The Switch: 3 Classic Characters That Should Be Gender Swapped

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The Switch: 3 Classic Characters That Should Be Gender Swapped

If Danger Mouse can do it, anyone can. Here are a few classics that would rule if the genders were reversed.

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For the first one: Never heard of him, so really no opinion.

For the second one: Huntress probably could be written this way, although as an almost-Bat her story arc normally curves towards the standard superhero Thou Shalt Not Kill mentality. Still, if I had to do a gender-swapped punisher, I'd just push Huntress a bit harder down that path. (Her portrayal on Arrow is most of the way there honestly)

As for the last one, the answer is simple: Bring back the Gail Simone version of Secret Six which featured Catman as a totally awesome character. He's really more a mirror to Batman than Catwoman, but still: There is a Catman, and (At least when Simone writes him) is a badass character that deserves more screen time.

Personally if I had to genderswap somebody, I'd give the Bat-cowl to Cassandra Cain. Don't care what they actually call the character as long as it's completely clear that it is now Cassandra Cain who is The Bat, the head crime-fighter in Gotham city. As long as Dick Grayson continues doing his Nightwing gig and we move to one of the points in continuity where Bruce is dead and/or indisposed, it's not even a hard line of succession to draw.

Catman and Female Punisher are things I would love to see.

Also, I really need to track down this Wonder Woman story sometime, I keep hearing about it and want to see if it's good...

dragonswarrior:
Catman and Female Punisher are things I would love to see.

Also, I really need to track down this Wonder Woman story sometime, I keep hearing about it and want to see if it's good...

This is the comic in question:

http://www.amazon.com/DC-The-New-Frontier-VOL/dp/1401203507 It is quite good, and Darwyn Cook is very awesome, as you no doubt know.

I have wanted to see a seriously portrayed Catman for a while. Superheroes already wear form fitting outfits a lot of the time. Male "Tom Cats" are thought of as stealthy, aggressive fighters and a menance to other more pampered house cats in the real world. James Bond flirts with anything that moves between the ages of 18 and 40 and has two X chromosomes. Finally, I can think of countless martial arts styles that make use of open hand strikes where cat-like striking claws, which Catwoman is often portrayed as having, would make sense. Hell, in Batman Beyond the future bat suit has these built in. Terry uses them often. Its like the pieces are already there. They just need to be put together.

Wasn't there already a female punisher? Lynn Michaels?

In the new Ladybug anime, isn't there a sidekick/fellow super being called Catman?

wetfart:
Wasn't there already a female punisher? Lynn Michaels?

I remember there was this thing where Marvel goes manga and there was a Geisha Punisher.

http://www.robotboombox.com/articles/mangapunisher/400x596xcover.png.pagespeed.ic.XxhOYeNtbP.png

I don't think that's what the writer had in mind when he was talking about a female Punisher.

There IS a gender-swapped Punisher. Rachel Cole-Alves? From the 2011 series? Seriously man, read a comic book.

Also, are you really listing the Nexus, who really isn't that awesome, instead of Green Lantern (who's kinda getting one anyway with Power Ring)? Hell you could even go nicher if you have to with something like Mandrill who's an awkwardly sexist character by design. Female ape controlling men? That'd be interesting, or at least comedic, even if it's basically what Spider-Woman does.

You could even talk about successful genderswap characters like Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers run is at least as good as Mar-Vell's, adventures in space ftw. Or Mia as Speedy (complete with required Green Arrow 'excessively realistic problem'). Or maybe Catman VS Catwoman as different gender takes on felines.

I dunno, not trying to be a dick but you coulda done better dude :-/

wetfart:
Wasn't there already a female punisher? Lynn Michaels?

As well as the Mangaverse version and more recently Rachel Cole-Alves. There's... been quite a few female punishers.

CaptainMarvelous:

wetfart:
Wasn't there already a female punisher? Lynn Michaels?

As well as the Mangaverse version and more recently Rachel Cole-Alves. There's... been quite a few female punishers.

Rachel is a Punisher sidekick/companion. She wasn't *The* Punisher. Same thing for Lynn Michaels. And yeah, the Mangaverse version isn't quite what I'm talking about here.

I'm not trying to be facetious, I genuinely have never understood why there's any reason to make a character 1 gender or the other. By all means gender swap whatever characters you like, I'm not going to say anything against it, but someone is going to have to explain to me how it changes the overall story. How does a female Punisher differ significantly in course of action from a male Punisher? Motivations may differ, but as far as I can tell the end result will be the same.

We have Catman and we had female Punisher.

Just sayin'

softclocks:
We have Catman and we had female Punisher.

