Friday, October 06, 2006

Having it both ways

You may or may not be aware of the term Editorial Swimwear. This is where some time after the art for a comic is created someone decides that the cheesecake they ordered is a bit rich and they have some hack come in and scribble bikinis on women in the shower scenes, airbrush very opaque wisps of smoke over the wisps of smoke that were already present, or just generally scribble over the completed artwork until the only people it would offend were those who don't like seeing artwork disfigured.

The question I've always wanted to ask those responsible is why the hell they agreed to a scene that involved nudity if they were not prepared to have any in the comic? Rarely is a shower scene integral to the plot, so why not have it changed at the scripting stage? Or when the pencils are delivered, if the art has come out a little more racy than the script indicated? Why wait until the inks are completed and it's too late to have the original artist alter it tastefully?

Why? Because they want the cheesecake shots. They are happy to have scenes in which giant naked women are running around the landscape. Just so long as you can't see any of the nudity.

There's a similar thing happening with the extremes of violence lately. This took me by surprise after the excessive graphic violence on show in Infinite Crisis, but maybe the reaction to that was what caused the change in policy. So when Blockbuster rips the head off a heroine in 52, instead of graphic images of it bouncing away down the street the art is composed in such a way as to leave it unclear what has actually happened to her, and with no text to explain it, the only place you'll find mention of decapitation is on the official website.

There is evidence to speculate that this too was down to late editorial interference, though the extra shadowing applied to obscure what was going on is more subtlely applied. Unfortunately it leaves the sequence of pictures reading so ambiguously that without any text to explain it, you're not sure what's going on at all. When you know she's being decapitated it does read better, but dead is dead, so why have her head removed at all if you aren't going to show it or mention it in the story? I thought he'd broken her neck and the panel structure was just a bit clumsy and random until I read about it on the net.

It seems like they want it both ways. nude scenes that don't show any skin, and extreme violence without the gore.

Okay, I never liked the gore, but I'd rather have nastiness depicted as being nasty and with actual lasting consequences than have it sanitised away. How about just having less violence? Nudity I have no problem with, I just can't get my head around the whole "nudity good, nipples bad" thing anymore than I can make sense of putting flying characters in tiny skirts that barely cover their ass but absolutely never show a flash of panties. Make up your damn minds, you can't have it both ways. Either dress them more sensibly or accept that panties are part of the uniform and since everyone behind her when she's flying is going to get to see them, it's no big deal if the reader does too. She'll still be more modestly dressed than Emma Frost.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Rape of the month: October

I didn't get around to doing a Rape of the month last month because, to be honest, I couldn't face looking at another issue of Walking Dead to see whether the serial rape of the previous two issues was going to continue into a third. Maybe someone can tell me how that worked out, but please without any detail. I just want to know whether I can consider September rape-free or not.

I had been looking forward to having a little graphic that went like "Months with no rapes in comics:" and then a number to show how well things were going. One week into October and already I find I won't be needing it this month after the publication of How To Make Money Like A Porn Star! written by Neil Strauss, with art by Bernard Chang. Kphoebe reviewed it, for which I am sincerely appreciative as it's saved me having to touch the ghastly thing with a ten foot pole.

On the other hand, maybe I should keep a stack of the things. Then I could send a copy out to any writer who thought they were being daring and edgy to have one of their characters sexually abused.

Maybe not. It's bad enough them doing it to show how socially aware they are. The last thing we need is more people writing rape for the comedy value.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

One of several things

Anyone who's followed my ramblings for any length of time will know I have a fondness for obscure DC heroines who didn't get the chance to fulfil their potential.

Today was a good day, and one of several things that made me happy was to see the latest issue of Action Comics cameo The Crimson Avenger. She appeared to have been caught by the Spectre during Day of Vengeance, and although we never saw her actually killed, being an obscure heroine is often enough to qualify you as cannonfodder to big up the villain for the big crossover.

I don't have any hopes of seeing the mini-series that so needs to be written, but I am content to know that she is still out there.

House of ummmm...

Does it make me a bad comic fan that I always get these two guys confused?

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sitch that, Jimmy!

Back in the land of long ago I once saw a neat science lecture that was full of cool stuff about perception. One thing that particularly stayed with me was an experiment that was done live, where a member of the audience was hooked up to a headset and fed a speech through the earphones. They had to repeat what they were hearing into the microphone without pause as it progressed.

