This is probably about as good on all fronts as comics are currently capable of getting. If that sounds like damning with faint praise, that’s because it is.
So, I just found out Empowered (or at least the first volume) is now online as a webcomic.
Empowered is a comic about a superhero who gets her powers from her suit, which unfortunately is incredibly sheer and revealing, and double unfortunately can be torn apart by basically anything, so she generally ends up getting depowered and tied up in sexually suggestive ways while people make sexually suggestive or just flat out sexual comments. And every time I try to figure out how to explain how this is true but at the same time it’s actually really good and it’s got characterization and reasons and decency to it, I can’t. But I don’t have to now because you can just look at it yourself thanks to the magic of internet links.
Empowered: it’s way better than it sounds, and not just because it sounds incredibly awful!
Agents of the Realm
The cringily cliche title of this modern, Western take on the magical girl genre doesn’t do it justice — this is an excellent comic. I’m pushing this post out with kind of Lite analysis because the creator is running a kickstarter right now to get physical copies printed, and you all should def support her!
Why Is Rorschach So Beloved By Fans?
Warning: there will be heavy spoilers for Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen graphic novel (and, by extension, for the movie) here. Also, I urge you guys to first read this article (again, beware of spoilers), which compares and contrasts the portrayal of the Comedian and sexual minorities in the original comic and in the Before Watchmen prequel (written and drawn by a different team). Not that its contents are directly related to what I’ll be talking about; I just think it’s awful that not only Darwyn Cooke (the writer) is portraying a rapist and murderer as some sort of rugged anti-hero, lesbians as sexual fantasies for straight men and homosexuals as morally-bankrupt deviants, but that others (including famous comic writers like Grant Morrison) are praising his writing!
Anyway, on to THIS article. (more…)
Fiction and Personal Growth, Part 1
Can people change, for better or worse? Can a person truly let go of a part of their personality, their self, especially if it’s to fill the void with something else? I’m not talking about the changes we are (hopefully) forced to go through as we grow older (for instance, children have no concept of boundaries, but one expects adults to have already learned those at their age), nor about the little things such as likes and dislikes (“Yeah, I used to love that show, but nowadays I can’t get past how campy it is”); rather, I’m talking about the big things (or possibly a whole bunch of little things that all add up) on the scale of “Can a murderer truly repent for what he did – not because he was punished, but because he came to acknowledge that the act of murder itself is wrong?”.
Well, to be even more precise, what I’m really going to talk about is how fiction tends to deal with that kind of thing. Then again, the best stories always reflect something of real life, even if only an idealized version of it, so I’d be very surprised if nothing we discuss here can be applied to our own world.
Warning: there will be HEAVY spoilers for Kieron Gillen’s run on Journey Into Mystery, Al Ewing’s current run on Loki: Agent of Asgard, and Nobuhiro Watsuki’s manga Rurouni Kenshin. You have been warned! (more…)
Magnus, Robot Fighter #3 Part 2
The answer? (more…)
Magnus, Robot Fighter #3 Part 1
So, we’ve reached the third issue. Let’s see that opening again!
Heroic Legends of the Modern Age: The Flash
Hello again, everyone!
So, at first I thought of doing the opposite of what Farla’s been doing: instead of presenting all the awful things that comic book writers and artists do, I’d present good comics. But then I realized that was a silly proposition – I could present good comics (or good things by bad comics), but that doesn’t negate the fact that the comics industry as a whole has some deeply ingrained issues regarding gender, race, a general fear and hatred of changes and, well, a whole lot of things.
However, while re-reading The Flash, volume 2, I was struck by lightning (appropriately enough) and decided to go on a different direction: a brief discussion on how the characterisation of super-heroes and the genre as a whole has changed over the years. To help keep things brief, I’ll focus solely on the Flash, specifically the aforementioned second volume, but much of what I’ll be addressing can be applied to other characters.
Magnus, Robot Fighter #2
Featuring more murder, more heels, and a fresh helping of racism. Objecting to any of this means you are literally Hitler. (more…)
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. (more…)
Magnus, Robot Fighter – Introduction
Scans Daily posted some pages of this mess that had to do with the Bechdel test, then, being generally unreliable, proceed to not understand the Bechdel test and defend sexism, because they’re a progressive comm like that.
(They also kept up the Mako Mori test bullshit. SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT MAKO MORI. The fact your fun robot movie flunked the test because it had no other female characters even speak on camera is not a sign you need to write an entirely new test that boils down to a different yes/no question about the portrayal of women, but removes the ability to objectively measure it in return for making it so only a few types of characters can ever pass, because wahh it’s being mean to Pacific Rim precious baby movie has precious feelings!) (more…)
Baltimore: The Infernal Train
When last we left off in Baltimore…
A fridged woman managed to some extra plot devicing in with a curse, which we will shortly see is even more of a failure on her part than just dying would’ve been.
The story actually improves for this one, although it’s still not that great. (more…)
Baltimore: The Widow, The Tank, The Inquisitor
So another thing you have to be wary of with comics is that if they sell, they keep getting written, even if those involved have used up their good ideas. This segment will showcase this along with the fact comics hate women. (more…)
Baltimore: Dr. Leskovar’s Remedy & The Play
We return to the misogynistic world of comics Baltimore.
Things look less terrible this time, though! (more…)
Baltimore: The Curse Bells
With a new arc come new disappointments. But first!
This is the best female character in the series. Get to know her, but don’t get attached.
Also, remember my warning when I was doing Crossed about comic books and depicting terrible stuff for shock value? That has not stopped being a thing comics do.