Saturday, December 21, 2013

Superman Loves Wonder Woman #3

Fuck me. Even when I have a comic book I've been enjoying sitting here in my hands waiting to be fully enjoyed (and I mean FULLY!), Scott Lobdell has to ruin it.

I suppose I have to talk about Scott Lobdell, don't I? I'd really rather not! He's always doing something stupid and distracting me from my real job which is, well, it's not commenting on comic books. But it should be! Anyway, he's always writing some stupid dialogue, or he's over there thinking up some shitty time travel plot, or else he's somewhere else writing more stupid dialogue, or else he's plagiarizing his own material, or maybe he's way over there on a Queer Comics Panel sexually harassing another comic book professional. Can I even use "another" in that sentence since Lobdell showed no sign of professionalism at all on that panel? Anyway, we know he's going to get his ass chewed out in the internet blogosphere for being a creepy douche, and we know he's going to get destroyed over and over again as people react to his apology. So I probably don't need to add to that chorus. Unless I do. But I'm not going to. I'll try to approach this from another angle. How, in any way, shape, or form, could Scott Lobdell not realize how inappropriate he was being? Why is this a systemic problem when anybody reading MariNaomi's account instantly knows this guy is being a creepy jerk? Even Lobdell couldn't see it at the time because, I'm assuming, this is his standard behavior. Let me try to shed some light on the phenomenon. Perhaps some guys will recognize this behavior in themselves and realize that they're constantly making women feel how MariNaomi felt after this encounter.

Before I start, I also know that people will think I'm somehow making excuses for Lobdell. Holy fuck, you've misunderstood if you reach that conclusion. I'm just trying to explain how a person can act so predatory without realizing they're acting that way. They actually think they're "joking" or, worse yet, "flirting" as they continue to make a bigger and bigger ass of themselves. What I am about to say may also explain, to a meager degree, why this is a systemic problem especially in a field and hobby with a much higher degree of not very well socialized males than most other hobbies. Except maybe tabletop wargaming.

A type of guy exists that thinks he's wittier than Oscar Wilde and more charming than some other person who was really charming in movies or literature or history. Dracula, maybe! But this guy's wit relies exclusively on sexual innuendo. My father is one of these people as is one of my really good friends with whom I grew up. As you can see from MariNaomi's account, Lobdell's "humor" fell within that category. Lobdell saw an attractive woman and decided he would "flirt" with her. First off, a professional comic book panel is quite probably not an appropriate place for that. So right off, he has no awareness of how to act appropriately in this space. But he's one of "those guys" and so he believes that his sexual innuendo is the height of flirtation. My friend, DB (I'll call him DB here even though I've mentioned him before!), would find a woman he was attracted to and make sex joke after sex joke. He would really concentrate all of his attention on her and make sure she knew he was interested. And occasionally, one would be. So he would get the pay off and believe he had some kind of game. Therefore he would do this again and again and again. The situation did not matter. The time, the place, the receptiveness of the woman...none of it mattered. If it worked once, it's bound to work again! He and Lobdell and the many more like them don't see that they're not being flattering, or flirtatious, or witty, or endlessly charming. They think it's harmless and everybody is having a good laugh (mostly because they laugh at their own sex jokes uproariously. That wasn't in MariNaomi's account but I bet Lobdell was really making himself chuckle) and if nobody sleeps with anybody by the end of the night, they figure, "Well it was a darn good try and nobody got hurt."

