I’m sorry, DC Comics. It’s not you, it’s me.
Okay, that’s a fucking lie. It is you, it is totally you, it has been you for years and years and we keep trying to make this work and it just doesn’t. We’ve tried a trial separation and I came running back when you offered me flowers and chocolate and Gail Simone. We tried an open relationship and, well, I hate to break it to you, but even considering all their faults, Marvel is just BETTER than you.
And now I think we just need to break up. For good.
Let’s not concentrate on how it’s ending, with your editorial team deciding at the last second that Batwoman couldn’t show Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer getting married, causing the creators to walk off of the title. No, hush, that’s just the straw that’s breaking Batman’s back. It’s a well documented list of failures in recent years, showing that you don’t value you me as a reader and, more importantly, you don’t respect me as a partner.
DC, we’ve had some good times. Remember Final Crisis and how much that meant to us? Remember MINX and how you really tried except you really DIDN’T try and it all ended in fire and flames and I STILL want the last two Janes books by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg? And while you deny it, constantly, our time together with Stephanie Brown was fun. I enjoyed it.
But it’s over, DC. It’s over and it’s best we just say goodbye. But one thing I can tell you, any time I hear the wind blow it will whisper the name “DC.” And so let us part with a love that will echo through the ages.
PS: Come get your fucking stuff out of my house, I am sick of looking at it.
Ashly is a single female looking for a new comic in her life. She’s a Scorpio who enjoys red wine, horror novels and fully-realized characterization. You can find out more about her on Twitter at @newageamazon
I’ve been going on this tirade on Twitter and generally raging about it for a day or so, and now I’m just gonna suck it up and run it here. In this article, I’m going to talk about Mark Millar’s recent statements, meaning there’s going to be some pretty frank discussion of rape, sexual assault and rape apology. I just want you to be aware in case any of these things might trigger you.
So, with that out of the way? Mark Millar just needs to shut the actual fuck up.
Comics Alliance has a really good summary of the actual situation, said in a fairly calm and professional manner, so I’m going to direct you to them for that angle on things.
From me, you’re about to get a profanity-laden rant about Mark Millar and how he needs to shut the actual fuck up.
It is sad that I had to breathe a sigh of relief when I read that Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who I have this crush on that I don’t even completely understand, was relieved that the gang rape scene from the comic Kick Ass 2 doesn’t appear in the film version. It is sad that I have to be proud of a guy for not wanting to portray a scene showing his bad ass villain, among others, forcibly fucking a teenage girl in order to get to her superhero boyfriend.
Because it is fucking sad that Mark Millar has written a fucking comic portraying a teenage girl being gang raped by villains.
I’d like to introduce some of the real world here: Steubenville, Ohio. A group of high school football players gang raped a girl, took video of the event, and bragged about it. There is a question about whether or not any punishment would have occurred towards the rapists had national hactivist group Anonymous not stepped in and leaked information to the public, garnering public attention. Even better, once an actual investigation was launched, coverage of the story from major news sources actually sympathized with the rapists, talking about what a shame it was that their dreams of playing college football were ruined by their silly little decision to rape a girl at a party and act like it was something to be proud of.
Millar said that “The ultimate [act] that would be the taboo, to show how bad some villain is, was to have somebody being raped, you know?” The problem is the real world doesn’t agree with him. The real world doesn’t automatically see the rapist as the villain, doesn’t see it as the ultimate horrifying taboo act. They want to see how far they can push the idea that the victim is actually the issue here: how drunk was she, what was she wearing, well, that’s what you get for dating a superhero, honey.
For every Ariel Castro case (where, thank goodness, that sick fuck will spend the rest of his natural life in jail) where people turn against the rapist almost immediately, you’ve got a situation like USC, where a victim was told she wasn’t really raped because her rapist “didn’t orgasm” and where women are bullied into not actually reporting their rapes. More and more details are rolling in from campuses around the US, revealing that their policies are in place to protect the rapists, Millar’s supposed villains, rather than the victims of “the ultimate act.”
Mark Millar, you dumb fuck. If you don’t understand rape, and you pretty clearly do not understand the intricacies involved in it, in our victim-blaming culture, in the emotional and psychological damage it does to a victim that can’t be solved by her super boyfriend beating the shit out of the guy who touched His Woman, then you shouldn’t write it.
But Mark Millar, you won’t. You will keep putting gratuitous rape in everything you write.
