Sunday, May 20, 2007

Statues, Kryptonians and lesbians

I was following the MJ statue furore closely but after so many posts I got a little disheartened. It's really good to see so many people talking about it, it's good to see different points of view. However some responses have really bothered me.
The one I'm mostly disturbed by is people saying that MJ looks like a skank, or a whore. Where do people get off judging others for how they dress? There's a lot of hatred behind calling someone a whore. And of course there's the value judgement of being a prostitute is *bad*, it's the worst thing a woman could be. If a woman's a whore, she's not worth anything - she's the lowest of the low. Or am I reading too much into it? It seems to me that people slagging women off based on their style of dress is deeply wrong.
How other's dress has got nothing to do with anyone, except the person themselves. It doesn't tell you about their morality. It seems to me to be running along similar lines of she wore a short skirt she was asking to be raped.
If anyone is reading this, I really would like your thoughts.
Posts that I have enjoyed about MJ are this Nerd Selection one and this livejournal one which talks about other Adam Hughes statues. The Livejournal one makes a lot of good points, and I came away from that post confused about the merits of the statue again. Plus, I love those other statues. Especially the Wonder Woman and Power Girl one. And the Hawkgirl one. And the Zatanna one. Oh. That's all of them you say? Well ok they all rock. Someone buy me them. Please.

In other comic readings, I finally got Runaways 2 and 3, not as ass kickingly awesome as numbers 1 and 6, (but maybe that's due to the hangover), but pretty damn good all the same. The art is lovely, the way the paper is printed is lovely. The characters are written and presented as humans first, men and women second. They have different body types and their personality is shown in each face. It's what the feminist blogosphere has been crying out for!
I for one, love Gert, partly cos she's fat. So rare to see a fat chick in comics. She has attitude.
And I'm so pleased by the lesbian relationship! That is one of the reasons I wanted to pick the books up, it's a lesbian relationship that is presented as normal, and not as 'other'.
(and for a wordy book equivalent of this check out Tamora Pierce's 'Magic in the Weaving'

Supergirl number 16 and 17. *SPOILERS to end of post*

Now I really liked the origin story number 16. A different spin on Jor-el, Zor-el revealed not be an insane nutter, a reason given for Kara's instructions to kill Superman. It explained the crystals a bit, thought I'd still like to know exactly how they are implanted in her and how that works. Good stuff I thought.
And then in number 17 they ruin it by hinting that it's not Zor-el who is speaking to Kara, it's two other mystery people. Now that sucks. And then the other Supergirl turns up.
I didn't read 52 but I do know the conclusion reintroduced the multiverse. And as I have also read theories saying that this Kara's Krypton is different to Superman's Krypton, (something to do with crystals and hair apparently, I should really pick up Superman), I assume that the Kara we have known so far is from a different universe. I hate guessing plotlines. Especially when I'm right. Hopefully I'll be wrong.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

MJ, again

And I'd also like to add that I love that MJ took the surname of Watson-Parker when she married. That is awesome. Whenever I discuss with people the merits of retaining your own name of taking a double barreled one after marriage I am met with confused looks.

That MJ statue...

Yeah, so there's been posts all over the internet about that new MJ statue, you can view it on the Digital Femme blog, which includes a link to the art it was based on.
I don't think I've ever before given my comments about the latest furore on the 'net, but this time I thought I had something to add. So here goes.

I don't like the statue, MJ's proportions are off, it looks weird. I like it even less when you get the 360 degrees photos. When people have commented that it's bad art, I have agreed. It's rather odd that of all the things to produce a statue of, they've produced one of MJ doing Peter's laundry. It can definitely be read as a woman's place is in the home, looking after her man. I don't like that.

However, I also think that I've done hand washing in my fancy clothes before. I've also done hand washing in tracky bottoms and baggy t-shirts before. It depends on what I'm wearing at the time. So I can totally buy that MJ is doing handwashing in pearls, a thong, tight-ass jeans and a plunging top. If that's what she was wearing anyway that day. And you know, she's a top model right, she wears stuff like that. I'd be surprised if anyone changed clothes just to do the handwashing.
Maybe she'd just doing him a favour handwashing the suit. Maybe the washing machine has broken.
I can also buy that she's in that cheesecakey provocative pose. Maybe Spidey has just walked in and she's flirting with him, and has arched herself just for a second. Hell, I do that for my boyfriend all the time.
So maybe it's not so bad.

