Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What did I miss?

Since I was immersed in Hell Week at work, I missed out on all the fun stuff kids were talking about in the Great Comics Blogosphere.
Mainly it seems like a lot of people freaked out about the Mary Jane statue (I'm not calling it a frickin' comiquette - that's not even a word. I don't capitalize the word realtor, either.) and what it implies about gender politics in the comics world.

Here's what I learned: it's one thing to have a cheesecake statue, but you're playing with fire when you accesorize it in such a way that it makes the cheesecake statue seem subservient to Dudes. The other thing I learned: you can't dictate what people can and can't be offended by. Everybody gets to decide what their own personal Bullshit Threshold is, and they can bitch about it as much as they want.

Having said all that, Andrew over at Armagideontime brought something to my attention: the equally wacky gender politics of the Big Barda statue (pictured above) The 3rd greatest female ass-kicker* in the DC Universe* gets reduced to holding her husband Mr. Miracle's cloak? Nuh-uh! Notice I'm not bitching about her red bikini or the fact that she has no legs - I just don't think Barda should be holding Scott's cloak like a good wife. She should be holding a severed parademon head!

What else? AICN had a sneak look at John Rambo, the long awaited (by me) fourth Rambo film, which was promptly uploaded to YouTube. It starts off all solemn and shit, and then about halfway through somebody hits the big red ULTRAVIOLENCE button and things go crazy:



Several geek friends of mine were turned off by the level of violence in the preview, particularly the jeep driver who goes Death Star when Rambo shoots him at whisper-close range. I think the preview could have done with some tighter editing, more Rambo music, and a more explosive ending, but I'm perversely excited to see it. I'm waiting for somebody to re-mix that preview as a slasher film, though.

Is Dr. Strange gay? Photon Torpedoes and Neilalien weigh in on the "controversy" with a resounding "hell, no!" And they can prove it, too. OK, the Photon Torpedoes post is old, but it's still real to me, damn it! Anybody who has read the Dr. Strange graphic novel Shamballa, where he splits into duplicates of himself to have a mystical orgy, will agree: Dr. Strange likes the ladies. Just because he dresses like a Cimmerian pimp doesn't mean he's gay. I would add that of all the Marvel heroes, the well-travelled and philosophical Master of the Mystic Arts would have a philosophical attitude about human sexuality that transcends fickle societal norms, but clearly he digs chicks.

*I rank the greatest female ass-kickers in the DC Universe as follows: Wonder Woman, Power Girl, Big Barda, Black Canary, Huntress, Catwoman, etc. Supergirl is way at the bottom of the pack, sorry, because the current DCU version of the character sucks.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obsidian used to dig chicks too...

Skipper Pickle said...

Things I Am Thankful For #36: Steve Ditko never dressed me.

notintheface said...

I can actually think of a plausible scenario for the Barda statue depiction: She's assisting hubby in his stage act "Ladies and Gentlemen - My lovely wife/assistant Barda will hold my cloak while I am handcuffed, manacled, stuffed into a sack, and lowered into a water tank that will be completely smashed by this 30-ton weight unless I escape in exactly 40 seconds...."

But seriously, is that really the most memorable thing about her? Even with the bathing suit instead of the armor, it's not brain surgery: Barda. Mega-Rod. Badass pose. How fucking difficult can it be?

Andres said...

you know your proud of the "Cimmerian pimp" line.

Songino said...

I've never dug the whole "subservient woman cheesecake" thing. The freakin' best part of Big Barda is that she can jump in and crack heads with the best of them; why downplay that? While I think the Mary Jane statue is crass, at least I can see her doing something like that (albeit not in clothes like that), becuase really, what else does Mary Jane do? Exactly.

But Barda? Her appeal isn't that she's a great gal to come home to at the end of a rough day; her appeal is that she'll be smashing skulls right alongside you as the two of you are fighting weird alien whatevers on the planet Expendable Cannon Fodder, and THEN you get to go home with her. Let her show that side off! It's why we like her!

John said...

I agree with notintheface's take on the Barda statue. I'd not seen the MJ statue until now...my issue isn't so much any kind of "gender politics" (as bogus an issue if I ever heard one), so much as she's portrayed as some kind of Vivid girl or something. You can practically see the porn scene playing out: "Oh! My big strong superhero is home!" (cue "bow-chicka-wowwow" music). Next thing you know, MJ's pants are down around her ankles and, well, you get the picture. Look, I know American comics are read by guys, targeted at guys and made by guys. I have no problem with some kind of cheeky domestic scene maquette; I even think the idea for this statue is clever. I *do* have a problem with her looking like she's moments away from gettin' it dun. It's just freakin' inappropriate.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but how about that Rambo? Those guys in the jeeps get STALLOWNED!!!