Because you are a fucking hack and you can’t do anything else at this point. I’m full on saying it: you are a one note hack writer who honestly can’t think of anything to drive his fucking plot aside from taking a female character and basically making her entire story arc “victim of Bad Guy’s Penis, will be avenged.” And it is sick that Hollywood will keep shelling out money for your bullshit when they’ve got more than enough other writers who will use the same fucking trope (I’m not for one moment going to pretend this is limited to Millar, or to comics or to movies). It is sad that your limitations as a writer (which, our limitations as writers are what we’re supposed to work to overcome, not lean against and say “Hey, the best I can do is RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE”) and whatever pathological issues you have with women are paying you more money than I will ever see in my goddamn life.
Shut. The Fuck. Up.
Ashly is an IHO Geek staff writer who would really just like Mark Millar to consider his words a bit more carefully and show some empathy for victims of sexual assault. You can find her on Twitter @newageamazon
This week, Andrew Garfield caused comics fans to literally (LITERALLY) explode when he asked a simple question to EW: What if Spidey was gay?
The actual full quote: “And I was like, ‘What if MJ is a dude?’ Why can’t we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality? It’s hardly even groundbreaking!…So why can’t he be gay? Why can’t he be into boys?”
Good question, Andrew Garfield. Why can’t Peter Parker be gay? Well, I’ll tell you why.
Because after this article hit EW.com, the comments immediately started crying out against the idea. Because you “don’t change an established character like that,” or something. Because it’s promoting AN AGENDA to make Spider-man gay. Which agenda? I’m guessing the one that insists that gay people are a lot like straight people and don’t deserve the shit they get socially and legally and when it comes to the media.
It’s also because when Marvel ran an innocent image of Hulking and Wiccan from Children’s Crusade, showing the openly gay teens about to share an intimate moment, the Facebook comments blew up claiming Marvel was, once again, promoting an agenda. Or worse, corrupting youth by showing them gay superheroes and encouraging them to emulate them. Or something. Bonus points to all of the people claiming they were only going to buy DC comics in the future because DC wasn’t “shoving gays down their throats.” Here’s a tip for those people: start your new-found devotion to DC by reading Batwoman.
In short, Andrew Garfield, the answer is simple: there is no good reason that Spider-man CAN’T be gay.
Because all of these arguments are bullshit. “Purity” of the character? So, characters who were created in a different generation should never evolve and grow with the times? You want Superman to act and talk and look exactly how he did in Action #1?
No, you don’t. You probably love Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns which took a new look at the character. Or Extremis which changed the status quo for Tony Stark. And if you don’t want a gay Spider-man but are okay with the ending of Man of Steel, I hate you. Your call for “purity” of the character is bullshit.
As for “agendas,” what you mean by that is “doing things for the sake of selling comics.” Because this is a recent thing designed to destroy comics for straight men who love comics, because it’s only because of the feminists and the gays that this could happen. It’s not like Dick Grayson was introduced as Robin in order to sell comics. Or Jean Grey returning from the dead. Again.
Get over yourselves. Here is a fact: COMICS ARE A COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISE. THEY ARE A BUSINESS. THE POINT OF THE COMICS INDUSTRY IS TO SELL COMICS. I mean, this doesn’t necessarily apply to indie comics, but we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about DC and Marvel and they want to fucking sell you things to make money off of you. This is not punk rock, this is not about keeping the message in the subculture, this is fucking comics. And here’s a fact you have to deal with as well: gay people buy comics. So do women. And they deserve to see themselves represented not just as minor characters or sidekicks.
So, what if Spider-man was gay? What if, straight male comics fans, you identified with a gay character? What if you could understand him and relate to him just the same as a gay or bi or bicurious character as you can when he’s written as straight?
What if identifying with a gay character means you might be gay?
What if you start thinking that you’re a little further along the Kinsey scale than you previously thought?
What if you realize you’re not totally turned off by the idea of kissing another guy, though maybe you’re not gonna go out looking for a chance to do so?
What if you’re asked to challenge your culturally and socially ingrained sense of masculinity and sexuality and it means you have to re-examine yourself and a lot of beliefs or stereotypes you didn’t even know affected you?
Now, lemme ask you again: Why can’t Spider-man be gay?
Ashly is an IHO Geek staff writer who wants you to keep things civil in the comments but isn’t necessarily holding her breath. She can also be found on Twitter (where she is more than willing to use the “block” function) @newageamazon
WARNING: the following contains MASSIVE SPOILERS for the Man of Steel film, as well as for All Star Superman. If you do not wish to be spoiled, I suggest you stop reading NOW. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
In the past few weeks I have spent more time than I care to admit debating with friends and colleagues regarding the recent Man of Steel film. I know many people who enjoyed the film and found it to be an excellent representation of Superman. I know others who enjoyed the film but didn’t think it was really a SUPERMAN movie. And I know people who flat out hated it.
