Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: What the Heck is Going On?

Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

What the Heck is Going On?

It is turning out to be something of a bad month for any number of Superheroines. They took out Big Barda of all people, in her kitchen, off-panel, and with nary a fight. Big Barda! The more that I think about it, the more confused and annoyed I become.

Then Brian Michael Bendis beat the crap out of Tigra over in Avengers. His new villain, the Hood, is going around trying to be the next Kingpin, and paying all the various bad guys, and declaring that it is open season on super heroes! So he goes over to Tigra's house, and smacks her around, while Jigsaw films the whole thing, and even calls up her mother, in order to make it worse.

Ok. So Tigra got beaten up...it happens. I don't even like Tigra that much. But the more that I read it, the more I realized how crappy it all was. She didn't even fight back, and spent all her time screaming Aeiiiiiiiiiiiii....! Yes, he had a gun, and apparently was able to be invisible or something, but still! She's got claws and judo and stuff!

In Birds of Prey, Oracle was shot at, and managed to break the Calculator's leg, by whacking him with a stick from underneath the computer comsole! Oracle put up a better fight than Tigra! Aunt May could have put up a better fight than Tigra! I'd like to say that Big Barda would have put up a better fight than Tigra, but apparently not.

Exactly what the heck is going on lately?

And then I read the interview on Newsarama by Matt Brady, with the aforementioned Mr. Bendis. And Mr. Brady says this:

"There's a hair-trigger on the misogyny gun that's fired anytime violence against women is seen."

Whahuh?

I love comics. I understand the violence in comics is a given...nay a requirement of the genre. I enjoy a good kick to the face as much as anyone. I realize that men are killed and beaten up as well. But this was a completely rude and dismissive statement by Mr. Brady, and a smack in the face to anyone...man or woman...who might object to the idea of a woman being beaten within an inch of her life. I wasn't too impressed with Mr. Bendis' replies as well, there was an air of smarminess that annoyed me, the two boys were just a little too chummy, a little too ready to dismiss all those smartassed hysterical wimmens.

And then, just to top off my foul mood, I read the article where Judd Winick has to EXPLAIN what he was REALLY trying to convey with Black Canary and Green Arrow. If you have to explain the joke, it isn't really funny. If you have to go back and explain what you were writing, you can't really get upset if people didn't understand your ideas from reading the book. That's just poor writing.

And finally, the capper. Wonder Woman, Black Canary and Vixen strung up by the bad guys in Justice League. Not quite as bad as the Heroes for Hentai cover, but still a bit on the gratuitous side. I'm starting to get a little sick of comics this month.

Thank goodness for the Sinestro Corps war. Arisia's outfit is a little on the outrageous side, but at least she can actually fight.

17 Comments:

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Will "Filby" Staples said...

Matt Brady is an obnoxious idiot.

 
At 3:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to explain away the Justice League gratuitous poses -- and just this once, "explaining away" might be synonymous with "a genuinely good explanation".

We all know that Lex was trying to piss off Superman; he even told us that's what he was up to. It could possibly be that Lex chose suggestive, disrespectful poses and camera angles precisely to get under Superman's woman-respecting skin ... just "bad" enough to work on Superman's last nerve, without being so over-the-top as to ruin the effect.

 
At 8:22 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

So Lex hanging Wonder Woman, Black Canary and Vixen up like slabs of meat is ONLY supposed to piss of Superman?

Gosh, it's...it's all so SIMPLE really. Thirty lashes with a wet noodle to me, for thinking it was a little sleezy.

 
At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So Lex hanging Wonder Woman, Black Canary and Vixen up like slabs of meat is ONLY supposed to piss of Superman?"

It makes actual storytelling sense, and McDuffie isn't known for gratuitously disrespecting women, and he could have easily made it worse, so ... yeah, the best indications are that he's just writing the story logically.

Bear in mind that more wank material can be had in that one page of GLC with both Arisia and Natu showing off their goodies, so I am not inclined to cast aspersions on McDuffie while letting worse offenders off the hook.

Objections followed by counterarguments:

1) "But they're in bondage and helpless". So are all the males.

2) "But they're in provocative costumes". Not McDuffie's fault that their traditional costumes are revealing -- and -- McDuffie didn't add any strategic rips to the costumes to crank up the T&A.

