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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