Magnus, Robot Fighter #1

Right, so, let’s go back in time to the beginning of Magnus, ROBOT FIGHTER! for some context. Surely context will show how great this is.

 

 

Doesn’t look too bad, right? He’s talking about an important work of literature and how bad that time black people were enslaved was. Okay, a little focused on just “being enslaved is bad” with no mention of race but hey, take a few lines out of any discussion of literature and it’s going to seem like it’s too focused on one thing and missing the other ones, right? He’s totally not thinking this is all about him or anything.

Our two main speaking characters are this guy and the male robot overmind, so all dialogue is with one of them, and the only topics of conversation are Frederick Douglass and a boy’s grandfather. We eventually leave the school and he goes to find his wife, who’s talking to a man about a threshing machine, who is being referred to as female. As the threshing machine has an AI for some reason (cruel joke?) one can debate that it’s actually female. In that case, we do get a Bechdel test in the first issue because after talking to the guy she addresses the machine he owns. In a sane world, it’s a threshing machine, not a woman, and we have no idea if it even knows what gender is or if they’re just calling it female because people refer to machines as female a lot, and also the script at the back of the comic uses “it”,

Moira then tells Magnus she’s pregnant, yay!

The creepy old guy in the background is the robot overmind, and yes, it is watching them have sex. As far as I can tell this has nothing to do with anything, it just happens.

Having fulfilled the quota of Strong Female Characters by having a little girl included in karate class and a sexy mechanic wife, it’s time for manly man bonding where Magnus goes fishing with the robot overmind, who incidentally he views as a father, so he just had sex with his wife with his dad watching. The robotic overmind, for some reason, gets into an argument about how it can’t feel love and he shouldn’t think of it as his dad despite the fact it’s on a fishing trip with him just because he wanted to fish.

I’m assuming the conversation is meant to be super important later on due to how jarring it is, but either I’ve missed it or it’s still to come.

Then suddenly the town is under attack, then it dissolves like it’s all a simulation.

Remember that from the very start, it’s been obvious that the world he was in was never real. It’s not going to do anything to stop him from how he reacts when he finds his “wife”.

The troops storming in to stop the robot overmind…

Yeah, they’re guys. It’s going to be guys and token women for the rest of this.

Robot dad leaves him with apologies and the promise that the peace and harmony he grew up in can be gotten back if he fights hard enough, and somehow he finds Frederick Douglass’ book on the ground. Running out, he finds out that the culturally diverse crowd he finds himself in are actually all secret robots, and because he is apparently a secret robot racist, he flips the fuck out and goes to find REAL PEOPLE who are made of MEAT like they’re supposed to be. He tries going to the huge labeled building, and the secretary with the digital female face tricks him into reading a captcha so they can scan his eyes and realize he’s an unregistered human.

So yes, this is going to be Slavery Is Wrong If You’re A White Guy Oppressed By Robots: The Comic

 

 

 

I will say that this is a very accurate depiction of what a white guy responding to perceived oppression looks like in our culture.

And we end with totally not sexualized Strong Female Character showing up to be a hateful bitch and shoot the psychotic man tearing people apart while screaming everything is their fault and he didn’t mean to hurt anybody. She’s such an unreasonable hateful bitch.

Join me next time for issue two, “If You Object To Me Writing Jive-talking Caricatures You’re The Real Racist!”

62 Comments

  1. Roarke says:
    Her first line is about dudes jerking off.
    Such heels. Much practical. Wow.
    I need a third one to round this out.
    1. Farla says:
      They are so practical! See, most women are vapid worthless anorexic whores because they wear thin high heels. But she is a Strong Female Character who wears totally practical thick high heels because she doesn’t care what men think of her! That’s also why she wears a skintight suit with pouches sewn onto it, I think.

      In conclusion, COMICS.

      1. Roarke says:
        I mean, as far as skintight suits with pouches sewn/strapped to it, I do believe Solid Snake was here first.
        edit: MGS is a third-person game, and Snake’s ass has its own fandom. Not even a joke.
        1. Radio says:
          I’ve seen this dude pulled out several times as an argument for why gaming/comics aren’t full of sexism, and I feel obligated to point out that if this is the only dude you can compare against hundreds of women that’s pretty telling.
          1. Roarke says:
            Oh, I’m not trying to say that gaming/comics aren’t full of sexism; that’s absurd. Even in the Metal Gear Series, there are more women in skintight clothing than men. I’m just pointing out that in this specific case of this kind of clothing (skintight suit with pouches) more or less came from this guy, as far as I know.
            1. Farla says:
              No no no.

