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  • statsman
    started a topic Odds and Ends

    Odds and Ends

    I just finished the “X-Statix” omnibus. It’s another take on mocking the tropes of colorful costume and cape wearing supes, by writer Peter Milligan and artist Mike Allred, and it’s terrific. It’s funny, and merciless in its mocking, and yet still leaves you enjoying the characters. Milligan has a lot more affection for the supes than Ennis does. There are about 50 X-Statix issues in the omnibus, everybody dies by the end (well, about five issues before the end), and the best stories are told as it concludes (the Avengers vs. X-Statix crossover event is great, especially the nude fight between Iron Man and Mr. Sensitive, while the Anarchist’s lack of respect for Captain America actually has you rooting for him. The final arc is the Dead Girl/Dr. Strange team-up, and this is the best Dr. Strange story in almost 40 years). I recommend this highly and unreservedly (especially if you buy it like I did, from B&N with a coupon getting the price down to $56).

    We have discussed “Crossed” on this forum before. I like the Ennis issues, and abhor (and avoid) the Lapham ones. He recently finished a “Crossed Badlands” three issue arc, and I thought it was good. The story is simple- a band of survivors try to evade the Crossed, and it…just…doesn’t…end…well.

    ****Spoilers*****

    The main protagonist is Ian, and he has survived by not letting himself be tied down to any persons or groups. In his first Crossed series, Ennis had two points to make- Evil is bubbling below the surface of all of us, and morals are a luxury afforded by civilization, and we can’t keep them when everything goes to hell. Dark, gloomy and depressing, but hey, it’s a philosophy I guess.

    In this series, Ennis does something new. In the second issue, the characters hamstring one of their band, and leave him wounded and alive for the Crossed to play with, in order to buy time (and it does). This isn’t gratuitous, in that you never see what the Crossed do to him (in issue 3 you get a hint). This is an awful, cruel and horrible thing to do, but Ennis spent issue 1 telling the reader not to like this character, so it might pass unnoticed for the atrocity it is that out protagonists are committing. They spend the rest of the issue debating doing something similar to a more sympathetic character, and elect not to.

    It’s clear by the end of the third and final issue (btw, the final page has a nice bit of irony in every member of the original band re-uniting) that Ennis knew exactly what he was doing with the horrible act committed by the band in issue two (the hamstringing). He was making a comment about human kindness, ethics, morality and evil, and how good people justify doing bad things. He did this all without spelling it out, which I always appreciate (except when I don’t because it went over my head).

    I think there is a “The Boys” tie-in that we saw Hughie kill A-Train for participating in Annie’s "initiation" into the Seven. As I posted before, that response is all out of proportion to A-Train’s offense (we don’t execute biker gangs for similar acts, not even in Texas). Maybe he “deserved” it for his accidental killing of Hughie’s girlfriend, but Hughie never got that worked up over that, and we even heard A-Train’s remorse. We also heard A-Train beg Hughie not to kill him, followed by Hughie doing just that.

    I have to think Ennis knows who his characters are, and what he has them doing. I expect Hughie’s murder to be thrown back at him, perhaps by Annie, perhaps by Butcher.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by statsman; 04-17-2012, 11:49 AM.

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Dustin View Post
    As for Becky not telling anyone, her diary said that she knew Butcher would make a suicide run at the Homelander if she told him.

    And addressing the diary and how suspicious it is- I like to write. I am plotting a book series, chapter by chapter. The summary alone of the first three is over 80,000 words. And I can attest that there are some moments where you just want to say "Fuck it" and push the easy explanation and solution forward. You try to earn it, but nonetheless sometimes you go with a time saver- like the part in mine where the heroes are collecting magical artifacts- there's no reason for them to be as close together as they are other than the fact they don;t have cars and air transport in this series, but I decided to give a very simple reason for that. And I actually got a lot of mileage out of that. Someone who's constrained by the 24 page format month after month might have a few every now and again as well.
    I guess you could say I'm still making parallels to Butcher and The Saint of Killers. In the Saint's case, The Lord orchestrated certain events to make the Saint who he came to be. The diary, while a convenient Deux ex Machina, could serve a similar purpose for Mallory to get Butcher to work for him.

