Pull list for November 11 2015; Frank Cho is kind of a douche
I’ll go to the store for: All-New All-Different Avengers #1, by Mark Waid, Adam Kubert and Mahmud Asrar; Spider-Man 2099 #3, by Peter David and Will Sliney; Ultimates #1, by Al Ewing and Kenneth Rocafort; The Wicked + The Divine #16, by Kieron Gillen and Leila De Luca.
I’ll also review: All-New Wolverine #1, by Tom Taylor, David Lopez and David Navarrot; Carnage #1, by Gerry Conway and Mike Perkins; Illuminati #1, by Joshua Williamson and Shawn Crystal; Secret Wars #7, by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic.
So that’s four comics I’m picking up, and maybe 6 reviews, depending on my mood. I might not bother with Illuminati. I’ve decided to stop reviewing Uncanny Avengers, because it’s not really an X-title.
I’m most excited for Ultimates. It looks awesome. I love the cast. I love Ewing’s work. Rocafort’s art is good. The concept is great – a team of major-league badasses dealing with massive threats to reality. It’s funny – this is a five-member team, but these guys are a match for just about any team out there. They could take on a full Avengers roster, and that includes a roster with Thor. Blue Marvel himself can actually do well against a full Avengers line-up, Monica Rambeau is one of the most powerful heroes out there, Captain Marvel has always been a top powerhouse for the Avengers, Black Panther is one of the smartest men in the world and one of most dangerous fighters. And Miss America is confident that she could take on the rest of the line-up if she has to. So it’s an awesome team. I’m also excited for ANADA. It should be a lot of fun. Ms. Marvel as an Avenger! This means two doses of Ms. Marvel every month! Also, WicDiv. The None More Goth issue, spotlighting the Morrigan, one of the cooler gods.
I read Black Widow: Forever Red, by Margaret Stohl. My review from Goodreads:
So, this was really good. I’m primarily a comics fan, and this is definitely separate from the comics continuity. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be part of the movie continuity or not, but it seems like it could be. It would probably fit easily enough. Regardless, it’s a good story. Lots of really interesting twists. Lots of interesting mysteries. The characters are well-written. The action scenes flow well. It’s an enjoyable read. And it’s definitely a very good Young Adult novel, and girls will probably especially enjoy it, since it does have two strong female protagonists, and a well-written and believable romance plot.
I should actually make an effort to find She-Hulk Diaries and Rogue Kiss, the other Marvel YA novels from a couple years ago.
So. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed some comments I made Thursday night. If you don’t follow me on Twitter, well, I made some comments on Thursday night. I happened to check out Frank Cho’s Twitter page. Do you remember last year, there was controversy about Milo Manara’s bootylicious Spider-Woman cover? Some people thought it was inappropriate for a female superhero comic to have a softcore porn cover that was actually recycled from an actual porn comic. Not long after, Frank Cho mocked the controversy with a sketch of Spider-Gwen in the pose. (Though, funnily enough, Cho’s sketch was a lot less sexualized than Manara’s, with a much more realistic pose.) Robbi Rodriguez told Cho off, saying it was like his child was being sexualized. So far, it’s just a difference of opinion, everything’s fine.
But then Cho kept drawing sketches with Spider-Gwen. Of sexualized women, with Spider-Gwen shouting “Outrage!” And he kept drawing them. He sat by the side of a road drawing them. He just would not knock it the hell off. It became a matter of pride for him. “Haha, look at all the stupid people getting offended! What a bunch of idiots!” It stopped being a difference of opinion, and became Frank Cho being a douche.
And he’s still doing it. As recently as last month, he was still doing sketches of intentionally sexualized women with Spider-Gwen shouting “Outrage!” It’s been since April. It wasn’t a clever joke in the first place, and he’s still running it into the ground, trying to antagonize people simply because he thinks it’s funny.
Look, a lot of people have concerns about the over-sexualization of women in wider culture, in geek culture, and in comic culture. It’s something that gets a lot of discussion. There’s a lot of valid positions, and it’s a really complex issue that ties into much larger discussions about the treatment of women in society. It’s a debate worth having. But Frank Cho isn’t debating. He’s taking the stance that people who object to the sexualization of women are deserving of scorn and mockery. That they’re overly sensitive and humourless. As far as he seems to be concerned, it’s simply not an issue that deserves to be discussed.
I like attractive women. I like seeing sexy women in sexy clothes. That’s something I enjoy very much. But that doesn’t mean the way comics have historically sexualized women is OK. And context is always important. And I think it’s important to have greater diversity in terms of body types. (And I’d like to give a nod to great artists like Sophie Campbell who do draw characters with a variety of body types.) And I think there’s a major difference between a female character wearing sexy clothes as a form of “empowerment,” and a female character wearing sexy clothes as cheap fanservice to perverted teen boys. Something like Leia’s gold bikini definitely falls into the latter category, so I actually have no problem with cutting back on merchandise showing that in favour of merchandise showing her in other outfits that accentuate her leadership. I think we actually probably should be trying to move away from the obsession with that stupid bikini.
But Frank Cho clearly doesn’t want that, since he did a sketch of Leia in the bikini, with Yoda’s eyes bugging out, and Spider-Gwen shouting “Outrage!” Because Frank Cho is kind of a douche.
I’ve started listening to the Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men podcast. Right now, I’m two episodes in. They’ve gotten just slightly ahead of where I’m at with my reviews – they’re just finishing 1987, and about to do Fall of the Mutants. So I may start referencing their reviews in my podcasts. They’re interesting and funny. While I do already understand the X-Men continuity pretty well, they can still provide some insights that can make me think about some things. Example: Simonson’s New Mutants being the Saturday-Morning-Cartoon version of the book. Something I hadn’t thought of, but which explains it so perfectly. Definitely something I’ll refer back to when I reach Simonson’s run.
My schedule for the week: 6:30-11 Friday, 5:30-11 Saturday, 1:30-10 Sunday, 10-6:30 Tuesday. So, next pull list on Tuesday. And I’ll have posts on Thursday and Monday.
And that’s all for this week.