Scott Lobdell is a better comic book writer than Alan Moore. In fact, he easily outdoes Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, and Mark Millar. Whereas they took on the concept of superheroes and subjected it to parody, satire, and deconstruction, Lobdell hit where it really hurts. DC Comics gave this funnybook firebrand a comic and he slammed them right in the feminism. Mark Millar generally confirms the audience’s sexism, as a sort of frat-boy empowerment. Garth Ennis shies away from women, both because you can’t tell stories about brotherhood with sisters, and because jokes about forced sodomy apparently aren’t funny when they happen to women. And Alan Moore, as Grant Morrison pointed out, hasn’t written a comic book without rape in twenty years. The comic book industry thought it knew mockery. After all, comic book fanboy is synonymous with it. But they weren’t ready for Scott f’n Lobdell. The DCnU was designed with a pretty lofty goal: saving the comic book industry, at least for DC Comics. Characters would be reimagined, simplified, and streamlined. The most iconic version of any given character would be presented, unless of course a character was radically departing from their core characterization. Fan-favorite character Roy “Arsenal” Harper, having gone through a humiliation congo usually reserved for the heroine’s non-Matthew- McConaughey fiancé in a romantic comedy (his daughter was killed, he got hooked on drugs, he lost his arm, he couldn’t get it up in a sexual encounter, and he may have killed someone with a dead cat), would be restored to a place of prestige. And Jason “Red Hood” Todd, another fan-… well, actually the fans voted to kill him off, so DC waited until there had been two more Robins and then brought him back… would quit his position as douchey, possibly-molested villain to become a douchey, possibly-brunet hero. The title would be called Red Hood And The Outlaws. Of course, you need two outlaws to have a plural, and the other one might as well be a chick—otherwise, people would look at two men who were once in erstwhile erastes-eromenos partnerships with Batman and Green Arrow, and think “So, is someone putting their red hood up someone else’s arsenal?” Which brings us to Starfire, aka Kory. "What a prude! Quick, we need to sex her up a bit!" Unlike Roy, who’s an obscure sidekick to an obscure character (Green Arrow is that wealthy playboy who moonlights as a medieval-armed vigilante that isn’t Batman), or Jason Todd, who has only showed his face outside comics in an animated movie preaching squarely to the geek choir, Starfire was the female lead of the Teen Titans cartoon, which ran for five seasons. So I take it the show was fairly popular, unless Cartoon Network just randomly cancels and renews series. (Which would explain Sym-Bionic Titan.) You’d think people who had grown up with the ‘Toon Titans’ could’ve been a target audience there. The comic book Starfire isn’t that far off from the cartoon Starfire, except for the obvious difference in customer base between a cartoon for young children and a comic book that costs four bucks a pop. So why is murderous part-time psychopath Red Hood in charge instead of minor icon Starfire? In short, why isn’t it Starfire And The Outlaws? Because that wouldn’t hurt. Unbeknownst to many, Scott Lobdell’s parents were killed in a tragic newsprint accident, their bodies buried in a closed-casket funeral lest friends and family see panels from Fantastic Four 53 imprinted on their lifeless bodies. Superheroes had taken Scott Lobdell’s family, and Scott Lobdell was going to take back. You see, Scott Lobdell has seen things. Things man was never meant to see. If you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back into you. And Scott Lobdell had seen into the very heart of the abyss. You don’t fuck with someone who’s written the Tommy Lee Jones/Cedric the Entertainer laffer Man Of The House. The DC reboot made female characters more palatable by taking away their power, their history, their relationships. Barbara Gordon and Dinah Lance were no longer BFFs. Lois Lane was no longer Clark Kent’s wife and trusted friend. Voodoo was a stripper, and apparently despite the name, she wasn’t one before. Dan Didio had already made his biggest mistake; he’d made Scott Lobdell mad. But now he’d made his last one—he gave Lobdell an in. And when you’re Scott Lobdell, writer of 2005’s Texas Ranger laugh-riot Man Of The House, co-starring Anne Archer and Paget Brewster, one chance is all you need. To put it simply, and to break up this wall of text with a some pictures, Lobdell took this and turned it into