Justice League Unlimited #20
DC Comics (June, 2006)
“Just Us Girls”
WRITER: Paul D. Storrie
ARTIST: Rick Burchett
COLORING: Heroic Age
COVER ART: Ty Templeton
LETTERER: Travis Lanham
EDITOR: Michael Wright
Mary Marvel shows up to help the Justice League stop Mr. Atom, the robot Captain Marvel usually fights. While visiting the Watchtower she gets to talking with Supergirl about being the “girl version” of a male hero. Supergirl takes her to observe a battle between the New Olympians and the Justice League team of Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Dr. Light, Huntress and Black Canary. While watching Mary realizes something is wrong which helps Supergirl stop the villains’ advantage and allows the team to take them down. Mary Marvel learns that girls can do anything boys can do but the lesson Supergirl wanted her to take away is that it doesn’t matter if it’s a boy or a girl. It matters who has the right skills as far as who goes on a mission, regardless of gender.
What they got right: The message isn’t “girls can do anything boys can do” but how each individual uses their talents. Supergirl compares each of the members on this mission to any of their male colleagues but it was either how they use their powers or individual skills and knowledge that led to them being chosen. They just happened to be an all-female team instead of just being about “girl power”. Kara even points out to Mary that how she uses her powers versus her brother Captain Marvel was a big help and they pretty much have the same power. It’s just Mary is more apt to utilize her wisdom (the “S” in the SHAZAM acronym refers to Solomon after all, at least for Billy–I’m not sure if they’re going with Mary’s powers coming from other inspirations in this story) that the more impulsive Captain. Speaking of the Big Red Cheese, they do reference his leaving the Justice League after the incident with Superman in the cartoon.
What they got wrong: Did anybody tell Kara that Martians do understand gender and that he had a wife that was killed by the invaders? Also, they know Billy is Captain Marvel so even if Mary Marvel is still new in this continuity I’m sure they could figure out she’s his sister if they know anything about him so why keep it a secret that they’re siblings?
Other notes: I didn’t put this in “got wrong” because I need to double check. Was Supergirl still with the Justice League at this time or was she already written out and sent to the future with the Legion Of Super Heroes in her new costume?
Recommendation: This was a great story, though I know some of you out there will complain that it was written by a man instead of a woman. That doesn’t change the message, which is a good one, or the story, which is also enjoyable. Give this an actual read with an open mind and you might enjoy it.