              It was the nineties and they were terrible. MGS was 1998, well after the insanity was commonplace, and he’s in a skintight outfit because it’s a wetsuit used for sneaking in, as opposed to because the artist traced a naked woman and then colored her like she had clothing. As SpoonyViking says, Liefield.

              Reply
              1. Roarke says:
                I am going to pretend I did not click that.
              2. Roarke says:
                Error: unsee.exe not found.
              3. Farla says:
                Already going mad? And you didn’t even see someone’s edit of what he’d look like underneath yet.
              4. Roarke says:
                Okay, any further and I’m going to have to retaliate with more of MGS4. Believe me; you don’t want that.
              5. Roarke says:
                That’s probably my favorite Liefeld, too. Of course I have no intention of working my way through the menu to find something better.
              6. Roarke says:
                Actually here is a “good” example of some 90’s skintight fashion: The Vault Suits from the original Fallout.

                http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080728001644/fallout/images/9/99/FO1_Vault_Dwellers.jpg

              7. actonthat says:
                Gahhh that is not how boobs work, they are not separate entities that insist on individual encapsulation. What would that even look like off the character??

                (Rhetorical question, answer is this.)

              8. Roarke says:
                Yeah, I dig what you’re saying, but Fallout 1/2 can do no wrong in my eyes so I’m pretending not to hear it. They get a pass, like most computer games I played at the age of 11.
              9. actonthat says:
                :P I feel you. I recently saw Angewoman again for the first time in years and was like NOPE BACK TO MY CHILDHOOD VIEW OF EVERYTHING AS PURE.
              10. Roarke says:
                Thank you for your understanding. The list of things that get a free pass is limited basically to Fallout, some YA fiction I read in middle school, and certain older shows on Cartoon Network. I won’t entertain criticism of them.
            2. Farla says:
              Well, technically…I’ve only seen 1-3, but I don’t think there’s been any fully naked women, while there was a lot of one naked guy in MGS2.
              Reply
              1. Roarke says:
                In MGS4, there are four bosses that are women with exosuits themed to whatever animals they were pretending to be. When you beat them, the exoskeletons would fall apart to reveal skinsuits. And… you know what, here.

                This is an actual easter egg in the actual game. There’s one for each of them, I think.

              2. Roarke says:
                You are at least correct in that the earlier games, MGS3 in particular, are almost stunningly progressive by the standards of the time (which is kind of sad). The women in MGS3 are pretty much all some combination of cool and badass, and often more self-assured than the main character, Snake, who is like the manliest of manly mans.
              3. SpoonyViking says:
                I’d argue the only actually strong female character in all of the Metal Gear series is MG3’s The Boss.
              4. Roarke says:
                I would give EVA a little more credit than that. You’d think she wasn’t a good one because she was more traditionally feminine and used sex as a weapon and such, but she did legitimately kick ass. Also she got impaled on a tree branch and kept going; that’s kind of hardcore.

                She isn’t on the Boss’s level, I suppose, but then nobody really is. Still, I found it interesting how painfully awkward and confused Snake got every time EVA made any overt attempt to seduce him. That was a great way to subvert the generic manly-man image.

              5. SpoonyViking says:
                I don’t see her as not being a strong female character just because she’s more traditionally feminine; that would imply that power = masculinity, and I don’t believe so. :-) I think she’s not a SFC because the game is constantly sexualizing her (to the point she acts more like a pin-up model than a spy on a dangerous mission) and because she becomes so obsessed with Big Boss (sorry, so “in love” with BB) that she accepts being impregnated with his genetic material to give birth to his clones regardless of whether he would be aware of it or not.
              6. Roarke says:
                I mean, the point of her mission was to seduce Big Boss and steal the chip, which she succeeded in doing, or would have if not for Ocelot. So she already gets the better of the main character.

                Also, when she’s impaled on that tree branch, it’s set up like there’s going to be an “I love you” scene, where Snake is all “I need you.” But then he adds “I can’t pilot the WIG by myself.” Despite that kind of terrible subversion of her and the audience’s expectation, she laughs it off and pushes herself off something that impaled her through the abdomen.

                So sure, maybe the way the game highlights her sexuality damns her on principle. But I think she’s a badass who has a pair at least as big as Snake’s.

              7. SpoonyViking says:
                I’d argue there’s a difference between her seducing Naked Snake and her “seducing” the player, but I think it would lead to a long, rambling and, ultimately, unsatisfying discussion. :-)
                I’ll give you that she had her moments, though, even if I do think the “motorcycle shoryuken” was too over-the-top.
              8. Roarke says:
                Over-the-top but deeply amusing.

