Sunday, October 21, 2007

More Death of the New Gods Ranting

(Because I have to get this out of my system.)

I mean, what were they thinking? That convention season's a few months off so we'll all pissed at Marvel by the time they have to face us? That no one'll notice? That no one'll throw things at a Comicon panel?

Gooey things, like rotten tomatoes and glops of pudding and jello.

Or did they fucking do it on purpose? To get us riled up. So that in a few months they'll leak a preview image of her in Final Crisis and they can ride the "YAY! She's BACK!!!!" reaction. Maybe. Maybe.

Maybe its because I've seen enough cool female characters killed off then not resurrected as planned (Arisia) or resurrected only to have the death remain in continuity while the resurrection is forgotten (Katma Tui) already that this bugs me. That its a first-issue death that might be undone soon doesn't really soften this blow.

No, on second thought, its the kitchen. Katma died in the same fucking stupid way. Its the fucking kitchen that pisses me off. Even if she's back next issue. Its the fucking kitchen.

I don't like to attribute to malice what can be attributed to cluelessness, but this is a fucking kitchen floor dammit! How can they not have known what it says to readers when they have the body of a female character found on the fucking kitchen floor?!?!

The only way to get closer to referencing Women in Refrigerators is to actually put her in the refrigerator!!!

And its Starlin. He's tricky. A tricky bastard of a writer who probably enjoys watching women yell at him. I wouldn't put this past him. Not for a moment.

Fuck you even if it is a trick Starlin. Because that means you knew. You did it on purpose to piss us off so you could laugh at us. Fuck you, and the editor who signed off on this.

And no, I'm not buying the fucking series just to see if you resurrect her or if you leave the job to someone else. So stuff it old man!


  1. I feel the same way. It is as though he made Barda's death as close to Katma's as possible...JUST to piss us off.

    So Big Barda, of Apokolips, of the Female Furies, dies quietly and unnoticed on the kitchen floor, without a sound or a struggle.

    Yeah, right.

  2. I think it's a mistake to take this personally. I'd be very surprised if it was deliberately referencing Katma's death -- it may loom large in feminist fan consciousness, but I'd wager that most people have pretty much forgotten it, like any other piece of bad, 20-year-old continuity. Starlin may not know about it at all.

    I really do think this is a case of moving characters from point A to point B, and everything else is just going through the motions. It's stupid to throw away one of Kirby's greatest 4th-world creations just to get Scott really, really angry -- killing Oberon could have accomplished the same trick -- but its that type of thoughtlessness that characterizes this whole effort.

    It's a terrible, thoughtless waste, but I wouldn't say it's any more malicious than the premise of the series itself.

  3. I'm not sure, Rob.

    There's been so much interweb coverage of the whole WiR issue, feminist bloggers and bloggers who generally just don't like the treatment of women being shown, that only a very irresponsible and apathetic company would refrain from monitoring customer feedback via the internet, and monitor any ongoing movements or changes within their fanbase. After all, a wise company would make use of what is basically free market research!

    So someone involved in this comic, whether it's the writer, editor whatever, would be aware of the current issues. I know in my company, any public info or action that could effect us or our image is considered and relevant information/action plans are passed down to ALL STAFF.

    Either this is done on purpose to piss people off or the comics industry just does not give a monkey's. Either way, it sucks and it doesn't reflect well.


  4. I'd have to disagree, Rob. The fact that she dies is undoubtedly "moving characters from point A to point B.The fact that she dies without a fight, off screen, in a kitchen, indicates either A) the writer deliberately showing his contempt for female readers and their complaints or B) thinks so little of Barda that he merely regards her as a domestic attchment to Scott.

  5. Not wishing to deny anyone fangirl rage about a meanspirited ugly comic, but did any of the other victims get a big death scene? I don't think you can single out Barda for that and say she got treated any different from the others.

    Death is meaningless here anyway. I'm sadder that Starlin's setting up the Forever People as responsible.

  6. Tavella -- From what we've seen, I agree with B. I'm just saying that Barda's treatment is a reflection of Starlin's view of the characters (and DC's focus on the destination to the exclusion of the journey), rather than a deliberate stick in the eye to feminist readers.

    Doesn't make it not suck.

