Sunday, November 23, 2008

Top 25 Liberating Ladies
#1 Invisible Woman (Marvel)
#2 Wonder Woman (DC)
#3 Catwoman (DC)
#4 Storm (Marvel)
#5 Sonya Blade (Midway)
#6 Hawkgirl (DC)
#7 Rogue (Marvel)
#8 Tara (Marvel)
#9 Spitfire (Marvel)
#10 Sheeva (Midway)
#11 Wasp (Marvel)
#12 Kitty Pryde (Marvel)
#13 Black Canary (DC)
#14 Zatanna (DC)
#15 Elektra (Marvel)
#16 Hellcat (Marvel)
#17 R. Mika (Capcom)
#18 Black Cat (Marvel)
#19 Phoenix (Marvel)
#20 Black Widow (Marvel)
#21 Lyja (Marvel)
#22 Tabitha Smith (Marvel)
#23 She-Thing (Marvel)
#24 Powergirl (DC)
#25 Stargirl (DC)
One need only look at the vast audience featured on When Fangirls Attack, or the slew of recent covers that have undergone tweaks before release, to recognise that the "fangirl" has officially landed!

This vocal group of readers may be characterized by their subjective take on mainstream superheroes, but make no mistake. Their money is just as green as yours and mine, and with the increasing popularity of genre fiction and manga within the comics medium, the female readers are becoming relevant enough to command their own niche interests in the descriminate world of corporate-thinking.

If you haven't been reading Hulk books lately, you might be blissfully ignorant to the latest team banging heads at Marvel comics, but chances are you're no more savvy than anyone else.
Maybe I missed something vital, but this group appeared to come out of absolutely nowhere, and guess what -- they aren't Skrulls!

The original team lasted briefly when the Enchantress, disguised as Valkyrie, united the powers of Medusa, Wasp, Black Widow, and Scarlet Witch, to thwart the do-gooding of Earth's mightiest mortals, the Avengers. It was a manipulation that vaguely mirrored the Loki-born legend of that superteam, but alas, the Lady Liberators were not to have the lasting effect of that other heroic collective.

The new team presumably revives the brand for maintenance reasons, clashing first with the rampaging Rulk. The idea, which clearly makes some gesture to appeal to gender equality in the male-dominated arena of superheroics, appears to have stuck.

Invisible Woman, She-Hulk, Valkyrie, and Thundra - in descending order of noteriety - make-up the core assembly of the new team, but many of Marvel's heavy hitting superheroines have joined the unofficial line-up. Storm, Hellcat, Tigra, and Black Widow have all made appearances, making the group versatile, if not one of the more interesting gatherings.

With the recent cancellation of She-Hulk, one wonders if this new grouping might have legs, and could indeed know how to use them, functioning as a versatile replacement for the solo-title.
In this post-Secret Invasion/pre-Dark Reign hanging space, it's hard to predict much of anything, but you can be sure this superhero fan will be keeping a curious eye on the Lady Liberators! In the tradition of the Defenders, it just seems so wacky it might even work!

Here, just a small selection of previously reviewed titles featuring the superhero smackdown that makes these Liberators serious players in the Marvel Universe! Note the first appearance of Thundra, as well as a little Hellcat to finish the list. Speaking of lists, you can follow the current top twenty-five ranked fighting females via the list above!

If you've been reading the adventures of the new Lady Liberators, have theories about the future of She-Hulk, or any other related subjects, I'd be very interested to hear from you. Sign-up is not required for comments, so speak freely, and let me know how this team came to be!

Fantastic Four #129 (December 1972)
"The Frightful Four -- Plus One!" Thomas/Buscema

Having returned from taking a licking at the hands of the Moleman, the FF are in pretty bad shape, and they get a little more lopsided when the hotheaded Johnny Storm announces he's going to live with Crystal in the Great Refuge.
Yeah, great timing kiddo. All this, and Sue's had to take the wheel while Reed snoozes, and Ben just made a woman-driver gag...

The fun doesn't stop for Marvel's first family, and before too long Reed and Sue are at each other when Agatha Harkness appears to tell them to collect their son Franklin, as she has matters of the utmost urgency to attend to.

You can't blame ol' blue eyes for taking a brisk stroll to clear his head, but it turns out that might just not have been such a great idea, when a scream rings out into the cold night air.

Defenders #43 (January 1977)
"This World is Mine!" Conway/Giffen/Janson

In an effort to capture a powerful mystic gem, known as the Star of Capistan, the villainous genius Egghead forms the self-proclaimed Emissaries of Evil. With Rhino, Solarr, and the insane Cobalt Man, Egghead draws his plans against the protector of the gem, Omar Karindu.

The Defenders become involved when Karindu arrives in New York to summon the aid of his old friend, Dr. Strange. Alas; unbeknownst to Karindu, the gem has already been able to exert it's will over the Sorceror Supreme; transforming him into the super powered, Red Rajah! A fact that also escapes Egghead's attentions, as he sends Solarr and Rhino into battle against a force they can't hope to defeat.

Meanwhile; the Defenders a potential disaster when they prevent the Cobalt Man from detonating a nuclear explosion in downtown Manhattan! Cobalt Man's failure prompts Egghead to finally resort to his own means, and so, the evil genius gathers his inventions of science for an assault on the Sanctum Sanctorum!

Fantastic Four #2 (February 1998)
"Be it Ever so Humble..." Lobdell/Davis

After the battle with Onslaught, the world believed the Fantastic Four and Avengers had perished, but to the delight of the world, the heroes returned a year later to the world they had left behind.

Unfortunately for the Fantastic Four, life had moved on in their absence, and their base of operations had been liquidated and revamped as the headquarters for the new team of super heroes: The Thunderbolts.

In need of a home, Reed Richards moves his family to his storage facility on the highliy appropriate Pier 4, but even as he gives his loving wife a new tour of their base of operations - something sinister is lurking in the shadows. Peril waits not for the Fantastic Four, as the Invisible Woman finds herself targetted by a mysterious assassin from another world!

She-Hulk #8 (December 2004)
"Engagement Ring" Slott/Bobillo

She-Hulk, having been appointed to the Magistrati, is employed to travel to the planet Skardon, where might makes right.

There, she is to employ her strength as She-Hulk to battle Tryco Slatterus, the Champion of the Universe. Entering the ring for legal battle, She-Hulk attempts to succeed where the Gladiator, Adam Warlock, Beta Ray Bill, the Silver Surfer, and Drax have all failed.

Needless to say, things don't go well, and the fight is stopped before She-Hulk is pounded into a mushy green paste. Using the brawn of her legal brain to request a rematch with the claim that the fight had been stopped while she was still able to go on, She-Hulk earns herself an 'appeal' in three months -- in the ring!
Now she just has to figure out that paste situation...

Spider-man Family #1 (April 2007)
"Catfight" Van Lente/Manfredi

Watch out, Rama-Tut! There are a couple of new cats in Chi-town, and they're about to come head-to-head in an afterhours catfight at the museum!

Black Cat is looking to drum up some business for her new security service, by personally testing the vulnerabilities of the museum's protection. Little does she know, Chicago is home to the heroic Hellcat!

It looks like Hellcat is going to have to defend her territory, but is this rookie hero's kung-fu a match for the cagey guile or the crafty Black Cat? Or will passing this Black Cat's path prove to be a turn of luck for the worst? Stay tuned!

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