(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”.
There was an unsuspecting evolution that led to me reading a work of male/male original slash fiction.
It started when an online friend of mine recommended a book to me through Goodreads: Uprooted – a beautifully written, dark fantasy fairytale by Naomi Novik.
My friend I discussed this book extensively via Goodreads as I read it, and when I finished, I suggested we next read the same book simultaneously so we could discuss our reactions to it in real time.
It’s a tiny, seemingly throwaway phrase I hear uttered every day – from my own lips included – and it drives me just this side of batty.
As a writer, I’m very concerned and interested in the language I use, both on paper and verbally.
Part of the reason I’m such a slow writer is because, for me, every sentence is a search not just a word, but the exact word – the word that conveys the precise sentiment of what I’m trying to express.
Will the real Warrior Princess please step forward?
I originally started my replay of the seasons of Xena Warrior Princess to help me in re-conceiving an old, shelved novel of mine that I want to rewrite set in Ancient Greece.
Of course, I recognize that what will help me most in this endeavour is a thorough study of actual Ancient Greek history since Xena, although a rollicking good time to watch, is historical-ish at best – a work of historical fantasy that’s at times quite heavy on the fantasy, straining the linearity of the historical timeline to the limit.
(This season alone, Xena has dealings with legendary Celtic queen Boudicca, with Egyptian queen Cleopatra, in ancient China, and against the Persian army on their way to the Hot Gates at Thermopylae.)
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.