Well, it happened. This week, my non-super hero choices were limited to one, Special Forces. The cover reminded me too much of my childhood best friend Linda, and her brother's collection of 70's era Mad magazine. So I went with the prettiest cover, which was attached to the (cue music) Immortal Iron Fist.
It's going to be hard for me to be...open-minded? I've gone from semi-realistic comics to one that deals with mystical cities, special passageways between Heaven and Earth, super-powers somehow related to kung fu, and two artists drawing the same book. What do you want me to do? In reading the recap page, I tried to take it all in, and read carefully so that I could follow the comic book. Even though I did that, I'm grateful that there was even more recapping going on in the comic, just to help me keep it all straight.
I've got to jump directly to my major problem with this comic. I'm keeping up with the story, interested in the train, how mean the dude was, was rocking a little suspense about Danny Rand and how he's going to deal with all those Hydras and then suddenly we cut to "Kun-Lun, Many years ago." It's not just a Kun-Lun, it's Kun-Lun, many years ago, so I have to keep track of that, and then it jumps to Kun-Lun, currently, so i'm trying to keep track of that (and having a bit of a hard time by now) and just as I get into it, and start to really enjoy the fight sequence, and get excited, I turn the page and it looks like a completely different story. I go back and forth three times just to try to understand why the Davos person is wearing some purple headgear on one page and just...isn't, on the next. It wasn't clear to me, until i'd gone back and forth, that the story had jumped backwards in time again. Maybe it's supposed to be. Maybe i'm just supposed to see a new artist and immediately understand what's going on, but I didn't.
It reminded me of when Becky was replaced on Roseanne with a new actress, except this time they did it mid-episode and then re-replaced her with the original by the end. It's just disorienting. And obnoxious. It would be one thing if it was a simple storyline...but it's totally not! I admire the creativity, the echoes of capital-M Mythology, but for the first time reader? To deal with, like, this:
"Every 88 years, K'un-Lun and the six other capital cities of Heaven align on a single mystical plane. Pieces of each city interlock with each other and the Earth to form the Heart of Heaven. It is here that the seven Immortal Weapons meet to face each other in a giant tournament to determine who has the best kung fu! At stake in the tournement....passage to Earth! The winning city will materialize in our world once a decade; the loser, only once every five."
So bearing that in mind and then remembering Danny "heard tell" of another passage and is on his way to bring the "Good News" but is being sabotaged by...I don't know! What's happening? I don't want to read anymore.
The snow looked pretty. I liked the black guy and the term "August Personage In Jade." I'm going to start referring to people like that. I am Nina Personage in Indigo at the moment.
Anyway, I hope everything goes okay for Danny in the future. And what's up with him and Misty? Ooh-la-la!
I was really tired last week. Really, really, really tired. If you want to know why, email me. But if only if you really care.
Anyway, that's why I waited to talk about DMZ. I picked this, as i can remember, because it had the most appealing cover. I'm not really sure. (Look, I was tired. I remember why I was tired, but not why I picked this comic. Leave it alone.)
It wasn't a bad comic. I've just been more tripped up about the female character when I think about what I read. She's basically that character Angelina Jolie plays in every single movie she ever appears in. It's that sort of character that isn't just aggressive, tough and hardcore, she's so far past that she's become a sort of masculine dude with female body parts--sort of a male fantasy character. That actually pisses me off more than the female objectification slut girl that pisses everybody else off. This Lara Croft by-the-way of The Godfather bothers me more because it's an ideal that's put out there in media written by women, for women, in places like Cosmo as if it's the ideal regular women should be striving for. A strong, independent, highly sexual woman, who can take or leave sex all the while remaining emotionally detached. In my experience of myself as a woman, and my experience with other women, women who actually behave in that fashion either operate that way for a little while until it's made clear that they are actually super-vulnerable fucked up people, or I watch as they try to behave that way, and turn into super- vulnerable fucked up people.
The whole time I keep wondering: What's so wrong with being female, and having emotions, and getting attached? Why is that not cool?
I'm not coming down on the writer, because it's clear the male character in the story was attached to her, and had emotions for her (possibly even more so then she did)--i don't think Mr. Wood is anti-emotion or anti-female. But it's this bullshit New Era stereotype, and I don't like it. If the typical objectification of women is somehow distorting to the average womens self-image, than this sort of New Era ideal promotes complete self-hatred. If what a man would love best about a woman is that she is "cool" and able to put her career before her attachments, able to have passionate sex with him, and then be totally fine when the relationship goes nowhere; that's demands that I (or any girl) who tries to live up to that must annihilate her entire emotional life to serve that fantasy. And that's just fucking stupid.
A while ago, I started realizing how so many women's books and commentary about relationships seems to have this underlying agenda of needing to turn men's behavior and emotions to be more like a woman's for a relationship to work. You know, they need to embrace their feelings more, learn to communicate, blah, blah blah. But then I realized....I think we''re trying to make men be more like women, and that's just not fair. If one is influenced by these voices, one goes into relationships with some underlying belief that there is something basically wrong with men. And, I finally realized -- there's not. Men are men. They have a specific nature. And I like men -- just the way they are. So here I am, reading about the reverse of that sort of archetype of bullshit. Like, if this chick is the ideal, then the men who dig this prototype are approaching relationships thinking there's something inherently wrong with women, and that they need to be more like men. And that just sucks.
I know, its just a comic. I probably missed the whole point of it. I was so tired and cranky last week, read it, fell asleep; and then let it marinate in my own head for a week.....so who knows. I may not be reviewing the comic at all, but using it as a jumping off point for my own personal philosophy that I've never really written down -- until now. But if so.....um....so be it? It feels good to write about it.
Hope I haven't come across angry, per se. And again....if I have, its not about the writer of this comic. It just stirred up this issue for me. Maybe its more how I feel about Angelina and what she DOESN'T do for women's self image. :)
-Nina Miller, 2007