    And Bunny, while some editors monitor stuff like this, I just don't think making sure this segment of fandom isn't pissed off his high on their list of priorities. But, I think it IS a higher priority than deliberately pissing us off.

    All I'm saying is, it's unlikely this is a deliberate, malicious insult. It doesn't mean you shouldn't be mad about it.

  7. Barda and all the Gods will be back, probably updated with less Kirby overtones a la Lords of the Ultra-Realm or something.

  8. About a year ago, I was really getting into DC comics. I was spending $15-$20 a week at the local comic store (where I had previously gone there a couple times a year). I seriously loved Manhunter and Birds of Prey, I was buying 52, and kept trying out various other DC titles.

    Then they flubbed the Wonder Woman relaunch, canceled Manhunter (and un-canceled, and re-canceled, ad WTF is up with it now), Gail Simone quit BOP, and now all the characters I'd grown to know and love from BOP (Black Canary, Barda, Knockout) are being ruined or killed off by editorial mandate and writers who see them as props for male-centric stories rather than heroes). I'm back to visiting the comic store only once every couple of months, to pick up _Buffy_, _Welcome to Tranquility_, and _Castle Waiting_ (lack the note of DC-universe titles).

    Way to lose a new customer, DC!

    I guess I'll just go back to spending all my nontrivial disposable income on manga. Manga's no feminist paradise, but at least I can be sure that characters and plotlines I enjoy won't be ruined by switching in a new creative team, or some stupid line-wide crossover.

  9. They'd need a pretty big refrigerator.

  10. Not wishing to deny anyone fangirl rage about a meanspirited ugly comic, but did any of the other victims get a big death scene? I don't think you can single out Barda for that and say she got treated any different from the others.

    Knockout's death lasted over several panels and involved begging. That was fun as well. Lightray was just shown all dead in the giant ass crater. I'm not sure who else has even been SHOWN dead yet. Anyone have a list?

  11. rob

    There's a difference between taking it personally and believing it's deliberate. It's possible to do the former without the latter.

    I do take it personally that DC still considers us so insignificant and unworthy of their attention that this would ever happen even accidentally.

    And des, yeah.

    I think the part that has has me rolling my eyes the most is that we still get all kinds of advice that we need to complain less, and be nicer when we do complain. The irony is that if there weren't communities like Girl Wonder and (to the extent that it is one) the readers and compilers of When Fangirls Attack I'd have likely given up long ago. It's knowing that I'm not alone and that lots feminists/women have been fans much longer than I have and still find stuff to love - despite their complaints - that's kept me reading comics.

  12. Given Starlin's prediliction for REALLY OBVIOUS jokes (Take a look at Wyrd, if you can), I would tend to think he drew that panel snickering all the while.

    Dan Slott has a new white whale, I suppose...

    Starlin I don't normally classify as a misogynist, in fact he's still one of my favorite creators, but this book was unbearably lame.

  13. heh.
    Y'all shoulda listened to vince.
    He tried to warn you what your "tactics" were gonna lead to.

    Cost of Death of the New Gods #1 2.95
    Cost of "How to win friends and influence people" 1-20 buckes depending on where you buy
    Seeing fangirls to stupid to realise when soemones trying to help them get the eact reaction he predicted?

  14. Ah, I do love RMM's well-though out and eloquent posts...

    RMM, did being "nice" and "polite" and using sugar-coated tactics work for ooh... ANY group protesting against something?

    I mean, even the Dalai Lama made it pretty clear what he wanted and, while violence was not used, you definitely couldn't say his tactics were sugar-coated.

    Please, name one positive change that has come about by a group of protesters or people generally being NICE and saying "pretty please?".

    I mean it, I really would like to know.

    And you know what? Let's say you're right, and the more we moan the less we get...

    then when all the female comics fans and feminist fans generally get pissed off and stop buying comics, it's the industry that'll suffer. We'll all be too busy enjoying indie publications to notice.


  15. Heheh, RMM is right of course. This is all YOUR FAULT, Ragnell. YOU. you MADE poor Jim Starlin write this! Shame on you!

    Congratulations, RMM, you are the funniest parody of an anti-feminist troll I've ever seen. I never stop giggling after reading your comments/posts. I've never seen such a successful attack on the credibility of anti-feminist bloggers. Where do you get your energy?

  16. and yet you fear allowing my response to bunny being posted....

