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Friday, January 27, 2006

On Rape and Sexual Assault in Comics:

Ragnell posts very eloquently about sexual assault here. Definitely worth a read. I wrote a long thing myself in the replies. You probably don't have to read that, but it's got most of my opinions about the subject.

But I thought of a few more things to add here.

I have never been sexual assaulted/raped/molested. But like every other woman in this country and probably around the world, I've had to deal with the possibility of it happening all of my life. I know women who've been raped. Women very close to me. Women who've never done anything to deserve it (not that anyone could ever deserve rape). Women who've done far less risky, stupid shit than I have. The only reason I've avoided it thus far is that I've been lucky. And I know, everytime I'm walking to work at eleven 0'clock at night, after the buses stop being regular but before the Night Owl starts running...it only takes once for my luck to run out.

I don't dress provocatively. (I'm lazy and want to be comfortable). My hair is perpetually bedraggled, I don't wear makeup (too time consuming and my skin will itch). But the girls I know...they weren't dressed any different than I am. None of us are incredibly beautiful or alluring or any such nonsense...but people are idiots if they think lust is all that motivates sickos like that.

And you know what, maybe I'm being selfish, maybe rape survivors do like seeing so many characters recover from being raped to become strong happy women, but I'd like to see it a little less. Comics are escapism for me, and while I like lots of drama and angst...I could do with a bit less hitting close to home thanks. I don't mean cut it out entirely. But save it for something like Identity Crisis, where you need something that monstrous to motivate the heroes into crossing a line.

And as I said in my reply there: subtlety is better than overt. I don't need to see all the details. I usually don't even need to see it said. I mean, personally, it's pretty obvious that Starfire's backstory contains some of that. Then there's JSA 18, as I mentioned. And the thing is, I think it's largely well done in these situations, and I'm perfectly okay with them, and I'll explain why in a second.

But first, let's look at JSA 18. Third issue in the Injustice Society plotline, majority consists of the answer to "who the hell is Johnny Sorrow?"

Now it might just be me, but I personally thought that the whole Johnny Sorrow segment where he kidnapped little Sandy the Golden Boy from his room at night...well, it was creepy. More than creepy. I seriously read it and thought, holy hell, they actually went there. (Which is the reaction a rape plotline is *supposed* to have, damnit!)

I mean, maybe it wasn't meant to have read like that. Maybe I'm just sick-minded. But damn if I don't see some very specific hints in the art:

One hell of a creepy opening.

Look at that for example. Specifically the detail of the kid's clothes. Do you notice what I notice? They're coming the fuck *off*. And that's a very deliberate, very subtle detail I think. I didn't catch it the first time through, but then I did and I was creeped out. Christ.

"I took the liberty of dressing you."

Next page. Okay, with or without any other implications on the previous page. That's fucking creepy. That's fucking traumatizing thank you. Imagine going to bed in your nice, warm, safe bedroom. A place that by all standards of decency and ethics should be inviolate. And then you're nabbed by a villain and you wake up in a different set of clothes. And your captor tells you he *changed your clothes* while you were unconscious. This guy has now seen you at the most defenseless and vulnerable you have ever been. That's horrific. (And part of why I like Sorrow as a villain so much. Shut the fuck up, Doctor Light, let Johnny Sorrow show you how horror's done *right*.)

And as Ragnell pointed out to me...notice the word choice. He doesn't say "I've changed your clothes." He says he *dressed* him. *shudders* Completely different vibe there.

Okay, fast forward through a bunch of backstory and some hitting of the poor tied-up kid and otherwise physically domineering positions (you can see for yourself). Yay for rescue:

Rescue!

Notice the stammer. It's a very small point, but significant. Go earlier in the issue, see how Sandy talks and acts during the robbery before it goes wrong. Go to JSA Returns and read "A Terrifying Hour" and see how he acts there (for more specific Geoff Johns characterization), go to the JSA issue of Sins of Youth (he's a little quieter there, but he's also the adult reduced physically to a kid, which isn't the same), and if you must, go read Creature in the Velvet Cage. Though it's bad and off-kilter in terms of Post-Crisis character development. Sandy the fucking Golden Boy doesn't stutter. He's brash, confident and smart alecky. He's fast-talking and quipping. He's always smiling. And always saying/thinking about how invulnerable he feels as the Golden Boy.

That stammer, to someone like me who reads way the hell too far into things sometimes, turns into something heartbreaking. That stammer doesn't belong on the Golden Boy. That stammer doesn't even belong on the much quieter and mature adult. (I think little Sandy would totally not have let Hawkman get away with being an ass; he'd say something like "Wow, you're a tough guy, picking on a kid!"). It's a nice subtle touch as to the trauma of the experience I think. (It might be worth noting that we never see grown-up Sand show as much of the smart-ass as he does in the next issue when chained to a giant stalagmite. Still waters run deep and the smart aleck always stays with the man.)

Last one fast forward a bit more, the fight is over, which maybe negates my whole point, or does it:

Aftermath

Yep, he's okay now that he's safe. It's not like he's ever going to *lie* to *Wesley* about his state, right? (JSA 70: "I told him I didn't remember being locked in this cage. That I wasn't aware of anything all those years. I lied."/"And to make Sandman follow me-- --I'll have to lie again." "You have nothing to blame yourself for, Wesley. I didn't feel a thing.") It doesn't read like textbook repression/denial at all right? And denial's not remotely a common reaction to that sort of trauma, especially among male victims...

Riiiight.

And hell, it would explain a lot. His skittishness with Kendra, for example. He hasn't said one word to her about it (except when out of his head, which doesn't count), he hasn't pursued her at all, and even the dream/fantasy in the hospital room in 64 is very, surprisingly chaste for a young man. Could be that he's just a nice young man and very old-fashioned. But it might not.

Anyway, I bring this up for a reason. I very much...well, enjoyed isn't the right word...but I reread this storyline a lot. And each time I reread, I become more...certain that there are indeed subtextual implications of sexual assault.

So why am I okay with it?

Well, there's the deniability factor. It's not stated, it's implied at best, and possibly not even intentionally so, though I think the clothing in particular seems like too subtle and deliberate a touch to be unintentional. But if you don't want to read it that way, you don't have to. There's enough overtly traumatizing factors to suit the story that the subtext only adds an additional gloss of horror. Also because if it's never brought up, then it can't bog down the storyline in depressing angst (c.f. Outsiders) (Though damn if it wouldn't be satisfying seeing the old school JSAers: Alan, Jay, Ted...hell even Carter tear Sorrow apart for it. Hell, I bet Pat Dugan would get in on the act...probably worse than the others, he's *got* kids that age). But regardless...

There's the shock factor. Rape is supposed to be shocking after all, that's why they started using it and why so many people ran with the idea. It's supposed to be viscerally horrific. But we see it so damn often now that it's lost that. When I see that sort of plotline, I only ever see exasperation. But as I said, reading JSA...I sincerely reacted with: "I can't believe they actually went there." I was disgusted and horrified. But in the right way. In the, "I'm so into this storyline that I actually want to eviscerate this badguy" sort of way.

There's the characterization factor. Now I'm not trying to say rape victims can't move beyond it to be strong and forceful, that's a ridiculous thing to say. But there are particular characters that the past-rape storyline works best in the past of than others. Wonder Woman and Power Girl should not be. Not because of their personalities so much, but their symbolic attributes. Yes a woman who is raped can be as strong as either of these women, but these women are supposed to represent the idealized notion of womanhood. As such, I have to say, they should be inviolate. Now, Grace Choi, for all my problems with that storyline, makes sense. She's strong and wonderful, and she's clearly had experience with the darker aspects of the world and moved beyond them.

