Monday, April 12, 2010

Athena #1


Something tells me this one won't be discussed in any mythology classes.

NOTE: Forgot to get the cover ready for this one before I went on my trip, so it's just on the front page. Also, Al was out of town duruing this one, so couldn't get a title card ready. ‎

231 comments:

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SpaceMonkeh said...

I've been waiting for this one ever since seeing the clip of it in the 2010 trailer! Woohoo!

Kelkovas said...

wow Linkara that was pretty good, I love the song at the end. Only complaint is you did really harp on her ass, not that that's a bad thing it just got a little redundant. Anywho keep up the good work.

Peace out

Gen said...

Well.. Sex sells.

Deamon Cohln said...

Okay, the rest of the review was just fine from what I see, I just gotta say something bout the arm-wound thing.

Unlike the movies make you think, a gun wounds to the arm can be pretty damaging, but even a grazing to the arm can cause nerve damage to the arm and if it hits the right artery or vein, you can bleed to death. You may be bedridden for a day (although not two or three like this POS says) while the docs check you out.

I shot myself in the foot once, trust me, you just don't shake off gun wounds easily.

No fucking clue why they didn't take the statement though, still right there

KHoyt said...

During the scene in the nightclub, I think that was pseudo-symbolism, where they use symbolism to appear deep and thoughtful, but it really isn't. People fall for it...

And I think the back-story just sopiled the next three issues.

Scott said...

Once again, you're tackling more and more interesting stuff; like noticing details in the panels that make the comic all the more ridiculous, focusing on the art and its placement within the pages of the book, and etc. :D This is getting even better, even more awesome review this time around. Great job! :D

Kratescz said...

Linkara is straight? I suspected that!

Sara Karlsson said...

Great review Lewis! I totally agree with you and artist treating females as a sex-symbol and I love you for bashing them!

MFlorian said...

Yeesh. That comic was bad. I'm amazed you can keep finding these things. They just get worse and worse. It's like pop culture circling the drain.

Out of curiosity, when you said the comic got good reviews across the board, who were you referring to?

Were any of them normally good reviewers who should have known better?

Cory said...

A very good review and a good example of how women are represented and drawn in comics. The part with the tutorial was a nice touch, since a lot of them actually state what that one does.

For the back up story I think I might know the location that they are at, but that would make the appearance of a guy with a horse drawn wagon a bit odd since I don't remember seeing that when I was there. The scenery in the background and the ship look like Baltimore's Inner Harbor and the USS Constellation. Again that is just what the ship and location looks like from what I can see, but if it is the USS Constellation then it is interesting that this comic and review follows your Star Trek/X-men review.

~ Cory "Core" Belote

The Vigilante said...

Lewis, I applaud your principles and standards about the portrayal of women in comics, and honestly, anyone who thinks the female form SHOULD be used to titillate in comics needs to get a life and realize that there are NO women in real life (except maybe hookers and strippers) who look, act, dress, or think the way that the women in titillating comics do.

Keep up the hard work! Can't wait to see what you're doing in Chicago!

Anonymous said...

Great review, Lewis. I have to admit I've never really understood the appeal in making comic books or video games or the like into incredibly shoddy softcore porn. I mean...is there REALLY someone out there who can't access the internet or buy an actual porno mag or video if they want to jerk off? If I wanted to masturbate, I'd get some porn. If I wanted a comic book or a game to play, I'd get one of those. What's up with this worthless blending that's going on these days?

Lea said...

It's really pathetic for someone to think you like males, just because you don't like women being objectified. (Also, isn't 'sex sells' pretty outdated when you have the internet?)
And what a nice comic. not. Though I get why artists would want to draw pretty women, and that's OK, but for God's sake, let them have some personality, too.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe you actually had to explain that, but good on ya.

SynjoDeonecros said...

Wow, what a vitriolic review. While I certainly agree with you that the nudity and sexuality needs to have a purpose to the story, even in an explicit T&A comic, it just seems like you're wasting a lot of effort on it. I mean, some of those nude shots (especially those with her in the woods) could be symbolic of something or whatnot, I dunno.

And, personally, I never pegged you as being gay or bisexual; maybe it was your repeated statements of being a feminist, i dunno.

Also, as a huge mythology buff myself, I sympathize with you about the pointless references to Greek myths; that Apple of Discord thing was about as lame as the apple-giving ceremony from Forever Eden.

Shieru-sensei said...

I like your review, tough I seriously wonder what you think about Manga and Anime. They both also feature scantly clad characters, though from what I've seen, the female fandom does not tend to react as negatively to it as it does to scantly clad characters in comics.. Keep up the good work, though, you had me hard with this comic - uh, laughing hard, that is :)

Death to Commercials said...

Wow, you're posting really early Linkara! For the record, I never believed you were gay. You just want champion a great cause. I like how you're varying the bit leading up to the theme song now; it adds variety. Anyway, another great review!

Taylor McInnes said...

Wow, out early this week isn't it?

Vigil said...

Nice Review Linkara, but I had a few questions about your stance about the sexualisation of women in comics.

Now I'm not a real comic reader, but I do have a basic understanding of the Marvel and DC universes, so I will admit, my argument might not be the most accurate and a little vague in places.


Now, I do agree with you about titilising women for the sake of titilising is just pointless and doesn't get any response out of the reader except eye candy.

The problem is it's something that's embedded in the core of the comic industry, as a large amount of female superheroines do wear very scantily clad outfits, even your beloved Wonder Woman with her ass clearly visible and a breastplate revealing her feminity.

Even when they are fully clothed, such as Spider-woman, Invisble Women and catwoman are all wearing skin tight suits, and are very sexualised.

Now I do admit that can be omitted by good writing and characteristaion of the heroine, but it still is very prevalent.

For example, look at Marvel's Tigra. A well endowed catgirl who runs around in a bra and a thong. Might be a very good character, but still heavily sexualised to appeal to the teenager boys who read it.

Unfortunately, as evident in other media, such as movies and advertising, sex sells, as it's a quick and efficent way to provoke interest and grab a male audinces attention. At the end of the day, the comic industry is a business like any other, and use this older than dirt sales tactic readily.

Now, I'm curious, what do you think is the right way to potray a woman sexually in a comic?

Mistwraith said...

I have only one line to add:

All hail Eris!

Billy Frankie said...

damn that was early.

James said...

Thanks for the early update, Lewis. Hope you're having fun in Chicago.

Thomas said...

The biggest Problem with the display of women in media like this (comics, movies and games) is that it seems that writers try to avoid giving the characters a real personality.

doggans said...

Ah, the internet. Making every opinion more EXTREME!

"You don't like looking at impractically-dressed voluptuous women that don't actually make sense in a superhero story? YOU MUST BE GAY!"

日本文化のマニアック said...

Wow, that dress was so tight you could see the indentation of her navel. How is that even possible without being a spray-paint job ala Mystique in the X-Men movies?

And wow... I can see Obama making a cameo in Spider-man since he's an avowed fan, but do we really need him everywhere? I voted for the guy, but I voted for him to be president, not a comic book character. Do they have to get permission to use his image in these? I mean, I'm guessing not since he's a public figure,but still. You'd think the White House would want to keep as far away as possible from associating the president with half-naked women.

Look, to all comic book writers around the world: a little fan service every now and then is okay (for both men and women), but you need to tell a good story! This might have had a good story, but was very poorly structured and the story suffered as a result.

And now I will have an immature chuckle that my word verification is "rear giss."

GEL said...

About the Obama Comic Mania? A part of that was because, if I recall correcty, Obama mentioned being a comic fan himself, especially of Spiderman. Hence "Holy Crap! The President is a Spiderman fan! We're TOTALLY putting him in an issue!". Makes sense there at least.

On another note: They still MAKE Youngblood?! O.o I never would have guessed.

(Also, PLEASE tell me you're gonna cover the old Image Comics "Babewatch" event. I know very little about it beyond Leifeldian heroes being turned into women. I'm sure there's comedy gold to be had SOMEWHERE in there)

theatom9 said...

Yeah, don't get me started on Stephanie Brown's depiction in War Games (OR her current depiction, for that matter). Both are insults to her character.

Anyway, great review once again, Linkara! Can't wait to see more!

Linda said...

Oh. Yeah. Um. This has to be one of the worst gratuitous nudity comics I've ever seen. And I thought 90s era Storm was bad with the skin-tight Mylar outfit that masqueraded as protective gear.

I admit I know very little about Greek mythology. However, I'm sure I'm not alone and this would've been a perfect venue in which to teach people like me about the myths! As it stands, all I've learned is that Poseidon lives in the Hudson River... ?

Alex said...

I'm sad to hear that you got such negative responses to your more than justified criticism. But I hope that you know that many fans, male and female alike, admire you for pointing out these issues.

Da-manta-ray said...

Nice review Linkara! Although I must say, the objectification of women in comics not only seems to be present in just North American comics, but also in manga... and in some cases, the authors are women, which makes no sense, but ah well.

Stevie said...

I think the real question is do you have a significant other? I don't mind what sexuality you are but I am curious :(

VladSteelwolf said...

I'm thinking the idea about Athena always being right about about the crimes the people she interviewed did has less to do with being a "Goddess of truth" and more to do with the fact that she's a Goddess of Justice. Hard to lie to someone who probably subconsciously already knows what you did and has the skills to trick you into admitting it openly (another way to view it, perhaps she can sense their attempts to "pervert justice" and calls them on it). In other words, as the physical embodiment of Athena, she literally IS the Law.

Also, it wouldn't surprise me if the attempted rape scene early in the book was another callback to the Athena myth and Hephaestus' attempted rape of the Goddess.

Joe Green said...

Weren't the "Waters of Forgetfulness" in one of those Hercules movies they showed on MST3K?

areoborg said...

I suppose that as the goddess of justice, she can compel suspects to tell the truth, because you can't really have justice if everything is based around lies.

But that's probably the only way you could stretch it.

Kavinsky said...

You know I can understand why they keep putting women in high heel in comics, because it gives the female character a distinct silhouette.

But they could acomplish the same thing by maybe having her wear 1 - 2 inch chunky heels like Kate Beckinsale's character in Underworld that wouldn't cause her to break both her ankles if she tried to run, jump or fight anyone

Funny if you think about in the Xmen crossover last week if storm had to land with any sort of force on her ankles she would have broken them

Then when it comes to showing off a womans body it's one thing to have something that lightly outlines her body like Dianna Rigg's outfits in The Avengers and then there's tight to the point of cutting of her bodies blood circulation and having the entire ensemble look like it would come off within five seconds in a real fight.

NINJAMAN87 said...

'sigh' Look, while i do respect your opinion, that dosent mean you're speaking for everybody.
You can't deny that most male comic book readers that buy comics with a female lead character will be because of the sexual art work that the artist put into the comic,also you can't expect every male to be like a feminist like you.
Sex sells that something you can't deny, there are comics for every type of person personally i enjoy comics like 'The Boys' 'Punisher' 'Iron Man' 'Deadpool' and 'Cry for Justice' before you call me a heartless bastard (because of the last issue which is my favourite) i never knew Roy Harper had a daughter, and i never saw the first appearance you enjoyed much to read.
Not everybody like comic's with lightened themes, sometimes people want to see how superheroes would be like in the real world, bottom line you can't expect the rest of the male species to be like you.
Comic Books are a escape from the real world to accept the impossible and while some stories or artwork are not well done you can't expect everything to be good, some art in comics is bizarre and while every artist draws the human body their way because of the style some of us do enjoy it, hell go read any manga and lets see how long you last before you complaint how every artist doesn't draw the human body how you think it is.

I review things that everybody wouldn't like but it my deal and at least i ask to respect what i like.

Chup@Cabra said...

Interesting review :-)

It sounds to me like some 3rd party company wanted to do their own version of Wonder Woman, but George Perez and company have already done much better with that with the Post-Crisis reboot of Wonder Woman.

Matter of fact, I think that's where the whole "Goddess of Truth" deal probably came from, even if the creators didn't realize it (Diana actually became a Goddess of Truth for awhile, didn't she?)

As to the T & A in the comic; I'm suprised that this came out in '09; this is something you saw a lot of during the 'bad girl' craze back in the 90s, if I remember correctly (that spawned characters like Lady Death).

I guess there's still a segment of male fandom out there who will buy comics just on the art, even though I'll admit to buying a comic if it has a hot babe artist from time to time myself (like Amanda Conner on "Power Girl" or Frank Cho on just about anything ^_^).

There is also a segment of the 'dark side' of the internet that thrives on stuff like this, producing 'mature' comics where knock offs of popular super-heroines are captured, depowered, and assaulted over and over again :-( [internet, what hath you wrought?]

Jeyl said...

Good timing on this review. I just saw a preview of Marvel's "X-Women" a week ago and one look at the jet ski page was all I needed to know. Six a** shots in a six panel page. Not in every panel mind you, but there is one wide panel showing three of our heros from behind.

/head bonk

Hmm. That felt mildly uncomfortable. Maybe I should go to the hospital and take a week off of work.

Mandi said...

I agree with your assessment on the view of women in comics. There is nothing wrong with the female body, in fact it is a beautiful thing. They make a mockery of women bodies and minds in comics. Women are not sex objects we are just as powerful then men, we are equal. Thank you for sticking up for the "women foke". It's always the best when you're passionate about your views. Were are you heading off to anyway?

Melanie said...

Oh Linkara, didn't you know that all women are good for is to look pretty and get injured by the snap of the fingers?
Seriously though, thanks again Linkara for standing up for women and treating us like people not sex objects.

NZ_Nitrogen said...

This probably will not be one of your more popular reviews, but nonetheless, I agree with virtually everything you've stated in it. Keep up the good work.

Alan Gains said...

