2 comics came out last week that ticked off a lot of people (broke the internet in half! OMG! *sigh*). 1 ticked me off, the other didn't.
Here's a article about it:
Here's my response, which I felt was worth repeating here:
I don't disagree about Red Hood and the Outlaws sucking hard. That book was shallow and vapid in many ways, not just regarding Starfire.
Catwoman, I actually enjoyed. Yes, I agree that it was oversexed, but at least it had a story. Not much of one, but I can see something growing from it. RHatO just seemed like a shallow piece of crap, which is a shame, because I was interested in that book.
I have to mention though, that Jill (and many others) really enjoyed Wonder Woman, which was rated "T" (Catwoman was "T+") and yet it had one of the most gratuitous side-boob shots I've seen lately in a flagship book (more boob than Catwoman showed), and the violence was much more graphic (severed horse head with arms coming out of it, anyone?) than Catwoman, the book everyone is complaining about.
I liked Wonder Woman OK, but I think it's odd that these things are not mentioned in this discussion. I think that's because Americans are much more hung up on sex than they are on violence. A severed horse head is OK, but for god's sake, don't let Catwoman and Batman have sex in a "T+" comic! WTF?
I agree on RHatO, but I think that the hype surrounding the Catwoman issue, a character who has often, if not almost always, been oversexed, even in the media (don't forget Batman Returns), is being taken a bit further than the book deserves. Too much cheesecake? Sure. But in every instance, it fit the situation. Diana was naked because she was changing clothes, which, in my opinion, is more gratuitous.
Pick your argument, people, and stick with it.
As an aside, I also think that the "New 52" have leaned more towards being "edgy" than they should, if they're trying to bring in new, younger, readers. I would prefer a more "all-ages" (not "for kids") direction for the books, myself, but some of the arguments I've seen regarding this issue are hypocritical.
I apologize in advance for the long post, but GEEZ, people.
Again, I agree on Red Hood, but Starfire wasn't the only thing wrong with that book... by far.
My issue is, as Charles J. Baserap (another Facebook poster) stated, that many people's arguments seem too fluid. Sometimes it's OK, other times it's not. What factors make that distinction?
I will NOT defend the Red Hood book by any means, simply because it was shit (and it has me really worried for TT (Teen Titans)... can I just have my Red Robin book back, please???), but I will defend Catwoman. I'm not saying that the "adult nature" of the book couldn't have been toned down, but I don't agree with all of the backlash against it, mainly because a lot of it is unfounded.
Here's why: in any media there can be adult situations and nudity, and there can be GRATUITOUS adult situations and nudity. I think some people don't understand the difference.
Do I think Catwoman was "oversexed" compared to what people expected? Sure. But I don't think it was gratuitous. Why? Because each instance of skin or what-have-you was propelled by the story.
In the beginning of the issue, she was trying to escape her apartment, which BLEW UP. I'm surprised she got dressed at all. I probably would have just thrown on some shorts (and maybe not) and gotten the hell out of there (but I'm glad she took her cats).
Later, when she confronts the guy in the restroom, she uses her sexuality (as Catwoman ALWAYS does) to get him to drop his guard. Then she KICKS HIS ASS (kills? I don't remember off hand). If she had slept with him, and then killed him, I would get it, but that's not what happens. She showed her bra. Whoopdie-do. I can see more in a JC Penny catalog (and they're not even rated! GASP!!!)
Later, she has sex with Batman. Big whoop. Batman is the ONLY character she gets "intimate with" in the issue (and it's not like he's some schlub off of the street). She's not like Starfire, sleeping around for the sake of doing so. She wants him, and even admits that on this night, she NEEDS him. That's more than just throw-away "costume sex."
Also, I keep reading all over the internet about Catwoman and Batman having "rooftop sex" while he's on the job. Did you actually read the issue? It happens in Selina's place, not on a rooftop. Where did that come from? Probably from people who saw that last pic (the one from the article, naturally) and assumed it was on a rooftop. Why? I dunno. Probably because it looks a bit like it in that ONE pic, but you're looking out her window. Anyone who read the issue would know that, so please, people, stop giving UNINFORMED opinions. At least the blogger, Jill, read the book.
As far as Batman being "on the job," there is clearly daylight showing through said window (hence his hiding in the shadows behind Selina's steps just pages earlier). Again, it's obvious who didn't read the issue, or at least those who didn't pay much attention while doing so. So, it being daylight, he's probably on his way home. Plus, he stopped by to check on her because he was concerned, not to get some "costume sex" action. That part just kind of happened (at SELINA'S will).
Do I think the last panel is a bit much? I guess. But it's not graphic, and Batman is showing more skin than Selina. Do I have a problem with the basic idea that they are having sex at all? Of course not.
