Monday, August 20, 2007

DC's Secret Campaign to Sell Comics to Woodiwiss Fans

Ahem

I picked up Black Canary 1 cuz, well it had Black Canary looking kick ass on the cover. I thought the story was fun, but it didn't hold my interest enough for me to have bothered to read #2.

Mommy Canary falls victim to the awesomeness of Kara!

Honestly. Seriously. I bought both (yes, late) and got incredibly distracted by how cool Supergirl was. I had been almost looking forward to reading more of about Mom- er - Black Canary but well, it was like when I was forced to go back to American chocolate after having traveled through Belgium and Switzerland. It was just too depressing. I needed some more time to savor the latter before going back to the former.

Having read pervyficgirl's critique of Black Canary 4, I'm kinda glad I haven't been by the comic book store in the last few weeks. Because omg, if I want to read about a relationship marred by Big Misunderstandings, Alpha Males who do not appreciate the the awesomeness of their women, Heroines that are TSTL*, and everything else that goes along with all that - including bad dialogue, I'll pick up a romance novel, thank you very much. A crappy one at that. (Julia Quinn would ashamed to write such dreck.) At least then I'll be getting beefcake instead of cheesecake.

e_e

(with special thanks to ami for teaching me the emoticon for "rolls eyes")

*for non romance readers, this means "Too Stupid to Live." While this term is generally reserved for damsels who can't manage to wake up in the morning without bringing calamity upon themselves, I think it also accurately describes a superhero who breaks down in tears in the middle of fights.

6 comments:

"Starman" Matt Morrison said...

For what it's worth, I think pervygirl's critique was horribly slanted. I'm not Bedard's biggest fan but whatever else you may say about his portrayal of Dinah in this series, she was not a doormat.

She kicked Ollie's ass in three seconds without breaking a sweat in issue #3, for crying out loud!

Also, while Dinah was crying in Issue #4.. she was still kicking ass THROUGH HER TEARS!

She thought her daughter had died, for crying out loud. I know Dinah is tough but I don't think there's a mother alive who WOULDN'T cry if they thought their child has just died.

Besides, as my own feminist momma taught me when I was a little boy, crying is not a sign of weakness. And IMHO, Canary was anything but weak in this issue.

Mickle said...

Really, it's not so much the crying as The Big Misunderstanding and the fact that The Big Misunderstanding came about because Ollie couldn't trust her for whatever reason. And while I figured pervyfic girls view on Dinah's crying might not be the norm, I have a hard time seeing how her description of the plot was slanted.

I will be reading the issues myself at some point (although probably not paying for it) but -ugh - I hate those plots no matter what.

And yeah, tears are good. Not so much in the middle of a fight, no matter whether or not you keep fighting, though. Years of playing soccer taught me that the better, and more useful response is anger. That you can redirect. Sorrow just drains you. I rather think Dinah would have learned that by now too. But maybe you are right and it comes off differently, I'll see today when I go in to the store.

The cheese was beginning to annoy me in 1 anyway. Not that it was over the top, just that it was noticeable. And since I'm used to the opposite in my stories, I tend to notice it. And being used to similar plot lines (right down to not bio kid to take care of!) in romance novels, it mostly just struck me as funny. And ironic somehow, I think.

"Starman" Matt Morrison said...

Really, it's not so much the crying as The Big Misunderstanding and the fact that The Big Misunderstanding came about because Ollie couldn't trust her for whatever reason.

Actually, IIRC - Ollie never got a chance to clue Dinah in on the plan to begin with, since Dinah ran off to rescue Sin on her own and she kicked Ollie made the mistake of saying "I'm not letting you go off on your own."

Her response?

"Let me? LET ME?!" followed by a royal arsewhooping.

I've decided this is a big enough issue that I'm going to write a whole review of the series once I'm home. Follow the link above and you should all be able to read it.

"Starman" Matt Morrison said...

Had a brain fart while editing and then a sudden rush at work.

That first part should read...

Actually, IIRC - Ollie never got a chance to clue Dinah in on the plan to begin with, since Dinah ran off to rescue Sin on her own after Ollie made the mistake of saying "I'm not letting you go off on your own."

I got stuck debating the merits of including the phrase "after kicking Ollie's ass after he made the mistake..."

Was too many afters for my taste and I thought it was better to spell out the scene. ;)

Anyway... mea culpa.

Mickle said...

"Ollie never got a chance to clue Dinah in on the plan to begin with"

If that's the only reason why he didn't tell her, then what the hell is the conversation after she gets Sin's note about? ("I couldn't risk it being fake" - etc.)

In either case, it's still a relationship plot revolving around a Big Misunderstanding, and it's still the story a Reformed Rake who proves he's reformed by making a Big Sacrifice. It's also still got the child/younger sibling/charge whose safety and welfare is the source of the Big Misunderstanding.

The only things you seem to be really arguing are

1) Dinah was being wimpy by crying.

Which wasn't my argument anyway. I was arguing that she was being stupid. And - now having read #2 and #4 (they were out of #3) - yeah, she was. She totally should have made sure the bad guys were tied up/in jail, etc. before breaking down. But that wouldn't have given Ollie another excuse to let the League go before letting Dinah in on the plan. e_e

And yeah, thats a common lazy plot device to have the hero be overconfident - but how many male heroes forget to tie up the bad guys in part because they really just need to cry?

2) It's ok that Ollie was being as ass because she called him on it.

Um, no. It's not.

As Laurie speculates in issue 130 of At the Back Fence (part of All About Romance) regarding "the power of the "virgin reforms rake" plot":

"Perhaps this is another aspect of the "woman as nurturer" archetype, similar to the reason so many women are drawn to emotionally wounded men."

(Black Canary may or may not be a virgin, but she certainly isn't a playboy. However, she calls Green Arrow one right before accepting his proposal. For that, and other reasons, it's still the same basic plot as "virgin reforms rake".)

Rather than breaking stereotypes of women not being able to kick ass, the dynamic between Ollie and Dinah (as shown in Living in Sin) bolsters the idea that a woman's greatest superpower is her ability to civilize.

Yeah, Black Canary has romance novel written all over it.

Which would be fine, if it wasn't using the some of the worst stereotypes of romance or wasn't full of cheesecake instead of beefcake.

Part of the reason I put up with this crap in romance novels is because there is so little recognition of the female gaze. I'm willing to put up with some flaws in Romance Novels that I won't in other types of stories because romance novels include things that most stories won't touch. Living With Sin isn't including anything that mainstream stories don't often include. So why should I put up with the big huge flaws?

"Starman" Matt Morrison said...

If that's the only reason why he didn't tell her, then what the hell is the conversation after she gets Sin's note about? ("I couldn't risk it being fake" - etc.)

I wondered that myself. And I was willing to write it off as Ollie's natural flare for the dramatic overtaking his common sense... but, having just read Birds of Prey #109 - also written by Tony Bedard, I now have a new explanation.

He's a hack. Plain and simple.

You can read my journal for the nitty-gritty details and more examples of Tony Bedard (and DC Edtiorial) incompetence. Suffice it to say, I'm no longer debating any complaints about Black Canary #4.

I am persuaded. Let the man write Supergirl but keep him away from Green Arrow and Black Canary.