Now you'd imagine that repeating at that speed would not give you time to process the information, but when the original speech and the repeated version were played back it got very interesting. Because the original speech was full of slight mistakes, and the repeated version had corrected them. Clearly the mind is a clever and wonderful machine. Clearly also, people don't listen very hard to what they are hearing, and fill in any gaps with what they think fits the context best.

But what's this got to do with Disney cartoons?

Kim Possible is my favourite Disney TV cartoon, second only to Darkwing Duck (1). If you've ever seen Kim Possible you will know that her catchphrase is "What's the sitch?"(2). This may not be a patch on "Let's get dangerous!"(3) but it does allow for a time travel movie (4) of the series to be called A Sitch in Time. Which would be neat and clever if anywhere that carried the DVD spelled it right (5).

1. She's got this weird thing going with her upper lip that makes it look like she's got a chocolate milk moustache the whole time.
2.Sitch - short for "situation" in fashionable young persons' talk.
3. Catchphrase of Darkwing Duck.
4. If you can really call something 66 minutes long a movie.
5. A brief random sampling of internet sites found roughly half the people selling or commenting on the DVD had failed to successfully copy the title of the box in front of them and "corrected" Sitch to Stitch. How dumb does it look to repeatedly quote the ti
tle incorrectly in an article when you have the cover art prominently displayed next to it with the correct spelling?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Light at the end of the tunnel?

In which I make a few logical deductions about what we can look forward to.

For the first time since Kimiyo Hoshi was depowered and left for dead in Green Arrow #55 we have a sighting of Dr Light II that cannot be put down to a flashback or awkward resheduling of timelines. Unless Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are all so out of touch with the current superhero situation that they are unaware of what happened to her, then it's safe to say that Kimiyo is alive and well, and back in action.

In fact the dialogue here suggests not only that they are aware of what became of her, but that subsequent events have occured that we haven't been been shown yet.

Consider; Superman doesn't want her in the Justice League because she is too scary. Retired heroine, single mother, doctor (or business executive according to some), last seen powereless and symbolically raped is too scary for Superman to invite to the Justice League.

You think he maybe knows something we don't?

Extrapolation: Kimiyo has done something scary. Kimiyo has her powers back.

Deduction: Kimiyo done something scary to evil rapist bastard Arthur Light, resolving the plot lines left dangling for the last year and establishing her as someone not to mess with.

Extrapolation 2: since this important plot development has not yet been seen or previously referred to in a One Year Later title it seems reasonable to look for it in 52.

Okay, it would be nice to see a Doctor Light miniseries, but if we are going to get anything that does this story justice then I'll be happy.

Conclusion: Yay!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Nana nana nana nana Batman

Showcase Presents: Batman vol. 1

I'm a big fan of wacky silver age goodness, so I was disappointed to find that this volume dates from 1964 instead of 1957 like the Superman & Superman Family volumes. The back cover blurb refers to the TV show, and I have to wonder if tying it in to a forty year old TV show is enough to make up for this bunch of lacklustre adventures.

I believe this collects stories from the period where Julius Schwartz took control as editor. The accepted wisdom is that he saved Batman from cancellation by throwing out all the weird and colourful elements and bringing it back to Batman the detective, but what we find here are stories that are dull to look at, feature a succession of drab, forgetable villains, and the "detective" elements are either so supremely obvious it hardly counts as detection to spot them or so ridiculously convoluted that it's hard to believe anyone would have either got them or set them up in the first place.

There's the kidnapped scientist whose kidnappers allow him to do a spot of shopping at the chemical supply store, so he buys a series of items which, when you take the chemical names of each form letters that spell out a clue to his location. There's the zappy thing that a villain uses to electrocute Batman, and when our hero wonders why he should have used this particular item it occurs to him that it might also be a remote control to open a trap door. That's not deduction, it's wild speculation that happens to be correct because it fits the script.

And for a series that is focussing on more down-to-earth detective and police related adventures, you'd think there might be some effort to get the police aspects of it vaguely believable. Or perhaps it is just the regulations local to Gotham City that enable a graduating police cadet to be promoted straight to detective level without any experience, and for her to then be partnered with her own father. Or maybe it's just nepotism and he pulled some strings. Certainly she is competent when she's not crushing on Bruce Wayne; she spots clues about villains clothing "because she's a woman" that Batman misses, and gets to their hideout before he does. Of course she then has to be rescued, but you can't have anyone upstaging the star, now can you?

Another Schwartz element that seems to be present here is where he would commission covers and then have the writer produce a story based on that cover. It's an interesting exercise, but he doesn't seem to have cared how the resulting story incorporates that element. Often the featured scene has little to do with the plot and just seems incongrous in context.

Possibly the most interesting thing to a modern reader is how much influence the editor had over the style of a comic at this time. Nowadays you are often left wondering whether the editor even reads the comics they are in charge of - they certainly aren't checking continuity or ensuring that characters behave and look the same as they do in other titles. They hardly even seem to be up to ensuring their titles are delivered on time. In this volume every story has the mark of Julius Schwartz all over it.

In fact, now I think about it I have to wonder how much of this dull change of direction saved Batman, and how much it was the TV show that revitalised sales of the comics. Although the show was created during this period, it features all the wacky stuff that Schwartz had removed, and even forced him to resurrect Alfred, who he had killed off. I don't intend to knock Schwartz as an editor, as I like a lot of the stuff he oversaw on other titles, but I fear his reputation on this title is misplaced.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Judd Winick is still not a misogynist

When I saw Brave New World I couldn't help but notice Winick's treatment of Mary Marvel parallel what he did to Doctor Light II - take her powers away and then drop her from a great height. Thanks to Scans Daily I now find that the parallel continues, and the only female member of the Marvel family is going to spend at least the first two issues of the new series in a coma, with severe physical damage.

Of course it's entirely possible that he hits his male characters with extreme physical trauma and leaves them for dead on a regular basis. It's not like I read enough of his work to make a comparison. It may be pure coincidence that whenever I pick up one of his comics it happens to feature a female character being severely traumatised and removed from the action, leaving only male characters to continue the story.

Let's just say if the next time I see only the female character(s) in a story put out of action (even if they aren't depowered and/or dropped from a great height) and it turns out Winick had anything to do with it, I'll begin to suspect he has some unresolved issues.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

...and then all her clothes fell off

Nude villains of the DC Universe

I'd been thinking of doing a post about all the things that are wrong with Detective #823, but it doesn't seem to have happened, but I do have to wonder what it is with female clothing in the DC universe this month.

On the cover of Detective #823 Poison Ivy isn't so much wearing a costume as garnish. On the first page we find her tucked up in her cozy cell in Arkham wearing an orange prison uniform several sizes too small for her and apparently made of tissue paper. This is confirmed a few pages later as a fight with a monster reduces it to a few shreds (don't they let girls wear underwear in Arkham?). Batman later has a fight with the same monster and yet his outfit remains remarkably intact.

Meanwhile, over at the new Atom #3, which is generally pretty cool, the wonderful Giganta pops up and pops out. It seems she forgot to bring her costume, so when she gets big her clothes explode. She tries hard to do the manic villain thing, but it's difficult to posture like Doctor Doom when she keeps having to hide her scary bits.

I've nothing against cheesecake, but if you aren't going to make any effort to have it make sense in the story, then stop pretending otherwise and just do pinups.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Unscrewing the Inscrutable

In which I make a liar of myself by underestimating my own perspicacity

Over at the Absorbascon, Scipio has been throwing a few digs at feminst comic bloggers lately. After a recent comment where he says:

bloggers who shall remain nameless have made DC self-conscious about the use of prostitution, rape, and similar sexual story elements

I responded, doubting the influence that a few bloggers would have on the editorial policy of a major comic publisher, but it seems I underestimated my own powers.

In an interview at Avengers Forever, Molly Lazer says:

After my column in the Marvel Heroes Hotspot was published, an internet blogger pointed out that, of the characters I listed as examples of strong female heroes, the majority of them had been sexually assaulted at some point. I thought about it for about two minutes before I realized that, of my list of four characters, three of them had been assaulted in one way or another. We can point to the damage inflicted on male heroes, as a counterexample, but I can't think of many male super heroes who have been raped or attacked in the way that female heroes so often are. Storylines like that happen less often these days, possibly because more people are aware of the women in refrigerators phenomenon, but they haven't completely disappeared. Comics reflect the world in which we live, and when you consider the amount of violence towards women that has gone on in the medium's history, that's a scary thought. Still, I think we're on the right path towards remedying this situation and making the comics medium one that treats males and females equally.

That was me.

I did that.

I made someone at Marvel think.

But only for two minutes.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Skrull Culture

It's possible that the Skrulls might have conquered the entire galaxy by now, if only they had a little imagination. Luckily we are spared enslavement at the hands of shapechanging green guys with bumpy chins due to their lack of creative insight.