(My wife, by the way, had no problems with the issue, as far as "sex" or "sexuality" is concerned. She just didn't care for the story that much.)
My point, however, is that none of these instances are what I would consider gratuitous. Each instance of Catwoman being "oversexed" are within the confines, and in service of, the story of the issue, and more than anything, IN THE HEAD of people who seem to have an issue with sex, or haven't read the book at all.
Wonder Woman, meanwhile, a "5 star" book that everyone seems to love (it was good, but not fantastic, in my opinion), is even more violent, and has a side-boob shot that does no service to the story other than to be a side-boob shot. Do we HAVE to see Diana get dressed? Of course not. But god forbid Selina gets out of her building with her costume askew before it blows to pieces. I don't have a problem with that panel in WW, BTW, I'm just making a point: It didn't serve the story. It's just there.
I'm not saying comics aren't sexist (to BOTH sexes, not just women), but some of the arguments against THIS ONE BOOK, I think have more to do with the fact that it came out on the same day as Red Hood and the Outlaws, which is much more offensive (more from a narrative and "creative" standpoint to me, than anything, although the Starfire stuff was equally stupid).
People are pissed about the one (rightfully so), and projecting it onto the other (no so right).
Spider-Girl (both of them) was recently mentioned in an article on Newsarama! Cool! Here's the link:
Also, on an unrelated note, I'm totally digging MOTU (that's Masters of the Universe) right now, to the point of a minor obsession, lol.
Due to this, I've actually started working on my "Keldor The Cursed" story again, which seems to be the story I go back to whenever I'm not working on "Vortech." I started a new Weebly site with the completed sections of the story here, if you're interested:
On another unrelated note, despite the misgivings of many, I'm giving quite a few (for me) of the new DC books a try post-relaunch. I'm not sure it's a GREAT idea, but it certainly has ME more interested. Let's all hope that they are good!
That's it for now! Stay geeky!
"Spider-Girl" (the new one) has been canceled as of issue # 8. It was bound to happen, as it seems to be par for the course with all Spider-Girl series, but I didn't think that it would happen this quickly.
Sorry for Tobin, who I hear is a pretty good writer. I'm sure they'll throw something else his way.
Maybe Mayday can come back at some point, now?
I can dream, can't I?
OK, so I'm reading a Marvel book again. It's weird to do so after being so burned by the Spider-Girl situation (which I'm still peeved about), but a lot has changed since then. For one thing, Axel Alonso is the new Editor in Chief of Marvel (has been for a few months now, but I've not been updating here as much as usual), and it's just one book: "Iron Man 2.0," or in other words "War Machine," who is one of my favorite characters. Much like Spider-Girl, James "Rhodey" Rhodes, AKA War Machine, has had several failed attempts at ongoing series, all of which I've enjoyed. I always try to support Rhodey's books, as I feel he's often relegated to being "the other Iron Man," while in reality, he's a very different character, and one that I actually like more than Iron Man himself, Tony Stark.
That's why the title "Iron Man 2.0" bugs me so much. It's just so... derivative. The key element to Rhodey's new series is that "a new kind of war demands a new kind of machine," or something along those lines. "War Machine 2.0" would be more fitting, in my opinion, but I guess Marvel figures it will sell more if it has "Iron Man" in the title. Maybe they're right? We'll see. The main thing that sets this attempt at an ongoing apart from his others though, is that Iron Man 2 came out in theaters all over the world last summer, and now all kinds of people know who War Machine is. He's no longer a b-list character, he's a frigg'n movie star. Hopefully the title can change names at some point, as I find "Iron Man 2.0" kind of... odd and maybe a little off-putting as a War Machine fan.
Other than that one comic though, I'm still very much a DC fan right now, and I'm keeping up with "Red Robin" (still fantastic), "Batman and Robin" (for now), and various bat books as they catch my interest. The other book I'm reading month-to-month is IDW's "G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero," which is written by the granddaddy of G.I. JOE himself, Larry Hama, and takes place immediately after his original Marvel JOE series, which I think is pretty cool.
So, Marvel, you've got one book back in my pull box. Care to try for more? I don't really see it happening, but who knows? Give me quality books, and I'm sure I can find some forgiveness in my geeky black heart...
The 'new' Spider-Girl, formerly Arana.
Parts of this blog were previously posted at www.comicboards.com/spidergirl .
First of all, as seen in my last blog, the Spider-Girl cancelation was sudden, but we've known about it for a while. The thing that angers me is the fact that Marvel comics has ALREADY passed the "Spider-Girl" name onto another character: Arana, who was supposed to receive the name years ago, but Spider-Girl fans got wind of it and kept it from happening. Well, now it's come to pass, and not only did Marvel not let May Parker's body get cold, hell, they didn't even wait for her to die! There are still a few more Spider-Girl issues to be published before her story wraps up... maybe forever.
