Contributing writer for The Artifice.
The Appeal of the female characters in Arcane: League of Legends
Ever since "Arcane: League of Legends" came out, the praises haven’t stopped and are still keeping the show alive in people’s minds. Even months later, people are still loving its story, characters and storytelling because it has come out in an era where diversity and an agenda have now convinced screen writers and comic book writers that it was enough to make a good story.
So many things stood out in "Arcane", but one of the most important was the way female characters were written. Violet, Caitlyn, Jinx, Councilman Medarda… they were written and characterized in a way that made them both appear strong and weak at the same time. Circumstances of the story showed their vulnerability and their strength in a matter of ‘Show, don’t tell’ that has been lost these past few years in movies and TV shows where they have female leads.
This begs the question as to what else could have made these female characters so appealing to the public upon the release of the hit Netflix series. What has made them stand out so much in "Arcane: League of Legends" among the throng of other female characters? How has the writing of the show made them special and quite unique in their own way?
The Importance of Mystery and the Past in Lady Mechanika
"Lady Mechanika" is an independent comic book written by Joe Benitez, telling the story of a woman having lost all her memories. More importantly, she doesn’t remember what happened to her as a child, as she’d been the victim of horrific experiments that have left her deeply scarred. Her limbs (arms and legs) were replaced by prosthetic limbs made of metal and her eyes have turned red, with the sclera now black.
The main character is shrouded in mystery, which is one of the main themes of "Lady Mechanika". The identity crisis she’s going through shoves challenges and obstacles in her quest of finding out the truth about her past, although it raises questions that shouldn’t be ignored: is it that important to find out about your past, despite it being horrific enough to blow your mind, while you could just rebuild your life and move forward?
Shouldn’t it be better for the main character to rid herself of the shackles of the past and look forward to the future?
It would be interesting to confront these questions in regard to the main character, who is so focused on her quest for identity throughout her adventures in the world created by Joe Benitez that it might seem borderline obsessive. While she has every right to find out the truth about her past and why she’s been mutilated, going through such ordeal could also be seen as torment or being a glutton for pain.
comicsWrite this topic
Consistency, originality and creativity in
The lore of "Trese" is as mysterious as it’s intriguing, because the comics are based off Filipino mythology. This is quite uncommon to write about, as the comic book industry is vastly dominated by the super-hero genre, with issues coming out with brand new storytelling that haven’t won over the public lately, but rather pushed them away. There are several reasons for the decline of the American comic book industry, such as a focus on a character’s sexuality instead of writing a substantial story or rewriting a character that has already been established years ago to fit the present narrative.
Consistency, originality, characterization and creativity seem to have been shoved aside to push an agenda forward. This agenda also drives comic book readers away, who can’t stand to see their favorite characters becoming a figure of representation and diversity. This issue is problematic, as comics themselves offer a deeper introspection into the universe created by the writers; this is their vision they’re willing to show to their potential readers through the characters, story and lore they create. The more original and creative a story is without the problems associated with diversity and representation, the more interested readers will be in comics.
The "Trese" series have been ongoing since 2005 and have recently been given a Netflix adaptation, due to the success of the comics in the Philippines. What has been observed is that not only is it still coherent and consistent in its story-telling, but the originality and creativity in its lore keeps eliciting curiosity and a need to learn more about Filipino myths. The black and white style used by the creators also compliments the essence of "Trese", fitting the theme of horror. Such series that have remained unaffected by the drastic turn in the comic book industry is a rare sight to behold nowadays. It would be interesting to analyze the pros and cons of "Trese" to understand why and how the series succeed where American comic books have been failing for some time.
There’s a first for everything, so have at it! 😀
And you’re welcome.
She embodied Wednesday Addams so well… she gave a stellar performance in the movies! Ah, wished we’d see her more…
I have. Honestly, I’ll pick Wednesday over Greta any day.
Ah, I remember watching the trailer of the “Black Widow” movie, which I ended up watching. I agree with some things you’ve just said: it was unnecessary, as it added nothing to her character and story. It was just Natasha tying up some loose ends, passing on the mantle to a ‘sister’ (who has never been mentioned in the previous movies, so Yelena was retconned). This movie… should have either come out right after “Civil War” or should have never come out at all.
Without Chadwick Boseman, I don’t really see the point of making another “Black Panther” movie either. His character could be laid to rest once and for all alongside him. Replacing him seems kind of… disrespectful.
If you believe that Marvel has become ‘bland’ and ‘stale’ and that DC is where it’s at… then what do you say about their upcoming projects involving this new ‘Supergirl’? What do you think about DC replacing Henry Cavill for the role of Superman – which has been done and redone and redone as well, like Batman? Do you think DC still has it together with the flops that were “Wonder Woman 1984”, “Justice League”, “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and their new projects?
Batman’s origin story is one of my favorites, as I always get impressed by his morals and his will to fight crime as a hero when he could have fallen into deep nihilism. The fact that he chooses not to kill every time he gets this chance and seems tempted for even just a second by the most repulsive and evil psychopaths (Joker, for example) never fails to put me on edge.
The impact his origin story has still gets me. It starts small, then the more his lore expands, the more sinister and deeper it gets. The Court of Owls conspiracy storyline has got to be one of my favorite Batman comics. The fact that they were involved with the Wayne family that early in the 17th century with Alan Wayne is crazy… the Court has been around for so long. Their creation was a stroke of genius to introduce a mystery behind Thomas and Martha Wayne’s murder, thus turning a robbery gone wrong by a small-time mugger to a frightening conspiracy from a cabal.
As I said, Batman’s lore is just incredible.
I’ve never watched “Traffic”, though I’ve heard of it. I’ll watch it later to make a comparison with “Sicario” later on, which I’ve watched and rewatched because the plot is brilliant and Benicio Del Toro was excellent in it.
The points made in both movies got me curious, especially about the take on this War on drugs and how the characters were portrayed. The concept of morality played a big role in this war, which had been tackled in this essay. It was up to us to understand the point made: that our own morality could get lost and tangled up in bigger webs woven by more problematic issues. Justice? Even that concept can get muddled pretty easily and lose all of its aspects.
Seeing a task force use the same tactics as a cartel really forces people to reflect: are the good guys still any different when they’ve realized their methods don’t work and have begun to use the most unorthodox methods to get their targets? Are they still the good guys? In “Sicario”, you ask yourself this question because the end justified the means. As antithetical as this war is, the American task force keeps going for reasons I can’t really pinpoint and justify, thus taking away all moralistic view in their actions. What they’re doing is disgusting, morally wrong… but they keep going. And they don’t care as long as it brings results.
This was a very interesting essay.
Now that is one nice topic I’d never get tired of reading and agreeing with, because video games have been a part of my life since childhood. While I used to see them as a form of escapism from reality, it quickly turned deeper than I expected.
Pokemon and Super Mario actually started this passion for video games, but I have to admit that the Legend of Zelda franchise is my Bible. My treasure. My favorite has got to be The Wind Waker, as its story was just THAT original and amazing! I find myself going back to replay this game because it’s my favorite, though I believe Breath of the Wild is going to take that spot very soon.