Case of the Missing Heroines (From the files of Chik Chaos: Pop Culture P.I.)Written by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The golden sun was setting over the Hollywood Hills like a giant, circular pat of butter on top of a Tinseltown-shaped mound of mashed potatoes. I sat in my office, staring out the window, a Marlboro dangling from my mouth. I used to puff on Camels, but folks would always wonder why I kept a large, double-humped animal around just to blow in its ear, so I switched to cigarettes. My case file was as barren as Amanda Bynes’ audition schedule. I needed a job worse than Howard Hughes needed a trip to a manicurist.
Suddenly, there she was. The woman in front of my desk had more curves than the Autobahn and hills more golden than anything California had ever seen. Her raven-colored hair offset her pelican-colored skin. She wore a skin-tight red, white and blue costume that made me feel more patriotic than I had in years. Though I was sitting, I stood in salute.
She gave me a look that most would mistake for a combination of disgust and revulsion. Being the expert at reading people I was, I knew it was thinly veiled longing. She wanted to do nasty things with me. Why else would she have brought the rope?
“Are you … Chik Chaos?” she finally asked.
“Chik Chaos, Pop Culture P.I.,” I confirmed. I took a subtle drag on my cig and gave her the eye. The slight retch she responded with confirmed my suspicions about her intentions. She wanted this. Who wouldn’t? “And you are?”
“Nice to meet you, Princess Diana.” She sighed in what others would mistake for exasperation. “What brings you to my office, honey?”
She winced in lust. “Yeah, I’m gonna need you to never call me ‘honey’ again, unless you want to drink your meals through a straw for the next few months.”
Hard to get. I liked it. “What brings you here, Princess, other than my raw sexual magnetism?”
“Prince. Diana Prince,” she said with sultry anger. “I was told you’re the best there is at pop culture investigation. If there was someone else better, believe me, that’s where I’d be going.”
“Oh, I’m the best, Doll,” I said. She slammed her fist on my desk, breaking it in half. Ooh, this dame liked it rough. “I personally solved the J.R. Ewing shooting and tracked down John Galt. Nice guy. Had lunch with him. He didn’t tip our server.
“If you got a pop culture crime, I’m your man.”
“Oh, I got a crime,” she said, slinking into the chair across from my demolished desk. “I wanna know why I don’t have a movie yet.”
“Hey, babe, not everyone gets a movie. I mean, you got great fashion sense and gams to die for, but I don’t … ”
She grabbed me by the throat and lifted me in the air. I had her right where I wanted her. “No, you sexist pigsty,” she growled. “I wanna know why every male superhero in the universe has garnered their own movie and virtually no female hero has yet.”
“Gccckkkk,” I responded thoughtfully. She dropped me to the ground.
“Superman. Batman. Spider-Man. Daredevil. Iron Man. Green Lantern. Thor. Captain America. And many, many, many more,” she stated. “Every guy in tights seems to get a shot at big-screen glory. Hell, Spidey and Hulk have already gotten reboots, for Hera’s sake.”
She paced around my office as I pulled myself, still coughing, onto my chair. “I mean, I’ve moved more comics than a lot of these heroic also-rans ever will, and I’m still waiting,” Diana said. “Now Marvel’s announced a ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movie. ROCKET RACCOON gets a movie before I do?”
“But …” I choked out of my half-crushed windpipe, still turning on that old Chik Chaos charm. “There have been female superheroes in movies … ”
“Oh, sure,” the Princess retorted. “We always get a slot or two in an ensemble. Storm. Jean Grey. Black Widow. But not top billing. We’ve gotten ‘Catwoman’ and ‘Electra,’ the end.”
“And they both flopped,” I said, trying to dig my smokes out of the wreckage of my desk. “Maybe people just don’t want to …”
“Sure, they both flopped,” she retorted. “You know why? Because they sucked. If there was an awesome movie based on a female hero, I’d bet you it’d draw big. Look at the ‘Underworld’ movies.”
She sighed. “I mean, for decades it’s been the ‘big three’ — Supes, Bats, me. And what do I get? One classic TV series, then …nothing? They leave a reboot in the hands of the ‘Boston Legal’ guy? And now, an ‘origin series’ at CW. Still no big screen for the third of the big three. It’s just … stupid.”
“Okay,” I said. “I’ll do some digging for you.”
“Thanks,” she said simply.
“No problem, Toots,” I responded.
I woke up in the hospital three weeks later. They’d had to surgically move my chin back to the correct part of my face.
I still think it counts as first base.
Email Toledo Free Press Star Pop Culture Editor Jeff McGinnis at PopGoesJeff@gmail.com.