A Guide to Comics: Marvel Women Part 1

This one is all about the ladies.

NOTE: Unlike my Marvel Men segment, this will contain a few female heroes who are more often than not a part of a team. There just, unfortunately, are not enough Super Gals to choose from otherwise…

You can check out my Marvel Men guide HERE


Captain Marvel (Prev: Ms. Marvel)

  • Character Summary:  Carol Danvers; Air Force Officer (?) who is caught in the explosion of a Kree weapon and eventually develops a set of awesome powers and a knack for not wearing pants (oh, 1970’s comics…); Was pretty much fetished and abused in the 70’s, unfortunately, and had a horrible downgrade as a character for decades (dealing with alcoholism, depression, etc.); Was brought back into the light in the 00s, and played powerful roles in many of the big story arcs of that era. Recently has very much become what her creators originally said she was supposed to be, which is a strong female role model who isn’t defined by being a woman.
  • Common Themes: Women as powerful and important as men; sexuality vs respect; cool blonde mohawks; space, deep space and deeper space; sudden changes; weakness vs strength; The ridiculousness of female super hero costumes (Writers would often use Ms. Marvel to make jokes regarding the silliness of female costumes).
  • Good For: People looking for a female super hero that isn’t defined by being a woman and doesn’t really use her sexuality to get ahead [NOTE: this applies most prominently to the most recent series]; people who like the space-opera style superheroes found most predominantly in DC; Barbarella fans [70’s series applies here]; People who just generally like watching a woman who can overpower just about anyone and anything (Seriously, Carol is strong like DAAAAAAMN)
  • Go To Series: Ms. Marvel (vol 2); Captain Marvel (Current Ongoing); Mighty Avengers (vol 1)
  • Stand Out Stories: Carol and the X-men (Uncanny X-men VOL 1 150-164ish [gaps]); Live Kree or Die (crossover); Civil War: Ms Marvel; Not NOT NOOOOOOOOT DONOTREAD Avengers (vol 1) #200

Misty Knight

  • Character Summary: Mercedes “Misty” Knight; Sassy, strong, independent and various other words white, male writers often attribute to black female characters, Misty Knight came about as very much a play on Blaxploitation characters from the 70s; She is a cop who lost her arm to a terrorist attack and was instead given a bionic arm by Mr. Tony of Starkland for her bravery; Over the decades, Misty has moved slowly out of the “we need more black characters” sidelines and into more mainstream fair; Though not YET having her own solo series, Misty has been seen alongside many of the A-List marvel stars, but tends to keep to the streets, dealing with more alleyway criminals and less Mutant Alien World Exploders; Misty’s experience as a detective and proficiency with weapons gives a nice play on the character, making her story arcs akin to those of traditionally male protagonists like Batman or Daredevil; Much like Ben Grimm, Misty is one of those people that other Marvel characters just know; She lived with Jean Grey, has/had an on again/ off again relationship with Iron Fist, and has come into contact with other Marvel Superstars; As stated, Misty shines when working out street-level crime, whether that is tracking down murderers or stopping drug cartels; Her work with Heroes for Hire is some of the best from that time, in my opinion, even compared to the days of Luke Cage and Iron Fist
    • NOTE: This is one character I’d like to see have her own ongoing, honestly. Could be a super gritty look at what goes down in New York while all the heroes are off saving the universe and gangs, crooks and upstart supers are running amok on the ground.
  • Common Themes: The dirty side to Urban life (New York); Never giving up, no matter what; Law and Justice; Pride in one’s work; Women who prioritize a lot of things over having a man
  • Good For: …Women who prioritize a lot of things over having a man; People interested in Detective stories; Fans of “Street-Level” supers, like Daredevil or Luke Cage; Pam Grier fans
  • Go To Series: Heroes for Hire (vol 2 & 3); Daughters of the Dragon; Fearless Defenders; Immortal Iron Fist
  • Stand Out Stories: Marvel Team-Up #1; Civil War: Heroes for Hire; Shadowland:Blood on the Streets

Elektra
  • Character Summary: Elektra Natchios; Badass female assassin wielding two bladed sai; Arguably one of the better things Frank Miller put into the world during his AMAZING run on the Daredevil comics; A generally dark character with daddy issues, Elektra has a dark and slightly mysterious past, present and future. She is at any given time a hero, anti-hero, or even villain.
    • Random aside: Her current series is SUPER badass. Definitely some recommended reading. Also, the art both inside and on the covers is PHENOMENAL. We will now take some time to appreciate the cover work:
      • #11