I have a special hatred in my heart for stories that feel the need to use Greek mythology, but can't get anything more than the very simplest parts of it right. Why is it that almost nobody can write a Greek myth story where, at the very least, the gods are all in character and we don't have to take only the established myths for decent material?

Good review, Linkara.

Ringadon said...

Hey at least they didn't go with trying to make her spartan and go into combat naked save for a red cape. Great review Lewis.

Mountain King said...

While I enjoy the eye candy I agree with you whole heartily that it is no substitute for character. When writers just throw in arse and breast shots, like Miller's all star batman, to give horny teenagers something to look at leaves me baffled. I want a story, not a skin mag.
The problem is this way of looking at women (sex objects, to put it bluntly) is a cultural problem, not just in comics. Intelligent young women (they do exist, I've met them and have the restraining orders to prove it) are intimidated by the Megan Fox ideal of a good body, personality of dry wallpaper paste.
This is, as anyone with a brain can tell you, the wrong way round.
You can see that the writer here tried to give the heroine more personality than the vapid one dimensional norm and they failed. Simply because they didn't have the skill or ability to pull it off.
I'd say eight out of ten for effort, four for execution.

Charles said...

It's been a while since I've read Greek mythology, but I believe Athena's mother was tricked into turning into a fly during a transformation game. So Athena's birth was shaped by lies and trickery. Hardly a qualification for a goddess of truth.

avernumchick said...

Linkara, you keep up your disgust of female portrayal and don't let anyone dissuade you. I respect you for it.

Anonymous said...

Heh, actually having some knowledge of the Trojan War in greek myth, there's a few funny details about Athena's role in it that the comic seems to have missed during that whole allusion.

I'm betting that the black dude who fired at Athena is supposed to be representative of Menelaus, Helen's husband before she ran off with Paris. However, (according to Homer's Iliad), the Greeks and Trojans actually struck a truce, and Paris and Menelaus dueled to determine who would get to keep Helen. Menelaus wins, and everyone's happy that the war's over.

...Until Athena steps in and convinces a Trojan soldier to shoot Menelaus and start it back up again. So if that whole scene really was supposed to follow the myth of the Trojan War, the nightclub would've burnt to the ground, and Athena (our heroine, ladies and gentlemen!) would've had a large hand in helping to set it on fire, as well as indiscriminately killing several people.

Because knowing is half the battle. :D

(The other half is making sure you don't piss off the gods by breaking the honor of guest friendship!)

TheGoose said...

Pretty good episode Linkara. The only problem is that this episode seemed more an analysis of the comic than making fun of it.

I don't have a problem with women superheroes wearing revealing costumes, so long as they aren't in any suggestive poses and as long as they are given good characterization. Also, some characters have to have revealing clothing. For example, the Green Lantern villain, Star Sapphire. She is a character who uses her feminine attributes to get what she wants.

Speaking of which, Linkara, our discussion of whether John Byrne and Chris Claremont were trying to titillate readers with the Hellfire Club's costumes in The Dark Phoenix Saga is false. I read on Comics Should Be Good's Urban Legends Revealed that Bryne and Clarmont were paying homage to an episode of the Avengers where the villains were dressed in 18th century bondage gear.

You could still make the case that Claremont and Bryne were still trying to titillate readers with Storm in her undies. But, they played fair since they also had Colossus and Wolverine in their undies as well.

BTW, I noticed that I've noticed you've made fun of a lot of DC event or crossover comics. I know you'll do Ultimatum in the future, but are there any other company events or crossover comics?

Finally, I have some other questions:

Are you happy for Detective Comics getting a GLADD award?

I'm picking up the new Zatanna series, are you?

Have you ever thought of starting your own comics podcast?

Anonymous said...

Ok, I lol'd so hard at "Zeus liiiikes".

Carrie said...

You it's sad that for being such a strong woman, Zeus has been saving her butt (no pun intended) all the time.

Granted that compared to Terry Goodkind's desire to shove as many rape references in his books as possible or Jim Mathers recent desire to constantly spray cum on and humiliate his main female character (let alone portray every big-breasted female as a pea-brained slut), this comic is pretty tame.

Kevin "Jester" McGill said...

I'm prone to agree with you, Linkara, but it's not just comics. Just look at what Heidi Montag did to herself. She looks like a life size Barbie doll? And why? Because it's supposedly "sexy." Yes, I love women who are more plastic than my Wolverine action figures. Oye!

ShadowWing Tronix said...

Gee, Lewis, how many morphers do you own? Yeah, I recognize your accessories there.

I'm actually more bothered by the last alternate cover than the one you have. At least that one tells some kind of story (not very well).

As for the Obama part, I actually defended the first few uses. He had mentioned collecting Spider-Man, at least at one point, Savage Dragon takes place in Chicago, and using him as president makes sense if you really prefer to use a real life govermnent official in your story (I don't). However, I consider the shark jumped when we got things like the Army of Darkness comic, Bo the White House dog cameoing in Pet Avengers, and a Conan the Barbarian parody among others. Considering there was a website dedicated to convincing comic creators to support Obamba's bid for president, I'm not all that surprised.

plopgun said...

You might find that people will better understand your views on sex and sexual exploitation, if you give examples of effective use of skin.

For instance, while I agree with you wholeheartedly about -and share your disgusted at- the sexualisation of heroines during scenes of violence, horror, or abuse, I love to see it as the central theme of a work. Weather, to explore ideas in sexuality like Moore's "Lost girls" or just pornographic fun like the work of Manara.

For more mainstream examples, look at Cat-Woman and Bat-Woman.

Most of Cat-Woman's motivation is thrill-seeking and self-indulgence. a sexual element to her character and costume work well thematically.

On the other hand, the blatant sexual costuming and posing in Bat-Woman's run in Detective Comics, despite it's critical acclaim, did not work for me, because she is driven by a sense of duty and self preservation, not pleasure.

Cecil said...

thank you for telling the world that portraying women like eye candy all the time is awful and not good enough to make a comic.

I am a woman and I really don't mind some fan service here and there from time to time but when a whole story centers around it. It is just lame.

Now for this comic, how can they ruin mythology! I mean the stories are there, the characters are there! Heck how can you go wrong with it! ><

Cameron said...

Good Review Linkara, god it must be awful having to read this crap and see nothing more then just ass and tits. Seriously when will artists just stop drawing crap like this and say "Enough!", my god if guys had to see men in leather jumpsuits or leotards with gratuitous details on their asses or junk, they'd have a total meltdown! *Sigh* unfortunately people buy this stuff, so the message is clear "Sex sells", anyway Good Review, and i'd hate to see what the rest of Athena holds.

P.S. An arm wound gets her bedridden?!?!?!?!?

Sean said...

This comic really did hurt. I'm gonna have to work off the pain from this one.
Also.... ZEO MORPHER!

Anonymous said...

I always wondered how you felt about Steph 'n the drill. I'm guessing the fact that she never even got a case only added insult to injury.

Marc Reyes said...

Wow. This comic simply spits in the face of Greek mythology, and is an insult to the good name of the goddess Athena.

In all of seriousness though, why is it that comic publishers feel that gratuitous ass shots of female characters in skimpy hand-me-downs will garner sales? All it does is perpetuate the tired old cliche of "Sex Sells" and of objectifying women. It just doesn't make any sense.

Tetradecimal said...

Other people may bitch about it, but I think your willingness to call comic books out for their ludicrous depictions of women (and fans who insist on defending them) puts you heads above the rest of other reviewers. The internet is so inundated by implicit jabs at women and any men who dare point out that women are also people that it's downright startling to listen to a man who's not afraid to point out exactly what's wrong with a comic and won't accept any excuses.

You are a breath of fresh air, and you've got a stylish hat.

Keep up the great work :)

Melissia said...

This is one reason I loved Carmen Sandiego so much... her costume was utterly badass, and it wasn't revealing. She was classy.

Something this comic isn't.

Sai said...

I think it was you who said porn is pretty common now and we don't need to rely on comic books for titties anymore. So respecting women makes you gay now? Huh.

It's just immature, and when every female character is an identical piece of improbable fanservice it's hard to take comics seriously. Honestly, Linkara, I love your show but I have always, and I still do, hate superhero comics. They're ludicrous, they bold every other word in dialog, and they treat every panel like an individual pinup rather than a visual whole. Oh right, and every woman needs to have an impossible spine, blimp-shaped breasts, and the same pouty expression on her face in every situation. Not to mention most of the dudes out there can't write a believable woman to save their life and just rely on the same 5 stereotypical archetypes.

I love how her outfit is nothing like it was in the flashbacks. WHY?

OMFG BEES said...

...Did President Obama feature at all in that mini-comic, apart from the three panels you showed us? Also, hooray for lazy Greek mythology references.

jdude907 said...

I can relate to your opening statement about the troubles of being a straight male supporter of women's rights. I once found someone on Youtube saying that: "feminists have been ruining America since we gave them the right to vote," and after promptly explaining to him what a sexist dumbass he really was, I was shocked to see that not only did he have several female fans, but they were all pissed off at me! They all felt that, being a man, I had no right to defend feminism or women in general!

...Anyway, I digress. Great review as always.

Kitsune Sniper said...

You mean you don't know the Female Armor rule? The skimpier the armor, the higher the protection.

You might think she's naked, but she could take on a tactical nuke and shrug it off!

Falcovsleon20 said...

Really? Maybe I don't pay as much attention to the comments you get on your videos as you do Linkara but people are really questioning your sexual preference because you bitch about pointless nude shots of women in comics? Do people on the internet just get so dumb they miss the point nowadays or what? Even I could tell why you were pissed when you reviewed half of Frank Miller's stuff.

Also as for the Obama craze, you forgot to mention Antarctic Press' series of comics: President Evil, where Obama is apparently a zombie slayer or something.

PontifexPrimus said...

I could not agree more with you. I really don't see anything wrong with drawing sexy female heroines, but that cannot be the sole exclusive thing that is supposed to capture the reader's attention.
Even when used as "decoration" (and let's be honest, we never see dumpy heroines in lumpy, ill-fitting clothes for a reason) something like this should be not be distracting; I can appreciate eye-candy, but just like real candy it by itself does not a meal make. I think you did a very good job at showing just how meaningless and stupid such a comic can be without sounding condescending or preachy. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

What? No MST3K clip from "Hercules Unchained" about the Waters of Forgetfulness?

Frank Miller Rulz said...

FIRST!

Panagiotis said...

Greek Hospitals do suck Linkara. There is no monitor equipment whatsoever.

Evilkritter said...

Are you under a lot of stress right now, or just taking a really harsh shot at this crappy comic?

As a long time fan, I think I can accurately say that you have never sounded so pissed at a comic before.

Information Geek said...

This is a pretty bad comic, but I will give it that the artwork is alright.(Despite the annoying amount of ass shots) There seems to be potential for someting good, but the comic needed a better writer.

Angela said...

Not entirely sure why any GLBT fans are necessarily *disappointed* you're straight, but yeeah the implications that anyone who doesn't want objectification of women must somehow hate the female body or something is so damn frustrating to hear.

'Course as a non-supermodel girl I am usually told I'm just, y'know, jealous! And hate anyone prettier than me! And that if I were thin I'd totally be constantly wearing heels and thongs when hiking, working a normal job, or if I wanted to fight crime or...something?

Yay modern debate skills!

Seriously, there really IS no reason other than 'to try turning on people attracted to women' for the way female characters are drawn and dressed (or undressed). And I actually LIKE some cheesecake, but the fact that the guys who defend the constant handling of women in comics, games, whatever don't themselves get tired of actually being treated like sex-crazed monkeys that need catering to boggles me.

So... these guys who complain that comics would be horrible or stupid or something if women weren't ALWAYS in cheesecake situations don't read for story and characterization? (And are totally OK with male characters that can juggle planets without feeling 'unmanly' themselves but will be utterly threatened if a female hero can actually be non-cheesecake as well as strong?)

And again, to guys-who-argue-that-the-male-hero-costumes-are-just-as-bad: No. Your masculine heroes are NOT constantly posed like they're from the Playboy centerfold or an underwear ad. They're not even, for all those muscles that 'no real person could match' constantly posing like a bodybuilder magazine's cover pictures. They stand there, like fairly normal people or sometimes looking extra bad ass, but there is almost NEVER an attempt to make them 'sexy' for female readers just for sexy's sake.

If they started handling men like they handle women in mainstream comics, the same guys who tell us women to just deal would be screaming rants about how suddenly everything is like softcore yaoi or bara.

Pmax said...

Explain, Comic! Explain! *does the duck and cover in preparation for the impending FLASH and BOOM.*

Great review, but what a Zeus-forsaken comic. That must have been painful to read.

Anonymous said...

Well, count me among the fans who dislike the feminist rants, although I've never actually emailed you before about them...but I guess this is as good a time as any to give my two cents.

The problem I have with the rants (and with feminist comic fans in general) is that you don't seem to realize, or maybe just don't want to accept, that superhero comics are primarily aimed at and purchased by men. Oh sure, you've got sites like girl-wonder, girlsreadcomics, etc, but that's the internet, where any sort of group can convene. How many women do you actually know in real life who read comics, particulary compared to the number of men you know who read them? (Mainstream superhero comics, that is, not indie comics or manga) I certainly don't know any, nor do I see many women in my LCS, and when I do, they're either just tagging along with their boyfriend or buying indie comics; I almost never see one looking at the DC or Marvel books. The cheesecake images may be there "purely for the titillation of the readers" as you put in the ASBAR review, but if 95% of your audience is male, I don't see a problem with that. Why *not* titillate them?

