Sunday, September 10, 2006
Choose Your Poison
However, in Detective Comics #823, the artist provides several viable cringe-inducing candidates, and I gave up trying to figure out which was the more egregious offender, the title splash page (reproduced above), or this page:
I don't ask much of my comics. Like everyone else, I read them to be entertained. I'm not expecting to encounter transcendent works of illustrated literature that will withstand the test of time.
However, I do like for them to pass the trolley test: if I'm reading a comic on the trolley and run into someone I know, I don't want the pages I've got open and visible to cause me public embarrassment.
This issue of Detective Comics failed, miserably.
What's the problem? She's in an extreme situation, these things COULD happen.
*gratefully removes fanboy hat*
I can't wait to see what happens in a decade when there are more women creating comics.
Why the editor thought he'd be the artist for a story by Paul Dini is beyond me. Sure, Poison Ivy needs to be sexy, but you certainly don't need to be so blatant in the execution. And "subtlty is not a word I'd use to describe Benitez's art style.
Nida: Here's hoping we won't need to wait an entire decade.
James: Yeah, somebody was asleep at the editorial switch, here. (Or conversely, perhaps the editor saw nothing requiring switch-pulling in the pages he reviewed.)
KKG: I totally agree. And I guess it wasn't just the imagery that offended me. The information Batman gathers in the last third of the comic is supposed to convince the reader that PI actually deserves the (sexualized) violence visited upon her in the opening pages.
The writer intends for the narrative to work as an exercise in mis-placed sympathy: Ivy has been such a very, very, very bad girl that the beating and the tentacle rape are supposed to be "just rewards" for her own actions. Knowing what we do at the end of the book, the reader is supposed to regret that she sympathised with PI in the opening pages. ... So, in the end, the problematic images were not the only troubling element in Detective Comics #823.
And finally - she's AFRAID to use her power at the end. She's SCARED of plants. This is like the ultimate de-power her fantasy.