      • #8

        Carry on…

  • Common Themes: Dark vs. Light; Redemption and Rebirth; old-fashioned butt-kickery; damaged individuals finding love; The price of our actions
  • Good For: People who like darker stories; People who believe the world is more gray area than black and white; Ninja/Kung-Fu fans; Frank Miller fans (or not, depending on how you feel about the whole “Marvel was all like ‘yeah, Frank, no worries, we won’t use Elektra without your direct permission’ and then almost immediately brought her back” thing)
  • Go To Series: Elektra (vol 1), Daredevil (vol 1) #168-182, Thunderbolts (vol 3)
  • Stand Out Stories: Daredevil (vol 1) #181, Wolverine: Enemy of the State, Elektra: Assassin, Dark Reign: Elektra

Image result for dazzler modern comic cover

Dazzler

  • Character Summary: Allison Blaire; Mutant woman who always dreamed of being, and for a time was a famous singer; Dazzler can manipulated light and sound which, y’know, helps in the pop singing game; She can reflect light as anything from sparkly, tiny bursts to giant friggin lasers; She also has been seen to be unkillable for whatever reason, resurrecting once or twice in the past; Optimistic and driven, Dazzler is a very “starry-eyed type character, always remaining certain that the best possible outcome is guaranteed; When on an X-Team, she always tends to stand out as one of the more cheery members even in a world that despises mutants; Though Dazzler is often found as a member of the various X-Teams, I’m including her here because I feel like she is one of those characters that deserves more time in the sun; Her attitude and general outlook on being a hero for most of her time is very different than many X-Men or even Superheroes in general; She typically sees heroing as something she has to do, but it isn’t something she would care to do at all; This is most true in her solo 1980s series; Fairly recently, however, she has become a bit more angry after a run-in with Mystique, who she now despises beyond all else.
  • Common Themes: Positivity; Dreams and Success; Don’t underestimate people; Music and the power of; Mutant culture and getting away from it
  • Good For: Music fans; Disco fans; People who like cheery heroes; People who like individuals with creative powers (eye lasers and psychic powers are a dime a dozen these days)
  • Go To Series: Dazzler (1980s); X-Treme X-Men (vol 2); Uncanny X-Men (vol 3); New Excalibur
  • Stand Out Stories: Die by the Sword; Dazzler #10; X-Treme X-Men #6-11

Image result for black widow comic cover

Black Widow

  • Character Summary: Natasha Romanoff; Russian superspy and general Avengers badass; originally a villain who defected to the US and began working with her one time nemesis, Iron Man, Natasha’s particular set of skills consist of butt-kicking, stealth butt-kicking, computer and electronic hacking (or techno butt-kicking), and shooting people with electric bursts from her wrist blasters (long distance butt-kicking); Not super-powered per se, the Black Widow is an expert level athlete, gymnast and ballerina; She has also undergone conditioning both physically and mentally for her spy training and has been treated with biotech in order to reduce the affects of age and increase her healing factor; She gets along with her teammates on the avengers and members of SHIELD, but often feels aloof due to a lack of mutual trust she senses from certain teammates; At any given time it is not unlikely for her to disappear for weeks on a top secret assignment, either handed down from some top brass or for her own personal vendettas
  • Common Themes: Dealing with a dark past; Trust and Deceit; Espionage and Subterfuge; American Nationalism and Xenophobia; Heroism vs. Duty
  • Good For: James Bond and Espionage Aficionados; Femme Fatale fans; Fans of characters that tend to outwit instead of overpower
  • Go To Series: Black Widow (Current Ongoing); Secret Avengers (all Volumes); Marvel Knights: Black Widow
  • Stand Out Stories: Homecoming; Encircle (Secret Avengers Vol 2 #20); Widowmaker; Deadly Origins

That’s it for this part. Keep tuned for the next one and let me know if you have any requests for who should get covered in Part 2.

~C

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7 thoughts on “A Guide to Comics: Marvel Women Part 1

  1. Pingback: A Guide to Comics: Marvel Men Part 1 | The Everything Kid

  2. Pingback: A Guide to Comics: Marvel Men Part 2 | The Everything Kid

  3. Pingback: A Guide to Comics: Marvel Women | The Everything Kid

  4. Pingback: A Guide to Comics: Marvel Men Part 3 | The Everything Kid

  5. Pingback: A Guide to Comics: Marvel Women Part 3 | The Everything Kid

  6. Pingback: A Guide to Comics: Marvel Men Part 4 | The Everything Kid

  7. Pingback: A Guide to Comics: Marvel Women Part 4 | The Everything Kid

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