Sand works as a victim for me, though one that's not moved quite as far beyond as Grace has, of course. His overt quiet, compared to the much more expressive caption introspection and compared to the Golden Boy's cheerful chirping, works with it. He's been touched by his experience as a monster already, so that adds that touch of "survivor" that accomodates my reading of this event as well. (A character with a "survivor" thread due to one event can more easily accomodate an added thread, when it seems much less likely that another character could...it's why Jade's molestation story never worked for me. She doesn't read like someone who's had to experience the darker side at all...nor is she repressed enough to hide it.)...Sand's also a "still waters run deep" sort of character. There's a lot of room to explore the character beneath the surface, which allows for multiple readings.

It also suits Johnny Sorrow's particular obsession. (Emphasized by how he started to react when Sand began to mouth off to him in the next issue.) He serves the Elder Gods, probably has tea with freakin' Cthulu, if the copyright's run out. Guy like that is bound to be all about power and domination.

It's also got a little bit of variety now that it involves the less obvious character of the younger set. Kendra would be the obvious choice, as she's female and aggressive, and a little jaded. Courtney would be a horrid choice, but that wouldn't stop a weaker writer. (Though I hope no one is tasteless enough to bring that idea up to Mr. Johns. Egads.) In short, it makes me happier because it's a boy. Not because I hate men. Just because it's something a little different.

Mostly though, it's the horror aspects. The flashback is supposed to be horrific. It's supposed to be terrible and traumatizing and terrifying. And honestly, I thought it was. Reading that scene, I started remembering the way my heart races when I walk to work late at night. It was subtle but visceral.

So yeah, if you're going to be lazy enough to do a rape/sexual assault plot, do it the fuck *right*.

That is all. :-)

16 Comments:

  • At January 27, 2006 5:52 AM, Blogger Ragnell said…

    You just reminded me of when we went over that Desaad issue of Green Lantern and talked each other out of coming to the same conclusion about Kyle.

    And, did you notice in the "Aftermath" panel the "..." pauses after the words. Indicates reluctance.

     
  • At January 27, 2006 6:01 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    *nod* wasn't support to allow for that conclusion thank goodness. :-) (Though naming the guy "Desaad" sheesh.)

    This time though, it really isn't nearly as deniable.

    And yeah, poor kid, the start of a lifetime of "No, no, really I'm okay. I was asleep when I was a monster, really!" sort of denials... Wesley will never hear the unvarnished truth from that child again...

     
  • At January 27, 2006 11:21 AM, Blogger Ken S. said…

    Good article.

    You know, I realize that the Identity Crisis rape served the story, and was reasonable handled, and I *still* wish it wasn't in there. Party becuase Sue never seemed the victim type, partially becuase she had just been murdered (as if that wasn't enough) but mainly because, even well-done, it was still trite.

    After reading about the Black Cat thing, I was hoping that it was in fact just a ploy (lie) on her part, but I don't know if that's not worse.

    I hadn't gotten the subtext of the JSA story, but it's perfect. It reminds me of the creep unspoken inscest in Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt-- all the more powerful for being uderstated, even if your conscious mind misses it.

     
  • At January 27, 2006 3:55 PM, Blogger Centurion said…

    Count me in the party of those wanting it to be an important plot point, but not fully illustrated and in every other issue.

    Dark Horse's Conan comic had a semi-important character who had rape as a motivation to become a powerful fighter (rivalling Conan due to speed). They had a lot of flack over that story, due to the rape content. They didn't show the rape, just refered to it in narritive. However, knowing how gory Conan gets, it was easy pickings. I personally feel it was handled well in that sense, but it's about as close as I think can be tasteful.

    Identity Crisis did a good job with the topic in my opinion, even if they just heaped torment on a character everyone seemed to like - but wasn't that the point? I don't want to sound harsh, but if they wanted to really shove in the face of the audience 'this is the point where things become bad' that works. Becuase of the use of murder, and later rape, you can understand why the heros are so ticked off.

