Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Megas XLR Wednesday: Kiva

Kiva is the warrior from the future who acts as the straight man to all of Coop’s absent-minded, self-important, materialistic idiocy. Kiva acts as an all-in-one recap/exposition/outsider, often by reminding her painfully oblivious cohorts of the dangers of the situation they’re in. Megas XLR prophetically pokes fun at the irrelevancies of first world culture, years before The Jersey Shore managed to explode those irrelevancies with a metaphorical violence no giant robot could hope to match. It’s Kiva that expresses certain levels of distain for these cultures, even while she learns that there are benefits to a world where constant warfare isn’t…um, constant.

I’d compare Kiva, with her badassery and laser focus, to a soldier coming home from a war zone, but I don’t think that’s quite right. Soldiers aren’t outsiders, really. They’ve existed within a radically different culture and environment for some time, but they’re essentially still one of us. If anything, Kiva is more akin to a violent extremist whose only way forward with her war is to help a Jersey idiot (and his sidekick) pilot a giant robot. I know that "she's like a ninja terrorist, but turned down to '5'," isn't the highest endorsement I can give, but trust me.

Especially with all of the hubbub in the comics community about women and when and how and why they have sex this week, I can appreciate Kiva because she’s not just “the female.” The only men who seem interested in her are portrayed as clearly skeevy. The one episode based around a guy being interested in her depicts him as a creepy fetishist who, though handsome, does nothing to draw Kiva’s eye. I like her because she manages to be a character who’s a talented warrior focused on her mission and who—say it with me now—just happens to be a female.

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