Monday, September 21, 2015

The Continued Hypocrisy of Grumpy Bulldog




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I wrote two whole series of female-centered superhero stories (Tales of the Scarlet Knight and Girl Power respectively) so wouldn't it make sense that I would like female superhero comics?  Such has not been the case recently.  So now I have to call myself out for hypocrisy [again].

A month or two ago I did a mini-review of the soft reboot of the Batgirl comic.  I for the most part liked the original, but the reboot didn't really strike a chord with me.  It just seemed to be pandering to millennials with all this crap about social media and I noted that basically all they did to the character besides change the venue and costume was make her put-upon like Spider-Man.
23472391Recently I read G. Willow Wilson's Ms. Marvel reboot or retooling or whatever you'd call it.  I think it was one of the few things to get a Hugo Award this year.  I had pretty much the same reaction as the Batgirl one:  meh.  People were so ga-ga over it, hailing it as genius and yet it didn't seem that different to me.  Other than the fact that she's a Muslim girl of Pakistani descent.  The whole story of a teenager who develops powers and has to somehow learn what to do with them while trying not to get grounded by parents (or guardians) is a pretty old one.  It most closely reminded me of the Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man that I read.  Add in an underdeveloped bad guy, no decent superhero fights, and the lame cartoony artwork and there wasn't much genius on display.  To sound like a Rabid Puppy it seems like it only got a Hugo because of the Muslim angle.
I also read the first volume of the soft-rebooted Captain Marvel (not the DC Captain Marvel, aka Shazam but the Marvel Captain Marvel that will soon be a movie) and didn't like it either.  That was more that Marvel's space ones don't really appeal to me.  I'm not sure why since I love Star Trek and Star Wars.  Maybe it's because I think superheroes should stay on Earth, though some of the Green Lantern ones haven't been that bad.  Plus since this wasn't a total reboot you had to know a lot of crap that had been going on with Builders and Spartan empires and whatever else and I really wasn't up to speed on any of that.  Nor did I much care.

Besides that I remember I didn't much care for the last run of Wonder Woman comics.  (Boring, repetitive plot and horrid artwork.)  I read a volume of Spider-Woman comics and didn't like those either.  (Lame story where she gets bailed out by the big boys at the end.)  Other than the original New 52 Batgirl it seems I haven't really liked any female superhero comics.  That's pretty hypocritical for someone who wrote all those books, right?

Then I tell myself that it's probably OK because I'm not the target audience for those books anyway.  I'm an almost 38-year-old white guy, so I'm not really the target audience for a comic book about a 16-year-old Muslim girl.  I mean if you are a 16-year-old Muslim girl it's probably pretty awesome to have such a comic book, the same as if there were any fat, nerdy unemployed 38-year-old white guy superheroes that would be awesome to me.  So maybe it's not so bad.

Or maybe I'm a terrible, terrible human being.  I guess in the age of outrage we are supposed to be supportive of all these other cultures and stuff.  But couldn't you throw me a bone with one decent superhero fight?  I'm just saying.  Now get the hell off my lawn.

PS:  Though it doesn't entirely fit, another graphic novel I didn't really like recently was a Superman/Wonder Woman called Whom the Gods Destroy by Chris Claremont, known more for his X-Men run.  Anyway, there was some weird shit, stuff that if I did it no one would publish it.  The comic takes place in an alternate universe where the Nazis still rule Europe in the 80s or 90s or whenever this was from.  They nuked Metropolis in the 60s, which drove Superman to the moon.  Anyway, the Olympian gods start working with the Nazis and at one point Superman becomes a centaur who runs around fucking female centaurs.  The only way to remove the curse is to turn him into a mortal teenage girl, basically Supergirl without the powers.  Because that makes sense, right?  Meanwhile Lois Lane is given Wonder Woman's powers and fights Nazi Wonder Woman.  I guess even I have my limits on weird stuff.

3 comments:

  1. I'm all for creative, out of the box reimagining of stuff. But Superman becoming a centaur...and then a teenaged girl. With Nazi's working with Greek Gods? Huh?????

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  2. I'm with Jay and you on this one: that alternate Nazi storyline sounds way too weird even for me.

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  3. Perhaps you like to write about female superheros because you want to improve on what's already out there? So far (at least when it comes to movies) I also tend to favor guy superheros probably for obvious reasons.

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