this. "Well, that one on the left isn't so bad, let me shift my gaze to the immediate right WHY ARE HER SHOULDERS MORE COVERED THAN HER DIRTY PILLOWS?" The ‘new’ Starfire was the kind of parody you would usually only see after Glenn Beck had sex with a penguin in front of Stephen Colbert, if Stephen Colbert were possessed by the ghost of Bill Hicks and told he would only get into heaven if he made a grown Libertarian cry with sheer mockery. If it were just an ugly costume, then Lobdell’s attack would be toothless. Harley Quinn, a character most fanboys already wouldn’t kick out of bed for eating crackers, was given a “sexy” new costume that would have men kicking her out of bed for fear of painful crotch itching. "You know what, I just don't think the skintight spandex bodysuit is sexy enough. Is there any way we can get across that she has almost certainly been a contestant on Rock of Love?" More than that, Lobdell rewrote the character. While Roy and Jason had been redeemed as edgy anti-heroes with hearts of gold, Starfire devolved into… well, she has the memory of Guy Pearce in Memento (minus the bit about his wife being murdered), can’t tell humans apart, and propositions strangers for sex, not that she appears to relish the prospect any. And even though her character had a close, borderline-subtextual relationship with best friend Donna Troy before her revamp, she’s strictly dickly here. So Starfire is not actually a character. She’s what some Hentai Foundry artist with a perverse sexual lust for Dory in Finding Nemo might draw to justify his fetish. She can’t form a relationship with any character, nor can she even remember who someone is. She exists simply to take orders and, well… If your helmet is giant and red for more than four hours, call your doctor immediately. She puts the object in sex object. She’s such a token female character that if you give her to a bus driver, he’ll take you as far as Hoboken. An original character with her looks and “personality” would get the side-eye from most, so changing an established, well-rounded character into Tucker Max’s dream woman? Why? Why did her character have to be changed so much to be ‘sexy’? I mean, you saw the picture I posted of her. Her costume isn’t exactly a hijab. She’s already well-established as sexually promiscuous, in a positive, woman-friendly way. She sleeps with people she likes. What would be wrong with her sleeping with Red Hood because she likes him, and wanting to sleep with Roy because she likes him as well? Here's what (one particular) sexually liberated woman looks like. Because that would be letting comics off easy, and Scott Lobdell has no mercy. You wouldn’t either, if your screenplay Man Of The House had been directed by Stephen Herek, the madman behind Into The Blue 2: The Reef and Young MacGuyver. Look at Kory’s love interests in the comics. Aside from some bland one-hit wonders, including two husbands who both died (not that you can feel too sorry for them when they were married to all that), you’ve got Dick Grayson. Donna Troy. Captain Comet. Raven. These are, to a man (and woman), lovely people. They’re interesting. They’re friendly. And, yes, they’re attractive. The sexual fantasy of Starfire, the idea that a beautiful woman can indulge in casual sex, in polygamous sex, in lesbian sex, isn’t enough. After all, that fantasy still requires some sort of intrigue on your part. She has to find something interesting in you. You have to have some tiny vestige of a personality, some miniscule potential to please her. You're not worth casual sex. You're worth a handshake. That's all this is. Scott Lobdell gives his audience, his industry, possibly his entire gender the finger and says “Oh no, you motherfuckers. That’s not your fantasy. Your fantasy is a woman that will literally have sex with you just for existing. No woman with any standards, no matter how low, no matter how forgiving, could possibly be attracted to you, so here’s your new sex object—a brain-damaged goldfish with a rack. And you’re such a scared little boy, so afraid of commitment in even your own pathetic fantasies, that you’ll run away from a ‘clinger’ even if she’s as gorgeous, charming, and supportive as the woman Starfire used to be. You can’t bear even that slight chance that she’ll make you move out of your parents’ basement, get a real job, and make something of yourself. So I’ll cater to that too! Not only doesn’t she want a relationship, she won’t even remember you! That’s what you want in the end, isn’t it? A vagina-shaped goldfish! Look upon your lust, ye nerdy, and despair.” Say what you will about the James Bond fantasy, but it at least imagines the male as someone so suave, so competent, so handsome and charismatic and goddamn awesome, that any woman would understandably fall for him. It enriches the dreamer. This degrades the fantasy object. Let’s be serious. Scott Lobdell wasn’t parodying sexism in the comic book industry. And he’s a poor writer indeed if, as some have suggested, he wrote a brain-washed character in the “pilot episode” of his comic, meaning for this out-of-character aberration to entice readers into buying more. Let me describe for you a scenario. Batwing, “the Batman of Africa” (yes, he’s named after Batman’s plane, just to make the phrase “Batman hurriedly jumps into the Batwing’s cockpit” needlessly dirty), is portrayed in his book as a strong minority character. He’s flawed, but still heroic. The artwork depicts him as handsome and powerful. The good guys unfailingly treat him with dignity and respect, and those who do not quickly realize the error of their ways. Then, in another Batman comic, the Dark Knight comes across a black police officer guarding a suspect he needs access to. Being hip to the black condition, Batman figures any African-American would be not only corrupt, but stupidly corrupt, so he offers the man twenty bucks to get a snack. “Sheeeeeit,” the black man replies, “I sho could go fo’ some fried chicken rights about now! Feet don’t fail me, lawdy!” The fandom goes into an uproar. They want to know how a black man could be portrayed in such a racist manner. DC replies “Oh, this comic is for white people. We’re depicting the black characters to make the whites look good. Batwing is the comic for African-Americans. If you want to see minority characters treated well, you’ll have to buy that.” That’s how DC Comics treats women. It’s commendable that they aim comics like Supergirl at women (even if it’d be nicer to take comics women were already invested in, like Batgirl or Birds of Prey, and leave them the hell alone, just like they do for men). But if some comics are for women and the rest say that women are nothing more than the ink that can be splattered on their tits, that’s not feminism. It’s appeasement. And it won’t work. Colin James Morrison Great article! I think I may need eye bleach after reading this garbage. Poor Kory. And poor all her little fans from the TT cartoon. Let’s pray for a quick cancellation. Check out my blog! http://www.reallydeepstuff.com New Post “The Dangerous Lives of Queerish Superheroes” Matthew Lane Really? I would have thought you would have needed brain bleach if you sat and read the issue. Actually that pretty much goes for any of the new 52 except for maybe Teen Titans. Jeff Wiesneski Meh, it never says in the comic Starfire can’t remember anything (in her conversation with Roy it looks more to me that she’s trying to change the subject), she isn’t taking orders as much as asking if a member of her team needs any more help, and SHE is the one who initially wants to have sex. Aside from the personality change from what she was most recently, which could be explained later in the story, as Roy seems surprised that she is acting this way, I see no problem with a teammate trying to help her team or a woman wanting to have sex. Note that she only had sex once in the issue (which spans three weeks), and claims to it happening more than that are just assumptions. I never saw this much anger over Tony Stark having frequent, casual sex… kickpuncher She’s asked if she remembers any of the old friends she spent the entire Teen Titans series with and she says no. How much clearer could they get? seamusmcclernan What I find odd (even odder than BOTH Green Arrow and Arsenal being in their early to mid-twenties) is not what Starfire can’t remember, but what Roy can. How does he remember “Vic?” According to the DCnU timeline, Cyborg becomes a member of the Justice League without ever having been a Teen Titan. ScoL Love the article, but one this bugs me about your research…Voodoo was always a stripper as part of her background. Image comics…90’s….not entirely surprising Andrew In one of the last issues of Batman and Robin pre-reboot, there was a scene with Jason drawn overly muscular, with only a towel on, and there were some pretty strong implications of the whole prison rape thing. That’s sexist. Alex Cranz I skipped Batman and Robin so I’m going to need some elaboration. How is it sexist? Cassandra James Because he was wearing a TOWEL. Did you know that towels have been the result of the subjugation of men for centuries? Anonymous Did you miss that most all males in comics are drawn as overly muscular? Unless, you know, that’s the average guy you see walking down the street… Guess I’ve been living under a rock then, huh? And, by golly, only a towel on? I think that towel still covers more area than that bikini Starfire sports above – oh, wait, did you know they were actually going to make that semi-transparent before? Oops. But, seriously, how is that sexist? So we’re being shown a physically powerful man who has gone through struggles and… that’s sexist? I… /What/? Brian Buckler Garth Ennis is killing with The Boys nowadays,he attacked the whole “I-was-abused-and-raped-so-now-I’m-dark-and-sexy” cliche with a female superhero in The Seven. Vought Co. (who owns all the supes in the story) tried to change her origin and costume to that cliche, and she had to fight against it by telling them that is unrealistic and perverse. One of the company guys even says “but that’s what the writer-man says.” It’s in the ‘Self-Preservation Society’ storyline. Worth checking out. I’ve been jaded about the whole superhero industry for a while and The Boys is the only book reflecting my pessimism on that subject. Matthew Lane Really? Because i would say Garth Ennis’s The Boys is exactly the kind of nonsense this web site should be against. Aaron Davidson The difference is that Ennis is deliberately making a point through graphic satire and parody. He’s saying “Look at how despicably women are treated in comics!” Starlight, the character in question, is forced to be gangraped simply to join the Seven. After joining, she’s forced to cut out a part of her costume to show some cleavage. To boot, she’s a wholesome, Christian girl with staunch moral values. The way she’s treated is disturbing, and it’s meant to be. The Seven represents the comics industry, and Starlight is what we often want women to be: attractive, moral, religiously devout. She’s forced to degrade herself to make it in the superhero big leagues. It’s no wonder DC didn’t want to publish the series: it’s a scathing critique of the entire industry, and with Catwoman and Red Hood, DC has proven how deserved that critique is. Starlight has a lot of depth and character, a lot more than we see from any women in the DCU. Matthew Lane “The difference is that Ennis is deliberately making a point through graphic satire and parody” Really? All i got from Ennis was “i’m socially maladjusted… ask me how.” “and with Catwoman and Red Hood, DC has proven how deserved that critique is” No it doesn’t… Talk about hasty generalizations. Thats like me saying women can’t write novels &* every poorly written romance novel is proof of that. Daryl Surat “It’s appeasement. And it won’t work.” I suppose it depends on what you consider “work” to entail. I won’t pretend to have significant insight into US comics (though I seem to be reading them quite often lately due to the recent publicity), but the Japanese comicbook industry is set up in precisely the “appeasement” configuration of which you speak. There are some comics for women, and some comics for adult men. In terms of quantity of titles, “comics for adult men” makes up the largest category, and some of those depict women in far less favorable lights than anything DC has done since the 1990s. (Some depict black people and other minorities in manners far less flattering than your hypothetical, but that’s another story.) “A woman that will literally have sex with you just for existing” is…well heck, that’s the premise of an entire sub-genre of fiction over there, made by and for people who want to see just that. Certainly, we can call this audience “scared little boys,” “pathetic,” “nerdy,” and the like…but it does indeed “work” to an extent in the Japanese market. As has been the case for decades, the target demographic for American superhero comics are males 18-49. In light of that, this sort of thing seems par for the course. If the goal of this relaunch is to increase sales among their desired target demographic, DC’s approach is not automatically doomed to failure. However, if we define “work” to equal “copies sold,” then there’s no doubt that the best-selling titles over in Japan are ones for males and females alike, ostensibly targeted to younger male audiences. If the stated goal of the DC relaunch is to broaden the readership demographic, then your assessment is spot-on: the approach you’ve detailed in this comic will NOT work. I don’t think it’s invalid to make some stories for one demographic at the virtual exclusion of others, but it DOES predicate itself upon there being other options out there. I would certainly not mind seeing a more diverse distribution of titles, but at the end of the day the true problem is that there is not a more diverse distribution of PRODUCT. By this I mean that as long as the lion’s share of US comics continue to be sold primarily through the direct market, the primary purchasing audience will be males 18-49 such that it makes sense from an editorial standpoint for Marvel/DC/Image/etc to target that group above all others. The major bookstore chains are all vanishing, online vendors such as Amazon only really work if you already know what you’re buying, and digital distribution which could potentially change that potential demographic base is still considered “secondary.” Step One therefore would need to be “the comics publishers get their titles sold in supermarket magazine stand aisles and the like.” That would then enable Step Two: “the comics publishers tailor their material to reach a broader range of demographics.” LarryA Voodoo was already a stripper in her Image debut of WildCats. Allen Moore has wroten Rape Free stories. Warren Ellis is a better writer then Scott Lobdell. . . .in fact NO Scott Lobdell isnt that good to being with. In fact you went and complained about the new Harley Quinn design why did you not say nothing about the new Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad? Long gone is the Nell Carter looking tough as nails stocky woman replaced with instead a Halle Berry looking lighter skinned woman. Now they already planted seeds incase this doesnt work out…in every issue of these new comics there is a woman in a red jacket who can be seen in the backgrounds. Also…meanwhile in the Marvel Universe why are you not showing any love? Jessica Jones, Jessica Drew, Valkyrie, and Ms Marvel all have become top tier Avengers which even lead to some redemption for the whole Ms. Marvel incest rape birth to her character. Neil Kapit Brilliant. Morgan Nickolatos I would have read this article if there wasn’t that fucking share bar on the left side of the damn page covering the font. How am I supposed to read something when there is a big block in the way that isn’t close-able? Alex Cranz I enjoy your rage, tell me more. Also make your browser window larger and it should move to the left. This website is designed with the idea that browser windows are 960 pixels wide or wider. MadameHardy This website refuses to acknowledge the existence of netbooks. Alex Cranz We take a very hard line against netbooks. I mean, they’re just BABY COMPUTERS. Nobody should want that. Rebecca Jane Stokes This website is anti baby. Matthew Lane Well it is a feminist web site… Its anti nuclear family (he says in jest) Travis McClain There is one bright spot to all this, and that’s that the spotlight hasn’t been this bright on the comics industry in ages. I, for one, think it’s great that at the same time DC and local shops are basking in massive sales that the lion’s share of reactions have been targeted at the dysfunctional relationship between the industry and female creators, fans and characters. Let this be the occasion for a reformation that has been a long time coming. It’s worth noting that no one is saying comics shouldn’t peddle sex; they’re entertainment just like any other medium. What many of us are calling for, however, is that they peddle thoughtful sex. Before The New 52, sales were meager enough that the industry could hide behind the argument that they had little confidence that growing up would reach more than a negligible amount of new readers. The last four weeks, however, have proven that there are a lot more potential buyers than have been attracted to comics in quite some time and if the industry intends to keep a lot of those new (or returning) readers, they’ll need to be forward thinking about it and not exist in their misogynistic, juvenile past. Daniel Greene My wife who’s way past the age of 17 for some reason has a subscription to Seventeen magazine. The latest issue was the ‘Hot Guy’ edition and on the cover, which had a picture of guy who I must assume is considered ‘hot’ to the intended audience, it said, ‘find out how to be his best hook-up!’ Wow! And here I thought young girls were preparing to be dutiful feminists by being preoccupied with thoughts of going to college with the goal of one day being in control of their sexuality in the corporate board room. Instead, Seventeen magazine, which is a magazine assembled by women for women, wants to show maturing young girls how to be some guys best lay. Great! Now, if no one has a problem with this, why are certain people concerned about what a bunch of guys are writing and drawing about for an audience which is mostly male and straight? Why can’t comics deliver exactly what the predominantly male audience wants without it being held accountable to ephemeral standards of politically correct ideology? Alex Cranz O_O Matthew Lane I agree with this. This is obviously true, unless of course all those twilight mums want to explain to me, how this was any different then them drooling over a brawny, shirtless 16 year old boy. Unless of course the excuse is that they thought that the shirtless look was meant to be a framing device to properly show off his intellect. Yeah i didn’t think so either. An frankly as much as i dislike this new DCnU almost without fail & its characterization across the board, i respect there right to do with there intellectual property what ever they like. Martie Walters You need to do a search and see that a ton of women hate Twilight and the creeper mom’s. When I and most of the other people I’ve seen comment about how disgusted we are with this we aren’t celebrating those women. Or the horribly written garbage they cling to, which, by the by, I’ve actually heard girls and young women using Twilight as an explanation for why jealous and overly controlling men are ‘only that way because they love them.’ Nobody has made the claim that the Twilight crap storm is ok and this isn’t. I’ve yet to speak to one person who is angry about the DC treatment of women who has anything but disdain for Twilight and the behavior of it’s fanbase, so don’t pretend that there is any reason to accuse everyone who is sickened by Lobdell’s writing of approving of Twilight fans. Twilight mums aren’t the ones complaining. Comic readers with some actual expectations are the ones complaining. People who think women with zero personality, no strength as a person, and zero standards are the opposite of sexy. People who think a company doing a massive reboot to make their product accessible to a larger audience should objectify and belittle part of that audience are complaining. DC makes a product for the public. The public has the write to voice their displeasure. It doesn’t help to simply stop buying the comics and let them wonder what the problem was. At this point I have trouble thinking they would come to any conclusion other than thinking Starfire was wearing too much clothes. Matthew Lane Martie it doesn’t matter how many women hate Twilight & its fanbase of creepy mums. There is an equal amount of men who didn’t like comics & its implied fanbase of 30 year old virgins living in there mothers basements. The fact is that there is an audience for the work & if there is an audience for the work, if said work is not against the law, nor is it against the moral character of the real world, why shouldn’t the product be made available for the audience that wants it… The “that offends me” excuse being bandied around is a clear case of sexual privilege: The idea that all women need to do is say “that offends me” & that alone should be enough to stop something from existing. If one does not like a particular product then one should not pursue it. Frankly, this has nothing to do with “DC treatment of women,” so much as it does with the idea that if any woman ever is slighted, all women every where are slighted. DC has actually done a really good job with the female characterization in the reboot (not that they didn’t do just as good a job before the reboot). To look at one character & say that it doesn’t meet your personal approval & then declare This is “objectify and belittle part of that audience” is short sighted. “People who think a company doing a massive reboot to make their product accessible to a larger audience should objectify and belittle part of that audience are complaining.” An again you are wrong. now had DC made every character like that then you would have a point, but they didn’t. In fact its a single instance, of a single character, lacking in context either before or after the issue in question. Sure without context it looks bad, but since then we’ve been given context. Of course you haven’t read the context, in fact i doubt you read the entire first issue either (most of the people who are complaining about it didn’t). “DC makes a product for the public” Yes & if part of that public is looking for that product & wants to spend money on that product, who are you to say that your personal preference is more important then there preference. If you aren’t the audience for the book & i must assume you are not (neither am i), then why would DC listen to you? After all, you aren’t buying the book. DC is going to listen to the people who are buying the book. “It doesn’t help to simply stop buying the comics and let them wonder what the problem