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 doing things a little differently. As an ongoing part of the recent site redesign we are archiving our past posts; Q&A 1 to 74 are now listed here and for this week’s Q&A each Fangirl has chosen one of our past questions to revisit:
Dear People Who Write Marvel Comics,
I am writing to report a Grave Injustice. There are no comic titles in which I currently appear. I was a VIP (Very Important Pet) in the MS. MARVEL title and it is really unacceptable for me to have been forgotten. I understand there was even a series called PET AVENGERS in which I did not appear. The implication is my human is not a real Avenger and that is not only insulting, I believe it would make her cry. But I have a solution: I should be in NEW AVENGERS.
First of all, I am adorable. Second, I am named after Chewbacca and everyone loves Star Wars. Plus keeping me out of New Avengers is just like when Princess Leia gave a medal to Han Solo and Luke Skywalker but not to Chewie. Unfair! People still talk about that you know. Third, there is a baby in New Avengers and babies love cute fuzzy animals. Almost as much as kitty cats love babies. Okay, that’s a lie but I am willing to put up with the baby if I get to stay in the posh mansion with my human (please don’t blow it up, I’m tired of my home being blown up). Fourth, I’m made of magic. I read AVENGERS CHILDREN’S CRUSADE, magic people are dangerous out on their own! Fifth, I am really, really adorable.
But the most important reason is: Carol needs me.
See? Okay, so she now lives in a posh mansion with her best friend and her not boyfriend and she’s not alone anymore and even all her friends are back or probably will be soon but take it from me — no one can replace your magicked cat from the fake alternate reality made up by your crazy witch frenemy. It’s just Not the Same. She needs me and I need her.
Plus, I’m REALLY adorable.
Chewbacca the Cat
P.S. Don’t tell I said she’d cry about the Avenger thing. I’m the only one who gets to know she cries.
I decided to revisit my answer for Q&A # 6, back when we were about to celebrate our first Halloween. The Q&A asked what character we would choose to dress up as, and I commented that there wasn’t really a Marvel or DC costume I was interested in attempting.
But since then I discovered Beryl Hutchinson:
Also known as “Squire,” Beryl is a favorite of Batman & Robin writer Grant Morrison, most recently seen in a story arc that took Dick Grayson and Kate Kane to London’s underworld. She’ll also be featured in an upcoming miniseries by sometimes Doctor Who scribe Paul Cornell. Basically, Squire is the British version of Robin. I don’t really know that much about the character, but she’s spunky and fun. Plus, her outfit looks like something a normal person could make — with enough fabric and commitment — and actually wear. I’m not claiming it’s in especially good taste, but, well, she’s a masked vigilante. That’s what makes it awesome.
Now I just have to work on my Cockney accent.
In Q&A #60: What comic book character do you want to compete at the Olympics?, I said that I wanted to see Cyclops as a figure skater, because he reminded me of Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek. I also said that snowboarder Shaun White looked a lot like Shatterstar.
In retrospect, I think I got my signals crossed a bit, and missed the most obvious answer. Shatterstar is an athlete/performer, a person in perfect physical condition who loves performing physical feats, with flair, for a crowd. He doesn’t mind outlandish costumes, and his hollow bones would allow him to soar through the air with ease. He’s also not exactly heterosexual. Shatterstar is, in short, the PERFECT comic book figure skater, and I’d love to see him as an Olympic competitor.
If only because Rob Liefeld would most certainly disagree.
My answer to Q&A #31, What’s your favorite comics re-read was and still is Alias, by Brian Michael Bendis. But there are other great comics out there that I re-read, including Gotham Central, Avengers Disassembled, and Astonishing X-Men, all mentioned by the other Fantastic Fangirls in the previous Q&A. But one that wasn’t mentioned then, that I re-read on a semi-regular basis, is the Gail Simone run of Birds of Prey.
I love these stories. It’s not the plots that stand out for me, though none are memorable for being bad, either. It’s the characters. Gail Simone understood Dinah, Barbara, and Helena from the start. Dinah is one of the sanest, most stable, most together heroes in the DCU. She’s sure of her self, confident enough to be a decent partner for Babs’s pushy, over-controlling, stalker-y form of friendship. Barbara is incredibly strong, and gets stronger the more she’s backed into a corner. But there’s a slightly brittle quality to Babs that Gail writes perfectly, and being in a partnership with Dinah compensates for that, somewhat. And Helena has so much to prove to the world, starting with proving her own right to be alive to herself. The three of them make a functioning dysfunctional family, with Babs as the bossy and somewhat shouty paternal figure, Dinah as the reasonable mom, and Helena as the rebellious teenage kid. It all comes through in the writing in those stories.
But there’s another reason I re-read Birds of Prey. It’s because Gail Simone thinks of her characters as queer. Or, at least, she thinks of Dinah as bisexual. “To me, it was no big revelation that Black Canary might be bisexual. I didn’t even think it was much in question.” That’s a huge part of why I re-read these comics. Because they feature, in the mind of the writer and in my mind, a bisexual woman who is sane, powerful, emotionally stable, compassionate, dangerous, and has good relationships with both men and women. Hell, yeah.
We encourage you to give the list a look and choose a question you maybe missed the first time or have a new answer for! What previous Fantastic Fangirl Q&A would you like to revisit?