The story of the Skrulls was not exactly planned out by Marvel. It's entirely possible that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby never intended to use them again after their first appearance back in FF #2, but they stuck around and have popped up all over the Marvel universe in succeeding decades.

But I don't think anyone has ever really put all the pieces together and considered how Skrull culture actually works. Now I don't pretend to know all the details; I certainly haven't read every Skrull related story, and it's been years since I last read some, so set me straight if I'm missing something.

When the Skrulls first appeared in FF#2 (I'm discounting their retconned previous appearance in Marvel: The Lost Generation as the whole series seems to have been written out of continuity now) they pretend to be the Fantastic Four. They can shape-change, but do so only to copy the FF. In fact it is apparent that they have total control over their body shape, but they only use this to stretch when pretending to be Reed Richards.

Ultimately, and I'm sorry if I'm spoiling this for anyone, they are defeated by transparent lies and fooled into thinking that comic book art is a photographic representation of reality. CGI would be wasted on the Skrulls - they are completely taken in by line art and a four colour dot screen.

Looking at this now it seems absurd that they could possibly be fooled. The explanation given is that their eyesight is poor. I don't believe it. There is no way they could possibly have duplicated the physical forms of the FF so accurately if they are myopic enough to be unable to distinguish between comic art and photos. So what's the real reason?

Quite simply, the Skrulls have no concept of fiction. They are entirely devoid of creativity. If there is a picture of something it must be real because they cannot comprehend the concept of making a picture of something that does not exist. This is their one blind spot and the thing that cripples them. They have the ability to be anything they can think of, but they do not have the imagination to do anything other than copy the things around them. Sure, they have an empire. But I suspect if you looked into Skrull history you'd find they were just copying the imperialist activities of the Kree.

Look at how Skrulls are presented when we get occasional glimpses into their society. In our world if everyone could shapechange, it would all be about fashion - everyone would look like the latest celebrity, fads in physical shapes would sweep through the world. Society would fall apart because nobody would be able to keep track of who everyone else was as they changed shape at whim. But the Skrulls keep their own shapes unless they have a reason to change. And they use tools when they could reshape their own bodies to be tools. In fact it is their lack of imagination that allows their society to function.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Robot sin disguised

I've never really "got" the whole Transformers thing. When I first encountered them I was already watching anime and they just seemed like an american take on Mecha, only where instead of being machines for Our Heroes to pilot, the machines themselves were anthromorphised into having personalities like Thomas the Tank Engine. That was strike one.

Strike two was the whole rationale of having a whole bunch of robots living on a robot planet who all turned into like cars and planes and VCRs and shit. I could never understand why they should be designed to do this, since the robot planet didn't seem to have any people in it anyway. Or why they should pretend to be consumer products from Our Planet anyway. I'm sure it's all rationalised somewhere in Transformers lore, but I was never that interested to find out. And how is it that untransformed they are all pretty much the same size, but transformed, one can be a fighter plane or a truck while another will turn into a CD player or a gun? How does that work?

So the appeal of Transformers passed me by and the only one I ever owned was the one that's basically a Macross Valkyrie, because some guys I used to hang with didn't believe it really existed, so when I saw it in a thrift store I bought it.

And now I just heard about Transformers Kiss. It's so utterly bizarre and fucked up I almost like Transformers now.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The failure of 52

Warning: contains spoilers for 52 #15

I'm enjoying 52.

It's an interesting approach to the anthology - turning it into an ensemble piece where different characters are off doing their own thing, but having it all occur in the same comic without any discrete separation, so the various storylines thread together and build up a rich background that informs all the characters' separate adventures.

Where it falls down is that the different stories are not integrated enough. So when the main character in one thread appears to die I am entirely unconvinced because there is nobody to continue his storyline. A storyline that is full of unanswered questions that is so clearly not over. It's a shame, because the format is ideal for a situation where the plot from one segment runs into the plot from another, but they just don't overlap that much. This is a comic where events in one storyline should affect the others, but other than in a general background way, it's not happening, and there is nobody in place to take over this particular plot. And 52 has been far too well organised so far to have this come grinding to a halt with so much unresolved, or for some new figure to come in and take over the story.

He's not dead, Jim.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Pigs fly

Geoff Johns has confirmed that he will be working with Kimiyo Hoshi, Doctor Light 2.

