In Defence Of Starfire And Red Hood And The Outlaws

In Defence Of Starfire And Red Hood And The Outlaws

Posted by October 4, 2011 Comment

It seemed like the whole internet came out against the treatment of Starfire in Red Hood And The Outlaws #1 from DC last month.

However I understand that the fuss only helped reorders and the comic sold out ever quicker than its peers, with orders upped for the second issue.

And there’s a current swell in support of the book. Here are a few examples;

From Geekscape writers Sax Carr and Tim Powers;

We wonder if there would be this much outrage if Gail Simone wrote this book. Some of the women who wrote very intelligently on this issue still included lines like: “ She’s a character, who was written by a person – specifically, a man”. (Source: a great article by Miss Snarky found here)

Oh? Is that really a thing. Are we determining who can and can’t write a character honestly now because of their gender? We’ll march right over to Gail’s current job writing Firestorm and slap the pen out of her hand, then. We’ll also make sure only black people write black characters and the like. Ok… that’s an overreaction… but I think it comes down to a real point. We think the writer here might have actually been trying to deal with something serious… but because he was a man we decided without any input from him, that this was tits for tits sake. Here’s a particularly horrific example of putting words in Lobdell’s mouth -> LINK!.

This must have been “fan service” to a cadre of mindless fanboys who only want to see Starfire’s golden unmentionables. Why? because what else could it be? A MAN wrote it. Sorry, again that might be overreacting… but speaking of overreacting… WHAT YOU ARE DOING!?!

Scott Lobdell has been asked in person about some of the issues and a blogger reported back;

Kory was definitely being evasive/sarcastic because she did NOT want to talk about her past with them and issues that will come up later in the series. She does not have a memory of ‘a goldfish’ as some people have been saying ‘round the ‘net.

Also, Jason was lying to Roy about certain implications he made in the first issue to Roy about Kory. I won’t say what exactly because I don’t want to spoil the next issue, especially since it’s not out yet.

This also may be uncomfortable to bring up but while talking about the ‘controversy’ over Starfire, Scott got VISIBLY upset when speaking of some of the demeaning terms he has seen/heard written about his portrayal of Kory in various comments [Not the actual articles, just the comment sections]. He pretty much said that he couldn’t believe some of the terms people were throwing out and you could tell that he was really broken up that people would think in those terms and that it was okay to spread them around.

And PopMatters made it the editor’s choice book, saying;

What puts Lobdell over the bar to genius is how he uses this Freudian triangular structure between Kori’andar’s Starfire, Jason Todd’s Red Hood and Roy Harper’s Arsenal.

In short, Lobdell uses this inverted Freudian triangle to meditate on the post-militaristic condition existing after 9-11. How do conventional military forces engage and defeat non-con forces in asymmetrical warfare? Chances are they don’t, Lobdell seems to suggest. What’s called for is a post-structured military comprised of no troops and only elite forces. And yet, these ‘outlaw’ soldiers may never be able to reintegrate into regular society. This is the story Ralph Steadman was trying to tell about his lifelong friendship with Hunter S. Thompson in The Joke’s Over.

Lobdell’s Red Hood & the Outlaws is the story of these two deeply engaging dramas; of the reclamation of female sexuality, and the reclamation of the rule of law among nations. And, at a deeper, more meta level, the story of how both these stories are actually one drama.

Although not everyone is zagging when others are zigging. Jim Shooter writes;

Don’t get me wrong, I’m in favor of sex, in favor of sexuality, in favor of expressions of same in any creative endeavor involving representations of the human condition. There is more sexuality in my work than in most comic book writers’ work. Sexuality is an important component of every character I write, just as it is an important part of every person I’ve ever met, even if by denial! And I’ve written a wide variety of characters with a wide range of sexual natures.

The problem I have with Starfire is that she’s a device, not a character. Feh.

Jules Feiffer once said comic books were “booze for kids.” Starfire as portrayed here is porn for kids. You know what I mean. Feh.

Get a real writer, DC. Or, Scott Lobdell, get a grip.

A blurb at the bottom of the last page promises “To be explained…”

Yes, DC and Scott, I think we deserve an explanation for what you’ve done.

Issue 2 is out in two weeks…

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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(Last Updated October 4, 2011 7:42 pm )

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