    Its just a thought of course...

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Kamakazi View Post
    Maybe things are different in England. Maybe it IS just a giant rape-fest. I dunno. Never been there. But I do know this: claiming that ten percent of the female population has been raped is so monumentally dunderheaded that even my prodigious literary skills are incapable of describing it. It's about as rational as claiming that ten percent of men are vampires, but just don't admit it. In fact, I'm going to claim it right now. I interviewed several hundred men, and ten percent of them are marthafocking Nosferatu. But they would only admit it to me. They'd never tell anyone else, because they're afraid of being staked in the heart by bands of roving villagers.

    Now, from the article: "It means women raped at home do not identify the experience as rape, or report it." Okay then, so who exactly is calling it "rape"? The people doing the survey? How did that go? Was it something like:
    Interviewer: "Ma'am, have you had a close encounter with a penis recently?"
    Housewife: "Well, yes, I've had sex."
    Interviewer: "Are you aware you were raped?"
    Housewife: "No."
    Interviewer: "Well, you were."
    Housewife: "No, I wasn't."
    Interviewer: "So we'll mark you down as 'Raped, but in denial.' Thanks for your time."

    Rape isn't "I was tired, but my husband talked me into it anyway". Nor is rape "I was really drunk at the time." I've had my share of sex with both the weary and the inebriated, and it was not, by any definition, rape. I've even had sex where ropes and latex were involved, and that wasn't rape either. Rape is when I tell Boris to leave me alone, and he punches me in the jaw and has sex with me anyway.

    Rape is too horrible of a thing to cheapen by applying the term to every single instance in which two people have sex, and then one ends up feeling angry or guilty after the fact. I remember seeing a news article about a chick in Israel who sued a guy for rape because he told her he was Jewish when he actually wasn't. Sheese. That's not her being raped, that's her being a bigoted asshole. Imagine if a White Supremacist could sue a sex partner for "rape" because she found out that the guy had a Black grandfather.

    ...and that's it for my rant.
    I suspect in reality it's quite a bit more than 10%, and that very much includes women in the US and elsewhere - certainly not just in merry old England. That doesn't mean that an equivalent portion of the male population is necessarily committing rapes, as rapists are usually repeat offenders. We're not talking about inebriated sex or passive-aggressively coerced sex; we're talking about violent, non-consensual sex. We're also not talking about annual incidence; we're talking about the percentage who have been raped at one point in their lives.

    However, an appallingly large percentage of the population, both male and female, do believe that women by definition cannot be raped by their husbands. I would wager that far more women than you imagine are routinely punched in the jaw and forced to have sex with their husbands. And most of those do go unreported, even, I suspect, by strong-willed social worker types.

    Aside from the V'd up offspring it produced, the most unrealistic aspect of the Black Noir/Becky rape is that it was perpetrated by a stranger. The majority are perpetrated by friends or family of the victim.

    We as a species are a shower of absolute cunts.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by statsman View Post
    How about Custer's dad?

    or the young Aussie lietenant in Battlefields: Happy Valley?

    or Butcher's grandfather?

    ...or the guy in the Unknown Soldier story, who would rather die than sign up to be a costumed freak?

    ...all of which had one thing in common- they were soldiers. It's like Ennis is going to keep doing this until we figure out that war comics are what the industry should be making.
    Oh no, they're on to me!

