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Marvel Fandom Profile: Jenny Riddle (Part I)

To highlight the diversity in the Marvel fandom, I’m going to feature a different Marvel-lover in each post, where we’ll talk about their hobbies outside of the fandom, how they became involved in the fandom, and even current events. This week’s feature is Jenny Riddle.

Earlier this year, I virtually met Jenny Riddle while scrolling through the Agent Carter hashtag on Twitter. Jenny loves Agent Carter, she’s a cosplayer, and science fiction lover. She’s also a mother, a freelance writer, and a Christian. Jenny and I connected through our love for Agent Carter and also realized we had a lot more in common than our love for Marvel. I conducted a written interview with Jenny due to both of our hectic schedules that is included below.

Tell us a little about yourself: What do you do for a living?  Favorite movies/shows? Interesting tidbits?

I currently work part-time with Lifeline Children’s Services in communications. We seek to minister to vulnerable children through foster care, domestic and international adoption, and international orphan care. Orphan care is dear to my heart, as my son was adopted. I also do a fair amount of writing and editorial freelance work—anywhere from copywriting to writing Bible study curriculum—when opportunities arise and I have the time. My 24/7 role is as a mom to my son, which is highly rewarding and fun but also sanctifying and exhausting. He’s a joy, and I enjoy being a parent alongside my sweet husband. We love our church and volunteer our time and talent there as much as possible to care for others.

Jenny cosplaying as Agent Carter. (Photo credit: Amy Whitt Photography.)
Jenny cosplaying as Agent Carter. (Photo credit: Amy Whitt Photography.)

My favorite movies generally are in the super hero or inspiration categories (because I want to be one and always enjoy seeing the bad guys go down), although, I’m not sure what category The Goonies fit into but it’s been one of my all-time favorites, as has been the Rocky franchise. Of the super hero genre, the Captain America and Iron Man movies have been my favorites. But, goodness, the Guardians of the Galaxy movie was hilarious, and we have a miniature dancing Groot at home that we love. Really, it’s a challenge to pick a favorite Marvel movie!

I actually don’t watch a lot of TV because I don’t have a lot of time with my schedule, so I’m picky about how I spend that time. We don’t have cable and just use streaming services or our digital antennae, but Agent Carter has been my first appointment viewing in a long time. We also watch Agents of SHIELD, and The Goldbergs never fail to make me laugh so it’s one of my favorites. Of course, with a young child I also enjoy Daniel Tiger, and the Spider-Man cartoons never cease to draw me away from whatever I’m doing and make me sit down and watch! 

I enjoy traveling whenever I can and LOVE to have my passport stamped! I have ridden an elephant in Thailand, maneuvered down the Great Wall of China in a toboggan sled, walked among ancient ruins in Mexico, eaten cow tongue in Argentina (not recommended) and screamed at Portuguese man-of-wars in Hawaiian waters. I enjoy trying new things and having adventures. One time I even walked around the block of a small town in a full-body-size cake suit just to get some free fried Oreos (more amazing that you can imagine). I’d love to go to Europe some day, and one of the things I’d most like to see in the world is the Aurora Borealis.

Since this is The Marvel Report, who is your favorite Marvel character and why?

Well, I’d be remiss to not say Agent Peggy Carter. I love the way she is balanced so well with tenacity, grace, and a strong moral compass. She endeavors to do the right thing at all times no matter the cost but wants to preserve the good in others if possible. She’s strong, smart, courageous, and can kick the pants off of anyone with whatever is lying around her. Her fighting style is a little less polished than Dottie Underwood, but she’s scrappy and does not give up; a stapler has never looked so fantastic in anyone else’s hands.

One of the fun things about Peggy is that she knows who she is as a woman. She never loses her femininity and doesn’t let other people define what it means for her to be a strong, beautiful woman. She is confident that she can beat the snot out of any man while still being fully feminine. And, of course, we can’t talk about Peggy without mentioning her fashion. She can go on a mission in either heels or combat boots and is just as deadly in either one and looks great in both. 

In short, what is your story about how you became involved in Nerd Culture?

I have always enjoyed space and science and had a teacher in third grade who looked and dressed like Indiana Jones, and who wouldn’t want to be an adept adventurous archaeologist in that environment?! When I was young I really wanted to go to space camp. Seriously, I really did. So, I guess you could say that I’ve always had some love of Nerd Culture but did not grow up reading comic books or things like that. I remember watching and loving the Wonder Woman TV show and The Greatest American Hero. But, I just wasn’t as informed or knowledgeable about so many awesome things. However, my husband was a comic book reader, grew up playing Star Wars, knew all about Star Trek, played video games, and knew all kinds of things that I had no clue about. So, when I got married I got to learn all of these cool things and be introduced to so many more. But, I think the first time I realized that I may be advancing more into Nerd Culture was when I sent an email to a network asking that Star Trek: Enterprise not be cancelled! I was in graduate school at the time, and I just really enjoyed watching it and exploring with them; plus, Scott Bakula was in it, and I was a fan of Quantum Leap

Check again for the second part of my interview with Jenny next week! You can find Jenny on Twitter here.