ByErin Fitzgerald, writer at
I'm Erin Fitzgerald, I'm a graphic designer based out of Charleston, South Carolina. It's no secret that I love animated films and comics. I
Erin Fitzgerald

No. No it isn't.

NowThis, a multimedia website that is following in the bleak footsteps of Buzzfeed, has been spreading around a video sporting a "body positive superhero", one we've all been waiting for. The following clip is in the video in question.

Let me give you a little bit of background on this....long awaited "superhero." This character, who's superhero name is Zephyr, (a name completely ripped off from a gorgeous African American female superhero from Marvel) is from a comic book series called Harbinger, published by Valiant Comics. This series start in the 90's, and stopped in 1995. After a long hiatus, the series picked up again in 2008, and became an ongoing series in 2012. Zephyr is one of their heroes. Her name is Faith Herbert, and when she isn't using her telekinesis and flying powers, she is a reporter on a digital media website.

Because we haven't heard that story before, right? No other superhero has EVER been able to fly and work for a news company before!

Now, I don't know the complete story behind the Harbinger series. I've read a couple comics, particularly the ones with Zephyr, and I had to stop. In my opinion, the writing is completely juvenile, it spells things out like their audience is of the 5-8 years of range. Actually, that might be giving 8 year olds less credit than they deserve. Look at the example below.

They actually say "Harada's the bad guy.". My god.

Besides being a lackluster hero with under par writing, that is not what has me annoyed with this comic book character.

NowThis is a particular brand of media that makes my blood boil. In my opinion, half the reason there is still so much sexism when it comes to women in the comic industry, is because of websites like NowThis and Cosmo.

When you care more about the weight and social agenda of your comic book character, than the lore behind them, you're doing comic books wrong. NowThis is promoting this bland character as the ONLY body positive hero we've ever had, just for their own propaganda needs. They didn't even care to mention that she's been around for over 2 decades, not just "been around for awhile."

Are you ready for me to upset a LOT of people who might read this?

Zephyr isn't a body positive hero.

I don't even think Valiant Comics made this character with that idea in mind. She was created in 1992, long before the body positive movement even started. It just so happens she is getting her own spin off, for one reason or another. And to me, this isn't because of some social or political move.

I am against shaming people who actually try to love themselves, regardless of your size or skin color. But since when did being extremely obese translate to "body positive". Being body positive means promoting healthy life choices, loving yourself, and doing what you can to better yourself as a person. To me, taking a character who is obese, and saying that THIS is body positive, and not the hundreds of other female superheros who may be thin, or even average like Jessica Jones, is the exact opposite of body positive. It shames other people for even LIKING the thinner or bustier or less than average heroes.

Another point: Why do people try so hard to make superheroes look like normal people.

The entire point of a superhero is that they are SUPER. They are not real. Half of them come from mythology, the other half are aliens, and a part of them have been infected by weird chemicals. They are not normal people. They are under no obligation to look or act normal.

Do I think we should just get rid of overweight characters like Zephyr? Absolutely not. If people like her, that's great. I'm glad. Please continue reading and enjoying her comics.

But when terrible websites like NowThis try to use comics as propaganda, that's where I draw the line. People enjoyed comics when it was just an art form, when they were there to tell stories. Using them as a social platform, when I'm more than sure they didn't even take a minute to research that character, is deplorable to me.

Again, if you enjoy Harginger comics, good for you. I'm not here to stop you. Remember, this is just my opinion. If you disagree, that's okay too.


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