sugoll (sugoll) wrote,

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[Wo]Men In Tights

A while ago, I was in Waterstone's picking up some Punisher collections. Punisher is generally the only Marvel title i read, and that mostly because it's written by Garth Ennis (Preacher). I've read Gaiman's 1602 as well, but that might be it. [No, wait -- Anita Blake's Marvel too, but that's the lot. ]

Anyhoo, Waterstone's only had two collections I wanted, but they were both "3 for 2", so I needed a third. So I tried Heroes For Hire:  Civil War.

Now, here's the thing. Civil War, itself, has impinged on my consciousness through news reports - Slashdot and the mainstream press - because (a) it had Peter Parker revealing his true identity, and (b) They Killed Kenny Captain America. But Marvel generally had been getting a hammering because of this Mary Jane statue, and then I'd heard about Heroes For Hire only because of the outrage over this hentaiesque cover.

So I figured: I'm not paying for it, so Marvel aren't getting my cash. So why not? So I bought HfH:CW.

And y'know what? It's not very good. Yes, there's cheesecake in there, with more emphasis on the females than the males (I counted). But generally, the art wasn't particularly well-done either way. There's not a lot of pictures where characters have natural posture -- they're mostly in exaggerated postures. And I'm not just talking about the sexual posturing either; the majority aren't specifically sexually framed, they're just not good at showing characters at rest. It's not naturalistic.

And the writing? Horrible. Really, really bad.

Generally speaking, I don't know the characters, so I don't know whether they're well represented here, but I didn't feel inclined to want to know any of them, from this. Gah.

More recently still, I weakened and bought Civil War, itself. And it's okay, I suppose. Certainly, it's a lot better written and drawn than HfH:CW, but it's still not up there with, say, Mike Carey. And mainly, I was thinking: there's little that looks as silly as a room full of costumed superheroes trying to be dramatic. With Batman, there's a gravitas to get away with it - particularly as a lone vigilante. Punisher's the same - even more so, because there's no mask, and Frank Castle's outfit isn't particularly removed from special forces. But put a lot of them together, in masks, and it's, well, sad.

Looking back at my favorite comics (Preacher, Sandman, Transmetropolitan, Hellblazer, Invisibles), I avoid superheroes and their costumes, and I don't think that's likely to change.
Tags: comics
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