Women in Refrigerators Supercut is Depressing and Amazing

Thursday, 14 August 2014 - 4:56PM
Thursday, 14 August 2014 - 4:56PM
Women in Refrigerators Supercut is Depressing and Amazing
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This Women in Refrigerators round-up is hilarious and takes no prisoners:


[Credit: Loose Meat]


The original Woman in Refrigerator was Alex DeWitt, Green Lantern's girlfriend who was killed by his arch-nemesis and literally stuffed into a refrigerator. This brutal death motivated Green Lantern to face his enemy head-on and ultimately defeat him, and writer Gail Simone coined the term in 1999 as a general term for fictional characters who are killed, raped, maimed, or depowered, usually in order to provide the male protagonist with motivation or afford him emotional depth. Rachel Dawes from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight is one of the most straightforward examples. She's supposedly a strong, smart, idealistic woman, but every scene she's in is about her dating life. She's never shown to have any thoughts or agenda that's separate from Bruce Wayne or Harvey Dent, and then she's unceremoniously blown up in order to provide motivation for not one, but two male protagonists. The wife from Braveheart is another good one (See? I can't even remember her name!). She has maybe ten minutes of screen time, during which time her entire purpose is being sweet-natured and being rescued from rape by the protagonist, before her throat is slit and her death inspires William Wallace to free the Scots from tyrannical rule. Because Lord knows human rights violations aren't enough of a motivator. 


The case of a character like Gwen Stacy is a little more complex, because in the Amazing Spider-Man movies she was shown to have her own goals and her own life outside of her relationship with Peter. But then it almost becomes all the more tragic when a relatively well-rounded character is reduced to a transparent contrivance to add pathos to the proceedings.


Many of these are less straightforward than Rachel Dawes or Nameless Wife, but the video's main purpose is to demonstrate the sheer number of examples, which is extremely sobering. Here is Loose Meat's accompanying (not at all comprehensive) list of Women in Refrigerators:


All of Savage Dragon's girlfriends (dead)

Alysande Stuart (dead)

Amethyst (blinded, merged with Gemworld, destroyed in LSH; became a power-hungry witch in Book of Fate)

Apparition (one of her three bodies dead, soul bound to boyfriend)

Aquagirl (dead)

Arisia (dead)

Aurora (Multiple Personality Disorder, depowered)

Batgirl I (paralyzed)

Batwoman (dead)

Betty Banner (abused, changed into a harpy, multiple miscarriages, dead)

Mrs. Brian Banner, Bruce's mother (murdered by her abusive husband)

Black Canary I (dead)

Black Canary II (tortured, made infertile, depowered)

Blink (dead)

Bluebird (dead)

Buf from X-Man (crippled)

Candy Southern (dead)

Captain Marvel II/Photon (depowered, ceded code name to a male hero)

Carol Ferris/Star Sapphire (turned into a villain by the Zamarons, possessed by the Predator)

Celsius (insane, dead, called delusional liar)

Christine Helvin of Troublemakers (victim of date rape, discovered she could never have children because she was no longer human)

Courtney Ross (dead)

Crimson Fox (both sisters dead)

Dart (crippled)

Dawn Allen (dead)

Dawnstar (wings cut off, possessed by another persona)

Diamond Lil (kidnapped, experimented on by own government, developed benign breast tumor)

Domino (kidnapped, tortured)

Dove II (dead)

Dr. Midnight of Infinity, Inc. (dead)

Elasti-Girl (only original Doom Patroller to stay dead)

Electrocute (dead)

Elektra (the real one... dead)

Element Girl (dead)

Enchantress of Suicide Squad - originally a heroine (turned evil, insane, depowered?)

Firebelle (dead)

Firestar (powers were sterilizing her)

Frances Kane/Magenta (stalker complex)

Fury II (child kidnapped, husband killed twice, insane)

Gwen Stacy (dead)

Hawkwoman (depowered)

Hellcat (dead)

Huntress I (dead)

Huntress II (sexually abused)

Ice (dead)

Illyana Rasputin (kidnapped and raised by demons, aged, de-aged, dead)

Invisible Woman (miscarriage of second child)

Jade (lost natural powers)

Jarella (dead)

Jean DeWolff (dead)

Jean Loring Palmer ("nervous breakdown")

Jet of New Guardians (died in battle after contracting HIV)

Jocasta (deactivated - more than once)

Karen Page (addicted to drugs, made porn films, infected with HIV, dead)

Katma Tui (dead)

Kinetix (depowered twice, catatonic)

Kole (dead)

Lady Flash (evil, dead)

Lady Quark (dead)

Laurel Gand (dead)

Laurel Kent (revealed to be an evil robot, dead)

Linda Park (kidnapped, removed from history)

Looker (now a vampire)

Madelyn Pryor (clone, brood mare, demon queen, dead, brought back)

Mantis (child taken away, dead)

Marlo Chandler — Rick Jones' wife (former prostitute, killed and brought back mindless; got better)

Marrina (insane, dead)

Mentalla of LSH (dead)

Mera (insane, child murdered)

Mirage of Team Titans (impregnated by rape)

Mockingbird (abducted and mind-manipulated into a relationship, dead)

Moira MacTaggert (diseased)

Ms. Marvel I/Warbird (mind-controlled, impregnated by rape, powers and memories stolen, cosmic-powered then depowered, alcoholic - SHEESH!)

Ms. Marvel II (became a monster in Fantastic Four, de-monstered but enslaved by Dr. Doom, depowered)

Mystek of JLTF (dead)

Namorita (revealed to be a clone, reverted to a more primal Atlantean form)

Negative Woman (depowered)

Nightshade (depowered)

Nightwind (dead)

Nova II/Frankie Raye (dead)

Phoenix I (evil-dead-who knows)

Power Girl (depowered, magically impregnated, made vulnerable to unprocessed natural materials... like sharp sticks)

Psylocke (eyes removed, eviscerated, depowered, mind-swapped)

Rachel Summers/Phoenix II (lobotomized)

Raven (sometimes evil, sometimes dead)

Red Guardian II (kidnapped and brainwashed into the love-slave of a super-villain)

Redwing of Team Titans (dead)

Revanche (dead)

Rogue (just plain messed up)

Roulette (dead)

Scarlet Witch (children 'die'/vanish/are lost because they are figments of her imagination)

Serpentine Shrinking Violet (lost a leg in Giffen's Legion)

Shvaughn Erin (turned into a man)

Silver Sorceress (dead)

Snowbird (child and husband murdered, insane, dead)

Spider-Woman I (dead for a while, depowered)

Starfire (raped, tortured, enslaved; forced into marriage... twice)

Storm (depowered, repowered, periodically crazy to one degree or another)

Supergirl, pre-Crisis (dead)

Supergirl, PAD version (lost her invisibility and most of her shapeshifting)

SW6 Projectra (dead)

Tarot (dead, brought back w/life bound to an evil man)

Threnody (dead)

Tigra (devolved into cat-thing)

Triplicate Girl (one body killed, one presumed dead but revealed to be Glorith's pawn)

Wildcat II (dead) Wolfsbane (locked in werewolf form for awhile, needs major therapy)

Wonder Girl I/Troia/Darkstar (identity and powers stripped from her multiple times)

Wonder Woman (killed, revived, but lost goddess powers)

Zatanna (powers severely limited)

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