Perhaps it went this way for DB most of the time because laying this kind of shit on hardcore at a bar or a club is actually more expected in that people are, quite often, looking to meet at these kinds of places. And some of them are just looking to get laid that night and don't really care about getting to know said lay. At clubs and bars, if women weren't interested in him, they could walk away, roll their eyes, tell him to fuck off. The problem is that this type of guy thinks this is normal, acceptable, male behavior in every day spaces. How else would you know if somebody wants to sleep with you? Because they can't see that most people aren't going about their day just trying to find somebody to fuck. Sure, some of us are, some days more than others! But you don't treat the office or order your Happy Meal or sit on a professional comic book panel and decide you're going to turn it into your own version of The Dating Game (and by "dating" I mean "fucking" but since there has yet to be a show on television called "The Fucking Game," I didn't think that would work as well). You can tell Lobdell thought he was merely flirting harmlessly even in MariNaomi's version because of how he reacts to her husband being in the audience. Ignoring the patriarchal ramifications of the fact that he apologizes to the husband because that will get covered elsewhere, you can tell Lobdell thought his behavior was actually acceptable to MariNaomi because it was, to him, flirting. Somehow, to Lobdell, sexual innuendo after sexual innuendo (and bouts of creepy touching) are things guys do and women expect it and don't mind. But, again to Lobdell's senses, you are stepping over a line when you do these things while the person's partner is watching. I'm fairly certain without all the hubbub on the internet, Lobdell would have thought the appropriate "apology" was, "Why didn't you tell me your husband was in the audience?! Now I feel like a jerk because of your inaction!"

So yeah, Lobdell probably, at the time, didn't think he was doing anything wrong. And guys do this all the time. They don't look at what they're doing from the woman's point of view. They don't try on their "Am I Being Creepy?" Cap and adjust their behavior accordingly. Like a cat knocking the lamp on your head so you'll get up to feed it, these guys have done something one time that got a desired result and decided to continue to do that shitty behavior over and over and over.

I don't have any kind of solution for this! I suppose we can bring back the art of slapping. But that's already too late! At that point, you're teaching women how to deal with slimeballs. Sure, it might be satisfying but the guy is still ruining your day with his inappropriate behavior (and even using the phrase "inappropriate behavior" makes it sound like I'm making light of this shit). People think, "Just teach guys not to be dicks." And while that's fine and dandy for people that understand how to not be a dick, it's going to have no effect on sociopaths that don't actually have the capacity to know if they're being a dick or not or to guys, like Scott Lobdell, who have learned some serious bad behaviors which they don't recognize as being bad. Now that Scott's been called out on it, will he do it again? Oh yeah, probably. If he's referring to the incident as if it were just one person not getting his sense of humor, you can bet he'll do it again. Because he was just having a laugh, right?!

This shit is too heavy for this blog. How am I supposed to make a dick joke now without feeling like a fucking monster?! I should probably reread that shit I just typed out like a crazy person to fix anything that makes me sound sympathetic to Scott Lobdell but I hate rereading shit I just wrote! I might feel the need to delete it all! Because I'm not sympathetic to Mr. Lobdell! Anybody that's followed this blog for any time fucking knew that before this incident. Hell, it was my readers that alerted me to the incident!

Dammit. All I wanted to do was read Superman Loves to Make Inappropriate Passes at Wonder Woman #3 without saying anything that anybody could get mad at me for and now I have to worry about getting lambasted for the previous bullshit. Oh well. Time to read my fucking comic book.

Wow. I really thought it would be much later than Issue #3 when Cat found the data stick with the pictures of Superman and Wonder Woman dry humping over a field in Smallville. The data stick should be in the shape of a bat though!

The next page shows Superman sitting on the moon with the Earth and the sun in the background and it's labeled "The Dark Side of the Moon." Okay, yeah. I'm going to give you this one but only on a technicality, Soule and Daniel! Because, I suppose, Superman can be right on top of the moon in a spot that remains dark on the ground but still allows the sun to hit Superman who is sitting up a few feet above the surface. But I'm very close to calling you out on this bullshit!

But after reading the dialogue between Superman and Batman, I can call bullshit on Tony S. Daniel and this panel! Superman has gone to the Dark Side of the Moon so that he can be out of the sunlight! He's trying to drain off all the excess power blasted into him by Apollo, so he obviously doesn't want to be getting any sun at all. But look at him! He's still just fucking sitting in sunlight!

And even if he was on the "dark side of the moon," that wouldn't necessarily mean he was out of the sun since the entire surface of the moon (except for maybe areas around the poles. I don't know the moon's tilt!) winds up getting sun at one point or another.

