Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Depressing List: Side A Introduction

Attention Comics Blogdom!

It has come to my attention that Rogue has sexual assault in her backstory.

Rogue

ROGUE!!

Yes, Rogue. The only character I thought was fully and totally safe from sexual assault is sexually assaulted the one time her powers go down.

That's the straw, Ladies, Gentlemen and Yellow Nazi Gremlins from Sector 2816. The Giant Cyber-Camel's back has been broken by the weight of realism. Remember that depressing list idea that cropped up a few months back when I lost my temper? Now is the time to follow through with it.

What I need you, dear readers, to do is a list, with references (because this will be airtight, we will check back on everything before posting a final list), of all of the female superhero characters from DC and Marvel (we're going to follow Jenn's advice to try and stay sane here, and start with the biggest two before we move on to the smaller press) that fit underneath one of the categories below. Drop a comment or email me. Then, I need you to pop over to Kalinara's and list all the male characters who fall into the categories listed.

So open up the back issue bins, check with your friends, link this anywhere and everywhere you want -- it's time to get organized.

(And oh yes, I am aware that just about every superhero in existence will fit somewhere on the list. It's the where that I'm thinking about here.)

-=-=-=-=-


I. Explicit Instances of Actual/Attempted Sexual Assault

A. Rape/Sexual Assault of Adult Victims (Actual):
The primary subcategory will be "On-Panel" (Shown explicitly through current events or flashback) or "Off-Panel" (established in Dialogue but not Visually Indicated).

The secondary subcategories will be as follows:
  • -In the Present: Storyline/Plot-Related (For example: In the Killing Joke, Barbara Gordon was shot by the Joker, who then removed her clothing and took suggestive pictures of her. This would count as "storyline-related assault" as it happened in the present tense of that comic.)
  • -In the Past 1.0: Backstory Established at Character Origin (For example: In the first issue of the Post-Crisis Wonder Woman series, it was established that Queen Hippolyta and the other Amazons were raped by Herakles and his men in Ancient Greece.)
  • -In the Past 2.0: Flashback/Backstory Retroactively Inserted (For example: in the miniseries Identity Crisis, it was established that at some point during the Satellite-Era of the Justice League, Sue Dibny was sexually assaulted by Doctor Light)
  • -In the Past 3.0: Flashback/Backstory Retroactively Removed (For example: Helena Bertinelli's backstory used to contain a reference of a childhood sexual assault [Section C] however the later retelling of her origin retroactively removed it.)

B. Rape/Sexual Assault of Adult Victims (Attempted):
  • Same subcategory setup as seen in section I.A.

C. Sexual Assault/Abuse/Molestation of Minors (Actual):
  • The primary and secondary subcategories will be the same as in section I.A and I.B, but there will be a tertiary subcategory that addresses statuatory rape. (For example, In Robin, Stephanie Brown was impregnated by her boyfriend at age 15. The sexual acts were portrayed as consentual, which would differentiate them from acts of traumatic molestation or assault, but still qualifies as statuatory rape.)

D. Sexual Assault/Abuse/Molestation of Minors (Attempted):
  • The subcategories of Section IV will be the same set-up as seen in Sections I.A, I.B and I.C.

II. Implications, Subtext, and Symbolism

A. Implied/Subtextual Sexual Assault of an Adult Victim:
(For example Dinah Lance's torture in Longbow Hunters is commonly believed to have contained rape. Quotes have been attributed to creators to indicate that this was not the case, however the particular scene could be read with that interpretation)

The subcategories will be:
  • -Taunts and Threats with Sexual Overtones
  • -Physical Assault/Abduction/Torture/Murder with Sexual Overtones

B. Implied/Subtextual Sexual Assault of a Minor:
(For example: Starfire's backstory of slavery contains the implication of sexual abuse, however it has never, to our knowledge, been confirmed or denied)
  • This will have the same subcategories as II.A.

C. Symbolic Rape/Violation that are not sexual in nature.
Subcategories will include:
  • -Mind-Control, which robs the victim of self-autonomy and will
  • -Forced Transformation, which robs the victim of control of physical state.

56 comments:

  1. II A, Murder with Sexual Overtones: Elektra. Stabbed by Bullseye in Daredevil #181 (Vol 1). When interviewed for a documentary on the DVD of Mark Steven Johnson's Daredevil, Frank Miller states that this was specifically meant to suggest a rape/murder.

