• Monica Malone

Nerd Alert: My Combination of Two Comic Book Super Heroines that Represent Me

If you know me in real life, or follow me on social media, it is no secret how excited I was for the Captain Marvel movie. I have loved the comics for a long time and could not wait to see my favorite superhero on the big screen. Hell, when it was first announced they were making this movie I *tried* to get a hashtag going - #MonicaforMarvel or #MonicaforCaptainMarvel. I can't remember which, and am now very embarrassed of my 20 year old self. I didn't have a twitter and of course have no kind of notoriety or fame to speak of so there was no way it was actually going to happen, but I enjoyed the thought of it! Brie Larson ended up being a great choice... even if we all know it should have been me. Both in the movie and the comics, Carol Danvers and her recent writer Kelly Sue DeConnick have meant so much to me. Both are roll models to look up to, and it is wonderful to be able to respect both the creator and their work. The movie was good and it was a great way to celebrate turning 25. It might not be the best Marvel movie, but it is so important to me and it made my little nerd feminist heart fucking SOAR.

I have always seen myself in Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers. I think she is so unique and so badass. It was nice to have a female superhero that was written by woman. DeConnick is the one that helped transition her from Ms. Marvel to Captain. She gave her a promotion, a new outfit, interesting story lines, and we cannot forget the Carol Corps. I could write a whole 'nother blog post about how inspiring DeConnick is or the importance of the Carol Corps, but I wanted to talk about the top two female comic book characters I see myself in most. Representation is important and Captain Marvel is one of the women whom I feel represented by the most. It is a little hard to talk about the wonder that is Captain Marvel without the wonder that is Kelly Sue DeConnick, but from here on out - just know she is just as important as my girl Carol.

My love and admiration for Carol Danvers and her story came about in college when I was looking for more female superhero comics. I had read a lot of Wonder Woman, X-men, Thor, and Wolverine and felt it was time for a band new story line I had no prior knowledge about. I found Captain Marvel, and discovered that Carol Danvers is one helluva badass bitch. She comes from a background in the air force and is truly a unique, strong female character - both physically (she is the strongest Avenger) and in her general characterization. Endgame did not do her justice in my opinion, but her solo movie, helped show her in her true light. It showed her superpowers as well as her power as a woman. She takes no shit from anybody, and has nothing to prove. She does her thing, and knows what is right for her to do. To be so sure of myself like that is #goals.

Truly, what a feminist icon.

Years ago, when I was doing research about older runs of the Ms. Marvel comics, I discovered my new favorite had a big run in with my other favorite - Rogue from the X-men. Their history with each other is not a pleasant one, but it was a nice surprise to find my new fav and long time fav had a big 'ol story arc with each other. It was like it was meant to be that I feel these two fictional women represent me the most.

I grew up on the X-men. Rogue was always my favorite from the very start. From the comics to the movies to the TV shows, I just think she is so cool and an incredibly underrated character. I was raised in Texas, and seeing someone as southern as Anna Marie - her accent even shows up in the comics - was such a strong contrast to the other superheros I loved. It was inspiring because even if it wasn't her whole story line, it added so much to her character and character development. Since I loved creating all kinds of stories in my young mind, it helped me realize that I can add small characteristics like that to help flesh them out. It was a lesson in creating if not just another reason her and I are one in the same.

Along with being southern, her mutant powers - while very dangerous - were so. fucking. cool. And being dangerous just added to that cool factor. For those that don't know what I'm talking about, this is how Wikipedia describes her powers;

"Rogue has the involuntary ability to absorb and sometimes also remove the memories, physical strength, and superpowers of anyone she touches. Therefore, Rogue considers her powers to be a curse."

I've always had a small problem being casually touched. Growing up the people I knew just weren't very physically affectionate and coming into my young adult years I found that it could made me uncomfortable. I have worked and am continuing to work through it, but seeing Rogue who couldn't let anyone touch her lest they want to have memory and/or power loss, was almost a dream of mine. Because then, when I told people I didn't really like being touched they would have to respect it and listen...or DIE. Ya know, the regular dream of every 16, 17 year old girl - r e s p e c t. Rogue grew into a very powerful mutant. Her powers are some of the most unique I've ever seen, she is also one of the most power female mutants in the Marvel Universe. I love her story and think it emulates a lot of what I've gone or will go through. Minus all the mutant powers and stuff. Although I'm still hoping...

Other small, random reasons she is one of my favorites are things like the fact her signature colors are green and yellow (my top two colors I'm drawn to), her relationship with Gambit (#OTP), that fucking haiiiiiiir (that is my absolute DREAM to have to complete my transformation in Rogue), and the fact that shes probably anxious all the time for fear of people accidentally touching her. Girl, I get it.

If you need any further proof, she is even as tall as me.

These just happen to be the two fictional women I identify with most. Not everyone can find someone fictional they can connect with, but things are starting to change! Representation is so important. And as a white, cis woman, representation for me is not hard to find. What is nice, is to find those that have small details that truly coordinates with who I am. I hope for everyone they have and find the fictional character(s) that represent them. No matter what medium it's in.

Real roll models are important, but telling fictional stories is something humans have done forever and it's not going away. It's important to find as many different people telling as many different stories as possible. It helps us learn about each other as well as ourselves. It's why I'm an actress. It's why I love people. It's why I'm a feminist.

Superpowers or no, everyone should be able to find stories they can see themselves in. Tell me who you feel represents you. If you can't think of any, don't be afraid to create one. We're all creating our own stories for others to connect with. Let's share them.

- Monica

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