The Refrigerator Monologues
By: Catherynne M. Valente
A short book in which Valente gives six of comics most famous “fridged” women the chance to tell their tales from Dead Town. Fridging women is the practice of killing, maiming, raping, disabling and numerous other things your female characters for the progress of the male superhero.
While it’s obvious who they are the real names are not used. But it’s pretty easy to go through the list Gwen Stacy, Jean Grey (who can’t even enjoy her afterlife due to the retconning- poor thing), Harley Quinn, Mera, Karen Page and Alexandra DeWitt (the actual fridged woman.)
Okay first, this book was really beautifully written. Valente is one of my favorite writers for a reason. To be honest I probably had to highlight and look up the definition of more words in this book than any other recently. But hey, I learned something!
Even though the names are changed most of the stories are really obvious. Karen Page however is wildly different from the show (I hope it stays that way) and apparently pretty different from the comics.
Not really knowing anything about Aquaman I do have to say:
THAT’s WHAT THEY DO TO MERA???
In the end though I was really hoping for something more. Sure it’s interesting to hear what she makes of the ladies thoughts about their lives. (Not generally happy.) There are a couple of barbed and snarky asides but it doesn’t really go any deeper or make any real point about the practicing of fridging. Their deaths are also described again in detail.
Here Alexandra’s was definitely the saddest. Her poor cat dies with her as well!
It could be on my end but I was really hoping for more. Since she wasn’t using real names why not have all the women rise up and retake their fates? Why not have them talking to the second girlfriends and wives. Some of whom it’s pointed out are more traditionally not involved in any of the action girlfriends.
Worth noting that I do believe things are getting better. Probably in large part because of translating these stories to movies and television.
Recommend: Eh. 50/50. It’s fast and intriguing and beautifully written. Content wise there’s nothing really new here.