Tagged: The Hunger Games

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

 

The Muppets Send Up The Hunger Games

The Muppets Send Up The Hunger Games

Exemplifying brilliant timing, Walt Disney has released a new parody trailer, this time skewering the eagerly awaited The Hunger Games, opening March 23. Meantime, it reminds us how funny the Muppets can be, just in time for their recent film, The Muppets, to come out on home video on March 20.

The Muppets will be available in a variety of formats including The Wocka Wocka Value Pack, containing the movie on Blu-ray high-definition, DVD and Digital Copy (3 discs) plus a download card for the film’s soundtrack from Walt Disney Records.

MARTHA THOMASES: Hunger Games, Buffy, and Goldie

My friend, Goldie, said, “I’m reading the best book. You would love it.”

I was skeptical. My friend, Goldie, usually likes different kinds of books than I do. She likes historical novels with a sense of place. She enjoys literary fiction, with Serious and Important themes. Still, she is my friend, and I was curious. “What is it?” I asked.

The Hunger Games,” she said. “I can’t put it down.”

“Isn’t that a young adult series?” I asked. Goldie is circling 60.

“It’s so good,” she said.

The next week, I found myself sitting around a lot and I managed to plow through the entire trilogy. At the same time, another friend (also older than me) and a woman whose job required extensive medical training both told me they were reading it.

Why are four reasonably sophisticated urban women, all but me with advanced degrees, reading a science fiction series aimed at tweens? Are there others like us? Are we statistically significant? Will the lines for the upcoming movie look like the Twilight audience, but now with more feminists?

Because The Hunger Games is definitely a work for those of us who have grown up with feminism. The heroine is brave, strong, skilled and smart. There is almost no mention of her beauty, or even if she is attractive. The two men vying for her affections never comment on her appearance. The challenges she faces throughout the books are about politics, the individual’s obligations to the larger society, and the repercussions of personal choices. She does not shop, talk about shoes, or even hang out with other girls. She doesn’t dislike other girls. She simply has no time for friends.

There is no comparison to serial science fiction in comics. Perhaps Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, but only because it’s based on a (deliberately) feminist television series, one in which the producer retains creative control.

The Hunger Games seemed to me most like the Philip Pullman series, [[[His Dark Materials]]], with the same mistrust of authority, the heroine with a mission whose scope is unknown to her when she begins, the complex and dystopian society. Pullman is a better writer, creating a richer world. There is no love triangle, but there are talking bears.

If you like your fictional worlds created for an adult audience, I highly recommend the books of [[[Elizabeth Hand]]]. The early ones especially are dense and humid, cheaper than a trip to Mexico and much longer-lasting.

Hand, along with Paul Witcover, created a series for DC in the 1990s. Anima was also big fun, mythic while also grungy and pulpy, a Rrriott Grrl for the DCU. Naturally, DC cancelled it before it could find its audience.

This is why there may be lines outside the theaters for the opening of The Hunger Games, but there won’t be lines outside the comic book store.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

 

JOHN OSTRANDER: Prognostications 2012

Crap. Crappity crappitry crap.

It’s New Year’s Day. If it was New Year’s Eve I could look backwards and wax philosophic about 2011. But here we are smack dab in the middle of New Year’s Day, Day 1 for the year 2012, so I really should be looking ahead and prognosticating about what the year will bring especially for comics and related media.

I’m a crappy prognosticator.

Years ago, I read a squib in a newspaper about how a Japanese cell phone company had worked out how to add a camera to their phone and I thought, “What a stupid idea. They’ll have these crappy little photos and how good could the lens be and so on. Who would want that?”

Well, everyone, as it turned out.

Before that, I read another little squib about how the Dean of St. Paul’s cathedral in London was going to do a controlled jump with a parachute from the top of the church to bring attention to a rock opera that was premiering called “Jesus Christ Superstar.” And I thought, ‘What a stupid idea. A rock opera? About Jesus? Who would want to go see that?”

Well, gobs and gobs of people, as it turned out.

So I’m not the world’s foremost prognosticator. The Great Criswell I ain’t.

This year, however, it may not matter. The Mayan calendar ends with 2012 and some people predict that means the world is going to end in 2012. Heck, they’ve already done a big, loud, lousy movie about it. How you can take such a potentially fantastic event and make a lousy movie about it is beyond my – wait. The director was Roland Emmerich, wasn’t it? He’s also the one who directed Anonymous which says Shakespeare didn’t write Shakespeare’s play (piffle, I say!). And the producer/director of the heinous Godzilla remake. Never mind.

Okay, I grant you that maybe this isn’t real strong evidence. I mean, just because the calendar I have on my wall ended last night didn’t mean the world ended. Not if you’re reading this. I bought another calendar. And if the Mayans were all that sharp as prognosticators, why didn’t they chop up every single Spaniard they met into tiny little pieces?

In 2012, we have The Avengers movie coming out, the new Spider-Man movie, The Dark Knight Rises, and even the first of The Hobbit movies. The first of The Hunger Games movies, the next James Bond movie (Skyfall) will also make their appearances. Heck, based on the latest trailer, I’m hyped to see John Carter. This doesn’t even include the stuff that I don’t know I’ll want to see yet. I didn’t know about Hugo until relatively late this year and that may be my favorite film of 2011.

Seriously, would any sort of just and loving god end the world before Mary and I get to see The Hobbit?

Wait, That’s right. I’m agnostic. Said so last week. Doesn’t matter; I’m not going to believe in the Mayans either. We’re going to have 2012 and it’s going to be fun. Despite the Mayans, despite the elections, there are good times waiting out there.

As Stan (the Man) Lee himself was known to say: “Face front, True Believers! Because that’s there the future’s coming from!”

Words of wisdom for us all. Happy New Year, folks.

MONDAY: Mindy Newell