madeline joyce

Invaders Profile: Madeline Joyce-Frank AKA Miss America:

Character History
(Note: This is a combination of modern stories a might not fit her 1940’s origin 100%) Madeline was involved in an accident involving lightening hitting scientific equipment and woke up with the abilities to fly and had extraordinary strength, so she became a superhero. When every Invader but Bucky was captured by the Red Skull, she was part of the Liberty Legion Bucky formed to help get them back. After The Invaders were rescued, the Liberty Legion remained in America to protect the homefront during WWII (because America was so threatened…). 

At some point she joined the Invaders proper because Toro and Bucky left to be part of the Kid Commandos. 

After WWII, the Liberty Legion and and The Invaders both disbanded, but The Human Torch, Toro, Bucky (Fred Davis) II, Captain America II (William Nasland) and III (Jeff Mace), Namor, and The Whizzer (Robert Frank)  joined Miss America in the All-Winners squad. Though publicly "Captain America" leaded the quad, behind the scenes, Miss America is often shown to be the one actually calling the shots and handling team issues. For a short while, she and Jeff feed public speculation that Captain America and Miss America are an item, until she announces she’s actually engaged to The Whizzer. 

And now she gets hit by “Woman in Comics Syndrom”
Her baby first baby is a radioactive mutant (Nuklo) and has to be looked away and eventually ends up evil. Then she dies giving birth to her second one, who is still born. (fun comic crack fact: the mid wife tried to give baby twins Wanda and Pietro to the Whizzer, but he refused).

It’s later revealed that Miss America was in hell for being racist. However, she is brought back to life for 24 hours and falls in love with The Anarachist (who is a black man) and they both leave hell to go to heaven.  

Real World Information
Miss America was a Marvel Superheroine originally introduced in in 1943 in Marvel Mystery Comics #49. She was an early attempt by Marvel to draw in girl readers to comics and got her own comic Miss America. However, after just one issue, the comic was revamped into a more magazine style to focus on teen-romance, and tips on cooking, make-up, and fashion. Miss America was regulate to somewhere in the back. However, she was also part of the original two issues of the All-Winners team, along with Captain America, Bucky, Toro, Torch, Namor, and The Whizzer.

She was included on The Invaders after an editorial mandate to remove Toro and Bucky from the Team as the feeling was that the kid sidekicks were not liked (also IIRC Roy Thomas the then writer, didn’t want them on the team). 

She’s made several guest appearances in comics over the years. Notable ones include:
- The Invaders (1193 four issue Mini series)
- Captain America: The Patriot (2010 four issue miniseries)
- X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl (2006 miniseries)
- All Winners (2009 75the anniversary One shot)

A small observation:

  • Wanda’s first set of parents: Robert Frank1 and Madeline Joyce, both Golden Age superheroes. Robert was still alive, while Madeline had tragically died.
  • Wanda’s second set of parents: Django1 and Marya Maximoff2, turned out to be her adoptive parents. Django was still alive, while Marya had tragically died.
  • Wanda’s third set of parents: Magneto and Magda2. Magneto was, of course, still alive, while Magda had tragically died.
  • Wanda’s fourth set of parents: Father (unknown) and Natalya Maximoff. We don’t know what happened to her father, but he’s probably alive. Natalya, on the other hand, tragically died.

1. Yes, I know Robert and Django ended up dying too (and then there was the whole business with Marya), but the greater point is about who gets to tell the story of Wanda’s lineage and the trend within the origin stories  themselves.

2. Marya and Magda have no maiden names. Madeline only has one because she was a pre-existing character. 


Who is Susan Storm.

Who is Jean Gray.

Who is Polaris.

Who is Scarlet Witch.

Who is Storm.

Who is Misty Knight.

Who is Black Widow.

Who is Miss America (Madeline Joyce)

Who is Rogue.

Who is Wasp.

Who is Sif.

Who is Valkyrie.

Who is Nova ( Frankie Raye).

Who is M.

Who is Siryn.

Who is Wolfsbane.

Who is Domino.

Who is Ms. Marvel, the one you have on your fucking lunchbox on the 2nd panel.

And I was avoiding she-heroes. Though I don’t know why when female Ghostbusters and fem-Thor are apparently the pinnacle of feminist characters.

Which is why this is called Regressive Left. They aren’t interested in any progress. They will shat and erase any progress that was ever made, solely because they want to be historically remembered for “changing the Status Quo”.

Like a fireman putting out the fire he started.

I don’t want there to be an Agent Carter TV series.

You see when I first saw Captain America: The First Avenger I quite liked it. I didn’t think it was one of the best superhero movies that I’d ever seen but I left the theater happy with the overall product and excited for what would come next.

One of the things I liked most about the movie was Peggy Carter. I thought she was just the right amount of tough, determined, sympathetic and slightly bumbling.Even though her role really was mostly that of the obligatory eye candy/’no-our-superhero-isn’t-gay-see-he likes-this-lady’/a prelude to Sharon Carter, I liked her. I really liked that she was also part of the Strategic Scientific Reserve and thus was working closely with the army.

