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.
My 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.