As outlined in the documentary series A History of Scotland (hosted excellently by Neil Oliver), Guy Fawkes may have been part of England’s persecuted Catholic minority, but his “gunpowder treason” was an act of serious xenophobia. His dissatisfaction with King James I/VI had its roots in a fear that James’s reign would contaminate the purity of England as a nation as well as in religious discrimination. The Scottish king had brought an entire Scottish posse to London with him, and now something un-English sat at the very head and heart of the country. If Fawkes had managed to blow up Parliament, he would have eliminated the Scottish threat to England’s integrity.
By succeeding where Fawkes failed, V continues a legacy of dissent that is based on a hatred of the outsider.
The England V seeks to defend is an older, idealized England that once accepted people of color and queer individuals. (Interestingly, though, one of the few queer characters we really see is the leader of the ruling party Adam Susan; he considers women to have “strange sweat and ugly body hair” but remembers talking about “men, naked in bed, rubbing together, rubbing, pushing…”.)
CM: Why webcomics? What are the pros and cons of this media?
KoN: Webcomics are fantastic if you want to share your stories, not necessarily if you want to make money from them. I’m lucky to have a job that I enjoy that doesn’t exhaust me creatively and allows me the time to really draw. Sites like Tumblr are extremely supportive of comics, I’ve found, and I’ve been lucky enough to find an incredible audience that makes sharing comics very rewarding. Financially I’ve been able to make a fair amount through selling digital downloads of Princess Princess along with some extras, and also some merchandise—but I haven’t experimented with doing this on a regular basis. Webcomics give you a chance to really build up a readership, but turning that readership into income is a separate challenge. It’s totally possible though, it just requires some ingenuity and a lot of work.
Sure, Supergirl’s a girl, but she’s a Kryptonian girl. If that isn’t enough to give a bad guy pause, we know exactly who her big cousin is. Sure Batgirl is a girl, but we know who the big daddy of the Bat family is. Shiera is a Thanagarian badass, but we know whose wife she is. Jesse’s a woman and a speedster, but everyone knows who the first and most well-known male speedster is. Essentially there’s an element to the family connections of “you mess with one, you are potentially messing with the entire group”.
Does it make Kate, Babs, Kara and Jesse smart to trade on that recognizability, or weak for having to lean on that logo everyone knows? Their codenames and costumes define them based on which male superhero had the codename and logo first.