What I especially liked about her was that she occasionally had to do some fighting, and that she wasn’t extraordinary at it! She was just good. There is a trope called the Exceptional Woman or Exceptional Woman Syndrome, where at least one female (sometimes its Exceptional Women as you’ll see in a minute) character in an action or political setting is AWESOME AND THE BEST and the rest are nonexistent, while only men get to be there and be average. (One good example of this trope can be found in Star Wars where Leia is the only important woman in the whole first series and she’s shown as being much smarter and more capable than most of the men.) In most of the past superhero movies the female characters usually fell onto the categories of either A) not a gun user but very strong through intelligence, heart, courage, etc. or B) THEY KNOW HOW TO FIGHT AND WHOO-WHEE THEY’RE THE BEST AT IT. Look at Natasha/Black Widow. Look at most of the action girls in any action movie; there’s usually just one and that one girl is considered to be one of the all-time best in that stories’ universe, while there are many male characters who are allowed to just be competent. What I loved about Peggy was that she didn’t fit into that trope. She had two fight scenes where she was firing her gun at enemies and that was it. She didn’t come with Steve on his mission to find Bucky and the other soldiers because she knew that it was way, way beyond her capability to help him. She wasn’t recruited to join the Howling Commandos because she wasn’t in their league. Peggy was the woman who’d avoided becoming The Exceptional Woman. I found that so refreshing that I actually considered going to see the movie again in theaters so I could enjoy her scenes and her competent-but-not-extraordinary-skills all over again.

What I did instead of that was look up various interviews with Hayley Atwell regarding the role. One of the first ones I found she made a comment that kind of threw me off. I’m paraphrasing as I can’t remember her exact words but she said that Peggy was nearly as capable of saving Steve as he was of saving her. I thought it was odd that she said that but I shrugged it off and assumed it was for marketing reasons to attract more women. I went on through a couple other interviews of hers, liking a lot of what she said but also frustrated by some of the other comments she made. One thing she said was that Peggy ‘doesn’t really need to be rescued’ and all I could think in response to that was ‘Well yeah she doesn’t go on any very dangerous missions that require her to be rescued, otherwise she definitely would’, not because she’s a woman, but because she’s not the Exceptional Woman and thus isn’t the strongest person in or assisting the army after Captain America, the Howling Commandos and Chester Phillips.

I became very disappointed by just how much Peggy’s capabilities were being talked up behind the scenes. To me her character was no longer the beautifully competent Strategic Scientific Reserve Officer but a faux action girl version of the exceptional woman. I felt cheated. I liked Natasha as the extraordinary woman fighter, I knew Maria Hill and Sharon Carter would be coming in as great woman fighters and I liked the idea of Peggy being the one that was just good, it made her more relatable. Even the official character power grids listed Peggy as having a 3 or 4 in fighting skills while the above three mentioned (especially Natasha) each had scores a good deal higher. What was wrong with Peggy just being average but also brave, intelligent and determined? Because that didn’t make her ‘worthy’ of Captain America’s affection? Because Steve is now some arrogant God-like figure that couldn’t possibly be attracted to anything less than the Exceptional Woman, and thus Peggy had to be made out to be one so she could be his trophy girl?

I was kind of angry by that point because not only was that cheapening Peggy as a character but Steve as well. Never mind that in the comics Steve has dated quite a few girls who were neither gunman nor the Exceptional Woman in their respective career paths. When I eventually watched Captain America again I couldn’t enjoy any of Peggy’s scenes or her moments with Steve anymore. She had been gutted of what made her so appealing to me to begin with.

I recently got to see the Agent Carter one-shot and I liked it. That was the Peggy that I had liked from the beginning; one who was brave and willing to take a risk taking on a mission that would require a bit of luck and careful planning in order for her to pull it off because she didn’t have the strength to do it otherwise. She was able to surprise and take out Zodiac’s gunmen. She got what she came to get, was nearly killed by Zodiac (who has the average strength of a full grown man) but was able to defeat him thanks to her conveniently located trunk of tools.

Seeing her succeed through competence and luck made me so happy; but then I got pissed all over again when I heard they wanted to make a series around her. I get that empowering a woman in that time period is a bit different from empowering a woman in the present day but still there are plenty of other,better and more skilled comic book candidates to make a TV series about. Off the top of my head: Jacqueline Falsworth, Madeline Joyce, Mary Mitchell, Elizabeth Barstow, Betsy Ross, and Mary Morgan are all women from that time period in the comics who have some form of combat skills and bonusthey all have superhero identities! Or don’t go the superhero route and let us get to know Tony’s mother Maria, Nick Fury Jr’s. mother Nia or Agent Cynthia Glass. I would watch the hell out of a show starring any of them, but not one with Peggy. She was the progressive woman in that she got to be a love interest and kick ass with a gun as an AVERAGE Agent.

I wish Hayley and the rest had just sold her exactly as she was, instead of talking her abilities up. I wish they’d said ‘She’s not some one woman fighting platoon the way Black Widow was in Iron Man 2. She’s by no means one of the best at her job but she is good. She works hard, has good aim and is willing to take some big risks for the greater good’.

Because that should have been enough.