Favorite female romantic relationship: Kate Kane and Renee Montoya (Day Twenty-Four)

Kate Kane and Renee Montoya from DC Comics

Kate Kane and Renee Montoya
Kate Kane and Renee Montoya are just adorable and kick-ass.

I love Kate Kane and Renee Montoya’s relationship as depicted in 52 and Detective Comics. I’m a little bit of a sucker for opposites attract. Of course, Kate and Renee aren’t that different than they first appear to each other and perhaps that’s the real reason why they break up.

While Renee and Kate come from different backgrounds — Renee is pure working class, while Kate is a rich socialite — both have a law and order background and then later become superheroes. Kate and Renee hook up right after Kate’s kick out of the military due to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and Renee’s a newly minted cop. As Renee heads toward a detective promotion, Kate finds herself asking how she can make the world better, only to run into the Batman himself. Of course, on the personal side, Kate’s out to her family and accepted, and Renee’s still very much closeted.

When Renee becomes the Question and Kate is Batwoman, they rekindle their relationship briefly in 52. But when the Religion of Crime decides that they need to sacrifice Kate, Renee tries to shut the organization down and save Kate. Kate would much rather save herself. She ends up pulling a knife out of her own chest and stabbing her captor, only to pass out into Renee’s arms.

Both Renee and Kate are very stubborn women. Women who want to save the world and themselves. They don’t like relying on others.

Perhaps some day, Kate and Renee will hook up again. But Renee will have to stop being so stubbornly independent, and Kate will have accept help more often. Because they are so adorable together.

See how their journeys start coming together, buy 52 Vol. 1 and The Question: The Five Books of Blood by Greg Rucka.

Favorite female platonic relationship: Nico Minoru and Karolina Dean (Day Twenty-Three)

Nico Minoru and Karolina Dean from Marvel Comics’ Runaways

Nico and Karolina
Nico and Karolina have a wonderful friendship.

Nico Minoru and Karolina Dean from Runaways have a wonderful platonic friendship, despite starting off as being almost complete opposites. Nico is a goth-influence teen and good with magic. Karolina is a blonde Californian teen, who’s actually an alien and can fly with rainbows. Their parents were life-long friends, but the girls never really got along with each other.

That was until Nico, Karolina, and the rest of the Runaways find out that their parents are actually super-villains. And oh yeah, they all have some kind of superpowers or near superpowers.

When the kids runaway from their families, Nico becomes one of their default leaders, and soon Karolina becomes her confidant. There’s a little awkwardness as Karolina has a crush on Nico, and Nico isn’t interested and straight. But the women become best friends.

Together, they keep the group stable, and they are the ones to make sure that the younger Runaways are taken care of and that the team has a home.

One of my favorite scenes between Nico and Karolina is after they throw a Runaways‘ prom. As Karolina watches everyone being happy, she starts missing her girlfriend Xavin. When she becomes visibly upset, Nico calls off the prom. Instead, Nico and Karolina hang out together and comfort each other as best friends. The scene is an incredibly sweet moment of girl bonding.

Get to know Karolina and Nico, buy Runaways Vol. 1: Pride and Joy.

Sprinkles Around the Web 2/4-2/17/11

Sprinkles from around the web

Links that I enjoyed around the web. No one else’s opinion but my own.

Me

Me, Tammy, and Jasmine at the APCC New Year Celebration. A great day with some wonderful and talented friends.
Me, Tammy, and Jasmine at the APCC New Year Celebration. A great day with some wonderful and talented friends.

Uploaded a ton of photos. Check them out.

Fandom

NBC casts Wonder Woman! ‘Friday Night Lights’ star lands coveted role I’ve never seen Adrianne Palicki act, however, I am so happy that this is going forward. For real this time.

What Superhero Comics Look Like A great little article breaking down how Osborn #3 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios is scripted and put together art-wise, also how it applies to the very best of current comic books.

10 Reasons the Star Trek 2 Screenplay Still Isn’t Done

3) Everybody wanted Uhura to kick some ass this time around. But they couldn’t figure out how to have her kick ass in a teeny minidress, without needing a lot of strategically placed lens flare. The writers spent two months trying to figure out a plot reason why Uhura might have to put on some pants, or maybe some leggings, for part of the movie. What if they go to a planet of leg-biting monsters, and she has to put some protective leg coverings on? Or maybe Spock shows her a special Vulcan ritual, in which practitioners must wear pants as a sign of devotion to pure logic?

