Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

On Previews and me...

The Daredevil preview Ragnell's talking about here got me thinking.

I posted on the forum link that I agreed that it was too soon to really say whether the scene in question is really sexist/misogynist. (I judge scenes differently than I do individual images like comic book covers or maquettes, for example. Unlike the others, which are independent, I do think that context really is important to get the full impact of a scene or story.)

However, as an enticement to get me to read the comic, it failed. I'm not a Daredevil fan, so I don't really care to find out what happens next.

I was thinking that "character in peril" previews and teasers are pretty common. They're a fun way to get the audience excited about what happens next. I know if you give me an image of say Guy Gardner with a bloody eel coming out of his head and I'm so there.

But I only really care about those sorts of covers/solicits/previews if I already care about the character in question. I like reading characters-in-peril-oh-no-how-do-they-get-out, sure, but I really kind of have to be invested in the characters to want to read it.

Otherwise, it seems pretty pointless. I don't know who this Milla character is, so I don't care.

I do buy new comics all the time, when I have the money for it anyway. I'll buy a comic because a cover looks neat, or a favorite character is showing up, or someone shows me something interesting from the comic.

Sometimes it can be peril scenes but there has to be that element of awesomeness. I remember that I only started reading Superman again because I was shown scenes from that one issue where Lois Lane is trapped by the OMAC and ends up ducking for cover in the bathtub. Before that I'd known who Lois Lane was, naturally, but I didn't really feel inclined to read her. Seeing her against that OMAC, thinking quick, being tough and awesome even while completely outmatched. That made me want to read the comic.

I like to read cool characters doing great things. That's my entry point into a comic. So I'll pass on Daredevil.

Oh well, maybe next preview. :-)

14 Comments:

  • At June 09, 2007 1:54 AM, Blogger Ami Angelwings said…

    Is that the Guy Gardner crosses over with Stargate SG-1 event or something? XDDD

    The Eel looks exactly like a Goa'uld who also enters into heads :O

     
  • At June 09, 2007 1:59 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Hee, it reminds me more of the ceti eel from Star Trek II. The brainwashy thing they put in Chekov's head. What with the blood and the ear.

    Goa'uld is a good comparison too though. Guy has all the luck. :-P

     
  • At June 09, 2007 3:22 AM, Anonymous Thom said…

    So...one thing I never figured out from Millennium all those years back...were the characters who turned out to be Manhunters robots replacing the real characters-or were all those characters manhunters from the start....and has that been retconned out? (I only asked because you mentioned at least guy was not a Manhunter this time in the post with the eel thing)

     
  • At June 09, 2007 3:30 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Don't know about that. I'd imagine replaced/retconned out. I've only read bits and pieces, honestly.

    Guy was made into a Manhunter by Cyborg Superman in a recent Green Lantern arc (10-13). That's what I was referring to.

     
  • At June 09, 2007 8:49 AM, Blogger Elayne said…

    Daredevil hasn't held any interest to me for years, so I'm afraid I can't get worked up over this. It sounds like pretty (sub-)standard stuff. I save my pissed-offed-ness for work that would otherwise be worthwhile if it weren't for misogyny, etc., and I can't see anything to interest me in Daredevil even without the misogyny.

     
  • At June 09, 2007 9:18 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    It is true that the thought of Guy in peril always makes my blood race, I can't get too excited about poor old Milla. She seems to have an awful lot in common with Alex, Kyle's old girlfriend, in that her whole purpose is to be put in danger.

    I prefer the random slaughter of nameless innocents. I hate it when they kill off B or C list heroes and heroines.

     
  • At June 09, 2007 9:47 AM, Blogger The Dane said…

    The only time I'm ever convinced to pick up a book based solely on a preview of a couple pages of art is if the art is especially endearing (hence the reason I picked up Korgi a few months back). A book like Daredevil though? I'm not sure how a preview of just the art could help it save to point out that Yes, we're still not your standard superhero comic. You can tell by the art!—which probably isn't the likeliest marketing tool.

    I haven't gotten to pick up any of Brubaker's run yet (as I'm waiting for hardcover collection to go next to my five fat volumes from Bendis's run), but if he's at all in the vein of the previous few years' work, there probably isn't a whole lot visually that would entice a new reader to join up.

    Daredevil's a lot less about superheroing and a lot more about the characters. It's like five parts noir thriller and only two parts superhero adventure. Bendis's run was phenomenal and really drove this home. From what I hear, Brubaker's is similar.

    In any case, if you're not already on board with the book, I'm not sure how a strictly visual preview could convince you—since it's only the combination of words and pictures that make Daredevil the great read it's been in the past.

    As far as the Newsarama dust-up and hypothetical misogyny displayed by the preview pages, you're right to say we can't judge until we see the story. There was nothing particular to the scene that should obviously be presumed, well anything beyond the fact that Daredevil cannot protect his loved ones' adequately. The solicit text is one thing (I vote that it's just dropping red herrings to get people talking in one direction, while in reality the story will pull into a wholly other direction), but we really can't judge a single thing from the few pages we've been shown.

     
  • At June 09, 2007 10:34 AM, Anonymous Indiciiia said…

    I looked at the scene. Looked like standard 'character in peril' as you said. Nothing innately woman-hating about that, really.

