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 bring you: the winners of the Third Annual Fantastic Comic Book Awards!
“Hey ho, Kermit the Frog here, we’d like to give you a warm Muppet welcome to the –”
Kermit is interrupted by Miss Piggy flinging her arms around his torso. “Kermy, I am so proud of you.”
“Erm, thanks Piggy, but I have to host–”
“I know! I am so excited! My own froggy sweetie is hosting the Academy Awards!”
Kermit frowns. “The Fangirl Awards.” But his objection is ignored and overrun by his cooing partner.
“The Oscars! I always knew we were going to be stars! I cannot wait to meet all the little people on the red carpet and make them swoon with my fabulousness.”
“Yes, my love?”
Kermit points to the cameras directed at the stage. “I’m trying to start the show–”
“Oh! OH!” Piggy squeals and turns to preen. “Hello! I am ready for my close-up at the Oscars.”
“Fangirls? For moi? Where?” Kermit doesn’t answer. “I am coming, little people!” She sashays stage right; Kermit swallows and turns back to the camera.
“Erm. Anyway, Miss Piggy, folks!” The audience applauds politely. “And now a warm Muppet welcome to the third annual Fantastic Fangirl Comic Book Awards! Yayayayayayayayayaa!” Kermit flaps his hands and he is suddenly surrounded by his peers singing and dancing.
After the song, the Muppets exit the stage, leaving Fozzie Bear
“Hey! You know where all these superheroes are spending Spring Break?” The audience shuffles, perplexed. “Cape Cod! Get it? CAPE Cod! Wokka wokka!” Half the audience attempts to laugh, politely; the other half rolls their eyes, groans, or simply stares. “Ladies and germs, last year’s Best Supporting Character, Barbara Gordorn!”
Best Character in Supporting Role, Male
From stage right Barbara Gordon walks out towards the microphone. The wave of applause that greets her almost masks the chanting protest from a small group of audience members who are quickly ushered out by security. Barbara leans towards the microphone, shading her eyes with one hand as she tries to see the source of the outcry.
“I was going to begin my introduction of the Best Male in a Supporting Role by talking about changes in the industry in the last year. This category, traditionally a hotly contested race, managed to garner only one nominee.” Barbara puts her hand down and looks at the camera. “The single nominee was not named for lack of interest in the category, but because times change. Some of the changes are not welcome, or are a mix of progress and reactionary thinking. I am very aware of this fact.”
There’s an uncomfortable pause. Looking directly at the camera, Barbara raises one eyebrow. Whatever she’s waiting for, the moment passes.
“Some changes, though, are long overdue. It is therefore my great, great pleasure to welcome Gaveedra Seven, a.k.a. Shatterstar, to the stage, taking his deserved award for Best Character in a Supporting Role!”
Shatterstar does not just walk up to the stage. He does, instead, bound down the aisle with an acrobatic routine worthy of the Cirque du Soleil performers at the actual Oscars. When he reaches the stage, he does one last leap high into the air before sauntering over to the microphone and accepting the award from Barbara.
“Thank you, kind lady,” he says, and he bows to kiss Barbara’s hand. “Are you available for romantic overtures after these festivities?”
Barbara glares at him and pulls her hand away before stalking off. Shatterstar stares at her, bewildered for a moment, then shrugs and turns back to the microphone.
“I have been a viewer of these awards on your television many times, and I am pleased to receive recognition for my excellence. But I am uncertain about what aspect of my excellence you are honoring.” He pulls out a blade from his sleeve. “My skills as a warrior have earned me many accolades in the past, but the attempts of your doormen to relieve me of my swords lead me to believe this is not that kind of award. Someone else explained that this honor was the property of someone named Peter David, but I’ve never heard of this man and I must wonder if he is some kind of adversary.”
“But my teammate Layla, with whom I share an intimate connection and who claims to ‘know stuff,’ says that this award comes in part because of my relationship with my lifemate, Julio. I am beginning to understand why this is true. In my world, sexual desire of any kind was banned for gladiators in the arena. But in your world, sexual desire seems to be condoned only between certain partners. I do not believe in any kind of restrictions on one’s sexual partners, but I especially do not believe in a restriction based on one’s biological sex. I find my life with Julio to be very fulfilling, and if Layla is correct that our relationship is a sign of political progress in this world, I will accept the award for that gratefully.”
Shatterstar flashes a big grin.
“If anyone wishes to discuss matters of sexuality further, you can find me after the show in my dressing room. I will be doing 1,000 pushups, without any clothing.” And with a wink to the audience and a camera cut to his poor, put-upon boyfriend in the fourth row, Shatterstar leaves the stage.
Best Character in a Supporting Role, Female
There is a scuffle offstage followed by a long pause. The audience squirms in their seats — is this an attack? But the music picks up finally and Sam the Eagle takes center stage.
“Apologies, all. This illustrious ceremony is no place for the likes of an ignoble ruffian such as Damian Wayne and he has therefore been removed from the building. I will present the award of Best Supporting Character, Femalein his place. The winner is a young woman who does her country,” He stands tall. “America!, proud. Ladies and gentleman, the winner is Miss Jubilee.”