    I C, In the past 1.0/2.0: In Elektra: Assassin #1, Elektra remembers being raped by her father as a child, although these may or may not be false memories.

    ReplyDelete
  2. In his early appearances Gambit had a Starfox-like power to control womens libidos, still does unless it's been forgotten by the writer or explicitly taken away in some story I didn't read.

    So argueably his entire relationship with Rogue qualifies for your depressing depressing list

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just to be absolutely sure: the list is superheroines only? This could get absurdly complicated if we include side characters who are assaulted for motivational purposes (e.g. Kathryn Summers).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Grace Choi: IC. It falls somewhere between In the Past 1.0 and In the Past 2.0.

    In the John Walsh arc of the current run of Outsiders, circa #17-20, it was established that Grace spent several years as a child sex slave, finally escaping at the age of twelve.

    Lian Harper: IIB (Abduction)

    In the same arc where Grace's past was revealed, Lian was abducted by the ring that had held Grace. When she was rescued, she had been branded, in the same way as the children held for sex. (Lian is probably around five or six at this point.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. andreas struker the current swordsman was forced by the purple man to kill his twin sister/lover, skin her and use the skin as clothes, and try to kill his father (the purple man did that under orders from baron zemo).
    it was also implied that the purple man made him enjoy being sexually raped (the sexual rape was not an order from zemo).
    the purple man was implied in the same story to have raped spider-woman.

    not sure if it qualifies but typoid-mary had sex with deadpool while using an image inducer to make him think she was siren.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mia Dearden: Speedy II

    Mia was abused by her father, aged 9. He soon started allowing his friends to rape her too. She ran away aged 11 and lived on the streets for two years before hooking up with Richard, who started pimping her out (GA 2). When Ollie offered her a way out, she stabbed her pimp and grabbed the chance with both hands.

    She has been revealed to be HIV+ (GA 43, either as a result of her prostitution, or from sharing dirty needles (while living rough, she apparently did a lot of meth - "Staying awake is a high priority, keeps the rapes down to a minimum" (GA 44)

    I can't find the ref for her father abusing her right now (the detailed one - it's also referenced in GA 2). I'll dig it out and comment again.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ragnel, the blog doesn't load properly. Not sure if it's just in my computer. I think that gets fixed when you republish it.

    Anyway, the ones I remember:

    -- A --
    Swamp Thing (in the present and on panel)
    Crazy Jane (Backstory Established, on panel)
    Starman (Jack, in the present, off panel)
    Lobo (in the present, off panel)
    Nightwing (in the present, on panel)

    -- B --
    Can't think of any, although there are probably a few scenes where a no name bad guys tries, but then the superhero beats him.

    -- C --
    Mia the new Speedy (Backstory, she was a teenage prostitute, off panel)
    Sally Sonic (Statuatory, on panel)

    -- D --
    Secret from Young Justice (flashback inserted, off panel)
    Spoiler - she mentions a friend of her father tried (flashback inserted, on panel)
    Crazy Jane again (Backstory, off panel)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Derry beat me to it, but in answer to your question from a few posts back: yes, Winick was the one who branded Lian.

    In Outsiders 17, the team stumbles upon a child prostitution ring. We learn that Grace Choi was abducted as a child, branded, and sold into prostitution for three years. Grace repeats later that Tanner "rents children to people so they can rape them," and Roy makes a speech about how these children are subjected to every abuse imaginable and more.

    At the end of Outsiders 18, Roy comes home to find Lian gone and the nanny shot in the head. In Outsiders 19, they rescue Lian, followed by 3 or 4 very bloody pages of Grace beating up Tanner. Graces tells John Walsh (guest starring) that Tanner "took away... the person I might have been," and voices over that "every day another [child] must carry the weight" as Roy brings Lian home to find that she has also been branded.

    Winick introduced Grace in Outsiders 1, as a friend of Roy's working as a bouncer in a nightclub for metas. She dismisses Roy's offer to join the team until he argues that it pays three times as much as her current job, at which point she immediately accepts. She has casual sex with Roy on more than one occasion. Her attitudes about sex seemed to parallel Roy's before this arc, but Roy doesn't have sexual abuse in his past that I know of.

    The arc was called Outsiders: Wanted, I believe.