    I do remember Milla from the Bendis run of Daredevil. I thought she was a good foil for Matt. I think it's unfortunate that she's being made into a cheap throwaway character- there may be something her to be said (as I believe someone in the chain of links mentioned) that it's always the girlfriend who is cheap, disposable human garbage. The boyfriend is rarely (I can't think of a single situation) treated this way. But this lingering whiff that women are interchangeable, easily replaced- subhuman kleenex.

    So I suppose I feel there's some embedded misogyny in the idea of a character I found to be well-realized and interesting being reduced to disposable fucktoy. I guess if the writers off her, then Matt will maybe have his 'noooo!' moment, then he'll be all better in five seconds, and in two issues he'll have a new piece of human kleenex.

    Oh well. Honestly, I don't expect any better from superhero books. (meh. That sure got depressing.)

     
  • At June 09, 2007 12:05 PM, Blogger The Dane said…

    I don't think it's that realistic to expect that they'll actually off her. That would be boring for this particular franchise and from what I hear, Brubaker's better than that.

     
  • At June 09, 2007 12:59 PM, Blogger Rob S. said…

    I don't think Brubaker's made her into a "cheap throwaway character," Indiciia -- he just devoted an entire issue to her, from what I understand. (I'm waiting for the trade, so I haven't read it yet.) I've heard others say that he's given her more character than Bendis did in his run.

    And, of course, we've yet to see whether she'll be "thrown away." I'm betting not.

     
  • At June 09, 2007 1:48 PM, Anonymous Indiciiia said…

    Well, here's hoping, Rob and Dane.

    If Brubaker can make a decent story out of it without having Milla get offed for cheap shock value, I'll be cool with it. I really have no problem with the character being in peril in and of itself.

    Even if she WAS offed, this could be semi-ok (if kinda silly, I think) if it was handled in an interesting way.

    We'll see.

     
  • At June 09, 2007 5:21 PM, Anonymous david brothers said…

    So I suppose I feel there's some embedded misogyny in the idea of a character I found to be well-realized and interesting being reduced to disposable fucktoy. I guess if the writers off her, then Matt will maybe have his 'noooo!' moment, then he'll be all better in five seconds, and in two issues he'll have a new piece of human kleenex.

    Oh well. Honestly, I don't expect any better from superhero books. (meh. That sure got depressing.)


    This seems kind of like an overreaction. Daredevil's hook is that he cannot protect the ones he love and that he brings them more than their share of pain. His father died because he didn't want Matt to think that he was a failure and thug. Elektra died because she was torn between her love for him and her new life. His mother deserted him. Karen was killed by his worst enemy, a man he's let live over and over again. Foggy almost died because of Matt's lies. Milla is in danger (and again here, Bullseye made it all the way into Matt's apartment at one point) because of Matt.

    He'll hardly find a new piece of human kleenex in two issues. He's never been about that. It's worth mentioning that when he did pull that, and start dating Milla, it was part of an enormous nervous breakdown and she annulled their marriage because of it.

    Spider-Man has Aunt May, Mary Jane, Robbie Robertson, JJJ, Flash, Betty Brant, and a host of other characters.

    Daredevil's got Foggy, Milla, and maaaaybe Becky and Dakota North. Foggy got threatened the story arc before last. Last story arc, it was about Matt and Kingpin one last time, and the effects their battle have had on their lives and Kingpin's wife. This time, Milla is in danger, but it's also about how GLadiator is another victim of Matt's life.

    I can understand how it would be troubling to someone who isn't reading the series, but if you're familiar with the cast, you can make a few assumptions. It looks a lot like Gladiator is still the half-mind controlled wreck he's been all arc, and Milla is likely trying to talk him down. Gladiator has a history of mental illness, not to mention being controlled (not just mentally, like commanded or told what to do). He's big and strong, but his weakness is his mind.

    (I judge scenes differently than I do individual images like comic book covers or maquettes, for example. Unlike the others, which are independent, I do think that context really is important to get the full impact of a scene or story.)

    Yes! This is perfectly true. I know the unlettered scene in the context of the story arc that surrounds it ("To the Devil His Due") and that in the context of the past six or so years of Daredevil the series.

    The PR for it is pretty crappy to be sure, and I think a better hook would have been "What villain is controlling Gladiator and trying to ruin Matt's life?" rather than "Hey Matt Murdock sure has a lot of dead girlfriends huh?"

     
  • At June 09, 2007 9:11 PM, Anonymous Indicia said…

    Well, I'll have to defer to your knowledge of the character and title, david. I haven't read Daredevil since Bendis' run, and only a small fraction thereof. I did enjoy it- and I think the dynamic you mentioned about Matt and survivors guilt of a sort is part of what appealed to me in the first place. But I haven't read it in ages, so I really don't know with any accuracy what will happen. It's encouraging to hear that Milla (and Foggy, and others in the support cast) are not just bumped off cheaply. I'm cynical about superhero books and the quality of writing therein. But hell.. if the book is ducking that nonsense currently, maybe I should actually start reading it again.

    In that context, it looks like the PR was portraying the book as the same old crap writing WiR thing- when it's not really about that. That's rather... interesting marketing decision-making. Portraying a apparently well-written book as the same old garbage- as if this were a selling point? Is there some deep love for WiR crap in the core fanbase that I don't know about?

     
  • At June 10, 2007 7:55 AM, Blogger GiantKillerMantis said…

    Daredevil is a character that i like in concept, but his actual comic rarely appeals to me.

     

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