Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

I'm back! And reading! And maybe even blogging! No promises!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Because It'd Be Cool...

I want a new Lois Lane comic.

I think it could be neat! Exploring Lois Lane as a reporter and getting into all sorts of trouble and getting out of it without necessarily always needing the Man of Steel for a rescue.

Mostly I just think Lois is neat enough to merit her own comic. She can be married to Clark and still have her own fun adventures, just like Superman can have his. Besides, it'd be really neat to have a comic with plots themed around investigative reporting in the DCU without using it as another excuse for spandex.

It could be fun, especially if it takes on a bit more of a mystery appeal. There's always a market for plucky female investigators. Veronica Mars was a very popular show and the new Nancy Drew movie is a good indicator that the market's willing.

Lois might be older than those protagonists, but that doesn't make her any less determined and plucky. Besides, it doesn't have to be centered around Lois TODAY, even, it could be Lois Lane as a teenager. We've seen a lot of Clark-as-a-teenager premises after all, why not his wife?

It'd be interesting because it's not a superhero comic exactly but it'd still be firmly entrenched in the DC Universe. (I love superhero comics, don't get me wrong, but there's also a lot of room in the shared universe for other genres aside.)

Lois has spunk and attitude, toughness and charm. She deserves more time in the spotlight.

Besides, considering how the Batclan has comic spinoffs up the wazoo, there's no reason Superman's cast can't do the same.

You can't tell me NIGHTWING is more deserving of his own title than Lois freaking Lane. :-)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Okay, this makes me impossibly enthusiastic. The current Kara Zor-El has definitely been growing on me and it really looks like Mr. Bedard will be taking her more in the direction I was really hoping they'd go toward.

Nothing against Mr. Kelly of course, but the Supergirl Bedard describes is the one I really really want to see. More "teen of steel" less "scary crystal spikes" please!

And the following quotes make me smile:

BEDARD: One nice thing is that I am relatively unburdened by knowledge of previous Supergirls. Yeah, I read some of their previous appearances, but I never did figure out what the deal was with the girl/matrix/angel thing or anything like that. I'm just sticking to the basics: Kara is from Krypton, she's insanely powerful, but she wants to be good. I also happen to think she needs to eat a sandwich and cover up a bit, but then I'm a father.


BEDARD: Ah, as you saw in my previous answer, I'm not hung up on that stuff. I have basic expectations about what's appropriate for a character with the "S" on her chest. I don't think that's a limitation -- it points the way toward the proper area in which to search for fresh material. She's not a dark avenger or Goth punk. She's a strange visitor from another planet who should embody all that's best in humanity and in America. That's right, America. The land of immigrants who make good.

This is making me excited. This makes me think we might finally have some Supergirl stories really suited toward a younger female audience. (Nothing against Kelly's, but the target audience there was clearly a different demographic.)

And I love the concept sketches. Kara really looks like a teenager there. And I LOVE the way the cape is drawn. Awesome!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I just realized I haven't blogged about the relatively recent Batman movie news, which I'm sure everyone's heard and/or seen right now anyway.

I'm reasonably excited. I liked the first well enough, though Bruce has never really been my cup of tea. I didn't seem to like it as much as the rest of the world, it seemed, but I was entertained. Heath Ledger looks like he'll be an interesting Joker. Though I'm more interested in Anthony Michael Hall's "mystery role".


The Dead Zone made me realize he was attractive. It was the cane. Shut up.

Anyway, I wonder though if we won't end up with too many villains in this movie in the same vein as Spiderman 3.

It's probably too soon to tell.

At least there's eye candy anyway. And Heath Ledger's Joker is creepy. Creeepy.

Though must we really have the Katie Holmes/not-played by Katie Holmes anymore character? It's not like she's particularly intrinsic to the Bat-mythos after all. Also, she annoys me. And how the heck is she the same age as Bruce?

She's either going to have to be written out or die anyway. Why not have her leave for a new career opportunity between the movies?

Still, it should be fun. Especially for Michael Caine's Alfred. All Alfreds rock!

Monday, May 28, 2007

I love Obsidian Age...

I have a confession to make.

I love JLA: Obsidian Age.

I'm not sure if that's an unpopular opinion or not, but I was just digging through the back room and found my TPBs. And I'm reminded how much I love them.

Now, as I've said before, I'm a relatively new reader of comics. I'd started reading them around the beginning of 2005. I'd started with the Batclan, quickly branched over to Green Lantern (thanks to dim childhood memories of Superfriends/Justice League reruns and going "I want that power!"). I tend to be a very "character-based" reader. I will read almost anything with the promise that one of my favorite characters would be in it.

I started with Trade Paperbacks because, aside from manga (which I read in tankoban form anyway), I really didn't have a lot of experience with periodicals and didn't really want to commit to a flimsy 22-page thingy until I was sure I'd like it. Fortunately, my good friend Diamondrock did what all devoted comic book readers should do for their clueless neophyte friends and recommended some good tpbs for me to get started on.

He knew I liked Kyle Rayner already so he recommended Obsidian Age in which Kyle's appropriately ass-kicking, which ended up the first JLA story I'd ever read.

It really was the perfect introduction for me. I was familiar with the main Justice League characters, at least vaguely, I wasn't as familiar with the "replacement" league (except Nightwing), but the set-up of the replacement league to begin with allowed for a nice introduction to them.

I didn't really know what to make of the mysterious Faith, but honestly, two years and many many comic book collections, pull list additions, and tons of back issues later, I STILL have no idea what to make of her.

I didn't really have any trouble following the time travel plot, which surprised me. Fortunately the TPBs had a nice introduction of the major players of the ancient past so I wasn't as overwhelmed as I might have been.

There were lots of cute relationship moments and some genuinely startling imagery (Flash being held up by the enemy with his legs ripped off, Superman's skeleton as found in the future.) And Kyle held the spirits of his colleagues in his STILL BEATING HEART for millenia. Which was decidedly impressive.

And given that my only exposure to Aquaman at the time had been a couple of half remembered cartoon reruns and countless lame jokes, the Arthur of Obsidian Age was quite illuminating!

Sadly it did give me a false appreciation for Nightwing, as the only other place he's been that interesting and competent in the last few years was Infinite Crisis! Hmph!

I did giggle helplessly at Tempest. I don't know why. Just something about the way he gets drawn. But I have to admit, he acquits himself nicely.

Also, I always have and always will appreciate a naked Jason Blood.

Admittedly, I would never qualify Obsidian Age as high literature, even by superhero comics standards. It's weirdly paced, crazy, the plot is full of holes, and it definitely reads better in trade form than it had to have had as individual comic issues.

But it had good mundane character moments, really nice kickass competent moments and a fairly exciting story. It's not nearly as confusing as it ought to be and made for a nice exposure to a decently wide range of characters for a newbie just starting to dip her toes in the DCU. Also the concept of superpowered teams in other time periods/settings is always an interesting one.

So yep, in the end, it's still one of my favorite stories that doesn't involve Sanderson Hawkins or Guy Gardner. It's!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I Want More Crimson Avenger, Please!

You know what character I really think is nifty, and really want to see more of?

Jill Carlysle. The current Crimson Avenger.

I'm not sure if she really qualifies as a hero or a villain but I just think she's spiffy.

For one thing, I love her costume. The trigger-less guns and the blindfold are creepy as all hell. I do wish she'd pull up her pants, but I like how she looks tough and a little sexy, but in a nonchalant and unintentional way. She looks like she's dressed for efficiency and comfort. I dig that.

I also like how essentially non-gendered her concept is. Her origin story could easily be a man's or a woman's.

I'd like to note that I also enjoy heroines who dress deliberately sexy and have nothing really against female-specific concepts either. I just really like the variety. There's room for all sorts.

You know, I'd really like to see her show up in a Manhunter book actually. The two characters really have a lot of striking similarities. Both are lawyers who lost cases against obviously guilty defendents who finally chose to take matters into their own hands. Both women are relatively non-sexualized (while still being attractive) and both have ties to the Golden Age, including the inheritance of traditionally male legacies.

Jill would make a very interesting adversary (or ally) for Kate. Sort of a "There but for the grace of God, go I" sort of parallel going on there. The Crimson Avenger is also incredibly scary as a concept. She's so impersonal and inhuman, driven only by need for vengeance. It's uncertain how much of "Jill Carlysle" is really left in there. It's a concept I'd really like to see utilized more in depth.

She would also be particularly interesting interacting with the Spectre as well. I was dissatisfied with that series, but I'd really like to see more of him around the DCU. (A Crimson Avenger and Spectre comic book would be neat! And yes, in my fantasy she gets top billing, because I like her more. :-))

I just think she's a fantastic concept that really really should be played with more often! She's awesome!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Who Defines Offense?

I'm sure you guys have seen by now, Newsarama has interviews with Adam Hughes and Joe Quesada on the current controversies.

I think they're interesting to read myself, because it can be hard to remember that there are real people behind these things that anger us so, people who I genuinely believe never meant to be so offensive.

That said, there seems to be the prevalent idea in these defenses that the product isn't offensive because the producers did not intend it to be so. That the product is being "misconstrued" as sexist.

It doesn't work that way.

Adam Hughes does not get to determine what of his work offends people. Joe Quesada does not get to determine what covers set us off. No one gets to make that decision except the person who is offended. To that person, the work is offensive.

And someone doesn't have to intentionally imbue a sexist message for that message to be there.

Look, the fact of the matter is, no one truly believes that they are sexist. No one believes they are racist. No one believes they're homophobic. We know that these are bad things. We're from a culture which preaches freedom, equality, and individuality. We each, down in our hearts, believe that we are treating everyone in a fair manner.

