I started this post as a reactionary rant against sexism like this (this post has since been taken down and lost by Google Cache, so you can find exactly what I am referring to here, with the first post without sexist/homophobic/misogynistic commenting here) and this, but I feel that I have nothing to really add to the arguments that haven’t already been made here and here. Instead I decided to focus on my own feelings about comic books and how the industry tends to act towards women.
In the interest of providing documented proof on the practice of maiming and punishing women in comic books, as well as the the push back against such practices, I present to you Women in Refrigerators.
(Some of these links may not be work safe)
DC Comics seems kind of confused about how they want to portray women in the New 52. Sometimes they’re respectful and other times they’re not so much. I tried to put together a pattern, but I don’t think one actually exists.
At first it seemed like they were turning over a new leaf; DC deemed fishnets to be illegal and both Black Canary and Zatanna were given newcostumes. Wonder Woman has been desexualized in the pages of her own book in order to actually focus on the story. Mera is an equal in the pages of Aquaman and is a total badass.
Then Voodoo #1 took place inside of a stripclub and everyone was naked. Catwoman had her boobs out for no good reason, culminating in a bizarre Batman-Catwoman sex scene on a roof, in their costumes. Supergirl went from a modest teenager in a tasteful skirt to a much more alien warrior-like woman in a bathing suit bottom that conveniently accentuates her crotch. Red Hood and the Outlaws reintroduced Starfire as a hyper-sexualized alien who could not really tell the diference between men or even really remember who she slept with in the first place.
4 out of 5 stars DC Comics David S. Goyer/Geoff Johns – Writers Carlos Pacheco – Penciler Jesus Merino – Inker Guy Major – Colorist
Virtue and Vice is your elevator into the DC Universe, if that elevator suddenly went into a freefall and dropped you down into the sub-basement. It is a perfect sample of what the DCU can offer and is a great introduction into the Justice League of America and the Justice Society of America. There are no origin stories, no hard hitting narratives; instead, Goyer and Johns cut out a healthy slice of continuity and offer it up as an appetizer to impress you.
The heroes here are not iconic, but current (2002 current). Unless you’re a DC Universe continuity cop, you probably won’t be familiar with everything. Nothing is explained to the reader up front, but rather through the progression of the story answers can be found. It’s not outright confusing, but you just have to deal with the fact that Wally West is the Flash, Kyle Rayner is the one and only Green Lantern, JLA headquarters is on the moon and Lex Luthor is President (yes, that was a thing that happened). Several references are made to previous stories that took place in each teams’ ongoing series, JLA and JSA, but an unfamiliar reader can simply pass that off as ‘casual’ conversation.