Jubilee is wearing a dress that leaves very little to the imagination, and for good reason — she convinced Wolverine to give her a good long gulp of his healing factored blood before coming to the ceremony, and she was able to enjoy a sunlit red carpet for a brief period. She smiles as she takes the award, showing off all of her — pointy — teeth, and a few people in the front row lean back a bit uneasily until Jubilee opens her mouth in name-appropriate jubilation.
“Ohmigosh, this is, like, the best award ever! I mean, ok, like, I never thought I’d get any kind of award again, right? I wasn’t a mutant anymore and I wasn’t an X-Man and even Wolvie wasn’t hanging out with me. And then I get bitten by a vampire and suddenly I’m everywhere! Hanging out with Wolvie’s clone kid and everything! And I won’t lie, I hate how pasty I am now, and I’m a California kid at heart so I miss the sunshine a little. But if being a vampire means that people are finally appreciating my awesomeness again for the first time in years, I’ll take it!
“I guess I should thank Marjorie Liu for hooking me up with X-23 in the first place, and all the artists who have made me look totally hot and grown up without totally changing my look. And thanks to Wolvie and Frosty and everybody else who’s managed to put up with me even when I’ve been a pain in the ass and put cellophane over your toilets and shaving cream in your beds. I’m up all night these days — you can’t expect me to just sit around doing nothing! And finally–” she becomes more somber, and raises her trophy skyward, “thanks to my mom and dad. I hope this makes you proud, even if I am all undead and stuff these days.”
Best Character in a Leading Role, Male
Stephanie Brown walks to the podium, wearing a form-fitting lavender dress that entirely suits her. Gonzo, already at the microphone, gapes. Stephanie smiles at him and turns to face the camera. Gonzo continues to stare at her, open-mouthed. Steph glances at him, then grins. She reaches over and, with two fingers, pushes up on his chin to close his mouth.
“The challenge of the leading man is an ever-changing one,” Stephanie says, clearly reading off the teleprompter. “As stories represent our culture’s changing needs from year to year, so to does the leading man represent changing ideals of masculinity. What does it mean to be a man?”
“I don’t know,” Gonzo breaks in, manifestly off-script, “but I’m so glad you’re not one!” There’s a bit of uncomfortable laughter. But Steph doesn’t appear to be taking her co-host’s admiration too seriously. She rolls her eyes and continues with the introduction.
“In the past the award for best male in a leading role has honored tradition. Tonight we reward daring. The award for best male in a leading role goes to Miles Morales!”
Miles takes the stage and the award from Stephanie as the applause fills the theater. “Wow. This is really something. I mean, I wasn’t even the lead that long. . .” He swallows and takes a breath. “I, uh, well I thank everybody. At Marvel and Ultimate Marvel. And especially the creative team, Bendis and Sara Pichelli. And the fans for reading and caring and voting!” He blushes, but he’s grinning. “I didn’t know if you guys’d accept me.” Stephanie gives his arm a playful punch. “So thanks. And uh, I want to dedicate this to — well, I wanted to dedicate this to Peter Parker cuz I wouldn’t have this gig if it weren’t for him but I also wanted to dedicate it to, you know, anybody who’s ever felt like they wanted to do something not everybody wanted them to do. But then I realized Peter was one of those people. So. This is a win for all of us.” With a little fist pump to the sky Miles walks off stage with Stephanie.
Best Character in a Leading Role, Female
Luke Cage strolls out to the podium, where Scooter is waiting. Luke clears his throat and gives Scooter a meaningful look. Scooter shrugs and jerks a thumb at the teleprompter. Luke raises his eyebrows. Scooter leans into the microphone. “It’s a special honor to present the award for best leading female role,” the Muppet begins earnestly. “The year brought a lot of changes and controversy to the category, but I feel confident that the best candidates were nominated!” Luke bends down to the mic. “Hey, Dani, told you your daddy would say hi. The award for best female lead goes to — Stephanie Brown.”
Stephanie walks back on the stage, looking left and right, smiling as she takes the award.
“Was I just out here? It feels like I was just out here. Wow. Thank you, I just — obviously, this is a bittersweet moment. Bittersweet.” Stephanie wipes her eyes. I wasn’t going to do this. I’ve been so fortunate, you guys. So very fortunate. I’ve had the support of my mom, and Wendy, and — Barbara, I don’t see you, Barbara? — Everybody give a hand to Babs. Thanks. I don’t want there to be any hard feelings, okay? We’re all a family and, oh my God, Cassandra? Cass Cain, can you — right, over there. I’m just so thrilled Cass could make it.
Because Batgirl, you guys? Batgirl is about all of us. I want to thank Bryan Q. Miller and all of the great, great artists who made my time as Batgirl possible. But most of all, this is for all the Batgirls out there. Holds the trophy above her head. I’ve got no regrets. I’m so glad I could be one of you! Thank you so so much.
