and confidence to strut around town in underwear…

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  6. Putting on my Feminist Comic Historian hat… Supergirl has always been a difficult character. She was introduced as Superman’s “secret weapon” and in some ways was always in his shadow. She had her own feature for quite a while, but the stories featured silly romances, telepathic cats and comet horses. Later writers have tried in different ways to get this character to click because everyone likes the IDEA of a supergirl. Some build in the younger-sibling relationship with Superman and some try to establish a completely different identity and origin. Nothing has lasted.

    Did you notice, I’m not mentioning her costume? Because, to me, what readers identify with is the STORY of the great characters. Batman losing his parents at age 8. Spider-Man’s great power and great responsibility. Costumes don’t matter unless readers care about the character. Like many Supergirl fans, I keeping hoping for a concept that works. Costume is the least part of that.

    Personally, however, I prefer a mini-skirt to bare-belly or peek-a-boo chest and I think long sleeves look silly if the legs aren’t also covered.

    PS, if it makes you feel better, Namor is wearing a swimsuit, not underwear. But that character is a jerk, so who cares?

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    • My introduction to Supergirl was the 90’s cartoon, so I think the ‘little sister/cousin’ works well. At least to start her off and then move her into her own. They’re restarting everything, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens. I never understood how Batgirl managed to work while Supergirl kept getting pushed aside.

      The main reason I brought up the costume is because I wrote the poem when a forum kerfuffle was going on over Spiderwoman. Marvel hired an artist known for erotic poses to do a variant cover of her and people flipped out. I saw people screaming about how the tight costume showed off her butt and then people brought up Supergirl/ Power Girl costumes. So the topic was really in my mind. All heroes tend to wear spandex, so it shouldn’t really matter. I fully agree with the long sleeves and bare legs, which I think is Supergirl’s new style. As for the peek-a-boo chest, I never seem to notice those. Maybe because the first female superhero that I read about in a comic was Black Cat who had the top list down to her navel. I never questioned why a catburglar wore something like until I was 17.

      Is Namor still a jerk? Not really sure what he’s doing most of the time. Then again, I left comics when my payoff for the Spider-Clone Saga was the return of Norman Osborn and then I came back just in time for Spidey to make a deal with the devil to eliminate his marriage. Also I couldn’t afford the comics. Think the last one I was into was Booster Gold.

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      • I liked Booster Gold, too! And, he had some really interesting conversations with Superman about a hero’s responsibility, near the end of the run.

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      • Read recently that there’s work being done on a Supergirl TV series. It’ll be on CW if it gets off the ground, so it’ll probably mirror the style of Arrow, Smallville, and Flash. Might have more teen romance though since that’s the main demographic of CW. Still they have Supernatural, so there might be some hope there.

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  7. Ellespeth says:

    She’s wearing lots of clothing by today’s standards:P
    Interesting post, Charles.
    Ellespeth

    Like

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