We’re terribly relieved to know that there have been no threats issued against Brian Michael Bendis in the wake of his “non-rapey” scripting of Marvel superheroine Tigra getting severely beaten by The Hood. A beating which is totally subtext free, thank God. God knows that comic book commentators and bloggists are actually the most violent radicals on the pop culture scene, and it’s time their reign of terror ended.

Our sentiments as to the actual story echo Cheryl Lynn’s. Actually we are kind of shocked by how bad the art by Lenil Yu looks.


  1. i didn’t really care for the Smith Michaels link. She doesn’t really make much of a case for the book being misogynistic. she does a better job picking apart the interview than the issue. her thesis seems to be, “is this book misogynist? how can it NOT be?”

    Cheryl Lynn’s post, on the other hand, was brilliant. not only should something like that happen, but it would be completely awesome if it did. not exactly like that, obviously, but this is a perfect chance to turn Tigra into a great character. I don’t usually read New Avengers, but she got me interested in seeing where this story goes. see if Tigra gets revenge or if the boys take care of it while she’s injured. the latter would be a real waste

  2. That said, I’m more in Cheryl’s camp about this, other than the stuff in the Brady puff piece where he tries to get Bendis to say none of that cathartic release stuff will ever happen.

    And wow, is that ever a bad interview. I’m actually more appalled by the interview than anything else.

  3. I hope Cheryl’s right about the plans for Tigra ’cause Tigra’s been kind of a punching bag for years. Plus Cheryl neglected to mention that when Tigra confronts Tony that there’s the Spider-Man/Aunt May connection (which looks like it’ll SNAFU Peter Parker’s relationship wth his wife) when it comes to Tony protecting anybody.

    I hate seeing characters used as punching bags to make other characters seem stronger. (That’s right, I’m remembering you Ted Kord Blue Beetle.)

  4. I blame the “art” thing on the colorist. I don’t read New Avengers so I can’t comment. But, given the ultra violence in most mainstream books,…I just wonder when comics turned into Sam Peckinpah movies?
    Where’s Tom Strong when ya’ need him.

  5. i’m usually the last in the world to rally behind some social justice issues, but i can’t believe bendis isn’t getting more shit for the whole thing. he has a female character who’s barely defined (other than weird furry-lover sexual baggage), and he has some other barely defined character videotaping himself beating her mercilessly. this kind of thing can be provocative and powerful if it’s handled correctly and in the service of a broader story. i don’t think bendis handled it correctly (“rapey”? the fuck?) and i don’t think the broader story is particularly amazing either. it could have just as easily been a different character with less subtextual (is that even a word?) baggage, or a different scene entirely.

  6. This is a bit late, obviously, but since most people commenting on NEW AVENGERS #35 have reacted to only the single issue, and haven’t examined the series as a whole. . . The text was also posted on the Silver Bullet Comics Forum on 11/01/07.

    The (relative) uproar over the Tigra-Hood sequence provides an opportunity to point out how material in NA panders to the male ego.

    In “Avengers Disassembled,” Wanda went crazy, supposedly because she wanted kids, which her “robotic” (sarcasm intended) husband obviously could never provide. She needed a real man in her life, but Captain America came in too late.

    Cap and Stark put S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Hill in her place when she got uppity with them in NA #4, and got into her face in NA #6.

    When Electro got soft toward his girlfriend in NA #4, the New Avengers showed up and humiliated him.

    When the Wrecker got soft toward Spider-Woman (pheromones) in NA #8, he was subsequently humiliated and defeated.

    After Yelena Belova was severely burned in NA #6, A.I.M. showed up and offered her a chance to regain her “pretty face,” etc. The New Avengers humiliated her in NA ANNUAL #1; her A.I.M. handlers (males) discarded her after she failed to perform.

    Madame Hydra was scorned, treated as a nut, by her underlings in HYDRA.

    Hill was humiliated again in NA #17 by being forced to ask the New Avengers for assistance.

    Wanda was featured in NA #26 as an lover in an attempt at erotica.

    While Echo meant to do well as Ronin, she worked as a party girl in Japan, and had a male identity as a hero. She was eventually captured and killed (?), and needed to be rescued.

    Ms. Marvel had a masculine persona in NEW AVENGERS.

    And, of course, Tigra was thoroughly dominated and defeated in NEW AVENGERS #35.

    Bendis’s version of Clint Barton secretly idolized Captain America, and has abandoned his old, weak (?) identity of Hawkeye.

    There’s a pattern in NEW AVENGERS of males with strong egos doing well, males who go soft being penalized, women being treated badly, and women succeeding only by imitating men. Spider-Woman is a thoroughly negative character, who uses her looks and pheromones to manipulate people, and is conniving as well. In MIGHTY AVENGERS, Lindy was a plot device; the Black Widow impressed Ares by acting “masculine”; Ares scorned Jan for being soft. Ares is starring in the current MIGHTY AVENGERS storyline.

    Of course, Reed’s recent “Pupper Master” plotline in MS. MARVEL was a PG version of a superhero porn plot, featuring heroines being captured and sold.

    One can say that Bendis, unconsciously or deliberately, writes material designed to pander to sexist readers. That tendency has only become more pronounced in recent issues. In NA #35, he’s assembled a gang of thugs. I’d guess that the main reason Bendis likes to use the Wrecker and the rest of the Wrecking Crew is that they are just thugs, who set out to rob banks and do other simple things. They hit people and things. No complicated powers, no complicated ambitions, no complicated relationships or dialogue.

    I haven’t seen a successful defense of NA #35, or Bendis’s “Avengers” material generally. One female blogger complimented Bendis on his “crime fiction” comics, and then made excuses for NA #35. Some critics might be unwilling to go after Bendis hard because the “Avengers” stuff sells, for whatever reasons, and going into the psychological reasons for that means having to deal with the oversexed depictions of the heroines, the poor quality of many storylines, and the possibly sexist nature of much of Marvel’s overwhelmingly male readership. Determining that Marvel deliberately produced misogynistic material can practically force one to conclude that the company is being run by jerks, extremely unrepentant jerks, at that, and that the only sensible thing to do is to stop buying and reading Marvel comics, like the characters or nor.

    Bendis’s technical failings as a writer are a different subject, of course, and can keep critics (including me) going for as long as he writes, provided one finds the analysis stimulating.

    As I stated months ago, on Brevoort’s blog at Marvel.com, Marvel’s characters don’t have less potential for good stories now than they did decades ago. All that good stories require is inventiveness, an ability to define characters, and a willingness to work to ensure that the various components (plot, characterization, theme) of a story mesh. That, and knowledge of basic storytelling techniques.


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