A Farewell to Fearless Defenders

Several months ago now, we reviewed the first issue of Fearless Defenders, the all-female team book written by Cullen Bunn and drawn by Will Sliney. The book was recently canceled, and last Wednesday, the final issue appeared in comic shops.

You’ll notice I didn’t say ‘a fond farewell’ in the title. Well, that’ll be because I had a very strained relationship with this book. In theory, I was very excited for it when it was announced. Fearless Defenders predated X-MenMarvel’s other all-ladies team book, by several months, and I wished the best for it and from it; I really did. Unfortunately, it didn’t deliver.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: Escher Girls

With the arrival of the New Year we all try desperately to hold onto those resolutions we’ve made: to exercise more, to take more trips, whichever comforting desire for an improved well-being we thought of. I have a list of my own, of course, but I have one for the artists in charge of drawing for the major publications: draw females better!

jr9fangirls1111If you’re under the misguided thought that female characters in big name comics (we’re talking about Marvel and DC here, mostly) are drawn with just as much respect as their male counterparts, then first and foremost you need to have a good, long look at your life, but after that check out Escher Girls on tumblr. Much like its sister site, The Hawkeye Initiative, Escher Girls points out the ridiculous poses that female characters are forced into as well as adding thoughtful commentary on important issues. However, where they differ is how they choose to go about this “pointing out”.

As previously discussed, The Hawkeye Initiative takes the poses given to women and places the superhero Hawkeye in them, pointing out how jarring it is when superheroes are given such ridiculous poses, even if it has to be seen through the non-stereotypical gender—by which I mean, it would be atypical to have a male hero make those poses—to realize by which extent this is problematic. Escher Girls takes a different, more straightforward, two-fold approach. There is the expected commentary of “wow, what the fuck is this shit”, but in a manner that is more conductive to discussion, the followers often times offer well thought out re-draws of the panels in question. Sometimes it’s so simple to see where a comic artist goes wrong (crazy contortions, one inch waist, etc.), but other times it truly takes the input of another artist to see just how badly the female body is mangled in the name of “sex appeal” and “artistic interpretation”.

Outside of that, the site’s atmosphere is really friendly and it’s clear that while the main aim of the site is to hopefully bring much needed attention to this problem on a larger scale, they still want to have fun with it. In my experience, humor is the best teacher and Ms. Angelwings (the blog owner) along with her followers are great at providing that. So whether you’re just after a good laugh or a thought-provoking look into the position of women in comics, Escher Girls is a site that should definitely make its home on your bookmarks.