Andy Warhol, Nico, Robin And The Bats! Esquire Magazine Photoshoot 1967 This is an amazing. I’m such a Factory fangirl. If I could go back into time, I would go there and hang out.

Legend of a Cowgirl An amazing Firefly fanvid about Zoe. Just perfect. I love it. Continue reading “Sprinkles Around the Web 2/4-2/17/11”

Favorite warrior female character: Maxine Kiss (Day Seventeen)

Maxine Kiss from Iron Hunt (Hunter Kiss books) by Marjorie M. Liu

Maxine Kiss
Maxine Kiss and her living tattoos.

I’ve only read the first book in Liu’s Hunter Kiss novels, but I loved it so much. I couldn’t put it down, and I loved Maxine very much. I love how she calls herself out on her own bullshit and always seeks the truth and finds a way.

Maxine comes from a line of women warriors with special tattoos. During the day, these tattoos live on their skin, but at night, they peel off and become demons which protect her. Each demon has its own personality and special abilities. As a hunter, Maxine and her female ancestors before her rid the world of demons, mostly zombies, but there are other creatures out there.

Of course, there’s a curse of sorts involved, that on the daughter’s 21st birthday, she gets the tattoos, which leaves her mother vulnerable and soon dead by the Blood Queen of zombies. While at the same time, Maxine has some hereditary knowledge and was taught and loved by her mother.

As an adult, Maxine is very capable. And she’s capable of changing how she sees the world and saves the world as she falls in love with Grant, a former priest who can reform lost people and some demons, and meets people she forms real bonds with.

Maxine is a fascinating warrior character, and I’m going to read the rest of the Hunter Kiss books really soon. Fall in love with Maxine’s story, buy The Iron Hunt (Hunter Kiss, Book 1) by Marjorie M. Liu.

Favorite female character growth arc: Lyra ‘Silvertongue’ Belacqua (Day Fifteen)

Lyra ‘Silvertongue’ Belacqua from His Dark Materials

Lyra Belazque with the ice bears
Lyra Belazque with the ice bears as portrayed in the film the Golden Compass.

Lyra starts off her journey as a nosy young girl spying on her father, hiding in a wardrobe with her daemon Pantalaimon. She has an enthusiastic spirit and an intense interest in learning and exploring. Lyra wants to know more about the world, and she does not think that children should be limited because of their age. Additionally, Lyra has a great passion as an advocate for others.

Lyra starts off on a simple mission: to find her friend Roger and to figure out why someone wants to kill her father Lord Asriel. But Lyra soon finds out that there’s more to the kidnapped children and Lord Asriel than she first realizes. As Lyra grows, she also gains powerful allies. She becomes perhaps the first human to become friend and allies of a panserbjorne Iorek Byrnison. She also befriends witches, sea gypsies, and sky pilots.

I was worried in the second book, The Subtle Knife, in that it seemed to focus too much on a new character Will Parry. And I was even more disappointed when Will was clearly going to be her love interest. While first loves and sexual experiences are certainly a part of growing teenagers’ lives, I was worried the text focused too much on that part of Lyra’s growth.

However, Lyra truly does become a hero by the end of the books. She also becomes an adult.

Follow Lyra’s path, buy His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman. Though I do suggest ordering the British versions as Lyra’s sexual awakening was censored in the US.

Favorite older female character: Wonder Woman (Day Fourteen)

Wonder Woman aka Diana Prince from DC Comics

Golden Age Wonder Woman breaks gold to save the day.
Golden Age Wonder Woman breaks gold to save the day.

I didn’t know if the meme creator meant older as in age, or older as when created, so I’m going with Wonder Woman who was created in the 1940s. Wonder Woman is meant to be part of DC Comics’ Trinity, along with Superman and Batman. She was created for women, specifically young girls reading comic books.

In the 1940s, comic books were a common and extremely popular medium to tell stories. During wartime, they were used to boost morale. Wonder Woman fought Hitler and the Nazis just like her male counterparts.

But at the same time, Wonder Woman was a goddess. She had the wisdom of Athena, the beauty of Aphrodite, the speed of Mercury, and the strength of Hercules. Wonder Woman was her creator William Moulton Marston’s ideal of the perfect woman, whom he thought would teach the world to love instead of go to war. Wonder Woman may have been idealized, but she also surrounded herself with women and taught them to better themselves. To be more like her by learning to reach their potential. While this may sound arrogant, Wonder Woman is anything but.