    On the other side of the page, I'll take the use of rape in the DCU over rape in most manga, with a few exceptions - mainly, Berserk. Berserk's use of rape is over the top, yes, but it isn't simply tossed aside for purely sadistic entertainment. It's in your face and it destroys lives, literally. The only thing that saves the series for this fact is that the art is amazing, the story is strong (mostly), and for Caska there is a glimmer of hope of her recovery.

     
  • At January 27, 2006 4:53 PM, Anonymous AnthonyF said…

    I don't know if I'm just dense or what, but I entirely did not see the rape subtext in that JSA story.

    I should go read it again.

     
  • At January 27, 2006 5:10 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    ken s.: Yeah, I agree really, re: IDC. I get that they were going for...it's hard to think of something more immediately vile than finding your friend hurt like that. Thus motivating the JLA to go to extremes. But I wish they'd find another way. Or at the very least stop using it in other places so much so that it's not so trite.

    Honestly, I've never followed Spiderman personally, so the Black Cat thing really doesn't mean much to me beyond the theoretical. A ploy might be original, but it would also be quite hateful.

    As for JSA, yeah. It's not completely obvious (and perhaps they weren't intending that implication, I don't know, not being Mr. Johns), but that just makes it creepier once you start thinking about it. And that's infinitely better...but like I said on Ragnell's post: why go with subtle, understated and effective when you can go over-the-top and trite?

    Centurion: I've got mixed feelings about Conan (or Red Sonja), I mean, on one hand, I think rape was even more likely to happen in fantasy/historical scenarios. But on the other, I think more subtlety is best. Conan is naturally more violent though. So I'm not sure what I think there, honestly.

    IDC did decently, I think, because they weren't trying to add complexity/motivation to the victim. Rape is a traumatizing horrible experience but in the end, it really doesn't define who a person is, and it's cheap to use it that way. But as an external provocateur of events...treated as something supposed to be viscerally wrong...that is better. Not ideal, but better.

    The handling of rape in manga is definitely one of the turn offs of the genre I think. There are many good parts to manga, but the attitudes toward non-consentual sex is not one of them.

    anthonyf: Please do reread it. Then come back and tell whether you see the subtext too or if you think I'm imagining it. I'm interested in your take on the issue. Especially now that I've pointed out specifically what *I* see as subtext, do you see it that way too? Or do you disagree?

     
  • At January 27, 2006 6:09 PM, Blogger Captain Infinity said…

    Shut the fuck up, Doctor Light, let Johnny Sorrow show you how horror's done *right*

    Dr. Light's so full of himself right now that I would pay good money to see Johnny Sorrow tell him this.

     
  • At January 28, 2006 1:40 AM, Blogger Scarlett Drake said…

    I didn't mind the rape in the Dark Horse Conan because of the function it served, but man, would I love to see some grown up treatment of homosexuality in Conan. It's been over 60 years since the character's birth, let's grow up a little and at least explore it in a positive light in Hyboria.

    Getting back on topic, I always thought what happened to Sandy was more of a metaphor than actual rape. The idea of an adult villain focusing on a young sidekick was enough subtext for me. I'm not arguing it didn't happen, I just felt that the intent was there to think about it. I really enjoyed the story because it really made it personal without tossing it in our faces and turning into a Very Special JSA.

    But you know, I could go a year without a rape storyline in comics right now and be thrilled.

     
  • At January 28, 2006 8:46 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    captain: *honestly* Light seems to think that just because he successfully got away with raping one poor woman he's suddenly this awesome, devastating badguy.

    He's a tool. :-)

    scartet: Homosexuality on Hyboria?! Blasphemy! (:-P...really, I agree. It'd be nice to see something new. Especially if you correllate Hyboria with certain actual ancient societies, it seems weird that it's never been addressed.

    I admit, I'm not much for metaphor. I have to be slapped with it repeatedly usually to pick up on that. And usually then it's a simile. :-) I liked that JSA's storyline was definitely, whether you go for that particular subtext or not, designed to be creepy as hell.

    But the lack of Very Special Issue or Public Service Announcement overtones was a nice change. I still get irritated by Outsiders.

