(Continued from Part 1)
Last week, I started writing about the things I disliked about the movie Wonder Woman.
This particular post was a follow-up to one about the things I did like about the movie.
Overall, I did enjoy the movie. However, no movie is perfect and no form of media exists outside of the societal context in which it’s created.
No movie is perfect; that’s just a given.
Even those that come will have aspects of it that demand closer scrutiny. Not even great movies are beyond critique. Meanwhile, critiquing a movie doesn’t have to mean you didn’t still enjoy it.
I’ve never much liked superheroes.
With the exception of a brief fondness for Superman in my childhood – and this more on account of his being Christopher Reeve rather than “super” – I’ve cared little for any superhero’s exploits.
Cover painting from the book Winds of Fate by Mercedes Lackey
(That is, my favourites aside from the one and only Xena, who is, in my opinion, the greatest warrior woman character there is.)
But I inadvertently left someone off my list; someone who made a strong impression upon me at a specific point in her personal journey.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about warrior woman characters and whether they helped or hindered the ongoing struggle for women’s equality in real life.
Having concluded that such characters do indeed benefit women and society, I can now happily share my top favourite warrior women characters who aren’t named Xena.
I have to include the stipulation of “not named Xena” because Xena is, in my opinion, the greatest warrior woman character there is.
Midway through my replay of all six seasons of Xena Warrior Princess last year, I heard word of possible reboot of the show.
Details on the project have since remained scarce. No one has been cast – not even the eponymous character – nor have there even been rumours about who’s under consideration for any of the roles.
Initially, the showrunner for the Xena reboot was set to be Javier Grillo-Marxuach, one of the writers from my new favourite TV show, The 100 (Xena having been my old favourite show). However, just last week, it was announced that Grillo-Marxuach had left the project due to “unsurmountable creative differences”.
I really did try.
After years of hearing and reading complaints about E.L. James’s BDSM-erotica bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey – after having previously convinced myself I’d never read it – that the kinky subject matter didn’t interest me; that I didn’t want to join the global sales bandwagon; that I was too good for so-called “mommy porn” – I came to have a change of heart.
Like 17 million other people, I’ve been watching Empire.
And in keeping with the prevailing opinion, I think it’s a great show.
When I told my sister I was watching it, she expressed surprise. Not an unexpected reaction given most of what I watch is either fantasy, sci-fi, historical, or about science and nature.
However, Empire, at its core over the first season, is a succession drama, which I always love and happen to be writing myself in a historical setting. As well, I have a prior history with stories about record companies thanks to the 1985 movie Krush Groove, which my sister and I watched together and both enjoyed.
When I was in grade 5 or 6, I read a young adult fantasy novel entitled The Woman Who Rides Like a Man.
This book was the third of a quartet by the wonderful Tamora Pierce about a girl named Alanna who disguises herself as a boy in order to enter training to eventually become a knight of her kingdom.
I loved this book – loved the entire series – and from that moment, a obsession with female fantasy characters who could fight was born. I couldn’t get enough of stories where women wielded swords, shot bows, fought empty-handed in any sort of martial art, worked as mercenaries, commanded soldiers, and never had to fear for their safety or worry about being disrespected, for they knew how to put jerks in their place.
Stories featuring – as they’re often portrayed within the genres of fantasy and sci-fi – strong female characters.