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Is Comparing the Avengers to the Powerpuff Girls Meant to Be an Insult?

The Avengers should be so lucky.

Bruce Banner as Professor Hulk in Endgame

Someone over at The Guardian thinks that if Batman and the Joker teamed up for a movie, it would make the Avengers “look like the Powerpuff Girls.” So, right off the bat, a couple of things: 1. That’s not an insult. 2. If I have to watch Batman punch the Joker and then the Joker laugh it off one more time, I’m going to burn Gotham to the ground myself.

The DC universe has given us the Joker and Batman fighting time and time again. It’s like watching Uncle Ben die or Superman realize he’s bulletproof. It’s been done. So the idea that a Batman vs. Joker movie could make the Avengers look like anything other than the Avengers is nonsense, but where I’m confused is with the comparison to the Powerpuff Girls.

Whether you grew up a blonde, brunette, or redhead, you had your favorite of these crime-fighting girls. (I was a Buttercup because she also has green eyes.) But, for many of us, the Powerpuff Girls were our first foray into superheroes and their power. Remember this bop of a theme song?

What’s interesting is that, out of everything they could have chosen, they picked on the Powerpuff Girls—three girls who are exceptionally powerful and took down villain after villain. So why do we think they targeted them? I give you one guess. (It starts with “sex” and ends with “ism.”)

Frankly, I’m exhausted. The idea that women are consistently “less than” in every aspect of life (even superhero fiction) has wrung most of us out and left us shells of people. And sure, it could have been a harmless comparison, but it feels a little too targeted to be just an “oh, it’s a cartoon!” kind of thing—especially because there are plenty of male-centric superhero cartoons that could have been used instead of, you know, one of the few female-led superhero shows we have ever had.

It’s funny, though, that the Powerpuff Girls were meant to be an insult. In what would is being a badass girl with superpowers an insult? What would the Avengers be without their badass ladies? Oh, that’s right, 98% of the onscreen Justice League. (I’m not including my baby, Diana Prince. She’s perfect.) Superhero movies are superhero movies, and we can all like both the DC Extended Universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I’m frankly tired of pitting them against each other just to make one better than the other.

Anyway, the Powerpuff Girls would destroy Batman in one minute because he’s just a really rich detective, so maybe take your sexism and leave Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup out of it.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast.