A week or so back I noticed something… interesting about the contemporary fantasy comic Misfile: Ash was starting to adjust to being a woman. By that I don’t mean she was putting on dresses and makeup and accepting her life was better being a girl than it was as a boy, though we’ve not yet seen one significant metric showing why her life was better as a boy – as a girl she’s talking to her mother again, has a deep friendship with Emily if not exactly the type of relationship she subconsciously craves, managed to (with angelic support) help another young woman come to terms with the loss of her sister (and put that sister’s ghost to rest), and on down the line. Rather, Ash is starting to wonder more about her female aspect’s life.
The irony is that it took one of the comic’s antagonists, Cassiel, to (indirectly) bring about this introspection. In a rather (amusingly) humanizing turn, Cassi has been working to improve the spirits of another teenage girl, Eponine (which I talked about earlier, and has been a refreshing expansion of the secondary cast of the comic). After Eponine seemed enthused to see Ash, our protagonist started navel-gazing about that most taboo of topics, What Would Female-Ash Do. Or more specifically, she was wondering how close her other self been with Eponine prior to waking up at the start of the comic and realizing she didn’t have balls any more.
Nor can Ash rely on Emily to help out here either; as Ash was a year younger than the “old” Emily, “he” had been off Emily’s radar (that, and old Emily was so focused on getting into a top college she never bothered to live life; in Emily’s case there’s no denying the grass is greener on this side of the fence). So in many ways Ash is flying blind here; she can’t really ask anyone else what she’d been like “before” without potentially difficult questions arising. What is more interesting is the potential ramifications to this: Ash is being reconciled to being a young woman, and subconsciously at least has become resigned to the fact she’s not going to become her old male self any time soon. While this might not be the sense of body horror that I noticed with She !s Me!, I should give kudos where they are deserved.