From Wonder-Woman to Harley Quinn, many female characters have evolved in comics and the big screen. However, because the comics were originally intended for a male audience, they often played the role of a verbal argument.
For several years now, superheroes aren’t just written in masculine. If superheroines have been around for a long time – 1941 for Miss Fury – they’re just starting to make their mark on the big and small screens. Co-directed by Xavier Fournier and Frédéric Ralière, Le Rgne des super-heroes offers us a dive into the history of comics with those who created them.
Thanks to prestigious speakers, such as writer Trina Robbins who specifically worked on Wonder-Woman or Mélanie Boisseau, doctorate in cinematographic and audiovisual studies, the feature film takes a historical look at the evolution of this paper’s character. From the influence of political movements on comics, through cinema’s desire to capture this phenomenon, this documentary promises to erase the old conception that comics are basically stories about humans. They’re also a lot to include in drawing and writing adventures of iconic characters like Wonder-Woman, Black Widow and Supergirl.
To better understand the challenges that await these characters, Le Règne des Super-Héroines looks at the historical and social events that inspired comic creators. Black Widow, the iconic Avengers character, appeared in comics with the Cold War. This character, initially very evil, gradually develops into a hero in comics and on the big screen. Likewise, 7 years after the death of Martin Luther King, Marvel launched Tornado, its first African-American superhero.
Under the leadership of Chris Claremont, the characters would take up more and more space to eventually become the leader of the group. “Reader reactions varied, they said why you wrote so many girls. The idea has always been to see these characters, not as archetypes but as people who can grow, change, and surprise you,” said Chris Claremont. This evolution is also very visible in the character of Jean Gray who in several editions has become the most powerful character in the universe before destroying a world and killing more than 6 billion creatures. “The interesting thing about the female characters is that they are new and the reader doesn’t expect anything. Their evolution could have been more spectacular, while transforming the Cyclops was a challenge. Jean, when I was done with it, was completely reinvented. ”
On the small screen and the big screen, the evolution of female characters is also closely related to social phenomena. A reflection of this change can be seen in particular with the television series Wonder-Woman. As Mélanie Boisseau explains in the documentary, Linda Carter’s character emerged as movements for women’s rights emerged in the United States. “This is a series that imposes a very clear feminist agenda with Wonder-Woman telling us that Matriarchy will save the world.”
Then, it was Jessica Jones who invested in a new message, in the post #MeToo era. If she doesn’t profess to be a feminist, superheroes allow for many of the themes around consent. He also disrupts the code by rejecting the costume and putting his powers into personal revenge against Killgrave. “Whether in movies or in real life, there’s always this thing about a woman who has to smile, it has to be nice and cute, Jessica Jones she rejects all of that. It’s a very modern series,” says Mélanie Boisseau.
But what makes Reign of the Super-Heroines power beyond doubt is the place the documentary gives to everyone who made these characters, as well as those there, identified over the years. Through several interviews, this documentary returns to the impact the heroines can have on their readers. Many cosplayers discuss specifically the way Captain Marvel, Wonder-Woman or even Harley Quinn let them assume.
In just over an hour and a half, Reign of the Super-heroines paints a realistic and hopeful picture of the comic world. This is without a doubt a movie that all comic book lovers should see. The documentary will premiere this Monday, May 24 on the Toonami channel at 20:55.