Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Super-Strippers In Their Panties versus Moon-Knight, The Mentally Disordered Superhero

In which the blogger, fearful that he didn't give the first issue of the new Moon-Knight series a fair break, returns to cast an eye over Moon Knight's fun-filled battle against Snapdragon's Legion Of Evil-Strippers;

No, it's clearly not sexist, because there's no pouting going on at all. Even the woman in the background hitching up her dress to show panties and suspenders is there simply to add a touch of realism to a scene which so obviously wouldn't have worked if a simple narrative caption had been added saying "Meanwhile, at a strip club after all the blokes have gone home".
           
1.

Let no-one imagine that Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev haven't thought through the whole contentious business of producing a superhero book containing page after page of villainous female sex-workers in their underwear. What to you and I might well have passed as an frankly inconceivably crass example of old-school sexism, saved only from the very worst of Greg Land-isms by the fact that Mr Maleev's strippers are off-duty and lacking in pout,  is at second glance a cunningly constructed guide to learning about how to spot a trustworthy mistress of the burlesque. Good, kind and honourable women of the sex industry,

This is a good stripper because she's not really a stripper at all. (Note how symbolically important it is to make sure the reader has a real good view of her all-white knickers from a front-on angle when the violence begins.)
         
as no doubt your parents and teachers explained to you, cover up just a little more of the flesh than is typical in the ranks of the pole-swinging, hip-grinding professional classes. In fact, the morally acceptable kind of stripper isn't a stripper of any kind at all, but rather an 'undercover' superhero who's just pretending to be teasing off her clothes for money, as is the case with Echo the ex-Avenger in "Moon-Knight" # 2. And it's to Mr Bendis and Mr Maleev's credit that they worked so carefully to establish a strict visual iconography for their Hogarthian satire here, for only the noble Echo is shown (1) wearing the more modest option of a sports bra while (2) presenting a top'n'bottom matching colour scheme of purity-indicating white. This does, of course, make it hard to understand why super-criminal Snapdragon and her skimpily-attired sex-spies couldn't spot the fact that the handsome and yet-deliberately-modest Echo was amongst them faking the faking of the flashing of the nipples and the gyrating of the reproductive organs for the "little boys who need their mommy". Still, at least that blindingly bright white sports-bra is there to help the reader tell the evil mostly-naked women from the single entirely good and just-slightly-less nude one.

No-one at Marvel noted the largely-naked stripper being covered in gunk projected from a super-hero in this shot, because no-one could possibly have spotted that this was a profoundly stupid design. It's far too easy for critics to play wise after the event.
         
The bad strippers of course, as everybody knows, wear coloured underwear and often have nothing over their breasts but barely-nipple-covering scraps of fabric.  This information is important, because it allows the reader to immediately grasp that what's happening here isn't a steaming pile of appallingly unreconstructed stupidity, but an ironic deconstruction of the modern sex industry, in which the distinction between good women who really aren't corrupt and bad women who really are is tightly and ethically maintained.

Lesson Number 1: There are bad strippers and there are good women in white sports bras only pretending to be strippers in order to be better super-heroines.

Echo: Not just an unambiguously strong role model for women, but an outstanding example of diversity in the superhero comic.
        
2.

You might take a look at these panels and jump to the conclusion that "Moon Knight" # 2 is nothing but the most chauvinistic of comics, but you'd be wrong, and you'd be a humourless PC bigot if you thought anything of the sort. For the truth is that the script and the art make it plain that these women are anything other than just sex objects. Why, one of them manages to match the clearly mentally disordered Moon Knight in a fist-fight, and if being shown to be capable of matching blows wearing nothing but your pants'n'bra with an insane and pathetic male superhero isn't a show of respect to women everywhere, then I don't know what is. Yes, it's true that in the end our utterly disordered superhero is shown actually winning the conflict with Snapdragon and her taser-firing stripper-accomplice in the fetching purple undies, and, yes, it is true that the villainous women have to be saved by a very large Black American man with a pistol, but that's a minor point which only the most didactic of critics would dwell on. For these women are admirably strong as well as bad. And they have the kind of plan which shows that the female sex, and particularly the younger and more traditionally attractive of its members, is effortlessly capable of undressing and taking their destinies in their own hands. These sex workers are symbols of an aggressive feminine capacity to turn men's sexism against them, to manipulate the vain and weak "powerful men" who visit strip clubs in the hope that attractive naked women will, as Snapdragon declares to her sisters and comrades in a devastatingly pro-feminist declaration, " kiss the boo-boo".

