In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments. But this week we are making a very special announcement in lieu of the Q&A: the winners of the first ever Fantastic Comic Book Awards!
[Simon Williams, Wonder Man] Hello everyone, and welcome to the first annual Fantastic Comic Book Awards.
[Michael Jon Carter, Booster Gold] It’s the Fannies! And the Fannies are magic.
[Simon] One month ago the Fantastic Fangirls [He gestures to the Fangirls in the audience, they smile and wave.] invited their fellow fangirls and fanboys —
[Michael] And fan related fellows!
[Simon] To vote on our nominees.
[Michael] We got voters from all over — international! Marvel fans, DC fans, Indie fans, probably Indy fans, people who like to vote randomly, people who — [Simon frowns.] I’m just saying all types of people. Like a wide voting spread! Of… people who read this blog. [Simon rolls his eyes.] Well. [He grins at the cameras and holds out two thumbs up.] All’s fair in fun!
[Simon] Right then — on with the show! From the pages of Batgirl, here to present the award for Best Character in Supporting Role, Male, Barbara Gordon and Stephanie Brown — both nominees themselves!
[Stephanie bounds on stage, dressed in a darling and age-appropriate purple frock, and grabs the microphone] Hi everybody! I’m really pleased to be here, you know that thing about it’s an honor to be nominated? Totally true! I got awesome swag and I’m sitting next to Luke Cage!! Sweet!! [Camera cuts to a surprised Luke Cage, beside him proud wife Jessica Jones punches his arm and he waves at the stage as Barbara takes her place next to Stephanie.]
[Stephanie] Oh, right. The nominees are: Colonel Kane in Detective Comics, Ken Hale/Gorilla Man in Agents of Atlas, Luke Cage in New Avengers [Stephanie waves to Luke] Woo!
[Stephanie shrugs, her smile still huge] Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Ms. Marvel and Ragdoll in Secret Six.
[Barbara] And the Fanny goes to: Peter Parker in Ms. Marvel!
[Peter is stunned, various New Avengers pull him out of his seat and push him toward the stage. Barbara hands him his award and pulls Stephanie away from the microphone so Peter may make his speech. The applause dies down.] Um. Cool! [He runs a hand through his hair.] Aunt May said I should prepare a speech but … you guys have read Detective Comics, right? I mean. Well, yeah, I’ll say that — it is a real privilege to be considered alongside all these other great characters. [The camera pans to each of other nominees as Peter lists them.] I mean this a serious category — Gorilla Man! Ragdoll! Colonel Kane, seriously, I thought he had it sewn up. [Kane nods thanks.] And Luke, that is the definition of support right there, folks. [Jessica beams as Luke gives Peter a thumbs up.]
Uh. So right, I thank Brian Reed for giving me such great scenes. And all the artists who worked with me, you guys are awesome. And Marvel for believing in me and in the title, uh at least til now … Um. [He looks at the award in his hand.] And most of all to Aunt May for standing by me even when I don’t take her advice about acceptance speeches. And Uncle Ben for … being Uncle Ben. [Camera shows May, blinking tears, Carol Danvers leans over an empty chair to touch her arm and smile.] And most most of all to Carol for letting me be in her story. [Now May touches Carol’s arm, she shrugs at Peter, looking pleased if also uncomfortable.] And also for getting me this suit. [He strikes a pose to show off his dapper attire and raises his award.] I look like a winner!
[The orchestra plays the Spider-Man theme as Peter, Stephanie and Barbara make their way off stage.]
[Simon] How come I wasn’t nominated for that?
[Michael] You weren’t in that comic last year.
[Simon] Yeah, but…
[Michael] Or any comic last year. [Simon pouts] Now, a supporting character for as long as anyone can remember, from the pages of Superman, intrepid reporter —
[Simon] And foxy lady, if I may say so!
[Michael winks] You may! Ladies and gentlemen, Lois Lane.
