Female Nazi’s in the DC World
As this Blog continues I have decided to separate the themes of the comics and characters into manageable parts, although this may lead to crossovers with characters and comics featuring in multiple blog posts, they will all seek to analyse the characters in a different way. The next blog post will aim to analyse Female Nazis that are displayed within comics. The subject matter was too large so I have split this into multiple posts. This post seeks to look at some of the characters classified as Nazis by the DC world.
The most famous of the DC Nazi’s, is Baroness Paula Von Gunther, The enemy, then ally, then enemy?! Of Wonder Woman. Appearing in over 100, of the Wonder Woman issues, she becomes the first recurring villain within the series. It apparently doesn’t matter that she dies multiple times (I’m noticing this a recurring thing within comics, not big on consistency) she keeps coming back, a lot like Fascism in the real world! Am I right?! What makes this character interesting in terms of Nazi’s and Comic Books is that from an early stage she is represented as being clever, scheming and with multiple men under her influence, she is the leader of the Gestapo in America and as such she has real power. For two such strong women to feature in a Comic within the 1930’s is highly unusual not just for this medium but in terms of representations of women in Popular Culture as a whole.
However, as time goes on Paula seems to lose some her Umphh! She goes from being a major Nazi figure, following her own ideology and making her own schemes, to a mother, a mother that we as the reader pity. After all the Nazi’s have her daughter captive. Wouldn’t we all do the same in her position to save our family, fight with the bad guys. Her actions are excusable and they are not her own. It is after this development that Wonder Woman and Paula become allies saving her daughter and fighting against the Nazi evil. It seems like maybe Women aren’t meant to be Nazi Villains after all. In further reimagining’s of Wonder Woman, Paula does appear to go back to her Nazi past but it is hard to reconcile the changing characteristics, with the character beginning to fall flat. Who knows what she'll do next.
This is not DC’s only foray into female Nazi’s within their universe, they appear quite often as sidekicks and second rank officers working too achieve the male Nazi’s evil deeds. What characterises them is arguably their aggression, their skin tight sexy outfits and that they can be vanquished by one of the good guys. If we delve further, we have Baroness Blitzkreig, Madame Libertine and Overgirl among many others. All are used to by their male Nazi counterparts to an extent. Without having control of their own actions or ideology, Madame Libertine is used to bring her Great Uncle, Captain Nazi, back even though she believes him to be outdated and short sighted. Baroness Blitzkreig is a secondary fighter and Overgirl is repeatedly subjected to carry out the whims of her boyfriend. DC uses the female Nazi as an underling and to bring some female sexiness to the Comics. They are rarely featured for a prolonged period of time and never enter into the realms of super villains like their male counterparts, e.g Captain Nazi.
However, there is one thing that these characters do bring to the comics, and that’s sex appeal, skin tight Latex? (I’m assuming Latex, it looks that way), A Banging body I mean curves that just won’t quit and she’s a Nazi so deviancy goes hand in hand.
I mean who wouldn’t want to vanquish that foe. I understand that no female represented in comic books are ugly, and all of the women tend to wear skin tight costumes. Maybe this is not an issue for readers but I think it will be interesting to consider looking at whether this is the way Nazi women are represented across the whole spectrum of the Comic Book medium or if that is just women in general. I must confess I do not see why this is? Is there no room for a slightly different image?
Overall within DC I find the Nazi women to be a little lacking, I want them to have some control rather than be second rate to the men. I want there to be more character development, the ideas and backstory of Captain Nazi is extensively retold so why can’t this be the same for any of these characters. Apart from Paula but then her evil and Naziness is explained away, women can be evil and I want to see why and how!