Tuesday, September 05, 2006

52 Week 17 Interview

(Okay, this one's serious) With Amy's question in mind, I looked around for some information on that sequence in 52: Week 17 with Starfire. Here's what I found:
NRAMA: Is allowing one’s top to be torn off a part of negotiating in a vacuum? Because if it is, earth is screwed, as the bulk of our astronauts are dudes…

SW: Male breasts are used as currency on Venus, so we’re good.

NRAMA: A joke about the collective net worth of fanboys could be made here…

SW: But we won’t. As for the scene, Tamaraneans have historically been shown to be very open about their bodies, ashamed of nothing - much like George PĂ©rez, who I’ve heard draws wearing only old issues of Swordquest. So as I reread the issue for the interview this week, I had one regret about that scene: Kory probably should not have covered herself after Lobo pulled her top off, it made her look too vulnerable and victim-ish, which isn’t the truth in the least.

(And forget it, Internet, her “Code Unapproved” parts would have still been covered artistically, this ain’t Vertigo!)

That’s not to say anyone can rip off Starfire’s top and live to tell about it. In this case, she needed Lobo to do something for her and her team and wasn’t going to be stopped by a torn top. She knows she has plenty of time to get him back for that.


I do have to say I'm very glad he noticed this -- "Kory probably should not have covered herself after Lobo pulled her top off, it made her look too vulnerable and victim-ish, which isn’t the truth in the least" -- though it would have been preferrable before the issue went out.

Any other thoughts?

6 comments:

  1. I noticed this, too. I thought it was very in character of Lobo to tear her top off and, then, I thought it strange that she would cover herself. Lobo, I'm sure, was coming from a place of power...like, I'm going to belittle you by taking your top off while getting a few thrills in for myself. So, it would have been better because it could have been a, "like, and?!?!?!? You Cznarian pig!" She would have totally depowered him right there.

    I'm glad that other people saw that same thing because it did end up making me a little more uncomfortable having her cover up rather than if she were to stand as if nothing had happened.

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  2. "Kory probably should not have covered herself after Lobo pulled her top off, it made her look too vulnerable and victim-ish, which isn’t the truth in the least"

    That's exactly what went through my head the first time I read it. Good to know I'm not alone.

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  3. I personally read that scene in a way that may her taunt Lobo - as in "I know what you want, and I'm not giving you the chance."

    Lobo wanted fun, and she denied it/reversed it. She didn't seem like a victim at all to me. Then again, I am a guy and tend to see things from a sideways view.

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  4. Tamaraneans have historically been shown to be very open about their bodies, ashamed of nothing...

    Why is it that when people write/draw cultures who aren't ashamed of their bodies, it's always the women who have to typify that by showing their breasts?

    Although I applaud the sentiment, let's look at some general things: 1) that the society we live in is ashamed of nudity, 2) women are disproportionately held responsible for both being sexual and for being the restrainers of sexuality, and 3) women in comics continue to be overly sexualized.

    Given those points, it's hard not to see the "well, they're an open culture" as a flimsy justification of getting a woman's top off. And don't tell me that it was the only/best way to show the power dynamic that Lobo attemped to create -- there are plenty of ways to try and dominate someone that doesn't involve sexualized violence.

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  5. I agree that Kory should not have covered herself up, but the expression on her face remained defiant (rather than rattled or meek) and she did take control of the situation.

    All in all, I thought Starfire came off pretty well.

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  6. Ragnell said, I do have to say I'm very glad he noticed this -- "Kory probably should not have covered herself after Lobo pulled her top off, it made her look too vulnerable and victim-ish, which isn’t the truth in the least" -- though it would have been preferrable before the issue went out.

    Yes, yes, and yes. It seemed so out of place and out of character. She looked Honest to God vulnerable, and I really wasn't comfortable with that.
    Thanks for answering my question :) After I read the issue, I ran to your review, because I wanted to know what The Smart People Like Yourself had to say about it.

    Tekanji said, Why is it that when people write/draw cultures who aren't ashamed of their bodies, it's always the women who have to typify that by showing their breasts?

    I agree, Tekanji. What concerns me about breast exposure/not ashamed of the female form issue usually comes back to the whole public breastfeeding debate. "Western Culture" has no problem letting their pre-teens dress like sex symbols, but the second a mother *feeds her child* in a restaurant or park, people cry out against "immodesty" and "indecency."
    *deep sigh*
    Ciao,
    Amy

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