One in the eye for those who would see a comic set in a room of barely-clothed sex workers as a regressive text, from a super-villain who is fully-clothed!
       
And so, Snapdragon's super-strippers aren't there in "Moon Knight" # 2 to present male readers with a titillating, trouser-stretching and childishly transgressive experience. No, they're a critique of any such reading experience. For what a reader blinded by feminist ideology might mistake for an utterly unnecessary and unbelievably shallow use of sexual themes is, in truth, a sign of how women really can be in control of their lives. "Moon Knight" # 2 is a sex and gender samizdat, a threateningly subversive pop art product which challenges its readers to look beyond the panties to the fact that the women here are selling both their bodies and their integrity in order to make what is presumably a rather good living for very little hard work. And in return for passing on to Sanapdragon the indiscretions overheard while whipping their clothes off in a public space, these sex workers will make even more money out of the despicable men who "need something they don't have". In such a way can woman, after the fashion of a kind of ideological judo, use men's weaknesses against them by working with the independent-minded Snapdragon and her, by coincidence, profoundly male super-villain boss.

But the gender of the character who's in charge of this whole process of stripping and snitching isn't in any way important to the overall pro-women meaning of this tale. Of course it's not. Somebody's got to be in charge, and it'd be sexist to suggest that men can't make money out of stripping too.

Lesson number two: A feminist text is one which contains the words "They want you to kiss the boo-boo."

If this book is unfair in its representations of any single group, it's clearly white men. "Moon Knight" # 2: political correctness gone mad? Why can't white men can't be anything other than insane Avengers or criminal masterminds?
         
3.

Let's be plain about the radical nature of this text. If there's anyone who's being subject to a devastating representation in "Moon Knight" # 2, it's white men, who only appear on the page when they're (1) super-heroes suffering from D.I.D., or (2) super-villains.

This comic-book is nothing, and indeed far less than nothing, if it's not an overwhelmingly challenging statement made against the domination of the super-hero sub-genre by white males associated with both just and ill causes.

But the PC brigade will try to tell you different. They'll point to the apparently constant objectification of women in these pages as evidence of an adolescent and dismissive attitude to "social justice", but they'll miss the fact that these women are so able that they can strip, store tips in their underwear and remember the details of their punter's conversations too. More than that, one of them can taser and punch Marc Spector while he's wearing

Why must white men be constantly portrayed as nothing but maniacs with three separate super-heroic personalities at the same time?
         
two super-hero costumes and she's got nothing on but one set of purple beneaths. Oh, and those joyless and emasculating bores will be out to spoil your fun by not only thinking too much, but by missing the fact that there are also representations of people of colour in positions of power and authority in this book. "Moon Knight" is a comic which doesn't just stop at showing respect to women! No, it's a book that's there to display respect to everyone that it can. And so Echo herself, as everyone who's a fan must surely know, is a Native American, while we've twice in the new Moon Knight series seen black men represented as powerful criminal figures shooting guns at heroic if misguided white males.

Strong women. Determined women. Real big Black American males with particularly good gun skills.

This is a thoughtful and progressive text, but they won't see that. They never do.

Lesson number 3: It's the ordinary white male who's getting badly done by in the modern superhero book.

A strong female super-heroine is a super-heroine unconcerned for a man's dirty little mind, is a super-heroine who can stand there in her bra and panties even though there's no reason at all for her not to be more fully clothed.
           
