The Superheroines Who Inspire Me – Guest Post

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes author Corrina Lawson as a guest blogger to talk about the Superheroines that inspire her.

Take it away Corrina!

The Superheroines Who Inspire Me by Corrina Lawson
Once upon a time, I dreamed superheroes were real. Of course, they’re not, not in the traditional sense of heroes with colorful costumes and extraordinary powers, but the heroic traits they possess is something I still want to emulate. Naturally, when I began to write paranormal romances, I drew on superhero mythology.

img_0201My first superhero, Alec Farley, the hero of Phoenix Rising, may have been born with powers like the X-Men, but he owes far more of his personality to the traits to the ones who inspired me: namely, his optimism, his kindness, and his insistence on always doing the right thing.
So here are the heroines who inspired me, in the order that I encountered them growing up. What strikes me about this list is that it’s full of grown woman for the most part. One would think I would have identified more with teenage characters but this list of ladies appealed to who I wanted to become, rather than who I was.

Batgirl copyright D.C. Comics

Batgirl (c) DC Comics

Batgirl/Barbara Gordon (later Oracle) Yes, it was the Batman show from 1966 that introduced me to my first female hero. Sure, I loved the show before that because it was so fun but the second meek Barbara Gordon’s wall flipped to reveal that she was Batgirl, well, that was the minute my younger self realized “Omigod, girls can be superheroes too!” Toss in a motorcycle and a theme song and I was hooked forever.

Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers

Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers

Jaime Sommers, the Bionic Woman I know, by rights in the 1970s, I should have been watching Wonder Woman and her twirl but my Wonder Woman love came later. Back then, I was enthralled by Jaime. Not only could she do everything better than a guy—stronger, faster, and with superhearing—but she was also unfailingly kind with a need to help others. She was the best teacher ever, concerned about her students, she even saved Max, the bionic dog. This was not a woman driven by angst or darkness but by compassion.

Lois Lane
I’ve said this before, many times, but Lois Lane is the reason I became a journalist. She was the first female character I encountered who had a job other than teacher or nurse or secretary and it was a really cool job! There has been so much analysis about Lois Lane, everything from she’s not too smart to she gets kidnapped all the time, but the bottom line is she does the same job Superman does, fighting for truth and justice, but she does it without powers. In other words, she’s Superman’s hero.

Princess Projectra wedding

Princess Projectra wedding panel

Princess Projectra Non comic fans might not be familiar with her, but Projectra was a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the DC Comics’ far future. Her ability was to create illusions to fool people. I loved that because it showed you could defeat someone stronger and faster by being clever and with misdirection. Plus, she was also a real-life princess responsible for taking care of a planet, and her boyfriend/eventual husband was Karate Kid, who was awesome. They modeled the type of romantic couple I would later want to write about. (We won’t discuss DC’s failure to give them a HEA.)

Huntress/Helena Wayne Helena Wayne was the daughter of an alternate Earth Batman and Catwoman. Whoa. Who wouldn’t want those parents? Alas, Helena was driven into crimefighting by revenge as her mother was killed after being blackmailed, and then her father later died fighting a villain possessing magical power. This, however, did not change her essentially optimistic personality. She became Huntress to find justice, not to hurt others, and she was a lawyer by day to do the same.

Jean Grey
If you’ve only watched the movies, well, you’re missing out on Jean Grey/Marvel Girl/Phoenix as she’s been consistently underused on the screen. That’s the problem with her comic book self, too, as Jean was never the same after the Dark Phoenix saga in which she gained the ability to devour worlds (and did) but killed herself to save the universe from her own power. What she taught me in the Dark Phoenix saga is that a powerful woman could be an equal in a relationship, even with the leader of the X-Men, (Cyclops), and she could even initiate sex. (“Scott, I wanted to see your eyes.”) Jean, until power consumed her, showed what equality was like when you’re in love.

Oracle and Black Canary from The Birds of Prey

Oracle and Black Canary from The Birds of Prey

Black Canary was a semi-favorite of mine in the 1970s as a member of the Justice League of America but she never seemed to get the spotlight, which was frustrating. I lost track of her for years until I picked up a new series, Birds of Prey, in which Dinah Lance/Canary teamed up with Barbara Gordon, now Oracle. My love for Canary has never diminished since them, as not only did Dinah have the spotlight but she was more confident and powerful than ever, even without her Canary cry. The book also was a role model for female friendships, with the cast members eventually growing to include the Helena Bertinelli version of the Huntress. (We won’t discuss what the television writers have done to my Dinah.)

Sharon Carter
Agent 13 was created many years ago but she’d been pushed to the side when I first started reading Captain America comics in the late 1970s. Heck, she was even killed off. But she was brought back in a short run by Mark Waid and has never been sent to the sidelines again. What’s great about Sharon? She’s the proto-typical bad-ass secret agent, she’s the intellectual equal of Steve Rogers, and she’s fiercely independent. When Sharon was impregnated against her will by the Red Skull with (handwaveycomicbookscience) a child/clone to use against her and Steve, Sharon escaped custody and when her enemies were closing in again, she stabbed herself in the gut, taking control and ownership of what was being done to her own body.

Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel
Like Black Canary/Dinah Lance, Carol has been knocking around since the 1970s, though she’s in the Marvel universe. Originally, she was a female version of Captain Mar-vell, but then a newspaper publisher, a member of the Avengers, then depowered, then a member of the X-Men powered by star energy called Binary, then Warbird, then…well, you get the picture. Writers, mostly male, made Carol into whatever they wanted. Then Kelly Sue DeConnick led a revamp of the character, Carol took on the mantle of Captain Marvel, she owned her experience as a pilot and Air Force Colonel, and now she’s a confident leader who can defeat any threat. In other words, she came through the fire better than ever and now she’ll have a movie. Go, Carol.

Jessica Jones
She’s the last addition to my list and it’s by virtue of her Netflix show. I read some issues of the comic Alias that introduced Jessica and they didn’t speak to me. Perhaps it was that Jessica seemed angry all the time but it was never clear why.
But in the show, we know right away why she’s angry and dysfunctional. She was mind-controlled and raped and abused by a telepath, and she’s by turns pissed off and traumatized by it. But to Jessica, the worst thing that can happen, ever, is that someone dies on her watch. She was under compulsion to kill once and she refuses to do it again. Oh, she’s not a saint. She’s profane, an alcoholic, she’s rude, and she often refuses to let anyone help with her pain. But she pushes past that because, dammit, she hates to see people hurt, even people she doesn’t like. Her story is also one of healing for rape survivors and we never get enough of those.

Corrina Lawson as Wonder Woman

Corrina Lawson as Wonder Woman

Corrina Lawson is a former newspaper reporter with a degree in journalism from Boston University. A mom of four, she now works from home writing romance novels with a geeky twist and as the Content Director and co-founder of GeekMom.com.

Her novels include The Curse of the Brimstone Contract, a romantic steampunk mystery and the Galaxy award-winning and USA Today recognized superhero romance series: Phoenix Institute series: Phoenix Rising, Luminous, Phoenix Legacy, Ghost Phoenix, Ghosts of Christmas Past, and Phoenix Inheritance.

You can learn more about Corrina by visiting her website: corrina-lawson.com,  her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/corrina.lawson or by following her adventures via Twitter: @CorrinaLawson

About pattybones2

I am a self proclaimed fangirl who is disguised as a mild mannered data analyst for an advertising firm.

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