Saturday, April 19, 2008

Not exactly Separated at Birth

(With apologies to Bully)

I'll admit right off that with me and Kalinara, this is the opposite of that Star Sapphire Green Lantern cover. I giggled and rolled my eyes at this one and she found it distasteful.

But as a Private Benjamin reference?

The iconic Goldie Hawn image:

Ms. Marvel #29:

Just to drive that home, Goldie Hawn again:

If that's an homage, it's a piss-poor one.

It'd be a funny homage, were it for the cover of say Benjamin's Privates or some similarly themed pornographic take on the movie, but a superhero book?

You know, I never thought that I could respect Greg Horn less as an artist, but the thought that he was intentionally referencing Private Benjamin rather than Army@Love or an actual porn movie... Well, that just digs a new cellar under the Hall of Artistic Shame.

I'm so disgusted I'm impressed, actually.

But I'm sorry, it can't be what he was thinking. I'm almost certain it's a reference to an Army@Love cover, but I can't find it. I've seen that pose before in the annuls of military-themed pornographic images. It's not a Horn original idea. It's not a reference to that movie, either.


  1. Also it gets her service branch wrong. Minor quibble to some. But I'm a comics nerd. We're supposed to obsess about that kind of thing...

  2. If it's an Army@Love reference, it could only really be a gender-reversed cover of Army@Love #1. Or a much cruder version of #3

  3. I'm going to disagree with you and say I see the Private Benjamin reference.

    I saw it as Kali921 mentioned it when she posted the image. It's not from the poster, it's from the scene in which she's dressed up for roll call and she's prettied up her uniform with jewelry and other stuff for colour! The woman in charge of her then proceeds to rip all the 'fluff' off while spouting a tirade.

    If you want to look for a more modern/recent play on that scene - it'd be Hilary Duff in the Disney movie where she's a Cadet at a military school and has dressed up HER uniform with a pink scarf and jewelry etc, all while also holding a mock gun for drill routine.

    And now I feel officially old.

    I feel older still right now when I mention there's also a MADD magazine cover somewhere that mocks Private Benjamin that I'm rather sure looks similar to the Ms. Marvel as posted.

    Now does any of that change the fact that without the context of those two (three) references it looks like some happily playful porno layout? No.

    Does it change the fact that the bare, naughtily exposed decolletage pushes it over the edge from satire to smut? No.

    But whoever said Marvel knew when to pull back and stop from ruining a good thing?

  4. This is so I get comments sent. I still think Blogger's going to do that automatically.

  5. I've been out of the loop for awhile, coming to this fresh from a vacation of not having looked at comic covers for some time, and seeing the Ms. Marvel cover, it was just instant "that is so porn." The pursed lips and full cleavage combined with the gun and military accessories... I just want to emphasize: THIS IMMEDIATELY CODES AS PORN.

  6. Avalon's Willow -

    but even without the decolletage and pose, I'd say the Private Benjamin reference you see in that cover would still be wildly inappropriate to Ms. Marvel. Carol Danvers is not a rich spoiled princess new to the military, she came from a family with military connections (IIRC, in her old origin one of her brothers was killed in Vietnam), and already had been an officer (a major in the USAF, if I remember correctly) and a secret agent before she even became a superheroine.

  7. menshevik:

    I'm not much of a Ms. Marvel fan. I'm aware she's had ups and downs with her powers, was cosmic as Binary and had run ins with Rogue.

    What you're talking about now seems more along the lines of the 'assumed' intended satire (and I'm not wiggling out of my claim of seeing threads of said satire) is inappropriate to the character.

    I posted originally before going to bed. But as I was drifting off, the thought did hit me that there were probably more examples than I'd mentioned. Not specifically with a scene where a uniform was added to. But that there are likely more scenes where a female military officer is assumed to be or portrayed as disrespecting what the uniform stands for / trying to make it a fashion statement.

    The thought hit me that it felt like a disturbing trend. I wondered if that was part of what was upsetting people. Not just whether or not this cover was some sort of homage to a show some twenty to twenty-five years old that they'd never watched. But that it would be like seeing Steven Segal in camouflage speedos using the back of some villains shiny bald pate as a mirror to apply lip gloss - Cognitive Dissonance and a more than implied jab at his masculinity, ergo his competence.

    Ms. Marvel 'playing dress up' (as somewhat implied by the cover) is likely a similar "WTF??"