Kick her while she's down

I am not sure if I need to keep mentioning before that I am still catching up on comic reading as I write these entries, but now I am only about two weeks behind (though Marvel is still not even on my reading radar.)  Anyway I did notice an interesting trend over the course of the last week of the 4th issues of the new 52 and the first week of the fifth issues.  In both Teen Titans and Red Lanterns there was a marquee battle between the heavies of two teams.  This is not really surpising as it seems that around the 4-5 issues barrier that a lot of action has been breaking out.  The strange thing here is who has been fighting, and not even necessarily who, but which gender.  In both cases, the two strongest members of the team are fighting, and in each case it is male versus female.  Male versus female fights are not that uncommon, and I should say that when they do occur in comics that it is not over something like misogyny but actually because the female character stands as the near equal to the male character in terms of power.  These two battles were Wonder Girl versus Superboy and Bleez versus Atrocitus.  The interesting thing about these battles though is that they are being used to highlight the evil or deranged nature of the male character, while making the female character's cause all the more worthwhile (as Superboy is working for a group hunting teen heroes and Atrocitus is continuing his obsessive search for Krona.)  This of course appeals to certain cultural norms, that women should not ever be hit by men, but it is interesting how this is being used to also move the story along.  This is especially the case in Red Lanterns as it does appear that Atrocitus is crazy, but does Bleez have her own agenda as well?  Or is she just the unfortunate punching bag?  Either way, it is subtle and a not very common way to make a point, but I suppose an effective one.  
15 Comments
15 Comments
Posted by ReVamp

Not reading RL :(

Edited by BlackArmor

I'm of the opinion that gender is irrelevant in most things including fights especially fictitious ones, I can't speak for RL but Lobdell has stated that Superboy is the most powerful teen in the world including Wonder and Super girl and the next book is supposedly about establishing teamwork by battling Superboy so Wonder Girl loosing is more of a plot point and actually being physically weaker than having anything to do with her being a girl.

every time in the past I have commented on one of your post I have completely missed what you were trying to say so if that is the case here and my comment misses the mark then please tell me but otherwise ignore my comments

Posted by feebadger

I think this kind of plot device is usually used to denote how far a male character is willing to go, or how for they have crossed a line. A man hitting a woman still pushes a lot of buttons, whether they be super powered or not. Look at Hank Pym when he hit his then wife, The Wasp. It was a shocking moment, used to highlight how far Hank had fallen into his darker self. With Superboy/Wonder Girl, i give it the benefit of the doubt in regards to it being about a battle of power levels and highlighting exactly how powerful this new version of Superboy is. Yet with Atrocitus/Bleez, i think it's used to show how driven Atrocitus is. It's an effective device as it instantly puts our sympathies with the person getting beat down. In this case it happens to be awoman and we all know that isn't merely coincidence. I don't know how i feel about having my emotions manipulated in such a way, but i certainly don't see anything too offensive about such a plot device, in these examples anyway. As a woman, do you find this type of thing offensive, that is if you agree with me?

Posted by Malonius

@RazzaTazz:

Excellent points as always. Not quite on topic, but I enjoyed this essay on heroines and villianesses recently and invite you to read it:

Women vs. Women: What Margaret Atwood and Walt Disney Have in Common

http://beamsandstruts.com/essays/item/684-women-vs-women

Posted by RazzaTazz
@feebadger: No, I don't find it to be particularly offensive.  Just an interesting depiction.   I think it is important to note they are of similar power levels in both battles, so the gender inequality is not really there.  
 
@Malonius: Interesting essay.  
Moderator
Posted by cyberninja

When a man fights a woman, the man always loses.

Posted by Kairan1979
@cyberninja said:

When a man fights a woman, the man always loses.

So female villains can go through Gotham doing whatever they want, because Batman beating them up is not gentlemanly?
Posted by cyberninja

@Kairan1979 said:

@cyberninja said:

When a man fights a woman, the man always loses.

So female villains can go through Gotham doing whatever they want, because Batman beating them up is not gentlemanly?

Gentlemanly? No, it means that if a man REALLY fights a woman then some might see that as the woman being a punching bag, and if the man doesn't REALLY fight then some might assume the man must be underestimating and thinking that a woman can't put up a fight. Either way the man always loses.

Edited by lykopis

@RazzaTazz said:

@feebadger: No, I don't find it to be particularly offensive. Just an interesting depiction. I think it is important to note they are of similar power levels in both battles, so the gender inequality is not really there.

@Malonius: Interesting essay.

Similar power levels evens the score, I agree that gender inequality is not a factor. I personally enjoy comics that explore this - the typical man on man and female to female battles are annoying and ridiculous. In the Marvel Universe, there are many instances of where female heroes engage in battles with male counter-parts (Rogue, Ms Marvel, Psylocke, etc) and it never bothered me to see them get their @asses handed to them. The Wasp controversy is not in the same category. And actually - if you want to see a female superhero get pummeled - take a look at what happened to Jessica Jones when she was mind controlled by the Purple Man. She got the beat down of a life-time, compliments of the entire Avengers team. It was one of the best panel fights that I have ever seen - because that was truly an equal opportunity moment.

Posted by jrock85

I counted about 3 or 4 butt-shots in the fight between Atrocitus and Bleez. (not that I'm complaining)

Posted by WildValentine

Wow! I never noticed that. I think I'm a walking example of the effectiveness of such a theme, as I am most definitely on Cassie's side. Like, I'm a fan of the friendship of Conner and Tim, so I naturally like Conner, but in that fight - the writers have done a fantastic job at making me feel for Cassie.

Posted by nickthedevil

Ahaha....

Posted by Nerx

@cyberninja: Tell that to the comedian , he would have won if the hooded justice did not interfere.

Posted by Joygirl

This makes me wanna see Bleez vs. Wonder Girl.

Posted by RazzaTazz

@Joygirl: That would be neat

Moderator