Monday, August 22, 2016

Strong Female Protagonist is a webcomic that everyone should be talking about

If you're still somehow following this blog after three years of inactivity, two things:

1. Surprise!

2. I'm very curious to know who you are, so leave a comment, or reach out to me in other ways.

I'm planning to do some more writing here. Basically, I have thoughts that are too long-winded to put on Facebook, or bug people by sending them in emails.

First up! Strong Female Protagonist is the most interesting treatment of the differences between "saving the world" in the traditional comic book sense, versus combating  problems of social injustice that us bland, real world people have to deal with.

In this universe, a freak storm occurs giving a bunch of teenagers superpowers. I like to think that this is in the same universe as the phenomenal TV series, Misfits. Just like any other story, things quickly turn into super-villains trying to destroy/take over the world, and superheroes fighting to stop them. In this world, our Justice League/Avengers stand-in is actually a government run training/education program for the more powerful of these superhuman teens that decide to work on the side of the law.

The webcomic follows the eponymous Allison Green, who has retired from the role of "Mega Girl" after having a breakthrough/breakdown during a public interview where someone asked her opinion on a matter of foreign policy. She takes her mask off, says she's just a teenager, and why does being invulnerable and superstrong make her any kind of authority on foreign policy?

Obviously, it doesn't, and she realizes that there has to be a better way to help the world than punching bad guys in the face. Now her only problem is figuring out what that way is. She knows that she knows very little about the way the world works, which is probably pretty important to rectify if she wants to figure out how to save it. So she goes to college. It's not exactly a positive experience. She faces discrimination from some faculty based off of who, and what, she is. As well as the more "mundane" issues, such as her fellow students focusing purely on passing their classes instead of trying to understand the material. She gets yelled at by a bus driver who hits her, and damages the bus "Are you Ok? Oh, it's you, you should have been watching where you were going, who's going to pay for the damages?" She gets kicked out of her apartment after she intercedes in an ambiguous situation where a girl who has maybe been roofied, but maybe just had too much to drink is about to be taken home by her date that no one has met before. The whole thing seems equally ridiculous and sickeningly realistic.

There's a lot of other interesting stuff that occurs in the background. Such as the entire super scene just kind of dies once she retires. I guess when your world's equivalent of Superman says "This whole thing is kind of pointless." It takes all of the fun out of it. The supervillains fade into the background, one is a prominent character for awhile and pretty much just becomes a CEO, which is kind of a supervillain anyway, so I suppose it makes sense. The government run super team is still technically a thing, but only has a single member, who just spends most of his time putzing around in his lab.

Obviously I highly recommend it. The college bits in particular resonate with my repeated attempts to start a "career" through higher education, only to meet with discouragement at the amount of time it takes, and the amount of debt I'd have to rack up to accomplish anything. I also share a lot of the melancholy of Allison's realization that the world's not a bad place so much because of the bad people, but because of the majority's outright indifference, or fear of standing out by disrupting the status quo.

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