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Boris View Post
    - Sean Noonan from Hitman
    - Amy, the rich friend of Jesse and Tulip
    - Featherstone
    - The activist and social worker from "The Slavers" arc of Punisher
    - Some folks from the Dicks saga (hey, I know people like those!)
    Boris: decent bloke. FACT.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by statsman View Post
    For example, I think "Watchmen" is brilliant despit thinking that Moore's key idea (putting missiles in Europe would bring on a nuclear war) is not only wrong, but proven wrong. It's a masterpiece because of the other stuff- the characters, the narrative flow, the style of presentation. .
    Good point there. As a piece of storytelling Watchmen is right out of the top drawer, but try explaining the plot with the genetically engineered psychic monster bomb to anyone and watch them blink at you. They even had to change it for the slavish movie.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Thanks for the kind words, kamakazi. It's funny- I like Ennis' "Crossed", not for the shock and horror but for the musings about the nature of evil. I think he is onto a good point- what is an evil person? An evil person is somebody who does evil things to you, no matter their manner, personal ethics, or motives. He is getting into big issues here, and doing it very subtly, which I like.

    That said, I'm not crazy about "Preacher". I guess it's an OK story, but it rambles quite a bit, and seems to take on some big themes (religion is bad) without really addressing them thoroughly. For example- if religion is so bad or stupid, isn't there a begged question about why humanist societies always seem to build death camps? I don't think I dislike it just because I disagree with the ideas. For example, I think "Watchmen" is brilliant despit thinking that Moore's key idea (putting missiles in Europe would bring on a nuclear war) is not only wrong, but proven wrong. It's a masterpiece because of the other stuff- the characters, the narrative flow, the style of presentation. Those elements are all so strong that it doesn't matter that Moore's anti-Reagan/Thatcher screed was made ineffectual by history. Modern readers just gloss over that part.

    I enjoyed "The Shadow". Cranston has always been kind of a dick, which plays to Ennis' strength.
    Last edited by statsman; 04-23-2012, 12:30 PM.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    England + Rapefest=Crossed Badlands

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Maybe things are different in England. Maybe it IS just a giant rape-fest. I dunno. Never been there. But I do know this: claiming that ten percent of the female population has been raped is so monumentally dunderheaded that even my prodigious literary skills are incapable of describing it. It's about as rational as claiming that ten percent of men are vampires, but just don't admit it. In fact, I'm going to claim it right now. I interviewed several hundred men, and ten percent of them are marthafocking Nosferatu. But they would only admit it to me. They'd never tell anyone else, because they're afraid of being staked in the heart by bands of roving villagers.

    Now, from the article: "It means women raped at home do not identify the experience as rape, or report it." Okay then, so who exactly is calling it "rape"? The people doing the survey? How did that go? Was it something like:
    Interviewer: "Ma'am, have you had a close encounter with a penis recently?"
    Housewife: "Well, yes, I've had sex."
    Interviewer: "Are you aware you were raped?"
    Housewife: "No."
    Interviewer: "Well, you were."
    Housewife: "No, I wasn't."
    Interviewer: "So we'll mark you down as 'Raped, but in denial.' Thanks for your time."

    Rape isn't "I was tired, but my husband talked me into it anyway". Nor is rape "I was really drunk at the time." I've had my share of sex with both the weary and the inebriated, and it was not, by any definition, rape. I've even had sex where ropes and latex were involved, and that wasn't rape either. Rape is when I tell Boris to leave me alone, and he punches me in the jaw and has sex with me anyway.

    Rape is too horrible of a thing to cheapen by applying the term to every single instance in which two people have sex, and then one ends up feeling angry or guilty after the fact. I remember seeing a news article about a chick in Israel who sued a guy for rape because he told her he was Jewish when he actually wasn't. Sheese. That's not her being raped, that's her being a bigoted asshole. Imagine if a White Supremacist could sue a sex partner for "rape" because she found out that the guy had a Black grandfather.

    ...and that's it for my rant.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Kamakazi View Post
    I've heard it, but I don't understand how you can measure something that's not being reported. And Becky was also pregnant- I know Ennis tried to explain this by saying that Supe Babies gestate faster, but damn, just how fast do they gestate?
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...e-7561636.html

    But the gestation thing was a weird choice, I agree. I think it was simply so that to Butcher it was completely unexpected; it couldn't be that he thought it was his child, Ennis seemed to want it to happen out of the blue.