Luckily for us, Wonder Woman’s story has continued throughout the years. Sometimes, her story hasn’t been as wonderful as she deserved, but other creators have captured her beautiful world to share new stories with us. I’m hoping she’ll get a new TV show, and it will let the non-comic reading world see how amazing she is.

Personally, Wonder Woman is one of my own idols and role models. I seek to have the same grace and wisdom that she possesses. Also, I want to help and support other women in the ways that she does.

I’ve been reading 1940’s Wonder Woman comics and talking about them on my comic book blog.

Favorite female character in a book: Katharine Clifton (Day Thirteen)

Katharine Clifton from The English Patient

Katharine Clifton
Katharine Clifton as portrayed by Kristen Scott Thomas in the film.

I first read Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient when I was 12-years-old, but I’ve read it many times since then. I’m not big on re-reading stuff (re-watching is another subject). Of course, I never do re-read it from cover-to-cover, which with Ondaatje’s non-linear writing style, it’s pretty suited to my reading habits. And I’ll argue that to full appreciate the book, you had to read the proceeding book, In the Skin of a Lion. In 11th grade, I did a book report on The English Patient and had to do an oral presentation where I dressed up as Kathrine in order to give it. (I wasn’t quite as entertaining as the boy who did a Star Wars tie-in novel.)

There’s a lot of love that I have for Katharine, and how she goes after what she wants, even at the very real risk of her own life. Katharine may be dead at the beginning of the book. However, she is not a dead saint or the pawn used as the main motivation for Lord László de Almásy, her lover and the English patient. Katharine is her own woman. And while we see her mostly through Almásy’s viewpoint, part of what he loves about her is her independence. When Almásy asks her what she hates most in the world, Katharine tells him a lie, and he returns saying ownership. He’s attracted to her for both her independence streak and her mind; and he falls in love with her when she reads their desert exploration group poetry.

Katharine’s love affair with Almásy is volatile. They are both worried that her husband Geoffrey will find out about their affair. Katharine and Geoffrey are newlyweds when they join Almásy and his crew in Cairo to explore the desert. And they both have good reason to fear Geoffrey as when he finds out about their affair, Geoffrey tries to kill all three of them.

Of course, had Katharine not died in the Cave of Swimmers, I doubt her relationship with Almásy would’ve lasted. She’s very dominate and claiming, and while Almásy is attracted to this (perhaps because other women around him did not posses these traits), they fight over it. She breaks a plate over his head; stabs his shoulder with a fork; and gives him a bruise on his forearm, among other injuries. Almásy clearly believes Katharine’s fiery spirit makes her like the desert and wants her by his side as he explores it. Except that Katharine loves the greenery of England and expresses a desire to return.

Perhaps Katharine explains everything about their love affair in a postcard she writes:

Half my days I cannot bear not to touch you.
The rest of the time I feel it doesn’t matter
if I ever see you again. It isn’t the morality,
it is how much you can bear.

Get to know Katharine and read my favorite book, buy The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje.

A female character you hated but grew to love: Jean Grey (Day Three)

Jean Grey from The X-Men

Jean Grey
Jean Grey: that was one ugly outfit.

So it’s not so much that I hated Jean Grey, she just was probably my least favorite X-Men. I tried to like her, I really did, but she just didn’t appeal to me. She was always too much of a goody two-shoes and a suck-up to Professor X. (Something I disliked in myself as a child.) And Jean was too afraid of her powers and why did she date that Cyclops guy? (If there was one character I disliked more, it was Cyclops.)

Perhaps, I should’ve started by saying that my first exposure to Jean was in the X-Men Animated Series from the ’90s. Where in addition to all the things I complained about above, she also had the worst costume out of the bunch. And when everyone else is wearing primary yellow and blue spandex and you take the shitty costume award, that’s saying something.

Jean tried to be interesting. She did the whole Phoenix and Dark Phoenix storyline. And that was set IN SPACE (which always makes everything better, in my opinion). But at least in the animated version, I felt like everyone was having adventures and Jean just had things happen to her. Jean transformed and then used some of her superpowers, and maybe this whole spiritual change just didn’t transfer well to my child brain or children’s TV. I was far more preoccupied with Lilandra running her armada.