Of course, there's the argument you made in that one review, along the lines of "fanservice is obsolete thanks to the internet," where you seemed to be of the opinion that everyone hates cheesecake as much as you do. If that is the case, how has "Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose" been continually published for more than ten years, when it's generally regard as being pretty bad? Why did the "Mary Jane does Peter's laundry in a thong" statue that all the feminists raged against sell out in like two days? Why do fanservicariffic, stick-the-T&A-in-your-face artists like Ed Benes or Frank Cho keep getting work? Obviously, there's an audience for it.

I guess my point is, at the end of the day, no matter how they've evolved over the decades, superhero comics at their core are still male power fantasies, and I sincerly doubt that's ever going to change.

Anonymous said...

It was a really good review as usual, but i gotta say something, if you think that those ass shots were something that horrible... you wont believe how far they take that kind of stuff in manga! The fan service is so over the top that makes this comic looks like a christian comic! ( in terns of ''hornyness'')

Perpugilliam said...

I'm so glad that there is a (male) voice out there that recognizes that making female characters serve no purpose other than sex appeal is wrong. Also, that you do it in a way that makes me laugh makes it even better. Rock on. Forget the haters. \m/-_-\m/

Linkara_Fanboy said...

I never thought you were gay Linkara. You didn't deny the attractiveness of that bug lady in Countdown.

Emi said...

1) I think I've said this half a dozen times before, Linkara, but I really appreciate your feminist stance on things, and quite like that you're putting your opinions out there, because they should be heard. At the risk of sounding inflammatory, equality and decency shouldn't be that radical of concepts. (I don't mean to cause arguments--I don't want to argue with anybody!) May I offer you some appreciative e-toffee and internet-hugs? :D

2) The cover of this copy of the comic disturbs me. Not only because of the HEY, LOOK AT HER ASS!! thing, but because her thigh muscles look really wonky for some reason. I dunno, I've never seen the back of my thighs (I'm kind of on the muscular side, too), maybe they look just as weird. Still, the ones pictured kind of creep me out.

3) ...For some bizarre reason, the comment about ancient battle-armor made me wonder what kind of undies, if any, ancient folks wore into battle. BRAIN BLEACH PLZ.

4) I think I once read that places like the Parthenon occasionally do have trouble with graffiti and people stealing stuff from it, but it's entirely possible that I'm misremembering.

5) Okay, that's the most form-fitting hospital gown I've ever seen. I've had surgery a few times in my life, and I remember that wearing one of those damn things is like wearing a big cheap dinner napkin. No shape, just... paper covering, for the sake of modesty (and maybe sterility?)

6) "Athena Olympios"? Gee, that's subtle. *eyeroll*

7) Hahahaha, love the Nixon voice. XD

8) re: skanky sleazy dance dance revolution contest: ARGH. FACE, MEET PALM.

9) Also, none of the pictures of chicks dancing actually make it look like they’re dancing. They just look like they’re doing silly poses for the camera. There’s no real energy in the drawing to give you the sense that they’re moving.

10) Fnord! Remember, eat a hot dog this coming Friday, and don’t step on St Gulik.

11) If she’s this mighty war goddess or whatever, shouldn’t she probably be invulnerable or have a healing factor or something? (Although Athena’s thing was more battle strategy and tactics, rather than running around stabbing people herself.)

12) This comic’s boring. I mean… essentially, nothing has really happened, except Athena’s wound up in the hospital helpless twice. And the fact that it’s simply stupid goes without saying, I suppose.

13) Why’s he going to talk to Hephaestus? Probably to have him forge a weapon or something, but BOOM, she’s got her own weapon right there. Why bother chatting with the smith when she can apparently summon ‘em at will?

14) And we still don’t know what the hell she was doing at the sleazy skanky rave! Why was she there? Aside from a thin and poor excuse to show off her body?

15) OWL BOMB!

16) And all this poor armor is held on by… strips of gauze, I guess.

17) Why does anybody think the flippy-backup-feature thing is cool? It’s just stupid.

18) The Obama-comic bandwagon baffles me.

19) Wh.. Wait… huh… What?! Why include a backup story that doesn’t happen until after a future issue? That’s just stupid! And weird! And pointless! Argh!

20) Poseidon also held special dominion over horses, if I remember right, so maybe he took the “dudes shooting the horse” personally.

21) Poseidon fishcakes, anyone? I’ll bring the cocktail sauce!

22) Meeting Obama for one panel, and then an Oedipus joke… oooookay. *headscratch*

23) Hey, that’s the kind of thing Zeus would do--perving over an unconscious chick and thinking rotten things. He has done worse, after all…

24) And may I just offer you a little bit more appreciative e-toffee? :D

CZ said...

What? No "Athena" by The Who for the ending song?

... Despicable. -_-

JeanJacket said...

Hm. I would almost say that the "naked in the forest" cover qualifies as an attempt at being artistic, except that the entire scene is completely pointless and there's plenty of nudity in the book besides that.

There is one thing I want to point out, though. A shot to the arm can be plenty dangerous, depending on where in the arm you get hit. There are arteries and whatnot all over the body, but - a. I am not a doctor and don't know where they are and - b. I'm probably giving the writer too much credit. They most likely just though "bullet wound = extended hospital stay, EVERY TIME."

Good review. :) I hate what some comics do to classic mythology.

Grant said...

Huh. Really? No one's comment yet?

Okay, cool, first go then. -ahem- Well today's review, I can really feel the anger there, Lewis. And frankly, I'm rather confused anyone would jump to such conclusions about your personal hang-ups; I think by now you've clearly stated what you frown upon and it sounds more like certain individuals are concocting bizarre explanations for them when there is little need for them.

Anyway, this particular comic seems pretty unspectacular. Which is a bit of shame; I'd been wanting to take a closer look at Dynamite entertainment, despite the fact it publishes the blood-screw-bath that is "the Boys" and a number of parody comics. I had really enjoyed their "Project: Superpowers" story, and enjoyed the new Green Hornet series they had launched. Though, even independent companies can suffer from a lot of the problems the big two do.

And I have to agree with you on the choice of appearance; I'm getting pretty tired of the chain mail bikini female characters sport in fantasy or hero comics. One might accuse me of trying to bring logic into a fictional story that does not adhere to the laws that govern reality, and I have, but I'm sorry, I just can't accept that armor that covers all of less than a fourth of a person's body mass would be deemed as suitable protection. Couple that with the weird flow of the narrative, and the back-up story that I assume won't make any sense until one reads the subsequent issues, this really is a mess of a comic.

As to the weird obsession with Obama... well yeah, weird obsession with Obama. And not just comics with him as a guest star, how about the parody comics that have him in a starring role? "Barack the Barbarian", "President Evil"? Or how about reading the upcoming "Sarah Palin:Rogue Warrior", or the return of California's greatest hero, "The Governator"? It's as if distributors of comics are under the impression their reader base isn't aware of the political climate of our country. Oh well, if there's anything that can be said about these weird parody books, it's that out of all the crazy, they did give us the bit of freakin' awesome that was "Time Lincoln".

Thanks again for the fun, Linkara, but do me a favor and give yourself a break or something, will ya? I fear for all of humanity should your anger and aggravation boil over into the ultimate "Adamantium Rage", which will surely implode upon itself and rupture the very fabric of causality... although then again, that would be pretty badass.

Anyways, keep up the great work Lewis! I look forward to "JLA: Act of God"... kind of, next week!

EcchiOtaku said...

You probably wouldn't like the Agent Aika anime series, lol.

Anyway, enjoyed the review and I have to say as someone who enjoys ecchi anime and eroge, I also think this comic is bad. Fanservice is good as long as it has a point.

Just to let you know, I haven't considered you a prude or anything like you mentioned. I basically considered what you've said up to this point to be a matter of taste. Believe me, I've seen real prudes who argue that anything remotely offensive to them should be banned and even say that to protect women and children we should give up the right to free speech. One such person even claimed that there was much "free speech" that wasn't worth defending (e.g., hate speech), and that such speech should be illegal as well if there was any potential merit at all to banning it. She also saw no problem with the use of law to legislate morality.

Radlum said...

Nice review; I agree with you regarding the oversexualization of female characters in comic books, it's one of the reasons that medium is usually considered childish or inmature and that's annoying for someone who enjoys a good story, even if it's about a guy in tights.
Anyway, that last line of the review was great, it pretty much sums up what I feel regarding this kind of artists.

Radar said...

Maybe Zeus doesn't have Odin's e-mail, otherwise he might have asked Odin's advice. Obama was in Youngbloods? Is that even published anymore? I'm sure the owl here is Bubo virginia, the North American great-horned owl and they don't live in Greece, but I could be wrong.

Snapper Carr said...

NEXT WEEK

ACT OF GOD

I AM NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT ONE. EXCEPT I KINDA AM. GOOD LUCK, LINKARA.

YOU'LL NEED IT

Stefan said...

What was the point of the Obama back-up story? He's in all of two panels, and honestly it barely looks like him.

CMWaters said...

While some may find your views on women in comics preachy, I agree for the most part. That's what pin-up art is for and such like that.

Though if the story is good, how the character dresses shouldn't matter, IMO. Look at Wonder Woman...you enjoy the Gail Simone work of her, and Wondy last I saw is getting pretty close to having her lower garments turn into a thong on her.

While I have the time, and speaking of Wonder Woman...having not been an avid comic reader, I was wondering if any of those old Wonder Woman comics from the 70s where she briefly gave up her powers to be a female secret agent would count for this show or not. At least from that premise alone, it sounds like it would...but the stories may have been good and I don't know.

Anonymous said...

I guess the bottomless stupidity of the internet can be blamed for random accusations of homosexuality. Never really understood which group it came from the most though; insecurity closet homosexuals afraid of their own inadequacies, or women who were far too used to being able to use sex as their currency for anything they encounter.

Still, I couldn't help but laugh at the concept of an Obama tie-in comic with Greek mythology. Even at four pages it felt like a forced joke.

Great review as always usual. Thanks for consistent entertainment.

Anonymous said...

If we're talking about Obama merchandise, someone should link Lewis Black on Obama merchandise

Lotus Prince said...

I got a kick out of Athena's obviously fake and revealing identity.

You know what that reminds me of? There was an episode of the cheesy 60's Batman show, where the Penguin took on the alias P. N. Guin. I mean, come on!

Lotus Prince said...

My sincere apologies for a double post, but I'd forgotten to mention something.

First of all, on page 2, when she's lying naked in the forest, you can actually see one of her breasts. Wow, real tasteful, artists.

And I love how the "beauty contest" was a blatant reference to the beauty contest that led to the start of the Trojan War, even before the comic book shoved it in your face. This is insulting not only to women, but also to my intelligence.

Lunchboxx said...

Awesome review Linkara, i don't even know why people loved this comic, i guess they were Obama lovers.

Also, do my eyes deceive me, or was that a Power Rangers Zeo morpher?

I wonder if it could have anything to do with the upcoming 2 Year anniversary.....

Just gotta wait and see i guess.

Anonymous said...

In a day where everyone just invents their own morality and goes on from there, very few get what sexism actually is and you seem to be one of the few who gets it.

Sexism is not an appreciation of the female (or male) body. The assumption that women can't be portrayed as, or actually can't be, strong and intimidating, is.

It is not sexist for an old man to believe that women are better suited to raise children than men... that's actually quite a compliment to say they can do something we can't. (Or at least can't do very well.) It is sexist to say women can't do anything else. Also, it is incredibly sexist to assume that since women can do whatever they set their minds to (which they can), and men can't give birth (which they can't), that men have no place and are just boorish muscle bound dipshits taking up space that we could do completely without(thankyou Xena Warrior Princess, entertaining, but sexist as hell).

Seeing the female body as something attractive is not bad. Being unable to see a woman beyond her breasts and nether regions, means you have sexual issues you should have dealt with at thirteen.

Opening a door for a woman as a sign of respect is not sexist... and you know what? There is no opposite here. Courting/gentlemanly behavior/chivalry is NOT sexism. Did it stem from such? I would hardly believe it since the system actually makes a man pretty much subject to a woman almost like a somewhat dignified slave. There is nothing wrong with a man treating a woman special because he is attracted to her and wants to gain her attention... Lord knows its better than the more preferred methods these days of pick up lines and making a woman too drunk to tell the difference.

(Is it wrong not to take a rejection to chivalry?... Don't know, it all depends. Yea, I get it, no means no and all, but what's wrong with asking again? If you come back with chocolates to try again, hey it's your money and she gets candy out of the deal. If you come back to rape her... yea, you need to be snuffed out.)

BTW this is Trokuda from TGWTG forum.

Anonymous said...

Nice argument. I understand what you mean in the beginning. Most of this should just be in TNA/porno comics if they still make them.

Also, looking at the panel, it looks like he did got her in the upper arm, but your right about how stupid they are for having her bed-ridden

Anonymous said...

I pretty well always agree with your points on bad depictions of women in comics.

I find it funny people called you gay over it.


Thow at the end I think you played it up to much. Was more Angry then just funny/mocking angry.

Paul S. said...

Is it wrong that when they mentioned the "Beauty Contest/American Idol" sub-plot that I hoped this comic was going to turn into a superpowered version of the Miss Congeniality movies?

The art for this book despite some rather odd story-telling decisions and gratuitous cheesecake isn't that bad. That said this book looks like a mess.

I feel rather bad for anyone who bought this for the backstory about Athena meeting the president, only to find all of two panels with Obama in the whole thing.

Uh so did everyone just forget about the dead Amish guy?

Cognitus said...

That was a very, very necessary rant you did at the beginning. One of my personal pet peeves is when people focus more on appearances (i.e. TnA) than on the character beneath the appearance. The fact that you decried this without making yourself look like a prude is amazing.

hardcorepikachu said...

Please tell me you were joking about a Kool Aid Man/President Obama team up.

Such a thing couldn't really exist could it? COULD IT?!

*shudders at the very idea*

Arcolops said...

Man, you're absolutely right. The fact that you're a feminist is part of why I respect you.