4.

Let's close with a glance at how "Moon Knight" # 2 proves that modern women don't have to be ashamed of their bodies. For example,  rather than being concerned with the male gaze, Echo is proud to wear nothing but her shining white underwear wherever she goes. White undies in the strip club, white undies in her own rented rooms, and, presumably, white undies for all points in between, since Maya frees Spector in her undies and is still wearing them when she gets him home, meaning that's she's crossed town in them too. (They were escaping! She didn't have time to change!) It just goes to show that Maya Lopez is always strong and proud to be seen in her not-as-skimpy-as-they-might-be skimpies. She refuses to let the fact that she's wearing hardly any clothes reduce her to anything other than the most obviously professional and capable of super-people. Just as the likes of Thor and Captain America and Superman are forever being shown in their posing pouches while pretending to be undercover male prostitutes and gross-out hen-night entertainers, so Echo stands as an absolute equal with them, proudly daring to be shown only pretending to be dressed as largely-naked sex object.

But .... what's she doing?
            
And in this triumph of an obvious salute to the principles of the Slut-Walk, in this clear sign of support for women fighting for the right to wear what they like without being reduced to the status of sexual objects and targets for sexual violence, I salute the creators and editors of "Moon Knight" # 2.  How better to stand behind all those women fighting for their rights, in whatever form, in whatever way,  in the face of what's still a predominantly patriarchal society than by presenting the only women in a superhero book as criminal sex workers lacking most of their clothes? In an industry, a medium and a sub-genre which so often represents women as little more than objects for male gratification, in a tradition of storytelling which so often seems oblivious to the importance of representations of gender and sex, it's an absolute joy to finally have a definitive text from a mostly all-male creative team making the statement that comic books are for men and women, that they're welcoming and inclusive and respectful and very, very smart.

(1) It is NOT a butt-shot if you can't see the curves of the bottom of the buttocks, and (2) this shot clearly establishes that Echo is the dominant figure in the scene in a way which no other representation of the be-underwear-ed female form could have done.
         
After all, Mr Bendis and Mr Maleev could have chosen to tell any other story at all, but they decided to bravely present us with this biting satire on the toxic content of so much of modern entertainment and contemporary finger-pointing ideology. They could have sidestepped all that underwear and gunge and awkwardness about race and sex and ethnicity and gender and mental disorder, but they were determined to face up to the challenges of the most contentious of modern social discourses. And they did it in a fun way too! No wonder the reviews on many of the most visited sites on the net and in the pod-o-sphere have praised this comic for being "subtle", "classic", "thoughtful", "crazy", "a great premise" and "funny".

Lay down your banners, push aside your Shelley and Steinem, your Dworkin and your Dresselhuys,  the millennium is here. Now we can just concentrate, thank heavens, on being awesome and making sure that everything rocks. As Nigel Tufnal told us long ago, and you'd think that folks would've grasped this point by now, there's nothing wrong with being sexy.

Lesson No: 4: There's nothing wrong with sexy.

A breakthrough in gritty realism. Thank heavens that rather than focusing on the stereotyping of sex workers, we're being shown the essential nitty-gritty of their lives, including the business of pulling their dresses up for reasons which only the character herself has any business thinking about. If this was nothing but tawdry sexism, these women would be pouting! But they're not, so it's more than OK!
           
In closing, let me make a few things plain, in order to save any stray visitor wasting time on comments which I'll only delete. Yes, I do just want attention, I do know Moon-Knight # 2 is just fun, I am nothing but a trouble-maker, I do know nothing about modern entertainment, I have no sense of humour, I know everybody else hates me nah-nah-na-nah, I really ought to stop trying to ruin people's fun by over-thinking, I am a horrible snob, I do write too much, I know this issue was all a great joke to smoke out self-righteous PC would-be gatekeepers, I really should stop whinging about social issues because I can't change anything and nobody cares nah-nah-na-nah , I clearly know nothing about the forceful challenges to sexism in other books produced by Moon Knight's current creators, and, let's be honest, I am the anti-Christ, the whore of Babylon, and the bloke who pretended to be Lou Reed when David Bowie saw the Velvets in the New York of 1970. Next!

