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May 22, 2012 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Strong Female Protagonist is a (currently 16-page, but ongoing) webcomic that "follows the adventures of a young middle-class American with super-strength, invincibility and a crippling sense of social injustice."
posted by davidjmcgee (30 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
This looks good.
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:50 PM on May 22, 2012


Oh, so that's what you're reading...
posted by hincandenza at 1:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not to be confused with Hark! A Vagrant's Strong Female Characters (and part deux).
posted by filthy light thief at 2:05 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


I like on page 4 where the bus driver is outraged about taxpayers having to pay for damage instead of being thankful that he didn't just kill someone.
posted by audi alteram partem at 2:07 PM on May 22, 2012


Actually, I'm really enjoying this so far (plus I have a friend who goes to the New School, so got a little chuckle at that touch of realism on the first page; this is totally her if she had super powers). It's like a left-wing daydream/wish fulfillment comic, which is totally what I need to be reading whenever the next MeFi post about a Scalia-penned Supreme Court ruling or manufactured Congressional budget crisis is put up.
posted by hincandenza at 2:07 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Written by ... a dude. Sigh.
posted by straight at 2:08 PM on May 22, 2012


But drawn by a woman.
posted by alms at 2:16 PM on May 22, 2012


Written by ... a dude. Sigh.

So?

a) The art is by a woman.
b) Nothing wrong with men writing strong female protagonists (if they do it well).
posted by dlugoczaj at 2:16 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


Yeah, wow, I just read through this and I really like it so far. It's total wish-fulfillment in a way, but it's also a surprisingly fresh take on many well-trodden superhero themes. Even though it hits some of the "superheroes have normal lives too" notes, that part feels more incidental to the issue of balancing incredible power with a belief in social justice that's not based solely on individual strength. Also, I laughed at the "might makes right" talking action figure. I hope the author keeps it up.
posted by Tubalcain at 2:49 PM on May 22, 2012


I like this but I'd like a print copy. My computer screen is too wide to make the scrolling enjoyable.

I kind of glossed over that the writer was male. In this world, "Brennan" could go either way so I didn't think much of it. And then when I did confirm that Brennan was, in fact, male, I decided it really didn't matter.
posted by darksong at 2:51 PM on May 22, 2012


"might makes right" talking action figure

Other way round.

Also, SFP is a goldbug???
posted by Bwithh at 3:08 PM on May 22, 2012


Love. this.
posted by scunning at 3:33 PM on May 22, 2012


I like on page 4 where the bus driver is outraged about taxpayers having to pay for damage instead of being thankful that he didn't just kill someone.

Wandering into the street with your headphones turned up too loud to hear the honks of oncoming traffic isn't my idea of social justice. The driver is worried when he exists the bus and then pissed off because he recognizes the protagonist, who ought to know better. Being responsible for others' safety starts with taking basic responsibility for your own safety, even if you don't have any superpowers. So I see someone needlessly damaging community property because she's too self-absorbed to make use of traffic lights or even look around before crossing the street.

I don't own a car and am not a fan of car culture, but wandering into a busy street without regard to anyone means you're either fucked up or an asshole - possibly both.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:05 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I dunno about this one. Everything about the delivery, scenario and characters seems pretty typical so far. I know it's just getting started, but the writing seems kind of impersonal and I feel like there's no real hook or reason to care about the character. She's just a typical, young, middle-class American superhero who's worried about maintaining her civilian life despite her powers. Just typing the previous sentence has made me sleepy.
posted by jumelle at 4:27 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I like on page 4 where the bus driver is outraged about taxpayers having to pay for damage instead of being thankful that he didn't just kill someone.

There is no such thing as society.
posted by Bwithh at 4:36 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


State power seems extremely weak/hamstrung and/or tolerant in the world depicted in the comic. I wonder how the comic creators are going to explain that.

E.g. Let's assume the SFP is superstrong and invulnerable. (She is also clearly "out" as a superpowered human). Still plenty of ways for a state to control her against her will, even potentially getting public approval legitimacy to do so.
posted by Bwithh at 4:40 PM on May 22, 2012


E.g. Let's assume the SFP is superstrong and invulnerable. (She is also clearly "out" as a superpowered human). Still plenty of ways for a state to control her against her will, even potentially getting public approval legitimacy to do so.

In terms of passing laws? Maybe, maybe not.

This guy didn't even have superpowers and he really messed up that town when (in what I'm assuming is the romanticized version of the story) the municipal government stiffed him to cozy up to a concrete factory in a perfectly legal yet reprehensible manner. So a legal option might not be the best either.