Tsumetai said...

Of course I always knew you were straight and never suspected otherwise, hearing you say it out loud breaks my fragile little heart.

Letitia said...

Excellent review, Mr. Linkara. I was extremely happy that you shredded the comic's utter lack of writing skills and didn't pull your punches about what you think about cheap titillation in comic books.

It may not make a difference to you at all, but I appreciate that you give a damn about this kind of stuff. I am sad, however, that you had to take the first few minutes to explain your beliefs when it should be clear to everyone that what you're saying is valid as well as appropriate considering the subject matter. I've watched quite a few of your reviews and never once have I thought you were gay or prude or whatever some of the more ignorant watchers called you. I think it's great that you call these writers and artists out on their bullshit and that you feel there is a standard they need to uphold. You're a sharp guy and I know you know that there are fans who appreciate your opinion but I'd like to thank you personally and say that I think it's a sad day when a brilliant mind like yours has to justify a point that should be obvious to everyone. Never change, Mr. Linkara. Never change.

Chris Fields said...

As much as I hate to defend this sexist crap, I do feel the need to point out that even though the gunshot wound just grazed her, standard first aid is that gun shot wounds always be treated as potentially fatal and that the victim always be sent to a hospital. Besides the obvious blood loss, the amount of force behind a bullet can send shock waves through the body (called cavitation) and do damage to the surrounding tissue. Although she was acting like she was fine, my guess would be that was because she was a goddess, not because the wound was superficial, so I can understand her colleagues wanting to be cautious. Of course, I'm not a doctor or anything so I could be wrong and that still doesn't explain why they wanted to wait before getting a statement.

That said, I agree with the rest of what you said. Another great review and another terrible comic.

SpazzKat said...

I literally face-palmed when the Golden Apple was mentioned. The last 5 seconds made me almost fall out of my chair. I love those end add-ons

The House of C.R.P said...

Well, there's fanservice and author appeal for you. It's okay when it's in small doses, but not when you have an entire book dedicated to it, and having it be more important than the story.

One parody I liked of fanservice was in No More Heroes Paradise. Suda 51 had already made at least two female characters that wore revealing outfits, but were made to be disturbing instead of arousing (Bad Girl and KADAE Smith from Killer7)

For NMH Paradise, a new mode called Super Sweet was introduced. All it did was make all the female characters wear skimpy outfits.

Unfortunately, this also included one of the Rank Assassins, who was an obese 80 year old grandmother.

Rhomega said...

I agree about the whole T&A thing. Fanservice is nice, Ms. Fanservice can be nice, but it feels like this is being shoved in our faces when we weren't asking for it. I'm also reminded of that "hips cocked to the side" style you mentioned a while back. Plus having a non-fanservicy character isn't a bad thing, like Samus from Metroid (for the most part), and Princess Peach from Mario.

Oh, and the comic sucks. You mentioned that she shouldn't have been able to move to New York due to lack of documentation, which reminds me of why I'll never be able to travel back in time to 1980 and live out my life starting from there due to lack of birth certificate, Social Security card, education history, and work history.

Drew said...

Good Review! It's too bad, really. The quality of the art for this comic seems pretty good, and I feel like the idea has potential. Unfortunately, it's ruined by bad writing and gratuitous T&A.

deriksmith said...

*blinks*
Linkara is straight?
I- I just ASSUMED man....

Peteman said...

In the end bit, I'd make a comment about how Zeus is her father, but considering the rampant inbreeding in Greek Myth, that's not exactly out of character.

Jer said...

Wow, It's been almost a year since your blue beetle episode finally convinced me to start collecting comics ( I watched for a very long time before that not having picked up a comic since I was 6).

anyway great review as always, keep em' coming!

Anonymous said...

I don't think there's a problem with having exploitation in comics, as long as people realize there's a time and place for everything.

For instance, I'm not caught up on Punisher MAX's recent issues, but it's a very violent and gruesome comic. In fact, I would say this is part of the comics appeal. But I don't think this should be the focus of something like a Batman comic.

Same goes for softcore porn. If you want to make a comic called "LARGE-BREASTED CRIME FIGHTERS" with an all female cast that regularly gets in raunchy situations, that's all well and good. Just don't have them team up with Superman. That's fucking stupid.

Emma Burr said...

I spent last May in Greece and, let me assure you, the Acropolis is NOT unguarded. Modern Athens is the most graffiti'd-up city I've ever been in. It seems like every spare surface is covered in illicit artwork. Most of it isn't gang stuff, either — there's cute paintings of flowers and ducks, lovely paintings of people dancing in evening wear, all sorts of things. But the ruins at the Acropolis? Absolutely pristine. Why? There are military men with assault rifles stationed up there. No joke. I don't think they'd hesitate to use them, either. Native Athenians take a lot of pride in their ancient heritage. They get upset at tourists even for things like taking silly pictures in front of the Parthenon. You'd have to be all kinds of stupid to try and actually deface the ruins.

This comic would make some native Athenians quite literally weep with horror.

Anonymous said...

There's mythology classes?

Anonymous said...

Alright, let's take this reveiw into two parts. The first three or so minutes, and then the rest of the reveiw.

For the first three minutes, I have to say, I'm proud to be a fan of yours. Most other people who share those beleifs keep it to themselves. You are the exact opposite. Your actually the first guy I've seen in a long time who's actually said,

"Hey, I'm a feminist. Deal with it."

That's actually really refreshing. Now, that being said, I think everybody who watches your videos has had to stop and wonder for a second what your deal was with women in comics with skimpy outfits. We've all (or at least me) have wanted you to elaborate for a while. And, after that little outburst, I understand. I get it, and you're entirely, completly, 100% right.

After all that, I am ashamed to admit that I was one of the people who first watched your videos and thought you were gay. Although I starting thinking agianst it the more and more I watched from you, I'm still sorry for falling for the obvious "Oh, he's a feminist, so he must be homosexual" clich'e. (And no, I have nothing agianst homosexuals.)

But you didn't write this episode just to have people questioning you further about your beleifs now did you? Of course not. The review itself, if not overshadowed by the rant in the beginning, was hilarious. Although in the back of my mind, I was thinking:
"Wow. Did you see that rant? Damn."

Tyr Germanic said...

no comments yet?weird

from the begining on this review was hilarious.
my favorite argument is that porn exists on the computer.

more HOPR? i think that is by far your best series already.and i was only a casual fan of the rangers
(i would watch but not care or buy merch.)and i loved it.
the possiblities are endless if other series got a HO.
HO rivals even AVGN in nostalgic badassery,for lack of a better term

A. Conroy said...

Wow, that was a piece of crap.
A Tinto Brass film is more respectable than this.


Overall, this was a great and funny video. I liked your purposefully bad acting with Mullet Man after he storms the dance club. Seriously, a flesh wound warrants heavy medical attention?

Dodger Of Zion said...

Lewis, that was one HELL of a creepy stinger there. *shivers*

And that was a very eloquent opening, fellow feminist. VERY well put.

Speaking as someone who draws spiritual inspiration from the Greek pantheon, I felt dirty listening to mythology being run over roughshod by horrible writers.

anthony said...

Good review! What's your favorite Greek myth Linkara?

Kinkorknight said...

Good review. Personally, I can respect sexuality if it's appropriate to the material. Obvious titilation for its own sake does not a story make. Since I suspect a great many comics are mostly made by menfolk, I think this problem isn't going away any time soon.

Batzarro said...

Why is Athena meeting Obama in her first issue? It's stupid! With established, if not outright popular characters, at least you get to see a character you know meet up with a real life celebrity. Athena meets Obama is as good as Gabriel Ramirez meets Obama. It carries no weight, since she's practically not even out of her ORIGINS YET.

But you know the real reason they had Athena have the power of truth, don't you , Link? So they could have a greek Mythology based Superheroine that can get the truth out of anyone. Essentially, a royalty free WOnder WOman.

As for the issue of tittilation and such in comics, I think it's all good if done apropriately and moderately. And if a heroine has always had tittilation as part of her repertoire(like, saaaaaay...Powergirl), then by all means they shouldn't change her. But when making an all new character, writers and artists have no one to blame but themselves when they fall into the old tropes and cliches. I know a lot of people feel like any claim for modesty in comics is party pooping, but it's not like that stuff is going away any time soon, and if SOME ground is made in this particular field, it hurts no one.

I ranted.

Chris said...

Last year's whole Obama craze kind of grated on me, especially since his appearances in the comics were just meant to have a "relevant" cover and entice people into buying the comic during the whole Obama inauguration craze. I also always felt that unless a comic was trying to make a specific political point about something, bringing in real-world politicians distracted from the overall escapism and feel of a superhero comic.

SignNinja said...

Well first I wanna say that those who are bashing you for protecting the image of women in comics are those who are missing the entire point. The fact that a woman has to dress and pose provocatively every scene while dressed in basically a bikini in almost every comic ever is a pretty big problem. Granted it gives the comic reader something sexy to look at and, as we all know, sex sells. But really, if you're buying a comic book specifically to look at half naked and naked women, why not just cut out the middle man and get a Playboy or find porn on the internet? It's getting ridiculous how little attire women wear in comic books considering they're supposed to be warriors and fighters. Bottom line, if a woman in a comic is supposed to be a warrior she's not going to defend herself with just a chainmail bra and panties!

David said...

In fairness, an actual arm wound can easily do enough damage to require extensive treatment and rehabilitation in order to restore full function to the arm. And if it's in the shoulder (otherwise known in popular media as the Standard Flesh Wound Area), you're pretty much boned.

But realism and this comic have about as much to do with each other as ASBAR and good taste, so that's probably not what they were going for.

Joseph said...

*Clap, Clap, Clap*

Well said. Your rant at the start was excellent.

I HATE stomach revealing armour. Even more than the horrible breastplates (Gah) you see stomach armour just ticks me off. And battle-thongs...

I think I'll stop ranting here.

Good review of a pretty bad comic, not the worst you have reviewed but pretty cruddy.

Venus R Becky said...

I am far more offended by the appearance of Obama than by all the sexuality.

I hear this debate from the video game media too, and I got to say, I don't care. I want to say Women's Studies Courses in college did this to men, but I don't know.

I enjoy it (the sexuality, not the story.) I like it. The unpressed sexuality pulls me toward the female characters. Why must men get on soap boxes and denounce it? Is it to attract feminist women by appearing more mature and stand out in the crowd?

日本文化のマニアック said...

I've been thinking...

You can have women wear skin-tight outfits and not hyper-sexualize them. In fact, I realized I've recently been watching an example of this, namely Durarara!! (streaming at Crunchyroll!), for the last 3 months. Celty wears a skin-tight black biker suit, but I can't think of any superfluous T&A shots, and even the one scene where she is naked is a horrifying vivisection, not a fanservice shot. Of course, some of that may have to do with not wanting to sexualize a character who is missing her head, but still... My point is, women can wear form-fitting, functional outfits without also being made into centerfolds.

I read much more manga than other commic books, and of course the level of fan service in manga is downright appalling as well. It seems like badass women have to somehow be made less threatening by being made explicitly "sexy." Well, a lot of the time. There are exceptions and they are MUCH APPRECIATED, THANK YOU!

Oh, and may I add that I just love how people still consider it an insult to call someone "gay." I admit I found your sexuality to be ambiguous at the start of the column, but that's just because you don't wear your heterosexuality on your sleeve the way many reviewers do, and because I've learned not to assume one way or the other. Any man with a mother, a sister, a girlfriend, a wife, female friends and role models, should stand up for the rights of women. Your sexuality has nothing to do with it.

Truce Weston said...

that was a really funny one!

These kinds of comics and things are designed to be traps to appeal to the "dark side" of men's nature. Watching the review I almost fell into the trap myself, but your context brought the rational side back, and see the truth, of how much this comic sucks!

Bet anyone who gave it a good review was male.

I dunno who would complain about your rants about femism and stuff, and make comments about stuff like you implied in your rant, except people have nothing better to do! I agree with the rants, so more power to you!

So until the Amazons attack, and foil my plan to create countrefit army sauce, which will make them ineffective against Neutro, MAKE MINE LINKARA!

Rattrap007 said...

Great review as always man. I gotta agree with you on the over sexualization of women in the comics. Real women do not look like that. I'm all for strong women. I'm fine with a tight body suit and all. But the constant ass crack and cleavage is really a sad pathetic way to sell comics. I'm more interested in the character's background than how many times the artist show her ass.

Also I think that you missed a bit of a dirty joke opportunity. You referred to the drawings as "masturbation material". you could have had Linksano or 90s Kid walk in with a box of tissues pick up the comic and ask where the bathroom is.

Anonymous said...

For a long time I was buying Dynamite's Red Sonja series, roughly issues 1-45. I admittedly picked up issue 1 for the T&A, but rather enjoyed the first few story arcs, so I continued to buy it on a regular basis. The T&A kind of went into the background. Somewhere around the Reboot the series started getting worse from the story perspective, so I wearied about buying it. I kept on for a few more issues, nostalgia perhaps? Anyway, I quit buying around 45, as there wasn't much reason to keep going.

The point? I'm not sure... I suppose that the T&A was not enough to keep me coming back. Frankly, there's free porn on the internet.


Also, I'm not sure why a philosophical position on the representation of women should say anything about one's own sexuality.

~Brine

Anonymous said...

My guess as to why people gave this comic good reviews is because they like the concept that Athena becomes a cop and lives among mortals, not the comic itself.

It's kind of like Mark Millar's Nemesis: the idea of Batman acting like The Joker is a nice idea but his execution is...flawed (mind you I enjoyed Kick-Ass).

Also...they STILL publish YoungBlood? O__o;; YoungBlood? Really? "..." are they well-written now ya think?