NEXT!

.

28 comments:

  1. Opening Ebay up in another tab straight away!

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  2. Hello Mark:- Oh, you must! It's an event! I recommend it, it's a wonder of bad taste to behold!

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  3. Just to be clear... there was a healthy amount of sarcasm in this post, right?

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  4. Hello there:- I hope so, I certainly wanted it to be so from the off, though I'd prefer "healthy" were replaced by "toxic" :)

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  5. In the wise words of Judge Dredd, the above post "LOOKS LIKE TOTAL NUKE-OUT!".

    - Charles RB

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  6. Charles, if only I could take out the mega-city of sexist pap with a well aimed blog-ticle .....

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  7. Ah, prude america! You have to love it. I thought the undercover-striper who doesn´t strip was a part of the 90s, but no. What a novel idea.

    This isn´t sexist - it is just dumb and cowardly. I always cringe when Marvel does a new tale set in Germany or the Balkan and it is straight out of a Frankenstein movie of the 30s. Which was false even then. Burgomeisters and Leatherpants, good grief.

    The same goes for everything with sex. In mainstream comics everyone wants to eat their cake and have it to. To have their nudity but not to show it. Sex and violence is a staple of Pulp. But sadly it is okay to lovingly depict horrible mutilations in mainstream comics, but topless woman are beyond the pale.

    I browsed these days through the Manara drawn X-Men. And I couldn´t help thinking what a waste of talent. This man is such an artist, and here he has to deliver more boring art than Greg Land on a bad day because the X-Girls can´t be shown in the nude. (Needless anecdote: the Dodsens have published an comic in Europe with some drawn nudity, and it was as good work as they do in their mainstream comics. I wonder when Coraline will be publisehd in America)

    The new Moon Knight seem to become a real nice and worthwhile series. Even if the amalgam Spiderine-costume looks more idiotic than Echo in her sportsbra as an undercover-striper who doesn´t strip.

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  8. Props for quoting Nigel Tufnel, Colin. This comic does indeed look as though it should be entitled Smell the Glove. It wouldn't surprise me if one can see oneself in both sides of the cover.

    I realise that the character of Echo in the MU predates Joss Whedon's TV show Dollhouse, but it's interesting that the main protagonist of that show is called Echo, and spends many episodes in skimpy clothing in a variety of demeaning roles. The show, especially taken as a whole, does interesting things with that fact – sufficiently interesting that a lot of things you say with tongue in cheek about this issue of Moon Knight could, I think. be legitimately and sincerely said about Dollhouse. That said, even if such a work has depth and merit (and I believe that Dollhouse does), the creators are always open to the accusation that they want to have their (cheese)cake and eat it too.

    My rule when it comes to Boo Boo is that whatever one wants, Mr Ranger isn't going to like it...

    Alex S

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  9. Ask any sociology boffins and they'll tell you that native Americans are a dead culture, so few are their numbers and so small their reservations, and it's heartening to see that as an ethnic group they're almost overexposed in comics terms, outnumbering the Scots and the Irish in such franchises as the X-Men.
    Yet in all the strip clubs and brothels I've visited - I won't lie, it's been more than a few - I've never come across a native American sex worker and it's not for wont of trying, so it's good to see Bendis determined to fill this frustrating gap in America's sex industry even if only in fiction. Does he get the credit he deserves? Does he bollocks.

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  10. Hello Andy:- it's always interesting to see your take on matters, because - as is only to be expected - you've got an entirely different cultural perspective on things. For example, I wouldn't have thought 'prude america', and yet I can seen how MK # 2 does carry a sense of a repressed sexuality struggling to find ways of expressing itself. There's SUCH a strange mixture of the fetishistic and the sweatless here.

