Saturday, May 27, 2006

Weekly Women's Geek-Out #2

I have an appointment for the Med-faire later this morning (and not even my comically sprained ankle will stop me. I'll get one of those wooden staffs and hobbled around), so this week's batch will be short and sweet. (I'll join in on the She-Hulk conversation when I get back, but it seems to be going wonderfully without me and I've been outright challenged by a couple of the commenters!)

I figured those of you on livejournal who like comics might appreciate a female-based community There's a number of Fangirl communities there, but Comic Fangirls has been especially active lately.

I've been monitoring 100LittleDolls (found through Kalinara's blogroll) for a few weeks now. The content is splashed across gaming, comics, and political topics, and is always thoughtful and feminist. These interest usually combine, as in this post about a video game, the comments on a Feminist website about it, and ethnocentricity.

Sherin at BigMonkeyComics is musing about Poison Ivy in the Fan Fatale forum (aimed at women) this week. In addition to asking which very of Ivy is the real character, she asks about her kiss-of-death-power. "Is it just another case of male desires driving female characters’ powers or is it a girl-power move in which Ivy uses male libido and the law of blood from the brain… (think about it) in the cleverest of turnabouts?"

Ahh, Comic Books. I love them a lot, but I sometimes find more to complain about in my purchases than praise. Yet I keep buying them! Carla at Snap Judgements gives this disorder a name, calling the tendancy to buy horrible books and then complain endlessly about them online Take Back Ike" Syndrome. (And yes, I too will be watching X-3 despite expecting to hate it. Because it's got Multiple Man)

And finally, cshiana at The Matchstick, the girl who grew up in a comic book store. She dislikes Green Lantern, but I forgive her because I found a picture of Ice hugging a baby seal on her blog. And she is not alone in loving Bigby Wolf.

You can find last week's list here.

Once again, enjoy the new blogs, feel free to e-mail me any suggestions, and these ladies are going up on the blogroll as soon as I get home on Monday. Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, May 26, 2006

She-Hulk


I set out to comment on another post, but not only was it too long to put in the comments, but it essentially turned into a mild analysis of The Incredible Hulk and an explanation of why I love She-Hulk.

Yes, There's More!

There was a complaint about She-Hulk, and the difficulty to find an image of her expressing rage. This naturally, led to commentary on the objectification of women in all media, as evidenced by the difference between She-Hulk and Hulk. I joined in, but only to link the lady searching for She-Hulk Hulking Out pictures to the most recent scans of She-Hulk enraged. They hadn't seemed cheesecakey to me at all. But Tekanji disagreed.

But, Ragnell, that's actually the comment I had in mind when I wrote that she has to be sexualized. The hand panel, I'd argue, is the only "ugly" one of her. In the second link, you have the balloon breasts popping out, and then the fight scenes has a lot of ass shots. She's very muscular, sure, but she's still hot.


I was surprised they actually let her look like an extremely muscular woman (they usually just make her taller, a little more muscular and paint her green). She was bulked out and enraged, as opposed to a thin cute little thing with extra strength.

I looked over the pictures again, and nope, didn't see the problem. Oh, well, disagreement here.

Then I reread the first comment.

Do you notice how the Hulk bulks up past what a realistic human could be, but She-Hulk looks like a bodybuilder (possibly with breast implants)?

That didn't really register with me until you posted the Hulk face above the three sexualized She-Hulks. It's obvious that they didn't go for ultra-exaggerated because it would make her ugly.

Ugh.


And then it hit me, neither of these women follow The Incredible Hulk or The Avengers, so naturally, they missed out on the She-Hulk origin. She-Hulk's not a full Hulk-monster. She's got powers through a blood transfusion, not direct gamma radiation, so she doesn't reach the full destruction level. This allows her more self-control when she fully powers up, but she's not about to level Brooklyn in a rage. They didn't make her an all-out monster because she's still under her own self-control there (even though she's powered by pure rage, she could stop herself from killing him). Whereas, Bruce is always raging out of control as the Hulk.

It's basic Hulkology here. Appearance, when Hulked out, is indicative of character. The point behind the Hulk is that the buried self is revealed when the Hulking occurs.

