187 – Heroes in Us

187 – Heroes in Us

I think Lyta’s done with her feminist ranting for now. I also really like seeing Penny use that confidence of hers. It hasn’t come out much yet.

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Discussion (27)¬

  1. Kataklysmos says:

    She-ra, the Acrobat in Dungeons & Dragons, The Geek in Sam & Max… I’m not entirely convinced, though she’s right about the majority.

  2. Al-Briaca says:

    How about Lady Jane and The Baroness from GI-Joe? And what was wrong with Rainbow Brite?

  3. Kast says:

    Carmen Santiago, the most dangerous, cunning and devious character I can think of. 😉

  4. Baughbe says:

    I guess Penny could also be Epiphany. (E-pip-penny?)

  5. As someone who DID grow up with RB & SBerry, lemme set the record straight on those two ladies.

    Rainbow Brite fought the King of Shadows with nothing but a belt.

    She may have had a pony tail and a talking horsie, but she also had a facial tattoo, moon boots, and a freakin’ posse. She was a career woman with no love interests and nothing but the safety and wellness of her team of color-kids, her nation-state in the clouds, and our planet on her mind.

    While I’m not too sure what I think of the class-system that kept the sprites working in mines 24/7, I’m pretty sure that Rainbow Brite was as kick-ass as a character aimed at 7 year olds should be.

    Strawberry Shortcake had her pluses, too. She was a self-sufficient, hardworking farmer who didn’t let the industrial farming complex bog her down with pesticides, mass-production, or corporate interests. She always treated the villains on her show like fellow human beings–no matter how peculiar they were ;).

    What’s a better role model? Some tights-wearing superhero who beats up his enemies and throws them into jail where he’ll never have to deal with them again? Or someone who respects the humanity of those around her enough to ask what’s wrong and work out a compromise? S-Berry teaches life skills.

    Now, if you wanna talk ‘worthless cartoon females’… we can start with Dee-Dee from Dexter’s Lab. Let’s teach little girls that being obnoxious is cute and totally forgivable if people love you enough! Manners are for boys and ugly girls!

    –Sarah *who apparently IS lurking and has more to say about 80’s characters than is probably appropriate*

  6. Kat says:

    Ya, I resent that. Rainbow Brite could kick a lot of people’s asses…..

  7. wandering-dreamer says:

    Guess they’re too old for Avatar but the kick-ass women (reoccurring, major characters) in there outnumber the guys two to one on a regular basis. They could be role models I suppose…

  8. Styg says:

    Trying to think of examples from my own childhood… it’s hard! There was Jenny in Bucky O’Hare, who was probably the second best fighter on the crew after Deadeye Duck. But her role was still fundamentally to be ‘the female one’, i.e. the mostly functional one who bitch-slaps the boys whenever they have stupid ideas, but still needs them to rescue/comfort her on a depressingly regular basis. See also Gadget in Rescue Rangers and Sally Acorn in Sonic the Hedgehog. Er… how about Melissa Raccoon?

    The other female archetype I remember is the ‘cute, spunky, little sistery sidekick’ – for example Molly from Tale Spin, Flora from Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, and Blitzy from Bots Master (the only regularly appearing girl bot was Swang, who couldn’t talk and was more of a pet than a team member – and while we’re at it Lady Frenzy, one of the villians, was ‘the female one’ on the baddies’ side).

    I’m guessing Americanadians probably won’t know most of the other cartoons from my youth, but one fairly strong female role model we had in Britain was Penny Crayon, who had the talent that things she drew came to life – hilarity often ensues, but she always uses her resourcefulness to save the day. I have to be honest, in general British cartoons I remember tend to be marginally less sexist than American cartoons.

    Weirdly the most egalitarian cartoons I can think of are Rugrats, Animaniacs, Samurai Pizza Cats and Pinky & The Brain on the grounds that the female characters are just as crazy and dysfunctional as the males!

    Also, happy issue 187, in case you happen to be a rap fan at all…

  9. Ganon11 says:

    Weren’t there female Power Rangers? I remember Pink and Yellow being female, while Red, Black, and Blue were male. And they all had to team up to beat the baddies.

  10. reynard61 says:

    What about Scarlet from G.I Joe? I was never a fan of the series, but from what little I did watch I seem to recall that she kicked a *LOT* of COBRA ass.

  11. Baughbe says:

    OK, I have to say it. The greatest feminine superhero that ever was: Deadliest shot there ever was. Outshot every man she met. Twice took out marauding bobcats killing her livestock with in-one-ear-out-the-other shots (once from the hip). Played Beethoven on the piano. Raised five kids. Got her GED when she was about 50 while simultaneously being the totally indispensable secretary to THREE vice presidents of a multi-national corporation. Self-taught genetics and developed international champion Cocker Spaniel bloodlines out of other kennels cast-offs. Top-notch southern cook. Would stay up all night discussion philosophy, ethics and whatever problem you were having at the time. We called her Mom. There is no praise I can give that comes close to being sufficient.

  12. Robalan says:

    I can’t believe nobody mentioned Sally Acorn from Sonic the Hedgehog. She was one of my heroes when I was a kid and I’m a dude. Smart, tech-savvy, strategist and leader of the freedom fighters, she’s a pretty awesome role model.

  13. Robalan says:

    Or they did and it was hidden inside a wall of text. My point stand regardless!

  14. i was (and still am) an anime nut job so dont hate me but everyone i ever looked up to and still look up to are from shows like Digimon, Pokemon (woot Misty ROCKS!), Yu-gi-oh, the Sonic girls, Avatar, and what about the female Care Bears? (not anime i know but i still loved them to death. have both movies) they kicked ass! especialy since it was two girls that brought both the Care Bears and Care Bear Cousins to the cloud worlds. (srry havnt watched CB in ages). And what about the only girl from the original Transformers? She was the only girl as far as i can recall, oh and yes im going to say it… Sailor Moon and friends. feel free to hate me now.

