RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #1
What did the
Art and cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
Size: 32 pages
My wife has always supported my comic book hobby. She thinks its great that I have something that I’m both passionate about and allows me to unwind. We have, however, had the discussion about the representation of female characters in superhero comics. I have the usual responses: (1) it’s a generic trope and not indicative of male wish-fulfillment; (2) it’s primarily a superhero-specific phenomenon and not prevalent throughout all the various genres; (3) the characters in the superhero genre are idealized types; for as many skinny, large-breasted, long-legged female, there are as many (if not more) six-packed, tall, muscular males.
What has been happening throughout some of the DC titles is giving me pause (at the very least) about my first answer.
Put it simply:
Why does Kory have to be a sexbot?
I fear between the new Starfire and new Catwoman, there is going to be a lot of backlash from both the public and from the fanbase. How can someone not believe all the arguments about male fantasy and wish fulfillment and about the objectification of women through the male gaze when Starfire has become a completely flat character, prancing around in next to nothing, telling all the men looking at her (both in the comic and in the viewership) that her sexual appetite is devoid of love?
For a long time, I was a big proponent of the “bromance.” Finally, men we’re allowed to be emotional and close with other men. But here we have the underbelly of the bromantic genre unveiled, namely the unacceptability of male-male desire and the need to triangulate that desire through a (largely empty) female vessel.
That’s what Starfire has become.
Look, I don’t think you need to be a woman or even a feminist to write strong female characters. Bryan Q. Miller’s Batgirl is case and point (as is Azzarello’s Wonder Woman). Nor do I have a problem with re-imagining characters for a new audience / generation (also proven by Azzarello’s Wonder Woman and Josh’s great review of it).
But Starfire is just a bad, poorly written character, representing the worst of the super hero genre.
Art: 1 - Poor