Friday, December 16, 2011

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#20) -- Female Heroes

Looking at today’s television programming, the women are often the heroes (CASTLE’s Beckett, BODY OF PROOF’s Dr. Hunt, BONES’ Dr. Brennen) - is this female hero a new icon that deserves its own identifier instead of femme fatale? -- Elizabeth Amber

I think so. I think the female hero is actually a modern outgrowth of the doors opened by the femme fatales of the past. If it hadn’t been for tough dames who could hold their own against the men, often as equals, and sometimes as betters, who chose death or loss rather than being a traditional arm decoration, then the modern female hero wouldn’t have had such a strong foundation on which to stand today. But I also really don’t see these modern female heroes as femme fatales at all. In some cases, they may share traits with them, but they’re an entirely different animal. 

When I got the gig writing Gene Simmons' Dominatrix, I wanted to blend the classic idea of the femme fatale with the modern female hero. Dominique is clearly not a proverbial "good girl" -- no matter how she's drawn. Instead her root elements are gathered from the stock of the bad girls, the temptresses, i.e., the femme fatale. But she's the star of the show, and she plays second fiddle to no one, man or woman.  That alone disqualifies her from being a classic femme fatale. So what is she? Hopefully, if I wrote her like I intended, she's something different, something colored from both the fatale palette and the heroine palette, something that can step in both worlds, and confuse every opponent and "partner" she encounters.