But then again, I notice the height of the bucket; she'd have to be bent down all the time to use that. Or realistically sitting down, or kneeling. She's a tall lady, she will get backache bending down for too long. Especially with breasts (trust me, I know about large boobs).
Actually, realistically, she'd be doing the washing in a sink.

And MJ is a tough independent woman. Why not put her in a pose that reflects that? Unless they were going for the flirty tease Peter thing, and think it's an independent woman controlling her sexuality or something.

Then I remember that it's probably designed for fanboys to wank over.
And I think of all the other superhero statues made.
And I sigh and remember that the site producing this has removed all the comments complaining about the statue, and left the comments praising it.
And the statue is apparently already sold out.
And I realise again that this statue is a by-product of all the sexism in society.

I rather like Digital Femme's idea of adding a second statue "featuring Peter Parker wearing a towel and Spider-Man booties while grinning sheepishly". That would work.

For lots more links to other blogs discussing this have a peek at When Fangirls Attack.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I'm with the Bat..

Nearly. I'm getting to know Batman a bit better lately. He's growing on me. (Although for my non superpowered male hero kicks I think I'll still go for Green Arrow. Got the Moving Targets trade recently. Awesome. )
Anyway, I read Arkham Asylum yesterday. Written by Grant Morrison. Illustrated by Dave McKean. He who drew Wolves in the Walls. It's wonderful. His drawing rocks. everyone should go have a look.

That's all.

The problem with relaunching superheroes

Or more specifically, the problem with relaunching Power Pack.
I first came across Power Pack in the back of the Thundercats comics in the 80s. They were awesome. Even when the Thundercats stories turned into tripe it was worth getting the comics for the short Power Pack strips. I recently went on ebay and bought the majority of the run of the 80s Power Pack comics, and man, they are still fantastic. Well they got a little odd and silly towards the end, but the final issue, the holiday special, that cleared up and wiped out the previous rubbish plotlines made up for it.
Louise Simonson was the original writer for the Power Pack, and she is good. She also did some of the Death of Superman storylines - but to be honest I preferred the Pack stuff.
Anyway, a few years ago (I guess) Marvel decided to relaunch Power Pack. I eventually got round to buying volume 1 in the digest size edition, and, well, it sucked. It was boring. the characterisation was off. It was told from Katie's perspective but she didn't feel like a real little girl anymore. Too cutesy, not enough depth. I didn't like it.
For some reason I thought I'd pick up the X-Men/Power Pack crossover trade, The Power of X, from the library the other day. probably just to confirm my suspicions that it remained bad. It was. So I'm gonna tell you what is wrong:
  • Katie suddenly using her powers to hurt people, willingly. Ok she's defending herself. But the Katie I know went through a massive guilt period because she'd nearly destroyed one of the Snarks. She then decided not to use her powers. She didn't want to hurt anyone anymore, she didn't think it was right. I don't care if it's a bad guy, (In this case The Marauders), she wouldn't do that. You're taking away her maturity for the sake of a (crappy) fight.
  • Julie telling a science conference the origin of their powers (posed as a hypothetical origin). This is not Julie. She's the cautious one. Sure, she wants their parents to know, but not like that!
  • Power Pack suiting up and fighting in plain sight at the above mentioned science conference, where their folks are also attending. And not even using Jack's cloud cover! Or getting masks!
  • Shouldn't Beast have heard of Power Pack? I mean, they're good friends with Logan, and Shadowcat.
  • Julie's boyfriend. Ok, so I figure they've got older. But Julie is definitely not more than 15. She's probably not more than 14 or 13. So how come she has a boyfriend that is doing a science internship? I mean, how old do you have to be for that, 18?, 19? At least. Certainly not left than 18. So 14 year old Julie, with an 18+ year old boyfriend. Ewwww.
  • Julie is in an off kilter, tilted semi-coquettish pose on the cover. Jesus she's a young kid! That's wrong.

And the stories don't flow. This comic sucks.