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Friday, October 10, 2014 

Barbara Randall Kesel pans DC's splitting of Superman-Lois Lane pairing

Hero Complex spoke at least a week ago about a panel veteran writer Kesel, who helped her former husband Karl when writing for Superman, attended at the Long Beach Comicon where Lois Lane was brought up as a topic in a panel on women, and she summed it up right:
Barbara Randall Kesel, a writer and editor who has worked at DC Comics, said the character’s portrayal “rises and falls with what is happening with women in the real world” – from being a “spitfire” like new career women in the ’30s and ’40s, to being diminished to “comedic foil” for Superman as women were being encouraged to relinquish jobs and focus on their husbands in the ’50s, to becoming a more feminist character as the equality movement has advanced.

Lane is “a superhero without any powers,” popular artist Amanda Conner, who co-writes DC’s “Harley Quinn” series, said.

“She’s got that assumption of authority – ‘Of course it’s going to work out,’” Kesel noted.

“And you know that [Superman] is going to think that’s really hot,” Conner added.

Cecil Castellucci, writer of the Eisner Award-nominated “Odd Duck,” said she’d been trying to pitch a miniseries about the hard-charging reporter for years because she’s “obsessed with Lois Lane for the very reasons that you’re saying,” and agreed that the spitfire aspect of the character’s personality is what would appeal to Clark Kent.

In current DC stories, though, it’s not Lois who Superman is dating, but Wonder Woman.

Kesel called that “a step down” to some crowd laughter and applause.
She's correct. Pairing Supes and WW is one of the cheapest steps they could take, and they probably know it. It's nothing more than an effort to severely limit organic storytelling with an authentic recurring cast. Similarly, Flashpoint was just a quick, ultra-cheap way for them to erase all marriages and other cast members they disliked without having to set up an organic development where they'd break up and divorce. Although, IIRC, Barry and Iris Allen broke up pretty quickly during the last Flash volume, after being reunited for such a short time, all for the sake of separation.
Kesel noted that it helps when there are multiple female characters in a title – rather than Wonder Woman being the only female in the Justice League – because then they can all stand for different ideas rather than having to carry all of femininity “in one suitcase.”
This is where I'll have to note she was being superficial: WW was never the only female cast member throughout Justice Society/League history. Hawkgirl and Black Canary had memberships, as well as Zatanna, Power Girl, and Ice. WW may be the most powerful, but she was never the only one.

At this same panel, they talked about how they'd like to see movies based on women in comics, and Amanda Connor said:
An audience member asked when minority female protagonists would be the stars of films and TV shows.

Conner is craving one in particular: “I want to see a Daughters of the Dragon movie so bad,” she said, referring to the Marvel Comics duo of Misty Knight, who is black, and Colleen Wing, who is white.

The characters, who debuted in a 1977 issue of “Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu,” have costarred with Iron Fist and Luke Cage in various titles and had their own limited series in 2006, co-written by Palmiotti.
A telling error's been made here. Colleen Wing is Asian/Japanese. And she did not debut in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu. She debuted in Marvel Premiere 19, November 1974. And Misty Knight debuted an issue later in January 1975. They did make a guest appearance in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu 32-33, but their first official appearances were at least 2 years before, and Chris Claremont did a minor retcon for Misty in Marvel Team-Up #64, telling that she'd first appeared as an unnamed guest character in the MTU premiere issue from 1972 by Roy Thomas. But the failure to realize Colleen is of Asian background is particularly weird.
Several panelists agreed that Marvel’s Storm – who’s been a fixture in the “X-Men” films played by Halle Berry – could carry a solo film.

King Carpenter noted that she thinks the day the audience member awaits is soon, but noted that it takes longer in Hollywood than in comics because of the years-long development process for films.

Castellucci, noting the success of “The Hunger Games” and “Frozen,” called the lack of a Wonder Woman movie “a shocker.”

“The audience does rule what’s happening,” King Carpenter said, “and now that they’ve proven they’ll go, they’ve proven that they’ll spend the money, they’ve proven that these things will work, I think that [minority-female-led Hollywood movies are] in the near future.”
Yes, they might work on the silver screen, but that's only if the writing is successful. Let's remember the Catwoman movie from 2004, much as I'm sure we'd all rather forget, was one of the worst of its kind, with screenwriters who had no idea what kind of story they could craft, and this was a movie starring the same actress who played Storm in the X-Men movies! Is it any wonder there's been no WW movie to date? If nobody knows what kind of plot to write, how can they bother spending so much over what might turn out to be a pure fiasco? What they have to emphasize is that, without talented writing, the chances a heroine will do well in movies are much less.

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Wonder Woman was the only female Justice League member for much of the Silver Age. Zatanna, Black Canary, and Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman all joined sometime after 1967.

People of Asian descent are increasingly considered "white" by the crazy American left. (Of course, the whole "Asian" thing is crazy; confusing Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Cambodian, Korean, etc. is a progressive tradition dating back to the early 20th century century fascination with eugenics.)

The reason for this is that those of Asian descent as a group do well educationally and economically in the US, putting the lie to the left-wing fantasy that white racism is at the heart of all black and Hispanic problems. The solution to this conundrum, obviously, is to just declare Asians "white" as well.

You can read, for example, an article that just popped up on the HuffPo that declares Asian-Americans who vote for the GOP are actually "mostly white" (I guess that's like a "white Hispanic").

Crazy stuff, but they aren't called the crazy left for nothing.

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