WoQW: New Rules (With All Do Apologies To Bill Maher.)

“Words

Boobs Don't Work this Way

New Rule: If you have more detractors than fans you probably shouldn’t be the cover artist on Justice League of America. In case you’re not one to frequent When Fangirls Attack it seems that a significant number of female comic readers aren’t exactly found of the way that Michael Turner portrays female characters on their cover. This has perplexed a number of comic fans, who are probably also shocked to find out that most Black comic readers aren’t that fond of how Will Eisner drew Ebony and that few people consider Chop-Chop too positive portrayal of Asian Americans. Yet still I see a number of comic readers making half-assed defenses of Michael Turner or resorting to outright foaming at the mouth insanity.

Saying that artists with completely different styles, is not a reasonable response to these criticisms, nor is ranting incoherently about ‘shrieking harpy feminazis.’ While discussions of art frequently spill over into matters of personal preference, saying something like “This artist is an acquired taste” isn’t the same as going “this really isn’t offensive” when people clearly are offended. One blogger stated “Looking at this cover makes me feel like Michael Turner just walked up to me, came on my face, and then left.” Try convincing her it’s not offensive.

New at Hot Topic New Rule: Enough with the Marvel Zombies already. I still haven’t gotten around to reading the trade of the first Marvel Zombies trade, much less Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness. Lets not forget the upcoming Marvel Zombies: Dead Days and the tie-in issues of Black Panther. It’s a one joke concept that probably shouldn’t have made it past 3 issues. Now I can’t blame Marvel for realizing this franchise isn’t going to be around in an long run so they might as well milk it for all it’s worth. What I can blame is the damned Emo Teens at Hot Topic, many of whom probably don’t even read comics but still think that they’re the bees knees if they own a Zombie Spider-Man hoodie. Thanks to them we’ll probably keep seeing new Marvel Zombies books for another three to four years.

New Rule: As much as I love The Absorbascon, I’m Sorry Scipio but DC fans should never be ones to argue that replacement characters don’t work. DC is the house that replacement characters built. The only reason the Silver Age happened is because Julie Schwartz realized that the kids in 1956 might not go for the same type of aesthetic as the kids of 1939. Hence why Barry Allen came into being. Sure there have been a lot ill-advised replacement characters over the years, but hot damn it I’m sick aging bronze age fans get worked up simply because I like the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle.

New Rule: Joe Quesada can’t pretend the “Dead Means Dead” policy of the Bill Jemas-era is still in place while Marvel’s promoting the “The Quest for Magik” arc of New X-Men. Speaking of New X-Men Christopher Yost, and Daniel Craig should have to bring back a character for each one they’ve taken out of the Marvel pen’s toy-box. I was waiting for that Quill spin-off book dammit!

Steel Package New Rule: Superhero comics need more bulges in men’s tights. The recent blow-up regarding Alex Ross‘s rather reserved depiction of Commander Steel’s Junk if anything highlights the rather ugly double standard in comics where the women are frequently drawn in anatomically impossible positions to show off as much boob, crotch, and butt as possible, while the men are drawn like Ken dolls. If you don’t have a problem with the way Michael Turner draws people maybe that would change if he started drawing junk the way he draws hooters.

New Rule: Ok… I can believe a man can fly, but Washington DC being sacked by a group of women on horseback with nothing more technologically than catapults? Is the creative team behind Amazons Attack pulling some kind of prank on us? Quick, everyone try act surprise when the real mystery villain turns out to be Circe (for the 4th time in year) or Ares!

New Rule: Eddie Brock should be redesigned in the comics to look like Topher Grace. I’m realizing I’m in the minority but I think Sam Raimi made the right choice in having Eddie be a younger guy in the film, as Venom is supposed to be the moral inversion of Spider-Man.

Thing is it got me to think about how Brock was presented in the comics, and I realized that Todd McFarlane actually got Eddie’s design all wrong years ago. If Spider-Man’s philosophy is “With Great Power Comes Responsibility” Brock’s has consistently been “It’s not my fault.” Remember Brock’s original motivation for hating Spider-Man in the comic? He was upset because Spider-Man’s capture of a serial killer inadvertently caused him to lose his job. Never mind the fact that Brock was violating several rules of responsible journalism by interviewing a random crackpot claiming to be the real killer. He refused to take any responsibility.

Then when Venom was in his “Lethal Protector” anti-hero mode how did they write off all of the innocent people Venom killed? They were “accidents” he insisted. He was a protector of the innocent. He was a victim. And just who was the first non-symbiot “villains” Venom faced? The Jury, a group of people who lost family members to Venom’s previous rampages… but yet again Eddie never took any responsibilities for his actions.

Finally when Eddie Brock was dying with cancer what did he do? He sold the Venom Suit to a bunch of bloodthirsty mobsters. Since he gave the money to charity he thought he wasn’t responsible for the violence that would surely ensue. Eddie Brock shouldn’t look like this huge buffed up 80s pro wrestler, it doesn‘t fit his victimization complex. He should be this weasel little guy who one wouldn’t guess would pose a threat to Spider-Man who keeps screwing up and violently blaming everyone else for his lot in life.

Deathstroke

New Rule: Bad guys need to be punished. I’m not calling for a return of the days when we saw Superman hauling off Lex Luthor to jail each issue, but for crying out loud I’m not cool with villains getting away with certain things. Case in point, the recent Titans East story arc which explained Batgirl’s recent villainous activities by revealing she was brainwashed by Deathstroke The Terminator. By the end of issue Teen Titans #44 I was on my feet waiting with baited breath for the scene where Cassandra Cain gives Slade Wilson the beatdown of a lifetime. You can imagine my disappointment with the last two issues of the storyline in which not only did Batgirl not beat Slade within an inch of his life, she got bonked on the head by virtually everyone in the book like it was a running gag.

Even if I was to forgive the horrible writing Cassandra Cain’s been subject to for the last year, the fact is Slade shouldn’t have walked away at the end of the story and gone “I meant to do that.” Likewise Black Mask shouldn’t have gotten to run free for over a year after killing two heroes in War Games. There’s no good reason why Doctor Light hasn’t punished for the events of Identity Crisis. Also did the events of the most recent issues of Amazing Spider-Man make Daredevil look like the biggest tool for letting Kingpin go or what?

This doesn’t mean I’m demanding that Batgirl actually kill Deathstroke, like she threatened to at the end of Teen Titans #44. We don’t need more grim & gritty Punisher style heroes. I’d be perfectly content for a return to the days when villains frequently died or were crippled by their own hands. Read the Essential Luke Cage and you’ll get a perfect how-to primer on ways to sadistically, ironically punish your bad guy without turning your hero into a murderer. Look at the response on Comicbloc or Scans Daily any other moderately comic discussion site, and ask yourself would these fans really have been less satisfied if the Titans East storyline ended with Slade falling off a tall building or hit by a speeding truck?

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