3) "But it's titillating all the same". This is a subjective matter, but ... on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd put that scene at a 3, tops. I suppose if you're 12 you'll make a beeline for the restroom, but then again 12-year-olds will masturbate to cans of Chicken of the Sea, so that says more about the audience than artistic intent.

 
At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also: take a look at the panel immediately following the one in question. Luthor is looking straight at the fourth wall and saying "It's unconscionable, isn't it?" while the three women are visible behind him. Now, given McDuffie's send-up of the Meltzer "big three around the table" scene, I wonder if McDuffie isn't likewise doing a send-up of the Black Cat hentai thing. Of course McDuffie's is more tasteful, but again, I don't think his intention is to titillate.

Ah, for the good old days when people would argue about whether McDuffie was a racist for preferring the negro Stewart to the Jew Jordan.

 
At 3:31 PM, Blogger Ragnell said...

1) I thought Hal was Catholic.

2) Benes may have no control over the costumes, but he can certainly minimize or maximize their effects. The problem is he maximized the wank factor just as a matter of his style.

3) McDuffie gets no points for playing up chivalry, which shouldn't be heroic, but rather should be dead in favor of a neutral courtesy towards both sexes. Superman should be just as pissed at seeing Bruce up there as he is at seeing Diana. Diana having more of an effect implies he trusts she's less likely to be okay.

 
At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hal's religious affiliation is discussed in excruciating, embarassing detail here. I really don't have much opinion either way, but it makes for a better parallel for the average American bigot. (Not that there aren't anti-Papists in the US too, but nobody ever claims that the Catholics are secretly in charge.)

As to whether Benes maximized or minimized the costumes' impacts, good heavens, he showed as much costume and as little skin as he possibly could on all the female characters. That absolutely does not track with the assertion that Benes was shooting for maximum wank appeal.

And the more I look at it, the more I am convinced that McDuffie is taking a shot at the Marvel hentai cover people are likening this to. Again I direct you to the panel that immediately follows, where Lex is looking straight at the fourth wall (possibly the reader or possibly Superman) and saying, "It's unconscionable, isn't it?"

I'm all for nailing writers and artists for objectifyiing women, but in this case I think it has more to do with digging at Marvel and trying to piss Superman off.

As for trussing Batman upside down, you don't suppose that was likewise done for emotional impact, do you? (Tip: Houdini found that escaping from straightjackets was easier upside down, but made for better visuals. Lex, being a smart man, wouldn't offer Batman a tiny escape edge without a good reason.)

 
At 8:56 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

No, Mr. Anonymous, Batman being upside down was not meant to have the same effect. That was to incapacitate him, plus, he was on the side. Wonder Woman, Black Canary, and Vixen were at the forefront of the picture, and meant to draw the most attention. Also, the others, while bound, weren't in that manner. Black Canary had a gag on. While it makes some sense for her powers, you can equally argue that they have power inhibitors in the DCU, and that it only took advantage of the S&M factor.

The overall image is meant to evoke a "helpless" women image, and say that they are in need of male saving, and only Superman and Black Lightning can do it. I'm honestly amazed room wasn't made within the image for Hawkgirl too.

If it were just to show Luthor's torturing them, then I would have put Batman at the forefront. For straight torture, I'd argue he'd garner a more emotional response if he were in agony. He's Batman, after all.

With the issue of Hal's religion and John's race that's more telling about you. While I'm not a fan of John replacing Hal, I can see why, Hal has his own book, Guy and Kyle will be prominent in Corps, and that leaves John lonely. McDuffie's spotlighting the less exposed lantern, whom he is effectionate toward. Nothing wrong with writing who you know best.

 
At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"With the issue of Hal's religion and John's race that's more telling about you. While I'm not a fan of John replacing Hal, I can see why, Hal has his own book, Guy and Kyle will be prominent in Corps, and that leaves John lonely. McDuffie's spotlighting the less exposed lantern, whom he is effectionate toward. Nothing wrong with writing who you know best."

Where to begin with this:

1) The John vs. Hal debate and McDuffie's alleged racism has been debated elsewhere at length, and I believe sallyp has referenced it before.