Just sayin'

Catman isn't really anything at all like Catwoman, aside from cat themed outfit. They briefly worked together of course, but he's a total misogynist so she ditched him. Definitely not what I'm talking about here. Also aside from the Mangaverse version, which isn't close to what I'm getting at here, the listed Women Punishers weren't *the* The Punisher, they were his companions/sidekicks.

RossaLincoln:

CaptainMarvelous:

wetfart:
Wasn't there already a female punisher? Lynn Michaels?

As well as the Mangaverse version and more recently Rachel Cole-Alves. There's... been quite a few female punishers.

Rachel is a Punisher sidekick/companion. She wasn't *The* Punisher. Same thing for Lynn Michaels. And yeah, the Mangaverse version isn't quite what I'm talking about here.

But she's got near enough the same backstory, at least as far as Rachel's goes. Her husband gets gunned down DURING her wedding, she swears vengeance and goes on the same rampage Frank Castle did. The only difference is she has Castle next to her as an example. Her last appearance I can recall is her wearing the skull shirt in another city and is pretty much Punisher in all but name. She could probably do with her own series to cement it, but she's a step-up from Microchip and other companions. The only way to be more Punisher is to do the same story minus Frank Castle.

(Lyn Michaels is a different story, imo, she's very much a 'Lady' Punisher which is reflected in her backstory and attitude. Like how Batgirl and Supergirl aren't genderswaps of Superman or Batman)

shirkbot:
I'm not trying to be facetious, I genuinely have never understood why there's any reason to make a character 1 gender or the other. By all means gender swap whatever characters you like, I'm not going to say anything against it, but someone is going to have to explain to me how it changes the overall story. How does a female Punisher differ significantly in course of action from a male Punisher? Motivations may differ, but as far as I can tell the end result will be the same.

Because characters (especially comic book superheroes) don't exist in a vacuum but rather as a part of a larger world. Changing genders (or race or social class or nationality or any number of other things) in theory allows for stories to be told from more perspectives. Of course, as with any fictional story, how effective that is depends in large part on the author's experiences and knowledge and how skilled they are.

People (And, by extension, well written characters) react to each other based on a number of queues. As much as everybody would like to believe that they treat every single person ever identically with no thought given to anything besides actions we personally witness and words we hear them say, the truth is that most people would speak differently to a young attractive white woman wearing a dress than they would to a old overweight white guy wearing a three piece suit.

Having a character with a similar background but slightly different motivations can allow an author to tackle subjects based on how they believe the difference in both the character and how others would react to the character would change the story.

Of course, this requires a skilled writer. Done poorly, it can either end up as basically a frame-by-frame remake with a different set of paint on the lead or an overbearing or even offensively stereotypical story that hamfistedly tries to cram whatever point the author is trying to make down the reader's throat.

Regardless: Any time you change a character, you allow new stories to be told. Changing gender of a character is definitely a significant enough change that it should push the story down new paths. Even if you believe there are zero differences in any way between how anybody anywhere reacts to a man vs a woman, it may cause an author to approach the work differently and write different stories as a result.

Even if you as a reader have zero interest in gender/race/political politics, you still benefit from the potential for new stories to be written that tread new ground. (Of course, if they just unceremoniously dump your favorite character for the new version, feel free to be irritated)

A movie about a female Punisher already exists, but it goes by a different name: Kill Bill. Also, people liked it enough that it even got a better sequel!

Also, a Captain Jack Harkness in Gotham would be absolutely fantastic. I could easily see how it would go: Catman would constantly be flirting with Batwoman/girl (whichever is closer in age) who obviously would reciprocate to some degree. The funnest part of this however, would be when Batman encounters Catman during crimes. Batman is trying his best to fight back on dispense justice, but Catman spends the entire fight dancing around him, insisting that he (Batman) has to help hook up a date. Batman and Cat-whatever have always been frenemies, so this would be a fun situation where they essentially are bro-mancing or bro-fisting, but torn by wanting to protect family from relationships with delinquents (which would inevitably happen, because reasons).

I am a card carrying feminist on just about every topic. Diversity, gender equality, tolerance, these are the principals I have lived my life by and I have no intention of changing any of that.

But for the love of God, don't change the Punisher. Please. It's bad enough he went on ghost busting adventures a few years back. I like the idea of a female centric Punisher-like character though. Just not Frank.

I'd be all for a PUNISHER INC. kind of book though. Where Frank teaches his trade to other survivors of violence and they go on their own criminal punishment adventures and such. I'd buy that kind of book in a heartbeat so long as they didn't make the female version a pointless cheesecake character. If she had some depth, I'd be there in a second.

