Yes, I know it’s Thursday.
Our first comic is Guy Gardner, Warrior #42, where our hero the redneck ex-Green Lantern is somehow turned into a LADY by his old foe, the shape-changing reality-molesting Dementor. There he/she is on the cover, where it cleverly says “Gal” instead of “Guy” because DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY!
I’m going to have to find a link to Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like A Lady” so when you click on the text you hear Steven Tyler screaming “ahh ahh dude looks like a lady.” That’s the effect I’m going for: you’re reading the post in your normal “voice” when all of a sudden – screaming big-lipped Steven Tyler! “DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY!!!”
Sorry, that was really stupid. Let’s put it behind us and move on.
You know what else is really stupid? Guy Gardner, Warrior #42 It was coming towards the end of the Guy Gardner series, which had been re-tooled as Warrior when Guy developed alien bio-powers and became more of a he-man high adventure hero by writer Beau Smith, the Toughest Man in Comics. This era of Guy Gardner usually featured art by Mitch Byrd or, as is the case with Warrior #42, art by Marc Campos of Saliva Strand Syndrome fame. I’m going to be delicate and say that both men have done better work than this issue.
The story, let’s get back to the story. Guy wakes up as a girl – a buxom, wasp-waist female version of himself. He receives an invitation to a trap – a fashion show that Dementor has taken over. The shapeshifting villain is holding all the models hostage, and will kill them unless…
Unless the sex-changed Guy Gardner shows up and puts on a private fashion show for Dementor, parading around in skimpy outfits.
That’s a sentence I never thought I would have to write in my life, ever.
I’m serious about the whole fashion show thing. Check it out:
You’re probably thinking the same thing I was thinking when I first saw this: “Wha-HUHHH??” I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be sexy, or funny, or what the hell that is supposed to be. What is the ideal reader reaction to this scene? I can’t figure out what they were shooting for with the whole let’s-give-our-butch-hero-a sex-change-and-make-him-strut-around-in-lingerie thing. It seems… creepy.
But perhaps I’m overreacting.
In addition to the cheesecake fashion show, we get a few morsels of “humor,” like Guy trying to adjust to the reality of having breasts:
Man it is a good thing he is not pregnant! That would be hilarious. I love that panel, because he/she looks so shocked and outraged that he/she found breasts there.
The entire comic is a framing device for the fashion show sequence and manly Guy’s humiliation and objectification by Dementor. The sexual politics of this comic are confusing to say the least, but I’m pretty sure that women are not being portrayed in a kind way here. The whole sex-changed Guy Gardner thing is handled in an awkward and juvenile way – like I’m one to talk. I can just imagine this comic getting into the hands of a confused pubescent young man and fucking with his head but good. “She’s hot, but she’s really a dude! Wait, aren’t all women whores? What’s happening to meee?!”
Eventually a character named Martika, who is like Zsa Zsa Gabor with psychic powers, arrives and does something and Guy gets changed back to Guy and it’s all very tiresome and rote. Thankfully, our beloved Guy returns to us in his normal manly not-gay form.
No, really. Guy Gardner: not gay.
He looks like the love child of the Ultimate Warrior and the Indian from the Village People. Damn, and look at the arms on that Guy! His biceps are bigger than his skull! Now that is burly, and not gay.
I think changing the gender of your protagonist is the final, feeble attempt at survival by desperate creators, one final attempt at turning things around. Think “Turnabout Intruder.” Let's consider Guy Garner, Warrior #42 as Exhibit A and turn our attention next to a comic whose entire premise is Man Trapped in Woman's Body, as Dude Looks Like A Lady Week continues....
But before we move on, I present The Official Dave's Long Box "The Pain" Award to this comic. Well-deserved.