    ReplyDelete
  9. A few more details about Mia - She ran away when she was 12, not eleven. The detail about her abusive father comes from GA 42 - " My father began raping me when I was nine. Then he let his friends do it. I'm pretty sure it was for money. Maybe not. I ran away when I was twelve and survived by continuing the job my father started."

    ReplyDelete
  10. Another one: Black Canary, Dinah Lance.

    I'm not sure if this is the only occasion, but it's the one I remember.

    Black Canary was trying to bust a drugs ring, and something went wrong - she was kidnapped, tortured and sexuallly assaulted. Green Arrow rescued her, killing her captor, but she's suffered enough physical trauma to destroy her Canary Cry and render her infertile. I don't have an issue number for this, but it's collected in Longbow Hunters by Mike Grell.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Crap! Sorry, I didn't know this was a list for just female characters.

    Also...

    > yes, Winick was the one who branded Lian.

    Da fug? Winnick is the only reason that makes me glad the whole "Green Arrow is Arrowette's dad" idea never happened.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Roy doesn't have sexual abuse in his past that I know of.

    In the same arc, Winick hints that he worked as a hooker during his drug addict phase.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow. Rogue was raped? I just posted a tribute to her and never realized such events was part of her history.

    Another reason to be thankful I had dropped X-Men by the time that whole Siege Perilous stuff was going on...

    And Spider-Woman too? Geeez.

    Here are a few examples I remember:

    Avengers #200 - Ms. Marvel forcibly impregnated by cosmic entity known as Marcus. After giving "birth" to her rapist, Carol was placed under his mental control and agreed to stay with the creep in Limbo. Her fellow Avengers, amazingly, saw nothing wrong with this.

    Green Lantern Corps #213 - Hector Hammond and Star Sapphire place Hal and Arisa under their mental domination. I remember Hector riding Hal like a horse. I think, but am not sure, that Arisa got the same treatment.

    I know Star "kissed" Hal by forcing Arisa to be intimate with him.

    Nearly any issue of Excalibur has shape-shifting, mental domination and other sorts of violations. Meggan the shape-shifter practically exists solely as a victim of such plots.

    Exaclibur 55 & 56 are particularly disturbing examples of both men and women being warped.

    Susan Richards was transformed into a slave "Hound" in Fantastic Four Annual #23.

    Hmmm, I don't think I want to remember much more or I'll end up dropping comics forecer...

    ReplyDelete
  15. I don't have anything with details for you right now, but I'm planning on going through my (only mostly complete) collection of Legion comics looking for info for both the male and female lists. Just off the top of my head I can think of some examples, but I also think that if there are any female characters who haven't suffered this kind of treatment, some of them will be Legionnaires. I'm glad you're not in a hurry for results.

    'Written World' doesn't load properly for me either.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm pretty sure Braniac and Koko had an unsavory relationship. Does that help?

    wait. what's the point to this?

    are we against this or for it?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Did I do this? All apologies if it's traumatizing; conversely, you're welcome if it helped. Yes, I'm confused as to how to think about your post too. Should comics be representing this sadly common aspect of female life, or should they be doing so but handling it differently, or or or? I should say, as my original post makes clear, that it's about as emotionally manipulative a panel as I've seen in comics, what with it being Rogue and all the circumstances which had to collide for it to happen. I mean, rape is difficult enough to prove in a court of law without being invisible to all forms of electronic survellience--which, it beingn Genosha and all, there would have been plenty of. If I read it now, then, I would have felt it exploited the issue; but when I read it then, it was too subtle for me to comprehend what had actually happened (outside the vague feeling that it'd been horrible and humiliating.)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Everyone -- Thanks so far, this is just a quick comment before work. I really appreciate this!

    Derry, Carrie, and Batiduende -- As I've said before, Judd Winick is a misogynist. Try reading a more enlightened writer, like Beau Smith. (And I'm serious, check out Wynnona Earp)

    Xocolotl -- I think you're right and we might wanna restrict this to superheroines (When Kali and I wrote up the examples, we didn't realize Sue's inclusion might be confusing. She worked as much as Ralph did.)

    Scott -- No, it's not your fault. Your post was actually very beautiful and insightful, but sadly, I was unable to get past "Rogue TOO!?"

    Normally, I'd say handle it differently, but Dan Slott is handling the subject amazingly and all that came to mind was "She-Hulk TOO?!"