I'm a child, what can I say

Baal said...

You can't decide for anyone else what offends them but you can decide when you think they're being dumbasses about it or overreacting. Let's see how many of these people who read sex crimes into a woman doing laundry react to Heroes For Hire's cover with the bound and tentacle stroked female cast? At least people whining about the MJ toy have the decency to include a picture of it so I can have something nice to look at and it also alerts me that a nonsensical rant is coming so I can click on the next blog.

SRH said...

I am not saying that mainstream comic books should attempt to remain chaste and pure as the driven snow, but the MJ statue is a bit over sexualized in my opinion.

The Barda one seems woefully out of character but not necessarily overly sexualized. It is cheesecake and yet not incredibly distasteful. It just doesn't make sense from a character point of view.

The MJ one does make more sense characterwise, because her whole appeal is eye candy. She doesn't really add much to the story.

Oh well, I will not buy either of them, so the point is really pretty moot.

Anonymous said...

I agree, some of the stuff I read about the MJ statue seemed a little hysterical - some guy on Newsarama equated the statue with blackface, which takes some serious balls or an overly developed sense of drama. However, I've seen a lot of rational, well-thought out objections to the statue.

The Barda one bugs me just because it's so NOT Barda. Give her a megarod for the love of the Highfather!

GameJudge said...

This is the first time I've seen the MJ statue's face, and I just sort of thought, "She's totally doing that for/to Peter." Why is her rear stuck out like that? Why the profile with the well-accentuated bosoms? Look at that look. She is trying to work her husband into a lust lather.

Big Barda was probably number one on that butt-kicking women list back during the Morrison JLA. I don't know where she'd be these days.

Tony said...

Power Girl over Big Barda? Hmmm, I'm not sure how I feel about that ranking.

Aren't all the New Gods supposed to be 30 feet tall or something?

Anonymous said...

Tony-
Supposedly when the New Gods travel through the Boom Tubes, they also get shrunk to Earth-person size. Why, I don't know...maybe so they can use our toilets and ride our subways while they're here. Doesn't explain why they're human-sized when DC characters visit New Genesis via spaceship, though.

raymondo magnifico said...

I think it was a good idea to move the Rambo franchise to Burma. Shooting people into a red mist ain't gonna bring in the hippie kids unless you're doing it...for peace

ce said...

I absolutely loved Rambo's refutation of their whole Peace Corps schtick: "Without weapons, you ain't changing anything."

Mike Noga said...

hehehe someone should do a story where Zatanna works some mojo that changes all the female heroes costumes in the DCU into her tophat and fishnet ensemble. Zowie! Better yet she should Whammie ALL the heroes into duplicates of her outfit. Imagine Batman dressed like that?! Crazee!!

Bubba said...

Personally I'm waiting for the maquette of Red Sonja making waffles.

Madam, we must have waffles! We must all have waffles forthwith!

Nate Birch said...

You really could have just skipped the whole bitching about "sexist" figurines thing Dave...you really could have. Nobody would have missed it.

Noods said...

Long time reader, first time commenter here :) Don't you think Shiva should come in ahead of Black Canary as one of the top female ass-kickers? Okay, the sonic scream does give Canary an edge, so then, shouldn't Shiva then come in ahead of Huntress?

nameless said...

Ooh, the dreaded inverted commas. Nice touch, Mr. Birch.

Travis said...

I, for one, really like the MJ statue. Dr. Strange would approve, because he's totally not gay. He is, however, super awesome.

Any other recommendations for good Strange collections?

Jason said...

Dave, did Rambo punch that dude's head off in the trailer? I mean, there was like a knife sound when the head came off, but I didn't see a knife. Are Rambo's hands steel? I cannot wait to watch this movie while drinking beer.

PrimeOp said...

The more that I look at posts on both sides of the argument, the more it seems like missing a murderous egg fart in a cramped elevator. The fart itself was pretty bad, some of the descriptions are just as disgusting (if not more) than the actual deed and the human soul is diminished by even knowing that it all happened.

On the flip-side, that Rambo movie may be this year's Little Miss Riki-Oh. We can only hope.

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