Anyway, here is my initial reaction on the Spider-Girl Message Board, famous for it's grassroots efforts to save and promote the book in the past. I co-moderate there, as "VENOM," and have for... well, many years. I don't even remember anymore. So here we are. Gut reaction:
OK, I know this probably isn't the most uplifting or inspiring post, and I'm sorry if it offends anyone on the board, but...
I know that Previews came up with the line "Spider-Girl hits the big-time" but, man... what a slap in the face that is. She only had to become a completely different character, who apparently thinks that the "Spider-Girl" name itself is "corny" and "makes you want to puke." Great choice to fill May's shoes, guys... and wow, way to p**s all over the hard work that fans have put into helping Mayday over the years, and the years of love and devotion that they've put in as well. I guess the days of Spider-Girl fans being respected by Marvel are long over.
Since I can only take this as a big "F.U." from "The House of Ideas," (in which a good one hasn't come along in some time now...) let me be the first to say "right back at ya!"
And here is the letter than I sent to Marvel, thankfully a little more thought out, and a little less knee-jerky, as posted on the SGMB:
As a longtime Marvel reader from the age of 7 (I'm 29 now), and a Spider-Girl (May Parker) reader since issue #14 back in '98 or '99, I have to ask..
What the heck is going on?
Please hear me out.
I can almost understand giving Arana (lame character, IMO) the "Spider-Girl" name to give her some publicity, but to do it at the expense of Tom DeFalco and Co's "Spider-Girl" and her fans is a real travesty. Not only does Arana say in the most recent ASM (which I'm ashamed to have picked up) that the Spider-Girl name is "corny" and "makes you want to puke," now we have to accept the fact that this (THIS?!), is the "new" Spider-Girl?
Thanks... but no thanks.
The Spider-Girl fanbase is very passionate about her, and always has been, and most of the time, Marvel (as an entity) has been supportive and appreciative of their efforts. These recent changes though (May's latest series being canceled, more or less, before it even hit shelves by becoming a mini, and now Arana taking her name) can only come as a massive and collective slap in the face to everyone who ever supported May Parker and her book. I can't say that it surprised me, but I didn't think it would be done so soon and so contemptuously.
Due to what I can only perceive as a complete disregard for the character of May Parker and her fans, after 22 years of being a faithful Marvel fan, you can count me out from now on. Unless you manage to pull something crazy out of this whole thing and bring May back (all signs point to this not happening), then I will no longer be reading your books. I can't support a company that treats it's fans in such a manner. I've had to deal with Marvel's EIC referring to fans as living in their mother's basements and so on and so forth for years, but I guess this is the last straw.
Am I overreacting? After reading a book for 12 years (not even mentioning all of the work we've put into trying to get the word out and support it) to have it all thrown away so nonchalantly... no. I don't think that I am. Most books nowadays don't last that long. You'd think that that would count for something... but I guess not.
So again, thanks... but no thanks.
PS: OK to print. As if.
I know that sales of the book weren't at the numbers that Marvel, or the fans, wanted, but there's reason for this: They canceled the main book and made it a back-up feature in "Amazing Spider-Man Family"... then they canceled that book and relaunched it... then they canceled it again, and made Spider-Girl a back-up in "Web of Spider-Man"... then they announced a new regular series. Yay! We were all ecstatic. Then, before the first issue even hit, we found out that it had been changed to a 4-issue limited series. Bummer. After all of that, we learned that the book was dead for good (after one more "Spider-Girl: The End" book), and even it's digital counterpart on Marvel.com was going away.
All of this, to a paranoid fan-boy like me, lol, almost seems like it was purposely undermining the book, the character, and the fans, whittling them down and confusing them as to even what book to look for, until there just weren't enough left to support the title. None of this surprises me, especially when it comes to giving Arana the name. Hell, they tried it before. What surprises me is the fact that it happened so suddenly, so soon after our beloved May's cancelation, and the fact that it was done so contemptuously.
Now don't get me wrong. This book lasted longer than anyone could have predicted, and I don't think that everyone at Marvel is a mustache-twirling villain. But certainly, when all is said and done, this whole affair could have been done with more tact, more respect, and a little less "wow, everybody, look at the NEW Spider-Girl!" which just seems to be rubbing it in our faces, new book to promote or not.
We've played nice for a long time, boys and girls, and I don't call myself "VENOM" on those boards for nothing. And one thing that the character of Venom doesn't do is play nice. No more Mr. Nice VENOM, lol.
This time, it's war. And what's the best way to wage that war? With our wallets. Not only am I obviously not going to support the new fake Spider-Girl, but I'm dropping all of my Marvel titles (no, Spider-Girl is not the only book I read). If enough of us do that... well... maybe they'll notice. Maybe not. But I know that I'll feel a lot better not giving my hard-earned money to a comic company that 1-doesn't think much of me, and 2-treats me like crap.
