Wolves and whores

The last post got me into thinking. Shakira is noted for tending to write her own songs, having written poems at a young age and probably more frequently than her contemporaries did at the height of her career. This increases the likelihood of her knowing what ‘she wolf’ meant in Spanish, becoming a pun as the word loba’s also used to refer to sensually attractive or provocatively dressed women.

Loba and lobo descend from Latin’s lupa and lupus, some suggested that the surname ‘Lopez’ also has the same root. It would be analogous to wolf and ‘Wolfe/Woolf’ in English. Coincidentally Wolfsbane (Loba Venenosa in Spanish and curiously enough Felina in French) is both a female werewolf accused of witchcraft and the illegitimate daughter of a prostitute.

Other writers would’ve intended it as a commentary on religious hypocrisy but the association of wolves with both witchcraft and prostitution would’ve been well-founded and known at some point in Romance-speaking countries, especially France based on what I’ve found and read. I could be reading too much into it but it makes sense. And you can read the story here.

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Female werewolf

Not entirely nonexistent but as what some suggest, it could’ve been more common in pre-modern folklore than previously believed. Not to mention that there are some languages that permit feminising of masculine terms so a female werewolf shouldn’t be too out of the ordinary and that in Estonia, there’s a wealth of lore involving female werewolves.

There certainly was a female werewolf in a Hack cartoon before but Wolfsbane got me into it. She even has a handsome mention in The Girlie Book of Werewolves. She’s a female werewolf who’s Scottish and timid from being brought up in a strict fundamentalist household. She’s often unfortunate, losing her son and stuff.

One could assert that her biological mum’s a prostitute. Which got me into thinking. The Latin (and Italian) word for she-wolf is lupa which also meant a prostitute and coming to mean something like a vixen in Spanish (loba). This is what Shakira had in mind in her song She-Wolf.

Also based on what else I’ve read, being able to turn into a wolf (and/or dog or being associated with them) is part of witchcraft in some places at some point or another. Wolfsbane being accused of witchcraft wouldn’t be too out of the ordinary in that context.

I guess I read way too much to know how and why Wolfsbane came to be this way, though it would’ve been unconscious for some writers especially if they knew any of these.

 

The New Mutants

X-Men are a group of misunderstood outsiders, which the likes of Cyclops and Jean Grey initially appeared as teenagers if X-Men Blue is any indication. They would acquire many more members over the years as well as spawning auxiliary groups like New Mutants. The X-Men are no strangers to film and telly, with the 2000 film being the most well-known and the preceding X-Men cartoon being the entry level.

There’s a forthcoming movie based on the latter even though they have appeared in another X-Men cartoon called X-Men Evolution. There’s some complaints about the trailer being different even though Marvel itself is no stranger to monster stories as Jack Kirby himself illustrated some. That and Tigra was supposed to be more of a horror version of The Cat (prototype for Hellcat).

While DC may have beaten Marvel to it with a female werewolf (which appeared in the 1950s House of Mystery magazine, look it up on Read Comics), the latter’s version seemed more persistent in both telly and comics. She’s even going to make her big live action debut soon. And werewolves are a horror trope so why not.

I suppose it’d be hard making a wereanimal interesting in superhero stories beyond making it a token animal type with a twist by being part animal instead of appearing in an animal costume. Even though if they shapeshift, they’d be that good at leading double lives more easily.

Considering that X-Men’s a well-known brand, it could get away with popularising female werewolves more easily as it’s famous longer than Twilight is. Though who knows if Wolfsbane could get a popularity boost or not.

Spoilt

I remember writing about it like two years ago about superhero comics and their dwindling audience though one could argue the same about superhero television which also has declining ratings. The real problem with Arrow’s Olicity is that they pander too much to a narrow audience that liked certain characters and pairings at the expense of other kinds of fans who aren’t into those.

Arrow producers are beginning to undo it though it’s uncertain whether if they can recover from it or not. But pandering too much to a certain fanbase is an even bigger problem because it could lead to alienating a bigger but less engaged audience. The latter aren’t into those for long and they needn’t to be children. They could be bored adults looking for brief excitement.

Superhero fans are another matter, they’re more engaged in superheroes for longer and have come to exert a big say on the industry for better or worse. I could be no different despite becoming more casual in my engagement. They are a demanding, if spoilt lot which can easily tire poor professionals.

I was spoilt in wanting my desires fulfilled and hurt when they don’t but I could see it in other fans and why they can’t always get what they want.

Be careful with what you wish for

There’s nothing wrong with wanting verisimilitude in superhero fiction and the like but if it was mandatory, that’ll be realising that characters like Barry Allen don’t always wear tight outfits and that’s already true in-story. It would however be more interesting if Barry Allen spent way more time wearing different outfits.

But that’s because it’s just easier to draw characters in the same or similar outfits all over again for fear of being off-model. Even when in real life they could and will always step out of their public image anyways. Beyonce probably dresses more like the average woman most of her time.

The press expects her to dress otherwise even when she doesn’t feel like it. The same happens to any fictional character if they ever existed at all.

Need for modesty

There has been some discussion over what superheroines wear in the comics and likely a generation of cartoonists have been influenced by those to the detriment of a vocal number of readers that can’t stand the lack of cheesecake. The bigger problem isn’t just the costumes and cheesecake but that there’s a time and place for those.

 
Popstars only wear skimpy outfits on certain occasions and it’s far likelier for somebody like Beyonce to wear more modest outfits most of the time. If she shows up at a business meeting, she’ll dress up soberly thus proving my point. Same thing goes for sex scenes and why they make more sense when they’re in the appropriate context.

 
There lies the real problem with superhero cheesecake, it’s not that they don’t change their outfits frequently but that those that dress skimpily default to what readers expect of them even though if they existed, they wouldn’t always wear those either.

Extended Universes

I remember the controversies over eliminating the Star Wars extended universe but some have noted that there were problems with it, being practically impenetrable and esoteric to outsiders who aren’t that invested in Star Wars for life. In other words, Extended Universe works practically operate as fan fiction in that they could never be the real Star Wars to the masses.

It’s not that they haven’t read the books but they don’t read much of it often and oftentimes out of curiosity and boredom. That’s the same casuals would do to movies and telly if they have enough time to kill. They aren’t that invested to begin with and if some are interested, again out of curiosity. It’s not their fault for not being faithful.

That I think is the real problem of any extended universe to any franchise is that they’re generally impenetrable to outsiders so it’s not the latter’s fault for having a secondhand knowledge of things.