MARTHA THOMASES: What Would Women Worldkillers Wear?
This is not the biggest problem in the world. It’s not the biggest problem in the world of entertainment. It’s not even the worst problem in comics.
But it bugs me. And I have this space every week, and I plan to use it to raise your ire as well.
The new issue of Supergirl out this week (#7) features a new team of adversaries for the Maid of Steel. They are the Worldkillers, four creatures taken as embryos from different worlds, then grown on Krypton, enhanced with terrible, world killing abilities.
They are shown to be four very different species. One is humans, one catlike, one like a dog or bear, and one that appears to be some kind of lizard. All are female.
Because they are all female, when they are grown and fight Supergirl they wear scanty little costumes. These costumes show off their breasts. Even the dog’s, who, rather refreshingly, doesn’t seem to have any.
The lizard, however, does. Her name is Perrilus (which confused me, since the -us ending in Latin means the noun is masculine) and she wears some kind of corset which pushes up her breasts.
Breasts are used by mammals to feed their young, who are born live. Lizards are reptiles, cold-blooded creatures who lay eggs and don’t nurse their offspring. There is no reason for Perrilus to have breasts.
I suppose that the Kryptonians could have given her breasts as part of her enhancements, along with her ability to “generate viruses,” but if that’s the case, we are never shown their use in combat.
And maybe she is flat-chested and, like so many high-fashion models and drag queens, has learned how to use the plastic pads, affectionately known as “chicken cutlets,” to push up the tissue in her chestal area to resemble breasts. Again, if this is the case, we are offered no explanation,
Perhaps these breasts are to distract the enemy. They certainly distracted the letterer, who, on page 10, twice refers to the gang as “Wordkillers.”
As Mindy Newell said a few weeks ago, a lot of women got into comics as girls because we enjoyed the Supergirl stories. She was powerful but not threatening, someone we could want to be like. Someone we could believe would like us. DC wastes a real opportunity when they don’t use a title like this to attract a new generation of young girls to superhero comics.
I’m not saying that tits on a lizard is a deal-killer for girl readers. I’m not sure anybody but me (and now, I hope, you) would notice. But in a week when Katniss Everdean flexes her smarts and her abilities with a bow and arrow in The Hunger Games, it seems like even DC Comics would realize they have to be a little bit smarter to attract that kind of audience.
SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman
Martha, Martha, Martha… Who ever said DC was looking for intelligent female readers? They want 13 year old boys. ONLY 13 year old boys. It’s why their flagship title, Justice League, featured a first arc where the point wasn’t heroes coming together… it was punching.
Aside for a very select few books… the new 52 seems more interested in blowing things up, and making it ‘look’ good. And for the record, there’s been NO decent “new” villains in any book I’ve read short of maybe the Court of Owls.
If so they fail miserably because 13 y.o. boys are and have always been (and by “always” I mean the 70s and such) doing something more interesting than reading Marvel comics, which were already old when they were 8.
Is the dog a G’Newton? I’d love to see if they were still around in the New 52.
Marc, I assume DC is in the business of making money. Many people who are not 13 year old boys spend money on entertainment. Hence, I supposed they might be looking for female readers, intelligent and otherwise.
I just had to cut back on comics purchases, and unless this is an otherwise slim week, the new SUPERGIRL did not make the cut. I’m just tired of the extended origins of characters I’d come to care about before FLUSHPOINT, and it seemed that they restarted SUPERGIRL with none of the qualities Martha refers to, the qualities that made me love the series at first.
Not to derail, but “Tits On A Lizard” would be a great experimental post-punk band name.
The Other Frank Miller: I haven’t read a good Supergirl story since DC cancelled Peter David’s series.
*sigh* Martha, they’ll never get it.
Like THE OTHER FRANK MILLER, I started reading the “52” SUPERGIRL with high hopes; once again they are bashed.
I’m with you, Martha. I like sexy as well as the next guy, but nothing can top good writing, and DC hasn’t shown much of that lately. I gave up on Marvel, so I won’t ty to evaluate them. The only writer they’ve had apart from Joe Straczynski that I really like is my Evil Twin, Peter David. DC’s global reboot has lost me. I just didn’t see the point, anymore than I did with the retconning of Spider-man.
The New 52 Supergirl didn’t make the cut for me. I went by how the books were described in Previews, treated them as 52 new titles and ordered accordingly.