Friday, February 10, 2017

Strong Female Protagonist Female Protagonist is a webcomic by writer Brennan Lee Mulligan and artist Molly Ostertag. The protagonist, twenty-year-old Alison Green, used her powers of near-invincibility, super-strength, and flight to fight super-villains, but quit her crime fighting team to go to college. Alison fought as a superhero since she was fourteen, and attempting to continue making a difference and do good things in a world where she cannot solve problems by punching them is a difficult transition for her. She is an extremely relatable character.
Currently in Issue 6, Alison is kept ludicrously busy by her job as a firefighter, her schoolwork, and her work to create Valkyrie (a network of superheroes to help provide protection and support to women leaving abusive partners). In this issue, Alison meets Max when she rescues him from a burning building, but they ultimately disagree on matters of morality. When she discovers that Max has a superpower that can help one of her friends and save many lives, she physically forces him to use it despite his resistance to her plan. Later, she feels guilty for forcing Max to use his power, but also believes that she saved many lives and helped her friend with no adverse effects to Max (beyond the issue of forcing him to act against his will). It's a complicated problem, and one that Allison and readers both do not quite know how to handle; it's a real problem, and there are no easy answers. While the comic is entertaining, it's also a platform for discussions of morality and thoughts about how these ideas still apply to our own world.
This is a comic that manages to practice realism without resorting to "grittiness," where the most significant conflicts are not solved by punching things, and sometimes not solved at all. Nonetheless, Alison has an optimistic faith in the innate goodness of humanity that is heartening, and the comic is not depressing or overwhelmingly negative in tone. Despite Alison's "Mega Girl" superhero persona, she is growing up and moving beyond a simplistic view of the world, and this is a comic about her journey. She is a "strong female protagonist"-- a female character who is realistic and flawed, but ultimately attempting to do good in the world.
You can find the comic online at

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