Dark and edgy and sexy

Posted by RazzaTazz (9568 posts) - - Show Bio
Justice League Dark has thus far been a little bit of a hit and miss series for me.  Granted it is only three issues in, but generally speaking by "Dark" they have meant either edgy or magical.  I have read very little of Vertigo titles in my life, yet I am familiar with certain things that transpire there, and so when Constantine and Zatanna practiced tantric sex it was not a surprise to me.  I am not opposed to the depiction of sex in any medium, just I feel generally it should be somewhat linked to the story and not gratuitous (the same could be said for violence in any medium.)  What is interesting here though is that the depiction of something which is edgy and magical means some unconventional sexual relationships, and in effect incorporating in sex into this concept of magic.  I am not at all familiar with the history of magic and sex being intertwined but in terms of the Western application of magic it is a fairly new concept, having been around since only the early 19th century.  Of course there is a difference here and that is that the sex is not being used in the magic, but rather to feed into the overall feel of the characters and their lives.  Of course there is also nothing wrong with the depiction, but it is is first of all strange to see it portrayed so much in one place and so often (in addition to John and Zatanna, there is also some storylines focusing on sex dealing with Deadman as well as with Shade.)   For me though this use of sex as a source of tension between characters does detract a little bit from the stories themselves and seems to be taking the easy way out as opposed to making the characters and situations dark and edgy, and not just the love lives of those involved.  
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#1 Posted by Delphic (1467 posts) - - Show Bio

It is actually the above panel that has further developed my interest in magic based characters, or at least one of the panels that has developed my interest. Magic and sexual relations might be a fairly new perception of the concept, but what it boils down to is the use of magic to achieve a sense of bliss, and that has been around for quite some time. I read somewhere earlier where someone mentioned love potions, and this is one form of that magic in that sense.

#3 Posted by cosmo111687 (1489 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm actually really comfortable with the depictions of sex in these last few issues. I think those scenes (just like most of the other scenes, whither they be Zatanna and Batman conversing in the Bat Cave or Dove commenting on how she likes Joan Armatrading) are mainly designed to familiarize new readers with these characters. For instance, taking the example above, some readers may not know that Zatanna and Constantine have a history together, that their relationship sometimes includes casual sex, and that Zatanna doesn't view their relationship as anything more than platonic and professional (even though Constantine, in his puppy dog way, might secretly hope otherwise). Also, I honestly don't find that scene to be particularly gratuitous. There's a very subtle hint that they may have had sex, but it's not overtly referred to. There isn't any nudity. And though they touch at the finger-tips while deep in meditation, the physical intimacy stops there. Really, I feel that most of the sexual energy just comes from the two linking together on a deep, spiritual level, which is perhaps preferable to how sex has been shown in other titles.

#4 Posted by SickAlice (65 posts) - - Show Bio

I shouldn't be reading this as I'm not to this issue yet. But notably odd that it is a metaphor very literally for the conversation a practitioner of this very belief system was having with me on another site right now, down to them posting the imagery on which this panel art is a tip to. I wouldn't go as far as to say magic here anyways but illumination, not that I feel I need to go into detail, the " coupling of Shakti and Shiva " should point anyone to that. I'm not sure I understand the discrepancy here? I feel it's rather transparent and literal. Perhaps I'm missing the context of the rest of the issue?

#5 Posted by Godlovesusall (64 posts) - - Show Bio

By "Shakti and Shiva coupling" you mean that these two "gods" (you know why I'm using inverted commas) were reincarnated in these two and thus,it wasn't really the characters themselves who were "in love" (I remember a Charmed episode with similar plot about Piper and Leo).

#6 Posted by Mayo88m (246 posts) - - Show Bio

@cosmo111687 said:

I'm actually really comfortable with the depictions of sex in these last few issues. I think those scenes (just like most of the other scenes, whither they be Zatanna and Batman conversing in the Bat Cave or Dove commenting on how she likes Joan Armatrading) are mainly designed to familiarize new readers with these characters. For instance, taking the example above, some readers may not know that Zatanna and Constantine have a history together, that their relationship sometimes includes casual sex, and that Zatanna doesn't view their relationship as anything more than platonic and professional (even though Constantine, in his puppy dog way, might secretly hope otherwise). Also, I honestly don't find that scene to be particularly gratuitous. There's a very subtle hint that they may have had sex, but it's not overtly referred to. There isn't any nudity. And though they touch at the finger-tips while deep in meditation, the physical intimacy stops there. Really, I feel that most of the sexual energy just comes from the two linking together on a deep, spiritual level, which is perhaps preferable to how sex has been shown in other titles.

Yeah I agree. That seen, in my opinion, was incredibly well done, and only served to further my understanding of the characters, and what they were about. I won't go as in depth about my feelings over it as Cosmo there, but if I were going to make the argument that sex is a cop out to the characters and story then I'd probably have centered it more around Deadman, but even then I don't think it's exactly a cop out. He may come across as a little creepy, or perverted, but in the end I think he's more lonely than anything. Being dead will do that to ya.

#7 Edited by SickAlice (65 posts) - - Show Bio

@Godlovesusall:

If you meant me, in this magical practice the invocation of Shakti and Shiva is a ritual meant to connect a humanly body to everything and nothing simultaneously, coming into literal touch with life and the universe in all it's aspects. Also sensual and tantric magic often confused for sex, rightfully so their similar and much of the world perceives the latter, sensuality itself confused for sex in general. But I digress the incantation is clear in this image, particularly since these are literally magical adepts and summoners. Like I said I haven't read the issue, so maybe these two are lying in bed after sharing a cigarette and this was a ruse for one or the other to reach that position? Again I was talking to a practitioner of this very exact magic right before I saw this, hence the irony and why it may have been fresh in my mind, imo.

#8 Posted by ReVamp (22865 posts) - - Show Bio

Going to read this right after I finish my I, Vampire.

#9 Posted by Godlovesusall (64 posts) - - Show Bio

@SickAlice:I wasn't referring to you in particular,just asking.

#10 Posted by arcano_19 (118 posts) - - Show Bio

i didnt understand quite well but well sex in magic has been like since forever, anda zatanna and constatine got at it to comunicate better what was going on..... pd i love my zatanna in fishnets thanks

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