Maybe someday we'll see May come back, and maybe, in that possible future, I will too. But it doesn't look like it's gonna happen.
So to May Parker, the last remnant of the Peter Parker/Mary Jane Watson marriage: I salute you, and book or no book, I will continue to support you.
This is Spider-Girl, also known as May "Mayday" Parker. She's the daughter of Spider-Man and his wife Mary Jane. She has all of her dad's powers and a few new ones, and generally tries to do good as Spider-Girl, while constantly trying to balance her responsibilities as a hero with her own need for a normal social life. Plagued by numerous cancellations, Mayday has, with some help from her outspoken fans, remained in some kind of print for over 12 years.
...And this is Red Robin, also known as Tim Drake, or sometimes as Tim Wayne. He is the adopted son of Bruce Wayne, also known (duh) as Batman. If Tim's name is familiar to you it's because he was the third Robin (after Dick Grayson and Jason Todd) and acted as such from the early 90's until just recently. He doesn't have any powers, but having Batman for a mentor has sharpened his already quite good detective skills (he deduced Batman's ID when he was just a kid), and honed his body to near human perfection as a gifted fighter. While his father was alive when Tim took on the Robin mantle, Tim is now an orphan, accepted into the "Bat-Family" of Gotham City. Tim has had his own series for a long time, and with his taking on the "Red Robin" identity for various reasons, has had a Red Robin series for the past year.
Spider-Girl's publication hiccups are well known and her current predicament (her new "ongoing" series suddenly became a 4-issue mini-series, and she'll no longer have any digital comics on Marvel.com) has fans in a tizzy, but it's not the first time. At this point, Spider-Girl fans are well prepared for taking action in these circumstances, even when they come on rather suddenly, as with her current situation (the first issue hadn't even hit the stands yet when the cancellation was announced).
The epicenter of Spider-Girl fandom, many would say, is located at, of all places, an internet message board at www.comicboards.com/spidergirl . I'm of course very familiar with the board, as I've been there since the beginning, and have helped moderate it (slightly) for many years now. However, I'm not actually here to discuss Spider-Girl campaign stategies (if you have an idea, feel free to share it on the board), but rather to address a question many fans may be having...
"What the heck kind of book could possibly take her place if she were really canceled this time?" Well, the knee-jerk reaction is "nothing!" and I don't blame you... it's a great book.
But I have to admit that it hasn't been my #1 favorite book this year (I can hear the shocked gasps). Close. Real close. But that distinction goes to Red Robin.
I'm not really a DC reader. Sure, I like the characters, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman (va-voom!), etc. but the books themselves never seem to hold my interest for longer than a few months. However, Red Robin has been really fantastic since I started reading it nearly a year ago. Granted, I wasn't a big fan of the art in the early issues, but issues #4 and on have had a new artist and have looked great, and the whole series has been really well written.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking Spider-Girl... but if you're looking for any kind of alternative, especially if her cancellation comes to fruition and you're looking for something non-Marvel to read, please consider giving Red Robin a shot. It's a fun book, with intrigue, great characters and plots, and most of all great family-like relationships with his fellow Bat-Family and Teen Titan members (family is an important element to a Spider-Girl fan!).
Red Robin's book is also similair to Spider-Girl in that he's about her age (I'm guessing 17), he's also a "legacy" superhero, and his book is a very entertaining read. Over the last year, the book has been broken up into four 4-part stories, which when put together, make a 12 issue storyline. It's not exactly a story an issue, as Spider-Girl used to be, but it's better than most comics these days in that regard, IMO. I hope that that trend continues. You get a nice resolution every four issues and the subplots continue to run from storyline to storyline.
One thing I really can't stand about many current comics is the "decompressed" storytelling, and I think Red Robin and Spider-Girl are good about giving you a lot of action and progression in every issue. The 12-part overall arc in Red Robin takes place over about 2 months of "DC Time" and that's a lot more enjoyable to me than 12 issues that seem to take up only about 5 days of Marvel time, which is how I feel a lot of the current Marvel books are. I always feel like I've gotten my money's worth with Red Robin, as I always have with Spider-Girl's books... well, not so much lately, as she's been a backup in Web Of Spider-Man, which typically features Spider-Girl, which I like, and a bunch of other crap that I don't like. I hope she can see a true return in her own series stick, so that we can get a good dose of Mayday every month.
I hope you don't take this blog as my being ready for May to pass the torch... I'm certainly not giving up on May Parker. I've read her books for over a decade and I plan to continue doing so... but I'll also be reading Red Robin's title for as long as it lasts. Mayday may not be quite ready to pass the torch yet... but maybe she can share the spotlight with DC's Tim Drake. I think they'd get along nicely :-)