So there I was, posting another comment on the Keeper’s blog, when I realized…
I didn’t say this right, before. I was too ambiguous about it.
Let me just correct that. Here’s the comment I was planning to make:
“To me it’s real simple: the Hood secures Jigsaw’s loyalty by enacting Jigsaw’s revenge fantasy against the woman who emasculated him.
That’s what makes it so repellently powerful, and powerfully repellent. That’s why Tigra can’t fight back, or even speak. Because that she’s so unreasonably helpless, and so effortlessly dominated, is just how the fantasy gets fulfilled. So it has to go that way.
Pretty ugly. Also, in my opinion, pretty cut-and-dried. I don’t believe for a moment that — what? That Bendis had some unisex dialogue all written, and then picked Tigra’s name out of a hat and pasted her in, and it could’ve been anybody? Nonsense. That scene doesn’t go down that way unless it’s on purpose.
I mean think about it: the only reason anybody’s even questioning it is because it’s in a mainstream Marvel comic, and therefore seems way out in left field tonally. Which it is. But if this were Powers, we wouldn’t even be talking about it, because Bendis would’ve cheerfully made that subtext explicit. If it came out of an episode of The Sopranos or something, it would’ve been played up even more, so the audience couldn’t miss it if they tried. Only because this is mainstream Marvel does the misogynistic aspect of the violence get the whitewash. Anywhere else, some minor supporting character would’ve said “Yeah! Show that uppity bitch!”, just to hit the nail more solidly with the hammer. But in mainstream Marvel this can’t be said, for obvious reasons.
Well…obvious to you and me, but for some reason I don’t understand, not obvious to Bendis. So the unintended consequence of this “implausible deniability” is that Bendis ends up looking pretty bad.
Don’t cry for him, though. That this issue is a disaster is all his fault. He’s pushing an incompatible tone into a mainstream book, he’s wilfully stomping all over an established character to do it, he’s ludicrously exalting a villain because he thinks that’s cool, he’s pursuing maximum shock at the expense of storytelling logic and in fact real logic, just like he always does, because he thinks that’s cool too, and furthermore he’s pulling out all the stops. This didn’t backfire; he blew it up. And now he’s gonna have to say “Oh good gosh no, semblance of rape-as-punishment? Heavens, it never occurred to me. Why I would never dream of injecting that sort of foul dynamic into one of my books, land sakes.” He’s not going to have any choice about it. If it were Powers, he could say “yeah, that was intense, huh?”, but it’s not Powers, and he can’t say that, and so he can’t defend the choice.
Because there was no good reason to make that choice, except he wanted to get all extreme on our asses, and frankly it would probably have come off like cheap rocks-getting-off no matter where he’d done it, but ha ha, he chose — he chose — to do it in the main line’s Avengers title, and so he and his brain-dead editor deserve each other, and neither you nor I need to apologize for either of them. Yes, it’s a violence-against-women thing, there’s absolutely not the tiniest sliver of doubt in my mind about that. Because that’s what it’s trading on. So let’s not dicker about that any more.”
I think that gets nearer to it, don’t you? Yeah.
Yeah, I think it does.
Except, you know, I’m still offended. That whole disastrous sicko-stroking shockfest, what was that all in aid of, again? Oh, right…Bendis wants us to know he thinks the Hood is kewl.
Fuck me, that’s retarded.