A Convention of Unconventional Super Heroines

Hamilton watched the three of them at the top of the street. She could feel the broad shape of Major Grace just behind her, though she knew that in the bright sunlight, if she turned to look, she'd see right through him. But he was there. She knew he would be. Creon Grace wouldn't miss this.

At the top of the street they stood, in the cold wind of a November morning.

Poppy, motionless. At this distance Hamilton couldn't see Poppy's eyes, but she knew they'd be motionless too. Poppy, so tall, her straight black hair, shining like hot tar as the breeze lifted it here and there; Poppy rooted to the spot like nothing on Earth, nothing imaginable could move her.

Beside Poppy, Harriet Black might almost have looked dumpy, if it wasn't for her posture of relaxed anticipation. Harriet in her Jackie O glasses, her wide mouth fashing scarlet lips in a broad smile that revealed her perfect, if rather large teeth. One hand on a substantial hip, her white leather jacket unzipped so that her black curls could tumble over her generous cleavage.

On the other side of Poppy, Cassandra Grace, a simple shift dress and sandals topped with her sensibly cut straw colored hair. So... odd. Hamilton couldn't think of a better word. Poppy who could stop an armored car barehanded; Harriet Black who had toppled empires with a smile or a gun; beside them mild Cassandra Grace was what? A quiet, English hero? Cassandra certainly wasn't one for showdowns. Then again, Hamilton thought, if you were meeting the end of life as we know it, what better welcoming comittee than a murderous cyborg more alien hardware than human woman, a three hundred year-old soldier of fortune, and an enigmatic diplomat followed everywhere by the ghost of her great grandfather.

And Hamilton, too, of course. Hamilton had one or to tricks to pull. This thing was very far from decided.


Commentary probably isn't even necessary. Superheros are of course part of the Fantasy Genre but somehow they are mostly confined to comic books. I find this odd. In this vignette we have four of my favourite characters, all of which have short stories to themselves and occasionally run into one another. Brenda (Hamilton)* and Cassandra are both Blondes with Glasses - unconventionally beautiful, superintelligent, conventionally heroic. Poppy and Harriet Black are both Raven Haired Antiheroines - conventionally beautiful if in rather different ways, superintelligent, ruthless and uncompromising.

* I got the name "Brenda Hamilton" from the John Norman novel Time Slave. If you only ever read one book by John Norman, this should be it. And let's face it, you only need to read one book by John Norman because good solid sub/dom fantasy though it is, they are all very much the same.

No comments: