Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Night Fights

For Bahlactus, Kyle Rayner and Barda Free in an art museum.

Countdown #27

I suppose this one counts as spoilers so here's a spamming image.

Anyway, to answer anyone who is about to ask (or has assumed by putting my name in the title of their post that I actually give a shit about this particular character) what I think of this after my recent ranting -- Sweet!!! I had Weeks 26-29 in the Donna Troy pool!

In all seriousness (and in all seriousness I really don't care much for that character) this all happened right after a fight (though she didn't do shit in it), there was no tantalizing flash of cleavage as she went down, and its been proven time and time again that no fridge can hold that woman. (Really, Kyle's reaction shouldn't be "No!" but "I know she'll be back next week, but I'm still very pissed off by the intention!") I can understand some of her fans being pissed (really, she didn't do shit in that fight, and you can tell this was to get Kyle good and pissed), but this doesn't strike me as really bad. A storyline where Donna dies and then comes back to life may as well be a storyline about Superman getting a cat out of a tree. You can do it well and interesting, and get some empathy going with the characters, but you really can't inject a lot of shock and suspense into it.

I'd say it has the positive of classifying that love triangle talk as the creators trying to mislead us, at least. Except for the sarcastic dialogue when Kyle first joined the group (Jason said "he's dreamy" about Kyle when talking to Donna, like he was teasing her over Kyle or possibly a bit jealous) that had me thinking maybe Jason carried a torch, I wasn't seeing the romantic tension. Donna and Jason tolerated each other, Kyle and Donna were friendly (but not friendly in that way), and Kyle and Jason were at each other's throats. That proves nothing, because Kyle and Jason are the sort of people who would be at each other's throats over the aisle seat in a movie theater. Really, with Kyle showing off like an ass (I swear, it seemed like they were writing Hal -- post-Parallax euphoria, perhaps?) and Jason was being his usual bright and cheerful self at the beginning its no wonder they started off badly and went to worse from there.

It is nice to see Jason being a proper asshole again. He was getting too comfortably cranky with the others.

It still doesn't make sense to me.

I know I've mentioned this before, but I finally caught up with GLC and Blue Beetle and one question just kept running through my head.

Why does Brik have breasts?

At first glance I love her design. She's big and blocky and strong. Not normal for a female character. But... She has boobs. Big honkin' boobs.

Okay, I know, they wanted something to mark her as "female" and a basically humanoid female-shaped rock can work, but even with that in mind it makes no fucking sense that they should be round.

She's not a mammal or even made of flesh. She's not carved by an artificer. They don't suit her original story purpose. She was made to be the "ugly girl" who had a crush on Hal while he went crazy for Carol! Why did they feel a need to give her boobs?

Its just so fucking ridiculous. I can't read a scene with Brik without wondering why she has them. I especially can't read a scene where the artist draws her shirt torn without wondering why they're drawn like Arisia's breasts. I mean, okay, a Generation 1 Arcee-style "shelf" placed strategically in the spot where it mimics a human woman's chest (a "rack"?) would be one thing, but these are round bouncy boobs. They are almost always drawn as round bouncy boobs, even though the rest of her character design suggests there should be a blocky shelf instead. (The blocky shelf would imply female just as well, by the way.)

It just doesn't work. Why does a silicone-based rock entity have boobs?! There's no in-story reason for it. What sort of fucked up evolutionary path led to giant rockwomen with breasts? (It must be an evolutionary path, because if there was a deity actively involved in her creation there's no way that sort of feature would be there. Agony in childbirth? At least there's a physiological reason. Giant rockwomen with breasts? No reason. No reason whatsoever. Only humans think of that shit.) What kind of universe do they live in that such a design came about? What was the artist thinking when they designed her? Did they realize it totally takes you out of the story that you have to stop and think "oh yeah, some artist wanted to draw boobs" and then try and immerse yourself back into the universe of Green Lantern which only works until you see Brik's boobs again. They boggle the mind. Why do they exist?

It distracts from an otherwise lovely story.

Come to think of it, this is the first I've seen Brik since Recharge. Did they realize her design is tough to explain and just shove her in the background until the Blue Beetle guy wanted to use her, or do they just not know what to do with a full-figured rock-woman whose primary story purpose is to crush on Hal?

And I think I'd be okay with them if just one single character were to wonder aloud why a rock entity has boobs. Just a throwaway line in the dialogue. You can't tell me Guy's too polite to mention it. Or that the Doctor isn't curious.

I mean, is there no sanity in Green Lantern whatsoever?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Using someone else's words as a jumping-off point for my own angst.

Kevin on the current Marvel Universe setting:
Think about how frightening it would be to live in the Marvel Universe now. Think about being a political commentator not knowing if your thoughts were being monitored because of a blog post you made. Think about being someone in power, not knowing if you were actually standing beside who you thought you were at a government banquet. Think about being a person with extraordinary abilities who's forced to sign up with The Initiative or stay in the closet for fear of prosecution. Finally, think about being an ordinary citizen having to tolerate a de facto police state because of an accident in a small town in Connecticut.

