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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

girls just wanna be superheroes

And sometimes villains.

In light of some of the stuff we’ve been talking about recently — like all the men I’m tired of being asked to sympathize with in movies when there is no comparable list of complicated women the movies want us to spend time with — I figured it was time to share some photos my friend Bonnie-Ann Black took at New York Comic-Con last fall. Like this one, which I love:


Look how happy she is to be playing superhero! And her, too:


As Bonnie says about these women in general:

i loved that they didn’t try to look like men. they just wanted to be superheroes.

Though sometimes a touch of the masculine works, too:


A whole team of Avengers:


Join the 501st and see the galaxy!


Just avoid the Jedi if you can:


What do women dream about? Having adventures:


Being bad:


Saving the day:


Solving mysteries (she’s Sherlock Holmes):


Bonnie describes these women as “amazing, refuse to be put-down, stay-at-home, arm-candy, prizes.” You know, what Teh Movies usually classify us as. We don’t like it. It’s not what we fantasize about. No one daydreams about standing on the sidelines watching someone else have all the fun. We want to do things ourselves! And we don’t go to the movies to see women as secondary characters. If the movies don’t give us women as heroes, we will appropriate the male heroes for ourselves. But that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t rather have women heroes. And it certainly doesn’t mean we’re willing to forgive how you keep ignoring us.

These are the sorts of unrealistic depictions of women we need more of.

  • bronxbee

    i particularly liked the sherlock homes woman because she had made an entire detecting kit chatelaine to hang from her belt, with magnifying glass, pick locks and she even did the leatherwork herself. i cannot even imagine how many hours she put into it, but she was awesome. all of them were.

  • althea

    If I had a room to spare, I’d love to have framed pictures like these all around the walls. Maybe not even the real female superheroes. And if I had a kid I’d put them in her room, too.

  • LaSargenta

    I love how much work these people put into the costumes and how much fun they are having wearing them.

  • Matt Clayton

    Loving these pictures… but the female Iron Man isn’t wearing that signature helmet in that group Avengers shot.

  • just visited MegaCon last weekend. Lots of female cosplayers per usual, and a good number of them based on female characters – Chell from Portal, Leeloo, Batgirl, Black Widow, but also a slew of female Jedi, Ghostbusters, and gender neutral action figures from various games. Sadly, not as many Queen Elsas as I expected: I guess she’s too recent for many of the cosplayers to make costumes of her in time. Maybe next year’s…

  • bronxbee

    no… but you can’t see it in the photos but she had one of those round power pack things that was lit up.

  • RogerBW

    There’s a reason that A View from the Gallery was an exception to the usual TV writing. We want to watch / read about people who are doing stuff. If the only people who Do Stuff are men, that sends a message even if there are women in the cast.

  • first three photos are from 2013 MegaCon… the others were just last weekend for MegaCon 2014.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Apparently the little girl from Adventures in Babysitting grew up.

    Well, I suppose it had to happen eventually…

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