Female Scientists in the new 52

Posted by RazzaTazz (9479 posts) - - Show Bio

This is of course one of my favourite subjects, as a woman that studies science I am always interested in its depiction in popular culture.  As I have mentioned before, I was somewhat impressed by Natalie Portman's portrayal of Jane Foster in Thor last year.  Operating counter to that though was the revelation that very few female comic creator would be involved in the new 52.  Now almost five months into it it is maybe time enough to pass judgment - the scientific literacy among female characters is getting a lot better but is still not where it could be.  Granted I am not reading every series in the new 52 but of those that I am there are quite a few scientifically oriented female characters - Ranita Carter in Captain Atom, Jody Robbins in O.M.A.C., Emma Ziegler in Savage Hawkman, Tonya Lu in Firestorm and the Engineer in Stormwatch.  Of these only the Engineer is an established character, but even in that case she was not established at DC.  So are female characters doing better on the science front now?  Mostly yes, but still kind of no.  The mostly yes is that there are science characters showing up who are female in publications where they don't even really need them (like Jody of Emma) in which case it is now apparently a lot more acceptable to have a female lead (and even potentially romantic lead) who is also a scientist.  The main drawback though, is that in none of these cases that the female character is the main focus of the book.  As opposed to a female version of Mister Terrific or Iron Man, a super genius and super hero, the female characters are still scientifically oriented, but more in a real world way and not a comic book way.  In light of the failure of the Mister Terrific monthly series though, maybe it is time to consider a Ms. Terrific?

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#1 Posted by fodigg (6146 posts) - - Show Bio

What about "Red" in Superboy?

#2 Posted by RazzaTazz (9479 posts) - - Show Bio
@fodigg: Looks like yes,but I have not been reading SB, so I don't know.  
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#3 Posted by fodigg (6146 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz said:

@fodigg: Looks like yes,but I have not been reading SB, so I don't know.

It's a yes. She's a strong (literally and mentally) female character who is in one of two central support slots (the other being Rose) and she's the leading scientist on the project after a tantrum by the early-stage Superboy kills the former lead. She's a very well-rounded character and you would be shocked to find her there if you judged Lobdell's work by Starfire in Red Hood and the Outlaws.

That said, you do see her grappling more with moral questions than scientific ones. They show us she's in charge and they tell us that she's a big science wiz, but they haven't really shown us that she's a big science wiz.

#4 Posted by CATPANEXE (9368 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis: There's are tons of female scientists in the Marvel Universe and most in the forefront.

#5 Posted by Hawkeye446 (3940 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis said:

@CATPANEXE said:

@lykopis: There's are tons of female scientists in the Marvel Universe and most in the forefront.

Yep, agreed - Like Dr. Kavita Rao and even Janet Pym in the Ultimate Universe (2 PhD's). I just found Sue Storm (Ultimate) and her daughter (616) especially fascinating as they are shown to utilize their scientific skills when addressing conflict. :)

:) I read X-Club Earlier and Dr Rao was awesome :D

On an unrelated subject, explain this...

:(

#6 Posted by Hawkeye446 (3940 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz: Silly me, very nice Blog Razza! I would buy Ms Terrific...

It is a pity we don't get a lead female Scientist with their own book. That would most definitely be awesome.

#7 Posted by CATPANEXE (9368 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis: Oh, I'm referring to 616 only but okay then.

#8 Posted by Hawkeye446 (3940 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis: AWWWWWWWWWWWWW, sweet.

It is in a What If world, you are saved... :D

#9 Posted by jrock85 (2874 posts) - - Show Bio

Ranita Carter has the makings of a great character.

#10 Posted by handsome_stud (272 posts) - - Show Bio

woman scientist? salacious!

#11 Posted by golvellius (207 posts) - - Show Bio

I've been reading Cpt Atom and Ranita is a great character. However I am eager to see Rampage soon in the new 52. Rampage was an exeptional character and was spotlighted greatly in the Starman series...but once that title got cancelled she was seldomly used. I hope the New 52 gives Rampage some prominence in one of their titles...maybe in Red Hood and the Outlaws...it would be interesting seeing her interact with the characters there and they could use someone smart on the team. I must also point out that even though people tend to oversee it Supergirl is a very smart woman with great technological and scientific knowledge...in the new 52 it is hinted that she is took after her father who was a scientist...

#12 Posted by COBRAMORPH (1525 posts) - - Show Bio

@golvellius said:

I must also point out that even though people tend to oversee it Supergirl is a very smart woman with great technological and scientific knowledge...in the new 52 it is hinted that she is took after her father who was a scientist...

I dont think that should really count as she is from an advanced alien culture.

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