‘Crazy Man-Killing Monsters’

The Inimical Portrayal of the Amazons in Supernatural’s ‘Slice Girls’





Amazons, Warrior women, Classical reception, Supernatural, Monsters


The Amazons have a long legacy in literature and the visual arts, extending from antiquity to the present day. Prior scholarship tends to treat the Amazons as hostile ‘Other’ figures, embodying the antithesis of Greco-Roman cultural norms. Recently, scholars have begun to examine positive portrayals of Amazons in contemporary media, as role models and heroic figures. However, there is a dearth of scholarship examining the Amazons’ inherently multifaceted nature, and their subsequent polarised reception in popular media.

This article builds upon the large body of scholarship on contemporary Amazon narratives, in which the figures of Wonder Woman and Xena, Warrior Princess dominate scholarly discourse. These ‘modern Amazon’ figures epitomise the dominant contemporary trend of portraying Amazons as strong female role models and feminist icons. To highlight the complexity of the Amazon image in contemporary media, this article examines the representation of the Amazons in the Supernatural episode ‘Slice Girls’ (S7 E13, 2012), where their portrayal as hostile, monstrous figures diverges greatly from the positive characterisation of Wonder Woman and Xena. I also consider the show’s engagement with ancient written sources, to examine how the writers draw upon the motifs of ancient Amazon narratives when crafting their unique Amazon characters. By contrasting the Amazons of ‘Slice Girls’ to contemporary figures and ancient narratives, this article examines how factors such as feminist ideology, narrative story arcs, characters’/audience’s perspectives and male bias shape the representation of Amazons post-antiquity.