Which is why black men are never pulled over by police for no real justification except for their skin. Why women never find their past sexual experiences a matter at a rape trial. Why gay people are never scorned for displaying just as much affection in public as a straight couple. Why every building is wheelchair accessible...

Yeah, I think my point is made.

The thing is, we are all sexist. We are all racist. We all have strange assumptions and prejudices about particular groups because of physical or mental capabilities or who they love, or how old they are. We don't mean to be, but we are.

We get these ideas from our parents. Our friends. The media. Our own limited experiences. Society.

Most of the time we're just misguided. Ignorant. Innocent.

But that's not an excuse. And it's not okay.

It's up to us to learn better. To meet people. To do things. To widen the scope of our experiences so that we can understand ourselves and one another.

And we are going to fuck up sometimes.

I know I've fucked up. Hell, I've fucked up on this blog. I've used ignorant and offensive terms to refer to people. I didn't mean to, of course. I didn't know. That doesn't excuse me from my offense.

I'm not providing links because the ones I know about, I've since fixed. The ones I haven't been called on...well, I'll probably use them again until I've learned better. If you see me use an offensive epithet, please call me on it.

Adam Hughes seems like a nice guy who really likes women. His work seems to treasure the female form, his drawings have personality, wit and fire. But when he insists that there is no sexism in the Mary Jane statue, he's revealing his own innate sexism and prejudice.

A man telling a woman what she should or should not find sexist is proving he doesn't understand the meaning of the word.

I am not trying to say that a man can't express an opinion about whether something is sexist. But there is a difference between saying "I don't think sexism was intended here" versus "There is no sexism here."

Joe Quesada is very funny. I've enjoyed reading his interviews. I may not always agree with the administrative choices that he makes, but he seems to have a clear idea of what he wants to do with his company.

That said, his attempt to justify the Heroes for Hire cover is pretty weak. First of all, the fact that one may not have any experience with tentacle porn manga does not make someone else's comparison any less valid. (And speaking as someone who DOES have experience with it. The comparison is there.) And second of all, the fact that the concept came from a female artist doesn't change anything.

Women can be sexist too! ESPECIALLY when they're working in a male dominated industry. Hell, look at a great many romance novels. Women may have written them, but it doesn't negate the extremely sexist messages portrayed in many of them. This might be explained by the way most early romance publishing companies were male-dominated. But it could merely be because we women have internalized our own prejudices and assumptions about womankind.

The Mary Jane statue and the Heroes for Hire cover are sexist. They correspond with and promote sexist ideas. The people who can see that are not "misconstruing" anything. They're seeing what the creators, blinded by their own intentions, can not, and they are not wrong to be offended.

Personally, I do believe that it's important to look at the creators' intentions, to know a little about what went on behind the creation of the images. But it is not the be-all and end-all of the subject. If I flail my arms around and hit my roommate by accident, it doesn't mean that I didn't hit her, or that she doesn't feel the bruise.

If something offends someone, it is offensive. Period.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Random Thoughts about the August DC Solicits:

Back to the DC Solicits:

-I still think the Amazons are being mind-controlled. Or god-controlled. And I'm particularly interested in all the tie-ins. I love the fact that this conflict seems to be reaching out to effect so many female superheroes.

-I wonder if I'm the only person to like Mary Marvel's "dark" design. Maybe it's just because I grew up on manga, by which standards, the skirts' not that short. Besides, I tend to assume skirts that short are part of leotards anyway until proven otherwise.

-I'm interested in what lesson will haunt Supergirl for the rest of her life. I've got a weird love-hate relationship with the current Kara...very similar to my own adolescence, come to think about it. I've grown oddly attached to her and would hate to see her replaced by a more "palatable" version.
--still would rather she changed her costume though.

-The Booster Gold solicit intrigues me, a lot, because I felt like his resolution in 52 was a bit lacking. I liked the reveal of him as Supernova, which redeemed him a bit, but I think this story will put the cap on that. Even if he doesn't, in the end, have to give up his reknown.

-I'm not, however, interested in the four horsemen of Bialya.

-I have to admit, while I'm not a big fan of the Outsiders, the idea that Batman can essentially make these guys face off to determine which gets to stay on the team offends me a bit. I know the Outsiders were originally his team and all, but these guys were a team for quite awhile before he butted his nose into it. It just seems presumptuous.
--On the other hand, the Outsiders right now kind of suck and need all the help they can get.

-When has a cover saying "this character will die" or showing a gravestone EVER turned out to actually be true...without a catch.
--Booster Gold doesn't count.
---In other words, I really doubt they're killing Sin.
----But if Barbara playing devil's advocate isn't trying to talk Dinah OUT of marriage to Ollie, I'm gonna be just a little annoyed.
-----Mostly because I have this belief that even if your friends like your husband to be, it's their job to show up at your dressing room at your wedding and say "You don't have to do this! We can hop in the car and drive to Canada!" It's always important to know you have a way out. :-)

-Hmm, I like the thought of Checkmate having a constant headquarters guard...
--Not sure I'm that interested in reading a comic about him though.

-So which heroes AREN'T in the Book of Destiny?

-Hmph, Flash's solicit is a cop out...
--I'm totally gonna end up buying it though. I am Sheep.

-I will not write planet/evil city slash. I WILL NOT.

-I'm glad to see Liberty Belle getting an issue. I've always had something of a soft spot for Jessie. I like seeing her follow in her mother's footsteps rather than being a half-assed Flash-type. Maternal legacies rock.

-JSA Classified stars Mr. Terrific? I like him a lot but doesn't he already star in TWO books? Hmph. :-)
--Though I'm intrigued about when this is taking place. It seems like it'd have a lot bigger consequences to frame/hunt down the White King. Also, who's he running from? I'd think Checkmate or the JSA (At least Alan or Sand) could track him down pretty easily...
---Okay, fine I'm intrigued. For now. :-P

-Apollo seems like an odd choice for a combat opponent. I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ah, Yeah, I don't think so

So...Heroes for Hire #13...

Well, it certainly looks like Marvel's finally taking the advice of courting the manga-reading community?

Though honestly, if you were going to court the tentacle porn crowd, wouldn't it have been wiser to do so with a MAX labeled book? What exactly is that imprint for, aside from letting Pete Wisdom use his full vocabulary?

Seriously, I don't have anything against tentacle porn mind you, it's certainly not to my taste, but different strokes for different folks and all that. But dude, even in Japan, that's kind of an "adults-only" deal...

What possessed someone to put that on a 9+ book???

Not to mention, you know, the tentacle porn crowd isn't any stupider than any other geek subset, they're going to realize that the internal content of the book doesn't match what's promised on the cover. Which means that I really doubt the initial sales leap this cover will undoubtedly give will last.

At least I HOPE the internal content doesn't match the cover. I really want to give the comic company credit for THAT much intelligence at least.

To try to give the creative team a little benefit of the doubt, I honestly think the story might end up being one of those tongue-in-cheek turn-around sorts of satire/homages. Wherein possibly the girls, when faced with some sort of tentacle rape cliche, turn around and kick the tentacled things where it counts. The cover might be intended as some sort of misdirection or similar sort of "homage".

But you know, I have no intention of ever finding out if I'm right. Because, while I have a strong stomach for suggestive imagery and a certain shamelessness in being seen with/around it (I used to read manga and well, what you find in a used manga shop in Sannomiya's a bit different than what you see in the aisles of Borders) this actually draws the line for me. I would buy a hundred of those almost naked Star Sapphires with Hal Jordan under her boot issues before I get caught dead even glancing at this cover in a public setting.

By the way, as Ragnell and others have pointed out, Felicia probably wasn't the wisest choice for this kind of comic cover. No matter the intent. BAD DECISION.

If you like the cover, good for you. But all I know is that you could tell me the inside story is the awesomest story ever, written by my favoritest author ever, and I will never touch this comic.

Which is a shame because I heard really good things about Misty Knight and Colleen Wing. Enough to possibly check it out. Now...not so much. See, I hate missing issues in the middle of a storyline, so if I buy this month's and actually like it, I'm gonna be real irritated to have a gap come August.

I think I'll leave it alone.

You know, in one of the first posts about this Ragnell found for WFA, I saw a person comment something about the poster possibly overreacting, judging the book too much by its cover. (I'm too lazy to hunt for the link, though I'm sure you could find it if you really want to.)

I disagree honestly. Sure, images appear on the cover of a comic that have little or nothing to do with what actually happens in the pages. But covers are supposed to attract someone's attention and make them want to read the comic.

The only thing this cover makes me want is a shower.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Solicits Amuse Me

As everyone's probably seen by now, DC's August Solicits are up!

There's lots of interesting looking books here, though the solicitation that initially caught my eye is the one for Green Arrow, Year One:

Written by Andy Diggle
Art and cover by Jock
Delve deeper into the origin of the Emerald Archer with Andy Diggle and Jock! Oliver Queen learns the sinister secret of the island he's been trapped on... just in time to come face to face with the mastermind behind his plight. And at long last Oliver Queen takes some responsibility for his fate.
Issue #3 on sale August 8; issue #4 on sale August 22

(Emphasis mine)

I'm calling shenanigans on this one. An Oliver Queen that takes responsibility for his fate? Really? Really?

I mean, I like Ollie as much as anyone, but Oliver Queen taking responsibility is like...Hal Jordan not being a self-absorbed arrogant jerk, or Kyle Rayner having something resembling an attention span and common sense. It's just...wrong.

That said, it looks like a fun series! :-)

And I know I'm not the only one to point out how awesome this cover is, but hey, good things can never have too much recognition!

THAT is Power Girl. Big, beautiful and more than willing to kick your ass if you give her a reason. Love it!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Exercise in Egotism: My Dream Project

I have a confession to make. Like every fan out there, I'd bet, I have the (not so) secret dream of one day writing superhero comics. And of course, I have the opinion that I'd be good at it! Your mileage may very of course.