[Lois takes the stage, nodding thanks to the hosts.] Thank you, Simon, Michael. I am honored to be announcing the winner in the category Best Character in a Supporting Role, Female. Every one of these ladies is worthy. In the nominating round there was a tie so there are six nominees: Barbara Gordon/Oracle in Batgirl, Carol Danvers/Ms. Marvel in New Avengers, Jessica Jones/Jewel in New Avengers, Karla Sofen/Ms. Marvel in Dark Avengers, Layla Miller in X-Factor, and Pepper Potts in Invincible Iron Man.
I raise my glass to you all. And the winner is: Pepper Potts, Invincible Iron Man!
[Pepper Potts blinks and makes her way to the stage, nearly taking a wrong turn. Finally, she accepts the award from Lois and turns to the audience.] Wow, I can’t — can’t believe — Just give me a minute, sorry. I wasn’t going to do this. I — [Pepper wipes her eyes, then, mumbling] Get it together, Potts. What’s Tony gonna say? [She looks up, composed.] Sorry about that. It’s just a little hard to believe. A couple years ago, when Matt and Barry — that’s, ahh, Matt Fraction and Barry Kitson. I’m biased, but I’d say they’re some talented guys with pretty great taste. [Laughs awkwardly.] Sorry. When Matt and Barry wanted me to be in The Order, I know a lot of people were saying — “Her? She’s still a character? I thought they wrote her out in the Silver Age!” So I can’t say how much I appreciate their taking a chance on me. That was a pretty hard time in my life, and [wipes away another tear] Sorry. That didn’t work out quite the way we all wanted it to. But, thanks to the Order — Henry. Kate. Maggie. Everybody. Thanks, guys. — I started to get my life back. And then —
Of course, I’ve got to mention the movie. Gwyneth. I’m gonna be honest, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Gwyneth. I’ve never been that put-together. That well pressed. I sure as hell never ran in heels like that. [This gets a laugh, Pepper is encouraged.] And for a while, once I was back working with Tony in Invincible Iron Man, I thought everybody expected me to be that Pepper. But then, this wonderful thing happened. I . . .well, first I got blown up by terrorists, after Tony was a jerk and I had to throw a drink on him and storm out of the party, which, weirdly enough, probably saved my life. Then Tony saved me and [points to her chest] he put this machine in me, so I was more like him. I know Tony did it to save me, but first I was angry — because I’ve known Tony Stark for a damn long time and being more like Tony isn’t necessarily something you aspire to. And besides, when Tony gives you something, there’s always the possibility he’s going to want to [in a low voice] take it back?
[Pepper shakes her head.] I’m talking about Tony a lot. He made me a superhero. He trusted me to rescue him. He’s my best friend. He’s my — . I think I ought to thank him. Thank you, Tony? And thanks to all of you. Good night.
[Pepper and Lois walk off stage, Simon watches them leave] Now that’s a class act. Two class acts.
[Michael] To present our next award, a woman who needs no introduction, you know her on sight — the one, the only, She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters.
[Jennifer sweeps on stage in a stunningly beautiful gown] Hello everyone. I get to announce the category Best Character in a Leading Role, Male. There are five wonderful — well, there are four wonderful — well, some of these men are deserving — Oh, never mind. The nominees are: Conner Kent/Kon-El/Superboy in Adventure Comics, James Barnes/Captain America in Captain America, Jimmy Woo in Agents of Atlas, [She purses her lips] Norman Osborn/Iron Patriot in Dark Avengers and Tony Stark/Iron Man in Invincible Iron Man. [Jennifer takes a moment to compose herself.] And the award goes to — [She reads the envelope and sighs.] Of course he wins a Fanny. [She looks up] Tony Stark in Iron Man.
