The Comic Book Elements Of ABC’s Revenge

Say what you will for ABC, the network certainly doesn’t lack for powerful women in its [...]

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Say what you will for ABC, the network certainly doesn't lack for powerful women in its programming. Agent Peggy Carter, Dr. Miranda Bailey, Molly Parker, Regina Mills, Analiese Keating, Sydney Bristow, Olivia Pope, Melinda May, are some of the examples ABC's legacy.

Long before she was battling Hydra as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, actress Emily VanCamp was playing a double agent of another sort as Emily Thorne, also known to some as Amanda Clarke on ABC's Revenge.

Revenge is the tragic saga of Amanda Clarke, who when she was a little girl, her father, David Clarke, fell in love with a beautiful but ruthless woman named Victoria Grayson, the wife of David's boss. David was framed by the Graysons for a horrific crime and subsequently sent to prison. While serving his time, David was murdered in order to prevent the truth from being revealed.

Under the new identity of Emily Thorne, billionaire socialite and philanthropist, Amanda returns to the Hamptons to take down every individual responsible for murdering her father and robbing her of her childhood. 

Although Revenge is a modern-day retelling of Alexandre Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo, it also bears more than few similarities to Batman. Bruce and Amanda are forever traumatized at a young age by the murder of their parents. They both dedicate their lives and their vast wealth towards honing themselves into becoming living weapons in avenging their parents and ridding their respective cities (be it Gotham City or the Hamptons) of the corruption that plagues it. Both individuals assume alter egos and become unlikely avenging angels for the innocent and oppressed. Like Bruce, Emily is a master strategist and tactician. She has contingency plans for contingency plans. Having a best friend/partner in crime who also happens to be a techno prodigy is as useful as any utility belt. As an unfortunate few have learned the hard way, she's a fierce warrior who's a master at multiple weapons including the katana.


If Emily is akin to Bruce Wayne, then her nemesis Victoria is the Hampton's answer to Lex Luthor as she is just as diabolical and cunning. The chess game between these two formidable adversaries has been a cerebral and engaging one.

With the show being equal parts action, mystery, drama and suspense, the series continues to deliver surprise twists at every unexpected turn. While Marvel has produced a graphic novel based on the series—The Secret Origins of Emily Thorne—it's easy to forget that the series isn't an adaptation of a comic book to begin with.