Naturally, like all comic book fans, I have my "dream comic", the one that I would probably give my right eye (hell, it doesn't work right anyway. :-p) for the opportunity to write. And because I can't think of anything to blog about today, I figured I'd share it!

Okay, my dream comic opportunity would be the chance to write an issue or two of JSA Classified in which I would get to write a post-Crisis/New Earth version of "Creature in the Velvet Cage".

I'd like to clarify that this is not at all because I dislike the original version. I think Len Wein did a great job in penning a fun, breezy action crossover action story that's very enjoyable to read. Wes Dodds's long unseen sidekick was turned into a sand-monster, he escapes, goes on a rampage, and a combined force of JLA and JSA characters are needed to stop him. In the end, it's discovered that Sandy was actually saving the city, is sane, and he and Wes go off into the sunset to find a cure. it's a fun story.

But it doesn't really work as an origin story anymore.

This is probably because it was never really meant to BE an origin story. Wein's "Creature..." is an entirely different kettle of fish. It's a "Whatever happened to..." sort of story, a one-shot revisiting of a dead concept. It's designed to be a fun read, not to really examine the effects the events would have on the primary characters. It ends with Wesley Dodds and his sand-monster sidekick going off into the sunset, where it would be years yet, before the loose ends are ever tied up in yet another "Whatever happened to..." story appropriately called "Whatever happened to Sandy the Golden Boy?"

This is understandable really. Aside from showing up occasionally in All-Star Squadron or Young All-Stars, and popping up for the Crisis and Armageddon storyarcs, the character was clearly not intended to be a long-term, active hero again.

But now he is. Sanderson Hawkins is a founding member of the current JSA, a core member, with fairly pivotal storylines. He's also damn good in fight scenes. So he really deserves an origin story that actually works!

Okay, so, if I were going to write this story as my not-so-secret dream entails, the first thing to do is take the original story and figure out what I'd keep and what I'd rework.

I would naturally keep the general premise as clearly some portion of it is still in continuity and referenced in the Robinson/Goyer/Johns JSA. Wes Dodds had a sidekick. This sidekick was involved in a laboratory accident involving a silicoid gun project and was transformed into a monster, which is then anasthesized and placed into a sort of stasis until it escapes, wreaks havoc, before being revealed to be sane and self-aware.

I would discard things like the crossover element (unneeded, as New Earth already has members of both the JSA and the JLA), Superman sewing a faultline shut with Wonder Woman's lasso (fun, but not really suited to Earth 2), that sort of thing.

The biggest change I would make is to shift the focus of the story. In the original story, the audience viewpoint is the same as the heroes'. We know that Sandy is the monster, we know he's wreaking havoc, we know he needs to be stopped. The shock is of course at the end, when Sandy is subdued and we learn the truth.

But we current readers of JSA already know that Sandy's sane and not a mindless monster. We know how the story is going to turn out, so there's no need for the surprise. So why not have the audience perspective of the story rest with the character that's most interesting to explore in this situation: the monster!

There's our protagonist. A kid who spent decades in a drugged state of dim awareness, vaguely aware of time passing, but unable to think clearly, move, or communicate. An impending disaster, a quake that'll make the New Madrid look like Power Girl's fit of pique, jolts him to full consciousness. He's groggy, confused, and in a New York City that might as well be an alien world. And he's the only one who knows what's coming.

He won't understand why people are running away from him, if he even notices. Besides, he can't really spare the time or energy to reassure or explain. There are people in costumes, with powers, trying to stop him. So there are still villains in this world. Some of them may even look a little familiar, but there's no time to stop for a closer look, he's got a city to save.

The story would rely very heavily on the talent of the artists of course. There would be no real dialogue until the end, when he is face to face with Wes. When he can stop. I'd want there to be word balloons coming from the "villains'" mouths, but with jagged edges and no words inside. There would be as little narration as I could get away with. Everything would look surreal.

Wein used the perfect line-up for the story that I want to tell: Superman, Batman, Hal's Green Lantern. They're all iconic characters, instantly recognizeable. They're walking symbols of the League. The readers would recognize them immediately. The monster wouldn't. He would recognize Wonder Woman's costume, but not, perhaps, the woman wearing it. Jay would likely be moving too quickly to see clearly, while Wes would be in back waiting for his chance, certain that if he can just talk to him, the monster won't hurt him.

The themes of the story would revolve around identity and memory. The creatures' vague recollections contrasted with the reality: human hands vs the stone fists of a monster, the New York of 1945 to the New York of "seven years ago".

The Sandman would be the turning point of the story. Until this point, the quake is the only thing holding the monster together, absorbing all concentration and effort. There is nothing beyond the need to stop it. But the Sandman, but "Wesley Dodds" is different. It doesn't matter that the man behind the gasmask is stooped and old, he's still Wes. And Wes brings words. He brings clarity and identity. The monster knows who he is now, knows what happened, and knows where he is. And there's still an earthquake to stop.

This story would be my dream story, the one I'd want to write more than any other. (And believe me, as a comic fan, of COURSE there are others.). I think it'd be really really interesting to try to write if I ever got a chance.

And what the heck, it at least gave me a blog-post for today. :-)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Quake, Fanboys, Quake

I mentioned in a previous post that I haven't blogged about the Mary Jane statue because I really didn't care about it. It's not to my taste and I wouldn't buy it, and ultimately that would be the end of it. But I'm fascinated by the reactions to the reactions to it.

A lot of my reaction coincides with Ragnell's post Reveille, which, by the way, I totally named. I also named When Fangirls Attack. I believe I'm entitled to bragging rights here. But I digress.

There is one reaction that will never stop making me laugh in genuine full-throated amusement. This reaction can be summed up as (paraphrased of course):

"You're damaging your cause! You all look like insane militant freaks! No one will ever take you seriously!" I'm sure you've seen it.

Do you know why this is so funny to me? Because I am a feminist.

Come on, guys, do you seriously think the image of feminists as militant, psychotic man-haters is NEW? That caricature dates back at least to the seventies, with Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem and Roe v. Wade.

Hell, go back further and see the kind of shit they used to say about Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the suffragettes.

It's the same old story. Men and women who don't understand what feminists are fighting for embracing a terrified mental picture of ogreish man-women praying to the bible of Valerie Solanas's SCUM Manifesto every night while plotting the mass-castration of all of the men on the planet.

It's why you get people saying things like "I believe in equal rights, but...", "I'm an 'equalist' not a 'feminist'." "I believe in equality not feminist supremacy."

And guess what? That didn't stop us. Feminists, both male and female, have made countless strides toward the goal of equal rights and fair treatment, of choice and freedom for both sexes despite the dismissal, fear, and mocking from people who don't understand.

This kerfluffle over the MJ statue is hardly going to change that.

In fact, as a feminist who doesn't give a single jack shit about this stupid statue, I think that this whole mess is a fantastic opportunity!

The publicity is enormous! And not just in the blogosphere! (Though the hits for When Fangirls Attack have been going through the roof!) This thing has made the news! People who don't know a damn thing about comics are hearing about this issue!

And you know what this means?

Sure there are people out there looking at all this and shaking their heads, "What are those crazy feminists going on about now?!" Sure, there's yet again another way for feminists to be spun into militant lunatics frothing their mouths over a cause that doesn't matter.

But this time, these frothing militant feminist lunatics are being linked to SUPERHERO COMIC BOOKS.

That pervasive and insulting outsider stereotype of comic book readers as white, middle-aged, virgin men living in their parents' basement has been invaded. Guess who else is reading superhero comics? Crazy, militant, psychotic man-hating feminists!

This is living breathing proof to both the comic book industry and the outside world that women are reading comics.

And yes, this has given that stupid statue more publicity than it has ever deserved, and yes, this will probably make further sales go through the roof. But that's not the point!

The point is now, amidst all the money they're probably making from all this commotion, someone may figure out that, hey, if they make a new statue of She-Hulk lifting a car or just a Kirsten Dunst-style Mary Jane who ISN'T presenting her tits and ass, people would buy those too.

It's funny, because I honestly think that if the opposing side reacted with a simple "I'm sorry it offends you, but I really think it's nice," this would have blown over a long time ago. Instead, they poured gasoline on an open flame. This isn't about Mary Jane anymore. This is about the fact that there are women and men out there who read and like superhero comics but still want a more fair and balanced treatment of the sexes. Who like Mary Jane, Lois Lane, Carol Ferris or Vicki Vale for more than just their ability to flaunt their tits and ass. Who believe that there is a need for change and are finally making their voices heard.

So to a certain group of superhero comic fans: go ahead. Keep using your equivocations, excuses, patronization, disapproval, offended anger, outraged exclamations and personal attacks to mask your thinly veiled fear and dismay. It doesn't change anything.

We. Are. Winning.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Random Ridiculous Realization #3,600,042, or something like that...

I was having an AIM conversation and the following topic came up in conversation:

It'd be really amusing to have crossover in which Guy Gardner gets assimilated by the Borg.

Just because between Guy's personality and the Borg of them has to give, and honestly, I'm thinking it'd be the hive-mind.

Imagine a Borg Cube occupied entirely by a hivemind of Guy Gardner. They'd be unstoppably obnoxious. At least until someone like Ted Kord uploads some computer virus into them.

Of course that brings to mind the sheer ridiculous of a Gardnerized Locutus of Borg or Seven of Nine.

All I know is that there would be a lot of loud-mouthed taunts and ass-kicking. En Masse.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Non-comic: Musings about Orion Slavegirls.

Earlier today, I found myself looking up "Orion Slavegirls". This is largely because I have a green Barbie doll wearing a Captain Kirk uniform right now. Anyway, this reminded me that I never really knew that much about the race as portrayed in the Star Trek Universe.