Bruce Banner? Mild-mannered scientist and good citizen. He's naturally a seething mass of rage who has been taught from an early age to force down and bottle that rage. His Hulking is a sign of his unhealthy emotional state. When he hulks out, he loses control (depending upon current story status, granted, but this is still his concept). He's like a child with immense power. He destroys everything within reach. He's a protagonist but certainly not a reliable hero. He's not really a person when he powers up, he's completely unresponsible for his actions and wakes up from one of these episodes like a man awakening from a nightmare. It's terrifying, and he wants to avoid it. His fear mingles with unfocused rage. In this way, his powers become self-perpetuating. He will never be cured because merely being cursed causes him so much fear and anger that it doubles the curse.

Dr. Leonard Samson is a different story. He got hit with the gamma rays, but never turned into a monster. Instead, a latent mutant power was activated. He got strength and green hair, but remained, essentially, a human-seeming man and retained his intellect and personality. Dr. Samson never changes. He is his true self, and nothing has been buried to an unhealthy depth. This may have something to do with his occupation as a mental health professional.

Jennifer Walters is another story. She's (well, she's supposed to be) a fairly average looking woman. All her life, society has told her two things. 1) She is not a knockout by their standards, and therefore may as well be invisible. 2) She is a woman, and a small one at that, so she needs to be extra careful of all the big strong sadistic men who prey on innocent little women. Then she gets a blood transfusion from her unfortunate cousin, and it's the biggest break of her life. Yes, she's savage at the start, but once she calms down she comes to a realizations. She's bulky, she's colorful, she's tall and she's beautiful. No one can ignore her now, and no one can intimidate her. She's one of the strongest people on the planet. Being She-Hulk is a blessing to her, and she revels in not only the newfound patriarchal approval of her appearance, but also the strength and power that saves her from the life of caution most women are compelled to lead. So, instead of losing her mind in a cursed state, she retains her intellect and personality, and becomes more outspoken. While there may be feminist discussions as to the actual amount of power Jennifer gets from her appearance, there's no doubt that as a person, she feels empowered by the beauty and the strength equally.

If you read She-Hulk, you'll notice that there's implied problems with her current boyfriend, John Jameson. The reason? He doesn't like walking down the street next to She-Hulk. Jennifer is regularly confused by this. She can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to be next to the She-Hulk, and thinks it's just a Jameson family problem with superheroes. Johnm plays it off as preferring her "true form" but he's lying. He likes the mousy aspect of the surface Jennifer better. The down-to-earth aspect. The aspect he can relate to. But the aspect she prefers, the larger than life She-Hulk, makes him uneasy. This makes Jennifer uneasy, and she's brought it up a number of times. The problem as I see it is really obvious. In the Hulk, your true self is most readily apparent when you are powered up. John's uneasy with Jennifer's true self.

This relationship is obviously doomed.

But I digress, my point is, Jennifer has a more human appearance simply because when powered up, she's more rational. Sadly, she's not as powerful. Granted, this is more in the lines of the diminuitive female version of male hero sexism, but it's the reason they make her look like a human bodybuilder when she hulks out rather than a Frankenstein-esque monster. Because she's not an inhuman monster like the Hulk, she's a human hero. It's not (always) to make sure she's "pretty."

This has some nasty gender-normative issues in itself. The male is wild and uncontrollable, not responsible for his actions, while the female is the rational being who happens to be less powerful as a result. And she has to be a sexual, desirable being while he is to be loved for what he is.

There's definite objectification and a double standard in effect. The obvious solution there would be to change She-Hulk to more resemble her cousin. Up her power, and change her appearance to more monstrous.

Except for one thing -- we'd lose Jennifer. In the Hulk, Appearance represents inner self. Jennifer is still rational and human while hulked out, and as she enjoys it she doesn't acquire any extra rage when she does. If anything, she comes away from her more enraged, monstrous periods relieved and feeling accomplished. Even when she hulks out beyond beauty standards, she retains some measure of self-control (unless, of course, she's been externally controlled like in Disassembled). If she were to suddenly become more like Bruce, the character would change drastically.

And Jennifer, as is, is a fascinating and wonderful character with loads of room for growth and exploration. She is ten times more interesting to me, gender-normed concept and all, than Bruce is.

We all know what Marvel thinks of her. There's a reason they hired the cover artist they did. They're sure she's nothing more than cheesecake. But I'd put money down that if they were to switch cover artists from Greg Horn to James Jean tomorrow, she's not only still sell evenly, but her sales would go up because people who were turned off by the excess cheesecake covers (as I was) would be willing to check out the series. And they'd keep picking it up because the writing is wonderful and the character is fascinating.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

COPS: In Outer Spaaace!!!