[Tony Stark takes his time walking up to the stage, strutting a bit and mugging for the cameras when he sees them. He bows as he takes the award from She-Hulk, who doesn’t look too happy about handing it over. Tony makes a show of staring at the statue, then the audience, then back at the statue. Finally, he looks up, clears his throat and says, disbelief in his voice:] Seriously?? [Silence and some mumbling in the audience until Tony repeats] I mean, seriously? Look, guys. I am the last person, literally the very last person to argue with anyone who wants to tell me how great I am, so — well — thanks. [Tony shrugs and start to walk offstage. The presenters look at each other in puzzlement, but before anyone else can get to the mike, Tony walks back]. It’s just — see — I’ve been in a coma the last few months. And before that, I was getting dumber and dumber every month. And when I was myself, I was doing things like, ahh, stealing top secret files and getting my AA sponsor arrested. [looks out in the crowd, and points] Good man, Henry. Thanks for taking that one for the team.
But most of the time I wasn’t even running things in my own book half the time — I left that to Maria Hill and Rhodey and Widow and — [touches his forehead like he’s trying to remember, then points into the wings at Pepper] Just kidding, Pepper. Love ya, Pepper. This lady, friends. She’s the one you ought to be honoring. Which, I realize, you just did. So.
[Tony lifts a statue, takes another bow, and steps away from the mike. The music starts, and the hosts start to come back on stage. Tony darts back and grabs the mike again.]
I just gotta know. Is it Downey? The guy played me in a movie and all of a sudden. . .well, I could tell you some stories about that guy. Or is it. . .is it Fraction? You’ll eat up anything the guy writes because he [makes air quotes] won an Eisner, and he’s so [more air quotes] indie? Those, by the way, were ironic air quotes intended to make fun of people who unironically use air quotes to express irony. [Clears throat.] Obviously. Now. The only thing I want to say is — two, three years ago? I know it pays to have a short memory in this business, but three years ago, I was really on to something. I was revolutionizing the way the public thinks about supeheroes. And you all hated it. I couldn’t buy a vote in a popularity contest then. But I spend a year losing my intelligence, my wealth, my technology, all the resources I’d built up over the years, forcing me to confront the hollowness at the core of what Tony Stark had become, to overcome my compulsion to solve all the world’s problems on my own and finally admit my need for my friends to help build me back up into a complete human being and — you know what? I do deserve this. You’ve talked me into it.
Thank you. Be excellent to each other. Good night. [The orchestra play him off]
[Michael, as the applause dies down] Is that the theme to Bill and Ted? Whoever is directing this is on top of things!
[Simon] You can recognize the theme to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures?
[Michael] You can’t? [Simon rolls his eyes, Michael clears his throat] Presenting our final individual award is Ken Hale.
[Michael, still grinning, to the camera] Ken Hale, a double nominee tonight, also known as Gorilla Man.
[Simon starts laughing] Gorilla Man? Really? What, did he win a banana eating contest?
[Michael frowns] No, he’s a gorilla.
[Simon laughs harder] Oh, man, I love you DC guys.
[Michael shakes his head and starts to explain, but Ken, the gorilla man, answers from behind Simon] I am a member of the Agents of Atlas. We are published by Marvel.
[Simon stops laughing] Oh. Sorry, man. I never heard of that.
[Ken nods] It is meant to be a covert operation. However, we were nominated in the ensemble category.
[Simon scratches his head] Oh. Uh. You know, I’ve been real busy with… [His voice trails off] Uh. My own covert operation.
[Michael looks directly in the camera] So covert no one’s writing it! [Simon scowls] Ken! The nominees!
[Ken takes his place at the podium and speaks with distinct gravitas.] In the category, Best Character in a Leading Role, Female the nominees are: Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird in New Avengers: Reunion, Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman in Spider-Woman, Kate Kane/Batwoman in Detective Comics, Rikki Barnes/Nomad in Nomad: Girl Without a World, and Stephanie Brown/Batgirl in Batgirl.
And the winner is . . . . Kate Kane, for Detective Comics!
[Kate rises from her seat, squeezing her father’s shoulder and smiling at him as she does so. She wears a flattering, classic, tuxedo. She walks to the stage and steps forward to the microphone, smiling and saying thank you to Ken, who gives her a half-bow.]