I mean sure, I remember the girl in the Cage/Menagerie writhing about on stage in green make-up in a fantasy created for Captain Pike and I vaguely remembered a crazy slavegirl played by Batgirl that tried to seduce Kirk and was basically a cartoon villainess before getting blown up. But that's about it.

The race has always intrigued me, while making me uncomfortable at the same time. For one, consider their name. "Orion Slavegirls." In the days of the supposedly idealistic Federation, there is a race with "slave" right in their name and no one does anything about it. The race in general is portrayed as intergalactic slavers and traders, which the Federation is aware of even if they don't have direct dealings with them. And yet nothing is done about this? Or even talked about?

It's funny but since I was very young, the one officer's dismissal of the slavegirls as mindlessly savage and practically animals stuck with me. I suppose that line was meant as a reason why the Federation never did anything about it, but well, that really never sat well with me. I mean..."savage" and "practically animals". It's not as though we haven't heard that sort of dismissal before.

The Federation is supposed to be better, you know? Not perfect, sure. But better.

We've never seen a sympathetic Orion in the original series. Vima was a human woman playing out a fantasy. Marta was batshit insane, attacking Kirk with a knife when he turned her down, and basically devoting herself slavishly to the most powerful man in the room. Heck. We've never even seen a three-dimensional portrayal of an Orion. We don't really get any back story about how their society works.

I know it was the sixties, and one must make allowances for the narrative use of a race apparently designed solely so that attractive women can wear very little, be painted green and gyrate. But it's always bothered me that none of the later Star Treks ever, to my recollection, really addressed this species at all. Which, okay, if they want to forget the species ever existed due to being ill-conceived and kind of silly...

Then why do we see Orion Slave women in holodeck fantasies?!

I suppose the Ferengi have mostly supplanted the Orions by the time of the later series. They're materialistic, vile, amoral, and their women don't wear clothes. And the Federation doesn't try to do anything about that either. Okay. But the Ferengi also get episodes and storylines. Quark's mother wore clothes! Unhappy female Ferengi crossdressing as men! Ferengi unsuited to their own society actually in Starfleet!

Where are the Orions in later Star Trek series? Has their society changed? Is it the same? Have things gotten better or worse?

It's weird, but all I really wished for was to see was an Orion (preferably female) Starfleet officer once. We see other races, even non-federation ones, have representatives in Starfleet. And we'd then get to see that there is actually some measure of individuality within that race. It makes them less cartoony.

Instead the only female Orion officer I remember ever seeing was in the dark mirror universe. And you know how that goes. (If I'm wrong and someone better versed in Trek than I remembers seeing an Orion officer, let me know! Please! It would make my day!)

It annoys me because the race seems interesting in a villainous way, but very unfinished. Every other villain-race is given depth and complexities and renegades that fit more into Starfleet society than not (which in turn leads to more complexity about the whole). Even races that don't get a lot of exposure still get representatives in Starfleet or at least a single episode devoted to them.

Orion slavegirls get to be holodeck fantasies.

Enterprise rectifies this a little by making Orion slavegirls more sociologically powerful and actually manipulating the whole thing. Which has interesting potential, but, well, Enterprise is set BEFORE TOS. What about "now"?

Hmph, let me tell you, as a devoted Trek fan, nothing gave me more pleasure than to gut and loot that Star Trek barbie set on behalf of my green doll.

Hey, if anyone knows any books or comic books Star Trek related that have Orion characters or actually attempt to portray the society with any depth, let me know?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Night Fights

You know, I give Wes a lot of grief. But, I have to give him credit...when he's on, the man can dance:

Aw, you guys know I always break out the vintage stuff for Bahlactus.

(Scan from World's Finest #6)

On All-Star Batman?

Hippokrene's got a fantastic post up explaining the sheer amusement factor of a certain Frank Miller comic.

Hippokrene's argument really reminds me of the appealing aspects of a multiverse: the funhouse mirrors to our characters.

So of course, in the replies, I post my idea of the "Miller-verse funhouse mirror" of Hal Jordan:

For example, looking at Hal, he seems so normal even in the issues. But, since it's the Miller-verse, you know he must go home to three underaged prostitutes, all male, a fifteen year old african american, a thirteen year old redhead and a nine year old black-haired boy with a penchant for killing and eating his female clients.

Mostly because Alexandra DeWitt in the fridge becomes really REALLY funny to me this way.

Besides, if Batman gets to kidnap some poor acrobatic orphan and make him eat rats in the Batcave, Hal Jordan can have a "Green Lantern Corps" made up of his little beringed prostitute friends.

The potential for costumes ALONE...dear lord.

Actually though, the really interesting (read: scary, mind-boggling and crazy making) portrayal would be that of the JSA...

God in heaven, picture them for a second. Jay. Alan. Wildcat. Sandy. KARA...

Heheheh. Miller-verse Power Girl. What a horrible, revolting, absolutely delightful mental image.

Thank you, Mr. Miller. Your work really doesn't tend toward my tastes, but the comics world and the landscape of my twisted imagination are richer for your presence. :-)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

No post today...

I have no blogpost today. None. On the plus side, for once I actually was able to buy my comics on a Wednesday. Which gave me the chance to read JLA wherein I had the following reaction:







...that's actually kind of hot...

Okay, Meltzer, I admit it. That shocked me. I spent the next fifteen minutes alternating "OMG!" "WTF!" and silent boggling as a reaction.

I still can't decide whether I'm completely revolted or I have a brand new couple to cheer for. Well-played, old man, well played.

On the downside, I'd forgotten to put Countdown on my pull list and my store actually RAN OUT! That's so unfair! How dare my comic store actually SELL comics that I want to buy but hadn't remembered to tell them I wanted to buy? Hmph!

Darn them for letting their job as comic book sellers get in the way of my convenience! Darn them to heck!!!

At least I remembered to add it this time. Next week I will not be thwarted!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


You all should know by now how I generally consider Sandy the Golden Boy to be the only member of the Sandman/Sandy partnership to have a functioning brain as Wes tends to spend most of his appearances as a flipping moron.

Well, I have to be honest, as much as I adore him, sometimes even little Sandy has his off days:

The best thing about this is that ultimately, it doesn't really matter that the door was made out of paper. Because honestly, what if it weren't? It'd just mean they'd have slammed head-first into the DOOR.

Yeah, THAT was a brilliant plan.

I still blame Wes.

(Scan courtesy of World's Finest 6.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Don't Project Your Shame Over Here.

Over at Occasional Superheroine, the Video Store Girl has an interesting post up about comics feminism and the real world, that's worth reading. This part is something I find particularly noteworthy:

Now go compare your struggle as a comic book fan angry that Stephanie doesn't have a trophy case to the s**t these women went through.

I mean, the MJ and Stephanie and Power Girl discussions, they're a good start. It's like school. Graduate from school, and apply all that passion and sense of social justice towards something in our reality. You can still discuss Power Girl. But break it up a little bit. Maybe devote 50% of your bandwith to Stephanie getting her trophy case, and 50% to Afghan women setting themselves on fire because their lives are so damn miserable. Or maybe 75% Stephanie, 25% Russian sex slaves. Or maybe two pages of posts on "Fangirls Attack" on MJ, one page on domestic violence in Canada. Maybe I'll stop being such a self-absorbed snarky blogger myself. You don't think I read about the real s**t that goes on in this world and feel like a jackass sometimes for the stupid fangirl s**t I write about?

There's just one thing I don't understand here. Why in the world is the Video Store Girl speaking as though real world feminist issues and comic book issues are somehow in competition with one another?

Why in the world would anyone feel like a jackass for posting about a subject that they care about?

Look, I'm going to be frank here for a moment. I have never addressed real world issues on this blog. I have never addressed real world politics on this blog, without a comic book or pop culture connection. I have no intention of ever doing so. Pretty Fizzy Paradise is a COMIC BOOK BLOG. I am not ashamed of it.

This is not to say that I don't care about real world issues, or that I don't have a lot of respect for people who do address said issues on their blogs, it's just that I don't feel the need to do so. I don't feel any guilt about that either, because this is a comic book blog. I consider real world issues to be something that I address in my real life and I don't believe that I have any reason to make a public show of it here.

What continues to bemuse me about arguments like this one on Occasional Superheroine is the insistance on comparing comic book slights like Stephanie Brown's death or the MJ statue to what is suffered by women in Afghanistan, (or any other real world atrocity one can fill in here).

NO ONE is making the comparison between the two. NO ONE is arguing that the circumstances of a fictional character even remotely compare to the tragedies and oppression suffered by real women out there. Or even some women here at home. No one, not even the most militant comic book feminist around, is making that claim.

The only people that I've ever seen bring up that comparison at all are people who seem to be, intentionally or not, trying to instill a shame in comic-book feminism activists for speaking out about things that are important to them.

Look, I haven't posted thus far about the MJ statue, because my reaction to seeing it was basically "...okay...and?" I don't care about it. I wouldn't buy it. But it's important to other people and I can respect that. I have my own hot-button issues as well. There is no reason that anyone should be ashamed of expressing their opinions about this.

Besides, ultimately, depictions of sexism in the media IS an important issue. Sexist caricatures, like racist or homophobic caricatures, are not a harmless phenomenon. They spread the idea that women, that racial minorities, that gay people are a certain way, which promotes a subconscious message that it's all right to treat people in an unfair and unequal way. It's all right to treat women like sluts or shallow, image-obsessed mental deficients. It's all right to treat minorities like they're somehow less than white people. It's all right to treat gay people like they're conscienceless, perverted, sex-obsessed freaks!