Oh, one unrelated thing: Have you read any of the "Superman/Batman" comics? Kind of weird how almost all of them end with Mxyptlk...Mxy...however his name is spelled! solving everything at the end of each arc.

the great pumpkin king said...

In my opinon the proper way to show a womans sexuallity if their is a proper way to do so, is not to exploit it every chance you get. It deems the character and she becomes more of an object then a good chracter. The more you care about looking at her body, the less you care about what happens to her or if there is any kind of story in the book as long as you get to see her t and a, then this becomes one step to becoming you know what.

I mean Athena in the anicent myths and old paitnings from that time never appeared nude unlike the other goddess. She was always fully dressed

What bugs me is that she seems to be the demsial in distress in her own book. Zues saves her twice I think, gives her power and memory

If you want to read a comic book just to see some t and a, I may suggest going on the internet or maybe just buying pron becasue its clear your not intreasted in good comics. If your intreasted seeing the fem char do nothing but bend over all the time.

p.s sorry for any spelling mistakers and such

Mela said...

Beautiful "rant", Lewis. People wonder why I'm anxious about dating, and it's because there aren't enough guys like you out there. Add me to the many positive comments who appreciate you saying that (oh, horrors) women are human, too, not just sex toys. We need more of you.

Oh, and to the two bozos arguing that "comics are a mens' medium" and "comics shouldn't be realistic" in spurts of bad grammar, two things. "Realistic" and "not insulting to half of the human race" are NOT THE SAME THING unless you think that women strike Playboy pin-up poses in everyday life. And if we swapped out "mens' medium" with any other demographic (i.e. "It's a white medium, it's a Catholic medium", so forth), no one would for one second consider it legitimate. You're the reason comics fans as a demographic are dismissed as socially-stunted man-children, and you're killing an entire medium faster than any price increase by your association with it.

Armaina said...

Thank you for your points on women in comics that most seem to forget or ignore. It was something that turned me off to super hero comics for many years. (along with the ridiculous male forms as well) Honestly, seeing stuff like this in the comic book industry just makes me motivated to do my series of 'strong women' pinups where women are clad in full armor. You know, real armor that works...

rdfox said...

OK, in defense of the Starfire shot in your montage there, there's a couple of points:

1) Since day one, Kory's been depicted as having no real nudity taboo, due to lack of one in Tamaranean culture. Hell, Marv Wolfman said as much in interviews back in the early 80s. (Whether this is all that plausible is open to debate, but given that Tamaran is usually depicted as having a primarily tropical/rainforest climate, clothing would tend to be minimal and functional to allow better evaporative cooling.)

2) During that comic, Star was still recovering from her having basically all but burned out her powers to return to Earth after 52, and, since her powers are fueled by stored solar energy, she did need to sun herself with as much skin exposed to the sun as possible, to gather the energy as efficiently as she could.

3) The scene was really done for a gag where Kory thought she was the only one home (or else she'd have been wearing a bikini or something), but Animal Man's preteen son had gotten home and got an eyeful.

Granted, the only one that makes the scene any less gratuitous is the third one (and that only slightly), but at least it was something where the nudity had a story reason and was in-character.

Personally, I'd consider the whole thing with people trapped in the Savage Land and the girls' clothing getting gradually shredded to the point of their having to fashion makeshift bikinis out of it a lot more offensive, since the only damage the *guys* costumes ever suffer is torn shirts and maybe the bottom of their pants legs getting frayed...

(At this point, I'd have pointed you to the recent Power Girl issue where she ended up trapped outside her apartment in the nude, but apparently that whole sequence was actually suggested by Amanda Conner as a bit of "one of THOSE days" humor.)

Kate Holden said...

Huge props for confidently standing up as a straight male feminist. The world needs more guys like you.

I don't get this argument that keeps cropping up that 'comics are mostly read by and marketed to men, therefore cheesecake is an important part of the business'. It's ridiculous! Why do they think we women have trouble getting into comics? Hmm... Might be something to do with the lack of interesting female characters we can relate to, and the sheer awkwardness of reading a comic where all the female characters walk around with their hips cocked in sprayed-on clothes.

Then people bring up manga as an excuse. "Oh, don't blame american comics, 'cause manga has much worse fanservice!" Yes, there are manga that contain a lot of nudity, skimpy costumes and even very explicit content, BUT manga still has more female readers, and that's because with manga, there are different comics for different readership groups. If you want T&A, you can get manga that specialises in that. If you don't, you can get manga with absolutely none of it, or even manga that does fanservice, but with male characters instead. The problem in American comics is that T&A is so ubiquitous! It's in everything! Even cropping up in comics you'd expect to be aimed at a younger or fairly gender-equal audience, such as mainstream titles like X-men and Justice League. That's the problem. It's that it's so hard to read any superhero titles at all that don't contain terrible depictions of women.

If I pick up a comic about batman. It means I want to read a comic about batman fighting crime or saving the world or whatever. I don't want to see some woman standing around in her knickers for no storyline reason.
I'm not calling for cheesecakey comics to be banned or whatever. I have no beef with the guys and girls who like something a bit like that on occasion, I just wish that kind of thing would stay in that kind of comics, and not creep into stuff that female readers like me want to enjoy too!

Still Anonymous said...

I'm personally not a fan of fanservice and I object to the objectification of women (I should really reword that to make it less painful to read), but fanservice really doesn't bother me unless it starts detracting from story quality. However, I would say that characterizing the debate about fanservice as people who think that women are real people vs. people who only view women as sex objects is grossly unfair. From my experience, most guys enjoy fanservice, but also respect women and view them as equals. I honestly don't think that enjoying a few shots of a girl's butt makes someone a horrible sexist who is incapable of identifying women as real people.

In addition, it's not like enjoying fanservice is restricted to men. It's been my general observation that most girls are also pretty big fans of fanservice. Most of my female friends have a good deal of yaoi, will squeal loudly whenever an attractive male character appears without a shirt, and will see movies solely because Johnny Depp is in them and they think he's hot. Twilight is currently one of the most successful movie franchises out there and it consists solely of fanservice for girls. As a gay guy, I can certainly attest to the fact that most women are just as shallow as most guys when it comes to drooling over attractive members of the opposite sex. Honestly, from my perspective, the whole fanservice debate seems to be far more about how much softcore porn people want in their entertainment than a group of enlightened individuals saving women everywhere from the majority of men who are only capable of viewing women as mere sex toys.

In terms of how much fanservice I personally think is appropriate, the Star Trek franchise is a good example. ToS, TNG, DS9, and Voyager each had a fair amount of fanservice, but it was always more in the background, so it didn't bother me and I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the frequency with which an in shape William Shatner got his shirt ripped. Enterprise really crossed the fanservice line for me. The frequent shots of T'pol's breasts and of Trip running around in his undies with a fairly well defined package just made me roll my eyes and change the channel and that's not even getting into all of the decontamination room scenes. I would cite Girl Genius as an example of a comic that handles fanservice well. Although there is a lot of fanservice in it, it has a strong and well written female lead, the fanservice doesn't distract from the overall story, and they're an equal opportunity fanservice provider in that the guys are just as likely to appear in their underwear as the girls.

Still Anonymous said...

(continued from my previous comment)

Overall, humans are fairly sexual creatures, the comic industry is profit driven, and sex sells (or at the very least causes someone to pay a bit more attention to an issue if they're just walking past the comic racks), so fanservice is not going to go away as long as people remain interested in sex. I certainly wish that fanservice would stop getting in the way of good storytelling, but I don't think that the inclusion of fanservice automatically reduces any story to mere masturbation fodder and makes it intrinsically anti-feminist. I suspect that a decent portion of the complaints you've received about your views on fanservice are more about the frequency with which they come up rather than people supporting the objectification of women. Although I disagree with your views on the nature of the fanservice debate, I do agree with your views concerning the fundamental equality of women, however hearing the same rant over and over whenever an image of a woman's butt pops up in a comic you're reviewing does get more than a little tiring. To me it seems to be a similar situation to the period when you started including more political commentary in your reviews. For example, even though I share your views when it comes to nuclear power and nuclear weapons, I found both of those rants to be rather annoying, since by that time I had tired of hearing you try to inject a bit of political commentary into your reviews and felt that those rants detracted from the overall focus and quality of the reviews.

Well I probably shouldn't have typed all that since I probably just ended up sounding like a complete asshole who hates you and your work and just wants to troll this blog. In fact the opposite is true, I greatly respect you and thoroughly enjoy your work, I just thought that this video unfairly painted a great many people who enjoy a little fanservice now and then as wholehearted supporters of the objectification of women. On a more lighthearted note, for someone who strongly dislikes fanservice, there sure was a lot of it in Revolution of the Mask ;).

Domenic said...

Guys I don't think that was Linkara, when have you known him to be working on any side project that looks at all like "Science" I believe that it may have been Linksano.

greenjeans said...

"The cheesecake images may be there "purely for the titillation of the readers" as you put in the ASBAR review, but if 95% of your audience is male, I don't see a problem with that. Why *not* titillate them?"

1. Don't you DARE assume all male readers want T&A in their comics. I'm as crazy about hot women as one can get, and I'm beyond sick to death of fanservice, in both comics and in commissioned art. I'm tired of seeing female characters porned out, and I'm tired of seeing artists brag about their prowess at drawing the female form when I want to commission something else entirely.

2. "Male power fantasy" = "all women are pieces of meat to be drooled over"? Sorry, that doesn't compute. Not all men are Neanderthals who think with their pants, nor do all men have the contempt for women you ascribe to them.

3. If the comics audience is 95% male, then the industry's doing something horribly, horribly wrong. By shutting out women and children, they're guaranteeing the death of the medium, to say nothing of proving the stereotypes of comic book readers as porn-addled nerds who can't get laid true.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't seen any of your stuff before about two hours ago, but a friend linked me and, as a geek who is also a woman, I think you're pretty awesome. I loved MillerTime and oh, so much other stuff. You GET IT while also being entertaining. Thank you.
~JabberwockyPie

Lili said...

I said a lot already over on TGWTG, including how clunky the retelling of the Apple of Discord myth seemed, but I just wanted to say one thing.

It just occurred to me about your saying of "Ladies and gentlemen and others." I'm... a bit impressed. You're a feminist that just doesn't say it, he lives it, and you even put a nod to the fact that people sometimes fall outside the gender binary. And yes, I am happy that a straight male can be feminist, GBLT friendly, and not a total dick about the fact he is. I've seen too many times that a guy says he's a feminist or something and that should excuse his assy behavior or even be an ass about OMG he can totally say that he's a feminist. Ugh. Thank you, Linkara.

greenjeans said...

As to the oh-so-tired excuse "Sex sells," well...

SOUL KISS, Olivia Newton-John's 1985 foray into the smutastic, was the bomb that killed her career. Even as good as her subsequent albums were, they could never reignite her career momentum.

SHOWGIRLS was a notorious turkey that killed the careers of Elizabeth Berkeley and Joe Eszterhas, and crippled Paul Verhoeven's.

STRIPTEASE was an embarrassing flop for Demi Moore.

BARB WIRE flatlined.

CATWOMAN was a crashing failure of epic proportions.

SLIVER, JADE, BASIC INSTINCT 2? Turkeys all.

Sex tape infamy did nothing for Paris Hilton but make her a perpetual go-to punchline.

The POWER GIRL comic is one of DC's lowest sellers, and it has nearly exposed boobs as its selling point.

Zalman King's career has been a total joke from start to finish. His only moment of credibility was 9 1/2 WEEKS, and that was only because of the massive talent driving it (Adrian Lyne, Mickey Rourke, and Kim Basinger). On his own, King's been a loss on every level.

The smuttier, sluttier music of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera heralded the downswing of their popularity, as well as people not taking them seriously.

The Bad Girl craze of '90s comics not only crashed and burned within a couple years, but took nearly every character who defined the craze with it. The only survivor of it was Vampirella, and she was a decades-old character to start with.

A proposed ballet version of CINDERELLA that would have set the story in a whorehouse was shot down in pre-production because nobody wanted to see the story treated in such a way.

Porn has always been and always be a niche market with limited appeal. If any porn movie is mentioned in the mainstream, it's usually to MOCK it.

Lesson learned? "Sex sells" is a myth. A lot of times, it doesn't sell. Especially when it's so blatant about it.

geogirl15 said...

Can I just thank you right now for the opening of this video? As both a female and a big fan of comics, it always really bugs me how women in comics are always sexualized to the point where superheroines aren't about being super so much as 'how much tits and ass can we show before we get in trouble'.


Especially thank you for mentioning the torture of Stephanie Brown, and how completely wrong that was. I was, and still am, a huge Batman fan, and that was such a low point for me personally that I refused to read Batman for about a year out of disgust. Sure, she may be back now, and she may be in her own book (finally), but what was done is still not right.

So, thank you very much for this. I know you talk about women in comics a lot, and every time you do, I just feel good knowing that not every man reading these books thinks it's ok to objectify women. Or men.

BTW: :3 I never thought you were gay.
Keep up the great work, Linkara!

yanipheonu said...

Well i think the whole thing sort of come naturally unfortunately. Women in tight attractive costumes with a largely male audience. Crap like Athena is bound to happen.

I have kind of a thing for Superheroines myself. :P

That said, I like it more when the heroine is... well, a cool person. I actually have a hard time finding a good example in the Superhero world.

But an attractive girl with superpowers, in the superheroine costume, with a cool personality and epic story is really the best.

I can't think of many heroines in omics where I'd say "Yeah, it'd be cool to be them", most are played on the sexuality more.

I'll pull an example from anime, Subaru Nakajima is one of my favourite heroines because I'd honestly want to have a revolver knuckle and steampunk roller skates!

Make the heroine hot, sure, but make them awesome too!

cjhitchcock said...

Great review, but at this point a doubt you could make a bad episode.