    "I always cringe when Marvel does a new tale set in Germany or the Balkan and it is straight out of a Frankenstein movie of the 30s."

    I'm just reading through Mark Millar's Swamp Things from 1995 set in a very odd 'Black Forest'; I hope representations of your nation have improved since then :)

    My problem with MK # 2 is that it's so .... so much of a waste of time. What's wrong with being sexy, as Nigel T. asked, but given how constant sexism is in this far-future of 2011, why would anyone want to avoid the central debates in order to play at being blokes? Similarly, why would anyone just not care about issues of representations in general. After all, these are creators who've done sterling work elsewhere, so why just ... throw everything up into the air now, as if 'fun' and 'responsibility' are somehow now mutually exclusive principles.

    Truth to tell, or rather my long-distance, totally ill-informed version of it, this would seem to be either a case of no one thinking to pay attention to any wider issues of social justice, or perhaps even a playful joust at political correctness.

    My mind aches at the very idea of a super-heroine who's 'undercover' as a worker in the sex-industry, stripper or not. It just seems to me to be ... an opportunity not entirely well dealt with :)

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  11. Hello Alex:- The point is, of course, that Spinal Tap was in part a stab at unconscious but patently vile attitudes to women. Now, MK # 2 isn't suggesting that any gloves get sniffed, but it's a really dodgy look-at-her-knickers experience and Marvel should be ashamed of itself. Really. If this honestly is a gold-standard book for the Marvel Comics of 2011, well, someone's left their heart and their conscience behind them in the search for awesome yucks.

    I've no idea where MK goes next, although I'll not be following; I'm not investing my money in those underwear shots :) But it may end up dealing with these issues of sex and gender in an interesting fashion. The problem is that the monthly comic is a briefly-read experience where there's no room to make moral statements today which need to be qualified months further on the down the line.

    Dollhouse, for all that it was obviously being written as it went along, did have interesting things to say about sexuality and power. They weren't always coherent, or even self-consistent, but there WAS considerable and entertaining evidence of a dialogue going on in the programme. There's nothing of depth or cleverness in MK # 2, or if there is, well, I'm sorry to the creators and editors involved, but it went right over my head.

    After all, it is absolutely possible to tell a brilliant story about strippers being used to collect indiscretion WITHOUT the knickers and the pulled-up skirt shots. If those shots didn't need to be there, then why put them in?

    Enter a Greek chorus of those in favour in the gratuitous panty-shots: it's just fun, you're a fascist, you think too much, blah-blah-blah, or, perhaps Boo HOO HOO Wahhhh

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  12. Ah, Mr Brigonis, no-one can make me laugh as you can :) As a Sociology boffin m'self, I fear I've missed those meetings where everyone else came to those judgments, but - similarly - being a Sociology boffin I always respect academics who undertake field work. Your tireless explorations in the hell-holes of human depravity, and various strip clubs and brothels too, have obviously yielded vital observational - if not participant-centred - data which deserves to be aired here in the community of the deeply concerned.

    You will perhaps be pleased - or perhaps not - to discover that the Splendid Wife's descent into kipping after a long day was interrupted by my cackling at your learned and objective words. My best to you, Sir B.

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  13. Love your blog, Sir. And am so relieved I can now leer at comic depictions of super heroines in underwear as an expression of freedom and feminism.

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  14. Yikes! You, sir, owe yourself a reward after that. Go read something good!

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  15. Hello Mr B:- your kind words are very much appreciated.

    Coming soon; a love of censorship as an expression of democratic freedoms and how minsterlsy promotes racial equality .... :)

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  16. Hello Carl:- I will! I'm writing three pieces about 3 comics/creators which totally inspire me, one for here and two for other sites.

    There's going to be a great deal of admiration and enthusiasm flying around the TooBusyThinking blog-o-sphere, I promise you!

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  17. Have to say I skipped the new Moon Knight by Bendis and Maleev (did not read the old one either ftm), but this looks pretty "interesting".