But thankfully, I’m not a child anymore, and I like Jean now. I don’t think she’ll ever be my favorite, but I have an appreciation for her I did not. Which makes it really a shame that Marvel keeps using her as their poster child for popular characters staying dead.

And maybe someday, I’ll rewatch the X-Men Animated Series and see what child-me and adult-me can argue about.

Buy X-Men: Volume One and see if my childhood nostalgia holds up.

Favorite supporting female character: Etta Candy (Day Two)

Etta Candy from Wonder Woman

Etta Candy knocks out a Nazi guard.
Once again, Etta Candy saves the day. This time, she uses candy to bribe a guard, knocks him over the head, and disables a power grid. From the 1940s.

Over on my comic book blog, I’ve been slowly working my way through 1940s Wonder Woman and keeping up with the current run. While I love and adore and want to be like Wonder Woman, I’ve also grown to love and adore Etta Candy.

Etta was created as the comic relief. As the fat, ugly, and funny foil to the athletically slender, beautiful, and regal Wonder Woman. Etta spends a lot of those early comics talking about her love of candy and spanking her sorority sisters. (No, I am not joking.)

While at the same time, Etta is spunky and has a lot of self-confidence. She regularly hits on men, telling them how beautiful they find her; unlike Wonder Women who’s over in a corner pining away for Steve Trevor. Also without Etta and her Beeta Lambda Sorority Sisters, there’s no way Wonder Woman would’ve won all the battles she has with Nazis and other Axis spies. Etta is always ready with a fist.

When Etta gets left at the altar by a spy, she declares him unfit for her and punches him in the face. That’s right, Etta doesn’t slap you; she decks you. And then instead of wallowing in her sorrows, Etta declares weddings silly and just wants to ride horses with her best friend, Wonder Woman (Diana).

Sadly, Etta and Betta Lambda were written out of the comics due the Comics Code Authority cracking down on gayness in comic books. I blame the real stagnation of Wonder Woman on her lack of gal pals. Straight, gay, or otherwise.

But in the 1980’s, Etta was brought back as a female friend for Wonder Woman. And this Etta ends up marrying Steve. How many texts can say that the supporting female character married the male lead who was head-over-heels in love with the female lead at one time? (Or in another universe, whatever, DC.) I think this is pretty awesome.

Of course, poor Etta still got labeled as the fat kid. In an unfortunate run, Etta develops an eating disorder and passes out from hunger/malnutrition/low blood sugar while trying on her wedding dress. And this makes me sad for the Etta who offered Steve and his soldiers candy on top of a train they were attempting to sneak aboard to defuse a bomb.

Thankfully, Gail Simone took the helm of Wonder Woman, brought Etta back, and did right by her. Etta is not slender like Wonder Woman, and both she and Steve have aged. But this time, Etta is working as a spy for Checkmate and toned herself up. She’s become the general that she always was in the ’40s. Only instead of bossing her sorority sisters and captured Nazis around, she actually has real commandos of her own.

I love you, Etta Candy.

Read about Etta’s early days, buy Wonder Woman Archives Vol. 1 by William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter.

Sprinkles Around the Web 12/25-12/30/10

Sprinkles from around the web

Long time, no link posts. Time to get back on that horse. Anyway, here are some links that I’ve found interesting around the web. Your mileage may vary, and yes, I’m putting all the GeekGirlCon stuff first as it has to do with me. Besides being awesome in general.

GeekGirlCon

We’re busy little bees with GeekGirlCon, a celebration of geeky women by having a convention in Seattle in 2011. We’re busy raising funds in order to secure our venue and have a date and place for the convention. We’re 50% of the way toward our funding. Please donate.

Or come out to support us!

We had a “Hero of Canton” flashmob. (Take a second to find me. Or cheat with photos.)

GeekGirlCon Christmas Greetings If you’re not sick of the holidays, check out a season’s greetings from GeekGirlCon.

Estrocast Episode 3: Geek Girl Con Hear me (and Kiri and Kelcey) talk to the Estrocast about GeekGirlCon.

Fandom

Dinosaur Comics Hitting right to the heart of the holiday season, Dinosaur Comics does it again.

Atlantis movie shelved ‘indefinitely’ Brad Wright and company continues to punish SGA fans for not watching SGU. Hey, try writing better shows or maybe adding some women and minorities to your writing staff. Just saying.

Feminism

• Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on Why We Have So Few Women Leaders Continue reading “Sprinkles Around the Web 12/25-12/30/10”