Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Huh, they're right: this scene DOES work!

Zhinxy's posted this Wolverine interrogating Spider Woman in the shower scene over on scans_daily.

Now, I'm going to admit outright, I have not read the issue in question. Moreover, I'm not particularly impressed with Bendis at the best of times and not really inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

That said, I actually really like this scene.

It could be considered a bit gratuitous in that there really isn't a need to have him interrogate her in a shower, sure, but the thing is, this works for me. Having it in the shower isn't necessary, but it does add a special sexualized element to the confrontation without being exploitative.

There are so many ways that this could have gone wrong, so many. But instead they made it work for me. I think because a) it's Wolverine. Wolverine's not one of my favorite characters, but even I, at my most irritated with him, would never suggest the man is a rapist. He might stab her in the head, sure, but he wouldn't rape her.

It's weird when I type it out like that, since one would think a naked stabby death would be something to be avoided, (and it certainly does have sexual overtones...anyone who thinks it doesn't really needs to go watch Psycho again) but the difference, to me, is that with Logan, the naked part probably wouldn't enter into the equation. If he were going to stab her in the head, he'd probably do it as easily clothed as he would naked. Stabbing her isn't about dominating her sexually or otherwise, it would be about ending a threat. Impersonal.

If this were a villain? The scene would not play out well at all. If it were a character we could believe would rape her, the scene would go from tense to full on threat, which wouldn't really be cool. I won't say that sort of scene is never useful in storytelling, but it's not suited to a superhero book and there are other, non-sexualized ways, to carry about the same threat.

b) she's confident. Annoyed, but confident. Yes, she's naked, and yes she's in the shower, but she knows that he won't rape her. She knows that she can put up a fight if it comes down to it. She's also a character who's used her sexuality as a weapon, so she knows full well that even if he's trying to get a psychological edge over her by making her vulnerable, she's not falling for it.

If she were frightened? It would be different and squicky. If she were cowering, cringing, crying for help? The scene would have been very unpleasant and infuriating. The fact that she's meeting him on an equal level, uncowed and confident regardless of implied vulnerability...

Well, that's just hot, really.

It's essentially like the difference between rough sex and rape. The former can look violent, scary, painful to an observer, sure. But if everyone's consenting and having a good time, well then, there you go. Rape on the otherhand is rape. It's ugly, awful and horrible.

This scene is both violently and sexually charged. But it's not just him dominating/threatening her. It's equal and mutual. It's rough and hot and she's definitely contributing to the atmosphere as much as he is. It's honestly sexy.

There's a part of me that kind of wants them to dooo eeet. (I'm twelve at heart, and thus incapable of talking about sex maturely. :-P) And I barely know who Spider-Woman IS, or if it's remotely in character for them TO have sex. But damn if that's not hot.


  • At November 26, 2007 10:00 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    It actually was rather well done. And the two of them do have something of a history together, if you go back to the early stories in the Wolverine solo book, when he was hanging out in Madripoor as Patch, and she was working as a detective with her partner Lindsay McCabe. Some fairly decent stories, actually.

    And then the Black Widow comes in...and he's got a history with HER too! Frankly, I think he has a history with EVERYone.

  • At November 26, 2007 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Damn!:) I agree 100%. ... However I thought your mental age in regard to sex was 9. (snicker)jk,btw:)

  • At November 26, 2007 12:11 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    If I had a pet kangaroo I'd call it Squicky.

  • At November 26, 2007 12:24 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    It's a good name. :-)

  • At November 26, 2007 4:08 PM, Blogger Jeff said…

    That was rather well done- that was Marvel? Kinda surprised in the good way.

    BTW I think I might have given you cooties once. Sorry 'bout that ^_^.

  • At November 26, 2007 4:10 PM, Blogger kalinara said… might have to narrow that down a bit. :-)

    But cookies always make good apologies. <3

  • At November 26, 2007 7:48 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Stop me if I'm wrong...

    ...But might the difference in tone between this scene and Tigra's be due to Bendis' feelings towards the characters?

    I have only half-remembered second-hand fan statements to back this up, but hasn't Bendis said he disliked Tigra and said he really likes Jessica Drew in the past?

    I do agree though: this is an excellent, tense scene that doesn't get skeevy. I'd draw the line at wanting them to Get It On, though. I mean, Logan is hairy. ^_^

  • At November 26, 2007 8:04 PM, Blogger Ami Angelwings said…

    I agree totally that it worked greatly. :D Women can be strong and naked too XD That's NEVER been the issue, and that's the thing some ppl have been trying to use the CONFUSE the issue, the whole "trying to take teh sexy out of comics". That's never been it. :D And I think this scene shows what we want well :]

  • At November 28, 2007 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I thought the scene was well done as well. After the initial "Gah!" moment, she just gets annoyed with Logan. Awesome!

    Actually, the shower would be a good place for them to dooo eeet, given Logan's hairyness and body odor issues. :D

  • At November 28, 2007 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just one thing, w/r/t your comment about Wolverine being a character who simply would not rape; isn't it a classic fallacy to draw an absolute distinction between the archetypal "real rapist" and the "nice-guy-who-couldn't-possibly-etc.-etc," used generally to exculpate the latter, just like the false distinction between the "real" rape victim and the "bad girl"?

  • At November 28, 2007 6:54 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Simon, I don't believe so.

    We're not talking about a real person here. No one's able to really judge a real person's capability as we're not mind readers, we don't know history or anything like that. So to say a real person could never be a "real rapist" could perhaps be a fallacy.

    However, Wolverine's a fictional character with decades of history behind him. He's a character that's a major draw of the franchise. The medium of comic book storytelling features great use of internal monologue and flashback. Characters are also created for a purpose.

    Thus readers and creators know the character beyond ways that they could ever know a real person. We've seen in the man's head, so to speak, we know what makes him tick, we know where he would draw the line. And while Wolverine is many things, he is not a character that has ever been designed to be, nor would be logically characterized as a rapist.

    Not only does that not fit with any pre-established characterization, it's also highly unlikely that Marvel comics would ever allow one of their biggest name heroes to be characterized as a rapist in one of their comic books.

    Thus, as I see it, there is absolutely no logical fallacy in declaring a fictional character, a superhero, as someone who would never rape a woman.

  • At November 29, 2007 9:37 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Simon, an interesting point. Look at how Spike Lee used the fallacy in his black-and-white "She's Gotta Have It..." And the strength of the character Nola Darling to be injured but retain an essential integrity to her character.

  • At November 29, 2007 11:33 AM, Blogger mordicai said…

    Yeah- I'm on your team on this one.

  • At November 29, 2007 12:33 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I have a team now? Sweet!

  • At November 29, 2007 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "I'd draw the line at wanting them to Get It On, though. I mean, Logan is hairy."

    But... but...

    Hairy bear-men! <3

    But yeah, I was most pleased with this scene. It definitely works well and is very nicely balanced between sexy and dangerous. A difficult line to tread, and proof that it can be done well.


  • At November 30, 2007 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "However, Wolverine's a fictional character with decades of history behind him."
    Which means nothing in today's Marvel World. In the preview released this week of the new X-Force comic, Cyclops is talking via radio or video with one of Wolverine's 'interns'. Wolverine doesn't like it, so he slaps Cyclops across the face, bloodying his nose.

    To a foe, yes, this could work. To a teammate, not so much. Cyclops and Wolverine have butted heads before, but still have respect for each other. Until now.

    Alan Coil


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