    See, I have no problem with comic books covering this aspect of female life, except for one thing -- Superhero comics are, by their very definition, power fantasies and nothing makes a woman more powerless than rape. Now, were it just Rogue, or just She-Hulk, or just Arisia, or even just the three of them that had experienced this it would be one thing. But you have to understand -- it's turning out All of them.

    For a long time we (Kalinara, I, and a bunch of our regular readers and commenters and the writers of the blogs we regularly read and comment on) have been noticing we can't list ten superheroines without invariably coming up with nine that have been assaulted or someone has attempted to assault at some point in their lives (very, VERY rarely does the heroine save herself from the situation, btw).

    As I see it, it's evidence of the patriarchal "Rape as a tool to scare women back into their place" strategy at work when we can't even have an escapist superhero story without the threat of rape looming over even the most powerful of our heads.

    This isn't your fault, it's been pissing me off for a while.

    Since Green Lantern #109 actually.

    ReplyDelete
  19. (Oh, and in my earlier ire I'd forgotten a /span-tag earlier. Sorry about that! Should load better now.)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Derry,
    Ha, really? If that's the case, it went right over my head. When does it come up?

    Ragnell, I did get fed up with Outsiders after that arc. But yeah, you can add it to your list of Winick complaints, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Another I just remembered:

    Swamp Thing's wife (sorry, don't recall her name right now. I think it's Abby, but I won't bet on it) had sex with Mathew, her husband at the time, but he was in fact dead and inhabited by the spirit of her creepy magician uncle.

    It happened in her present and on panel.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Has anyone mentioned Jessica Jones yet? I know in one story arc in Alias she was pretty much kept a prisoner of and raped by Purple Man.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Jessica Jones (Alias, the Pulse)
    flashbacks in Alias reveal she spent a good several months/years under the Purple Man's mind control, lots of mental abuse, can't remember off-hand if there was physical as well, but I don't think so.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Red Sonja.

    Sorry, but I wouldn't even know where to begin to search for that one.

    ReplyDelete
  25. (Psst, Ragnell, I hate to do this on such an important and serious post, but I was looking for the link to that All-Star Batman and Robin thing in your archives and couldn't find it anywhere. If you still have it, could you e-mail it to me at jbcholst at mindspring.com? Thanks so much in advance! I'd contribute to the list, but I don't know enough about comics to do so. *blush*)

    ReplyDelete
  26. About Jessica Jones, I am almost sure it is mentioned that Purple Man kept her around as a slave, but never raped her. He did make her watch while he was raping other people, though.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Also, The Girl with no superhero name from Young Avengers, who got raped in a flashback sorta off panel in the Young Avengers annual.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Emma Frost's old backstory (not sure whether it was flashbacks or just her telling it) included getting raped at the mental institution she was at for much of her teens, though this has been dismissed as her invention to make people feel sorry for her in the current series.

    Rachel Summers spent most of her childhood/early teens being mentally and physically warped and tortured as a Hound. On-panel, part flashbacks, part first issues you see her, with added mental warpings on panel, including Excalibur.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Jesus, was it really necessary to make Mia suffer even more than already implied?

    Anyway. I expect this is now, thankfully, out of continuity but back when Power Girl had that stopgap Atlantean heritage her 'grandfather', Arion, foresaw Zero Hour happening and experimented on her to create a champion. She wasn't the champion - that would be her son, Equinox, which her grandfather implanted within her via magic while she was still a child. She'd give birth to him during the Zero Hour storyarc.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I fully expect that the next time Winick wants a little more angst in GA, it'll be revealed that Mia watched her mother kill herself or something. I mean, there's not much *left*.

    While I'm commenting, would Donna Troy qualify for II.C with all the Dark Angel stuff? She was cursed to live through multiple lives of incredible suffering, and when she was at her lowest, her life would be restarted for yet more suffering, only aware of the curse when her life was being rebooted.