Coming back from commercial break, the camera finds the stage occupied by Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem with their full kit. The lights flash and a spotlight picks out Animal as he begins to drum. The audience breaks out in wild applause as the bass and guitar join in.
“Twenty-twenty-twenty-four hours to go!”
It’s Janice singing, her mellow tone making the classic Ramones tune an in-joke with the audience.
“I want to be sedated!”
“Whoa!” Dr. Teeth breaks in, waving his hands to cut the band off. The music stumbles to a halt. Janice turns and looks at the band leader with a confused expression on her face. “My apologies, my friend, for interruptin’ what was clearly going to be a heart-felt groove for you.”
“However,” Dr. Teeth continues, “we are not here to display the prodigious talents of this ensemble. We are here, instead, to present an award to another group as deservin’ of recognition as ourselves.”
Floyd nods and turns to the microphone. “So with no further ado — ”
“A-DO! A-DO! A-DO!” Animal shouts, getting a big laugh from the audience.
” — we are pleased to announce the winner of Best Ensemble, the Avengers Academy!”
A long silence falls.
“Avengers — Academy!”
Looks down. “Oh, hey there Doctor Pym! I didn’t realize you still –”
Hank Pym grows, before the audience’s eyes, from tiny ant size to full-grown. He accepts the trophy and clears his throat.
“Thank you all, thank you. This is quite a difference from last year when we were all — covers his eyes Give me a moment. I’m sorry.” Looks up. “The Avengers Academy has been, as I hope you all know, a project near and dear to my heart. In a way, I’m sorry that I’m the one here to accept the award because, to me, the story of the Academy is the story of those kids. There’s a place for my story, of course, and for Greer’s, and Pietro’s and — Robbie and Vance? When’s the last time anyone saw Robbie and Vance? Never mind.”
“But ultimately, this book is not about the heroes of my generation. Christos Gage understands that, which is why he’s done such a wonderful job as our writer. Don’t get me wrong, Christos knows his continuity as well as anybody alive. But he also knows all the shoutouts to minor New Warriors plots would be nothing without these kids. This wonderful set of original characters, more recently joined by so many other wonderful young characters who have been created in recent years and — how do I put this? — not always given the chance to shine to their full potential.”
“I’m very happy to accept this award on behalf of Avengers Academy, I’m only sorry that none of our students are currently available, to –”
The crowd begins to murmur, as a figure materializes next to Pym. Her body appears to be wrapped entirely in bandages. She clears her throat and steps forward to the microphone, as Pym sheepishly steps aside.
She speaks in a monotone as though reciting.
“My name is Madeline Berry, also known as Veil. I accept a portion of this award on behalf of myself, Mr. Jeremy Briggs, and such other individuals who may consider themselves to be part of the ensemble, despite no longer being affiliated with the Avengers Academy. While Mr. Briggs and I appreciate the good intentions of Dr. Pym and the faculty and staff of the Avengers Academy, I must take the opportunity to state our belief that the Academy, like all adventures in so-called superheroing, is a destructive institution that perpetuates unproductive values within our culture. Thank you and good night.”
Pym steps toward her, offers a hand. “Maddie –”
“Dr. Pym.” She nods stiffly and once again vaporizes. Hank Pym walks sadly off the stage.
Kermit hurries on stage, a worried expression on his face. “Erm. Well, that’s all folks…thank you for–
“Shouldn’t the pig be sayin’ that?” Floyd asks from the Orchestra Pit. Kermit scrunches his mug in confusion.
“It’s a pig who says ‘That’s all folks’.”
“Yes, but…that’s a cartoon pig who is owned by a different company than the Muppets…”
“Why’s it always come down to either-or, man? Look at this place, we got heroes from every corner and we all workin’ together. We don’ look at Piggy an’ think she owned by some Micky Mouse Corporation and we don’ look at Porky an’ think he one a them maniancs in a W to the B watertower. We all gettin’ along, frog. Our Piggy is Porky and she should be sayin–”
Piggy appears on stage, eyes flashing. “Who you calling porky, you hippie beatnik loser?” Floyd blinks in confusion. Piggy launches herself into the orchestra. “HIIII-YAH!!!!” The audience rise in their seats to watch the orchestra try to take on the enraged Piggy.
Distracted by the feud, no one notices Damian Wayne, dressed as Robin, swinging in with a tall cream pie in his hand. He notes his targets, makes a quick adjustment and flings the pie with such force that when it hits Sam the Eagle square in the chest he is thrust backwards into Stephanie Brown. The two fall over, covered in whipped cream. Sam is unamused but Stephanie jumps up with a huge grin on her face. Damian snaps his fingers and an army of waiters descend the aisles with trays and carts of pies. No one knows who, man or Muppet, shouts “PIE FIIIIIIGHT!!” but everyone, man and Muppet, joins in.
All but Kermit who facepalms and addresses the last standing camera. “That’s all–Ahhh!” Kermit ducks as a pie whizzes by him. He turns resigned to the camera. “Oh, you know.”
This post is a collaboration between all four Fantastic Fangirls — and everyone who participated in the Fantastic Comic Book Awards. Thank you all!