Not really simple…just useful

Tigra

I often feel as if making her more uncanny valley (that’s looking more animalistic) would be enough to desexualise her save for furries. To be honest, the Marvel Mangaverse version’s the only time where she actually looked like a tiger though it could be colourists taking advantage of such a technology. ‘Pawsy‘ interpretations of Tigra are just as interesting, in fact more interesting as it’s obviously less lazy and more creative too.

Somebody even said on 4thletter that the biggest problem is her character design. Almost as if there are repeated attempts to make her look more animalistic to get the point better as she’s supposed to be half tiger or something. I think this was demonstrated more clearly in one West Coast Avengers storyline where she’s turned into a cat. Not that John Byrne disliked the character but not when the presentation does her a disservice.

Admittedly, my ideal Tigra should not only have tiger paws and ears but also tiger stripes on her body and scalp hair. Actually since Tigra’s supposed to be hairy*, while I won’t be surprised if some cartoonists bothered to give her actual fur in canon (I think I saw one at Scans Daily), I actually think at this point Tigra should be one of those female characters easily getting away with body hair if she’s supposed to be lightly furred so.

Kitty Pryde

Whereas Tigra’s biggest problem is her character design (as if someone who preferred ‘Pawsy’ Tigra almost understood how a 4thletter writer felt about it), Kitty Pryde’s problem is that writers generally won’t go where she should logically go…that often. From what I’ve read, if you’ve got an irritable teenager trained to kill or fight with swords you’re left with a near-perfect assassin or serial killer.

She’s even depicted as one in Age of Apocalypse but that could also be one of the few instances of such. I also get the weird impression that suspicion and intangibility perfectly go hand in hand in that people are going to made uncertain and fearful if somebody has that ability at all. While this was shown fairly briefly with Kitty Pryde, DC’s Tinya Wazzo (who predated her) was revealed to come from an extradimensional world.

Not that suspicion’s entirely nonexistent with either of them but it’s played up straight with the latter. Not necessarily out of trust but rather the odd feeling of where she got it from. As for phasing characters that give you feelings of distrust or fear, the best known one would be The Ring’s Sadako if anybody remembers the scene where she goes through a telly. Heroes had a phasing criminal.

Kitty Pryde, if they went with it, wouldn’t necessarily be a villain but would have no issues with breaking the law (theft and murder) to serve her ends even if that makes her look selfish and mean. Even though these are necessary in making her less of a Mary Sue (giving her actual flaws beyond justifying her temper).

Wonder Woman

A little complicated at first. I think Tigra’s dilemma could be resolved if they made her more consistently uncanny valley so that cartoonists wouldn’t have to tweak her presentation often every now and then. As for Kitty Pryde, the only way to make her less Mary Sue is to have her commit criminal acts without remorse like murder and theft or pickpocketing to serve her own ends.

Even if that makes her look selfish but makes sense what else can she do given her training and proximity to people like Wolverine and Storm (who herself is a pickpockter) so writers could’ve made her unconsciously copy their actions. A female Robin Hood without trying in the sense of committing criminal acts for the greater good.

As for Wonder Woman, well I remember the biggest unsaid issue is that her presentation/character design doesn’t go well** with her intended background. That she’s blatantly a product of World War Two cements this. Almost as if she got redesigned with a solid coloured skirt to make her less dated and jingoistic in a way.

Which is the case with the Wonder Woman movie where it’s set in World War 1. That may’ve revealed the real problem in a way.

*The Thundercats were supposed to be hairy in the 1980s cartoon but one that’s more or less consistently fulfilled in the 2011 production where character designers and animators took advantage of what the original staff intended or wished to do.

**Volvagia
Yes, that’s part of it. Another, and this is the big one that’s pretty much ignored by everyone: Her costume and background do not go together. Her costume: Loyal patriotic American. Her background: Ancient Greek Warrior/Diplomat. How those two facets were EVER expected to mesh for as long as they have is baffling.

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