Where your clothes were stolen…

I read this review of New Avengers #35, by Graeme McMillan, last week and thought, “Wow that sounds offensive. I’m glad I don’t read New Avengers anymore.” Then I read this interview with Bendis and I was merely offended. But still, a part of me, held out. There was no way this issue could be that terrible. Bendis a talented writer of has never displayed such utter misogyny before. So this morning I went over to the alma mater and read the book.

Truly it was one of the most reprehensible pieces of shit I have seen in my life. The level of misogynistic shit contained with in the glossy cover of this 22 page comic book nearly transends the some of the darkest, most terrible fucking crap to emerge from fan-fiction.

I know that is a very shrill but it is also very, very true.

And really the Bendis/Newsarama interview makes it all much worse.

I’ve noted before, in a round about sort of way, some of the problems with Newsrama. But this Matt Brady interview really takes the fucking cake.

The terribleness begins before the interview even starts; with the “oh-look-how-clever-this-is” introduction designed to put the piece in its larger “context”: (Empasis are mine, of course)

[A]s those who watch comic book fandom know, there’s a hair-trigger on the misogyny gun that’s fired anytime violence against women is seen, or on occasion, even just presumed by the viewer.

Wow, Mr. Brady what a way to stack the deck. Because, you know, critics would have absolute no reason at all, in this very progressive little world of comics books, to call people out for misogynistic tendencies in superhero writing and art. Honestly, there has never really been a reason to fire this proverbial “misogyny gun” (mixed metaphors, anyone?). Officer, I swear, the gun went off accidently!

And that was just in the introduction! Brady gets worse once he starts asking Bendis questions:

I was somewhat reluctant to see what fans were saying. There does seem to be a segment of fandom that’s looking to go after anything that remotely looks like a misogynistic act, and here is a guy beating a female character unconscious in what’s not even a fair fight.

Because, obviously you’ve got to be a crazy feminist fan to think the brutal beating of a barely dressed superheroic female in “what’s not even a fair fight” is misogynistic.

While Brady comes of as a condsending prick with his “Honestly-what-problem-could-people-have-with-this?” attidute. It is Bendis who comes off worse. Much worse with such gems as these:

Any time someone’s being beaten, and it doesn’t have that aura of superhero derring-do…yeah, it’s going to be disturbing. It was supposed to be violent; it was supposed to be a complete reversal of what you’d expect…

The other reason I don’t think it was seen as misogyny is that I think my work has shown I don’t have that in me. Everyone is equal. Daredevil had an awful time of it in my run on the book; and that doesn’t make me anti-Catholic or anti handicapped people.

But to the larger point – there’s a lot of misogyny in comics, and a lot of misogyny in all media. Even female empowerment is sexualized in this country, and that’s not good. I completely agree with all of that. You’ve got to be careful in how you show it, but I just don’t think this scene fell under any of that. Most people seem to get it.

Through out the interview Bendis seems honestly perplexed at to why someone would think this whole thing was terribly misogynistic.

But really the work, speaks for itself.

What you have here is a man beating the living hell out a barely dressed woman while he threatens her family and another man video tapes the whole thing. How fuck can a decent person not think that’s misogynistic? The ‘fight’ scene could have easily been taken straight out of a snuff film.

But the honest to goodness best (worst) part of the whole interview is this little exchange:

NRAMA: And to cap that it wasn’t sexual, The Hood explained why he was going to do what he did beforehand…

BB: And he didn’t veer off course. Probably the most shocking thing is that he accomplished it. No one tapped him on the shoulder as he was about to give her the punch that would knock her unconscious, there was no one swinging in the window to her rescue. It happened – and it was awful.

Because, you know, how a person rationalizes something they do automatically makes the reality of it that way. And it seems to me that Bendis and Brady are denying the existence of a little thing called subtext.


Besides the jack-assery on display in the Bendis/Newsarama interview, the issue itself is worse than the interview it spawned. New Avengers #35 is an example of the worst sort of misogynistic, pornographic violence that is so prevalent in comics today.

Honestly, would you ever see a cat-man, dressed purely in a pair of boxer shorts, be beaten close to death? I think not. This sort of imagery is virtually only envoked towards female characters. And it needs to fucking stop.

This whole affair has soured me even more on Bendis’ Avengers run. His writing for this books is almost a paradoy of his own style in its awfulness. The fact that pulled this crap is just another example of how this book just brings out the worst in the man.


15 Comments on “Where your clothes were stolen…”

  1. […] Smith Michaels has sharp criticism for both issue and a certain Newsarama interview. What you have here is a man beating the living hell out a barely dressed woman while he threatens […]

  2. parallelsidewalk says:

    I agree that it’s misogynistic and blatantly revels in sexually-flavored violence but…Well, that’s not entirely new for marvel. A Female heroine getting brutally and dirtily demeaned and/or menaced by a villian is almost par for the course.

  3. Joel says:

    That was less an interview than it was this Brady guy giving Brian Michael Bendis a handjob.

  4. Tim Liebe says:

    What? Is Matt Brady angling for an interview gig at The Right-Wing Echo Chamber That Is WIZARD – er, Fox News? 😉

    Up next – Matt Brady asks Frank “Like My ‘Bush4Ever’ Pin?” Miller if the U.S. “should commit torture”, after prefacing the comment with some crack about them “damn commielibburul anti-American peaceniks who wring their hands at our Loyal Soldiers Who Get the Job Done!”

    Tim Liebe
    The Other Person Who Wrote Marvel’s WHITE TIGER….

  5. (having not read said issue, I do want to ask this)

    While she is half-naked, isn’t that how she is always dressed? She regularly beats up bad guys half-naked, so wouldn’t it stand to reason that she would get up also half-naked?

    Of course, if you are reading that website, there’s a bit of cavaet emptor at work.

  6. odessa: if i remember correctly she was attacked in her civilian clothing, which were ripped during the attack to reveal her underwear and/or superhero get-up

  7. […] Where your clothes were stolen… […]

  8. thecomicman says:

    “if i remember correctly she was attacked in her civilian clothing, which were ripped during the attack to reveal her underwear and/or superhero get-up”

    She was in the middle of undressing when she was attacked. She had unbuttoned her blouse when the Hood materialized in her house.

  9. Jonesy says:

    I have to say (and maybe no one wants to hear it), but I have to agree with Odessa. The way I read that scene beginning was that Tigra seemed nervous, hence why she transformed back into her cat form, and started taking off her civilian clothes to reveal her costume.

    I thought it was akin to Superman getting beaten up with his shirt open to reveal the “S”.

    I’m not saying I agree with the disturbing attack, but she wasn’t any more “naked” than her usual outfit.

  10. hannah says:

    I haven’t read the issue, but I could barely tell what was happening in that panel but if the whole rest of the issue was like that then, ick major.

  11. […] Newsarama. A real class act. As I’ve discussed this sort of shit from Newsarama before. Do they have, I don’t know, hiring […]

  12. parallelsidewalk says:

    ‘I thought it was akin to Superman getting beaten up with his shirt open to reveal the “S”.’

    That’s just stupid.

  13. […] all the context and all that good “reviewerly” shit. I’ve done that before after a review worked me up like this. But today, today I’m in an unforgiving mood and unwilling to go out to the comic store and […]

  14. […] for so long. In general, I am proud of and stand by most of what I wrote on Blurred Productions – especially about comics. Writing and blogging for that site was important to my intellectual development. For that reason, […]

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