    ReplyDelete
  31. To play Devil's Advocate for a moment:

    Aren't the fascistic Genoshans deliberately employing "Rape as a tool to scare women back into their place" in that issue though? In this case, we have a formerly empowered woman, stripped of her powers and her clothes, who is considered less than human by her captors, i.e. can't this particular instance be understood within the broader parallel Claremont draws between those issues and Holocaust literature? I say this partly because, as a descendent of survivors, I found an entirely different revenge fantasy at work there; namely, that of the Jew forced into a camp who is able to strike back, whatever the cost, at the Nazis. Another pointless personal story: When I was in middle school and reading Holocaust literature for the first time, I penned and inked a book in which Superman's creche landed in a German field in 1921, forcing the Nazis to confront a 10 yr. old Superman in the camps. Pure revenge fantasy, it was, but no more so than what Claremont did with Genosha: a healing-factor-less Wolverine choosing to use his claws to tear into Genoshan forces, Rogue fist-fighting her way through the scrum...all of that resonated with me because the Genoshans had tried but failed to cower Rogue.

    Alright, I can't play Devil's Advocate with a straight face: what you're arguing is that, given the regularity with which this appears, any time the context allows for that trope to arise, it does. Or are you saying that it appears randomly and whenever contextually plausible? (Maybe I'm not such a bad Devil's Advocate after all.) Because it seems like the random appearance would support the strong version of your argument, the contextual a weaker (but still sound) version, no?

    (Programming note: since I'm new to the conversation, feel free to respond "PFFFT" with a couple of links to posts in which these issues have already been addressed. I'm not arguing here, really, just thinking my way around the issue.)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Scott -- I see the problem here. You're still arguing in favor of a single story. Context is there because the writer put it there. And the story, in the comic book universe of blanket continuity, does not exist on its own. It's added to many, many others and it follows the character through many different writers of varying skill and sensitivty. My problem is mainly that the quantity of examples has overcome the potential quality of the plot. Maybe it was better explained in my earlier posts on the subject.

    But it might be better if we waited a few months on the completed list to go on with this particular debate. Concerns such as yours are part of why I want this made, as a way to show how out of hand this has gotten. Mostly, when I see news as to it anymore it puts me in rant mode, and I thought it would help to have something concrete to back it.

    Again, sorry to link you, but when I rant I usually show what set me off so someone can see my whole point.

    I'll have a list of pertinant links for you, once I get home tonight, that should address most concerns you've brought up but in the meantime I suggest you go through the archives of When Fangirls Attack for posts on this topic. Try the last couple weeks of January and the first couple weeks of February, as that's when Black Cat's light, funny backstory had a rape retconned into it that was retroactively made her motivation for every move she'd made until that point.

    Quite a lot of people had thoughts on that move.

    Which reminds me to add her to the list.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'd count Donna for IIC. Amazing catch, there.

    What else do we have?

    ReplyDelete
  34. This is so depressing. Wouldn't it just be simpler to list the women in comics that haven't been abused?

    It would be a shorter list, too.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Ragnell,

    I'm completely with you on "Rogue, TOO". Here's another one that is overwhelmingly appalling to my sesnes:

    Big Barda.

    Back in the John Byrne Superman days, when Action was the "team-up" book, there was a two-parter with Barda and Mr. Miracle, respectively. The villian of this story was Sleeze, an Apokoliptian New God who was so, well... sleezy that Darkseid banished him.

    One his major deals was "bringing out the worst in others". He took control of Superman and Barda and subsequently set them up to film a porno. If I remember correctly, the sex act was on panel, with strategically place monitors of the pair naked. It was confirmed at the end of the story when Superman and Barda agreed that what took place was not of their own volition.

    This one I pushed to the back of my mind for several years now....

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi is it this GL 109 that bothers you?
    http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=32657&zoom=4

    ReplyDelete
  37. My problem is mainly that the quantity of examples has overcome the potential quality of the plot.

    That's a damn fine point, and as an historicist by trade, exactly the kind of refutation I find convincing. I argued against my historicist instincts above largely because it's something I do anyway, as a kind of check against drawing conclusions from constricted sample sets...but it sounds like you have your evidence aligned and a justified beef with Claremont & Company. I look forward to the rest of the conversation. (Also, as I continue reacquainting myself with the ol' X-books, I'll keep an eye out for situations of interest to you. Argh. Anyone who reads that post and my comments here will think I'm condescending to talk about comics. So let me say this: I haven't read comics in years, but only because I haven't had the time. Sure, it took being hit by a car to remind me that books with pictures can be intellectually stimulating, but that doesn't mean I dismiss the media altogether or anything...as that gratuitous linkage should sufficiently prove. If you'd like, I could lend The Valve and its 18,000 or so daily readers to prove my un-elitist-prickism. I swear, I'm just as invested in comics as a medium as the rest of you, I'm just not sure how not to sound like I'm talking from up on high here. That's the last thing I want to do. Seriously, you think I'd never taught a class before.)

