Speaking of fashion and strong independent women, I put together a 'fashion show' yesterday to spotlight catsuits. In the introduction to this promo collage I wrote, "Before this style became hyper-sexualized with exaggerated physicality and shiny latex, it was the original design for cool athletic lady detectives, jewel thieves, and spies. From a time when women in pop culture could be erotic by being strong, characters didn't have to play the card of sexual availability- too often, as Gloria Steinem has pointed out, the only game in town for women to claim power. Figures like Irma Vepp (Les Vampires/1915), Miss Fury (1940s), Cathy Gale (The Avengers/1964), Mrs Peel (The Avengers/1965), Honey West (1965), Marianne Faithful (Girl On a Motorcycle/1968)), and Catwoman (1966) below show us a far more nuanced possibility. Lady Spy Vibers never settle for less!"
I completely agree with you! It breaks my heart to see what these gorillas have done to the wonderful Miss Fury. No, she is not “holding up” in these badly written and badly drawn new books, and my Miss Fury and the REAL Miss Fury will always be the original Tarpe Mills’ Miss Fury. Trina, what do you think male writers usually get wrong when they try to write strong heroines?
To illustrate our points, here is a collage I put together of some of the new Miss Fury comic covers. With apologies to some readers, these are quite grotesque. Dynamite produces many variant covers, not all as offensive as this, but the overall design and vibe is consistent. This is the image of an independent action heroine? It makes me sad for any boy or girl who sees these images of this heroine and has to struggle to reconcile the message being communicated. I guess I prefer my heroes and heroines to be role models.
Trina contributed an appreciation to the Brenda Starr collection below by Hermes Press. Hermes has also published collections of The Phantom, Roy Rogers, Buck Rogers, Terry and Pirates, Johnny Hazard, and many Gold Key comic reprint editions.
Here are some images you might enjoy from the Pulps and early comics. Talk about strong independent heroines!
Looking at a character really marketed to girls, were you able to bring new depth to Matell’s BARBIE when you wrote a comic for Marvel in the 90s?
Related posts: Catsuits, Spy Vibe's image archives on Pinterst here, Batman '66 Interview, Cold War Comics, Win Scott Eckert Honey West Interview, Shane Glines Interview, William Maynard Fu Manchu Interview, Richard Sala Interview, Mod Tales Interview, Kinky Boots, Peeling Off the Trenchcoats, Mods to Moongirls, Batman '66 and Andy Warhol, Spies: the World Around Us, Man From UNCLE pages, Six Million Dollar Man records and toys, SHIELD Artist Editions, Solar and Bionic Man Return.