No matter what, there’s pretty much one huge point of controversy. If you haven’t seen the film and have remained unspoiled to this point, this is your last chance to get out of here, FYI.
In Man of Steel, Superman kills Zod by snapping his neck.
There’s been a ton of debate over this issue, from comic and non-comic fans alike. Because this is a huge issue: Superman KILLS. And because of the timing of the scene, we don’t see him really struggle after the fact. It’s death to Zod, kiss Lois, end of story.
People have defended this choice, and defended it well and have pointed out that we will probably see Superman’s struggle with this choice in the inevitable sequel. Others, like myself, feel betrayed by this action: Superman killing is a huge deal. And, for me, part of it is that it happens in a Zack Snyder film, and Snyder is known for his tendency to pretty much fetishize violence.
My argument is that Snyder doesn’t understand Superman.
Here’s the question though: who DOES?
I know so many people, in and out of comic book fan circles, who don’t get the appeal of Superman, who discard him because of his status as “The Big Blue Boy Scout.” And yet at the same time, in comics, we see him (like many other characters) portrayed in completely different ways by every writer who approaches him. Who does get Superman at this point? Who is Superman, what is his place in our modern mythology?
Because let’s face it, Superman have moved beyond just “comic book character.” There are people who can tell you the basics of his story without having ever read a comic, seen a Superman movie, etc. Alien, comes to Earth, poses as reporter, has super powers, weak against rocks. Superman has entered our collective cultural mythology, he stands for something. Hell, in Morrison’s All Star Superman, Kal-El is even reinvented as a classic mythological sun god, right down to the sacrificial death to save us all (and hope of rebirth in the end).
Superman is hope. Superman is humanity at our best. Superman is RAISED by humanity at our best, the Kents find him, raise him, realize their boy has superpowers and embrace the fact (this is done wonderfully in Waid’s Superman: Birthright where Martha Kent is an alien enthusiast, embracing her son’s differences and learning everything she can about them). He sees the good that humanity is capable of and he wants to help us rise to that level.
Maybe this is what makes Superman so difficult to connect with. I say this for two reasons: the first being that we have become so cynical that it seems like we are constantly surrounded by humanity at its worst. The constant stream of information we’re offered in our daily lives is always full of updates on death tolls, environmental disasters, new wars breaking out, old conflicts continuing, etc. It’s hard to believe in something like Superman when we seem to always be confronted with humanity’s darker nature (this is actually why I think many people find it easier to connect with the character of Batman: if Superman has hope for humanity at it’s best, Batman is too aware of humanity at its worst. Superman inspires, Batman protects, Wonder Woman loves.).
The second point is the question of what exactly IS humanity at our best? For many people, Superman being able to kill Zod IS humanity at our best, being able to kill one to save billions. In other cases, the idea of humanity at our best is the idea that redemption is possible for almost everyone, and even the worst deserve that chance. Look at how Superman is handled by Snyder, as well as Miller and Millar, versus Waid and Morrison. Superman, like pretty much any character, acts as a reflection of our own psyche, and when we differ so much on what is Right and Wrong, the character becomes difficult to define.
So where DOES Superman fit in this day and age? I choose to believe that his ideal form is the one that we’re shown as leading us to the better, rising us above. We often mistake “darkness” for “complexity” in a character. Superman doesn’t need to be dark, in fact that rings false to me because Superman IS THE SUN.
But that’s me. That’s my take. Yours is assuredly different. This is why we tell stories. Or something.
Ashly is an IHO Geek contributing writer who will confess to having reread ‘Supergods’ a ridiculous number of times. Tell her how wrong she is on Twitter @newageamazon
So, Game of Thrones is awesome, right? A great show with hot guys, complex relationships, kick ass ladies and dragons. How could you not love this show?
Well, here’s the thing: most of the people I personally know who watch GoT are women. So, extrapolating from that anecdotal data, I have come to the conclusion that there are, like, twelve guys who watch Game of Thrones. I mean, in a perfect world, before writing something like this, I’d be able to look up actual facts that would completely disprove that theory, but we hardly live in a perfect world so we have to face the truth: dudes don’t watch Game of Thrones.
But that can change! To get you started, here’s a few tips on how to convince your boyfriend to watch Game of Thrones:
Let’s face it, there are boobs all over the place in GoT. Like, just when you’re getting comfortable BAM more boobs in your face. And in this situation, that is great. Because guys love boobs. They will do anything to look at boobs, even sit through a plotty fantasy drama. Because boobs.
