Tag Archives: Gwen Stacy

Dying in Fiction 102: Be an Innocent Female Character

Within fiction there are certain codes, ingrained enough in our collective psyche that, hypothetically, if we were to end up stranded in a made-up world, we, as geeks and fiction aficionados, would sort of know what to do to stay alive.

Trying too hard to be a hero, for example, is a sure way to get killed off, so that kind of behaviour is something you as a mortality-conscious protagonist can be careful to avoid. However, there are other deadly conventions that are far more difficult to run from, such as the one in question today, which seems to be a target strapped to the character in question since birth.

While the heroes are running around being heroic, doubtless somewhere in the background there’s an innocent bystander unfortunate enough to have two X chromosomes. She is unassuming and sweet-natured, maybe she’s a love interest or a little sister or a friend. Either way, she’s top of the hit-list.

Especially, apparently, if she has anything to do with romance and superheroes.

Someone’s got to add a more relatable element to the sci-fi struggle between good and evil, and who better than a doting love interest? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Romance plotlines are not bad by default, and the women and men who lead them are not always unnecessary or obnoxious. That isn’t what we’re talking about here, anyway. We’re talking about how, whether they’re relevant beyond fan service and warm fuzzies or not, they seem to have a startling mortality rate. Continue reading

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