Tag: Comics

Empowered (Comic)

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!

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…)

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 #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 (Comics, it’s the character’s name.) The Plague Ships

One of the things I’ve realized about myself is I don’t make good choices in media. And I mean much worse than the part where I’m running a blog dissecting terrible books.

As I’ve mentioned before, I really like the idea of zombies and apocalypses and horror. Unfortunately, I’m not a gore fan, I’m a story fan, which means I am pretty much continually disappointed. The fact I tend not to find anything good just makes me keep looking.

Which leads us to reading this comic. It’s about vampires, which have an even poorer track record in comics than zombies. But, it’s about Europe being devastated by plague and the vampires picking over the carcass. Plague makes for a generally great apocalypse and I really love the idea of monsters springing up right when it looks like we might not make it already. Really grinds the hopelessness in. And as it develops, they go with the quite serviceable idea that the vampires and/or mass plague deaths are serving to wake up or spontaneously generate new horrors, which in turn generates more fear and death, which generates new horrors, because the idea the horror generation can be exponential is great.

But…while it’s on the competently executed side of things, it is very much competently done comics, with all the usual caveats this involves. Namely, I sure hope no one picked this book up for the women, and I hope you’ll find it entertaining watching a guy mowing down vampires that seem to have the durability of sponge cake as our supposed threat. (I will credit the comic as mostly focusing the suspense on other aspects, like if he’ll be in the right place to mow down vampires before they kill people, but it still has pages upon pages of fight scenes where he is obviously in no danger.) (more…)