Which just leaves the mystery of why she was ever depowered in the first place, since it seems to have had no relevence to anything in the last year, and caused a big continuity screwup to no apparent purpose.

For a character who was created in the original Crisis the timing seems very odd that she should be depowered just before (in real time) the big sequel. Did some editor want her removed beforehand so she couldn't take part, or was Judd Winick the lone gunman who didn't bother to check whether she was scheduled to appear in the biggest companywaide crossover for twenty years that was about to occur? How is it then that she appears at all? Why is it that she subsequently appears in more comics than she had done in the previous five years, to the confusion of all the readers who assumed that she must have been repowered in a comic they'd missed? And will we now get a resolution to the storyline that's been left hanging for a year, or will one of Plotdeviceboy Prime's continuity punches have erased the whole thing?

After all, it wouldn't make much difference to any characters other than Kimiyo. Bad Dr. Light would still be a scumbucket, Green Arrow seemed to have forgotten her before the story was over, and Kimiyo's appearance was so lacking in continuity in the first place that it didn't make much sense anyway. We'd all just be left with a sour taste of a story that was bad, but which we'd still like to have seen the end of.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Losing the Green

I have continued reading the sequence following the Green Lantern comics I reviewed a few days ago, but nothing stood out enough to move me to writing about it specifically. There was some stuff about Sinestro escaping imprisonment yet again (1) and teaming up with a sentient galaxy, and everyone except Hal Jordon going off to fight them.

Meanwhile Hal is working on his secret identity and getting lots of subplot set up for the big Millenium crossover. Everyone else turns up in time for the main event (2). By this point Englehart seems to be running out of steam on the title, or perhaps he doesn't like where it's going. Either way, his writing is lacklustre and missing any subtext. Characterisation is practically at the level of everyone reciting their catchphrases at least once an issue.

I can see where Englehart might be fed up. It's clear that the entire storyline post-Millenium is a set up to destroy the team he's been building for the previous two years. This culminates in the trial of Sinestro where the Green Lantern Corps decides that since Sinestro always escapes from prison and goes on to commit genocide, the only option left is to execute him (3).

So they all zap him with their rings and he drops dead and the main power battery explodes. It seems that the guardians had programmed in a failsafe to stop them ever killing a male of Sinestro's race. Killing of any other race or sex is apparently fine, but they didn't like the males so they fixed it so they wouldn't be tempted to kill them (4). And just to make sure they were serious about it, not only would this make the main power battery implode, but it would turn OA into a black hole that would engulf the universe.

Seems like a touch of overkill, there.

And you know what? They totally forgot to mention this to anyone before they left. Isn't it always the same? You go away and there's always something. If it's not forgetting to cancel the papers, it's leaving a bomb that could destroy the universe on a hair trigger and not bothering to mention it to anyone.

Anyway, Hal Jordon saves the day, of course, because it's always about Hal Jordon, and all but a handful of Green Lanterns are depowered. What was an ensemble cast of equals is now Hal Jordon and his cheerleaders. And the comic is canceled so that Green Lantern can move into the experimental weekly anthology version of Action Comics that nobody liked much because it wasn't very good.

It's a contrived and sucky end to a good period in Green Lantern, where the focus was on the corps rather than a single ring weilder. Why DC felt the need to dismantle it, I don't know. My only guess is that sales were poor. It's not the only reason for canceling a comic or radically changing its direction, but it is the main one.


1. *yawn*

2. which I didn't have available, so had to do without. Thankfully

3. Which seems a bit harsh. I mean ok, Sinestro has warranted execution for some time, but they have changed their policy at this point not because he has done anything especially nasty but because their security isn't doing its job effectively.

4. which shows a lack of imagination on their part, if you ask me.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Curiously Bob

If there is one type of comic that is a prime target for ridicule, it's the DC comics from the seventies with a political message. I haven't actually read the Green Lantern/Green Arrow road trip sequence, though I know it has enjoyed a better reputation than most. But that may be due more to the Neil Adams artwork than the quality of the writing.

Other efforts have not fared so well, particularly the "women's lib" issue of Wonder Woman (#203) and Lois Lane's venture into racial awareness in "I am Curious (Black)" (LL#106).

I don't believe the criticism of this comic is entirely fair. I thought it was an honest effort to address the issue from a time when comics were expected to be light entertainment and political stories were virtually unknown. Not to mention that it was written by Bob Kanigher, an old white guy who was more used to doing stuff about haunted tanks and nonsensical superhero fantasies.

