I wasn't actually expecting that sort of girl power from this week's haul. It's just what came to mind when I looked at the new release list and saw Power Girl, Supergirl, and Batgirl. Wahoo! (Except for the whole "girl" thing, which I've complained about before.) I figured it'd be same old same old, especialy since PG is just starting her "Girl's Gone Wild" arc, so we can cross that one off the girl power list, right?
Well, sort of.
The scenes of Karen and Terra at the movies were sort of adorable. Sure, there was the requisite breast-joke (har har, the sleazy guy is at nipple level), but their interactions to one another and reactions to the movie were really sort of nice. I know nothing about Terra. She's a teenager? Is it wrong of me to ship them? I'll assume yes.
Of course we fit in another breast joke, a teenager in her underwear, and a few panels about Karen's total lack of business acumen (her cat seems cool), before the real start of "Space Girls Gone Wild", which we'll get to.... next month.
So this was an interim issue. It was actually fine as one. I liked what it did (even the weird WoW/DoD-mocking villain) with the characters. Some nice downtime/development prior to the beginning of the next story arc. And I really like Karen Starr and I really like Power Girl and the way she's written and the way she talks. I think this is, despite the amount of breasts jokes (seriously, guys, at least one an issue?) and the "something's not quite right" with this feeling I get about the way Karen Starr is portrayed (oh, the dumb blonde that knows nothing about science or business) going to be a title I stick with.
Let's see, Supergirl next. I didn't actually read it. It's part 3 of Codename: Patriot, and I don't have 1 or 2. This is the tie-in I complained about before, swore to myself I wouldn't buy, then got confused and bought anyway. Go team me. But since we're talking Super, I did get Blackest Night: Superman, which... I don't know why. It was fine, really. I liked the part where Superman was basically every color of the lanterns. Damn straight. I'm sort of fascinated by all the BN stuff happening. Another promise I made to myself was to not buy all the tie-ins to BN, but I've been doing it anyway.
The continuity of all the comics I'm reading hurts my head. So BN takes place after pretty much every title that's currently running, yes? And Batgirl is after Red Robin, but both are before BN and after Streets of - nevermind.
I really want to write about Manhunter in her own thing, because this is an awesome character that I just discovered, but here's what I'll say: I am seriously buying Streets of Gotham only for the Manhunter co-feature. I am no longer engaged in whatever's going on with the back-up villains of Gotham. I only care about Kate Spencer kicking ass and making snarky remarks. Also her Hellraiser-reject villain was sort of gross in a good way. Ick. Yeah, no kidding.
Okay, I saved the best for last. Na na na na na na na na BATGIRL.
I'm glad they didn't string out the reveal for too long. Also sorry about the pun with the Spoiler thing. Yeah. I couldn't apologize for the pun without spoiling the spoilers. Gah!
I'm glad it's Steph! I like Steph. Granted, I like the duo of Steph and Cass Cain, so I hope Cass comes back at some point, but I'm glad if we're getting a new, non-Cass BG that it's Steph. And I'm glad Babs will somehow be involved (but for the love of snap, I hope she stays in that wheelchair), and I'm glad that Steph hasn't lost her cool voice (I... have a thing for snarkers) and that there was some great deference given to the symbol of the Bat. It's one thing to be the Spoiler, but it's another to wear a Bat on your chest. And Steph gets (and doesn't get) that in just the right amounts. I'm optimistic for the future of this title.
So that was Girl Power week.
I was thinking about Girl Power, while I was writing my generally-happy reactions to the stories, and I remember learning about third wave feminism and discussing Girl Power in my class, and the positives and negatives. You had shows with strong (Xena) or complex (Ally McBeal) female leads, but they were wearing short short skirts (and some of them could have used a sandwich, ahem). You had the Spice Girls saying friends come first (in a way more empowering way than bros before hos, yo) but most of their popular songs were still about finding love or something. I think. I can't actually admit in public to listening to the Spice Girls. You know.
Anyway, the thing with Girl Power is that it's not Women Power. It's cutesy. It's cheery. It sugar coats feminism to sell it to the masses. I don't know if that's good or bad. Do the means justify the ends? Were there any ends for those original Girl Power People besides making money? How many people really want to change the world through pop culture?
Well, besides me. But I've just got a blog and a pechant for waxing dramatic.
What it came down to for me this week was that it was nice to buy a bunch of comics that are led by female superheroes, who are super with or without their male counterparts, but don't exist in a vacuum of femaleness or solely for the gaze of the male reader. They're there to kick some ass and be super.