In typical comic book male-centric fashion, this series wonders what life would be like if all men died spontaneously...except for one.
I suppose if w...moreIn typical comic book male-centric fashion, this series wonders what life would be like if all men died spontaneously...except for one.
I suppose if we're trying to put ourselves in the head of an early-nineties comic book reading teen, this might feel innovative. Unfortunately, I find that innovative in the world of comics is pretty much Iron Age for the rest of literature. How does Vaughan manage to make a series with gender issues at its center so bizarrely sexist?
Example: In a world where all men are dead except for one, and the death of that one man will mean the end of humanity, VIOLENT CULTS OF FEMINISTS SPRING UP TO TRY AND HUNT DOWN MEN AND MALE SYMPATHIZERS. What is the motive here? There sure isn't one written into the plot, other than the one speech about social inequality between the sexes--and how the only way to escape this inequality is to KILL ALL MEN.
Characterwise, I was exceptionally not impressed. Even the main character has vague motivations. As for the women, pretty much none of them function as anything but placeholders: the token love interest, the sister who has gone astray, the protective mother. IN A WORLD WHERE ONLY ONE MAN SURVIVED...apparently the world still revolves around that man.
And here's where the cultural rant starts...
This is a symptom of thinking that is still prevalent in most of popular culture, although not to as great an extent in literature. F'rinstance, lets talk about movies: movies are a great medium for making political statements. Statements about social injustices, such as the way that women are objectified, sexualized, expected to live up to some bleached, shaved, makeup-smeared, surgically modified yet waifishly thin ideal that has been developed over centuries of patriarchal society...and how this objectification upon women is psychologically damaging--to men.
This poor guy above has been so mentally warped by Hollywood and advertising that he's incapable of developing a physical attraction to any of the normal girls he knows in real life. Let's take a moment to pitty him.
Okay, we done? Good. Fortunately, a blonde porn star moves in next door, and immediately falls for him, even though he's intensely dorky, because, you know, it's what's on the inside that counts. But, I'm not just cherry-picking films here. I could point to this one:
Another example of an attractive woman with a *cough cough* career who ends up with a loser whose only redeeming trait is that he's willing to "raise" the baby...if sleazy frat boys without jobs can be said to raise babies.
But surely this is a phenomenon in teen comedies?
Well, look at "romances."
Here's a fairly recent romantic comedy where a successful, relatively well-balanced woman who is portrayed as HORRIBLY DESPARATE for being interested in a neighbor....meanwhile, the character played by Gerard Butler mudwrestles with models on television, and has no interest in anything but one-night stands, yet this is understandable because of his childhood. This is a ROMANCE. Aren't these supposed to be geared more towards female audiences? It really bothers me that I'm more bothered by this film than any women I know.
Okay, BUT, regardless of how inadequately this comic deals with gender issues, it at least TRIES to grapple with them, and it does a better job than any of the movies mentioned above. Perhaps by the end of the series, the author's portrayals of gender issues will become more interesting and sophisticated. This was an entertaining comic, and I plan on continuing it for at least a little longer...but I'll admit that I'm highly confused by the acclaim it has gotten. (less)
Over the years, Manson has said some intelligent things, and every now and then I think he's probably a pretty cool guy.
But, whenever I start thinking...moreOver the years, Manson has said some intelligent things, and every now and then I think he's probably a pretty cool guy.
But, whenever I start thinking that, I flashback to the scene in this book where the whole band is gangbanging a deaf groupie who is covered in lunch meat--No, really. Lunch meat.--while screaming insults at her.
I mean, really. If you're going to shag a lunch-meat covered groupie while insulting her, have the balls to do it to a girl who can HEAR you.
I really don't care about his honorary priesthood in the church of satan. To an atheist, that's about as scary as if he told me he was the Koopa Kid in charge of Bowser's Castle in World 6. It's stupid and/or meaningless. I guess that, as readable and bizarre as this book was when I read it in high school, the problem is that Manson just tries so very hard to be shocking. Dude, doing weird shit to groupies was already done by the Go-Go's. THE GO-GO'S.
Ozzy bit the head off a live bat. Keith Richards snorted his dad's ashes. Bill Hicks was fake-assassinated on stage. You've just got more makeup than the average Cure fan, and a healthy appreciation of recreational drugs. You're really not that special. (less)