    As for Becky not telling anyone, her diary said that she knew Butcher would make a suicide run at the Homelander if she told him.

    And addressing the diary and how suspicious it is- I like to write. I am plotting a book series, chapter by chapter. The summary alone of the first three is over 80,000 words. And I can attest that there are some moments where you just want to say "Fuck it" and push the easy explanation and solution forward. You try to earn it, but nonetheless sometimes you go with a time saver- like the part in mine where the heroes are collecting magical artifacts- there's no reason for them to be as close together as they are other than the fact they don;t have cars and air transport in this series, but I decided to give a very simple reason for that. And I actually got a lot of mileage out of that. Someone who's constrained by the 24 page format month after month might have a few every now and again as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    A few things concerns me about Becky's 'rape' and death

    1. The diary. Butcher said he didn't remember her having one. Are we certain it wasn't a plant by Mallory? He was able to fake Vogelbaum's suicide, how hard would it be for him to forge a diary?

    2. That she wouldn't tell Butcher. I know Dustin said that most rapes go unreported, yet she was able to convince Butcher's mom to get a divorce, but couldn't convince herself to tell her husband that she was raped?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Dustin View Post
    That's a little... hmmm. You have heard the oft repeated assertion that most rapes go unreported, right?
    I've heard it, but I don't understand how you can measure something that's not being reported. And Becky was also pregnant- I know Ennis tried to explain this by saying that Supe Babies gestate faster, but damn, just how fast do they gestate?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    No Comic for Simple, Nice Women

    Originally posted by Kamakazi View Post
    I don't really count Becky, because it seems rather obvious to me that she's a McGuffin, not a person. She's a plot device, existing for no reason other than to drive forward Butcher's story.
    Okay, despite the huge glossing over of the fact that all of the characters in The Boys are no more than plot devices to drive forward a fictional story ...

    Becky was certainly decent. Her big failing seems to be that she was completely out of place with the vast majority of the characters in the Boys universe, which is, I believe, exactly the point. No one like her (or Robin, or Terror) was going to last too long after encountering Ennis' version of supes. To borrow from one of the seminal ideas in No Country for Old Men, Becky always had a limited lifespan in the universe of No Comic for Simple, Nice Women.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Kamakazi View Post
    Yes.

    ...and that's all I would to her refusal to tell anyone she'd been raped because she didn't want to be a bother,

    That's a little... hmmm. You have heard the oft repeated assertion that most rapes go unreported, right?

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by MisterS View Post
    Am I the only person on this board who DOESN'T hate Hughie?
    Yes.

    ...and that's all I would have posted, if the board didn't force me to type more than 14 characters. But since I'm typing more... I can't believe that none of my fellow geeks pointed out that Jesse used the Word to force a porn star to take care of an abused child. My bad.

    I don't really count Becky, because it seems rather obvious to me that she's a McGuffin, not a person. She's a plot device, existing for no reason other than to drive forward Butcher's story. From the improbable-to-the-point-of-retardation story about her falling instantly in love with Butcher, (and let's remember, Butcher is, and always has been pure evil) to her refusal to tell anyone she'd been raped because she didn't want to be a bother, Becky is a non-entity. She's a cartoon, meant to counterpoint Butcher's viciousness.

    Now, I'll grant you, I LOVED Featherstone. Out all the women in Preacher, Featherstone is the only one I wanted to bone. Uh, I mean, Featherstone seemed very decent.

    Also, I feel somewhat bad about my constant harping on "Crossed", mainly because Statsman likes it, and I think Statsman is awesome. In fact, if this board were Preacher, Statsman would be Jesse. Boris would be Cassidy. I would be Arseface.
    Last edited by Kamakazi; 04-19-2012, 06:01 PM.

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