                There is definitely a difference between her seducing the player and seducing Snake. In the interest of avoiding the long and fruitless discussion, I’ll own that the way she is presented to the player is awful and objectified, but when you take Snake’s reactions (basically being terribly awkward and shunning any overt affections), it seems like they reverse the stereotype of an overbearing guy who wears down a fragile woman. This in itself is a problem, because reversing stereotypes doesn’t fix them, but it’s leagues better than meek little wimminz. It’s refreshing to see someone take the initiative romantically.

              9. SpoonyViking says:
                I’ve read that they originally wanted the Beauty & the Beast Corps to be naked under the suits, but that would raise the game’s age rating too much for it to still be commercially viable.

                It’s an internet story without any links as evidence, mind you, so take it with a grain of salt.

                Besides, Sniper Wolf and Meryl were already very sexualized even back in MGS1. I mean, at one point you had to recognize Meryl by the way she swayed her hips!

              10. SpoonyViking says:
                Yeah, and people will never let poor Raiden live that one down. :-P
                I find it interesting, though, that the only man in the series who was fully stripped by his enemies was the one with a more effeminate beauty, as opposed to the more traditionally masculine Solid Snake.
        2. Farla says:
          See, that’s not actually skintight with pouches sewn in. He’s clearly got leather strips forming a harness that the pouches are attached to.

          (This is important because skintight material is stretchy, so if you tried to make it support heavy pouches, it wouldn’t work. A leather belt over skintight material would be fine.)

          1. Roarke says:
            I did say stitched/strapped, but yeah.
        3. actonthat says:
          Well, the difference is that there’s nothing sexualized about Snake’s jumpsuit, while Senorita Bellybutton Boobwindow up there is all male gaze. Male power fantasy =/= female sex fantasy etc etc etc you know the drill.
          1. EdH says:
            I dunno, the straps do make Snake’s ass really focused on, but probably not as much as Artist’s Possible Fetish there (I really wanted to use Senorita Bellybutton Boobwindow, but I fear if I used it I would sully Act’s genius). Now that does bring up the question of what would Snake’s straps look like if he’s sexualized…
      2. SpoonyViking says:
        As for skintight suits with pouches and belts, I blame Liefeld.
        1. Farla says:
          A belt would actually make it less ridiculous, though.
          1. SpoonyViking says:
            You think? I don’t know, I think it would only provide a visual frill without actually improving anything.
  2. actonthat says:
    a) What is going on with the collar of her coat what is that even supposed to be.

    b) Why is she being followed around by Wheatly?

    c) My favorite (cough) part about heels in comics is that even when someone is smart/some woman is brave enough to point out heels are stupid, the manboys still draw women as if they’re wearing heels. So you have women posing and walking around on their tiptoes, as if the whole reason we wear heels is that our ankles can’t actually bend or something.

    1. Farla says:
      a) What is going on with the collar of her coat what is that even supposed to be.

      Giant collars and other fluff are used to pretend the person is wearing actual clothes without losing the vital bodypaint look on everything clothes would normally obscure.

      b) Why is she being followed around by Wheatly?

      Because Portal 2 came out a couple years earlier and for comics, a few years out of date is considered cutting edge.

      HA you thought these were rhetorical questions but no, comics is predictably shitty enough that I can actually answer this stuff.

      So you have women posing and walking around on their tiptoes, as if the whole reason we wear heels is that our ankles can’t actually bend or something.

      I’m suspicious they’re using barbie dolls as models. Cheaper than proper artist’s models and it also matches their grasp of how boobs behave.

      1. actonthat says:
        Liefeld is on record saying his references are “everything from Victoria’s Secret to Maxim,” and never has phraseology explained more.

        edit: Fixed the quote to actually be accurate, said PB instead of VS originally.

        1. EdH says:
          Which amuses/confuses me, because that means he didn’t notice the fact Maxim and Playboy models have spines.
          1. Roarke says:
            Not at all. He’s just taking the desire that every man has – for his women to be spineless – to the literal extreme.
            1. Farla says:
              I guess saying you reference Victoria’s Secret is actually a lot less humiliating than saying you’re basing it off blow-up dolls.
              Reply
              1. Roarke says:
                Wahahahaha! I was just being figurative, but I like that much better.
  3. guestest ever says:
    Robot dad is watching you (have sex) would be the raddest tagline for a comic. So much wasted potential here…

    Also the dude is breaking robots because he’s obviously the hero. When’s the last time you saw a comic where heroes don’t solve everything with ludicrous amounts of violence? Besides they’re robots, why would anyone make robots if they didn’t want them to get wrecked?

