Story by Cullen Bunn
Art by Will Sliney and Veronic Gandini
The Female Power Fantasy, in my experience, is a woman’s desire to be autonomous and in control of her life. This includes a choice to not be an object in the eyes of men, to be as strong and powerful as she wants, and to be treated as an individual. In comics, this phenomenon may not be as evident as women readers would like. In this column, I point out an instance where we see an example of the Female Power Fantasy.
We all have that one person we love dearly that we want to prove wrong. Admit it – there’s a dude out there that loves you to bits and pieces, but you want nothing more than to say, “I told you so” to his face.
For those who don’t know, Fearless Defenders is an all-women team book from Marvel Comics. Valkyrie is assembling a team of Shieldmaidens to protect Migard (Earth) from the forces of evil. With the help of Misty Knight, Val has gathered a pretty awesome team of Marvel ladies who kick ass.
In issue #9, we get a different picture of this team-up. While the ladies are out there protecting New York, the boyfriends/significant others of the Defenders have gathered for an intervention. In short, Venom is worried about the safety of Valkyrie and her team of heroines.
Their major complaint? This particular group of women is inexperienced. Not to mention, none of the men were invited to join the group.
It’s a little embarrassing to think that these fellas consider a Valkyrie, a bionic crime fighter, a former X-Man, an Amazon, a sorceress, and a monster hunter inexperienced. Don’t worry, the ladies prove the men wrong. While they are sitting around complaining about not being included in this new club, the Defenders are out doing what they do best.
While this issue reads like a big “suck it” to all the haters, it makes a good point. These women are every bit as capable as any other team to handle crisis situations. Bunn is challenging his readers to look past gender on this team and look at the characters and how they interact. The Female Power Fantasy comes into play when the boys find the ladies handling their own problems. Though not completely convinced, the boys concede to the Defenders’ judgment. Valkyrie establishes her leadership, and the Defenders keep on defending.