Thank you, everyone, and my special thanks and gratitude to the nominating committee for thinking of me. I know that there was a lot of doubt, and real questions, as to whether a Batwoman could headline Detective Comics. I’d like to thank Greg Rucka, for giving me the best lines. And, for making me work so hard! [pause for appreciative laughter] Thanks also to J.H. Williams, who — [pause for audience applause] Yes, J. H. Williams, who makes everything look completely fantastic. I know I am never going to look as good as he makes me! Thanks to everyone in the Batfamily who have created this world and legacy in which I work — Batman, Nightwing, Robin, and Batgirl, plus my co-feature star, The Question, and everyone I’m forgetting.
My most heartfelt thanks are last, though. [audience quiets] Thank you to my father, Colonel Kane, for believing that I would eventually find a way home. Thanks, sir. And a deep thank you to my sister. [Kate looks at the camera.] Without you, none of this would be happening.
[Music swells as Kate backs away from the microphone.]
[Kate dodges back to the mic for one last comment.]
Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”!
[Michael] We’ve come to the end, all, our final award.
[Simon] Before we bring out our final presenter, a final round of applause for all our nominees [The audience applauds.] and a thank you to everyone involved.
[Michael] Thank you! [The applause swells.]
[Simon] Now, you know him as The Flash —
[Simon] No —
[Simon] No — [Michael opens his mouth, Simon rushes on] Barry Allen!
[Barry is already there; no one saw his entrance.] Thank you. I hope to see my team up here next year. The final category honors ensembles and we have eight top vote getters. In the category of Best Ensemble, the nominees are:Agents of Atlas, Dark Avengers, Green Lantern Corps, Invincible Iron Man, New Avengers, New Mutants, Secret Six, and X-Factor.
And the Fantastic Comic Book award goes to: the New Avengers!
[The New Avengers of the past year take to the stage in a raucous jumble: Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Jessica Drew, Danny Rand, Clint Barton, Bobbi Morse, Bucky Barnes, Natasha Romanov, Peter Parker (masked), and Carol Danvers. Wolverine is not present because he’s starring in one of his fifteen million other books right now, but he’s there in spirit. No one knows where Echo is. Clint grabs the award and takes the microphone.]
[Clint] Wow. What a great honor (not that we didn’t, you know, expect it). It’s nice to know the Academy recognizes the TRUE Avengers, and not Norman Osborn’s merry band of psychopaths. [Bobbi surreptitiously kicks Clint in the shin.] So, (ow) thanks!
[Carol grabs the microphone.] It hasn’t been an easy road for us, working through our rifts and our trust issues to become a team, and we’re grateful that the effort we’ve put in has shown.
[Luke Cage nods in agreement, leaning in.] These guys are family. The best family my kid could have. [He slings one arm around Danny and another around Jessica Jones.] And no crazy-ass white guy with orange cornrows can change that.
[Carol] We love each other, and we’re always there for each other–
[Bucky, from the back] Even if no one ever does the dishes…
[Carol, unfazed] So we want to thank everyone who’s helped us to get where we are today: Tony Stark and the Super-Human Registration Act, the Skrull Armada [Bobbi and Jessica Drew glare], Osborn’s Fauxvengers, the cavalcade of artists who’ve made us look so good, and of course, our driving force and inspiration, Steve Rogers.
[Carol and Bucky both salute.]
[Jessica Jones takes the microphone.] Finally, we’d like to thank Brian Michael Bendis, without whom we (literally, in my case) wouldn’t be here. Thanks, Bendis!
[Peter Parker cuts in as music begins to play them off the stage.] Yeah, man, and keep this in mind when you renumber us!
[Music swells as the New Avengers smile and wave. Michael and Simon bow to the camera.] That’s all folks! Thank you! Good night!
This post is a collaboration between all four Fantastic Fangirls — and everyone who participated in the Fantastic Comic Book Awards. Thank you all!