2) McDuffie has further clarified that the decision to bring John on board was not his; he is following the editorial mandates from before the time he was hired on for JLA.

3) Personally I like having John in the JLA, and even if McDuffie had chosen to do so for no other reason than racial balance, I'd be in favor of it.

4) Hal has always been pretty atheist, and the "debate" over his religion is like arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. In other words, the only reason to argue about it is for the joy of pointless argument.

As for this:

"The overall image is meant to evoke a 'helpless' women image, and say that they are in need of male saving, and only Superman and Black Lightning can do it. I'm honestly amazed room wasn't made within the image for Hawkgirl too."

I've already addressed the likelihood that McDuffie was deliberately digging at the Marvel hentai thing, at least twice now. Additionally, everyone was helpless, and Luthor is even facilitating Batman's escape a tiny bit just to make him look extra helpless. If you want to ignore Batman's humiliation, Red Tornado's disassembly, and Geo-Force's beating to try to turn this into "Women in Refrigerators", I guess there's no stopping you, but that doesn't mean it holds up.

 
At 9:18 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

These are all very nice explanations for why Diana, Dinah and Vixen are hanging there, but the end and final result, is that a giant pair of breasts are facing the reader, flanked by two female behinds. The rest of the captured League members aren't splayed out, displaying their goodies to the world.

There isn't a Green Lantern butt in sight. I also can't blame all of this on Mr. McDuffie, since he isn't even the artist. Mr. Benes however, to my mind is starting to get a little carried away.

 
At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to be up in arms about something, why not take issue with the picture of Poison Ivy getting electrocuted? That's the most wanktastic image in the comic by a serious margin; if there's anywhere that women are being depicted with an eye to prurient interests, it's in that panel.

Wonder Woman, meanwhile, is being shown at the one possible camera angle that doesn't show butt or cleavage. I don't think that's a coincidence.

 
At 11:42 AM, Blogger Mickle said...

"If you want to be up in arms about something, why not take issue with the picture of Poison Ivy getting electrocuted?"

Bad Sally.

Don't you know you aren't allowed to complain about anything unless you complain about everything?

 
At 11:43 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Sir, the point that I am trying to make here, is that I DON'T use my comics for...as you say..."Wank" material.

But then, I'm just a silly girl, I guess.

 
At 4:08 PM, Blogger FoldedSoup said...

I do.. what issue was that again?!?

 
At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"She's got claws and judo and stuff!"

And superstrength, super-endurance, superspeed, superagility, and a host of other things. Hood hitting her with his gun, slamming her against a mirror, kicking her... he doesn't have superstrength or super-endurance (unless Bendis is giving him new powers without telling us). It was be like if a toddler snuck up and hit you on the head with some plastic toy of his. It might smart a bit, but there's such a huge gap in strength that you'd have no problem stopping the attack, and might have to be careful to avoid hurting him too much. Tigra's traded punches and kicks with Spider-woman, Spiderman, and other superstrong people. She's made a career out of quickly twisting out of the grasp of anyone grabbing her, from Kraven the hunter to Super Skrull to Machine Man. And some guy with normal human stats managed to grab her and beat her up by slamming her into a mirror and kicking her a lot? What?

 
At 7:01 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

But...but that's the POINT!

Is this the same Anonymous, or somebody else?

 
At 8:46 PM, Blogger notintheface said...

It's hard to blame McDuffie for that spread when we don't know what his instructions were to Benes. It could have been as vague as "Draw a double-page spread that shows the captive JLAers imprisoned by various devices." He may have even wrote "And put Diana front and center, because that will piss off Superman". But we can only speculate from there. It's not like we have his artist notes posted on the net ala Frank Miller and the instructions read "Oh, and Ed? I'm shameless. How about drawing each of Diana's tits the same size as her head?".

As for Tigra, I just read something that says the Hood recently went toe-to-toe with Wolverine and won, so maybe I don't know this guy's whole deal. But if it were me and I needed the Hood to beat Tigra, I would have taken the Morrison/Millar route: "These adamantium-tipped darts I just shot you with contain a powerful neural paralyzer, leaving you with all the muscle control of a newborn baby with a lobotomy."

 

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