Comic strips, comic books and graphic novels are getting more and more popular nowadays. However, reading comic books is not an extremely new type of contemporary literature as its antecedents were created in the late 19th century. Particularly, the form which is considered and described today as a comic book is, in fact, a typical 20th century genre. Though, as it was mentioned above, it is widely popular again all over the world, therefore, it is not an exeggeration to say that comic books are typically 21th century genres as well. For the reason of becoming an interdisciplinary branch of literary studies, comic books, comic strips and graphic novels are the subects of analysis, consequently, more and more critics, reviews, and analyses are published, especially in universities where analyzing comics is regarded as an interdisciplinary 'science'.
Comic books, comic strips and graphic novels can be examined from various point of views jus as every other types of literary things. From these critical point of views, one of the most interdisciplinary school of criticism is the gender point of view.
Gender, as defined in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, is “the fact of being male or female, especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences, not differences in biology.” (OALD 2013) Gender studies itself is a particularly new field of academic studies including women's studies, men's studies, and queer studies as well concerning sexism, feminism, gender identity, etc, however, gender studies is frequently and only regarded as an academic field that covers feminism, women's rights and equal opportunity but the reality is that gender studies is an absolutely diverse acaemic field, which not only takes feminity into cosideration but also masculinity concerning men's studies or sexual orientation, gender identity concerning queer or LGBT studies.
As for this paper, it is intended to use gender theory to examine female heroes as icons in popular culture, taking into consideration gender stereotypes against women, for instance, in comic books. More specifically, it is intended to examine how super heroines like Lara Croft or Xena represent new images of independence for women. For this reason or in order to examine the topic thoroughly, a review of Action Chicks: New Images of Tough Women, edited by Sherrie A. Inness, is discussed which was written by Ione Damasco. Damasco offers a detailed overview of the book which was mentioned before, reviewing each and every chapter, more accurately, section as it is, in fact, a collection of essays concerning heroines like Lara Croft or Xena.
Action heriones in media such as television, film or comics is continaully changing. Female superheroes are tending to be represented as masculine creations. What is more, the tendency of portraying female heroines is that they are more masculine as time passes by, sometimes as masculine as their male 'colleagues'. It can greatly be seen in the...