Words of Questionable Wisdom: The Statue of Limitations
By Paul Sebert
It started innocently enough with a single live journal thread on Thursday May 10th and spread like wildfire through the internet through sites like When Fangirls Attack. Then came the inevitable Fandom Wank thread which reached over one thousand replies. Finally the New York Post took notice. It seems the most talked about comics event of the year is not the Death of Captain America nor the beginning of Countdown. No true believers it’s Sideshow Collectables â€œComiquetteâ€ of Mary Jane Watson washing Spider-Man’s costume. Our poor nation still reeling from 9-11, a disastrous war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, Mark Foley’s soliciting sex from interns, Paul Wolfowitz’s nepotism at the world bank, the Valerie Plame outing, federal attorney firings, and The DC Madam scandal we now find ourselves caught up in laundry-gate.
The new Mary Jane â€œComiquetteâ€ is a powerful symbol capable of inflicting anger and existential dread upon all who gaze upon it. It is a brain-searing image forcing all of us to ask certain questions.
- WHY is Mary Jane Watson-Parker washing Spider-Man’s costume in a bucket? Don’t the Parkers own their own washing machine? And if not are there no laundry mats in New York? Is there a little tag on the inside of the costume that says â€˜Hand Wash Only?’
- WHAT is with the bizarrely vacant stare on Mary Jane’s face? Is she sedated or just cross-eyed? Is this a gaze into a bizarre â€˜What If’ universe where Mary Jane suffers from Downs Syndrome?
- If the statue is based on a illustration by Adam Hughes, WHO sculpted it? Adam Hughes is an extremely talented penciler with a much better grasp on human anatomy then many pin-up artists. Did this particular piece of art work just not translate well to the sculpture medium? Or does it look so bad because of a the sculptor adapting his work did a half-assed job?
- Assuming that Mary Jane is on her day off from modeling/acting and doing the laundry then WHY does she do the chores in a pair of ripped designer jeans, a halter-top, pearls, and thong underwear? Doesn’t this woman sometimes wear a T-shirt, sweat pants and flipflops like everyone else?
- WHO is this product marketed to? Is there some seedy sub-culture of people with hand-washed laundry fetishes that I don’t know about? If there is, I don’t want to know. But really can these people afford to waste $125 on this piece of crap?
- WOULDNâ€˜T Aunt May probably be the one in charge of doing the laundry in-between cooking up batches of wheat-cakes? I mean she’s the only member of the household without a job.
- HOW exactly are you supposed to pronounce â€œComiquetteâ€ and why does it sound like something they would serve at Panera Bread?
- WHICH is more offensive? The outdated 50s view of female sexuality the statue presents? Or the implication that this is what men want to see?
Alas there are no answers. The existential quandary this dreadful Mary Jane provides us has no solution. All we know for sure is that there is a line between sexy and sexist. No really knows where this line lays. We just know tthis statue aimed for â€œsexy,â€ and so overshot their target that it flew clear past â€œsexistâ€ before falling off a cliff, crashing and burning into flames.
But do you know what would make an awesome statue? The cover of Amazing Spider-Man annual #19. (Kudos for Spider-Fan‘s Tommy Wilson for suggesting this.)