    ReplyDelete
  38. In the Atlantis Chronicles, Cora is raped by her cousin. Later in the same series, Atlanna is seduced by her many-times-removed ancestor Atlan.

    The New Teen Titans storyline "The Judas Contract" suggests there were some shenanigans going on between Deathstroke and Terra. Speaking of underage Titans, Mirage was seduced by the future Nightwing (Deathwing) during Team Titans, and as I recall the sex was not exactky consensual. So mark that one up as assault, under age, and under false pretenses.

    In the "Universo Project" storyline during the Legion of Super-Heroes (1984 series), most of the Legionnaires are mind controlled and it is (strongly) suggested that Atmos and Dream Girl consummated their relationship while under the influence.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Aw, you spoiled Swamp Thing for her. Now she's never going to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oops. I forgot that Calliope was imprisoned and raped in the Sandman story of the same name.

    In the Sandman Mystery Theatre storyline "The Vamp" there was a lesbian rape, assault, and blood letting.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Type IIA: Fantastic Four #255: Annihilus leaps toward an already pretty-beat-up Alicia, promising to make good on the horrific death he's promised her.

    Type IIB: Fantastic Four 278: Psycho-Man uses his emotion controller to torment Sue and turn her into Malice.

    Which issues of Captain America did the Sharon Ventura torment sequence take place in? All I know is that it was referenced fairly often between FF #306-#312.

    ReplyDelete
  42. "Back in the John Byrne Superman days, when Action was the "team-up" book, there was a two-parter with Barda and Mr. Miracle, respectively. The villian of this story was Sleeze, an Apokoliptian New God who was so, well... sleezy that Darkseid banished him.

    One his major deals was "bringing out the worst in others". He took control of Superman and Barda and subsequently set them up to film a porno. If I remember correctly, the sex act was on panel, with strategically place monitors of the pair naked. It was confirmed at the end of the story when Superman and Barda agreed that what took place was not of their own volition.

    This one I pushed to the back of my mind for several years now...."

    I know this won't further any thing on the list but I have to add something to this.

    It reinforces my theory that Bryne is Dr. Doom.

    Because thats EXACTLY the type of thing he'd do.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hunter -- I'd never thought about that one, actually.

    Niles -- Ack!

    Xocolotl -- Nah, I changed my mind. Prominent characters, since Kali's counting all the Vertigo stuff over with the guys. So, supporting characters if they're a big enough presence.

    Anon #1 -- Got an issue number for this stuff?

    Papervolcano -- Thanks, I knew the origin of prostitution but I stopped reading after Meltzer left. And as The Longbow Hunters is easy to find, the issue number should be easy to get too.

    Batiduende -- I know Jane, Sally Sonic, but don't have the references for Spoiler or Secret.

    Keeper -- I remember Arisia having to lick the floor of the room. I'll have to retread those issues. And I think Kali has the Excalibur ones.

    And.. slave.. hound.. Sheesh.

    Matthew -- Thanks, I appreciate it.

    jamawalk -- *Pats you on the head*

    Derry and Carrie -- Roy too?!! I've got loads of Winick misogyny complaints, but man, that's screwing with the O'Neill run. I don't take kindly to writers who rewrite Green Lantern/Green Arrow. *Fumes*

    Batiduende -- Ick.

    Kristin, Gunbunny, and Batiduende -- Actually, i think it was established he did rape her. Because I rememebr reading her reaction to that idiot she was dating suggesting she was raped, and being relieved that the secret was going to be more creative... And then getting pissed off when I read it and found out she was anyway.

    Sandicomm -- Emailed it to you.

    Anon#2 -- Ack! The Conan stuff was Marvel, wasn't it? Oh man, that's a can of worms...

    Batiduende -- I think I saw the rant about that YA one on Precocious Curmudgeon.

    Flidget -- ACk! I'd forgotten that one! Oh, why, oh why couldn't they gone with it being Hal's baby? Just because he was suddenly evil? That would've been drama!!

    Marionette -- We've stopped trying to do that, because I'm so damned tired of being surprised and having to scratch people off the list. Better to go with the known element here.

