We actually recorded this episode WAY back in January, just after Biden’s inauguration in the US. So, naturally, there is a bit of politics in this one given how wrapped up we all were in what was going on… you’ve been warned!

An eye for an eye. You hurt me, I’ll hurt you right back. Not the healthiest mindset, but brilliant for storytelling. 

From the petty fighting of The Illiad to the glorious efforts of Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, revenge narratives have kept us entertained for centuries. 

Revenge stories are commentaries on justice and fairness, inequality, and human nature. Can we ever wish comeuppance on those who do us wrong without losing a part of ourselves? Or is revenge protected by a kind of righteousness that forgives any and all actions taken in the course of enacting it? Is satisfaction really so elusive for anyone seeking retribution? 

We are very lucky to have Marjorie Liu here with us to help us answer these questions and more, particularly the role of women in revenge narratives. You may know Marjorie from her award-winning comic series Monstress, her contributions to the Marvel and Star Wars universes, her paranormal romance series, or urban fantasy novels! And within her incredible back catalogue exists a recurring theme: revenge. 

As Marjorie so eloquently says in the episode: ‘What is revenge if not an inability to grieve?’

Texts mentioned in this episode include:

  • The Illiad by Homer
  • The Princess Bride
  • Phineas and Ferb
  • Unforgiven
  • John Wick
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • Kill Bill
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • The Crow
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  • Gladiator
  • 9 to 5
  • Hall of Smoke by H.M. Long
  • True Grit

Marjorie Liu

Marjorie Liu is an attorney and New York Times bestselling novelist and comic book writer. Her work at Marvel includes X-23, Black Widow, Han Solo, Dark Wolverine and Astonishing X-Men, for which she was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for outstanding media images of the LGBTQ community. She is also the co-creator of Monstress from Image Comics, which has won multiple Hugo Awards, British Fantasy Awards, the Harvey Award, and five Eisner Awards, making Liu the first-ever woman (and woman of color) to win an Eisner in the Best Writer category. She teaches comic book writing at MIT.

The Tangleroot Palace: Stories is out now from Tachyon Publications.