“May You Live in Interesting Times” is a popular Chinese saying that has been around for a while and has even made it into a couple of movies, most notably Donald Sutherland’s CEO speech in Disclosure. Aside from the fact that Disclosure was a pretty bad movie, and the fact that it’s not a saying (it’s apparently from a curse), and it’s not Chinese in origin, I STILL think it’s never been more apropos in the Girl Power Community than right now. With the announcement yesterday of various members of CBS’s Supergirl’s cast and production crew, it is now official: ubergirl fans have NEVER had so much to be excited about!
I, like some others here, have been in this community for a long time. How long? Long enough to have written and helped produce a full length superheroine film (The Awakening) – over 7 years ago! Long enough to have started and run arguably TWO of the premier ubergirl sites on internet (SWM and SGI). Even long enough to remember when the Aurora Universe got started – on the Amazon Arena BBS! And in no time during that period, have we had more ubergirl content to soak up and enjoy for the masses than we do now.
Comics. Comics have been the one mainstay for our genre and have usually been one of the only resources ubergirl fans had been able to flock to. Comics are still around, but superheroines are getting much more airtime than previous. While relegated often to being members or even auxiliary members of superhero teams, our girls are now more at the forefront. Powerhouse heroines like Supergirl, She-Hulk, Captain Marvel, Ms Marvel, Power Girl have all had their own titles in the past year. All female X-Men and Avengers teams have joined the fray as well (or soon will) letting mainstream comic readers follow the exploits of a female superteam, a space of comicdom previously only occupied by AC Comics’ Femforce and a few fledgling independents. And speaking of independents, Comixology and other digital outlets have made producing and reading superheroine books easier than ever. Small press titles that feature superheroines like Tomorrow Jones, Once Upon a Caper, MegaWoman, and others are now available with a Paypal account and a single-click (well, a few clicks).
Internet Content. With the departure of the Steele Family and SuperSexyHeroines.com, there appeared to be a lull in the “genre space” category of internet ubergirl content which has since been filled quite adequately by newer production outfits like Wicked City Girls and TKS Productions who have been cranking out great looking short-films, chock-filled with strength-feats and action. In addition, though things have slowed down, Project: SuperWoman still appears to be the go-to site for girl power and action featuring costumed actresses and models. And I’ve heard rumblings of more potential producers or productions on the way, including the highly anticipated Mighty Woman! Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention MaidenComics.com somewhere in here. If someone had told me ten years ago that there would be a streaming site like Hulu and Netflix, completely dedicated to female action and girl power, I would have laughed at them. But that day is now, as MaidenComics.com has now taken girl power mainstream with their new channel, featuring female action series, including offerings from Wicked City Girls as well as original ubergirl-related films like Athena, Goddess of War. While their content base is a little limited right now, it appears they are moving in the right direction, and I hope a large part of our community will support their efforts.
Television. I think a lot of people in this community can credit their gravitation towards superheroines somewhat in part to watching Lynda Carter and Lyndsey Wagner doing superheroic things on the screen back in the mid 70’s. Since then, however, superfem action time on TV has been almost non-existent, as most were left settling on episodes of various programs that might have superheroine tropes. Boy, are we making up for lost time now! First up, we have Agents of Shield which now has a bonafide superheroine (Skye) on its team and includes another superpowered female (Raina) along with possibilities of ubergirl guest stars (Sif) and plotlines. Next, coming in a few weeks we have Powers which features a host of ubergirls (Retro Girl, Zora, Callista), depending on how they choose to depict them. Jessica Jones on Netflix, featuring the former superheroine Jewel, is next up on Netflix later this year and offers great ubergirl possibilities. Messengers on CW, and even iZombie (CW), Agent Carter also may not feature superheroines but they all seem to include kick-ass girls as integral parts of their cast. Teen Titans (featuring Starfire, Dawn and Raven) is also strongly a possibility for next year’s lineup on TNT, and let’s not also forget other possible comic superheroines or villainesses showing up on Flash or Arrow. Finally, about a year or two ago, I was lamenting on what-could-have-been when the WW Pilot was not picked up. However, the ubergirl gods smiled down on us and left us with something possibly better – Supergirl!! Supergirl on CBS is the most exciting news for our fanbase (well, most of them) since….well, EVER! I’m sure Supergirl’s time onscreen will pale in comparison to Kara’s – and we will all complain – but the fact remains, that our genre has hit the mainstream! And that is beyond a good thing….
Movies. For mainstream superheroines, the past 30 years on the silver screen has given us Supergirl, Elektra, and Catwoman. Umm…..no comment. Fear not, SWManiacs, cause the next three years is going to yield us a Wonder Woman solo movie (after a prominent role in Superman/Batman), and a Captain Marvel movie!! In addition, appearances by superheroines in the Avengers and Justice League is almost guaranteed. Even our friends across the Pacific have a new Darna movie coming out later this year! And that doesn’t even cover the plethora of superheroine independent films/projects being Kickstarted or independently produced (see Maiden’s Athena, Goddess of War)!
Whew! I’m sure I missed something in there, but hopefully I made my point about the “interesting times” part! Hopefully, everyone here recognizes that ubergirls are chic right now (my god, “Supergirl” was trending on Twitter the day Melissa Benoist was cast)! As such, it might be people’s reactions to talk less about it or create less because there is now more around us, but that’s not what I hope everyone is thinking. I sincerely hope everyone is as excited as we are about these “interesting times” and continues to make their voice heard on the forums and in their creations. A voice that says “yeah, I liked this stuff before it was cool!”