    Also also Ms Ovarypouch comes walking on a tightrope line because she has aspirations to become a model some day and not because the drawer didn’t know what real walking looks like.

    1. Roarke says:
      Kotomine Robot Dad likes to watch.
    2. Farla says:
      The worst part is the ludicrous amounts of violence are doled out so predictably. You could probably analyze how many pages it takes per issue to reach the fight scene and make a computer generate it for you.
  4. EdH says:
    Someday, beyond Animal Man, we’ll get a superhero who actually has a happy family, and instead of fake memories, they’re actually real, just feels fake. Maybe even willing to talk before violence like what good police officers would do (emphasis on good). And even a female with good shoes so they can actually kick and, for the stealthy ones, CLIMB!

    But… (Saturday cartoon jingle) COMICS

    1. Farla says:
      Oh, they have.

      Then the families die.

      Sometimes they make one and promise that this time, the family will remain alive.

      Then they switch writers and the family dies.

      Also, sometimes the character dies instead/in addition to.

      1. SpoonyViking says:
        “Then they switch writers[…]”

        THIS. This, and editorial messing with creative input. Those are the reasons why I’ve given up on traditional comics.
        Well, those and the annoyance at a lack of actual character growth. :-)
        [shameless suggestion]That said, “Spider-Girl” did have a heroine with an actual family life and who usually tried to solve things by talking first.[/shameless suggestion] :-D

        1. EdH says:
          It’s like they want to make everyone Batman, and forget that Batman had other things going for him besides no family. It’s almost like executives (some of who were former writers) just straight up forget that it’s other nuances that makes the characters work, not just super grim loneliness/single life is so cool.

          I’ve heard good things about Spider Girl, so maybe I’ll take a look.

          1. SpoonyViking says:
            “It’s like they want to make everyone Batman[…]”
            Which sums up the main issue with the “Man of Steel” movie. :-) Well, there are others (namely, that Snyder and Goyer are hacks), but that was the movie’s original sin, I’d say.

            Do check out Spider-Girl, it’s great! And if you do enjoy it, I’d recommend checking out the whole MC2 universe, especially the “A-Next” and “Avengers Next” limited series.

          2. Farla says:
            Batman’s actually a victim of this too! He’ll develop a supporting cast and then they’ll murder it. The really iconic characters can’t be murdered, so instead, all THEIR supporting characters get murdered. For example, when Robin went off to protect a different city, the city blew up. I think the newest Batgirl was also hanging out there. (That was before she was turned evil on the basis her parents were evil and Marvel has a policy of telling kids that people can never overcome the circumstances of their birth.)
            1. Falconix says:
              And then there’s Wonder Woman, who can’t keep a supporting cast whenever there’s a change of writers.

              (Also, I think you meant DC there; Marvel is too enamoured with redemption themes to do what DC’s done in that department.)

              Reply
        2. Farla says:
          [shameless suggestion]That said, “Spider-Girl” did have a heroine with an actual family life and who usually tried to solve things by talking first.[/shameless suggestion]

          And that’s why they’ve now triple retconned away her existence – the marriage was undone, the multiverse is collapsing again, AND there’s people multiverse-hopping just to eat “spider totem” people.

          Comics.

          1. SpoonyViking says:
            You want to know what I find the funniest? Joe Quesada, the editor responsible for the series’ repeated threats of cancelation (and, finally, the actual cancelation) claims he’s a fan of Spider-Girl.

            Yeah. Comics.

            1. illhousen says:
              Nah, that’s just politics. You can’t really expect him to say something like “Yeah, I don’t care much about this comic, so we are cancelling it”.

              While I am not big on comics scene and don’t know what he said, I presume it was a variation of “Oh, I would love to continue this comic, I am a big fan in fact, but, alas, the demand is not sufficient enough, given our budget. You see, comic industry faces certain difficulties, so we are forced to tie our belts…” and so on.

              Reply
              1. SpoonyViking says:
                Oh, no, I’m fully aware of the hypocrisy in his statement. :-)
              2. illhousen says:
                My point is that it’s not unique to comics. It’s common among any type of franchise.
  5. Gotta love the part where they whitewash Frederick Douglass’ picture on the book cover. I thought it was a mistake, then I double checked, and triple checked. But no. On top of all the other grossness they whitewash Frederick Douglass just to be sure that this isn’t a discussion about race in any way that detracts from the narrative.

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