    Tragic -- Ack! Barda?! Dammit, Byrne! (And man, that puts all 3 of DC's Holy Trinity on the list, though with WW and Bats it was only attempted)

    Anon #3 -- No, but that doesn't look promising. I meant Vol 3 GL #109 where Jade got her backstory retconned. First time I'd seen it happen and actually realized what went on.

    Scott Eric Kaufmann -- This goes well beyond Claremont. I suspect just about every writer who's ever worked in comics will have at least one example on the list. The results should be interesting.
    I appreciate the eye out for good subjects. I run a linkblog about women in comics, and always welcome new posts to link!
    And don't worry about sounding like you're talking from up on high. You sounded fine to me, except that you seemed to not have been reading the current stuff.

    Scott -- I wonder if we should put in a qualifier in for incest. I forgot Calliope, that was a horrific story.

    Chris Sims -- That's what you get for trying to keep secrets from me.

    Andrew -- Wow, you have no idea how much I appreciate the specifics, especially as I haven't read Marvek in a long time.

    Mallet -- Ack.

    Thanks so much everybody, keep it coming, though!

    ReplyDelete
  44. > I know Jane, Sally Sonic, but
    > don't have the references for
    > Spoiler or Secret.

    Secret mentions it in the issue the whole team goes camping. Issue 7 I think. Wondergirl asks her if she has ever been kissed, and she mentions a time when she was in her cell back in the DEO that a guy who worked there got into her cell and tried to make out with her but her powers scared him away before he did anything.

    The Spoiler one is going to be hard to pinpoint. It happened during the very short Jon Lewis run in the Robin book. Looking at the covers, I think it might have been Robin #111. A quick google for reviews of issue 111 say that's the one. Here is a review of that issue.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Here's what happened to Jessica Jones:

    Alias #25:
    "Purple Haze"

    Luke: Guy has the power to make you do anything he wants... has you under foot for 8 months...and he never touched you?
    [...]
    Jessica: He didn't[...] he fucking made me stand there and watch him fuck other girls. Telling me to wish it was me. Telling me to cry while I watched.
    [...]
    Jessica: But then there weren't any girls around on a rainy night with nothing to do... he would make me beg him for it. [...] I would beg him to fuck me... I would beg him 'til I cried. You hear me? You get where this is going? Eight months! I lay at his feet. I slept on his floor. I bathed him.[...] He would run his fingers through my hair and he would tell me...That he was doing this to me for every time Daredevil beat the shit out of him... That this was for every time Spider-man did whatever to him... He was going to make me beg him for it.

    ---
    Also, the first thing he does is tell her to take off her clothes (though we never see it as he tells her to do something else first) and later, she's wearing an open button-down shirt with nothing under it.

    ReplyDelete
  46. If nobody's mentioned Catwoman yet, IC retconned that Zatanna mind-whammied her into a good guy, that would fit into the last one. Dawnstar of a few LSH reboots ago had her wings cut off (would you consider that forced transformation?) and possessed by another personality for years. I can't remember if there were any hints about Bounty having sex during it, though.

    ReplyDelete
  47. bat -- Thanks, I'll need to hit the back issue stores this weekend.

    Carrie -- I missed that one. Still, pretty damned close.

    catrina -- I've gotten a Catwoman email and found an LJ entry that covered her origin, but no one's mentioned that one yet.

    I'd probably consider Dawnstar's wings forced transformation.

    Thanks!
    Keep going, everyone, I'm still compiling!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Tomorrow Stories #1: Cobweb is turned into an "anatomically correct" doll by a villain and strongly implied to be in dager of sexual assault. She gets out of the situation herself, though.

    Shining Knight #3: The new Sir Justin is revealed to be a woman and threatened with rape by the corrupted Galahad, whereuon she kills him.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Aahhh... did a bunch of posts get erased?

    ReplyDelete
  50. *sighs* I had a huge post written... and it got ate.

    Essentially I had posted summaries of three of my cast members from my own stories who had backgrounds of sexual assault. I wanted to get opinions on if the stories in question were offensive.
    Perhaps I can summarize instead.

    Is it acceptable to portray characters who have been victims when those characters have overcome their captors by their own hand, becoming stronger in the process? When their experiences have become a trial by fire by which they have become more powerful and unable (or jsut damned unlikely) to ever able to be made a victim again?

