This post is written by a member of our community, Avram Baskin. All opinion expressed are the author’s own.
The other day while I was visiting my local comic book store I picked up a copy of Marvel Universe 1. The cover of the magazine is what will be the cover art for the rebooted Avengers #1.
The depiction of She-Hulk reminded me of drawings of female super heroes in the broke-back pose — an anatomically impossible pose that shows off the characters (usually) large breasts and butt at the same time. The connection is “anatomically impossible”.
Well, in the interest of accuracy, women can look like that drawing, but only after continuous use of steroids and breast-enlargement surgery. With a little research I came up with the name Natalia Trukhina. She’s a pretty close approximation of that picture of She-Hulk. She also freely admits that she couldn’t look that way without steroids.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully support the first amendment and artistic freedom and I have no problem with women pursuing whatever athletic interest they find fulfilling. That’s especially true because I’m the dad of a 14 year old daughter. But because I have a fourteen year old daughter, I’m aware of the implications of body shaming and the various ways that our culture objectifies and demeans women. There is a difference between a woman choosing to dedicate herself to an athletic goal and a male artist deciding to depict a female character with the combination of an impossibly muscular physique and exaggerated breasts. One is liberating, the other is demeaning.
How do I think female super heroes should look? They should look like normal women who happen to have powers, super or otherwise — like the female super heroes in the movies and on television. I’m especially thinking about that with Black Panther in mind. It’s rightfully lauded for it’s depiction of it’s primarily African-American cast. But it is also iconic because it features five strong female characters — role models for girls of any race.
I think it’s ironic that in the wake of that Marvel movie we get this drawing of She-Hulk, which doesn’t serve any purpose I can see, other than to objectify the character for the purpose of fulfilling someone’s weird masturbation fantasy. Instead of trying to titillate a real or imagined male demographic, comic books should be providing positive and realistic looking images of women that young women like my daughter can identify with.
This post will feature spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War largely in the form of a character study, but also in the form of point of the Infinity Saga story in the comics.
Maybe you have seen Avengers: Infinity War by now, or maybe you haven’t. But surely you have at least heard of Thanos, the Mad Titan by now. When The Goog and I first started dating now 16 years ago, he asked me if I was familiar with the Infinity Saga the way one of those kids with the suits and backpacks (you know the ones) might ask if you have heard about the Good Word. We have been an Infinity Saga household ever since. A big part of what makes this massive event/cross-over story so compelling is not just the coming together of so many of the Marvel Universe’s heroes (and anti-heroes), but that Thanos, as the catalyst, is such a compelling and complicated villain. Continue reading
Recently I learned that I misspent my youth. This is because I have never built anything out of Lego…Anything of substance that is…I can put together a mini-figure. We didn’t have Lego as kids, so I didn’t have a lot of exposure to playing with them. I did, however, have these giant tinker toys until the event of “The Great Rebellion” which involved swords, tinker toys projectiles and my mother’s crystal candy dish. Those were cool, but I have since fallen in love with Lego mini-figures and seem to be gathering an adorable cadre of them.
Much to my dismay, you can’t just purchase the Marvel Hero mini-figures (well, you can on ebay…but that’s not as fun), so I had been debating, eyeing and considering actually buying a set to construct so I can add to my collection. My spatial relations aren’t the best. I can’t pack a car to save my life (but I’m not bad at Tetris). I figured this was a skill you needed for Lego, but then I was told…duh, they come with directions! I once put an Ikea coffee table together on my own, so I should be able to tackle this. Continue reading
We are a group of Ladies (along with our fellas) who take Halloween, and other costuming events very seriously. In fact, Halloween costumes are often kept under wraps because we enjoy “the big reveal” so much! But today is Halloween and the perfect day to share this year’s work with the world….plus, we already went to the big Comicazi Halloweeniversary party held on October 20th, so the cat’s pretty much out of the bag, and down the street at this point.
TD: I will say this year was a banner year for costumes. In fact, The Goog spent MONTHS creating the signature helmet for his Ant-Man costume. Check out this post over at his blog Copious Collections in which he discusses the process in a post titled Cosplay, Crafting and Insects, (Oh my!).
The Goog and I often start thinking about costumes in June or July- often because they take planning, but mostly because that’s just the kind of people we are. Ideas are tossed around, abandoned, picked up again…you might say the Halloweeniversary is the social event of the season. We plan for it like movie stars plan for the Oscars (thanks to spandex there is often some dieting involved). I, Tiny Doom, decided to make my size work for me this year, and it was my decision to be The Wasp, that inspired The Goog to try out Ant-Man. One nice thing about The Wasp is that she has numerous costume options…of varying coverage and comfort levels. I went with what I think is the cutest and the most comfortable, The Wasp from the animated series, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Now I can’t sew, but luckily thanks to Etsy, I found someone who could…and who makes themed running outfits. Coincidentally, a week after the Comicazi party, I ran in a superhero themed 5K. Two events, one costume! Check out This Princess Runs, she is amazing and was able to make me an awesome costume just from a picture (complete with removable glitter cape since I was not going to run with those wings on). Also, thanks to those wings, I am still finding glitter everywhere.