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:

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/hey-thats-my-cape-catwoman-starfire-110928.html

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.


(AND LATER:)

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).


-Matt

 


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