The Female Power Fantasy, in my experience, is a woman’s desire to be autonomous and in control of her life. This includes a choice to not be an object in the eyes of men, to be as strong and powerful as she wants, and to be treated as an individual. In comics, this phenomenon may not be as evident as women readers would like. In this column, I point out an instance where we see an example of the Female Power Fantasy.
Hawkeye by Matt Fraction has taken the superhero world by storm. With the visibility of the character in the latest Avengers movie, Fraction has brought a refreshing, down-to-earth look at the arrow-slinging hero.
But I bet you didn’t know there was a female Hawkeye.
Kate Bishop, protégé of Clint, is a young woman with a talent for hitting her mark. Feisty, strong, and brash, Kate makes the perfect compliment to the rougher Clint. Fraction’s decision to include Kate in the Hawkeye series is brilliant, especially since Kate is shown in such a positive light.
For every screw-up move Clint makes, Kate is there to rescue him.
For every dark moment, Kate is there to snap him back to reality.
For every sticky situation, Kate is there to bail him out.
Yes, the series focuses on Clint in general, but the inclusion of Kate Bishop has made her a fan favorite. In fact, the first annual of the series focuses on Kate making it out on her own. Fed up with watching her friend suffer, Kate tries to make it on her own in Los Angeles. Of course, things don’t go as planned. Kate is forced into a tight spot where she has to rely on her wits and gumption.
There’s no doubt that reading the Hawkeye annual makes us yearn for a solo Kate book. Yes, she is featured in Young Avengers and Hawkeye, but female readers want more young women present in comics. Kate is a prime example of how to showcase a 19-year-old superhero. Confident, smart, and relatable, Kate is the perfect compliment to any character and an example of a woman who needs her own book.
Kate embodies the Female Power Fantasy because she seeks autonomy. She is discovering what it takes to truly be on her own while dealing with some pretty abnormal stuff. At one point, she makes the decision to not ask her dad for help. Kate is at the age where she’s looking to see if she can make it out in the world.
Hawkeye annual #1 is a little more expensive than normal, but it comes with a digital code. Marvel has really been pushing the Share Your World aspect of digital comics, meaning if you like it, pass your code onto a friend.