was.” There was no problem with the book mate, you had a problem with the book. Thats like me complaining to a company that makes male on male gay porn & then explaining that the reason i’m not buying the male on male porn is that it contains sex between men. Whats more important to the company that makes that product, the poepl who are offeneded and don’t pay for the product or those who are not offended and are purchasing the product? “At this point I have trouble thinking they would come to any conclusion other than thinking Starfire was wearing too much clothes.” Eureka you’ve done it… You’ve solved DC’s sales problem… “Crisis of infinite bare girl boobies,” a 12 issue series about world shaking mammaries… Come off it dude, there’s no need to make Appeals to Motive because something isn’t to your liking… Don’t like it, don’t buy it, but atleast they didn’t sneak it up on you 6 issues in. Anonymous Wow, are you kidding me? Just because it’s written for heterosexual males, it is somehow okay to do that? And why is /any/ of that “what the predominantly male audience wants”? And, even then, the “predominantly male audience” is dwindling. Comics are a /dying/ breed. Why would it be so bad to try, for once, to cater to the much-ignored other 50% of the population that they never have? Maybe the comics industry should consider expanding its target market. But, not even that, with shows like “Young Justice” and the “Teen Titans” cartoon bringing in female fans – I believe there are more cartoons set to air – why wouldn’t it be wise to make room for these female fans? You don’t even have to cater to them, for crying out loud. If these girls weren’t constantly being offended, you wouldn’t have such an issue. Being “politically correct” hardly even matters, it’s about /making money/. Matthew Lane “Wow, are you kidding me? Just because it’s written for heterosexual males, it is somehow okay to do that?” Actually yes. Same way that gay, guy on guy porn is made for people who like guy on guy porn. If you aren’t in that demographic thats cool, neither am i… But i don’t feel that just because its not to my liking that i should complain about its existance. When did my personal preferences become more important then everyone elses? An why should companies change a product i’m not purchasing to my liking, when there is an audience whose willing to pay money for that product? elie Yeah, most feminists I know who are concerned about the empowerment of women have just as much disdain for magazines targeted towards young women like Seventeen as they do for the portrayal of women in film, books, and comics. That’s not acceptable, no. Just because the target audience is young women, and many young women buy it, doesn’t meant that all women are okay with it. Not all women are even feminists. So don’t act like the people complaining about this, are the same people who read trash like that. madmonq It’s good to see after all of these years that Scott Lobdell is still a talentless retard. Anonymous Man, I liked Generation X. Thought it was great. Lobdell wrote that didn’t he? What the hell happened in the last ten years? Matthew Lane nothing happened… He still writes great comics, even the comic in question. The fact that its not to your personal preference doesn’t change the level of technical expertise involved in the actual storytelling. The book was masterfully crafted even if you did not presonally like the presentation of Starfire. King Beauregard Good dissection of what Lobdell is doing wrong. But it’s worth nothing that Kory has been a fantasy figure for much of her existence; certainly she started out that way. Or maybe I’m reading too much into a hot alien sex slave princess from a Vallejo calendar who got her powers from a bondage accident and who can absorb languages through kissing, and also is absolutely charmed by probable Marv Wolfman self-insertion proxy Terry Long. The fantasy back then was a little more reined in, I suspect because of comic book sensibilities of the day, and also because her creators didn’t want to come off as pigs. The current Kory fantasy is more of a drunk girl at a frat party. I do like Kory when she is self-possessed and her sexuality is just one mundane facet of her existence. I even like the fact that good writers can deal with her nudist tendencies without it turning into sheer titillation (though as long as there is a penciler drawing her, at least a little titillation is inevitable). But honestly, I wish DC had gone “Toon TItans” with her: strong, smart, vulnerable, loyal, innocent, optimistic, and doesn’t lend herself quite so easily to immature fantasy.