Life happens: Catwoman is dead, I'm not feeling great myself

By Aprill Brandon
Aug. 15, 2013 at 3:15 a.m.

Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg ... something, something, something else, the Comic Con is here!

Or, you know, whatever. I'm no poet.

The point is, it's the CON! Yes, as a junior Trekkie and Star Warrior who grew up to be a card-carrying Browncoat with a dog named Buffy and a husband who makes the fellas from "Big Bang Theory" look like total comic book noobs, it truly 'tis the most magical time of the year for this gal.

See, now that I live in the big city, I get to do cool, nerdy stuff like this. Except, unfortunately, this year I won't be able to go because of some unforeseen circumstances.

One, I'm pregnant, and as such, I should not be around big groups of people. Mainly for their own protection.

Two, I'm super broke, and, yes, OK, that part was a little foreseen, although I think it's a little excessive that rent is due every single month). But that doesn't change the fact that this event inevitably brings up the age-old question for fellow nerds such as myself:

If you were going to the Comic Con, who would you dress up as?

Now, this should be an easy question. In fact, if it's hard to answer, it's only because there are too many options.

Except I can't help but feel that over the past decade or so, a disconcerting number of the iconic female characters I used to worship have become tainted. And, trust me, I hate to be "this" girl, but let's face it, it's all Hollywood's fault.

I mean, who could forget how Halle Berry almost single-handedly destroyed Catwoman?

(I'll give you all a moment to shudder as you remember).

And as if that wasn't bad enough, Anne Hathaway then came in a few years later and kicked what remaining life was in the character to death, all the while smiling her stupid horse-teeth smile.

And apparently now that Halle had a taste for blood, she then promptly returned to the screen to make us all hate Storm from the X-Men.

ScarJo turned Black Widow into walking, leather-clad boobs. Every Lois Lane has been Lois Lame (word play!).

Elektra? I still have nightmares about that movie. Seriously, It was my 'Nam. And while I didn't actually have a problem with how Gwyneth Paltrow played Pepper Potts, I also can't separate the actress from the character, which made me involuntarily think Pepper was an uppity brat I'd pay to slap.

Even the few female villains these days lack personality. What's-Her-Name from the last Batman movie? Yeah. Can't even remember her name. But I sure know who Bane is. Why? The dude had chutzpah.

And while they haven't yet destroyed Wonder Woman, don't worry. They will. Oh, how they will.

Then again, maybe I'm just spoiled from growing up in the 80s and 90s. I had Princess Leia. And Buffy. And Xena. And a decent Catwoman, thanks to Michelle Pfeiffer. And Aeon Flux the cartoon. And later on the women from "Firefly" and Olivia from "Fringe."

So maybe it's just hard for me to respect a hot-looking woman wearing pornographically skin-tight leather whose sole job is to be an accessory to some guy in a cape. Or an expressionless girl in love with a vampire whose only super power is her moping ability (albeit an unparalleled moping ability).

Or actresses who think the most important aspect of their character is going on some chicken and rice diet prior to filming (which they make sure to mention in every single magazine interview).

At least all is not lost. "True Blood" and "Game of Thrones" both have some worthy "stab them with the pointy end" feminist heroes. Little girls today grew up with Hermione and Ginny, neither of whom took a backseat to Harry. And Hit Girl hits the nail on the head when she says in the "Kick Ass 2" preview: "Pffft...Robin wishes he was me."

So maybe the tide is turning.

Then again, I did hear that they are considering casting Megan Fox as Wonder Woman. So maybe I'll just keep cocooning myself in the Whedonverse via Netflix until Hollywood gets the message that female heroes (and even the villains) deserve the same respect as their male counterparts.

Aprill Brandon is a columnist for the Advocate. Her column runs every two weeks in the Your Life section. Comment on this story at



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