I have attended a couple of comic/sci-fi con panels about superheroines. The ladies on the panels point out how so many superheroines are defined in their relationship to superheroes.
- Ant-Man and the Wasp. They both shrink. She stings, he grows. Her powers come from his technology.
- Superman and Supergirl. She used to be his secret weapon. Her powers come from his planet’s DNA.
- Batman and Batgirl. Same bat-costume, same bat-utility belt, lots less bat-grittiness.
- Hulk and She-Hulk. Her powers came from his blood. Except she is also a lawyer, a superpower if there ever was one.
My characters Super Holly and Cal the Intellectual? He is largely defined by her. (In fact, I seem to use Cal to show Holly’s flaws and quirks.) She’s Superman with anger issues, he is Batman with Mr. Spock’s mind. In my early drafts, Cal was always by Holly’s side, always guiding and teaching. It took my putting some Roger Ebert into Cal for him to become more independent. Cal really needed a day job. In my latest story, I loved putting movie references into his internal dialog.
P.S. My sexist spellchecker wants to turn “superheroine” into “super heroine.” But it leaves “superhero” alone.
P.P.S. I went to APE comic con in San Jose this weekend. Enjoyed it. Bought stuff. Met people I know and like again. Met some new people. Should give me more to blog about.