Most people are intelligent enough not to consciously buy into these stereotypes of course, but when these images are absorbed day in and day out, they do affect us on a subconscious level. I remember being a teenager and actively rejecting anything that remotely smacked of feminine, cringing away from pink or skirts or showing off one's body, because I had somehow absorbed the idea that these things were stupid, weak and silly. That if I dressed up, wore make-up, put on a skirt, carried a pink backpack, I was somehow becoming one of THEM. No one taught me this. No one told me to be ashamed of being female. My mother always tried to teach me to be proud of who I am, that I was smart and beautiful and could do anything. My father always encouraged me and my interests, no matter how traditionally masculine or feminine they were. This idea didn't come from them. It came from everywhere else. And I was definitely not the only girl I knew who felt this way.

I don't consider myself oppressed, of course. A minor gender-identity issue growing up is no comparison for being a virtual prisoner in my own house, or even killed for daring to transgress against behaviorial customs. But does that mean I should just let it go?

Feminism isn't a one-battle at a time sort of war. It isn't a "oh no, poor oppressed women, we can't help you until we finally get a statue where MJ doesn't look like she's offering her orifices up to the highest bidder!" sort of deal here. We are more than capable of fighting on multiple levels at the same time. We can work to help stop real world oppression in our real lives while at the same time fighting a cause like comic-book feminism on our blogs.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Incoherent Musings about the Kents

Well, I missed making a special Mother's Day post, but I did take my mom out to dinner, so I think that balances that out a little. (My poor dad paid his own way, but I'll make up for that on Father's Day, promise!)

The subject of mothers though does get me thinking about, of all things, Superman. I have this strange mixed reaction toward Superman in general. I love him in the comics and in "Lois and Clark", where I'm fond of, but not nearly as attached toward the Superman of the George Reeves television show or the movies. Mostly, I'm a bigger fan of "Clark Kent" than I ever will be for Superman. (I don't watch Smallville, so I can't really judge there. I'm far more interested in Clark as Superman, rather than as proto-Superman)

There is really, as far as I'm concerned, one major difference between the portrayals. One that ultimately bleeds through to influence every aspect of the character: the Death of Jonathan Kent.

The George Reeves and the movie Supermen are really defined, I think, by their fathers. Jonathan's death occurs just before they move off to Metropolis, cutting off their ties to Smallville, making for a sharp delineation between boy and man. The Clark who ends up in Metropolis drifts, gets a job at the paper, but really starts to define himself by his alienness.

Clark Kent is more the mask Superman functions under.

The only 'current' parental relationship that seems to matter is Jor-El, in the movies. Martha's role always seems very limited.

The Clark I enjoy is much more tied with the human race. He thinks of himself as Clark, fighting crime in a silly costume so as not to be recognized, but still primarily Clark. He respects Jor-El's legacy, but he's very much more Martha Kent's boy.

It's funny, really, that when Jonathan Kent is alive, it's MARTHA who is the more overt and prominent influence on her son. She's the one who inspires his morals and values, she's the one who lectures him when he transgresses. She's not just the woman who gave birth to Superman, through the creation of the costume, she's Clark Kent's mother.

This Clark keeps his ties to Smallville, considers himself a part of the Earth, rather than a guardian watching above. He's not a Christ figure, but a living breathing, flawed and interesting human being. Who just happens to have the power of a Kryptonian.

It's interesting to think about the relationship in terms of names. Kal-El recieves the name "Clark", from Martha Clark Kent, and she really is the person who created him as Clark. Jonathan is the source of the name "Kent", the family name, the connection between Clark and his parents and by extension, Clark and the human race. Jonathan's death ultimately disconnects Kal-El from his mother, being "Clark" and humanity.

Or something like that.

A twisted part of me wonders what would happen if Martha were the one to die first though. And who Clark would be, if that were to happen. The rest of me is more than happy not finding out.

All I really know is that when it comes down to it, I like Clark better than I do Superman, and I like Martha and Jonathan far more than I do Jor-El. So no one be killing the Kents any time soon, okay? Thanks!

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Okay, remember how I said that I wanted to see a Madeline Kahn as Empress Nympho sort of character in the DCU.

Well, David C's comment about the JLU not-quite-evil Circe made me realize the perfect character: Medusa.

It's perfect really. Medusa is vain, beautiful (at least as a human), and got cursed because she banged Poseidon in Athena's temple. She also apparently banged the Cyclops to birth the not-evil Cyclon, as we saw in Sins of Youth.

Doesn't that sound like a woman you could see going "Do I have any openings that this man might fit?!"

Now, naturally, the biggest problem is that she's dead, courtesy of Perseus. But hell, this is comics. Greek Myth-massacring comics at that. So that ought to make resurrection fairly simple. Maybe Athena's still got the head around somewhere and she can be reformed.

Also since it's comics, she probably doesn't need to be actually hideous so long as she's got snakes for hair and certain inhuman features. Heck, since Perseus used a reflective shield to kill her, this probably doesn't need to put that much of a damper on her sex life. And depending on her resurrection style, she doesn't even necessarily need to remain a villain. She could even be a very funny reluctant ally.

I think she'd be a blast, really. Diana's at her best, I think, when dealing with crazy people, and the Amazons are all a bit stiff. A crazy, mischievous, comic relief-sorta foil would be just the thing to bring Wonder Woman a dose of fun again.

Edited to add: Mike reminds me that Medusa HAS actually shown up in Rucka's run and gotten killed again. Darnit! But then again, maybe a new woman can bang someone in Athena's temple and get cursed. Medusa as a legacy character could be funny too!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

All-Star, Senator, Fish Food...My Tribute to Neptune Perkins

I don't know if you know this, but out there, in the DCU exists a character that I truly despise with every atom of my being. A character who's very presence has me itching to destroy, maim, and slaughter helpless two-dimensional characters. A character that I hate ten times more than I hate Nightwing and General Glory combined!

This character is Neptune Perkins.

If you don't know who Neptune Perkins is, he is a character that made two appearances in Hawkman comics in the 1940s only to be ditched unceremoniously when, I'd imagine, they realized what a waste of a character he was. He then existed properly forgotten all the way until the 1980s, when Roy Thomas, in what had to have been a fit of hallucinogen induced madness, decided he was worthy of being brought back in All-Star Squadron and Young All-Stars.

To be honest, I can think of any number of Golden Age one-shot characters that deserved a second chance more than he did. Like that thug who masqueraded as Thor, or the mountain man dressed like Santa! Anyone but Neptune Perkins!!!

So what IS the problem with Neptune Perkins, you may be wondering. Aside from the incredibly stupid name?

Neptune Perkins is a DORK and a LOSER.

Now I'll preface this by saying that I've only read the first eight or so issues, so it's possible that this changes, but the man brings NOTHING USEFUL to the team whatsoever. Think Aqualad in Teen Titans except with the added indignity of not even being the best water-user on the team! He sucks in battle, he has no useful skills, and his sole purpose seems to be listening to Tsunami's speeches about peace and pouting when she goes off to do something else.

He does defend Tsunami from her critics, which is good, except there's a strange difference between when he does it and when the others do...

Okay, have you ever met one of those guys who's all gung-ho about a particular cause and you watch him and get the distinct impression that he's only doing this to score with a chick? I'm not saying that men can't take up causes sincerely of course, but there always seems to be this one guy who's sole driving motivation appears to be to get in some girl's pants. As soon as he realizes he's not going to score, or he gets dumped, all bets are off and he'll show his true colors.

Anyway, that's how Neptune Perkins tends to come across for me. And let me tell you honestly, in cases like this, we can usually tell.

Now, while I thought he was a loser before, Neptune didn't really completely earn my scorn until this little number from Young All-Stars #4:

Okay, you know what I said about how we can usually tell when a guy is gung-hoing a cause to get into our pants? One of the warning signs tend to be an extreme enthusiastic overreaction to any sort of offense. The would be feminist, for example, he might be out with the girl in question, overhear some other guy call her a bitch, march over, confront him and probably cause a huge fight when the girl would probably have been all right with just ignoring it. Or telling off the guy herself.

These are the guys who'll go on huge tirades about how Barbie ruins the country, or tell store managers, loudly and in a certain person's hearing, how the faceless mannequins in the windows demean women. Or rant loudly about how only guys who can't get laid ever read girly mags.

The key to this sort isn't what he says but the show he makes while saying it.

Now, in this situation, Sandy definitely deserved some kind of telling off or whap for what he said. Definitely. But he's also about twelve years old, and weird "camera angles" of these panels aside, he's half Neptune's size. He's a child.

I may be jumping to conclusions, but I tend to associate threatening to beat up a child to be a bit of a clue. Oh, and while she's not in those specific panels, Tsunami is of course present in the scene. You can't posture if your audience isn't there.

The fact that Sandy would totally have taken him down is irrelevant. Notice how only Fury is holding back Neptune, while BOTH Iron Munro and Flying Fox are blocking Sandy. Even THEY know who'd win that fight.

The thing about Neptune is that he's got some qualities that could have made him interesting but instead somehow conspire to make him more of a loser. I mean his sodium deficiency could actually have been something really fascinating to explore. It's actually an interesting handicap, requiring he remain in salt-water for a great deal of the time. Unfortunately the most this ever seemed to amount to was angsty whining in a giant fish tank.

I wonder if he had to have that tank when he served in Congress.

To add insult to injury, he's always believed Deep Blue to be his child. (Which...eww...Tsunami actually slept with him?!?!) but it's actually Atlan's spawn. I'm evil because this just leads me to snicker and call him a loser. Again. Even Tsunami doesn't like you!

Before you think I'm being too cruel, realize that even in the modern day Neptune Perkins is still a tool. You remember Sins of Youth? Do you know who organized "Old Justice" together to plague Young Justice and generally make everyone miserable?

That's right. NEPTUNE PERKINS.