Anyhow, I just wanted to say that I completely understand your anger and frustration with how female characters are portrayed in comics. Its ridiculous sometimes and I enjoy whenever you point out such moments, mostly because I'm thinking the same thing.

My whole stand on the issue is this, the character can look sexy, as long as she is awesomely written. Case and point would be from the anime Gurren Lagann, the character Yoko wares little less than a bikini, but she has such an awesome personality that I don't notice what she's waring. She has such a strong outgoing and courageous attitude that she could ware anything and still be awesome. In fact, one of her better moments is when she's fully clothed. The bikini doesn't make her character awesome, she does that on her own.

Or you could look at Clamp's xxxHolic. The Yoko in that series is equally as awesome. She can pull off sexy while being fully clothed, and honestly that's how it should be done without having to resort to skin-tight leather. (On a side note though, I highly suggest anything Clamp writes and I think you'd like them. Clamp is an all female writing circle, if you don't know).

Anyhow, getting back to the overall point, I stand by your bashing against insanely sexist comics like this one and I, personally, never even considered that you would be gay (although that wouldn't have changed anything, you awesome one way or another).

Keep up the great work, and I look forward to future episodes.

Draco Ro'Tor said...

I skimmed the comments and didn't see this mentioned, so let me chime in:

Linkara, you're obviously versed in Greek myth. Perhaps I'm giving the writers of this too much credit, but is it possible, you think, in the backup story that since Poseidon is god of the sea and horses (among others), he took offense at having a grievously wounded horse thrown into his watery domain? It seems more of an attack seen from this prospective, albeit as an insult more than an assault.

Still crappy comic, and even cornier in trying to tie Obama into it in such a shallow way.

Keep the laughs and comics coming.

Ing said...

"I hear this debate from the video game media too, and I got to say, I don't care. I want to say Women's Studies Courses in college did this to men, but I don't know. "

That last part is far truer than you could ever realize.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"The POWER GIRL comic is one of DC's lowest sellers, and it has nearly exposed boobs as its selling point"

Whooooaaaa now, Power Girl may not be setting the sales charts on fire, but boobs aren't its selling point.

It's one of the few books out there that honestly is fun and exciting and I enjoy getting it every month, and certainly doesn't belong on a list of horrid "sex sells" flops like Barb Wire or the Catwoman movie.

Hound_bound said...

Thank you Linkara. Thank you.

And to anyone who wants to drag out the time-worn "comics are primarily for a male audience" mantra, you might want to consider that it's because those male comic book readers make it that way.

I'm made uncomfortable on a regular basis when I go into comic shops by guys either deciding I'm female and therefore clueless about comics (even after I've demonstrated in some cases a better knowledge of the material than they have) or assuming girl in a comic shop = wants to have sex with them. I've nearly called someone I trusted to walk me to my car on more than one occasion because someone was being creepy when I just came in to browse for new trades. I have both a sister and a female friend who *work* at comic book shops and it's worse for them.

People want to know why the constantly over-sexualized images of women in comics is bad and worrying? This is why! The fact that so many people who read the medium think treating women like that is okay is why. There are those not just appreciating the T&A but translating that to real life, and at a much higher rate than in any other geekdom or retail sector I've *ever* encountered.

The problem isn't that comic books are for guys. Surprisingly enough, we women can enjoy us some good epic battles, angsty melodrama or even gratuitous violence just as much as guys will. No, it's that comic book fandom as a whole often makes women uncomfortable and feel unwelcome, and thus more likely to just drop it. And things like this comic just exacerbate the problem.

Ing said...

Lewis, what do you think of the idea of using the sex-sells thing as an enjoyable story by going over the top with it?

Anonymous said...

I bought Barack the Barbarian #1 when I saw it at a comic shop. Not because I thought it was going to be a good comic or a collectors item, but because I thought if I didn't have it on hand to show people they'd think I was just making it up.

-Nate

Claire said...

Wowwww, Lewis, I'm sure you sure are super glad that so many people never even considered that you might be gay..!


Hearing rants about how lazy and offensive such T&A is will never get as boring as seeing uncontested lazy offensive T&A, though. I remain glad that you speak against it.

James said...

This is OT, but welcome back, Lewis. Hope you had fun in Reno.

Kavinsky said...

Still her outfit looks ridiculous and it also looks like her costume is riding up something awful on both ends as you put it

I still think Dianna Riggs circa 1960's loose cat suit from the avengers would look far classier than that and accomplish the same thing
http://cache2.asset-cache.net/xc/3143525.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=45B0EB3381F7834D5DCA43BCA0D5B0359B7B38F4BE7BCD6ACA52222F25EC092C

But thats an art issue not a story one so I regress

Anonymous said...

I must say I little suprised that the arm-gadgets (whatever it is) did't do anything in this show I'm also suprised that you didn't mention that Athena is obviously Wonder Woman knock-off.
Anyway great review, you are my favourite reviewer.

Dan Shive said...

I hope this is not ultimately a redundant comment, but is it fair to blame the people who drew the comic? I am assuming that's what you mean by "artist" and past reviews seem to support that, but how much say do the artists actually have in what they draw?

In the Frank Miller comic example, the script explicitly stated the character would be in her undies and that there'd be an "ass shot". Should the penciller be accused of expecting people to pay $3.95 for his masturbatory fantasies when he was being paid to draw from Frank Miller's script?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to criticizing this stuff. It just seems like the people drawing the comics are getting the bulk of the blame when they are graphic designers being paid to do a job and are likely following guidelines given to them.

I know that's not always the case, but it seems unfair to lay it all on them, particularly when throwing out "masturbatory fantasy" insults. You should swing your verbal punches at those who truly deserve it, and I have trouble picturing artists who might simply want to keep their jobs as targets worthy of your scorn.

Frank Miller, on the other hand...

James said...

Holycrap it's the Dan Shive! I can't believe you're here, man. Long time fan of your work. Have you ever thought about becoming a Channel Awesome contributor?

Kavinsky said...

Yeah Dan does have a point, it could mostly be the writers fault for that kinda stuff, but still I would imagine the artist has as much a say in it as the writer does.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"I hope this is not ultimately a redundant comment, but is it fair to blame the people who drew the comic? I am assuming that's what you mean by "artist" and past reviews seem to support that, but how much say do the artists actually have in what they draw?

In the Frank Miller comic example, the script explicitly stated the character would be in her undies and that there'd be an "ass shot". Should the penciller be accused of expecting people to pay $3.95 for his masturbatory fantasies when he was being paid to draw from Frank Miller's script?"

I did consider that, but since the author in question is Doug Murray, also responsible for the critically-acclaimed war comic "The 'Nam," I have a hard time believing that he would write in "make sure to get as many shots of her ass as possible - because it's one sexy ass and we should make the readers drool."

Hell, I would've had a difficult time believing Frank Miller had written what he did if DC hadn't released the "director's cut" version of the comic that contained the script.

NGT said...

You know, I do disagree with your stance on the female form, but for different reasons. I think the situation is unrecoverable, and perhaps shouldn't even be recovered anyways lest we put a lot of people out of work. Instead, there's more than one way to reach equality: of trying to desexualize females, we should sexualize males so everyone suffers equally.

Your notations on the covers are more or less spot-on. I'm not sure she's actually wearing heels in yours, though, since the color is so close I can't be totally sure if they're shoes or her feet are actually that shape like Angelina Jolie as Grendel's Mom.

Owls were Athena's birds. I'm guessing it's a magic owl she used to own.

Blondhair Mullet"Like American Idol" reminds me of freaking R.Pattz in his role as Edward. it's the eyes.

That's not a bad outfit if you want to catch eyes. Which is admittedly a hookerish sort of thing, but there are other reasons to want to catch attention. It actually makes a twisted sort of sense. People checking out your outfit and body aren't checking out your face.

You could operate with that kind of wound, yes, but you wouldn't really WANT to, particularly if you're righthanded.

That IS Ancient Greek battle armor. Breastplate, greaves, bracers, helmet. Their breastplate probably covered more, but they didn't have anything more fancy. Sorry man.

I'm not even going to comment on the whole Obama thing, it'll only result in rage.

Dan Shive said...

"I did consider that, but since the author in question is Doug Murray, also responsible for the critically-acclaimed war comic "The 'Nam," I have a hard time believing..."

Perhaps not, but it's still conceivable. People can surprise you, such as when bondage artwork by Joe Shuster gets published decades later.

All I'm really saying is that I don't think it's fair to assume blame on the artist when we don't know for certain whose decision it was, particularly when the depth and style of the writing compliments the artwork.

It's also conceivable that the publisher mandated such art, or you could be totally right in blaming the artist. Point is, we don't know for certain.

I normally wouldn't care so much about this (he did draw it, after all, and therefore does not have immunity from scrutiny), but the harshness of the closing line and how it was aimed specifically at the artist made me feel the need to speak up on the matter.

Bradley said...

Uhhhh.... Sorry to mention this Lewis, but you made a mistake in the video.

The Savage Dragon/Obama team up happened MONTHS before the stupid Spider-man one and it ACTUALLY MADE SENSE!!! You know why.... A political figure from Chicago working with a Cop FROM Chicago IN CHICAGO!

Heh, sorry to sound anal about this but it's sort of a pet peeve when someone makes that mistake... Plus I'm a Savage Dragon fan. :3

Erin Gormley said...

Wow, being against sexism towards women is being a religious nut, huh? Being a catholic and a woman, I'm kind of offended right now. ._.

Keep up the good work Linkara~

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"I normally wouldn't care so much about this (he did draw it, after all, and therefore does not have immunity from scrutiny), but the harshness of the closing line and how it was aimed specifically at the artist made me feel the need to speak up on the matter."

Fair enough, in which case I do apologize, since the writer certainly deserves their own share of scorn for how badly-written this was. And I openly acknowledge that it may have been Doug Murray saying that he wanted the ass shots.

shikima said...

My apologies if this winds up double posting, but I had some trouble...probably my browser's fault.

I had another post intended for this, but since pretty much all of the previous comments are pats on the back for the rant at the beginning of the video, I'll go ahead and do so too. Way to go, Linkara! Anyone should know that you're not a prude, religious zealot or gay. You're a feminist. And as a feminist, you have to point out how wrong it is for men to like seeing half/fully naked women, even in a medium like comics. After all, Feminism teaches us that male sexuality is evil, oppresses and dehumanizes women.

So, with this in mind, what would be the best way to deal with this problem? Perhaps all the male artists, writers and editors should be thrown out in favor of more enlightened, females?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"And as a feminist, you have to point out how wrong it is for men to like seeing half/fully naked women, even in a medium like comics. After all, Feminism teaches us that male sexuality is evil, oppresses and dehumanizes women."

Erm, at what point did I say it was WRONG for straight men to like half or fully-naked women? I believe my little rant at the beginning was about how T&A seemed to be taking more focus over characterization and in fact that this comic was a poorly-written mess that relied more on shots of her ass instead of presenting a character?

And exactly what feminist texts have you read that says that male sexuality is evil considering feminism is about equality?

715 said...

While you do have a good point Linkara, I feel it can go the other way around, were any thing bad happening to a not white man is sexist/racist/whatever same goes with fanservice, it's just a fact, but wend it's worst than Witchblade (which toned it WAY down in recent years) their is something wrong, and you can't really bitch about a cover, it's a cover the whole point is to draw you in to look what's inside, most of the time of course and if an ass shot will get the job done so be it. Hell I started reading Noble Cuases because of the cover were two female characters making out on cover, but hey turns out I liked the story so I got the early issues.

Again agree with what most you said, just you know don't go all feninazi

mrjl said...

Actually, I don't have to stretch wisdom at all. It seems a perfectly natural connection to me.

shikima said...

I believe you've spoken about the phenomena before, "Male Gaze". And it was enough to get a man fired in Florida and another man arrested in Italy.

And for where I get the idea that feminism believes male sexuality to be evil....shall I share some of the works of Marilyn French, Susan Griffin or Judith Levine?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"I believe you've spoken about the phenomena before, "Male Gaze". And it was enough to get a man fired in Florida and another man arrested in Italy. "

"Male Gaze," as I understand the term, refers to the tendency in a media form to needlessly focus on women as sexual objects to be desired by a heterosexual male as opposed to individuals with their own choices, wants, and personalities. You know, like how this comic prefers to focus on Athena's ass as opposed to who the hell she actually is as a character?

"And for where I get the idea that feminism believes male sexuality to be evil....shall I share some of the works of Marilyn French, Susan Griffin or Judith Levine?"

Well, thank you for assuming that three entirely different women speak for all of feminism instead of realizing that feminism, like any sociopolitical theory, has its own various sections and differing opinions on any given subject matter. It is not a blanket term for thinking that men's sexuality is evil. And even then, looking up some more on these three the only thing that really got me raising an eyebrow was Marilyn French, and even then the closest I could see was a quote from her novel "The Women's Room" about "All men being rapists," which wasn't about HER beliefs, but rather of a RADICAL, militant feminist who had just learned of her daughter being raped, so I don't exactly expect her to be thinking rationally.

Dan Shive said...

You're a gentleman and a scholar, Lewis. I look forward to future installments of Atop The Fourth Wall.

And don't fret if people get uppity with you about your opinions. Even if they disagree with you, your criticisms give artists, writers and even the readers cause to reflect and consider these matters. People like you help artists reconsider giving in to baser impulses when drawing and encourage writers to try harder to make three dimensional characters.

You might not be thanked for this, but trust me, you're doing good in this world. I doubt I'm the only person who listens to your work and is encouraged to try harder to do better because of it, all while being given a good laugh. Mighty morph into your reviewer mode with pride.

So long as I'm posting, have you ever read PS238 by Aaron Williams? In case you haven't, it's a family friendly comic book with lots of subtle, and not-so subtle, parodies and nods to comics in general. It's very well written with a unique look, and it occurred to me earlier today that it might be right up your alley.