    Might have to give it a look. Thanks for the review! ;)

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  18. Hello There:- MK # 2 is indeed "interesting", and I really would recommend that folks do check it out. I say that NOT with my tongue in my cheek, but because (1) it really is worth reading for the debates it throws up, and (2) I could be entirely wrong about what I wrote above. There may be some folks blogging who want to put others buying this comic or that one, but I'd rather be starting a little debate than closing one off :)

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  19. Call me crazy Colin, but something - I can't put my finger on what - is beginning to give me the impression that you don't like TV shows whose story arcs are made up as the creators go along :-)

    Alex S

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  20. Alex, you're CRAZY! CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAZY!

    Or;

    Yep, I've got to find a few new chords to play on THAT particular guitar, haven't I :)

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  21. "Kipping?" What is that, some kind of fish?

    Remember when Bendis & Maleev constructed a compelling story about the loss of privacy, family tragedy, the effect one man can have on his world, and the price of lying? Well, those days are over! CRACK OPEN A COLD ONE, IT'S STRIPPER TIME!!!

    - Mike Loughlin

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  22. Thanks for this guide. I have been unable to enter a house of ill repute until now, purely because I couldn't identify the evil strippers. I will now be able to print this off and use it as a guide on some future trip to the jack the rippers, dodging any and all semi-naked ladies with evil intentions, who I can now denounce loudly safe in the knowledge that no good strippers will be harmed in the process.

    It would certainly have saved me from some problems in Amsterdam - I'd have been able to avoid the shortcut passed the sex workers most liable to attack you in the street, causing one to retire to a coffee shop to regain one's composure (the daytime hooker who was so awed by my appearance she chased me down the road in her underoos was certainly not wearing a sports bra and panties, not that I had much time to look over my shoulder thanks to all the running away I was doing). Perhaps this time I'll make it to Anne Frank's house. All thanks to you ably assisted by Messrs Bendis and Maleev.

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  23. Hello Mike:- I do remember those tales, and if I turn my head I can see one HUGE omnibus which cost me all the disposable income from my teacher's pension one month last year. I came not to savage Caesar ...

    Daft business, this whole Moon Knight indulgence. If Marvel and its creators want a book that's more fun, they don't have to fill it up with sexist imagery. The world is awash with such 'fun'. Why not have a whack at fun that serves a purpose beyond WOW HE'S BONKERS and LOOK AT THEM PANTIES?

    Kipping? One of my favourite words! From an 18th century Danish word meaning the worst kind of brothel, cheap'n'nasty. Imported by the Brits and applied to anywhere where the worst of the lower orders - damn them! - were forced to sleep. Finally ended up associated with sleep in a general recreational sense, often with a snatched moment of peace grabbed when something else really ought to have been being done.

    To have a kip. I recommend it :)

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  24. Hello Emperor:- and once again, the fact that this book wasn't just cheap laughs in the face of mental disorder and the sex industry is established by the real-life uses that its contents could be put to. How many of us when in brothels - or who accidentally find themselves in Continental red light districts while on cultural tours - are caught not knowing which panty-wearing sex worker is a snitch and who is an Avenger? Well, hurrah! to this creative team for showing us that cheap entertainment isn't cheap at all. As you and Mr Brigonos have shown, this is the very best type of fiction, fiction with an educative purpose.

    Watch out for the white sports bras, Mr E. It could be the Scarlet Witch, the Wasp, She-Hulk, Jessica Jones ... What else would a super-heroine be doing, unless it was cleaning the mansion and helping Jarvis make healthy snacks from last night's left-overs?

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  25. Indeed and thanks for pointing this out, unfortunately, in my (admittedly skimpy and heavily documentary-based) survey of sex workers I have yet to see one in sports bra and matching pants, so perhaps all those serial killers were right...

    What you have spectacularly failed to do is explain why Echo seems to spend the rest of the episode running around in the aforementioned undercrackers. LA is warm but I suspect it can still get chilly at night.

