I belong in the refrigerator. Because the truth is, I’m just food for a superhero. He’ll eat up my death and get the energy he needs to become a legend.
Title: The Refrigerator Monologues
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Page Count: 160 pages
Genre: Fantasy // Feminism // Fiction
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★.5
Publisher: Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Buy It: Chapters Indigo
The lives of six female superheroes and the girlfriends of superheroes. A ferocious riff on women in superhero comics
From the New York Times bestselling author Catherynne Valente comes a series of linked stories from the points of view of the wives and girlfriends of superheroes, female heroes, and anyone who’s ever been “refrigerated”: comic book women who are killed, raped, brainwashed, driven mad, disabled, or had their powers taken so that a male superhero’s storyline will progress.
In an entirely new and original superhero universe, Valente subversively explores these ideas and themes in the superhero genre, treating them with the same love, gravity, and humor as her fairy tales. After all, superheroes are our new fairy tales and these six women have their own stories to share.
Do you ever read a book and wonder “wow nothing I say will convey the thoughts I have about it into words”? This is me, right now, with The Refrigerator Monologues. But… I’ll give it a shot.
Basically, I was NOT ready for this. As I read the synopsis I knew I’d like it but I was not prepared for how it would make me FEEL. Let me give you a little bit of a backstory before I dive in.
As a kid, I have always loved superheroes but never truly found female superheroes I liked. There was always something that bothered me which is why I leaned towards the villains. Little did I know as a child there was a reason for this… because the women superheroes ALWAYS take the passenger seat! I wanted more for them and it either ended with them being abused, powerless, killed, or worst of all, used to further the male superhero! For that reason I abandoned the heroes and turned to the villains. I found a niche I loved even though there were multitudes of problems within them as well.
Back to the book at hand. I found myself feeling deeply sad reading this. I wanted to hurl the book out the window (I would never my precious) because of the terrible sadness I felt for these women. It’s the point of view we never see, it’s those heroes I abandoned as a kid because they were always TOSSED ASIDE. These are the women superheroes who have been killed off.. welcome to Deadtown.
This book is dedicated to Gail Simone who was fired from writing the DC comic “Bat Girl”, decreasing the already small number of active female writers in the graphic novel industry. In 1999 Simone created the “Women In Refrigerators” website for comic book fans and outlines all the female characters who are killed, injured or rendered powerless as a plot device. She looks into the WHY, why is this excessively used on females specifically!