Sunday, March 14, 2010

FOR THAT WAS WHAT THE COMICS CHIEFTAINS WANTED, ABOVE ALL ELSE--AN ENDLESS SERIES OF WOMEN IN REFRIGERATORS: It would explain a lot! Here are a few quotes from a recent panel regarding the death of a minor (in terms of age and importance) female character in the Green Arrow universe:

James Robinson: "That decision [was] a controversial and one that I know has been greeted with some displeasure by some people... I'm sorry if it upset people. In all honesty, they wanted to kill Speedy too, and I said no, so give me some credit for that."

Ian Sattler: "I'm happy it upset people because it means that the story had some weight and emotion."

James Robinson is the writer of Lian Harper's death, Ian Sattler is editorial staff. Speedy, by the way, is a woman as well. Robinson, you would think, understands the sheer laziness of killing off female characters to up the ANGST! of male characters (in this case, Roy Harper and Oliver Queen) which is why he's going with the "yes--killing Lian was useless. But at least I saved Mia!" line here. Sattler, on the other hand, seems positively proud of the frigerators status quo. I do hate the "well if people are talking about it, it must be successful" line of editorial thinking and self-justifying. I remember Ron Moore saying something like that about some old Star Trek episode, that people were really invested in it and so the fact that they were really upset by whatever episode it was meant the episode was successful, and people were rewatching it because it moved them. That does not always work, though, Ron. I mean I ended up strongly disliking the final movement of Battlestar Galactica, and it was strongly deflated my interest to ever revisit the series. I still have the DVDs, and I'll buy some merchandise here and there, but it's symbolic of the love I used to have for BSG, which is located in the past at this point. (I'm not watching Caprica at all, for instance.) Anyway--boo on DC editorial for continuing to lean on the laziest crutch in superheroes. I know cape books arise from adolescent male power fantasies, but jeebus, must it ever be so? Well, probably. Women in refrigerators are probably always going to be with us. There's always that next generation of readers who can still be moved by such things, I guess.

Relatedly I was also eye-rolling at the brutal death of Firestorm supporting character/two copies of the X chromosome-holder Gehenna in Blackest Night a few months back. I was inclined to blame Geoff Johns at the time, but who knows? DC editorial has an appetite for lady corpses. And clearly it's the only way to make Firestorm interesting! (Which might be true, but that's more an argument to stop using the character prominently in general, not to murder his supporting cast.)


Shelly said...

Well put.

But I loved BG and am loving Caprica, so what do I know. ;)

Justin said...

Awwww....well obviously that was just an example. And I am being unfair when I don't pay attention to Caprica at all because I ended up dissatisfied with BSG. My point, though, still stands: that just because people are upset about something doesn't mean it was successful.

Shelly said...

True. They don't get that people are upset at how the story was written, not just that a little girl was killed, but that she was killed needlessly in a prime example of lazy writing.

I guess they subscribe to the any publicity is good publicity theory.