Much of it is available online at http://nodwick.humor.gamespy.com/ps238/comics/index.php?date=2001-11-29 if you haven't read it before and are interested.

shikima said...

A little about me....I am an artist (not professional, unfortunately)and I've been drawing comics for as long as I can remember. I've emulated a lot of famous art styles and incorporated them into my own (Fred Perry being the biggest influence now, but I'm also talking people like Jim Lee and Mark Silvestri). While my stories in the past were probably so horrible you wouldn't want to spit on them these days, I did try. But whenever anyone else looked at the comics I drew (including art teachers), the first things out of their mouths had nothing to do with whether the story or art were good or bad, but rather "wow, your female characters have large breasts. Is that how you like them?"

I'll be the first to admit that I'm more than likely a bit oversensitive about this. For starters, the way the question was presented was in a way that meant I had something to apologize for.

I will also admit to not being the biggest fan of feminism, not just from their scholarly and cultural works, but the feminists I've had dealings with in the past. This includes a friend who said "men" in "women" was offensive to her and that she wanted to be called a "womyn".

Honestly, all I know about you are what you present on the internet. So far, what I've seen is that you are a person with a strong personal sense of right, wrong and what's fair or not. It probably doesn't register, but it's interesting to me, as a fan of yours, what you do mention as irksome and what you don't. Your numerous statements of dislike for a lot of the depictions of women in states of undress (though I will concede that Frank Miller did go over the line...that "make 'em drool" came off as kinda creepy even for me) you come across, though not much to be said about Superman having a full fight scene with a naked male Terminator. Nor have I heard anything for characters like Namor who wears nothing but a speedo, though I don't recall you doing a review with him in it. I also noticed you had a lot to say about Superman Prime killing a pregnant woman (including two segments with 90's Kid) in Countdown, yet only a passing remark about the boy and his father killed by the Amazon in Amazons Attack.

I'm not saying that the depictions of women aren't as bad as you say. What I am saying is that depictions like this exist for women and men. And that either the depictions of both are bad and should be railed against, or not.

Kavinsky said...

At this rate linkara you'd probably be better off making another vid clarifying everything on this matter.

Since it seems to be turning into an essay about debunking feminism prejudices rather than the original thing you were brining up. How comics seem to ignore there female characters and there growth just to show some fake ass to maybe apeal to the younger pubescent high school teenagers.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Honestly, all I know about you are what you present on the internet. So far, what I've seen is that you are a person with a strong personal sense of right, wrong and what's fair or not. It probably doesn't register, but it's interesting to me, as a fan of yours, what you do mention as irksome and what you don't. Your numerous statements of dislike for a lot of the depictions of women in states of undress (though I will concede that Frank Miller did go over the line...that "make 'em drool" came off as kinda creepy even for me) you come across, though not much to be said about Superman having a full fight scene with a naked male Terminator."

Well, as established in the Terminator universe, you can't time travel with clothes (which continues to be very silly in my mind), so having the Terminators suddenly appear naked isn't that much of a stretch. However, I would argue that because of that fact, they're not exactly drawing naked Terminators with the intent of titillation.

Similarly, I could also point out an issue of Power Girl wherein she suddenly ran down the stairs of her apartment nude while chasing someone, but the scene was played for laughs instead of attempting to make male readers drool over naked Power Girl.

"Nor have I heard anything for characters like Namor who wears nothing but a speedo, though I don't recall you doing a review with him in it."

Haven't reviewed any bad comics that featured him yet, but give me a chance - there are still plenty of bad comics to go through. ^_~

However, I would also point out that these days he DOESN'T just wear a speedo, but that's beside the point. Once again, he's not drawn that way simply for titillation purposes. In fact, I'm more willing to give a pass to characters like Namor who are ocean dwellers who wear less or tighter clothes, since more or looser clothes would only impede their ability to move through water.

Also, we don't get treated to shots that accentuate his package or his ass.

"I also noticed you had a lot to say about Superman Prime killing a pregnant woman (including two segments with 90's Kid) in Countdown, yet only a passing remark about the boy and his father killed by the Amazon in Amazons Attack."

I would've thought my utter disgust at the boy and his father being killed like that was made clear in the review, but in case it wasn't - both instances are equally shamefully awful and made for shock tactic, one instance to add to the body count of a terrible character and the other a mischaracterization ignored what had come before with the Amazons.

However, both were in very, VERY poor taste.

Celey said...

Hey, Linkara! I enjoy your show. You never fail to crack me up. It sounds to me like some people have been launching personal attacks on you. I'm sorry that's happening to you.

You did bring up some good points during your rant (warrior women would not last long in a fight wearing high heels and a thong; Frank Miller is creepy; this comic is badly written) and it was justified in that you were defending yourself.

I am kind of worried about the feminism thing, though. In regards to the show, I'm hoping that it won't get too political or anything. I like your show for the goofy stuff and the little story arcs are pretty awesome, too.

In regards to your stance on feminism, though, I mean, I won't tell you what to believe or anything, but perhaps more skepticism is warranted? I'm a woman, and I just really don't think feminists are all about equality like you say.

They seem to be all for women's rights and active on women's issues (which is important, especially in parts of world where the oppression is blatant). But I don't see them speaking up much for men's rights and issues. I've seen some people be dismissive and say that men's issues aren't as important as women's issues. Or that the problems women have are more prevalent than the problems men have.

But that's sexist, isn't it? Isn't sexism, in any form, wrong? When I was younger, I was constantly being told that men were pigs, all men wanted was to get into my pants. Basically, they were to be avoided at all costs, and because I was young and impressionable, I believed it.

Now, that I'm older, I realize how wrong all of that was and I'm not dismissive of that sort of thing. I'm aware of when people say that sort of stuff, and I hear it a lot.

"Men are pigs." It seems like I can't go anywhere without hearing that or seeing guys portrayed as cold, heartless monsters.

And nobody says anything. Nobody calls them out on their sexism except me. I speak up, I call them out on it. I get met with a stare. I might as well be purple with pink spots.

When feminists aren't the ones encouraging this sort of behavior against men, they're outright ignoring it (or in some cases, remain blissfully unaware of it).

For instance, something that a lot of people encourage: Kicking a guy in the balls (or a guy having his genitals hurt in some fashion). It's comedy gold. Everybody laughs except for some empathic guys who don't find such a thing very funny. At any rate, nobody stirs up a fuss over it.

Now, compare that to if someone kicked a woman. Suddenly, it's not so funny. And a big deal is made over it because it encourages abuse towards women.

That's just a general example. I could go on and on with this, but I don't feel I have to. I think you're a nice guy, Linkara and I think that you do try to be fair. I really get the impression that you want to be fair.

Anyway, I guess that's just my two cents. Moving onto something comic related..

You mentioned that you are heterosexual. And of course, you're a guy. So, I don't imagine you've noticed this. But being that I am a heterosexual female, I have noticed this.

The lack of male nipples in comics. Okay, don't laugh 'cause I know the first thing you're thinking about is Joel Schumacher. What I'm saying is whenever a guy appears without a shirt on, a lot of times, this guy will not have nipples.

You talk about over-sexuality of women in comics. I think there's under-sexuality of men in comics. This could be because most American comic writers are men (and I suppose a lot of them are straight), but it is still kind of sad. At least for me.

Not to mention, the lack of male nipples thing is not very anatomically correct, is it?

I'm not sure what the aversion is to male nipples, but I think this is an issue in comics that doesn't get a whole lot of attention. Men just aren't seen as desirable as women in comics.

Bradley said...

Heh, well after that comment about power girl I'll probably pick it up now. XD Thanks Lewis. :3

And with your comment on superman prime killing a pregnat woman.... I'll agree with you on that and I always found it just too be... Haunting. You know like that one person in Dead Rising who said her baby was ripped apart by zombies. Just.... Haunting.

TheGoose said...

"Well, as established in the Terminator universe, you can't time travel with clothes (which continues to be very silly in my mind),"

It may not make sense, but the whole reason why James Cameron came up with that idea is because he wanted to avoid having Kyle Reese and the Terminator use future weapons.

It's really not that different from the explanation in Doctor Who where the the Doctor's TARDIS always looks like a British police box even though he could just fix it, thereby making it a lot safer for him travel through time and space.

"However, I would also point out that these days he DOESN'T just wear a speedo, but that's beside the point. Once again, he's not drawn that way simply for titillation purposes."

True, but there clearly have been moments in comics where male superheroes are drawn for titillation. Marv Wolfman's and George Perez's New Teen Titans showed off the male teammate's bodies.

Off topic from titillation in comics. I know that you think there are more men who read comics than women. But, you seem to forgot their are women comic fans out there who sexually look at male superheroes.

For example, there's a blog called GreenLanternButts where a female comics fan shows clips from comics showing off Green Lantern's butts. I know artists don't draw any of the GLs in any poses for titillation, but, again, there are women who sexually looking at male superheroes' bodies.

Another example is in the TPB of the Teen Titans: Judas Contract where George Perez says Dick Grayson has a huge following with women. Clearly, there are women comic fans who sexually look at men superheroes.

TheGoose said...

Just adding to what Celey said. I agree with what she's saying. There is sexism from some feminists and people, in general, who are dismissive toward men's rights. And that certainly pisses me off. I'm all for equality, but I don't appreciate people being dismissive toward me or the male gender.

Green Ninja said...

I'm not sure I can contribute to the discussion itself, so I just say this:
Great show Lewis, keep doing what you do. I love how you treat comics like people at a university would treat "regular" literature.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they're not, but it's rare to see someone talk about it like that and it helps that people like you talk about and do so much for the medium in general.

Celey said...

I can vouch for TheGoose in that women do look at comic superheroes in a sexual manner. Dick Grayson, in particular, is my favorite.

It goes without saying that Nightwing is super cool and awesome (he did train under Batman, after all). But he is also probably the sexiest man in the DC Universe... in my opinion. Even if he isn't drawn in a sexual manner, he still oozes with sexiness.

Oh! And there's a movie coming out sometime... Under the Red Hood. Nightwing is going to be voiced by Neil Patrick Harris! Excuse me while I squeal and giggle in fangirlish glee! :D

Okay, I've probably gone way off-topic at this point...

I'll echo GreenNinja's thoughts. I also appreciate the critical eye you give comics... and as always, I look forward to the next episode. :)

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"True, but there clearly have been moments in comics where male superheroes are drawn for titillation. Marv Wolfman's and George Perez's New Teen Titans showed off the male teammate's bodies.

Off topic from titillation in comics. I know that you think there are more men who read comics than women. But, you seem to forgot their are women comic fans out there who sexually look at male superheroes."

"I can vouch for TheGoose in that women do look at comic superheroes in a sexual manner. Dick Grayson, in particular, is my favorite."

Ah, but therein lies my point again - my problem ISN'T that men or women are attracted to the characters or find them sexy. My problem is when they're specifically drawn that way purely for titillation, letting their own desire for pseudo-pornographic images of them take precedence as opposed to drawing them like how actual human beings would be in a given situation.

And you can SAY that George Perez drew men in the New Teen Titans with the intention to titillate, but I'm honestly not seeing it. He simply drew women and men in bathing suits when they were around a pool and he never drew them specifically in the best manner to show off their asses or packages or for women to display their chests or asses.

Perez draws characters and superheroes FIRST, he's simply better at showing them as actual people with different clothes than other artists. Sure, there was the occasional thing like a swimsuit special spread in an anniversary issue or something, but they were more tongue-in-cheek and the exception as opposed to the rule. And even then, I'll grant equal opportunity exploitation is better than simply doing it to women, but they never came off as semi-pornographic.

Celey said...

Ah, I know. You said so before multiple times that your problem isn't that men or women find such and such character sexy. I was just vouching that women do look at superheroes in a sexual manner... and being that I'm a Nightwing fangirl, it was the perfect opportunity for me to gush over Nightwing. I apologize.

Hmm. Although, since you are heterosexual and everything, I imagine even if there was a titillating image of a male character, it'd be difficult for you to point out.

But again, as I was saying earlier, I think there tends to be under-sexuality of men in comics (maybe not so much in manga, given all the bishounen, but then, a lot of bishounen tend to look more like girls than men). I suppose you could say I'm arguing for equal opportunity exploitation, but...

I don't think I'm really asking for all that much... I mean, making sure the guys have nipples whenever they're without a shirt just seems like something that should be automatic.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Men have nipples?! Since when?!

Celey said...

*LOL* :P... Seems to be the prevailing thought...

Like I said I don't know what the aversion is... I guess because nipples are something that's usually associated with females? I dunno... I can't make out any logic from it. //^_^\\'

TheGoose said...

"And you can SAY that George Perez drew men in the New Teen Titans with the intention to titillate, but I'm honestly not seeing it. He simply drew women and men in bathing suits when they were around a pool and he never drew them specifically in the best manner to show off their asses or packages or for women to display their chests or asses."

Than why have scenes like that? Why have the team beside a pool? Why not have the team talk around a table instead of having them in bathing suits? Hell, why have Dick Grayson dressed just in a pair of swim briefs while working out in New Teen Titans #29? Seriously, I know hes working out, but why so little clothing? Considering that Perez knew that Dick had a great following with the ladies, I'm pretty sure that some scenes like the pool scenes or working out scenes for women comic readers. Perez and Wolfman just didn't do fanservice as blatant as Athena #1.

I'm not saying your wrong in that Athena #1 is a cheesecake book or that sexually women in superhero books is good. I just wanted to point out that there does exist female fans who do like to look at boy superheroes in a sexual way. And that creators cater to those women in blatant or subtle ways.

TheGoose said...

And really, considering how many times I've seen Dick Grayson in the shower in his own book and many others, it's clear that writers are clearly catering toward women readers.