Mild Spoilers for Green Lantern #11

True to form, I read Green Lantern #11 first today, fully expecting disappointment. I expressed my earlier ennui about Katma, I was pissed off about a new backstory element introduced in Green Lantern #10, I wasn't expecting John to have more than a page or two, and I'd realized that Johns was lying when he promised Kyle (who I just haven't been seeing enough of lately) would appear in issue 11. It seemed I had nothing to look forward too.

But I read it, and I enjoyed it (even when the plot element I disliked intensely came up). Hal was as jerkily appealing as ever -- if he didn't have such a beautiful face I'd hit him (fortunately, he was hit for me many times this issue without doing any damage), and had all those lovely soft facial expressions (confusion, disbelief, mischeviousness) I like to see on guys. Guy was brash, cheerful, and seemed subtly perceptive, while also having at least one charming soft facial expression. Kilowog and Salakk had lines, Soranik had a cameo (Nikkie was actually doing medical work! Another Doctor for Scott's list come Green Lantern Corps?), and the Corps again seemed like a very large police force.

And though I was once again pleased by the inclusion of many background female Green Lanterns, I came away with the feeling I wouldn't mind this creative team doing a book with an all-male cast.

But I can't imagine where that idea came from...

This is What Comes of Writing Captain Marvel Seriously.

Unlike some bloggers, I've never written slash fanfic. I've joked about it, yes. I've even poked fun at slashers in arguments. But I never considered myself a slasher, or even a likely candidate for slasherhood. I knew of a clear line. A line that separates the slashers from the people just poking a little fun.

And that line was... Captain Marvel!

Yes, innocent, sweet, young Catain Marvel was my limit. There was nothing sexual to be found, even inadvertantly, in this character. Ever. I simply refused to see it.

Until today, when I saw what the Fortress Keeper had to offer us today. Two pictures. Now, much as I love analyzing art, my eyes are drawn first to the text boxes on a page. The firstpage features the text:

"I bring it down hard." (I instantly begin giggling like a twelve year old girl.)

"I can do that now. I can summon the lightning and make it tangible." (This is what passes for serious prose in certain circles.)

"I can make them feel it."

"And I wanted these guys to feel it..."

I expected clarity when I saw the next page, but alas, it featured the text:

"...To Feel the Power of the Gods!."

And this pose:



I feel I've crossed a line. A line into something dark and strange.

I fear my life may never be the same.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Truth Revealed

Okay, since my last post did nothing to convince you all, I'll level with you and let you in on the dark secret behind the Ruler of Apokolips.

Once last chance to turn back now...






Explains a lot, doesn't it?

Rant


(Yeah, I know she didn't make my 50 Greatest List, she still deserved better)


The RantHold on, girls and boys, this is my depression downturn before the new comics come in. Green Lantern #11 is shipping. I was pissed off last issue. I was hoping this issue would turn that around. I figured I'll get to see what John is up to.

John's a great character, he deserves more play than he gets, and an undercover storyline sounds intriguing. But I have to admit the real reason I've been waiting.

I had a sneaking suspicion that he might end up in a storyline to resurrect his dead wife.

Katma was the first female Green Lantern (Issue 30, second series, 1964). She was brought in as a trainer, and later married to John Stewart in the 80s. She was killed unceremoniously in a ten-page story (Action Comics Weekly #601 -- in which she appeared in less than 5 panels, had three lines, and came off as, well, there is no other word for it, came off as downright bitchy). This was done to create angst and cause tension between the two male characters -- Hal and John. Later on, she was resurrected at the end of the Green Lantern: Mosaic. This, naturally, was retconned away for Emerald Twilight in the mid-90s.

During the resurge right before GL: Rebirth we saw minor alien character Kilowog (created shortly after Crisis in 1986) resurrected. We saw John Stewart (1972) returned to Lantern status. Then we had Rebirth, and saw Hal Jordan returned to life, and Guy Gardner (1968) returned to the franchise. After that, they revealed that Lanterns like Salakk (1982) and Stel were not dead. And then everyone who had "died" during Emerald Twilight (Most of whom were created in the early 1990s) was revealed to have survived.

But Katma, Katma remained dead/in limbo.

I've seen a lot of activism about women in comics popping up. On one hand, I think that's wonderful. On the other hand, it pisses me off.