    And yeah, I don't disagree with you there at all. But I'll settle with a few new, untraumatized in a sexual sense, heroines.

     
  • At January 29, 2006 9:18 AM, Blogger Avi Green said…

    Responding to Ken S:

    "You know, I realize that the Identity Crisis rape served the story, and was reasonable handled, and I *still* wish it wasn't in there. Party becuase Sue never seemed the victim type, partially becuase she had just been murdered (as if that wasn't enough) but mainly because, even well-done, it was still trite."

    Forgive me if I sound like a curmudgeon here, but I must take issue with what you've written.

    First off, no, Sue Dibny was never truly the victim type, and I remember one time when she showed, in an issue of The Flash from 1977, that she had some judo knowledge, but aside from that, what, exactly, do you mean that the rape in Identity Crisis "served the story" and was "well handled"? This reminds me of a time when a newspaper journalist who wrote about comic books, and whose very works ended up alienating me after awhile, wrote a fluff-coated fawning over of Identity Crisis almost two years ago.

    I will stress the problems that I find in IC as best as possible here, the biggest one being - read carefully now - that there was NO genuine female perspective in the story.

    Plus,

    - The handling of the rape, visually or otherwise, was gratutious, in grossly poor, shoddy taste, and Sue largely vanished from the proceedings afterwards, and other than seeing her in a heap of misery on the floor, we don't get any genuine understanding of how she, as the victim, feels about her having been violated. Put another way, it was solely a plot device, nothing more.

    - What was the point of seeing Zatanna vomit upon the pavement? Did we have to see that happening? Seemed more to me like the writer, or artist, or both, were just getting their jollies out of seeing a cute kid vomiting.

    - Her argument in the JLA series notwithstanding, why didn't we see this in IC? Why was she, and even Black Canary (whose own victimization at the hands of Deathstroke was an unspeakable horror) not shown reacting to what Dr. Light did to Sue? Why was just about every woman in IC a virtual robot with nothing to say, if at all, about Dr. Light's crime?

    - Putting aside for a moment the implausible way that Jean was shown as being "crazy", what was the point of showing Jean Loring inviting her ex-husband to hit her (shudder)? Is it not obvious that what was done there was sinking into the quicksand of stereotypes?

    As of now, I can't remember much of that nightmare (I read the first three issues, then bailed out), and I'm glad if I can't. But what I do recall was enough to make me join Zatanna on the floor there and do the same thing she was doing, because maybe the real reason she was belching was because she couldn't believe how awful the script for the miniseries really was.

    Sorry to have to shoot off in anger like this, but whatever your opinions/perceptions of Identity Crisis, for me, it's just incredulous that anyone could actually fail to see that IC was, simply put, BAD storytelling, and not ask why a scene like that with Deathstroke assaulting Zee had to be in the book.

     
  • At January 29, 2006 9:41 AM, Blogger Avi Green said…

    Responding now to Centurion:

    "Identity Crisis did a good job with the topic in my opinion, even if they just heaped torment on a character everyone seemed to like - but wasn't that the point? I don't want to sound harsh, but if they wanted to really shove in the face of the audience 'this is the point where things become bad' that works. Becuase of the use of murder, and later rape, you can understand why the heros are so ticked off."

    And what about the audience in real life?

    I disagree entirely on the part about Sue's humiliation being "the point". Because truly, there isn't any. The whole notion of any character being victimized without any lessons to be learned from it ludicrous and downright offensive. Back in the early 70s, Stan Lee and Denny O'Neil did their best to show why drug abuse is bad, yet here, we have a miniseries featuring a gratutious rape scene, and they don't even seem to make any genuine attempt to show why that's bad? Puh-leez.

    I don't know if you've thought of this, but, the most maddening thing about IC was that the writer was attacking the League's actions against Dr. Light, while simultaneously trivializing the villain's assault on Sue, and implying that their mind-wiping actions against Dr. Light was the reason she was bumped off. Put another way, he was blaming the victim (and, from what I can tell, he was also coming up with a vicious allegory to 9-11).

