Women in Refrigerators


This is a list I made when it occurred to me that it’s not that healthy to be a female character in comics. I’m curious to find out if this list seems somewhat disproportionate, and if so, what it means, really.

These are superheroines who have been either depowered, raped, or cut up and stuck in the refrigerator. I know I missed a bunch. Some have been revived, even improved — although the question remains as to why they were thrown in the wood chipper in the first place.

I know I missed a bunch — I just don’t know my comics deaths the way I should. I’m not editorializing — I’m just curious to find out what you guys think it means, if anything.

The preceding letter was written and sent by me when I realized one day that most of my favorite female comics characters had met untimely and often icky ends. The history of the idea and this site are listed here, and the responses from various comics professionals are listed here.

An important point: This isn’t about assessing blame about an individual story or the treatment of an individual character and it’s certainly not about personal attacks on the creators who kindly shared their thoughts on this phenomenon. It’s about the trend, its meaning and relevance, if any. Plus, it’s just fun to talk about refrigerators with dead people in them. I don’t know why.

Gail Simone, March 1999

The list, as compiled by Gail Simone

Perry Moore’s list about the treatment of LGBT superheroes in comic books

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