First of all, there already is a Catman in the DC universe. Several of them, in fact, but the most notable is a Batman-like fighter (ex-wrestler, iirc) who currently trains "human-strength" members of the Justice League (such as Black Canary) in hand-to-hand combat and equivalent mixed martial arts to hold their own against super-powered opponents.

A "Catwoman-man" does sound like a neat idea, though it was done to death decades ago: The Scarlet Pimpernel, El Zorro, Robin Hood, every heroic pirate ever, James Bond... you get the idea. The "Dashing Rogue" is a centuries-old trope, and Catwoman is already the gender-swapped version of it. Could it be time to revive the trope (outside of trashy romance novels)? *shrug* eh... sure, why not. Knock yourselves out, ladies.

As far as a female Punisher... yeah, I could see that. I don't care about The Punisher in the slightest, and didn't particularly like Kill Bill (except for the amazing, over-the-top choreography), so I have no strong opinion on it either way. In my estimation, revenge for its own sake only goes so far as a motivation, and after that it's just mental illness. On the other hand, I find myself more invested in The Wolf Among Us than I would have expected, so maybe there's something to that. Who does the "revengeancing" is largely irrelevant, so long as they have the requisite tragedy and can justify continuing week after week after the initial push gets resolved. (I mean, come on... it's not that hard to find and kill someone when you know for a fact who it is and they aren't actively hiding from you.)

And Nexus... holy crap, does that sound stupid; not gender-swapping the character, the premise in general. Then again, the premise of Ghost Rider sounds pretty dumb too, and I kinda like that character... come to think of it, Ghost Rider is also "afflicted with justice" and could just as easily transfer to other people, but would that really change anything? (other than maybe the jacket) unlikely. Flaming skeletons don't really have gender anymore. (Yes, I know there are differences between male and female skeletal anatomy, but hardly dramatic enough in comic-book action context, right? Most people couldn't tell the differences at a glance.)

Not Punisher, because Punisher sucks, go for Marvel's real violent anti-hero Moon Knight, or Moon Dame as the case may be. I think there could be some interesting in universe discussion how most serial killers and most superheroes are men.

Falterfire:
Because characters (especially comic book superheroes) don't exist in a vacuum but rather as a part of a larger world. Changing genders (or race or social class or nationality or any number of other things) in theory allows for stories to be told from more perspectives. Of course, as with any fictional story, how effective that is depends in large part on the author's experiences and knowledge and how skilled they are.

See now, that's an interesting point. I see gender and races as functionally identical per social strata and cultural background. A white, middle-class character, male or female, is going to be broadly the same (increasingly so over time). I would actually love to see an Iron Man based in India or Catwoman in Saudi Arabia because that, to my mind, would be a much greater change than a simple gender swap, and allows for a much broader examination of contemporary issues. A dirt poor Batman could be amazing! Just some kid with dead parents that figures out how to develop complex gadgetry, selling it to keep themselves afloat, and using it at night to be the Dark Knight. But make Bruce Wayne a woman and you get some scenes of grumpy old men in a meeting room being irate about having to follow the direction of "some skirt." I'm sorry, I might be off topic now...

TiberiusEsuriens:
A movie about a female Punisher already exists, but it goes by a different name: Kill Bill. Also, people liked it enough that it even got a better sequel!

Also, a Captain Jack Harkness in Gotham would be absolutely fantastic. I could easily see how it would go: Catman would constantly be flirting with Batwoman/girl (whichever is closer in age) who obviously would reciprocate to some degree. The funnest part of this however, would be when Batman encounters Catman during crimes. Batman is trying his best to fight back on dispense justice, but Catman spends the entire fight dancing around him, insisting that he (Batman) has to help hook up a date. Batman and Cat-whatever have always been frenemies, so this would be a fun situation where they essentially are bro-mancing or bro-fisting, but torn by wanting to protect family from relationships with delinquents (which would inevitably happen, because reasons).

Flirting with batwoman would be pointless for a man. She's a lesbian.

wetfart:
Wasn't there already a female punisher? Lynn Michaels?

There was also a great story on Ennis' run about an abused mob wife who hunts and kills the woman who manipulated her into marrying into the mob (There is more to it than that.)

In my favorite iterations of The Punisher (Max mostly, Jason Aaron wrote him fantastically) his masculinity is his defining trait. He represents the extreme of power and endurance. But at the same time is emotionally a void. He is not an expert martial artist, he just is vicious and strong. A blunt object pounding his foes into submission. He also serves as a framing device for other's stories. He is a deep black pool with little reflection and he cannot deal with emotions in a rational, human way. He is an allegory for the consuming force of war and violence, represented by his dark days in Vietnam.