    Think what you will of IC. But in all due fairness, I feel that you are obscuring a most important question: is this really, truly what the audience is asking for? Certainly not me.

    Rape has no place in escapist entertainment, which is what both the DCU and MCU are about, regardless of whether they're discussing serious issues or not.

     
  • At January 29, 2006 10:24 AM, Blogger Avi Green said…

    And now, if I may, I will respond to Kalimara:

    "IDC did decently, I think, because they weren't trying to add complexity/motivation to the victim. Rape is a traumatizing horrible experience but in the end, it really doesn't define who a person is, and it's cheap to use it that way. But as an external provocateur of events...treated as something supposed to be viscerally wrong...that is better. Not ideal, but better."

    And with all due respect, I must dissent with your comments too.

    Rape cannot, under any circumstances, be used solely as a plot device. That's just emphasizing the whole idea of rendering rape victims in fiction as but mere plot tools - and objects - without even giving the audience something to learn from. It's a serious subject, and to trivialize it is to more or less trivialize rape crimes that occur even in real life.

    Did you ever read Avengers Annual #10 from 1981? In the epilogue of that story, we get to know and understand how Carol Danvers felt about being exploited by Immortus. Namely, she was angry and disgusted, not just at Immortus, but also at the Avengers, who showed more concern for the "baby" than for how it came to be, or the personal cost that came to her from the conception.

    Where Avengers succeeded at the time, Identity Crisis fails, because it did something downright offensive: it denied a rape victim a voice. Which begs the question: since when was the opinion of a victim of an offensive crime, in fiction or in real life, unimportant? And if the voice of a fictional character is unimportant, one can only wonder what people will end up thinking in real life?

    Besides that, what I also found offensive about IDC was that the heroes weren't shown giving Sue any comforting hugs, or any other kind of caring attention to help her recover from the horror she went through. In fact, there was really no real emotion or humanity in IDC, if at all, leading to my having to wonder just what anyone meant by the miniseries having "humanity" in it? There was no humanity, period, and there most certainly wasn't any moral lessons to be learned in the book, that's for sure.

    And one more thing: I would strongly suggest that you take a good look at what the situation in Europe is really like, and even in Australia, because as I'm sure any rape victim there could tell you, it's no laughing matter, and in fact, it's truly repulsive. I hope you'll bear this in mind, because what's going on over there could one day be coming to an American neighborhood near you if nobody thinks to keep eyes in the back of their heads.

    Sorry to have to sound like a curmudgeon here too, but rape is a serious matter, and to see what would seem to be a failure by anyone to recognize and understand why rape is no laughing matter is simply horrifying.

     
  • At January 29, 2006 10:43 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Avi: Thank you for replying.

    Now, I'd like to get something off my chest. I am a woman, I am of small stature, I am from a campus in which sexual assault is so assumed to take place we've got parts of it called "the rape trail". I may not live in Europe or Australia, but I do understand the threat of rape in the real world. At the risk of arrogance, *sir*, I'd imagine the threat is a little more real to me than it is to you. 1-4 women have been sexually assaulted in America. Maybe the statistic is small compared to the rest of the world, I don't know. But it is MORE than high enough for a woman who lives here.

    Now, as to IDC I see what you're saying, of course. And I think we'll have to agree to disagree. I would have wanted to see more of a reaction with Sue, but this was a miniseries. There really wasn't time for that sort of thing. Is that an ideal situation, no. But it's life.

    I personally would like to think that sometime in 52, perhaps, when we see Ralph again, there will be some flashbacks to Sue's recovery. That would be ideal to me.

    Was this what the audience wanted, probably not. Is this how *I* would have written the story? Probably not. But did the act in the story have the particular emotional resonance that I need in order to tolerate it in a comic book medium. Yes, I found it all right.