  15. F says:

    “ourselves” really is the best answer to that question you could possibly give.

  16. BlueAnubis says:

    I suprised nobody said Samus Aran, although you didn’t find out she was a girl until you beat the game, she can still kick more ass than Master Chief in her sleep.

  17. fishy says:

    raven from teen titans. starfire was the love intrest, but raven was |_||33R |33357
    (uber beest)

  18. mnementh says:

    Aww, come on… most tv cartoons are MADE for mindless prepubescence BOYS by male producers who are little more than that themselves.

    Even though, we still had Justice League, who gave us Wonder Woman, HawkGirl, Huntress, SuperGirl, and Batman who gave us Harley Quinn, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Talia al Ghul (Yes, all cast as villains… but found their moments of redemption, even Poison Ivy) and X-Men gave us Jean Grey, Rogue, Jubilee, Hepzibah & Pixie, plus many others… and of course, the delightfully amoral Mystique…

    Plus you got to grow up with the ENTIRE Star Trek franchise… they gave us Beverly Crusher, Phillipa Louvois, Tasha Yar, Jadzia Daxx, Keiko O’brien, Lwoxanna Troi, Kira Nery’ss, 7 of 9, Janeway of course… and don’t forget the movies… sure Lara Croft was MADE for the jiggly… but she also didn’t take any crap from anyone… then there’s Sarah Connor, and of course… the defintive strong, self-sufficient female role model, Ellen Ripley.

    No female role models indeed… I say you grew up with an abundance of them… and these were just the few I could pull off the top of my head at 0-dark:30 in the morning.

    Fashionably scaly.

  19. hueloovoo says:

    I may be a bit late, and I’m not sure of the timing involved for the characters, but I was a huge fan of Kim Possible. The art was great, the stories fun, and Kim just stomped ass like nobody’s business. Shego made an awesome villain (WAY more effective than her boss and with a more developed history) and even Kim’s civilian friends kicked ass.

    Further back (and already mentioned but deserving more praise) Gadget from Rescue Rangers was just badass. She could out Macguyver MacGuyver himself, and kept Chip and Dale in line with a skill borne of pure awesome.

    Then there’s Penny from Inspector Gadget, the only actually intelligent and effective character in the show!

    I had another in mind, but I lost the thread somewhere in the tangle.

  20. Amelia says:

    Guys, you forgot Lilo. Yes she had Stitch, but she also had the gall to recapture and “home” over 600 aliens. With crazy powers. And beat that Gantu guy on a regular basis. She’s what, maybe six at the end of it? She’s a hero to me, even if you guys don’t think so.

  21. Bill M. says:

    Okay, I know I’m late to the party here, but let’s go over a few ones not discussed yet.

    From He-Man, Teela and the Sorceress, one powerful physically, the other powerful mystically.

    From Thundercats, Cheetara. Not only could she hold her own against Mum-Ra’s forces just as well as the male cats, she looked good doing it.

    From Scooby-Doo, Daphne and Velma. Daphne always maintained a cool head, and Velma had brains out the wazoo.

    Don’t forget about Batgirl, daughter of a police commissioner who took to crimefighting, and continued on, even after being confined to a wheelchair.

    Tara from The Herculoids was many of the pre-Xena girls who kicked booty and took names.

    Granny, from the Warner Brothers, she could still scare ol’ Sylvester when he tried to eat Tweety even though she’s up there in years.

    Shoot, try Jerrica Benton from Jem and the Holograms. Living a double life as a rocker and record company CEO/Starlight Foundation director.

    There’s also tons of live-action shows that had strong females, and that’s just the North American contingent.

    Bulma Briefs(Dragon Ball), Lynn Minmay (Macross/Robotech) [Seriously, stopped intergalactic war with a song. Top that], Akane Tendo (Ranma 1/2), Misa Hayase/Lisa Hayes (Macross/Robotech), Lina Inverse (Slayers), Hikari, Umi, and Fuu (Magic Knight Rayearth), and that’s just the ones that come to mind for me.

    Wait… how did I forget about Elita-1, Optimus Prime’s old flame leading the Autobot Rebellion on Cybertron while he was across the galaxy fighting Megatron & company…

  22. Hawkflight says:

    I have only three words for you.

    My. Little. Pony.

    They weren’t as tough as some of the female cartoon characters (Cheetara, that scientist from The Centurions, etc.), But they outwitted / outright defeated a rock golem, a lava monster, a horde of dragons, A tornado beast who steals souls, plant beasts, three witches and their pet ooze, a hive of bee-people …

  23. ravenhope says:

    what about Elisa Maza from gargoyles she kick butt

  24. xero says:

    guess you missed out on Jem too, that had a TON of strong female characters it was exactly the opposite of most shows where the girls were strong and the guys were worthless

  25. The Aussie Bloke says:

    Aelita Stones and Yumi Ishiyama (especially Yumi. Black-belt!) from Code lyoko.

  26. dutchguy says:

    Very late but whatever. From more recent cartoon we have Korra and the Crystal Gems, not only all badass but also romantically interested in girls,Princess Bubblegum and Marceline the vampire Queen. and don’t get me started on Phineas and Ferb with Isabella the fire side girls, Vanessa and even Candace. Sure she is the but monkey, but she has pulled of atletich moves that would make Olympic medalists impressed among other things.

  27. dutchguy says:

    Before I forget for the younger modern audience there is Dora, at least the jungle explorer version.