Superman also came to the moon to be away from people since he can barely contain his power right now. So as long as he's on the moon and not getting too much light, I guess this page is acceptable. But it's really coming as close as possible to disemboweling my cow! That means inverting my dick. Flipping my nipples? Making me angry! You must recognize that saying! You'll have to forgive me. When I get really agitated, sayings from the homeland just bubble to the surface. The homeland is Malaga, Spain. The sayings are entirely made up in my fantasy version of Malaga, Spain.

Did you realize my ancestral homeland is now a huge getaway for British tourists? My mitochondrial DNA would probably hardly even recognize the place now!

Meanwhile Wonder Woman and Hessia are out shopping for a Christmas Present for Superman. Hessia gives Diana the advice everybody gives everyone which actually doesn't make anything any easier: "It's the thought that counts." That's the problem with getting gifts! Because there has to be some kind of thoughtful revelation behind why you purchased the thing you purchased for the person you purchased it for! It would be much easier if the thought didn't fucking count! "Here's a gift card to Chili's. Enjoy the fuck out of that, Grandma!" See? So much easier.

Fuck. According to my Father-in-Common-Law and his new wife, I'm a Mexican Wrestler that loves to drink.

For well over a decade, my policy has been, "Do not get me gifts." And yet my Step-Mother-in-Common-Law continues to feel the need to get me gifts I don't use. When does it become insulting that she just isn't listening to me? I always feel I have to be nice and accept it and acknowledge it but now that I've seen it in light of the Scott Lobdell Incident, I'm going to slap her this Christmas if she hands me a present!

Batman and Superman continue to have one of those conversations that should be in every book in The New 52 between all the characters always and all the time! It's a lot of words for one page but comic books (especially twenty page comic books) need many, many more pages like this. Every page doesn't have to be blanketed by speech balloons like some of the Silver Age comic books would do. But a few pages where things are calm and heroes are having deeply touching and serious conversations with each other? Fill those pages with as many words as possible! Tony S. Daniel can do a big double page spread later.

Meanwhile in North Africa, Zod makes up for all that reading by appearing in about six straight pages where the only phrase repeated is "Min Fadlak." I think that means, "Water for a hand job, sir?"

Justice League America arrives on the scene first because they have a Breacher Finder named Justice League of America's Vibe. Or maybe just Vibe. Being that they don't quite realize they're facing off against a Kryptonian, Martian Manhunter pulls his punches and gets his ass kicked. Vibe, well, do I need to say anything more about Vibe's participation? Steve Trevor is there too but he just points and issues commands that don't help. And Hawkman strikes Zod with his mace. And since it's not a Kryptonite Mace, Zod barely even feels it. Luckily Superman and Wonder Woman show up since they're the only ones that stand a chance, what with this being their comic book and all.

Aaaawkwaaaard! what some other blogger might say. I prefer, "Threeeeesooooome!"

While tied up in Diana's rope, Zod apologizes for his actions and asks about Faora. But Faora has not come over yet. Doomsday did though! Perhaps he cut in line and took her place? Or ate her? Trevor wants to take Zod back to A.R.G.U.S. but Superman and Wonder Woman decide to take Zod with them. I'm sure the Fortress of Solitude has room in the zoo.

Well fuck, Clark. I was just kidding!

Zod doesn't mind being shoved in this prison for the time being, after all, he has just come from The Phantom Zone. But he also knows that Superman will be eager to learn of Jor-el and will be easy to manipulate. He also needs to lay low until Faora emerges from The Phantom Zone to keep her safe. So now that that's through, Diana decides to give Clark his Christmas Present which is time off for a good snog.

Jesus. It's just getting sexy and then a close-up of Clark's ear? Disgusting!

The ear is because Superman suddenly hears everyone talking about how he and Wonder Woman are now an item. I guess finally has its first big story!

Superman Loves Wonder Woman #3 Rating: +2 Ranking. Even with such a large swath of this thing being Zod voiceless in the desert, it felt like quite a bit of story for one issue. And speaking of Christmas presents, I know I just went on and on about how my policy is to not accept presents but that's because when your name is just arbitrarily added to somebody's shopping checklist, you never get anything good like time! But if anybody wants to get me a present for all the good, hard, dick joke free blogging I've done over the last two years, I'll accept this: Deadpool Collection by Gail Simone.

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