    And kali I couldnt come up wiht a more sterotypical feminazi if I tried, so the admiration is mutual. Cause you know when people say "I'm a humanist. not a feminst"? Its people like you that are the reason.

  17. my comment got eatened up!

    So we'll try again.

    Shorter rmm:

    "Stupid Bitches, you only got what you deserved."

    (any similarities to rape apologist trolls is entirely coincidental. not.)

    On a more serious note, I'm extremely amused that the person who is most convinced that this was done on purpose - that purpose being to piss off female fans - is also the one person here that is most likely to argue that our complaints are have no basis in reality. And that we are ascribing motives that don't exist, blah blah blah....

    Yeah, that's...consistent....o_0

  18. When someone has been falsely blamed enough for a crime, its a very human reaction to decide "fuck it, if im gonna do the time I might as well do the time"
    Accuse people of being mysogonists long enough, and they'll decide to act like em.

  19. "Accuse people of being mysogonists long enough, and they'll decide to act like em."

    Wow. You certainly view the human race as a mature and developed species, capable of empathy and wisdom, clear critical thinking and qualitative risk-reward analyses.

    See, while I do see it hard how to believe that these issues in comics that keep cropping up are ALL being done entirely by accident, I do find it hard to believe that they were all done with a "fuck it, let's piss off this demographic some more" mindset.

    What would be in it, longterm, for the company? A responsible and sensible company does not want negative press associated it, not if the risk of driving away customers is realised.

    What company, already losing profits, would want to make their position any worse by turning away yet more fans?

    Anyway, telling someone that "this scene is a little misogynistic" or "this part is sexist" is as close to accusing someone of BEING a misogynist as "what you just said is racist" is to telling someone that they are a racist.

    I can't remember who, but one of the bloggers I read did a great post on this.


  20. Starlin is jerking us around. Plain and simple. Yes, she'll be back. They'll all be back, and maybe we'll even get a post-final crisis update of the story where she was forced to make porn movies. This isn't so much a raised finger to feminism, as a badly thought out scene. Because I think it could have worked. Perhaps they could have had Scott come home, note the groceries, note the way she was killed, and angst that it should have been him - that HE'S usually the one taking care of the little domestic things, that dying this way was so unlike his beloved Fury.

    But no, we got one of the calmest, most centered, most loving characters in comics - of any gender - going into a NOOOOO! DARRRRRRK VEEEENNNGEANCE! mode. Pshaw. Even considered the Anti-Life equation. And what stops him? "She wouldn't want that"

    Oh, come on, Scott, you'd be the one calming HER ass down if vengeance was called for...

    Wait a minute. Did the artist make a mistake? Are Scott's dialogue/thought caption
    s supposed to be BARDA'S reaction to finding SCOTT on the kitchen floor?

    Because that's the only way it makes a lick of gawddamned sense.

  21. "Fuck you even if it is a trick Starlin. Because that means you knew. You did it on purpose to piss us off so you could laugh at us. Fuck you, and the editor who signed off on this."

    What was the word I used before? Oh yeah... narcissistic. I've got some thoughts of my own on the matter over at my blog...

  22. Barda is a fierce warrior from Apokolips, but she's also a housewife and there is nothing wrong with that. Scott is the son of Highfather from New Genesis, but he was just about to dice the onions… they live like normal people, well as much as that's possible. Yeah, that would make Lashina cringe (see the old Suicide Squad series), but still… It's like you're about to rename the kitchen as the "liberty room". Besides, Barda can't die a glorious death when every other character is taken out instantly.

    Lightray (Countdown 48): crashed on Earth, presumably instant kill.
    Sleez (Countdown 46): executed, begged for his life.
    The Deep Six (Countdown 38): instant kill.
    Knockout (Birds of Prey 109): executed, she begged.
    Grayven (Outsider Five of a Kind 3): instant kill.
    Speed Queen (Outsider Five of a Kind 3): instant kill.
    Black Racer (DotGN 1): instant kill.
    Doctor Bedlam (Death of The New Gods 1): unknown, presumably instant kill.
    Magnar (DotGN 1): instant kill.
    Barda (DotGN 1): instant kill.