And yes, Wolfman and Perez never showed off any of the boys like in Athena #1, but they certainly showed their bodies off just as much as the females.

TheGoose said...

Speaking of which, Linkara, our discussion of whether John Byrne and Chris Claremont were trying to titillate readers with the Hellfire Club's costumes in The Dark Phoenix Saga is false. I read on Comics Should Be Good's Urban Legends Revealed that Bryne and Clarmont were paying homage to an episode of the Avengers where the villains were dressed in 18th century bondage gear.

You could still make the case that Claremont and Bryne were still trying to titillate readers with Storm in her undies. But, they played fair since they also had Colossus and Wolverine in their undies as well.

Celey said...

Dick Grayson in the shower.... *Drools, becomes incapable of coherent thought*

Curse my lack of money... *I'd buy every Nightwing comic ever made otherwise*

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Speaking of which, Linkara, our discussion of whether John Byrne and Chris Claremont were trying to titillate readers with the Hellfire Club's costumes in The Dark Phoenix Saga is false. I read on Comics Should Be Good's Urban Legends Revealed that Bryne and Clarmont were paying homage to an episode of the Avengers where the villains were dressed in 18th century bondage gear."

Okay, that's it, you KEEP BRINGING THIS UP and I can't remember what the hell you're talking about. I VAGUELY recall a conversation a LONG while ago that brought up the Hellfire club and what Claremont's intentions may have been, the issue was resolved with the Avengers reference thing, yet you continually mention this conversation as if it haunts your thoughts. For me, this issue has long-since been closed and resolved to the point where I can't even find this conversation any more.

"Than why have scenes like that? Why have the team beside a pool? Why not have the team talk around a table instead of having them in bathing suits? Hell, why have Dick Grayson dressed just in a pair of swim briefs while working out in New Teen Titans #29? Seriously, I know hes working out, but why so little clothing? Considering that Perez knew that Dick had a great following with the ladies, I'm pretty sure that some scenes like the pool scenes or working out scenes for women comic readers. Perez and Wolfman just didn't do fanservice as blatant as Athena #1."

Because part of the book at the time was that we also saw them in different parts of their lives simply than just wearing the costumes every waking second. It allowed George Perez to draw a varied amount of environments while also giving a larger sense of the Titans' lives and surroundings... but then again, that's just speculation on my part, you'd have to ask Perez himself, though I sincerely doubt that the thought that was running through his head was "boy, they'll all get off on this, for sure!"

But, for the sake of argument, let's assume your theory is correct - what the hell difference does it make HERE? You may have found ONE exception, and even then it was during a period that wasn't really focusing too much on cheesecake, anyway, when drawing superheroines in thongs WASN'T the norm nor was an emphasis on exposed cleavage, bending over to detail their forms, etc.

As for catering to the female readers, any such occasions are few and far between, including in Nightwing's own book. Please, feel free to count how many issues actually contain a shower sequence for Dick Grayson in all 150+ issues, as well as how much they actually show of him in the shower.

Celey said...

Please feel free, also to specify which issues. :)

Also, Linkara, just so you know... It wouldn't matter how much they show of Dick Grayson in the shower. The fact that he's in the shower is enough.

See, if they don't show enough of him in the shower, it's teasing. If they show a good eyeful of him in the shower... it's eye candy.

So, either way, I WIN! ... I mean... We all win... err... //>.>\\'

Kavinsky said...

FYI Linkara I have no association with goose I was just making a point about the typical female cosutme in comics and how unrealistic and ridiculous they are. while for the most part Diana Riggs jumpsuit/catsuit costumes in The Avengers alowed for fast movement, gave her abit of class and showed off her physique without making her look like a prostitute

TheGoose said...

"Okay, that's it, you KEEP BRINGING THIS UP and I can't remember what the hell you're talking about. I VAGUELY recall a conversation a LONG while ago that brought up the Hellfire club and what Claremont's intentions may have been, the issue was resolved with the Avengers reference thing, yet you continually mention this conversation as if it haunts your thoughts. For me, this issue has long-since been closed and resolved to the point where I can't even find this conversation any more."

Well, I didn't know if you knew. You never responded to what I said, so I thought you didn't see what I wrote. The issue was brought up in the first Sultry Teenage Super-Foxes video review, where I brought it up and you thought they had Emma Frost in a skimpy outfit simply for titillation. Bringing up the Avengers reference shows that Claremont and Bryne weren't trying to titillate, but doing a homage to an episode where the villains were in the same outfits the Hellfire Club wore. Sorry, I kept bringing it up, but I wanted to resolve the issue.

"But, for the sake of argument, let's assume your theory is correct - what the hell difference does it make HERE? You may have found ONE exception, and even then it was during a period that wasn't really focusing too much on cheesecake, anyway, when drawing superheroines in thongs WASN'T the norm nor was an emphasis on exposed cleavage, bending over to detail their forms, etc.

As for catering to the female readers, any such occasions are few and far between, including in Nightwing's own book. Please, feel free to count how many issues actually contain a shower sequence for Dick Grayson in all 150+ issues, as well as how much they actually show of him in the shower."

As Celey said, it doesn't matter. The fact that they showed it (and indeed they show it many times) clearly means that they cater toward women, like they try to do it with men...just in a more subtle manner.

And why do the scene of the male Titans in bathing suits and Dick Grayson in the shower make a difference? Well, it's an example of showing off the male form for female readers. It may not be as in your face as Athena #1, but it's there and I don't know why people aren't complaining about it. And considering that most scenes of Dick in the shower have happened in an age where drawing superheroines in thongs is the norm and an emphasis on exposed cleavage, bending over to detail their forms, etc. it shows that there is a subtle form of fanservice directed toward women.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Yeah, I have comment moderation turned on so I can read every post that comes across, so yeah, I read it.

As for "subtle" fanservice, again - it's an assumption on their intentions. Perez and Wolfman apparently knew Dick Grayson was a hit amongst the female audience, but did they start doing fanservice because of it, or was it simply that they drew what came logically to them and that just happened to be, in your view, anyway, fanservicey?

Then again, I never said my problem was with cheesecake or fanservice - my problem has ALWAYS been reducing female characters to nothing more than cheesecake or fanservice, as was done in Athena. If the fanservice was as subtle for the women who read the book as you say, that's all well and good, but that doesn't detract from the overt, immature, and-less-than-subtle attempts at fanservice and cheesecake that results in women being naked or having exposed cleavage for no good reason.

If such fanservice was as subtle as the stuff you claim, we wouldn't be having this discussion right now. And again, the examples you brought up - New Teen Titans and Nightwing - are not necessarily what can really be considered fanservice by the same standards.

New Teen Titans was in the eighties, when the most explicit I recall is when Starfire once stood half naked and still you couldn't see a thing and it was more of a character moment when she finally wanted to get Changeling off of her back for a minute, and even then was less explicit than what passed for it these days.

As for Nightwing, the reason why I want to know the issue citations for such things is that it seems more like it'd be easy to show the transition of time and of Dick Grayson's life by showing him in the shower, but once again how much is shown is also a factor - is it just his head? Is it a distance shot? Is it his ass? Is it just his waist up? How detailed is it? A shower scene can serve many purposes and how it's drawn makes a difference in how puportedly it's trying to appeal to a female audience, and if it only happens three times over the course of the series, it's probably not so much an example of trying to cater to women as much as three scenes that just happen to take place in a shower.

TheGoose said...

"Perez and Wolfman apparently knew Dick Grayson was a hit amongst the female audience, but did they start doing fanservice because of it, or was it simply that they drew what came logically to them and that just happened to be, in your view, anyway, fanservicey?"

Clearly Dick Grayson is a hit amongst women, then and now. To answer you question on whether they did fanservice or it just came to them logically, why don't you see how many times they show Dick showing off his body in some way.

"If such fanservice was as subtle as the stuff you claim, we wouldn't be having this discussion right now. And again, the examples you brought up - New Teen Titans and Nightwing - are not necessarily what can really be considered fanservice by the same standards."

Sure, but it's still is fanservice for women.

"As for Nightwing, the reason why I want to know the issue citations for such things is that it seems more like it'd be easy to show the transition of time and of Dick Grayson's life by showing him in the shower, but once again how much is shown is also a factor - is it just his head? Is it a distance shot? Is it his ass? Is it just his waist up? How detailed is it? A shower scene can serve many purposes and how it's drawn makes a difference in how puportedly it's trying to appeal to a female audience, and if it only happens three times over the course of the series, it's probably not so much an example of trying to cater to women as much as three scenes that just happen to take place in a shower."

Here are some scene right here under Nightwing:

http://shirtless-superheroes.blogspot.com/search/label/Nightwing

And here are some scenes right here under Dick Grayson:

http://shirtless-superheroes.blogspot.com/search/label/Dick%20Grayson

And here's an incredibly detailed shot from Secret Six #9: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_5bcfpMCxb6I/SkTgd3HUkVI/AAAAAAAAFcY/ggq0s7j7ROQ/s1600-h/SS9p22.jpg

Kavinsky said...

Well it may be a subtle fan service to women but on the other hand we have yet to see ANY males running around in nothing but really tight boxers or spedos in any of these comics with alot of attention and shots devoted to there "organ" or their butt

well besides the brodsky one where he flys at someone with it -_-

Although I admit the mullet man in Athena here might have been put in there to drawn women to the comic. but still he's not treated like a sex object like Athena.

And with the avengers reference her outfit had a purpose in that episode

to seduce the person they were after to find eveidence of their wrongdoing and find out who was truly behind the abductions of the diplomats (sorry if this is a little vague its been a few years since I watched it)

while in the comic it was put in just for titilation and a poor homage to a superior story

Celey said...

The transition of time and of Dick Grayson's life by being in the shower? *Raises eyebrow*

I'm having a little trouble understanding this one, Linkara... I mean, what you said before getting into the Nightwing-shower issue makes perfect sense (and it's something you said many times, that part really isn't hard to get at all, and I agree with you whole-heartedly)...

It doesn't really seem like there's a deep purpose for showing a character in a shower. I can think of a few very specific situations where it'd be warranted. But I don't see how those specific situations would apply to Nightwing, a normal human being *coughsexgodcough*.

I mean, if you saw a comic with a woman in a shower scene, what would be the point of that? Would how it was shot matter much? (Somehow, I'm reminded of those Herbal Essence commercials with that woman in the shower... if I recall, it was mostly a headshot... Of course, she was moaning and whatnot, but still...)

Dick Grayson in the shower would be awesome no matter how it's shot. (Of course, him without a shirt on would be awesome, too. But a shower scene especially so. Because the point is... He's naked in there. Why would a superhero shower with their clothes on?)

Again, if not much is shown... It's a tease. I'm offered a view of Dick Grayson showering (and thinking to myself how much I'd like to join him), but all of the bits I want to look at are hidden from view.

If I get a show, then, yeah... It's totally eye candy.

But anyway, as you said, this kind of thing seems pretty rare in comics. And like I said, I think there's a tendency for men to be under-sexualized. I think that's unfair. For both sexes. For women, because they're denied eye candy and because it's not fair that women are sexualized and men are not.

And for men, because it's basically saying that men can't be subjects of desire or that they're not worth admiring in the way females are. I think that sort of thing sends a bad message...

Everybody wants to feel desired, at least a little bit...

Dan Shive said...

Any possibility of a top 10 (11?) best comic book character designs? We know what you don't like, but that's only half of the path to understanding and it would still give you plenty of material to rant about while being interesting.

Celey said...

Just saw what you posted Goose... Thank you so much!! Very much appreciated!

So much eye-candy... wish I had stumbled upon this sooner...

Of course, right away, I'm noticing quite a few pics of guys without nipples or barely visible nipples... But most of the Grayson pics aren't too bad about it...

Oh, there's so many to look at, but I have some favorites already...

Like Dick Grayson in the pool, talking about how much he missed relaxing... The way he has his head tilted back, eyes closed... the close-up on his chest....

Or the two where he's coming out of the shower, clad only in a towel... *My nemesis! The towel!*

Or the one where he's putting on his Nightwing costume with all the scars... Just want to kiss him all better...

Or the one where he's taking off his Nightwing costume... Strip-show! :D

And the bird's eye view of him laying on the bed in only his underwear... *No nipples, though... ARGGGHHHH!!*

Gratuitous Nightwing butt shot! YES!!

This site has just became my favorite site ever!! Thank you so much!! If you find anymore sites like this, do post them! :D...

Some of these pics aren't designed to titillate, though... One of the most obvious ones is that Nightwing bondage pic... It would be very nice if there wasn't villains lurking in the background... *Such a pic just makes me anxious about what's going to happen to him*

And I dunno about Batman and Superman... I could never view them sexually. It would be kind of like trying to view Jesus sexually. It just isn't going to happen.

But anyway, I still say guys are under-sexualized. There needs to be more of this kind of thing... In my opinion. Especially that one with Dick Grayson in the pool, relaxing... That one is definitely fanservice.

Celey said...

Oh hey... And I just noticed in one of the older posts on this blog... I dunno if this is real or not, but apparently, it's an excerpt from an interview between Judd Winick and the New Teen Titans Creator...

PÉREZ: Dick always had great legs. I always believed in putting in a fair amount of beefcake with the cheesecake. [Laughs]

WINICK: No kidding! Did you guys ever do a count on how many swimming pool scenes you did?

PÉREZ: Oh gosh, once we had that pool we had to use it! [Laughs] When I met my current wife around then, she was in the fashion [industry], so I had to keep up on proper bikini styles and things like that.

Oh yeah! Beefcake! :D

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Alrighty, proof is good. My initial point still stands, though - exception is not the rule.

Plus Perez is just awesome.

Celey said...

I agree. Exception is not the rule...

But in this case, it definitely should be. :D

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