So while the state could try something, its definitely not guaranteed to work. A decent superhero-centric example of this is, perhaps, Hancock.

Control in terms of sending out someone to arrest her? Probably not.

You'd want to be a little careful about that regardles, if you talk about controlling her and she escapes from a (not necessarily your) special arrest team at 3:00 am, there's probably only one place she's going to visit before she skips town. At 3:05 am.

Superhumans are cool and all but I'd stick with the assumption that they will behave like most other beings when backed into a corner, legally or physically.
posted by Slackermagee at 5:22 PM on May 22, 2012


Interesting slow world building. Not the ideal format for this kind of comic, though.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:23 PM on May 22, 2012


I wish I liked this more. I was hoping for some radical feminist wish-fulfillment with ass kicking, but it looks more like what jumelle describes -- young middle class white woman with superpowers struggles to come to terms with her gifts, find a place for herself in the world, and find love. I hope something happens later to galvanize her into going full-on berserk against the capitalist patriarchy and take up the fight against systemic injustice.

I wanted to show this comic to my social-worker fiance who is basically this character minus the superpowers, but right now there seems to be no there there, no central conflict or cathartic payoff for the reader, just sort of a sense of mild ennui. I'll keep an eye on it to see what develops, though.

Also I'm not super keen on the writing. The in media res intro seems a little forced and the dialogue and pacing seem a bit stilted. I hope the comic can find its feet because I am very much Up With This Sort Of Thing, but so far it feels like it's floundering a bit, having a bit of a weak start.

Oh well. I'll follow it for a while and hope it improves.
posted by Scientist at 5:46 PM on May 22, 2012


You're a murderer! Jose Garcia and Raul Martinez were /legal/ immigrants!

um. huh?
posted by jacalata at 5:57 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Written by ... a dude. Sigh.

Good to know that impacts your enjoyment of the comic.
posted by kafziel at 6:10 PM on May 22, 2012


a young middle-class American with super-strength, invincibility and a crippling sense of social injustice.

How funny, that's actually what it says on my business cards.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 6:14 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is excellent!

I had completely given up on webcomics but I read two great ones in one day. Abominable and this!
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:18 PM on May 22, 2012


I don't own a car and am not a fan of car culture, but wandering into a busy street without regard to anyone means you're either fucked up or an asshole - possibly both.

Jeeesus fuck. Or, she's distracted because of all the heavy shit we're learning that she's dealing with.
posted by odinsdream at 8:27 PM on May 22, 2012


How is this not a comic book a geekier friend of mine tells me that I just HAVE to read?

I like this. I think I might have just gotten geekier.
posted by chemoboy at 1:08 AM on May 23, 2012


I don't own a car and am not a fan of car culture, but wandering into a busy street without regard to anyone means you're either fucked up or an asshole - possibly both.

This particular part of the story sets the mood as well as any classic comic book would. In the space of a few frames it is established that the strong, female protagonist is:
a) distracted by her past
b) living in a world with (crazy) priorities that contradict hers, and
c) physically possessing superhuman abilities, but not especially enthusiastic about them

Sounds like the start of a compelling story to me.
posted by chemoboy at 1:23 AM on May 23, 2012


Definitely picked me up. I watched two "respectable" movies last night that led me to shake my head and say, "Misogyny - it's what's for dinner." I think I need to start applying the Bechdel Rule more strictly to my movie and reading choices.
posted by Currer Belfry at 7:03 AM on May 23, 2012


Probably a little early for this comic to earn a review. It looks interesting, but it's best to reserve judgement until or if it gets past a hundred strips. That said, I like the low-key slice-of-life nature of the comic, and I'll be checking back to see how it goes.
posted by happyroach at 7:32 AM on May 23, 2012


It's surprising the Occupiers in this universe didn't pick up the "Right Makes Might" slogan.

Written by ... a dude
A dude willing to contemplate a woman of steel / man of extruded play-dough scenario. He's doing alright so far.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:34 AM on May 23, 2012


I hope something happens later to galvanize her into going full-on berserk against the capitalist patriarchy and take up the fight against systemic injustice.

So, how would you suggest she bring down capitalist patriarchy by going berserk? She's only got super strength. She can smash things, but that's pretty much having the same power as a tank. I dunno, but sending a tank in to smash things doesn't seem like the best way to change an unjust system. That's been tried many times. Does she just wipe out congress and pick off CEOs one by one? Certainly, lots of innocents would be hurt. I think this story is about a young woman who is trying to find a better way, even though she's been given a huge advantage as far as doing things the old way goes. I look forward to watching her figure it out.
posted by Omegazon at 12:41 PM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


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