Once a tool and a loser, ALWAYS a tool and a loser.

Neptune is no longer with us. In Infinite Crisis #3, poor Neptune met with an end as lame as he was.

I know it's not very nice to gloat about the death of a character that undoubtedly has some very upset fans out there, but this is Neptune Perkins, so all I can really say is...

BWAHAHAHAHAAHAHA. Eat it, Dolphin Boy!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Night Fights, YEAH!

It's that time again!

And this time, I made it just in time! Let's hope Sandy can do the same, since that train's awfully fast!

(Alert blog readers might notice this has been posted last year. But you can't keep a good wallop down!)

Put Down the Stupid Cross, Please

Dear Blogosphere/LJdom/Anyone Expressing An Opinion ANYWHERE,

It's a common story, I think we've all seen it before. Someone posts an opinion about something that does not correspond to a vocal majority's opinion. (Please note that a vocal majority may or may not be an actual majority.) Many people disagree, with varying levels of vehemence and emotion.

Now, depending on the person and the situation, the response can vary. Many will post clarifications of their opinion. Many will post counter-arguments, in a reasonable, discussion-inviting fashion. Many will ignore the discussion altogether and move on to something else. These people may or may not be more bothered than they appear on the surface, they may kvetch about people missing their points to friends privately, or even publically, while posting clarifications. They'll usually either keep up with the discussion or debate, or they'll let it go.

But then there are the martyrs.

I'm sure you know what I mean. They're the ones that will post vehement replies to other responses going "That's not what I said! Why are people putting words in my mouth?!" Which naturally leads to, "This is what I get for posting a minority opinion! Everyone overreacts and jumps down my throat!!!" Accusations then follow about hive mentalities and cliques. "Mean Girls" gets referenced a lot, while the poor original poster casts him or herself as the unfortunate sacrificial lamb.

To anyone who finds yourself reacting like this (and in the interests of honesty, I've done it too), I have a message for you:

You are not Jesus and we are not the Roman Courts.

You are not the shy, gentle, quietly attractive but geeky wallflower to our snotty petty cheerleaders.

You are not the Spiderman to our J. Jonah Jameson.

We are not picking on you. We don't hate you. We're not out to get you. You posted something and we responded. Did we misunderstand the point you were trying to make? Maybe. It does happen sometimes. But did we misunderstand because we just want to jump down your throat?


Honestly, I think most of us have better things to do than harass one lone dissenting voice just for the sake of harassment. We respond to what you said.

And here is a reality check for you. If your audience doesn't understand what you're trying to say, there IS a failure to communicate. But it's not on the side of your audience. The fault is in the communication of the message.

There IS a solution to this:

If people are misunderstanding your message, express it more clearly.

No one's stopping you from doing that, you realize. Sometimes, if you take the time to clarify your position, you'll find it's not as unpopular as you thought.

Oh wait, that would require you to get your head out of your ass and drop the damn cross already, and we can't have that. You're the hero/ine of your epic story and every hero/ine needs dissenters and oppressors after all.

Newsflash: beyond the initial reaction and possible interest in the discussion (or more likely in watching you melt down and hold your shroud to your chest while giving your dramatic soliloquy), most of us don't care. We may dislike what you just said, but that really has very little to do with you as a person. It's only a matter of time before one of your opinions corresponds to the vocal majority and you get a lot of vocal agreement. This whole spat will be forgotten and everyone'll be friends again.

Or at least it would if you stopped playing poor misunderstood victim and acted like a mature adult.


50 Things I Love About Superhero Comics:

It's been argued before and it'll undoubtedly be argued again, that girls don't read superhero comics. That there is nothing DC and Marvel can offer that manga or indy comics can't deliver better, and we should of course focus on them.

I don't think it should surprise anyone that I disagree with this wholeheartedly. Instead of going on a long, angry rant explaining why, I figured I'd explain what I, a girl and a feminist, personally love about superhero comics. None of these should be a particular surprise to anyone who reads this blog, but I feel like sharing.

Please note, I'm not saying that all girls or feminists would share my opinion. There's no hive vagina after all.

So, without further ado and in no particular order:

50 things I love about superhero comics

1. The richness of the universes. Really, any sort of story can be told using some part of the Marvel or DC worlds. Action, romance, science fiction epics, historical pieces, time travel, buddy comedies, or sheer's all good!

2. The connections within the universes. Connected to #1, really. I love teamups and crossovers and seeing new sides of familiar people by the way they interact with one another. I love that Carter Hall's son was married to Hippolyta's grand-daughter in spirit, or that Alan Scott's kid is working with Sandra Knight's descendent. Or that Superman and Batman are BFFs, or that Namor has hit on both Sue Storm and the Scarlet Witch. The interactions are what really make the universes seem vast.

3. The history factor. Marvel and DC have franchises dating back from my grandfather's childhood, and the decades of real time development and contradictions remind me of what I used to love about soap operas. The sense of generation is wonderful too. My grandfather's heroes inspiring and interacting with my father's heroes inspiring and interacting with mine.

4. The fact that Mr. Terrific might be the third smartest MAN in the DCU, but Barbara Gordon is the smartest PERSON.

5. Guy Gardner's character arc took place in more than thirty years real time and still feels satisfying.

6. Sanderson Hawkins ends up as frequently unclad as any superheroine.

7. Power Girl can be sexy, confident and flaunt her goods, and NEVER be dismissed as a slut or worse by her fellows in the DCU.

8. No one was right or blameless in the Jean Grey/Scott Summers/Emma Frost love triangle.

9. Superheroines get to punch people, just like superheroes.

10. There are bad artists and stupid drawings, but there are also very good artists who do some amazing work.

11. Spandex will always amuse me.

12. Fanfic will never match the crack that has or will occur in canon.

13. There are many and considerable issues regarding portrayals of race, sex, orientation and the like, but there is also considerable attempts to improve and increase diversity.

14. I like violence.

15. "Vomited on by a nazi" is the best origin ever.

16. Stargirl is the heart of the JSA.

17. I get more enjoyment out of hating Dick Grayson than I do out of loving Spock.

18. My biggest complaint about Cassandra Cain is her clicheness, NOT any inability to kick ass.

19. My rage over the treatment of Reed Richards is only because I love him so.

20. The Fantastic Four's powers lend themselves well to dirty jokes.

21. Dementor genuinely scared me.

22. Janet Pym annoys me as much for her negative comparisons to every other heroine I can think of, than anything else.

23. Jade's incompetence frustrates me mostly because Donna Troy was as much Kyle Rayner's mentor as Alan Scott had been.

24. I care about characters that haven't appeared since before I was born.

25. Cyclone reminds me of me, good points and bad. (Though I don't crush on Stargirl)

26. No matter how obscure the character, you can always find a fan who loves them best.

27. Hippolyta and Ice are back.

28. Ms. Marvel is a dick, but in a way that's strikingly similar to early Booster Gold, (that's rare for a female character)

29. Female characters aren't demonized for not being virgins.

30. Hank Pym's story is frustrating, infuriating and compelling. And Ultron is just fucked up.

31. The Pym family tree is at least as fucked up as the Summers tree. Minus the time travel, plus robots.

32. Heroes represent nearly every religion imaginable. Even atheism.

33. No religion appears to be completely correct.

34. A woman can be a mother and a hero.

35. But she doesn't have to be.

36. Stephanie Brown gave her baby up for adoption, because it was the right thing to do.

37. Dinah Lance is both a founding member of the current JSA and a founding member of the JLA. (Is she the only one?)

38. Superheroes come from all walks of life.

39. Hawkman never wears a shirt.

40. Giant Robots are cool.

41. The creators grew up on superhero comics too, which makes for infectious enthusiasm.

42. No one makes me twitch like message board fans. :-p But then there's a lot of interesting stuff too.

43. Fanboy/girl analyses essays are a blast.

44. I always wished I could fly...and punch people.

45. Johnny Sorrow is incredibly creepy in the best way possible. I love villains who are genuinely unpredictable.

46. I'm reminded about what it feels like to be PROUD of being American.

47. I still catch my breath seeing Superman hold up the Daily Planet Globe.

48. Lois Lane is the best reporter the Daily Planet has ever seen. And she lists her pulitzer before her marriage when naming her achievements. But her marriage is a quick second.

49. There are bad stories too, but in general, when I buy my comics I come home satisfied.

50. The expression on little Ramsey's face when he meets Wonder Woman.

So, do you REALLY think I should just stick with manga?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Random Ridiculous Realization

I was just watching History of the World Part 1, and suddenly had the thought:

I want to see a superhero based off of Bea Arthur. Deadpool's crush aside, Ms. Arthur is awesome, and while we have a few older male heroes, there are very few, still-active, older female heroes that I can think of. And she's cool, still fit, and very formidable.

Failing that, I want a Madeline Kahn in comics. Perhaps as an Amazon after they're not evil anymore.

I figure Hippolyta and Empress Nympho would get along swimmingly! Or kill each other! Either way, it'd be worth seeing.

Hey, stupider ideas have been made into superheroes. :-)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Silly Idea for a Superheroic Annoyance...

The discussion in the replies to this post got me to thinking of something I'd love to see in the DCU (new Earth version):

A group of self-labeled "Darwinists"* that protest the existance of superheroines on the belief that they're meant to be the harbingers of the future heroic generations. Basically, they're a superheroic version of those crackpots who argue that women shouldn't go to war because of the danger to their breeding potential.

(Edited to Add: "Darwinist" is only a working nickname for them really, not intended to be a slight on evolution supporters, as I'm one myself. If anyone has any suggestion for a better name, that would be cool. :-))

The idea, of course, is that since superheroes are so powerful, naturally, their genes should be spread as far as possible. Superman, for example, should be sleeping with Wonder Woman, as well as as many Earth women as possible in hopes that his power carries down into the next generation. Naturally since the man's role in the physical act of reproduction ends fairly quickly, the crackpots won't protest their heroism, but the WOMEN should be protecting their uterii at all costs!