I certainly would like to see a female take on a character like that. Maybe an Israeli woman moving to Brooklyn to look after her murdered brother's children who get's caught up looking for his killers while obligated to lead a normal life she is not cut out for. Throw in some religious stuff, a person who does has forgotten how to be a human, let alone a mother and bang that's a comic book. But when you say "Punisher" I think Vietnam. Punisher is a man. He HAS to be a man.

As for the other 2. I don't see the benefit. Gender swapping to me makes as much difference as playing Male or Female Shep. Stop trying to wedge gender motivations where they don't belong. Even Huntress. Create new characters that can stand by themselves. It's easy! Gender swapping is a very cheap and lazy way to appear inclusive. Social justice shit again without looking at the practical side.

Aside from the previously mentioned female Punisher, they kind made a new female Punisher in one of the most recent releases.

http://marvel.wikia.com/Rachel_Cole_(Earth-616)

She isn't technically the Punisher, but she does the same stuff and goes off to California to basically do what Frank does in New York.

I honestly would expect geekdom to care that much about Danger Mouse. Mostly, geekdom is OK with whatever, in my experience. I know it's popular to call people sexist and racist in these columns, but the vast majority of us are not. I have never met anyone who was upset about a gender switch of someone like Captain Marvel. Danger Mouse isn't even a conversation starter for me. If you were gender swap any of those characters, it wouldn't cause any waves. Gender is only a big deal for ultra leftists and and ultra rightists. Everyone in the middle (ie, the vast majority of people) is pretty much going to fine with it.

dragonswarrior:
Female Punisher are things I would love to see.

......Eeehhhhh, no, no thanks.

Being more of a film junike than a comic book reader it wouldn't fit. I mean, even in Punisher (2004) he still became someone's bitch by dat Russian guy even though punisher is a considerably large man.

If a girl was going to face a man like that then I expect her be the She-hulk

Wolverines son Daken fits the male Catwoman mode pretty well, frequently using his sexuality as a weapon

They already made a female Punisher:

Once again another clickbait garnering headline. Alright let's see where I've stashed this sensible argument..Ah yes.

If changing a characters sex and NOTHING else is signifigantly different you've offically made a worse character then what you've started with. If you gender change Tony Stark and change nothing else, you've made a worse Tony Stark. Not because of the sex change but because you've commited an act of tokenism. You've essentially done little more then add 2 obs and 2 half circles to the character. You haven't actually DONE anything to the character, ethier out of laziness, noncommital attitudes, or you want to backbend to appease everyone possible everywhere at the cost of your own artistic integrity.

SourMilk:
snip

Ha!! An appropriate application of Aikido, or any comparable martial art and that beefcake wouldn't have had a chance.

Everyone's always so obsessed with the striking...

dragonswarrior:

SourMilk:
snip

Ha!! An appropriate application of Aikido, or any comparable martial art and that beefcake wouldn't have had a chance.

Everyone's always so obsessed with the striking...

And everyone likes to talk the talk but doesn't walk the walk. I can tell you have never been in many real life fights.

SourMilk:

dragonswarrior:

SourMilk:
snip

Ha!! An appropriate application of Aikido, or any comparable martial art and that beefcake wouldn't have had a chance.

Everyone's always so obsessed with the striking...

And everyone likes to talk the talk but doesn't walk the walk. I can tell you have never been in many real life fights.

*eyebrow raised* Oh? Do explain how you arrived at this assumption please.

dragonswarrior:
Catman and Female Punisher are things I would love to see.

Also, I really need to track down this Wonder Woman story sometime, I keep hearing about it and want to see if it's good...

I'm all for a shamless female revenge fantasy

however

the whole "rape as motivation" thing is....a prickly topic, I can understand the reservation there, but I don't know the rage that female aren't expected to show is something I'd like to be explored

The Gentleman:
They already made a female Punisher:

huh....interesting...

Lono Shrugged:

There was also a great story on Ennis' run about an abused mob wife who hunts and kills the woman who manipulated her into marrying into the mob (There is more to it than that.)
.

that sounds cool...having never read punisher before is there an antry point? like say a trade paperback? does the arc have a name?

for somone who deals witht the violent and grotesuqe....Ennis always seemed to be able to write women (more or less well anyhow)

In the early Batman comics, Catwoman had a brother, Karl Kyle, assume the alias, the King of Cats, trying to ape her style and outdo her at thievery.

Vault101:

The Gentleman:
They already made a female Punisher:

huh....interesting...

Yeah. It pretty much was the Punisher down to the obscene amount of firearms and ordinance utilized and the revenge/vigilante-focused plot. It even has her family gunned down in the opening (twice actually). She's literally one skull-T-Shirt away from making Frank Castle look like pacifist...

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