Apparently discussing Ms. Martian’s panties wasn’t the creepiest I’d have to get. And that was a DECENT discussion. Now I’m going to feel dirty after this topic.
There are times I hate being part of any fandom. Sometimes it’s the fans, sometimes it’s the creators, and sometimes it’s the companies backing the product. They make it hard for me to enjoy what I love. Fans who show their love for something is fine, even if they’re complaining about something they feel damages what they love about it. However, if you aren’t a fan, why take it away from us by turning it into something you like? That’s not improving, that’s ruining it for the rest of us.
This has been one of my problems with the New 52. It’s been taken over by the “kewl kids” who didn’t like what made DC so fun and it became loaded with fanservice, angst, and a lack of fun. It’s a power fantasy for dudes who already think they have the power. And if you go against the power you take a pounding. Sadly, there’s more than one way to interpret that.
Take the case of Janelle Asselin, former DC editor, who made a guest contribution post to Comic Book Resources dissecting the cover for the new Teen Titans #1. (Because renumbering will fix everything that was wrong with that title, right?) Basically, she didn’t like it, especially how Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark because Donna Troy has no place in the New 52…until they come up with her 8,000th origin story. At 10,000 she gets a prize) was drawn. And the dude bros came out in force telling her to shut up.
By threatening to rape her. Scroll past the Brett Booth part.
If you have to use rape to silence a woman about misogyny, you’ve pretty much proven her point. Also that you’re not a real man and need to be castrated for the sake of the human race and the male reputation. God can heal you when you wise up and stop failing at humanity. Until then you shouldn’t be allowed to tell boys how to be men and should NEVER be allowed to have a daughter. Or be around women at all, even prostitutes and strippers.
I try to keep things PG here but jerks like these make it difficult. The question to ask in this really long intro is whether or not Ms. Asselin is right or if she’s overreacting to the cover. Well, since covers are one of my favorite ranting topics let’s break out the cover to the re-relaunched Teen Titans and see who’s right about what.
Okay, we’ll save the “breast” for last. (I should probably hate myself for that pun.) Here’s one probably only I would wonder about: what’s with the paper airplane? Nobody appears to have thrown it, it looks like it’s the same height as the helicopter, which also seems to serve no purpose, and that would make it the size of an actual airplane. Also, who’s the guy surfing the purple brick wave that looks like he raided the Tarrantula’s wardrobe from the Marvel Universe. And what the bloody blue blazes is Raven (I’m assuming that’s Raven) wearing on her head? She looks like she used those monster claws to skin a hedgehog to wear as a mask.
I’m also curious why Beast Boy is green again. I thought they changed him red because of that mythos they came up with for Swamp Thing 52, making it one of the few bits of continuity the New 52 managed to keep. Meanwhile Tim’s just chilling out in the corner being fascinated by his glove. This cover is obviously set up to put Cassie front and center with the others hanging around her. While Beast Boy is the one closest to the reader he still seems to be deferring to Cassie in the “look at this” department. As Asselin notes, they don’t look like a strong team; rather they look like a bunch of people standing around, which is rather boring for a “first” issue about a team of superheroes.
So let’s get to the nitty grim-and-gritty (grim and gritty being the default in “entertainment” lately). Cassie and her wonder mammies, which appears to be what the artist is trying to draw the browser’s attention to. Asselin’s comments seem to get her in trouble because, from what I can tell, she lacks a penis. Well, I have one and let me tell you she’s not completely wrong in her assessment. First off those things are big. Not Dolly Parton huge, but Power Girl’s didn’t start out as large as they became. The artist just tried to see how far he could go. Now I have seen 17-18 year old girls (Cassie 52’s approximate age) with larger than normal breasts. Heck, I’ve seen 15-16 year old girls with large breasts, but they all tend to be a bit curvier than Cassie is. This is rather important to help with her balance without destroying her spine. Look what happened with Solei Moon Frye. She developed so large she needed breast reduction surgery to have a normal life. And now I’m reminded of an episode of Two And A Half Men that demonstrates why I don’t like that show.
Cassie here has larger breasts than she is normally drawn with, which brings me back to that comment about Power Girl’s artist pushing his limits for no real reason other than to see if he could. I don’t know if she’s drawn with breasts that large in the comic but it seems off even for Wonder Girl 52. She also has “90s hips” in that they connect in a manner even I know isn’t natural. I’m not sure why she has child-bearing hips that looks like she could bear a toddler but there they are. I think the gauntlets came with the New 52 but what about the lone shoulder pad? More 90s. Actually, Cassie would look like a 90s character model with some more crosshatching and shrinking her waist so that toddler could wrap his hand around it and still touch his or her hand.
Speaking of accessories, that foot-long licorice that passes for her lasso is spazzing out big time. Also, Asselin makes the case that Wonder Girl’s tube top wouldn’t be practical for crime fighting. Wonder Woman’s old brassiere fits snug so she wouldn’t bust loose in battle. Just watch the Linda Carter TV show. This looks more like she’s going from the gym to the nightclub and doesn’t care if she pops out at either place. Although she looks happier than on the previous #1 cover, even if she does still look like she’s seen a throat she hasn’t torn out yet.
I’ve skimmed Ms. Asselin’s review of the cover out of curiosity but only paid attention after the review, except for Cassie because that was the big noise. Sorry, but while this may not even be the worst cover the New 52 has plagued us with, it’s still not very good even if you look past the Wonder Boobs. Although I think we know who the real “boobs” are in this and it isn’t Asselin or necessarily her critics. It’s the dudes who want to silence anyone pointing out that sexualizing women could be seen as insulting to a woman who wants to be treated as a person first as a place to put their penis rarely.