Friday, October 21, 2011

Female "Clones" of Superheroes

It seems like a substantial amount of superheroines are just feminized versions of superheroes. I found it kind of insulting that so many female heroes were just spin-off's of successful male heroes. I saw it as comic book writers think that superheroines need a jump-start on popularity that plays off of a male counterpart. Not that I am totally adverse to all female counterparts to superheroes. Batwoman, for example, is obviously a play-off of Batman, but her character stands on it's own. She has a personality and sense of morality that is refreshingly unrelated to Batman. However, after looking at the article "The 9 Least Necessary Female Versions of Male Superheroes", I was really upset (and pretty creeped out) to see that over half of the superheroines on the list were literally the original male character with boobs.

These characters were deemed unnecessary because either
1) they're literally the same as the original superhero or
2) they just play "wife" to the original.

Basing a superheroine off of these two things will inevitably make for a very weak character. If these characters were more complex and unique from their male counterparts, I believe that they would be a lot more successful. However, it's become an expectation for a female version of a female to be more of a supplementary "girlfriend" character, which is why I believe, for the most part, unique superheroines without a male "origin" make for more legitimate characters in the comic book world (when compared to stereotypical female 'clone' heroines).
Side note: Why would a superhero want to marry an exact female clone of themselves? The idea is both narcissistic and really gross.


  1. I definitely agree that superheroines are stronger characters when they are not based off other superheroes. Most of these superheroines are only popular because people know about the superhero they relate to. When a superheroine is very popular and not based off a male character then the superheroine can be considered a kick ass woman. However, superheroines like Batwoman are also awesome characters so it really depends on the way the author goes about creating this female superhero.

  2. I agree it is entirely based on how the author portrays the character to begin with. If the character, whether she is a spin-off, or not, is introduced with her own personality, moral compass, and initiative from her male counterpart, than I believe she has the potential to be a really powerful character. However, I think it's when the author directly links her to a male counterpart that her worth is considered less valuable. I like it when these comics send the message that a woman can be independent, and totally herself, and still be an influential and respected figure.

  3. If a character is designed with the purpose of being a heroes wife or girlfriend, she is not going to be a strong independent character. Her purpose was to be there for her respective hero, not to be a hero on her own. I like Batwoman a lot because she is her own independent character who has love interests that aren't her male counterpart.

  4. I want to think that most of these female "clones" of superheroes were created either because the writers thought the success of the superhero could translate into the success of a supposedly "new" character, or because they just needed new material to work with. It's not fun to read about the "original male character with boobs," quoting you, but it is gratifying when characters who you'd expect to be a female "clone" (like Batwoman) get the opportunity to develop into her own unique identity.


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