Super Hero Kim is a comic by Richard Larios, founder of Feral Publications. Feral Publications hopes to, “counter the mindless movies/stories that dominate the current pop culture world.” The comic opens with a letter from the creator that states, “It is my hope that this character will deal with Female issues and show the rest of the comic universes what a feminist super hero looks like. I hope you enjoy and share, or dislike and create something better.”
The comic opens with the main character Super Hero Kim beating the life (literally) out of the “latest neighborhood rapist”. The scene is described in violent detail, as Kim is overcome with rage.
Next, there is a very funny bit where there are four different characters on a nightly show called, “Truth Talk.” The show is hosted by “Joe Dull” and the topic is whether Kim is a super hero or a terrorist. The characters are Dr. Dan Donner, a professor of Gender Studies, Reverend Timothy Dole, Jen Jake, a writer for the “Feminist Mind” and Carol, a self-proclaimed women’s rights advocate. An example of the hilarity that ensues is when Dr. Donner is attacked by the host who attempts to emasculate him for pointing out that we live in an oversexualized society that objectifies woman. The show goes on as they debate the topic. Kim, who is watching the show states that “they all have pieces to the puzzle.”
You see a glimpse of an overlord called “Mr. P” who runs a human trafficking ring, but that is all you really see of him in this issue. Next Kim is back out on the street looking for pimps or rapists to kill when she is approached by a “sister” who asks for her help. The sisters are a group of prostitutes who banded together after their pimps were murdered and decided to call themselves “sisters” instead of “girls” or “hoes”. The sisters deiced to organize themselves and “bear the fruits of their own labor”. They allowed one woman, Sister Mary, to control all their funds, pay their, rent, and send them to college to make, “money on their feet”, whatever that means. Then the sisters start hanging out outside of strip clubs to motivate the woman working there to start their own strip club themselves and be in charge. Once they recruited enough woman they opened their own strip club.
The story comes to a climax when a new character is introduced, “Pimp with a mad hat”. He hid underground when Kim went on her killing spree of all the pimps in town. He was known for cutting off the legs of “his girls”. He collected all the left over pimps in town and encouraged them to work together to “tame the hoes”, this group became known as “the Pimp Council.” The Pimp Council realized the sisters were not going to negotiate so they found Sister Mary, the woman that controlled all of the sisters assets, and burned her alive. The sisters sought out Kim and asked for her help to sabotage the upcoming meeting the sisters had with the Pimp Council. When the Pimp Council comes to the apartment building the sisters own, they demand the lease. The sisters bust out from hiding and begin beating up all the pimps. Pimp with a mad hat threatens to begin killing “ho’s randomly”. Kim comes out of the shadows as well and that’s where the comic ends, a face-off between Pimp with a mad hat and Super Hero Kim.
“And Kim will continue to struggle against the patriarchy that all woman face daily” proclaims the comic, when detailing what is to come in the next issue.
Kim’s answer to ending sexual violence is killing each rapist she comes in contact with. Although it can be appreciated with important facts such as, “here in the United Sates, there is a reported rape every 6.2 minutes”, supporting the idea of perpetuating more violence to end sexual violence ignores many factors, such as many survivors of sexual assault personally know the person who assaulted them, not a methodical random act as the author proposes. Likewise, many perpetrators of sexual violence have been victims themselves in the past, thus leaving them psychologically confused about sexual boundaries and what is acceptable. Because there is often a stigma on people who speak out and ask for help, they are often victimized and stifled. If the over-the-top violence is meant to be taken as satire, it does little to address the violence or ending sexual assault.
Also when the sisters start their own strip club this perpetuates another unconstructive idea – that human
trafficking is ok, if managed by women. This perpetuates the sexual objectification of all woman. Sexual
objectification and trafficking is unethical regardless of who is profiting.
The problem with this comic in addressing the issues the author intended, is the sense that women, or anyone for that matter, needs a super hero to save them. In the words of Regina Spektor, “I’m the hero of the story, don’t need to be saved”.
This is a valiant effort on part of the author. To further support the struggle of feminism the author must continue to inform himself on the issues that affect females, and the idea that feminism is a struggle for equality. One lone hero can’t create the change needed by themselves. For feminism to succeed it must be a community of people working together to foster the ideals of justice and equality among themselves. Each person within the community must value themselves, and view themselves as equals to others in their community to destroy hierarchies that perpetuate patriarchy and hegemonic masculinity.
Super Hero Kim Issue No. 1 /32 pages /Price Not Listed / http://www.feralpublication.com/