This is probably me being some sad Captain Yesterday sort, but when I pick up a superhero comic, I want something that doesn't provide a version of our current state of affairs with even more paranoia lumped on top. Weird, I know.
As I said to someone about the prospect of Millar writing a Superman movie (that rumor is dead now, by the way) -- What, you don't want heavy-handed political allegory that reminds you how much the situation in the real world sucks in your escapist entertainment?

Its not that political and social issues can't be done in superhero comics, its just that you get to a point where all of the wonder and fantasy of superheroes get sucked out of the story in order to serve "the point," and the world you're reading about becomes a place you don't want to spend your spare time in anymore.

I don't read any Bendis anymore for kind of the same reasons. I don't want a story where my heroes knuckle down under the sort of stuff that I have to worry about every day, only with a supernatural/superpowered flavor. Give me something with space aliens trying to take over the universe, please. Or a plot to kill God. Or a side-trip to Hell to rescue someone. I don't need to see drug-dealers, rapists and jackass street toughs beating the shit out of my heroes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

For Future Reference

If you want to link-bait When Fangirls Attack, there is no need to troll my personal blog and drop little hints about reactions on your own blog, then force me to follow your name to your profile and check all your blogs looking for the topical post. There's a good chance I might miss what I'm looking for that way and instead link something that makes you look like an ass. (Now if the post that makes you look like an ass is actually the one you meant, then yes this can work. But you may not always be so lucky.)

Also, don't count on linking my personal blog, my name, or WFA. That won't always get you noticed. Search engines are unreliable in this aspect, I don't always check for links to catch my links, and I'm not shelling money out for the long referral list on the WFA stat counter. I'm only doing this so long as I can up my blood pressure for free, dammit.

And if I've linked you once, I may not find you again. Whether I consider the site worth remembering depends on how many posts about the subject in question you had on your front page and my mental state at the time I found you.

There are two reliable ways to get linked on When Fangirls Attack. First, there is contact information for both myself and Kalinara on the sidebar. Use it. Email your link to us. If it is not on topic, we will ignore you. If it is, we will link you. Second, comments on When Fangirls Attack are once again open (and if I see fifty comments questioning our policies again, I will make you all pay somehow) and you can leave your link there.

That said, Written World is my fucking blog. Not yours. My comment section is not your fucking soapbox. I know that sounds childish, but Blogger and Wordpress and Livejournal and Insanejournal are all free services. You can get your own fucking blog and say whatever the fuck you want and delete whatever comments you like and be as rude or nice as you want. (If you are blogging about women in comics, let me know in one of the two reliable ways, I will link you on WFA.) If you're going to be long-winded, make it worth my while. If not, write a post on your own fucking blog and link it in the comments of the appropriate (links on a post that have shit to do with the link will be deleted according to my whims, even if they are from blood relatives and/or about women in comics) post here. (If it is about women in comics, I will link you on WFA.)

However, I'm not completely heartless. If you would like to play with my trolls, feel free. I don't mind if you break them.


And further, I would say that that would be something anybody could read about. Thats not--and I'll put this in quotes--"a male power fantasy." I just read that again today and boy did that piss me off--when somebody was talking about comic books--"Typical male power fantasy"--Well no, its not. There's nothing male about it. Its a power fantasy. Everybody has them.
-- Lene Taylor, I Read Comics Show #58 (About 3/4 of the way through, and she follows up with a rant on art)

Sexy Costume Suggestions

Dorian has 'em.

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!

Wait a minute...

Why is it that people who answer feminist critique with "This is nothing new" don't seem to realize that that's pretty much the whole problem? That it goes on, that's its been going on, that a whole bunch of people are getting fed up with it and we're reaching the point where creators are going to find themselves dodging thrown maxi pads at conventions if they don't learn to fucking shape up right fucking away?

Then, on the other hand, part of me wants to say "No, it wasn't this bad. I started reading in the fucking 90s, and it wasn't this bad. There were T&A characters, and I ignored them, but the characters I liked got treated with respect and at some point that started to erode and now I'm just trying to get through this anti-woman nightmare period by complaining about the problems so I won't have to give up on the male characters I love as the only way I can avoid watching all the female characters I love are being dragged through pigshit of varying viscosity in order to conform to the wish-fulfillment fantasies of some jackass creator and his flock of jackass fans because the 21st Century is apparently the ideal time to put uppity women back in their place after that nasty feminist movement."

I think there's an ebb and flow, and we'll have a few years of decent female character treatment followed by a few years of backlash. I figure that's why it seems like things are getting worse when in the past they have been this bad before, because right before this we had a period of relative calm and complacency. So we get this illusion of this sort of thing having been "always there" at the same time we get the creeping feeling things are getting so much worse.

Death of the New Gods Spoilers (Big one)

I still think this is a trick, and that if it isn't it'll all be undone after the next crossover. These characters aren't ever really gone.

But still..

On the kitchen floor?

No signs of battle?

Katma Tui-style.

You killed that character on the fucking kitchen floor.

That character.

Okay, not only had this better be a trick, this had better be a trick undone next fucking issue because anything less than an immediate "there is no way she could possibly die like this so its obvious that the whole matter is a HOAX" is an insult and proves that somebody at DC clearly has their head up their ass.

And reminds me I'm still pissed off about Katma.