    It's like Law and Order really. The rape is a terrible crime, no one's denying that, but the *story* here is the reactions to the rape. The *story* here is that you've got 6 people who having seen something terrible happen to their friend, went and reacted as friends first and as heroes second.

    Yeah, it smacks a little of the "don't touch my stuff" plot in movies. But that's life too. We simply don't have time/resources to delve into every victim's mind/circumstances in a story. It'd be like getting the entire backstory of a murder victim in Detective Comics. It's simply unfeasable. However, we can always sympathize with the heroes' plight, the horrible loss of family and friends. For me that's enough.

    And the story is what matters. Yes, I love Sue. And I thought she was a disappointing choice for a victim. At the same time, I refuse to be offended just because she's not the star of the story. To be blunt, I'm not all that interested in the story of how Sue reacted/recovered, I'm satisfied with the glimpses we had of her in IDC *showing* that she was happy and loved her husband and loved by her husband. I don't always need to see how she got there. What I *was* interested, was seeing how the heroes, these ideals of guys and gals, responded to this horrific event. And I thought that was done well. Sure Zatanna and Dinah might have had very specific thoughts on the matter, but then so did Carter, Ollie, Hal, and Ray, I'm sure. (And for the record, I believe the Satellite League took place before Dinah's own attack.). What matters to me, is what they did about it. And how much their emotions resonated with me as a reader.

    So, yeah, in general, I found IDC satisfying. Your mileage may, and does of course, vary. :-)

     
  • At January 29, 2006 8:37 PM, Blogger Ken S. said…

    A couple of quick points:

    1) I won't defend Crazy Jean Loring at all. I did not liek that aspect of the story, and I thought it was pretty badly handled (even if it did had precedence in earlier comics, with even less realiztic treatment of madness). I founf IDC quite satisfying right up until the last issue, but did not like the resolution much at all.

    2) The rape scene was merely a plot point, but a very important and effective one. This was a story about heroes crossing a line, and the rape was what motivated the transgression. As a sysmbol of vulnerability, rape is up there. True, it wasn't handled particularly sensitively or politically, but it did not need to be for this story to be told. It certainly did not glorify or minimize rape, either.

    3) I agree with the the lack of any female viewpoint (save Diana, but that's thin and rather masculine to boot). Point made. And the male viewpoint it rather stoic, but that's a typical reaction of men to tragedy. Felt very real to me.

    4) I don't see why the assault by Deathstroke is so offensive from a feminist standpoint. They didn't need to show Wally getting stabbed, either, or Kyle made to look like a buffoon. it was humiliating for everybody but Green Arrow.

    With all that said, I did say I wish there had been a different transgression.

    As far as IDC being bad writing-- I suppose, but i rate my comics relatively. Few superhero comics get of of the range IDC is firmly in, and many more are not even that good.

     
  • At February 03, 2006 7:01 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    ken:

    1. It was a little cheap I think. Though she makes a good eclipso type host...

    2. My thoughts exactly, and why it didn't bother me. The story was about the reaction of the others. And that story is more interesting...and while in real life the victim should always be the highest priority...in entertainment, I want the best story.

    3. It might have been nice to have more of a female perspective. But Ollie was relating the story. Because only Ollie's really defiant enough to say all that without letting guilt keep him quiet.

    4. The fightscene with Deathstroke was problematic definitely. But really the women were only embarrased as much as the men. No more, no less, IMO.

    I wouldn't even say IDC was bad writing. Outside of the stupid Deathstroke fight, I thought it was intense and compelling. I liked it, personally. A lot.

     
  • At May 30, 2007 10:09 PM, Anonymous foleythegreat88@yahoo.com said…

    You say that no woman could ever deserve rape. Never say never! What if it's a female Hitler, and the rapist is a man who escaped the concentration camps, and his family's now so much ash? Is it wrong then? I'm not saying this scenario is likely, but it's not impossible, either.

    Also, I just want to say thank you, for being a chick who reads comics, loves the JSA, and says the F word a lot. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Brings a fucking tear to my eye...

     

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