Why?

Because the Fridge list was named and began in honor Alex Dewitt, a Green Lantern girlfriend created and killed in 1994, who's short life lasted 4 issues. Her death was an origin death, like Martha Wayne's. She was a civilian. Her death wasn't even sexualized. I never thought it should have counted.

Recently, Jade (1984) was killed to power up another character. It was so pathetic even I couldn't enjoy it. It's caused a lot of fan outrage and hatred towards Kyle Rayner (1994 -- the character powered up) and Ron Marz (the writer who created Kyle, but not the writer who killed Jade). There's a number of people pissed off and demanding Jade return, despite the unbelievable likelihood that she will anyway soon.

And not much is being said about Katma.

By now, you've noticed that I have been writing years by some fo the characters. That's to illustrate a point. There's a greater crime in the Green Lantern franchise. There's a character who suits the Fridge list absolutely perfectly who's been killed who had shit to do with Kyle Rayner because she died years before he was created. A character who was the first female in Green Lantern to be treated as a superhero. A character who was the first female Green Lantern.

Katma.

She was killed to give angst not only to the main character, but to a character eight years her senior. Everybody and his brother is being returned to life in this franchise, and she hasn't been. She even had a resurrection that was retconned away.

I get pissed when I see people bashing Kyle for Jade, partially because Kyle is flat-out a better character, partially because Jade's death is recent and may not take, but mainly because Katma was a considerably better character also, and no one bitches about her death. The character is forgotten. The First Female Green Lantern is basically Forgotten by Fandom Feminists. It drives me crazy.

I'm writing this after participating in an argument with a total idiot on a message board who thinks that it's easier to pair John Stewart with the new female Korugarian (who has a totally different personality, but hey, "they're both hot sred-skinned chicks") than to resurrect the Very First Female Green Lantern Who Predates John by Eight Years and Soranik by Forty-One Years, not just because he pissed me off, but because I realized something.

She is not coming back.

They are Never Resurrecting this Character, or Even Just Undoing the Retcon that De-Resurrected Her.

Superboy Punching a Wall Did Not Bring Katma Back.

Tomorrow's issue will not feature a hint as to her return.

Neither will the first arc of GLC.

And why, when they have resurrected just about everyone else and undone most of Emerald Twilight's (rememebr, she had a resurrection before ET!) damage away, will they not bring Katma back?

Well, the simplest explanation is the most likely.

Because when she comes back, John Stewart will be a married man.

And his character takes precedence.

Which is Misogynistic Bullshit.

And so, fair warning, I'm going to be mighty pissed off for a little while. I want to see Happy Faces to offset this. And if I hear anyone (on this blog, at least) complain about anything except for this, I'm going to be pissed at you.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Ambush Bug...


Already in Progress.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Humor and Missed Opportunities

I'm unhappy with myself today. I've been getting downright serious lately. A few months ago, for example, this post would have been:

Karma Comes to Fandom

After months of ruining Green Lantern for local fanboys, area Blogger Ragnell the Foul got a taste of her own medicine when she found out way more about a writer's sex life than she ever wanted to know.

"I was really creeped out. Even if it is a hoax (please, George, let it be a hoax), I can't look back at those Wonder Womans again. I'll be seeing it everywhere!"

"And forget arguing Diana as a feminist icon again," she lamented, "already we have Marston's wacky kinks thrown in our face whenever we ask that she be handled as more than just wank-off material. Now, they'll keep linking to that gawdawful site."


Now, that's a bit better than my rambling, flailing attempts to realize why the livejournal entry Kali'd found bothered me, isn't it?

Now, I don't blame Feminism mind you. Or even applying politics and symbolism. We need to do these things. We also need to vent. It's just that our society is set up so that it's damned hard to get looking into how it really works and still remain humorous. Nevertheless, I'd always thought I would be able to.

I was wrong, though. I missed that joke for three days.

Three Days.

And it's not just me. I've noticed an upswing towards the serious in the Comics Blogosphere, lately. More political posts and cynical jabs at company direction, less jokes. Now, I've got nothing against politics and issues, they need to be discussed. And damn it, we all need to vent when we're mad about a creator or an administrator. But ultimately, we're all here for a little escapism (which is why it makes me so angry to see sexism creep in), aren't we?

