Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Action Comics #843 Realizations

This comic taught me something very important about the Phantom Lady.

She is made entirely of plastic.



Shiny, shiny plastic.

I wouldn't have been looking at it if not for Kalinara's post (my problem with Phantom Lady is not her cup size or the lighting, but the hideous and improbable pose she struck in the Brave New World Preview Art -- Yes, there is something for everyone to hate in that picture!), but there it is, the explanation for all of our woes. Plastic. As a plot point.

The Wizard: Basic Training scans don't completely shoot down this theory. I saw them in the magazine when I was a teenager and tried to learn to draw from them. They've been drawing off that advice for years and while they've produced some truly, truly awful parodies of the female form, there's rarely been something quite this bad.

And it's hard to believe that this is owed entirely to lack of talent of the designer, because the above image was drawn by an artist with a different style and a different inker, in a different book.

As much as we may hate to admit it, Phantom Lady could very, very easily be on purpose.

The option is intriguing. Not nearly intriguing enough for me to pick up Freedom Fighters and brave Acuna's faux-to-realistic art, but intriguing nonetheless. The whole senator's daughter thing could just be a good cover, and she's actually a plastic android built by Ivo, Morrow, or Magnus, and therefore sentient. That would be pretty cool.

Shame it doesn't make for pretty art.

Speaking of pretty, though, on the very same page of the very issue, we see Green Lantern:



I am not imagining this.

That character is posed so that we see both his butt and his face.

I'm prepared to throw out all previous theories. This can't be some attempt at equal objectification. There's no way its actually a running in-joke at DC over the last 45 years. And there is absolutely no chance that this is an accident.

Hal Jordan is purposefully trying to moon us.

He is consciously aware that he is being read, and he's been mooning us. There's no other explanation. And whoever told him, told the other Lanterns. They know too, that is how they always position themselves in such a way as to display their rumps. Collectively, the Green Lantern Corps has been breaking the Fourth Wall just to show us their hindquarters.

I'm sorry to end this post on such an abrupt and awe-inspiring revelation, but I think I need to sit down after this one.

14 comments:

  1. 52 #22: Origin of Green Lantern

    There is a panel where Hal's chest and ass are both facing the reader. It's... impressive.

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  2. The whole senator's daughter thing could just be a good cover, and she's actually a plastic android built by Ivo, Morrow, or Magnus, and therefore sentient. That would be pretty cool.

    That actually WOULD be pretty cool - except it would be tipping their hand if they actually DREW her to look like she was made of plastic. If she's "faking" being human, she SHOULDN'T look shiny. (I suspect that she's using some kind of glue to keep her costume on and its shiny - how else could she keep something like that on in a fight?)

    On the other hand, didn't Morrison's Mister Miracle run have a group of "plastic people" in them? And they were shiny, IIRC. I thought it was Morrison making a Kirby reference to OMAC, but since he also came up with this new lineup of Freedom Fighters, maybe there's something to this.

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  3. Phantom Lady: Hmm.

    Green Lantern: I'm sure you saw Hal's lovely bum all over GL 13. I mean, I'm not complaining. Why should you?

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  4. Let's face it: Green Lantern's all about the caboose. ;-)

    A robot built by Morrow, eh?

    Lessee... US and the Freedom Fighters is based on concepts by Grant Morrison. Morrison created Tomorrow Woman in JLA. In the Tomorrow Woman Girl Frenzy one-shot (written by the awful Tom Peyer) Morrow's partner says, "Let's activate the other--"

    Hmmm.

    HMMMMMMMMM.

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  5. Thanks for the heads up, Ragnell. I'm going to get that Shiny-boobed Phantom Lady comic too. I need to, uh, review it for, uh, feminist purposes too, and, uh...uh...Oh what the heck! I'm a huge pervert without a girlfriend so I oggle 2-dimensional superheroines to compensate for my obvious loneliness. There! Happy now?! Sheesh.

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  6. I seem to recall Palmiotti or Gray saying that all was not as it seems with the Phantom Lady. (That may have been a reference to her not being the somewhat dizzy society girl we're first introduced to, but I've been waiting for a reveal nonetheless. And her father IS, or has been replaced by, Gonzo the Mechanical Bastard.)

    As for GL, it's not so much breaking the fourth wall as pressed hams against it. Green eggs and pressed hams.

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  7. She does look a bit...greased up, doesn't she? Shiny...so very very shiny.

    As for Hal Jordan and his magnificent hindquarters...my entire website was predicated upon this very idea! Go look, I've got
    Nekkid Guy! Woohoo! Let's face it, Green Lanterns just have fabulous behinds. And they AREN'T
    plastic.

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  8. She has a degree in quantum physics, so she's really a complete science geek who just happens to be a supermodel with an aristocratic background.

    Of course she's a fembot.

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  9. He is consciously aware that he is being read, and he's been mooning us. There's no other explanation. And whoever told him, told the other Lanterns.

    ...Ambush Bug...!

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  10. Re: The Phantom Lady, in the series she is written as something of a vapid socialite, so perhaps the plasticity is a reflection of the character after all.

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  11. Ooooh...that is a good idea.

    As Marionette pointed out, PL is a supermodel socialite built to insane proportions who's also a world-class scientist and superhero in her spare time. Named "Stormy Knight." Ahem.

    Making her a fembot not only resolves that strangeness, but it also ties into her name: "She's not a real woman...she's a phantom lady."

    Maybe she's the modern Robotman: a real woman's brain in a faux-woman's body? Or, more amusingly, a real man's brain in a faux-woman's body? That would explain the proportions and costume choices.

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  12. For once, someone makes the joke about a greased-up Phantom Lady and it wasn't me. Shock follows shock at Written World!

    Anyway, Rags, you don't mess around when you do a "back to basics" post, do you?

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  13. I seem to recall reading once that Playboy photographers and the like sometimes wipe down the model's body with Windex? Pledge? (something like that) to make it shine.

    Or at least that's what they did before Photoshop.

    Maybe Phantom Lady came up with an optimal compound for creating a long-lasting breast sheen, to give her modeling career an advantage over the competition.

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