Friday, October 27, 2006

Secret Sex

Secret Six #5

Okay, it turns out I was mistaken. The scene at the end of Secret Six #4 was entirely consensual. But it was written to make the reader infer that it wasn't, so I'm not going to apologise for it. But then it also depends entirely on Knockout being either very ignorant, very stupid, or a bad liar.

It is claimed that Knockout has sex with Deadshot because she doesn't realise that sex is assumed to be exclusive when you are in a relationship with someone, because it wasn't that way back on Apokolips. I don't know how long Knockout is supposed to have been on Earth post-IC but she's been appearing in comics since 1994. She seems well acclimated to Earth culture but has somehow failed to notice the most overwhelmingly popular image of romantic relationships that pervades that culture.

But then in pre-IC comics Knockout is seen as something of a sexual predator, and even has a similar scene when Superboy catches her seducing Victor Volcanum.

So if Knockout is the same person she was pre-IC, then she's a big fat liar and sexually manipulative, or she is new retconned Knockout, so fresh off the Boom Tube from Apokolips that she hasn't spotted that people in stable relationships screwing around is the plot of half the dramas available in any medium. Possibly three quarters.

Which leads me to wonder what anti-heroes do in their spare time if they never crack open a novel, go to a movie, catch any daytime TV, or ever have a conversation that might include any references to relationships.


Anonymous said...

I will assume that Gail Simone needed a cliffhanger ending, the scene was supposed to build anticipation, it worked quite well but we shouldn't read too much into it. And Simone needed to send Scandal in Japan, one way or the other she had to quit.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of virtues portrayed in popular culture which Knockout has decided not to emulate. She (and Scandal) are supervillains, it's not a conformist lifestyle choice. There's plenty of honest work the Secret Six could do with their talents and skills, but they choose not to. It would seem odd to me to look at someone living that life and assume that domestically they wanted a white picket fence style of monogamy. They might, but it would be well to be clear that was what you wanted. Why (especially given the way the stories gone now) would Knockout have assumed Scandal wants monogamy? Her puzzlement could have as much to do with their relationship to date as her Apokolips background.

Anonymous said...

I didn't read that final scene the same way you did at all. I mean, I know it said, "Stop, please," but, well, that's pretty typical for kinky sex between two violent people.

I guess rape never entered my mind becasue Knockout's so much more powerful that Deadshot.

Tom Foss said...

I think it might be that Knockout's never been in this situation on Earth before. Most of her contact has been with Superboy; she's never been part of a team, and she's certainly never been part of a team that went through a harrowing battle. This being the first time she's gotten to follow up on that bit of Apokoliptian culture since arriving on Earth, she could be understandably surprised that it would offend people. For all she knew, Scandal was bumping uglies with Catman in the next room.

Now, on the other hand, it seemed like it was implied that Scandal's reaction was an act, a ruse to explain why she was leaving the team. In that case, it's not a matter of Knockout not explaining it to her, nor a matter of Scandal being upset, but a matter of Scandal needing an excuse and knowing where to find it.

Anonymous said...

Now I think of it, Scandal's intervention probably saves Deadshot. This is an inversion of "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" after all. Unless you've super powers or are a super-martial artist it's probably unwise to get Knockout too excited. Though if Deadshot is still as fatalistic as he used to be characterised he may have just figured "What the hell..."

Anonymous said...

The gender specific thing that's interesting to me is noticing how much less acceptable (to me) the beating would have been if a woman had received that kind of punishment as a "ruse". It shouldn't really make a difference, but it does. Is that just something about the degree I'm going along with Lawton's macho bullshit?

Anonymous said...

"Which leads me to wonder what anti-heroes do in their spare time if they never crack open a novel, go to a movie, catch any daytime TV, or ever have a conversation that might include any references to relationships."

The same thing they do every night . . . try to take over the world!

Anonymous said...

Let's go down the list:

Knockout works out for fun (as seen during many issues of Superboy), she doesn't read (actually, seeing as she is a former Female Fury, it is quite possible she can't read) and would find little enjoyment at all in Terran Television or Movies, so her understanding monogamy is completely understandable. Even if she saw it, she is so endoctorined with Apokolipton cultureal ideals that it wouldn't even cross her mind.

As mentioned before, Scandel was using the point as an excuse to leave and probably neither cared at worst really, and at best actually might have gotten off on the idea (she is a Savage after all, her dad is an Immortal Caveman, she is technically a Cavewoman and not bound by our modern beliefs).

Deadshot is a fatalist and would get off on the thrill that she might destroy his 'gun' (and even his hip bones or ribcage) in the process of lovemaking.

Forget Deadshot... my issue is with Jervis Tesh and his chapauphilia or whatver the term would be. Knockout is wandering around only in all that Granny Goodness Graced her with and the Alice in Wonderland Tea Drinker doesn't even slide on down for a fresh cup or two (and I'm sure her cups overfloweth)... odd fetishes, gender preference, xenophobia, or even proper etiquette still aren't excuses for no reaction... Parademon's Polypliable Peculiar Paramour was so right that The Hatter needed to be kicked off the team.

And just for the record, 'Woman of Apokalipton Steel, Man of Rice Paper' is so an issue with so many couples... but I hear it is less of an issue as woman alledgely have far more control then men.