*spoilers involved here*
Watching Tin Man on Netflix, I realized that I love me some Azkadellia. In fact, the downslope of the mini-series for me starts when D.G. (Zooey Deschanel’s next gneration “Dorothy Gale”) remembers that Azkedellia isn’t really an evil sorceress–she’s actually her sister possessed by an ancient, really evil sorceress.
(Correspondingly, the best part of the series is when an adolescent albeit possessed “Az” sucks the life out of her little sis while quoting ominous but musical nursery rhymes about their future battle to the death. But I digress….)
All of which reminded me that sometimes the character we really root for is the villain. Double if the villain is a woman. Double oodles if it is a woman of color.
When I sat down and really thought about it, there are a couple other spec fic bad girls who make me want to jump up and down and dabble in the dark arts:
Azkadellia (Tin Man): Sexy, sensual and a full on sociopath. She killed her sister at twelve years old, staged a coup, imprisoned her mother in a weird looking ashtray thing and rolls her eyes at pesky little things like torture. Her biggest turn-ons: Eternal darkness under a double eclipse while she holds old green jewelry in her hand. Frosty.
Mama Orc (Lord of the Rings): Neither Peter Jackson nor Tolkein’s did women or people of color any favors in their epic look at the battle between good and evil in Middle-earth. And I was fine with Jackson’s orcs being all male–its like they represented every slimy street harasser I ever encountered on the streets of D.C. But then BFP suggested look again, and lo and behold, the gender continuum on our Uruk Hai kind of pitches binaries overboard. Which works for me because all of that white is right, Aragorn is the light, blah blabbity blah got a bit old by the end. Even if she does get killed in the first round, Mama Orc was definitely the baddest bitch in the room.
Ursula (Little Mermaid): At this rate I could include pretty much every evil sorceress Disney put out, but I’ll stick with my the professor emeritus of my Princess Movie alma mater. I used to watch Little Mermaid over and over, boohooing with each viewing, wondering what would happen to Ariel now that she left her family beneath the sea for some random guy in a foreign land (and you wonder why this generation of women is so jacked up?) and secretly wondering if Daddy drove her to it. But I could never conjure any real angst against Ursula. Jazzy song, gangsta purple powers and full-figured to boot. You could say she was just misunderstood. You can’t tell me she doesn’t suggest Disney’s questionable relationship to women, sexuality and race…but that is for another post.
Brazilian Neteru (The Hunted, A Vampire Huntress Legend): Damalia is hard core but in #3 of L. A. Banks excellent and still underplayed Vampire Huntress Legends, the character that really got my attention was the Brazilian Neteru. This sexy, evil and deadly manifestation was actually a vampire possessed by the ghost/spirit/memory of a Neteru raped and killed by the Portuguese on their first round-the-world. Damalia killed her in the end but there is something about those chickens coming home to roost that made me sad she had to go. Can’t we all be friends?
I’m sure there’s more but I’m going to watch Azkedellia such the life out of the Wizard of Oz. Paz.