So, here is what you do: on your next watch-through of the series, just casually pause the TV or your laptop or whatever on a scene with boobs (I’d advise not pausing on anything with gratuitous wang unless your boyfriend is into that stuff). When you BF walks by and sees this, there will be a hypnotic attraction. Then, you unpause and watch as he gets sucked in.
If there’s anything guys like more than boobs, it is blood and violence. Luckily, Game of Thrones has plenty of that. Blood and guts and stabbings all over the place.
Best way to do this is to work it into casual conversation. Say your boyfriend is watching some kind of sport and you happen to see one guy hit another guy really hard. Throw out something like “Damn, he totally Drogo’d that guy.” Then, when your boyfriend asks for an explanation, offer to show him THAT Khal Drogo fight scene.
He’ll be hooked.
HE’LL FINALLY HAVE A REASON TO BELIEVE YOU WHEN YOU SAY “SIZE DOESN’T MATTER”
Tyrion Lannister, need I say more?
Hopefully, this means we can get more guys watching Game of Thrones. But if not, let’s face it, maybe it really is just a show that’s for girls.
Ashly is writer who is sick of hearing about how girls don’t watch Game of Thrones. You can find her on Twitter @newageamazon
The future is bulletproof, the aftermath is secondary.
And the future is here.
After all, today marks the release of the much-anticipated The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys from Dark Horse comics. Written by Eisner Award winner Gerard Way and Shaun Simon, and with art by the amazing Becky Cloonan, the title has been teased since 2009 and is finally arriving in our dirty little hands.
So, I know you’re wondering, has the wait been worth it? Has our loyalty during our 4 year wait for Way’s return to comics (you know, while he was busy with that band of his) been rewarded?
Well, you’re gonna have to be the judge of that. But I sure as hell feel like I’m getting my money’s worth.
Of course, I’ve been following the Killjoys story since the 2010 My Chemical Romance album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. The first two music videos from the album set the scene for the comic, showing us the Killjoys themselves as well as their adversaries at Better Living Industries. It introduced the post-apocalyptic world, the idea of resistance against corporate control and lead antagonist Korse, played by a frock-coat clad Grant Morrison.
I can’t vouch for how well you’ll be able to follow the story without the video background, but luckily this is an easy problem to solve. Here, I’ll solve it for you RIGHT NOW:
Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
Killjoys #1 picks up years after the events of “Sing” and that’s where I’ll leave it plot-wise. I will say that the writing is strong, though like many first issues the pacing seems a bit off (this was a complaint I had with Way’s first Umbrella Academy series as well, to be fair). There’s plenty of intrigue and enough teased but not spelled out to keep you reading through issue #2, and new elements able to be introduced in the comic format, including a look at some seemingly spiritual beliefs in the Zones (in a very appropriately Grant Morrison-meets-Mad Max sort of way) and the long-promised grey morality of the two opposing factions.
Cloonan’s art hits it home. She’s able to make a desolate desert setting absolutely rich in-panel as well as portray the feel of the sort of rebellion the characters portray: it’s fun and games and it’s also deadly. The feel in some ways reminds you of Jamie Hewlett’s Tank Girl (a pretty obvious influence on the series as a whole), but remains firmly Cloonan’s work.
So, now that I’ve pretty much fallen all over myself praising it, do I have anything else to say? Well, yeah. As much as I loved the first issue, and I wanna stress that I did, I do reserve some concerns for the series. First of all, there’s an included element of sex work in the book: two robotic prostitutes are introduced. This is a trope that’s very easy to be exploited or just in general poorly used and I’m hoping Way and Simon steer it in a better direction than most.
My other concern comes from something Way said in an interview with USA Today. While talking about why the story focuses on the character of The Girl, he said “…because that was the message I wanted to convey: This is basically any young woman’s story.” While I applaud Way’s use of a female protagonist in an eagerly awaited title, I have to say that a male writing team telling “any young woman’s story” raises some red flags. Not that I think it will be bad, not that I think they SHOULDN’T, but the fact is that neither Way nor Simon has LIVED a young woman’s story and it speaks to the continued issues in the comic industry that a woman’s story has to be told by a guy. No matter what, Way will be telling the story from the experience of a friend, husband and/or father, not from the experience of being a teenage girl.
Also, while I’m loathe to mention it because I know I’m asking for trouble, I have to say: I really hope “any young woman’s story” doesn’t involve a 30-year-old celebrity bragging about calling her the c-word online via his Twitter profile.
Long story short: grab a copy of Killjoys today. It’s the start to what promises to be a great series with depth and storytelling or at least a lot of laser gun fights. Hopefully, both!
Ashly is an IHO Geek contributing writer who will die with her mask on if she’s got to. You can find her on Twitter @newageamazon