    It's a common trope, especially in heroic fiction, to put a character through hell and have them come out stronger in the end. It's not generally considered disrespectful to the character when they overcome the obstacles by their own actions and become stronger for their trials. It's done to male heroes all the time.

    Question is, does it cross a line when that hell, or part of it, comes in the form of sexual assault against a female character? Is it inherently misogynistic to even touch sexual assault as a story element, or does it depend on how the characters are treated?

    Thank you very much for helping me on this tpoic, as it will greatly help me make decisions as to whether to keep the characters as written or alter them.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Kitty -- I hate to limit creativity, but I started this anyway (as I love to call out hackery) -- mainly so there'd be documentation for next time someone thinks this is an original idea in and of itself, but partially to see if I may be overreacting a bit. I've noticed it tends to be treated differently between male and female characters, and it's overwhelming in its usage with female characters. Also that it's portrayed graphicly with female characters, but only very subtly with male characters -- as if a female rape is somehow more "Acceptable" to the censors. This really cheeses me off, actually.

    The way I've observed sexual assault in comics has gotten to the point that an exceptionally well-written story that involves it as a plot element is still unenjoyable to me, simply from oversaturation of the plot element.

    See, yes, male characters are put through the ringer, but with sexual assault it's a step farther that only female characters seem to suffer through. It takes a damned gutsy and/or subtle writer to do it to a male character, and even then it's somehow uneven.

    For using it on your own stories -- If it works for you, and you respect the topic, don't let my list stop you. Don't even let ending up on the list stop you.

    I wouldn't call it inherently misogynistic to use sexual assault, but the way its handled could be interpreted as misogynistic.

    In short, it depends on how the characters are treated.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Well, in each of the cases where it actually occurred, it was in the past of the characters involved, not in present as a plot element, simply a historical part of the characters' lives. It won't -ever- be shown "on camera", even if a historical flashback ever gets told. Not even censored. It will be skipped over and merely told in words, with no detail.

    I'm working with an all-female cast, and the characters who have had that happen to them are a very small percentage of the total characters, and none of them in major roles.

    Those that remain, however, have been changed by what they have gone through, and even if their full story is never told their history informs their actions and motivations. I'm not sure how easily I can alter them without also altering who they are in the current story setting.

    I also wonder if it would be artificial to have stories where the underbelly of society, the hard streets, are a factor and yet have no one in my entire cast that has ever had anything like that happen to them. As much as a world without sexual assault would be a wondrous thing, we all know it's not like that. Would completely ignoring that factor be like telling crime stories where no one ever gets shot?

    I'm not arguing with you, at all, I'm just trying to think this through and I appreciate you listening.

    If you're interested, email me and I can give you more details of the stories in question so you can be a judge.

    Thank you very much for highlighting this issue. I agree with you entirely that it's been grossly overused and more often than not handled very poorly, even offensively. It's especially galling when it's retconned into a character where it was never part of their story to begin with, and even more so when it's done for some kind of shock value or to give a hot-button plot point to an otherwise bland story. I like to hope that my work would never sink to that level of hackery and blind insensitivity to the real pain and trauma that other so-called authors so cheaply exploit.

    Thank you again.

    ReplyDelete
  53. II. A and C: Hawkwoman (Shayera Thal). Was robbed of autonomy by Count Viper (In Hawkman V.II #1-6), who removed her conscious mind or soul or something metaphysical like that from her body and occupied her body himself for several months. In later confrontations with her (same series, issue #17 being the most notable) he makes insinuations and threats that have creepy sexual overtones. Bleh.

    And as for the other Hawk women -

    Id - Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders) accidentally shot a police officer who assaulted her mother and threatened to rape both her mother and herself. She was, I think, about twelve at the time. (This is covered in Hawkman V.3 #13-15).

    ReplyDelete
  54. You forgot Andy Martinez, she was physically and verbally abused (back in issue #39 I believe.) [It's where Andy's talking about her past and how she came to accept that she was a homoexual.] -ealperin

    ReplyDelete
  55. You forgot about Andy Martinez/Comet 2 back in issue #39 from 1996. It's there where we find out that she was verbally and physically abused(by her father, I believe-If I'm not mistaken...)when she comes out to her parents. -ealperin

    ReplyDelete