In an interview with Men’s Health, I had a chance to talk about the impetus behind a superhero who struggles with her own mental health.
Jeremy Whitley has built his career on smashing taboos and opening up representation in popular culture. The comic book writer, who’s worked for Marvel among other companies, started the award-winning series Princeless in 2011, depicting a young black princess who starts to question what it means to be a princess—and, instead of waiting for her prince charming to save her from imprisonment in a tower, trades her dress for armor and does something about the situation.
“I have two daughters who are both young women of color, and I wanted them to see themselves reflected in this fairy tale where they often don’t get to see themselves reflected,” Whitley told Men’s Health. “And that sort of blew up into a larger thing over time that’s still ongoing.”
His latest accomplishment is bringing a nuanced understanding of mental health, and bipolar disorder in particular, to Marvel’s current Unstoppable Wasp series that he’s writing. (Issue No. 5 recently came out, and Issue No. 6 will be released on April 10.) …
You can read the rest of Paul Schrodt’s article at Men’s Health.
In the fifth edition of the “Unstoppable Wasp” comic, protagonist Nadia Van Dyne (known as the Unstoppable Wasp in superhero form) comes to terms with her mental illness.
Jeremy Whitley, writer of “Unstoppable Wasp,” said it was important to him and his editor to represent mental illness in a superhero’s life — particularly because in the past, comics have often associated mental illness with villains. …
Continue reading Juliette Virzi’s article at The Mighty.
This article from The Mightydiscusses Nadia’s Bipolar Disorder. It also includes links to other articles about fictional characters dealing with mental health issues.
In Issue No. 5 of the Unstoppable Wasp, which arrives in comic stores on Wednesday, the title hero comes to a realization: “I need help. I think I’m bipolar … and I don’t think I can handle this alone.”
I got a chance to discuss The Unstoppable Wasp, and specifically, Nadia’s bipolar diagnosis, with Marvel.com.
Since the very beginning, Marvel Comics has presented its Super Heroes as, above all else, people.
Matt Murdock manages his blindness, Bruce Banner copes with his anger, and Charles Xavier contends with his paralysis while, concurrently, Daredevil protects Hell’s Kitchen, the Hulk smashes Super Villains, and Professor X leads a school of gifted youngsters.
While these characteristics are what help make our heroes human, they do not define them or weaken them; they’re simply a part of who they are.
In the same way, today’s UNSTOPPABLE WASP #5 sees its eponymous hero at a crossroads in her life. As Nadia Van Dyne encounters her mental illness for the first time, she and the Agents of G.I.R.L. grapple with its powerful effects while never losing sight of their love for—and responsibilities to—themselves and each other.
Lizzy Garcia, writer for But Why Tho? The Podcast, and I discussed the legacy and future of Rainbow Brite … and my love of Steven Universe.
But Why Tho: Why do you think Rainbow Brite is so important?
Whitley: I think Rainbow Brite is important because it is a story where the hero solves many of the problems by talking to others and making an attempt to understand them. Rainbow Brite, in what was a pretty rare move in the 80’s, demonstrates what are generally held to be feminine attributes in a heroic way. The emphasis isn’t on strength, anger, will, determination, rage or any of that. Rainbow Brite saves the day using kindness, compassion, empathy, and love. I feel like there are some adults out there that could learn a lot from characters like her and Steven Universe.
Garcia, Lizzy. “Rainbow Brite: Shining Light on a Franchise – An Interview with Jeremy Whitley” But Why Tho? The Podcast. 2 February 2019.
I got to join the Ladies of Valhalla – Sarah Miles, Bronwyn Kelly-Seigh and Jessica Garris-Schaeffer – to talk about some comics!
Ladies of Valhalla is a Talking Comics podcast. Each month, they discuss media either produced by female or female-identifying creators or featuring female or female-identifying characters. You can find Sarah, Bronwyn and Jessica on Twitter (@ValhallaLadies) or Facebook (ValhallaLadies).
Heroic Girls: One of the core ideas of Heroic Girls is that by providing better and more varied role models for girls, pop culture can have a positive impact on the real world. Looking over your body of work, is it safe to say that you share that belief?
Jeremy Whitley: No doubt. That was part of my motivation for creating Princeless in the first place. I was looking to create a comic with a heroine whom my daughter could see her self in. Adrienne is a princess, but she is also a warrior. She doesn’t need a prince to save her. Unstoppable Wasp as a book had largely the same mission statement. We had Nadia and Janet (the original Wasp), but we also introduced a cast of other girl geniuses that reflected the real world population of New York City. We have Taina (our Puerto Rican engineer and robot maker), Shay (our African-American physicist), Ying (our Chinese chemist), and Priya (our Indian American botanist). The group reflects both a diversity of experiences and a diversity of expertise. Everybody is a bit different, but they have two shared passions: science and saving the world.
Marcotte, John. “Interview: The Unstoppable Wasp’s Jeremy Whitley”. Heroic Girls. 8 Jan. 2019
But Why Tho? The Podcast reviews Rainbow Brite #3.
Rainbow Brite continues to be a delightful adventure that feeds the nostalgia which is so popular right now. Reboots are all the rage and similar to She-Ra, Rainbow Brite keeps true to the source material but successfully updates it for the modern reader, young and old. I highly recommend this book to fans of the original series but also anyone who enjoys She-Ra, Hilda, or similar stories that focus on the whimsy of childhood and colorful adventures.
Rainbow Brite #3 is available at comic stores and digital retailers everywhere January 2, 2019.
Rating: 4/5 Color Guardians
Garcia, Lizzy. “ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Rainbow Brite,” Issue #3” But Why Tho? The Podcast. 26 December 2018
Recap The role reversal, which includes a young female protagonist rescuing the big bad wolf, (good insight) provides the intrigue and infuses the story with hope. Wisp is fun, feisty, courageous and, most of all, compassionate. She is able to see past outward appearances to the heart of the matter, which is a powerful example for any young person. I highly recommend this beautiful tale to children and parents of young children.