So I’ve been trying to branch out in my comics reading, by which I mean I’m trying to read things not having to do with the Bat family. This is also because I still haven’t managed to get my hands on any of the Cassandra Cain trades (goddamnit).
One of the comics I’ve been reading is Secret Six, the super villain/anti-hero driven series headlined by Gail Simone. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea. I’ve had my “eugh” moments with the violence, and the characters are definitely not as, shall we say, “moral” as the Bat family. But it’s a lot of irreverent, witty, and slightly (okay, really) disturbing fun. What more could you expect from a team as dysfunctional as the Six? Scandal Savage is the lesbian daughter of mankind’s first murderer, Cain. Catman…well, he calls himself Catman, for starters. Rag Doll had surgery to replace all of his joints with artificial triple-jointed ones (and wonders what it would be like to fuck butterflies. Maybe it was all that medication after surgery). Deadshot is…well, Deadshot is not sentimental, to put it nicely. I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
Secret Six also (semi) regularly features the lady in the above picture: Jade Nguyen, aka Chesire. I didn’t cotton on to the fact that Chesire is Asian until a couple of pages in, because sometimes it’s hard to tell with comics art. I had no idea that she was Vietnamese, though, until issue 19, when she introduced herself by her full name. While I believe in Asian American solidarity, and get excited whenever there’s an Asian character, it’s not the same as seeing a Vietnamese character. I mean, representation for my people, fuck yeah!
Unfortunately, Chesire is not exactly the best image the Vietnamese community could have for itself. She sleeps with men so she can get replacement children (just in case, you know, the children she already has die). She lies and back stabs. She once blew up an entire country. In short, she’s got all the qualities of a classic Dragon Lady. Boo, DC Comics. Boo. I know I want to see badass Asian ladies, taking names and dealing the hurt left and right if needed. Hell, they can do it as villains. But I want to see more depth, more variety. Badassery doesn’t come in one color, and I fully believe that badassery for an Asian woman doesn’t have to come in the Dragon Lady shade. Less deceit and ~*cunning*~, more awesome, comics world. The world (and, okay, I) could do with more of that.