Fascinating how most of the ‘Windblade is anti-feminist’ rants boil down to: “You can’t have bad shit happen to female characters or that’s sexist”. I also see disappointment that she wasn’t more feminist and that was a letdown.
I think some of us have forgotten how important basic representation is. That a female character exists, is complex (and YES, has strengths and weaknesses—some HUGE weaknesses!) and is the central focus of the narrative is a huge step forward. Let’s not forget that.
But being disappointed that it didn’t go further and screaming that it’s anti-feminist because of that is childish. We no longer only have Arcee as the only female character in the series. That’s an enormous bloody improvement.
I don’t care about her size. I don’t care that bad shit happens to her, because guess what, bad shit happens to characters. Your hero is at some point going to be at the villain’s mercy. And no, the crux of the story isn’t her merging with Metroplex, it’s what she does with that knowledge. Negotiating with Starscream isn’t Metroplex. It’s Windblade.
I believe there will be a rant coming later tonight from my friend with a major in Asian Studies on why her design isn’t actually racist. (Cliff notes version: Borrowing from other cultures is not inherently bad. If it was I wouldn’t be able to cook dinner most nights).
Suffice it to say this Asian puts her in a very different category than Bayverse Drift.
I thought the biggest feminist gain from Windblade was that it was the first Transformers comic where we had women both writing and drawing.
Which is huge.
Even ignoring Windblade as a character, that we have a comic with a female lead character, a female writer AND a female artist.
In a franchise that recently put out that, canonically, there’s a 12:1 Male:Female ratio in the series.
The existence of the Windblade comic, by itself, is a step forward. The fact that the comic has been successful enough to become and ongoing series IS A STEP FORWARD.
(As for the other concerns… I’ll have to address those when I have more of my head together. But I feel like Windblade and Chromia’s appearence in Sarah Stone’s art isn’t as bad as all that. I mean, especially when put up next to Starscream.)