Friday, April 27, 2007

"Quick, Eat the Children"

So Hippolyta turns to her top generals and says, "We're going to march on Washington D.C., slaughter their leaders, destroy their monuments, and kill one little boy."

There's some muddled confusion so Nubia steps up and asks "Why one little boy?"

And Hippolyta turns to Wonder Woman and says, "See, I told you no cares about Washington!"

Okay, so anyone who knows the original version of that joke knows I just did a bad, bad thing, but the point remains: no reader cares when they see Amazons blow up the capital building (which is certainly full of people) or invade the Mall by the tens of thousands. But kill one little child right in front of the reader, and everyone decries the violence present in Amazons Attack.

Or to put it another way, one dead child is a tragedy. One thousand dead children are a statistic.

I honestly don't get you people, sometimes. The ones that don't think such violence belongs in superhero comics. To me, that's just unfathomable. Superheroes use violence to protect people from extraordinary, fantastic threats. Those threats themselves have to be horrible. An army that has no mercy for children? There's a word for that... what is it? what is it?

Oh, I remember, "Bad Guys."

NEWSFLASH: The Amazons are the BAD GUYS of Amazons Attack. That's in case you didn't get it from the F*&^ING TITLE!

Within the first four pages, Will Pfeifer and Pete Woods establish the threat as a large, superpowered army that kills everyone they come across. We know what the Justice League is up against and why it NEEDS to stop them, immediately. That's called good writing.

And as for those who think that it's out of character for Amazons to be so warlike, all I have to say is, "ARE YOU HIGH?" The only consistent part of the myth of the Amazons is that they are a tribe of Warrior Women. Think Xena. Think the "Amazons" in Y, the Last Man.* Even if we limit it to DC Amazons, this was a tribe last seen pulling out the "Purple Death Ray" against a horde of invading OMACs. They do nothing but fight or train to fight! And considering they learned their combat strategy and tactics three thousand years before the Geneva Conventions, they're probably not taking many prisoners.

But maybe you just don't want to deal with the consequences of large scale violence on a personal level, or maybe you just don't want to think about children dying. I almost understand that, I guess. I suggest you read something more all ages appropriate, like Jeff Smith's Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil. Nothing bad happens to children there...

Oh Dear!

*See, I do read non-superhero comics.


Anonymous said...

So, wait, did Jeff Smith show the crocodile actually eating the kid, biting down on the kid's stomach, with blood pouring out, maybe some dismembered limbs lying around?

If not, then I think you're on the wrong track there.

SallyP said...

Not only are they Amazons, but they are MIND-CONTROLLED Amazons! At least Hyppolita is.

And no, they didn't show the kid getting sliced and eaten.

That was Osiris. But still by a crocodile.

Dorian said...

I honestly suspect that, like Crotch-Gate, this is another case of comics fans looking for something to complain about.

Unknown said...

Wasn't this kind of mindless brutality and slaughter the very same thing that the Amazons left "Man's World" to get /away/ from? Weren't the Bronze Age warrior atrocities things they specifically /rejected/? Wasn't their entire feeling of moral superiority to "Man's World" based on the principle 'We are not the people who slaughter the innocent, you big hairy smelly savage men are?'

Diana's ideals used to be her people's ideals, and her the foremost champion of them. Now it's supposed to be that Diana's the only person in Themyscira who ever had them?

The hell what?

kalinara said...

Uh, JLG? The kid's death in Amazons Attack was also off-panel, so I think Steven's comparison holds.

I'm confused as to why everyone's harping about this as being ooc anyway. Whether or not the Amazons are particularly warlike in DCU history (and considering that only half made the choice to reject violence, the fully integrated now Bana had definitely embraced it whole heartedly), it seems pretty obvious that the Amazons are being controlled by something. Circe's presence alone guarantees that things aren't what they seem.

Anonymous said...

So Smith's crocodiles actually ate the kids? Or was there just the threat? Even if they did, there's still the Osiris and JSA scenes which were very much on-panel.

I think it's also the matter that it feels like a cheap trick to show how evil the villains are, especially when it's been pulled so often already by DC, and in stories trying to posit themselves as "mature storytelling."

SallyP said...

No, dear, the crocodiles don't eat the children. Billy turns into Captain Marvel and saves them,along with Tawkey Tawney.

Try reading the book, it is excellent. The little girl turns out to be Mary Marvel, by the way.

Anonymous said...

They did eat the lion tamer though.