A number of months ago, when my wife and I started trying to have a baby, I began to evaluate the comic books that I have on my shelves. I was no longer judging a series solely on whether I was interested in it and wanted to read it, but rather, what comics would I be OK with my child looking at or reading if they got into my comic collection without me knowing. This was what led me to get rid of my Walking Dead comic collection as I definitely wasn’t comfortable with my child looking at the contents of the series.
A few weeks ago I started to expand on this thought, not only was I thinking about what I didn’t want them to read, I began thinking what I did want them to read. Specifically, I was thinking that if I found out I was having a daughter, what female heroes do I want her to start reading about and who are good role models for her to look up to.
I also read a blog last week from a fellow blogger, Natalie Schriefer, called “Women in Action Comics” which you can check out here. Reading this article made me realize how often in Comics (and Manga, which Natalie primarily focuses on) woman for a long time have be relegated to love interests or damsels in distress and if they happen to be a hero then they are usually over-sexualized and dressed in very revealing and impractical outfits.
Thankfully this is something that both Marvel and DC have realized was an issue within their comics and have taken steps to make make changes in the way their companies represent female characters (although Marvel is making bigger strides in this than DC is in my opinion).
So, below are a few of the Female Superheroes that have begun to step out into the limelight and that I would personally recommend for you to pick up and would love my daughter to read.
1) Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers)
Carol Danvers may possibly be my favorite female superhero at the moment, and one of my favorite heroes today. She is a strong character that can stand side by side with the A-List of the Marvel universe while also still displaying a fun, geeky and humorous side. Carol is also a former Colonel in the US Air Force but due to a kidnapping and accident with a damaged Kree Psyche-Magnitron (or big spacey-sciencey thing) she became a Superhuman that had Half-Human and Half-Kree DNA.
She has gone from former persona, Ms. Marvel, who wore a more revealing costume, a member of the Avengers (although not a prominent one) and mostly earth based stories, to becoming Captain Marvel, a member of the main Avengers, member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, member of the Ultimates as well as the leader of Alpha Flight and operations for S.W.O.R.D. and a story reaching out into the Cosmic side of the Marvel Universe.
Captain Marvel’s powers include Superhuman strength and durability, can fly at six times the speed of sound, has linited precognitive “sixth sense”, can discharge explosive blasts of radiant energy from her fingertips. She can absorb energy up to the force of an exploding nuclear weapon and use this to increase her other abilities. This can increase her strength to withstand the pressure of up to a 92-ton weight and to strike with a similar level of force.
To read more about Carol Danvers full history, you can read here Carol Danvers – Wikipedia
2) Thor (Jane Foster)
Jason Aaron’s run on “The Mighty Thor”, starting with the original Thor in the God Butcher arc through to the current Jane Foster Thor arc, is considered probably one of the best Superhero arcs in modern comic book history.
It’s hard to believe that when she debuted back in 1962 that Jane Foster was simply a nurse that would become an on-again off-again love interest for Thor. Jane would eventually marry Dr.Keith Kincaid and have a child, while also becoming a doctor in her own right. She would also appear during Civil War as a medic for Captain America and his team of Secret Avengers.
Unfortunately Jane would be divorced from Dr. Kincaid and lose custody of her child, but she would also once again meet Thor as he sought after an old flame and childhood friend, Sif. Jane would be met with some more bad news as she would also be diagnosed with Breast Cancer but while receiving her treatment she would also, at the request of Thor, become the representative of Midgard (Earth) within Asgard.
During Original Sin in 2014, Thor would become unworthy to wield his hammer, Mjolnir and adopt the name Odinson. Shortly after this, a new masked woman would appear, weilding Mjolnir and the power of Thor, apparently worthy to replace Odinson.
It would be revealed shortly after that this was Jane Foster, which has led to a return to a dual identity for Thor. There is also a new element to the characters story. Jane Foster receives Chemotherapy to treat her cancer, but as this is essentially a poison placed in the system to battle the cancer, the transformation to Thor purges all of the Chemo from her body. Thus whenever she decides to become Thor she must way up the fact that it can result in her becoming sicker and closer to death.
To read more about Jane Foster’s full history, you can read here Thor (Jane Foster) – Wikipedia
3) Spider-Gwen (Gwen Stacy)
This character is a little different from our previous two heroes. The original Gwen Stacy (Earth-616) debuted in December of 1965 as a side character and love interest for Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Both Gwen and Peter studied at Empire State University, she was a science major and consider on par intellectually with Peter.
In 1973, Gwen Stacy would be killed off in one of the most iconic superhero stories to date where the Green Goblin throws Gwen off of the Brooklyn Bridge and Spider-Man catches her with a strand of web which cause her neck to snap as a result of whiplash. This has been one of the driving forces in Peter’s life as never before or since has he failed on this scale.
This Gwen Stacy is from Earth-65, an alternative universe from the main Marvel Universe that we know. We first met this Gwen in the 2014-15 Spider-verse event. In her universe, Gwen Stacy is the one that is bitten by a radioactive spider and would become Spider-Woman.
Her first outing would see her battle Peter Parker, this universe’s version of The Lizard and Peter would actually die during this battle as a result of the chemical he had taken. Spider-Woman would be blamed for this and a city-wide man hunt would begin, being led by her father Police Chief George Stacy. Gwen would be cornered by her father and unmask in front of him causing the Police Chief to allow her to escape.
Gwen has also done some Dimension hoping as a result of being a member of the Web-Warriors, a group of Spider Totems from alternate universes following Spider-Verse. Through this she has made friends with and worked alongside Spider-Woman and Silk from Earth 616. Also the new Marvel NOW 2016 series shows she may soon have a love interest in Spider-Man Miles Morales from Earth 616 and is rumored to be permanently moving into the Earth-616 universe.
To read more about the original Gwen Stacy’s full history, you can read here Gwen Stacy – Wikipedia
To read more about Gwen Stacy Spider Woman’s full history, you can read here Spider-Gwen – Wikipedia
So those are some of the current female heroes in Comics that I think are worth checking out, if you want to read about them for yourself check out the links below for digital and paper copies or support your local Comic Book Store by heading out and purchasing them there.
What do you think of my recommendations for Female Heroes to read? Do you want to know more about one of them? Are there any you think I missed that should be mentioned? Is there any others that you would like to hear about? Let me know in the comments below.
Thank you for reading my ramblings and I hope you will join me next time.