  23. crazy people: comics aren't sexist!

    feminists: um, yeah they are. (examples galore)

    crazy people: you can read people minds?!?! how do you know they meant to be sexist!

    feminists: intent isn-

    crazy people: lalalala not listening. you know, if you didn't go around being mean to people, maybe they'd condescend to listen to you.

    feminists: whatever. wasn't actually talking to you to begin with. if you don't want to listen i'll just go back to the original conversation.

    rinse, wash, repeat

    feminists: what? are they completely stupid? was this on purpose or are they just that ignorant, and do I care?

    crazy people: hahaha we told you to be nice. but instead you went and pissed people off and look at how they got back at you!

    feminists: um, weren't you the ones saying stuff like this wasn't on purpose a while ago....

    crazy people: call a dog a duck often enough and it will learn to quack!

    feminists: riiiiiiiiiiight. so, just for curiosities sake, I've gotta ask, what then is your secret to reading minds? and please, dear wise one, please let us know which writers/artists/editors/etc. we've pissed off enough to make them have no other choice than to be mean to us, and which ones we should still never ever accuse of doing bad things.

  24. Mickle, you make me wish you'd posted that earlier. You summed up perfectly not just this little string of comments but so MANY others before and damn if you didn't make the point of the whole thing more clearly than I ever could!


  25. bunny

    What I've learned from trolls on feminists blogs is that the die hard trolls rarely have a point other than "you suck!" and "shut up!" so they aren't really thinking through their arguments, cuz they don't really have any. They are just trying to come up with the best zingers to each particular argument. Which ends up making their overall argument really weak by virtue of not actually having one.

  26. Well, of COURSE there are a BASKET(CASE)LOAD OF WOMEN who make me almost ashamed to call myself a feminist (kalinara isn't on that list).

    There are ALSO a Basketload of people who make me almost ashamed to call myself a Conservative. I... won't mention any by name, but maybe you can guess who I'm talking about, RMM.

    But I'm not going to stop calling myself EITHER of those things, because I know what those words mean. And while I am a (religious) Humanist, saying I'm a humanist instead of a feminist would be a misuse of terms.

    I'm a Conservative, a Religious Humanist, and a FEMINIST! Nothing short of major paradigm shift will change that, and I can live with the rolled eyes and quick judgements I get when I apply those terms to myself, simply because they apply...

  27. The only reason I could see for Barda to die at the beginning of the series is to show that DC was serious in killing off all of the New Gods, since it's mostly been C- and D-list New Gods being killed. The fact she was killed while they were getting ready for dinner was more than likely to make her death tragic, as having her fighting to the death, while cool and expected, would be expected. I can't see Stalin going out of his way to piss off any segment of readership. Didio seems hellbent on killing every character he doesn't find useful, and it's sad the New Gods are on the chopping block, but I think it's great Stalin is at least trying to make it an interesting story.

    To des, Welcome to Tranquility is a Wildstorm title and Wildstorm is owned by DC. Hence why Wildstorm is Earth-50.

    To zhinxy, Mister Miracle wasn't about to go "NOOOOO! DARRRRRRK VEEEENNNGEANCE!" He was going to use the Anti-Life Equation to bring Barda back to life, which more than likely would create some horrible chain reaction(purely guessing here, I didn't read Cosmic Odyssey). That's what Barda wouldn't want.

  28. jon hex - I know he was gonna use it to bring her back. But he was still a bit too "DARRRRK VEEEANGEANCE" On the whole for my tastes. The whole thing seemed... well... rather misandrist! He's brought back to full manly-man mode by finding his poor woman dead in the kitchen.

    And hey, I may have my issues with Starlin, but why do you keep calling him STALIN? He's not that bad! ;)

  29. It a completely different creator that people call 'Stalin' anyway, and I think he's still exclusive to Marvel.

  30. Comic books are stacked with sexism and misogyny. I can see why so few women are attracted to them; and yet some are. As a woman do you get out of comic books? Are they fun to read despite the frustrations you experience? Maybe it's a naive question but I'd be curious to hear some responses.

  31. Shamus -- You see the Blogger toolbar above?

    Do a search on "Green Lantern" and be sure to click on the "Search this blog" option.

    Yes, you'll see rants, but that's the best place to see me being happy.

  32. I think we can all agree, intuitively, that Dan "the Hitman" DiDio is the real problem at DC.