The “distaff counterpart” is a trope with a long history. There seems to be a fascination in pop culture with giving male characters a female counterpart. The first example that comes to mind for many is Mickey and Minnie Mouse. There could be a lot of reasons this trope is so ubiquitous and there have been many arguments as to why. It’s easier than creating an original character, it’s a product of the age old stereotype that women are just pale imitations of men, it’s because some guys felt uncomfortable with how much they wanted to bang their manly hero and therefore created a girl version to target their affection towards instead, etc.
With comics, the explanation is a little more straightforward most of the time- it’s for copyright purposes. If DC doesn’t copyright Supergirl, that gives some other company the right to use the name and they can’t have that.
A distaff counterpart character isn’t necessarily a bad character. They can be quite well done and become great characters in their own right. Some of my favorite characters fall into the trope. There’s no bigger fan of Batgirl and Supergirl than me. However, sometimes it can get downright ridiculous and even hilarious. So let’s dive into some of the weirdest distaff counterparts the world of entertainment has to offer. Do you have any to add? Say so in the comments.
Thor Girl is an alien named Tarene who made herself an Asgardian goddess. There’s nothing inherently ridiculous about the character, it’s just her name that’s kind of weird. “Thor” isn’t actually a title, but Thor’s actual name, so it’s kind of weird to just stick “girl” on the end of it. It’s like if Jean Grey gained a sidekick named Jean-Boy. However, the name Thor can apparently be passed on much like a title as the female version of Thor currently running around shows. It’s just…awkward to try to modify it, though.
There’s something slightly alarming about seeing an alien parasite in a brokeback boobs-and-butt pose. The twisted up face and wall of sharp teeth are probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think “sexy”. On top of that, the female version of the Spider-Man villain is unfortunately saddled with the terrible name “She-Venom”.
Her story is as tragic as her name and appearance. She was Eddie Brock’s ex-wife who bonded with the symbiote after being shot by some dudes. She then killed said dudes. Later she decided to commit suicide as a result of seeing Spider-Man in his black suit bought back her trauma or something like that. The story doesn’t seem to have much point other than being a sobering reminder that Spider-Man’s fashion choices can cost lives.
What really makes Lady Deadpool’s appearance is the random blonde ponytail sticking out of her mask, to make sure we all know she’s a girl. Lady Deadpool was from an alternate universe and was part of a band of rebels fighting against U.S. loyalists. However, she was far from alone in being a spin-off of Deadpool- she joined with Headpool (a floating head), Kidpool (you can guess) and Dogpool (YUP) to form the Deadpool Corps.