To complain about the clumsy politics in a comic from 1970 is like sneering at the poor quality of the computers in the Apollo space rockets of that period. Sure, today's digital watches have more computing power than the spaceships that went to the Moon, but they were the best available at the time, and they still got there. And look at the clumsiness of the social message in original Star Trek - having men who are half black and half white being prejudist against men who are half white and half black is at least as painful as Lois blacking up for a day, and yet it is hailed for its insight.

Rather than denigrate them for their faults, I think we should honour stories like "I am Curious (Black)" as the pioneers that opened the way for the more sophisticated comics we have today.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Nobody stays dead

On one comics messageboard I used to hang out at someone had a sig that went "Nobody stays dead except Bucky and Uncle Ben".

It's now got to the stage where you would be very hard put to find any character you could be reasonably sure would be pushing up daisies on a permanent basis. Hell, I would have considered Cir-El a safe bet and then she got a cameo in one of Jeph Loeb's guest star fests, which means that she's still alive somewhere.

I can't honestly think of any character too iconically dead or generally disliked that there isn't a real possibility they won't pop up again. I'm expecting Alex DeWitt to climb out of that refrigerator any time now.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Random comic review: Green Lantern (Corps) #212-213

Okay, so I should probably be doing something more retrospective to mark not only the first post of my second year at this, but also my 200th post, but I couldn't work up the enthusiasm, so you are getting a review of an old comic (okay, two old comics. It's only the one story) instead.

In this story Star Sapphire and Hector Hammond team up to make slaves of Hal Jordon and Arisa. Well, they initially try to kill Hal, but then when that doesn't work they mind control him.

It's a mixture of stuff I liked a lot and stuff I disliked a lot. Steve Englehart clearly had some issues he needed to work through, but I don't see this as the place to do it. The whole male vs female/mind vs body debate that he has going between the villains is not entirely out of place, but it sits heavily in the comic, repeatedly bringing the action grinding to a halt while the two vie for superiority.

The scene where Star Sapphire strips naked to prove she can even make the immobile intellectual Hammond sweat is particularly tangental, and I'm not convinced that she even scores a point there unless you take it as read that any woman can control any man simply by taking her clothes off. Affect them, sure. But control? I don't think so.

And where did all that hair come from? Star Sapphire's hair varies from waist length to below her knees, and in this scene there's so much of it that she can wrap herself in it like a beach towel.

The whole slave segment where Arisa and later Hal (at least it's equal opportunity) are degraded by their captors under mind control kind of fits the story, and it pretty mild compared with what I'd expect in a similar scene today, but there's some unpleasant subtext going on that I can't quite put my finger on.

This debate/contest is never really resolved. Ultimately they are stalemated until Star Sapphire gets Arisa to help her. Perhaps this is a comment on the duplicity of women, but it could also be read as their being more resourceful.

Anyhow, aside from Englehart's issues this is a well written story with clever twists and turns, and a great cliffhanger at the end of the first part where we see Hal Jordon burst. The first part revolves around Arisa being mind controlled to lure Hal into a trap, and it is explained that she is vulnerable because of her recent transformation, so there's no suggestion that it was because she was the girl. I particularly liked that at the end of the story she gets a good solid cathartic resolution. It is Arisa who rescues Hal, Arisa who beats the trap that caught her companion, and Arisa who punches Star Sapphire's lights out.

If they could do that in 1987 why is it such a problem now?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Rape of the month: July

Months without a rape in comics: 0

This is an ugly little regular feature that I am running monthly to highlight just how often sexual abuse appears in comics and to make it clear that it is neither clever nor original to address this issue. In fact so many comic writers have addressed it so often and so badly that it has become a ghastly cliche. It doesn't matter how thought provoking or moving your rape story may be, just don't. There are few enough unmolested women left in comics as it is.

Only one comic this month has include a rape as far as I am aware:

The Walking Dead #29

The serial rape we are promised at the end of last issue is not averted by a last second save, and the character is repeatedly raped during the course of this issue. But apparently the writer does not feel that he has made his point sufficiently, and it looks set to continue into next issue.

If you know of any other comics published in the last month that feature rape or sexual abuse, please leave a comment so I can update this entry.

I really don't like doing this feature so please, writers, stop abusing our heroines, and I won't have to do this anymore.

Happy Birthday blog

One year old today.

I should bake a cake.