Though fun places like Seven Hells, Absorbascon and the Invincible Super-Blog seem unaffected on the surface, I still had a surreal argument with Chris Sims. We ended up on opposite sides. Normally, I'm the grim n' gritty emotional superheroics supporter, and he's the one who wants to see jokes and car batteries thrown. But in this argument, Sims actually said "Look, I can read a story about Batman and cry..." (We'll pause here for pseudo-masculine ridicule).

I was worried, and it convinced me I need to get my votes in quick. I'd been avoiding the lists, so as not to be influenced by outsiders (Chris is safe as he has no influence on anybody), but I promised myself to read through them once my entry was mailed. So I did a Technorati search on links to the Great Curve's 50 Greatest of DC Challenge to find them, and I have one question for you, Blogosphere.

Why am I the only blogger with Ambush Bug on the list?

(Sheesh, you guys say you want a lighter, more fun DC Universe...)

My 50 DC Characters List

I stand by my choices (and await your inevitable mockery).

The List
50. Joan Garrick
49. Wesley Dodds (Sandman)
48. Jonah Hex
47. Bat Lash
46. Leonard Snart (Captain Cold)
45. James Jesse (The Trickster)
44. Darkseid
43. Granny Goodness
42. Sir Ystin (Shining Knight)
41. Cameron Chase
40. Dian Belmont
39. Harvey Bullock
38. Maggie Sawyer
37. Vic Sage (The Question)
36. Carol Ferris (Star Sapphire)
35. Big Barda
34. Zinda Blake (Lady Blackhawk)
33. Dinah Lance (Black Canary)
32. Steve Trevor
31. Harleen Quinzel (Harley Quinn)
30. The Joker
29. Sandra Woosan (Lady Shiva)
28. Guy Gardner (Green Lantern/Warrior)
27. Tora Olafsdotter (Ice)
26. Rose Psychic (Dr. Occult)
25. Thom Kallor (Starboy)
24. John Stewart (Green Lantern)
23. Querl Dox (Brainiac 5)
22. John Constantine
21. Hal Jordan (Green Lantern)
20. Kay Challis (Crazy Jane)
19. Kyle Rayner (Green Lantern)
18. Jack Knight (Starman)
17. Richard Swift (The Shade)
16. Queen Hippolyta (Wonder Woman)
15. Ted Grant (Wildcat)
14. Karen Starr (Power Girl)
13. Lex Luthor
12. Phantom Stranger
11. Wally West (Flash)
10. Bruce Wayne (Batman)
9. Clark Kent (Superman)
8. Abigail Hunkle (Red Tornado)
7. Commissioner Jim Gordon
6. Barbara Gordon (Oracle)
5. Tyrannosaurus Reich
4. Jay Garrick (Flash)
3. Diana Prince (Wonder Woman)
2. Ambush Bug
1. Lois Lane

Parry, Riposte, Slash

I had a long day at work today, and ended up staying an hour and a half after shift. I should have just gone to bed, but there was an argument that needed to be settle.

Chris Sims has posted a number of pictures of Kyle in his natural element, vs Darkseid in his supposedly natural element as proof that Darkseid is a better character than Kyle.

I could easily steal those very pictures and repost them here as proof that Kyle is a far more entertaining and interesting character than Darkseid. But I am too lazy, and I did have a long day at work. Instead, I propose another comparison that should put an end to the argument.

(Of course, even though I feel that this should silence all dissenting opinions, and even though I have studied both character's rears extensively, I would be remiss in ignoring any links in the comment section offering a comparison based on such an important physical trait. So if you've got them, flaunt them!)

Anyway, for the definitive argument in this sort of disagreement, we must turn to the true experts. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Fans.

Most specifically, the Slashers.

No, I don't mean the post-Emerald Twilight vandals who went after Ron Marz's tires. No, I mean the subset of fans that romantically pair characters that are not overtly coupled in canonical writing,

No one has such a discerning eye as the Slashers. Who else sees the subtle character interactions and nuances better than those so obsessed that they write their own stories based on homosexual pairings of the main characters that would never make it past the censors in the regular series? Who else can pick up the subtle clues of the actuals writers and artists almost instantly, sometimes from a single panel? Who else can pluck at the myriad plot threads left over decades of writing and weave the unthinkable into a coherent tale? Who else thumbs their nose at convention? Is invulnerable to copyright laws?

