Okay, I admit it, part of the purpose of this post is to show off the awesome cosplay Hubs and I spent the last month creating. I am super-proud of how my costume turned out, and wanted an excuse to show it to you all.
But I also want to talk about the reaction I received at Comiccon, and what I think it means to me as a writer (admittedly, maybe these thoughts apply more to movies than books, but I’m still going to post them).
First off, the costume:
For those of you who don’t recognize the character, I went as Doc (“my friends call me Liv”) Ock from Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (in my opinion not just the best animated movie from last year, but also one of the best movies overall from 2018).
I love everything about this character (well, except maybe the fact that she’s evil). She’s smart, strong, driven, and a scientist!
Not to mention how she fulfilled my (medical) necessities for a cosplay: ability to wear prescription sunglasses & flat shoes! (I had previously been toying with the idea of going as The Handler from Umbrella Academy because she wears huge sunglasses, but her heels were a deal breaker – and the costume just wouldn’t have looked right with flats.)
So, what does this have to do with writing? Well, that’s where the reactions of others comes in.
People loved this costume. There was lots of squeeing over the character, and one girl even teared up. Everywhere I went I heard how much people love the Spiderverse‘s Doc Ock.
If you’re not a Spidey fan and wondering why I’m specifying the movie here, it’s because in all the Spiderman movies to date Doc Ock has been a guy. In fact – and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, I haven’t seen all of the movies – NONE of the villains in previous Spidey movies have been female.
For that matter, the first and only main female villain in a Marvel movie was Hela in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok (the 17th of 21 Marvel films, in case you’re keeping count).
And I can only think of four other Marvel films (not counting Spiderverse) that had minor female villains: Guardians of the Galaxy – Nebula; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 – Nebula, Ayesha; Avengers: Infinity War – Proxima Midnight [who I don’t think is even named aloud]; & Avengers: Endgame – Proxima Midnight & Nebula [text hidden to avoid spoilers. Highlight to reveal.] (You could maybe *maybe* convince me to add Captain Marvel’s Supreme Intelligence, but as it is technically an intangible entity that appears to Carol as a female, I’m not entirely sure it should count.)
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make, is that, based on what I saw at Comiccon, people are hungry for more strong, well-developed, female villains (and, I’d argue, characters in general. We’re not anywhere near balanced on the hero side, except perhaps in Wakanda.)
And it made me even more intent on writing my (female-centric) Adult Urban Fantasy. I have a feeling it’s going to be a hard sell to publishers – it’s not fluffy (or sexy) enough to be considered paranormal romance, but with it’s mostly female cast, I’m worried publishers won’t see it as an Urban Fantasy. And yet, if my Comiccon experience is anything to go by, there is a market for this kind of book.
And I’m going to hang tight to that thought while I finish revising and eventually start querying the book.
So, tell me: are you hungry for stories (in films or books) about strong women? Who’s your favourite female villain of all time?
Let me know in the comments.