Have you ever seen The Venture Bros.? If not, treat yourself to the best Jonny Quest parody ever, and one of the funniest shows I’ve seen. The show is full of hilarious knock-off versions of famous comic and cartoon heroes. My favorite episodes are the ones featuring The Impossibles. Yep, they are a knock-off version of Disney’s The Incredibles, which in turn is a knock-off version of Marvel’s Fantastic Four. The Impossibles have all of the powers of the Fantastic Four, but with slight twists. For example, the Impossibles’ version of The Human Torch isn’t resistant to fire; that means every time he flames up, he suffers horrible burns.
And then there is the Impossibles’ version of the Invisible Woman. Unlike Sue Storm, who can become completely invisible, Sally Impossible can only make her epidermis invisible, turning her into a walking poster from high school anatomy class. I was watching an episode with a friend a few nights ago and I commented on how funny and sad Sally Impossible’s power was. “Oh, and Sue Storm has made?” my friend asked. “Guys in the 60s make a female super hero that is not only pushed to the background and turned into a mother figure, but she can actually become completely invisible, unacknowledged, and insignificant.” I never thought about Sue Storm, that way, but after talking with my friend, I haven’t looked at female superheroes and their powers ever again. I mean, let’s take a look at a few:
Rogue-A member of the X-Men whose powers of ability absorption make it impossible for her to touch any living thing, and force her to wear a full body stocking for protection.
Wasp-A founder of the Avengers who, for the majority of her existence, had the power to shrink down to the size of an insect. Her husband, Ant-Man, who is known infamously for hitting his wife, has the power to shrink and grow.
Firestar-A radiation/fire based mutant who stopped using her powers after she learned that using them would make her infertile.
Bombshell-A being of pure energy who must be enclosed in an indestructible shell, lest she suffer from radioactive meltdown.
Intentional or not, the powers that some female superheroes exhibit hurt them, or reflect some chauvinist mentality. True, any power can seem socially counterproductive, there is the diamond covered African-American X-Man named Bling, but some just seem too on the nose not to be acknowledged.