Academics write theses upon theses on which superheroes should be bred together for ideal results. Picketers march outside the JLA and JSA headquarters to protest the "endangerment of valuable genetic material".

It has the potential to be decidedly amusing. Imagine, poor Black Canary rescues some guy and he immediately, lividly lectures her on neglecting her responsibilities as a metahuman woman! She should be pregnant! How dare she waste that womb!

Heh, imagine BARDA's reaction. Or Manhunter.

Not even the supervillainesses would be safe from this utter stupid lunacy!

Poor Diana would appear on talk shows like Larry King to reasonably debate these idiots. (Because really, only Diana's polite enough to actually try to reason with these people.)

I don't really imagine them as real villains, of course, just minor annoyances/irritations/comic relief that could pop up anywhere. They're a bit one-note jokes, but when does THAT stop anything. :-P

And at some point, they should actually be revealed to be manipulated by a supervillain, that way we get the vicarious enjoyment of watching heroines beat the crap out of the person behind this nonsense.

Hey, you guys have you adolescent power fantasies and I have mine. :-)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Still No Content Here...

Apparently this is my week off from posting anything with substantial content. Oh well, maybe tomorrow. I'm too lazy today and I need my sleep.

So today I'm posting this incredibly satisfying panel from JSA Returns: A Terrifying Hour.

I can't be the only one who wanted to see Sylvester Pemberton get punched in the face, right? Skyman was a jerk.

Go Pat!

(Why do I have the oddest urge to hum "The Stars and Stripes Forever" right now?)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Superheroing 101

Lesson 306:

Wirepoons are more difficult than they look.

Let's bring up our volunteer, Mr. Tyler, to demonstrate.

As you see, with the experienced wirepoon operator pre-occupied, our Mr. Tyler has chosen to make the ill-advised attempt to utilize the device without proper supervision. I should also point out that the device he is attempting to use is one customary employed by a being of much smaller mass.

Now, watch Mr. Tyler demonstrate the unfortunate effects of this endeavor.

Thank you, Mr. Tyler.

Any Questions?

(Scans taken from All-Star Squadron #51)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Quick Random Reactions to Spiderman 3 (Very mild/indistinct spoilers)

- You know, that trailer really makes me want to see the new Fantastic Four movie. Even if I HATE the Silver Surfer.
--This may be because Ioan Gruffudd is really f'in pretty.
---What, I'm shallow.

-Dude, apparently if you give Topher Grace a leather jacket and a hideously bad dye job, I will suddenly find him hot. What the hell is up with that?

-Tobey Maguire does a good job as always, but they really shouldn't have filmed so many closeups from below. It's not a flattering shot, makes him look a bit puffy.
--And why did Kirsten Dunst's hair look so dank and drab? I get that she's downtrodden, but Mary Jane should never be without vibrant and well-coiffed locks.

-Initially I thought Gwen Stacy looked very plain, but she really seemed to blossom as the movie went on.

-Mary Jane annoyed me for most of the movie. The cinderblock thing totally made up for that though. Total lead pipe moment.

-This movie was really more of a Harry/Peter twisted love story than a Peter/Mary Jane one, I think. Someone let the slashers write this one.

-Ted Raimi looks exactly the same as he has for the past fifteen years. Creepy.

-Sandman was strangely awesome. I love Thomas Haden Church, he's impossible to make completely unsympathetic. Even if his motivation was a bit much for me.
--I realized my DC bias was showing when I found myself snickering at the fact that the guy's name was "Flint". MY Sandman's name is Sand, so I really have no place to mock.
---Bias or no, Sand would have kicked more ass.

-Venom-influenced Peter Parker was even more of a tool than regular Peter Parker. The WTF looks were pretty priceless though.

-Plainclothes fighting is awesome. But you'd think Peter might have put the damn ring on a's not like he could make them or anything...

-I was surprised at how not-bloated the story seemed, even with three villains. The end however really seemed incomplete. Maybe i just wanted groveling.

All in all, decent movie. Fun. Not really good for deep thinking, but pretty exciting. And Harry Osborn has pretty cheekbones. I'd recommend it.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Adventures with a Green Barbie:

You know what the best part of having a green barbie doll is? Dressing her up, of course! Even mundane Barbie clothes look great and new on a green doll! And fancy costumes are even better!

Naturally this means I'm on the hunt for new things. I already have a nice jedi costume (which I appropriated from an Attack of the Clones era Obi-Wan Kenobi doll) and now my goal is to obtain some nice Star Trek stuff. Because, heck, there's nothing cooler than a green doll with a phaser. Orion slave girl THIS.

Anyway, ebay being my friend, I found the set described here. And as elated as I am to find a set with uniforms with a phaser (I have a bizarre fondness for arming my Barbie doll to the teeth), I can't help but be annoyed at a few things.

First of all, what the hell is going on with their uniforms?! He's got commander stripes, where she gets lieutenant? What the hell? Everyone knows Barbie is the star of the show. Ken is just her non-threateningly attractive, eunuched hanger-on! There is no conceivable reason on God's Green Earth, that he should EVER outrank her.

And I get that he's dressed like Kirk, where she's dressed like Uhura. But dude, if one of them has the right combination of bizarre charisma, obscene vanity, and doubtless Shatnerian ego, it's definitely not eunuch boy. (And yes, I am attributing human qualities to dolls. This is BARBIE we're talking about.) She should be in the gold jumpsuit, and HE can wear the red mini-dress. Remember the extra in Encounter at Farpoint? It could work.

Beyond that, why does Barbie hold the tricorder while Ken holds the phaser? Nothing against tricorders, of course, but dude, if only one of them is going to be armed...

Well, I know one thing, this is one set that I'm going to feel no shame in gutting. My doll will make far better use of that command uniform and phaser than that Ken will. Mwahahaha!

Friday Night Fights: Better Late than Never?

I'm slinking in back of the pack for this Friday Night Fights round. But, um, it's still Friday in Central Time?

I won't be happy until an episode of Wedding Crashers goes like this:

Friday, May 04, 2007

More on the Earth-25 JSA:

I'm probably not going to let go of this idea for a while. It's hard to think of blogposts every day, damnit. So now that I've got a nice topic like this, I'm gonna milk it.

It's interesting really, that when it comes to the characters' personalities, there aren't necessarily that many changes that need to be made.

Some members of the Earth-25 JSA:

Green Lantern: Alana Scott is probably the most powerful heroine of the time period. Much like her male compatriot, she was a railroad worker (though perhaps not the engineer) when she crossed paths with the starheart. She would be very similar in personality with her Earth-52 counterpart, though possibly even more stern/unyielding. She's a woman trying to prove herself in a man's world, to use the cliche, and she can't afford to show any weakness.

The real bit of manuvering would have to be with regards to Obsidian and Jade, since it's a lot more plausible for a father to never know he had children than for a mother to not know that she gave birth. What may have happened though, is that the unbalanced Jekyll/Hyde (who took the name from the Stevenson novel of course, after the fact) took the babies and vanished. Unlike the unwitting Alan, Alana would have spent a good portion of her life searching fruitlessly for her children.

the Flash: Jane Williams (née Garrick) sought to follow in Marie Curie's footsteps, inhaled some noxious fumes and got all quick. The nice thing about Jane and her husband John is that their relationship probably isn't incredibly different from the relationship between Joan and Jay. Unlike Jay, Jane probably retired from her scientific career to become a homemaker. She provides a more traditionally maternal balance to Alana as the parental figures of the JSA.

Wildcat: Theodora "Ted" Grant's past diverges from Ted's in that, as a woman, she would not have been encouraged or allowed to compete in men's matches. She would definitely not have left it like that, however, and would have fought for the chance to prove herself. (She may have worked as a ring girl and general assistant while convincing the men to give her a chance.) She probably did get the opportunity to fight, but despite her talents, would have been treated more as a novelty act than a serious fighter. Fortunately, she would be inspired by the Green Lantern, to take up superheroics.

At some point she would have had a son and put it up for adoption. (As for personality...he's disturbingly turned into a boxing version of Samantha from Sex in the City, in my head. Which is more than a little weird.)

Sandman: Socialite Wendy Dodds probably isn't much changed from Wesley. She's still a socialite, still spent time abroad, and still ends up shacking up with a novelist. Eventually, Daniel Belmont ends up with custody of his young niece, Sandra. As he is not suited for parenthood, he turns the little girl over to Wendy, who could, presumably, raise her to be a proper lady. (And also, teach her to climb buildings with wirepoons) Wendy probably is not any smarter than her counterpart, however, she carries off the purple and gold better.

the Atom: Alice Pratt probably isn't really any different from Al. She's tiny. She's angry. She punches things. You can't really go wrong there.

However, for obvious reasons, she could not pretend to be the mother of Samuel Knight's son, so that would take some fixing around.

I'm not really sure what I'd do with the other characters yet. Any suggestions?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The JSA on "Earth-25"...

Expanding on the idea from this post, I think the Earth-25 JSA would be a pretty fun concept.

Since Earth-25 is for the most part completely gender-swapped, this means that the original JSA: Green Lantern, Sandman, Flash, Hawkman, the Atom, Mr(s) Terrific, Doctor Mid-Nite and so on and so forth would all be women.

The concept basically centers around the idea of "Rosie the Riveter in a cape".

Criminals don't sleep just because the menfolk are off to war, so it's up to the ladies of the JSA to step up and get things done, clearing the streets and keeping the populace safe during this troublesome time.

