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The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines | [Mike Madrid]

The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines

Comic book superheroines bend steel, travel across time and space, and wield awesome forces. These mighty females do everything that male superheroes do. But they have to work their wonders in skirts and high heels. The Supergirls asks whether their world of fantasy is that different from our own. Are the stories of Wonder Woman’s search for an identity, Batwoman and Power Girl’s battle for equality, and Manhunter’s juggling of a crime fighting career and motherhood also an alternative saga of modern American women?
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Publisher's Summary

Comic book superheroines bend steel, travel across time and space, and wield the awesome forces of nature. These mighty females do everything that male superheroes do. But they have to work their wonders in skirts and high heels. The Supergirls, a cultural history of comic book heroines, asks whether their world of fantasy is that different from our own. Are the stories of Wonder Woman’s search for an identity, Batwoman and Power Girl’s battle for equality, and Manhunter’s juggling of a crime fighting career and motherhood also an alternative saga of modern American women?

©2009 Mike Madrid (P)2011 Last Word Audio

What the Critics Say

The Supergirls is a long overdue tribute to the fabulous fighting females whose beauty and bravery brighten the pages of your favorite comics.” (Stan Lee)

“Even as it delivers its clear-eyed critique of the way mainstream superhero comics have alternately eroticized or deified female characters, The Supergirls gleefully celebrates the medium itself, in all its goofy, glorious excess.” (NPR)

The Supergirls, Mike Madrid's book about the evolution of female comic-book characters, is sharp and lively — and just obsessive enough about women who wear capes and boots to be cool but not creepy. The guy clearly loves this stuff. And he's enough of a historian to be able to trace the ways in which the portrayal of sirens and supergirls has echoed society's ever-changing feelings about women and sex. ” (Entertainment Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer DALLAS, TX, United States 08-31-12
    Amazon Customer DALLAS, TX, United States 08-31-12 Member Since 2012

    I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.

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    "Love For the Heroines!"
    If you could sum up The Supergirls in three words, what would they be?

    Much Love Here.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I don't know about laugh or cry, but as one who has always admired the supergirls who often take a backseat to their male counterparts, I couldn't help but be impressed by this book. Mike Madrid has a passion for these heroines. This book is written with all the passion of a fanboy and all the class of someone who respects the audience as much as he respects the material. There's so much lost history here, this book is a must for anyone who claims to be a comic book fan.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trish 09-25-12
    Trish 09-25-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Some Supergirls to Save the World"

    Respectful, informative, but often repeating information. Take that into consideration, but all-in-all a great read for a comic book fan.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl hammond, in, United States 09-10-12
    Cheryl hammond, in, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2012
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    "kinda unexpected"
    Would you listen to The Supergirls again? Why?

    So much cool info. and references to writers or books that it gave me more reading material...I'm not into comics at all by the way


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Hoyle Pittsburgh, PA USA 04-29-14
    Jonathan Hoyle Pittsburgh, PA USA 04-29-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Great Overview of Female Super-Heroes"
    Any additional comments?

    Although a bit heavy handed at times, this is a marvelous overview of the history of female super-heroes. Particularly notable is how historically that writers tend to present them to their largely heterosexual male audiences as virginal “nice girls” or overly sexualized fantasy girls (and at times both simultaneously). I enjoyed the approach of the evolution of the various super-heroines over the decades. Well done!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Skovde, Sweden 12-16-13
    Kim Skovde, Sweden 12-16-13 Member Since 2013

    Hi! I´m a feminist-nerd-artist-batman-geek from Sweden. English is not my native language, which might appear in my book reviews.

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    "An exciting story, if you like supergirls"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Are you a fan of comics and its history, this is a book for you. I think Mike Madrid in a clear and exciting way brings out facts, not all geeks know.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Natalie
    SCARBOROUGH, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Enjoyed this book"

    I downloaded this book on a whim after browsing through a lot of titles as I thought the name and summary sounded interesting and unlike anything else I had read before. Turns out I was right about that. This book gives a very thorough history of women in comic books, covering a wide range of decades, aspects and themes. I am by no means an expert in comics, I haven't even read a great deal of them, but this inspired me to read more widely after finishing it. The only suggestion I have is maybe include more on female villains, as I'm sure they have had an equally interesting progression in comics. Well worth listening to overall.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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