Thursday, September 29, 2011


The newest DC kerfluffle centers around probably sexist portrayal of Starfire in “Red Hood and the Outlaws” #1. Since I don’t and won’t ever read a comic book whose hook is that they kill off their rogues gallery (More like, “Red Hood and the Ouroboros,” am I right?), all my info is secondhand.

Naturally, Laura Hudson from Comics Alliance had some stuff to say and a quick lap around the internet brought up a counterpoint by Mary Staggs at Panels on Pages.

It is pretty messed up that men are built and dressed to be heterosexual male power fantasies and women are built and dressed to be heterosexual male sexual fantasies. That shouldn’t be the case, but I wouldn't start cancelling all of my DC subscriptions over it. If you never buy the comics where women aren’t packaged as tarts, then the industry is going to keep doing what it's doing, but harder. Don’t buy “Red Hood and The Omega Beams.” Don’t—and ye gods, why would you in the first place—buy “Catwoman.” Don’t buy “Suicide Squad.” This isn’t rocket science: is there a half to three-quarters naked woman on the cover? Dooooooooooooooooooon’t buy it. Buy the comic with the reasonably proportioned women wearing pants on the front. Encourage your friends to do the same.

Some people are complaining about how different Starfire is from the pre-reboot version. I get that; it’s shitty that new Starfire isn’t like old Starfire. But it’s a reboot. Get over it. Willis' point is really the only one worth bringing up here, and it's naturally a good one.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that this personality shift is the first step in the journey for “Red Hood and The Outhouses.” Whether that’s a Neon Genesis Evangelion-style terribly stereotypical opening that hooks unsuspecting troglodytes before ramping into a sophisticated deconstruction, a plot about Starfire learning about horrors past which have changed her from the person she used to be, or filling a niche for an embarrassing title based on titillation, there might be something larger at work here.

Howevercomma whenever we’re introduced to the character via ass shot and two guys dapping about one of them having hit that, whenever she goes on to show as much cleavage and ass as possible in every scene while Roy Harper goes on about how hot she is, whenever her investment in humans is so low she can barely tell one human from another and will consequently fuck anyone, the entire thing gets very creepy. I do have to reserve some judgment because I haven’t read it, but it gives the impression that someone’s messed up pornographic fan fiction got published on accident.

RE: Catwoman
It’s Catwoman. The cover of her book has her showing boob on a rooftop. You thought it was going to be classy?

[UPDATE]: According to a DC twitter response on the issue, "We've heard what's being said about Starfire today and we appreciate the dialogue on this topic. We encourage people to pay attention to the ratings when picking out any books to read themselves or for their children." So according to DC, it's not looking like a deconstruction or a nuanced plot about how people cope with traumas; it's bewbs and you shouldn't let your kids read it.

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