By FoxxFireArt 8 Comments
The topic of rape and sexual assault came up in a recent podcast on Comic Vine. In the discussion, the scene from NIGHTWING #93 where Tarantula took advantage of an injured Nightwing to force herself on him right in the middle of the rain soaked streets was mentioned. Being confident and sexually aggressive is fine for a woman, but Tarantula didn't just cross the line. She crossed it and continued running for a quarter mile. "Don't touch me." is a pretty obvious "No". Devin Grayson, the author at the time, attempted to try and reassure everyone when she said,
" I never used the word 'rape,' I just said it was nonconsensual. "
Really, Grayson, you want to split that hair? Well, here is the definition of "rape" by Merriam-Webster:
" An unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent. "
The topic of men being the victim of sexual assault is something that often gets passed on. Probably becasue society still holds this image of men being the sexually aggressive caveman. Even the dictionary definition still specifies gender, but this isn't a discussion of equality. Rape in media can be just an incredibly uncomfortable topic. I really enjoyed the movie THE CROW, but I can hardly ever watch it becasue of that extremely graphic gang rape scene and how if keeps appearing in flashbacks. It makes my skin crawl.
This leads up to the topic at hand. It was hearing the discussion on the Comic Vine's podcast that triggered my memory of a scene from BATMAN INCORPORATED #2. I never read this series. I just remembered this scene of Talia drugging Bruce being talked about on a previous CV podcast (yeah, I remember a lot of things). Some time after Batman beats up Ra's, Bruce and Talia are seen in a room together kissing. It's an awkward enough scene to immediately go from beating up a guy to sleeping with his daughter.
As you can see, an apparent love potion has been slipped into Bruce's drink - as conveniently highlighted by the puff of smoke in the shape of a heart. Most likely a series of lurid events continues into the night. The next morning Talia starts talking about how their child will be the new Alexander of the world. This shows Bruce being surprised that something must have been slipped into his drink. The context as it's shown was apparently to make him more pliable and more fertile so she could have his child.
Many may try and play this off as not that big a deal, but would you say the same thing about this situation if the gender roles were reversed? Let's say a guy has a girl who is willing to sleep with him, but he decides to slip something into her drink without her knowledge that would make her more open to suggestion. All for the goal of getting her pregnant with his child, and not ever telling her until the next morning what he had done. Even if she was willing to have intercourse, she never consented to being drugged. To any women reading this, how would you feel if some guy told you the morning after that he had put a drug in your drink? I would think pissed off and scared would be an understatement, What would you define this as?
I don't believe I've heard of any comments from Grant Morrison about this scene. It could very much be a scene that comes off in way he didn't intend. Even Devin Grayson never seemed to realize she didn't just write a sex scene. It's drugging Bruce that seems over the top here. This isn't as disturbing as what Tarantula did, but it still isn't right to slip other people drugs. This appears like an assault to me.
While we're on the topic. I wonder if the Nightwing scene even happened in the post New 52 reboot? What are your thoughts?