AHS-P7-7. It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! No, It’s a Feminist! Analyzing the Representation of Women in Comic Book Media

Angelica McGee1
Faculty Mentor: Lynn Comella, Ph.D.1
1College of Liberal Arts, Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies

Superhero media is a 27 billion dollar industry. Superhero media has played a significant role in contemporary pop culture and society. So, where does feminist thought – or the lack of feminist thought – belong in the conversation of comics? My research aims to pinpoint and define sexist tropes within comic book media, how they can be detrimental to the representation of women, and what viewers and creators alike can do to diminish this unsatisfactory treatment. My research uses textual analysis to examine the representations of female comic book characters across various mediums. The pathway to improvement is within the promise that audiences and comic book media creators continue to educate themselves on the inherent sexist themes of female comic book media characters; new media is created that shields itself from the typical misogynistic tropes that these characters have been subject to in the past, and comic book worlds fans do the work that it takes to show that these changes are not only appreciated but that they are in high enough demand to make them the new normal. The sexist injustices in comic book media need first to be acknowledged and then removed. Female comic book characters are free to be just as heroic and empowering or as daunting and frightening as their male counterparts.


Nov 15 - 19 2021


All Day


AHS: Poster Session 7
The Office of Undergraduate Research


The Office of Undergraduate Research


One Reply to “AHS-P7-7. It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! No, It’s a Feminist! Analyzing the Representation of Women in Comic Book Media”

  1. Hi Angelica McGee
    I found your poster presentation intriguing. Superhero movies do leave an impact on people. When I first started watching superhero movies I saw that there were recurring themes with looks and attitudes you mentioned . I do think having more relatable stories would help leave a better understanding and impression. When my cousins found out my sister and I watched Avengers they didn’t understand the appeal of the stories. Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel having no counterpart showed that women are strong and capable heroes too. I had the same opinion of Elsa in Frozen. Elsa in Frozen did leave the impression, unlike other Disney princesses, that you can’t marry a guy you just met. It was nice to see Frozen was more focused on a family and sister bond. It also showed how we are driven by the fear of wanting to fit in. We try to hide what makes us different whether it is hair, wearing color contacts to change the eye color, and wearing makeup to look a certain way. I do hope stereotypes in all types of movies would be fixed so more people can relate to them. It would help with views and teach people values that are important, like relying on yourself and not changing yourself for love.

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