    All this talk about superheroes and strippers reminds me of an episode of Smallville I stumbled across where Clark has to infiltrate a gentlemen's club to do something or other and finds Lois Lane also going undercover by uncovering herself. There are all sorts of headscratching aspects to that (he has superhearing and X-ray vision, why does he even need to enter a seedy establishment like that? One which his adopted parents would certainly not approve of, Zor-El on the other hand...). However, it did have fun properly reversing the power dynamic (the one that certain people claim exists, making stripping empowering, but it doesn't really), but that only worked because Clark was supremely uncomfortable about the whole thing. Still it is a minefield of a setting that could so easily... go off in your face (he says recalling that he has a story somewhere in the pipeline involving a Viking-themed male stripclub called the Schlong Boat).

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  26. Hello Emperor:- There is a simple reason why Echo remains so de-clothed, and although I hate to upset you, Mr E, it's sexism. There you go, I've said it. Sarcasm be darned, it's just a wretched book. Obviously the creators aren't setting out to be sexist, but m'grud they're not making the slightest effort not to be. It's all rather sad, isn't it?

    In my time in L.A., several decades ago, it was VERY hot at night. But I never did see anyone walking around in their underwear at night unless they were doing so with a specific commercial purpose. I suspect - and again I fear to upset you here - that realism and social justice were not the driving concerns here.

    I saw a great deal of chat about that Smallville episode on the malestream's blogosphere. Few folks seemed too concerned about either the ethics or the holes in the plot. Do you think .... that these might not always be ... the concerns that they might be with certain fan-blokes.

    Of Viking-themed stripclubs, I fear your passing and accidental knowledge will have stand for both of us :)

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  27. "There is a simple reason why Echo remains so de-clothed, and although I hate to upset you, Mr E, it's sexism."

    Get out of here!! I had assumed it stemmed from that kind of moronic early teen discussion: "If I was a chick I'd walk everywhere in just my undies, if I ever left the house, because I'd so spend all day just feeling my boobs." Although usually common sense kicks in when that wild flood of hormones recedes slightly and common sense retakes the driving seat.

    It also might be that she was on PCP, which not only gives people enhanced strength but makes them take their clothes off - you might have visited the wrong parts of LA to see this happening (probably for the best I suspect). I am only surprised more supes don't get high on angel dust.

    "Few folks seemed too concerned about either the ethics or the holes in the plot."

    He can see through walls and hear a bat fart on the Moon (in those caves full of moonbats) - I can see why this might make a randy teenage Superman into the world's biggest voyeur, I am mystified as to why he needed to go undercover as a patron of a stripclub. I have a sneaking suspicion the answer won't be have much to do with story or character development, and more to do with skin area ratios.

    "Do you think .... that these might not always be ... the concerns that they might be with certain fan-blokes."

    Lois Lane was taking her kit off!! Sorry what were we talking about again?

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  28. Oh, Emperor, how I regret that our universe holds no great farting moonbat caves on the moon. For all the dangers of the superheroic universes, there are WONDERS too ..

    On the matter of the correct interpretation of the reason why MK # 2 is so panty-led; well, I do hope you caught the tongue in my cheek when I informed you of the secret of the sexism therein. To be honest, I found myself just wanting to call a panty-obsessed comic a panty-obsessed comic.

    I was in L.A. while Angel Dust was still a media drug. I saw no sign of old women pushing trolleys full of bags round the 100 suburbs looking for a city centre while throwing police officers through pet shop windows. BUT I TRIED.

    "I am mystified as to why he needed to go undercover as a patron of a stripclub. I have a sneaking suspicion the answer won't be have much to do with story or character development, and more to do with skin area ratios."

    It does make me laugh, though not with any absence of bitterness, to read of folks declaring that feminism has won its fights, or even - GRUD HELP ME!!! - that's it's gone too far. Get me my ray gun, Emperor, I hear the vile voice of Peter Hitchens ..

    Sorry, what were we talking about again?

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