Dove as an Example of
As a fairly little-known comic book character, Dove (and her alter ego, Dawn Granger) could easily be ignored. However, I believe there is more worth in her character than is first apparent. To me, Dove represents a "new femininity," a middle ground between the stereotypes under which women have lived for so long.
"New" Femininity: Not Fainting, Not Feminazi, but Something in Between
Modern media, especially comic books, have often portrayed their female characters as being one of two stereotypes: either a fainting, weak girl or a tough, nearly mannish woman; either a virgin or a whore, dainty or badass. While I don't mind women being portrayed as delicate or deadly, I do think that there are quite a few more shades to real femininity than this.
Dove II appears in comics just on the heels of the "power-suit" decade of the '80s, the era of women finally coming into the workplace on their own merits and staying. Thus, her brand of femininity is more assertive and confident, yet she isn't too extreme in either direction, and that in itself is an important distinction.
A Balance Between Grace and Power
For me, Dove marks out a third path, a balance between the existing stereotypes. She is firm (and sassy) when she needs to be, and yet she is gentle when the situation calls for it, too. Always, whether she is operating as Dawn Granger or as Dove, she first advocates for peace, but does not shirk from confrontation when there is no other way to resolve the situation. Hers is an existence of balance, a sense of mental awareness and flexibility that female characters are seldom given. She is both graceful and powerful, neither too delicate for battle nor too tough to allow herself to be vulnerable.
What a refreshing, HUMAN character, amid the sea of female stereotypes in comic books, television, literature, and movies! I believe Dove is perfectly realistic in her human alter ego, and yet just as understandable as a superhero, too. Intelligent, assertive without being overbearing, possessed of reason and restraint without being a wallflower, Dove might just be the role model for women of all ages.