The round table members are all women, but there probably are male affiliates as well. I like the idea of the secretary of the group being a man (though the one downside is that Hippolyta remains female in my conceptual Earth-25. That doesn't, however, mean that others can't step up. Heck, Pa Hunkel is probably roaming around whacking people with frying pans.)

I personally think "Sandy the Golden Girl" would be adorable.

Most of the villains translate pretty well to the opposite gender I think, particularly the Shade, who'll be equally as fabulous as a woman as he is as a man. The one character I'm uncertain of is Johnny Sorrow. There were certainly female silent film stars who never made the transition to talkies, but the key to Sorrow, I've always felt, is that on some level he's never stopped playing his old movie roles. Over the top villains or tragic, dramatic heroes, depending on how you look at them. Women played different roles, and while a Jeanie Sorrow embracing whole heartedly a diabolical sexpot role might be interesting but it's a tad more pedestrian in comics I think, and I'm not sure it captures the unique creepiness that Johnny Sorrow maintains.

The real advantage to the female-JSA is that there's a built in reason that they would have fallen off the map. It's the nineteen-fifties and all the post-war conservative backlash favoring strict gender roles would have made it incredibly difficult for the women to publically superhero. There's the perfect excuse for the JSA to not be active by the time the Justice League is formed.

Infinite Possibilities! (Spoilers for 52 #52)

Warning for spoilers for the end of 52...




Okay, that should be enough warning. :-)

I'm very happy with the end of 52. We get the nearly endless storyline potential of the multiverse plus the legacy stuff with the JSA and JLA on one planet that I like so much. (I also like that the main DCU we read is apparently Earth-52 rather than Earth-1, if we go by Rip Hunter anyway. I just find that strangely amusing.)

We've seen glimpses of Earths 2, 3, 4, 5 (S), 10 (X), 17, 22, and 50. That still leaves a LOT of Earths to play around with! (I presume there's an Earth 8 with Kyle, Jason and Helena as mentioned before). I'm hoping that the majority of the storylines stay on Earth-52, but the occasional crossover could be fun...hopefully not quite as many as we used to see in the old pre-crisis days, though. But I digress.

I've decided that this is the perfect time to talk about the alternate universe that I've always wanted to see. The gender-swapped DCU. In which "Clara Kent" is the refugee from Krypton that ends up constantly rescuing the fiery, ambitious "Lloyd Lane". Where socialite "Briana Wayne" dresses up like a bat and adopts little girls to be brightly colored decoys. I know the concept's shown up before, it HAS to have, but I think it'd be really fun to play with from a modern perspective. A really neat way to explore assumed gender roles and character traits.

Let's call it Earth-25! :-)

Now Wonder Woman is an interesting conundrum. It could be a straight gender swap, a male warrior from an all male island, but that lacks the same connotations. If the world is arranged with the traditional roles of men and women swapped, then really, there's no point to it. "Clara" and "Briana" would simply be Clark and Bruce with boobs. I'm more interested in a world that would really explore what it'd be like if there was a Woman of Steel, period.

Actually, what I'd like to see is Themyscira still portrayed as a nation of women. With Hippolyta remaining as their Queen, but with the twist that when the gods granted her a child, they gave her a son. How would she react? How would the rest of Themyscira? What would life be like for the prince of a society of women. Would that factor into why he left?

And how would a man raised in a society of women percieve the "Patriarch's World"? Would it impact how he relates to the primarily (in this world) female-dominated Justice League? How would the world see him, a man grown up in a place where the usual sociological pressures regarding men didn't exist at all. No culturally imposed machismo, no "suck it up and act like a man". He's raised in a Warrior culture, but it's not a Man's culture.

Certainly it would make things even more awkward with the Bana.

I think it'd be pretty interesting. (Besides, you can't tell me a gender-swapped Green Lantern Corps wouldn't be hilarious in and of itself. It's comedy gold.)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Starfire as a Feminist Icon

You know who's a character I really tend to enjoy? Starfire. I am, for whatever reason, inordinately fond of that character.

It's funny, because I sometimes think that I shouldn't like her. I mean, I can't really deny the general criticisms of her character. She is very much a character designed by men for men.

She's exotic and alien, provocative and sexy, constantly in skimpy clothing and showing herself off, she's sexually promiscuous with a passionate nature and a hot temper. Also, her name is a silly joke.

It's interesting, really, because as much as she's a male fantasy, she's also a very strong and positive character. For one thing, how rare is it in today's media to find a female character that embraces her own sexuality without being lambasted for it either in character or by the narrative? There's still such a bizarre attitude toward female sexuality in our society. Good girls don't. Or they get punished for it. And almost always the only female characters really allowed to embrace their sexuality whole-heartedly are the stupid, amoral sluts.

This idea is so pervasive too. Look at romance novels, even. You'd think, being a medium essentially by women for women, the ideas toward female sexuality would be more open. But very often, the narrative places very heavy emphasis on the fact that this confident, successful, beautiful, experienced protagonist is a virgin. Sure there are a lot of adult women who remain sexually inexperienced, for whatever personal reason, but there are a lot that aren't, especially in this day and age. The female protagonist is almost always in it strictly for love. She never has thoughts of pursuing casual sex at any point in time. In fact, her desire for the main male character is often portrayed as though it's the first time this character has ever felt any sort of true sexual desire. Which, come on! She had been a teenager once, hadn't she?!

Villains and rivals get to embrace their sexuality of course. And of course, at the same time, they get to be amoral, sneaky, deceitful and manipulative. Our Heroine is always good and pure and innocent. If in the rare occasion that she ISN'T a virgin, she's either a divorcee, who'd only ever been with her ex-husband, vile cad, of course. (*He* naturally left her for one of those amoral sluts.) In historical setting romance stories, the character might be some sort of prostitute, but it's always for the sake of her family!!! And she's almost always rescued that first night.

I don't think I have to get into why this is incredibly insulting.

One of the things I was very happy about, getting into comics, was how many superheroines ARE allowed to be sexually confident without being demonized for it. Sure, there are some issues remaining, but it's honestly really nice to see.

Kory is particularly interesting though, because she completely divorces the idea of "purity" from sexuality. There is no question, I think, that Kory is a very moral person. She has a temper, of course, and she's a bit unfamiliar with Earth's sexual mores, but she's always had a very clear sense of right and wrong. She is a character largely incapable of deceit or manipulation, her heart is on her sleeve. She is open, accepting, forgiving. She loves intently and hate is very difficult for her. And she is as free with her sexuality as with everything else. And that's okay!

Even her costume, which very very certainly show off a lot of skin, are more empowering than offensive. Kory shows skin because she's comfortable that way and she likes showing herself off. It's absolutely her choice and she has utterly no shame or self-consciousness about it, and that's great! I don't see anything wrong with a character who likes to be sexy and show herself off as long as that's what she is intending to do. (Contrast this, with say, Supergirl and her belt-masquerading as a skirt. Which of course Martha Kent made for her?! I've been really happy that her portrayal has shifted to an angry teenager out for attention and crushing on anything on two legs. Because at least then I can believe that SHE is choosing to dress that way, rather than someone else dressed her.) It does help that she's an adult woman. (I love that she's taller than Dick and pretty much everyone else too)

I also like that Kory is a very emotional character, but it's portrayed largely as a source of strength. Our society is very strange when it comes to women and the expression of emotion. We're considered to be more emotional than men, more in tune with our feelings and more willing to express them. But our society also discourages a lot of emotional displays from women in the same way it does for men, just different emotions. Little girls are encouraged not to cry, to be a "big girl", not to be angry/aggressive because it's not "ladylike", not to be overly exuberant, to always try to smile and be calm and well-mannered despite what one is feeling on the inside.

I remember reading an article in anthropology class that remarked on the phenomenon that anglo/american women suffered more pronounced mood swings and emotional turmoil during PMS than in most any other country. The writer theorized that PMS made for a nice (subconscious) scapegoat for women to express buried anger, resentment and frustration that we're normally discouraged from displaying. Anything said or done during that time is then written off as mood swings and dismissed.

Kory definitely is not repressed. She's not "ladylike". When she's angry, she yells or hits things. When she's sad, she cries. When she's happy, she'll show everyone! And that's really neat! She gets to be strong, emotional, sexual and it's all completely without shame.

In a weird way, I think Starfire is as much a feminist ideal as Diana, she's just more id than super-ego. Where Diana is more of a cerebral representation of the ideal potential within all women, Starfire represents embracing one's inner primal nature without any sense of shame or regret.

Even if she has a silly name.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Today at work, something a little strange happened. I was making my rounds of "Can I help you find anything?" and trying to car-salesman birthday club memberships onto poor innocent parents when I come across this youngish fellow in the action figure department who asks me if I have a myspace page.

Apparently, the fellow had heard from a female friend about an anecdote in which a certain toy store employee had a conversation with a fellow about Nightwing.

So, yeah, pretty sure that's me. What a moment of cognitive dissonance. Unfortunately work called, so I couldn't really get a chance to chat or anything.

That's the first time that's ever happened to me, honestly. I mean, I'm not terribly hard to find, I reckon, as there really is only ONE toy store in the East Lansing/Okemos area. (I avoid the name only because the company has a specific policy toward blogging that if the employee self-identifies as working for this particular franchise, they have to post a disclaimer with the whole "the opinions expressed here are not shared by the company" sort of thing and I'm way too lazy for that.) My real name's not hard to find either, I guess.

Still, this is the first time real life and blogging life ever really collided for me. (Meeting blogging folks at conventions isn't quite the same). The only people I know in real life who read the blog are people who know me already.

I did have a moment of panic though in the "Oh hell, is there anything on this blog that could get me fired?!" sort of way. Just in case. :-)

It was definitely weird, but a bit of a boost to the ego. Secondhand recognition! I feel almost famous right this moment. Heh!