Yes, the Slashers, and the Mainstream writers know them, and yes, throw them a Bone (Roque Ja/Phoncible P) every once in a while.

And what pairings have the writers hinted at for Kyle Rayner fangirls to squeal over? Why, flings with none other than Hal Jordan and Bruce freaking Wayne.

And who is Darkseid destined to spend his future days with?

Who?



Ahh... Young Love...

Tuesday Sexism

(Because there's way too much for just one day a week!)

And on Comic-Bloc, a fan responds to allegations that his logic was based on sexism.

If you don’t see how out of the six redundant EARTH BORN characters. Five being male and five being “chosen”. The only female and only one born with the powers, makes Jade the most unmistakably obvious least redundant of the six?
Then you probably have some ax to grind against Jade.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Flash is Starting to Scare Me VI

Okay, I'll admit it.

It's unfair.

It's ignorant.

It's prejudiced.

It's downright meanspirited.

But I can't help how I was raised.



I just don't trust anyone who wears a pink dress and a red coat.



(But that's one helluva secret identity idea.)

Monday Misogyny

From a thread about Supergirl getting a tattoo:
I'd rather have a friend who lasered people in the face. Tattoos are a sign of easiness. Kara will be getting some soon.

50 Greatest Rankings

So I was making my 50 Greatest list for the Great Curve's survey today, and I made the mistake of discussing it with Chris Sims. Well, as you well know, Mr Sims can turn a funny phrase but when it comes to actual taste in comics he leaves much to be desired. If he didn't also have the sense to hate Judd Winick, I'd swear there was no hope.

Anyway, he's laboring under the delusion that Darkseid is a better character than Kyle Rayner. That's right, on the Invincible Super-Blog, this guy is better than this guy. This guy gets a higher ranking on a Best Character List than this guy. This guy.

This Guy.

Chris, I'd advise you to quit the hard stuff, it's not good for your liver and it makes you write the strangest things.

Everyone!

Drop what you're doing and listen to the first twelve minutes of this podcast.

And then spread it around, please.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

On the subjects of things we KNOW for sure are true...

(But sincerely wish were a Hoax)

Scans of ASBARTW #4.

I hold them to the same standard as Johnny Sorrow. I don't trust when strangers dress other strangers in their sleep off-panel.

Unless, of course, it's a coma/serious injury situation because that's another story.

But come on, that boy was perfectly well to get dressed on his own!

The Gift of Ammunition

(Edit: I'd like all new visitors who might find this to know beforehand, like most of my regular readers know, that a) it's silently confirmed, and b) much of this rant is influenced by me being angry I can't analyze the writer's work anymore without coming back to the kink. Jerk made me lose my objectivity.)

Kalinara sent one of the WFA links she found. It was livejournal post that linked to an erotic BDSM-style website, with a rant about the website that included an excerpt from the website owner and an except of a fan-letter to the website.

A fan-letter written by a well-known former writer of a female-lead series.

Anyway, I read it and we got into a mild argument about whether or not the writer was being unprofessional in his letter. He was expressing a personal opinion, not presenting himself as a representative of DC, and even saying that the company would not have allowed what he'd wanted. Kali thought I was thinking that way simply because I was oversensitive (to professionalism vs unprofessionalism), and pointed out a few times that a well-known writer had expressed support for WFA and that I hadn't thought it was unprofessional. We quibbled a bit, and I reluctantly gave in, and left the post alone, bookmarked for WFA.

It wasn't until a few minutes later realized the problem with what he'd said. The very serious problem.

You see, the quote had got me thinking back to this writer's tenure on the series. And it got me thinking about all of the various problems I'd had with his run, problems I mentally pushed aside because, on the surface, he'd seemed like one of the better writers she had. I still disliked what he did, but I hadn't considered any sinister personal motives behind it. I'd attributed it to standard societal problems with portraying female characters. Problems even female writers tend to have.

It made me tempted to pick up his old stories, go back and reread them, and then pinpoint where his professed fantasies had affected his work. And that, I think, is where the comments may have crossed the professional line. The earlier writer who had expressed support for WFA? Her comments could not be twisted beyond comparison to support someone's accusations that her run had an anti-man agenda. But this other guy? This is going to come back to bite him in the butt. Because now that that opinion is out there -- that everyone knows that not only did he fantasize, he fantasized while writing the book -- there's nothing to stop a fan from linking to his comments to support the idea his run may have misogynistic undertones.