Thursday, May 22, 2014

We Love She-Hulk...But Not In That Way

Hi. I'm Paul Nicholasi, editor of Idle Hands and the guy that posts most of the things you see here. If it's super snarky, it's probably fallen out of my mouth. Yesterday, we were made aware of some comments from uber film and comic book writer David Goyer that irked me to no end. Let me lay this out for you.

*Warning: Strong Language Ahead*

The Mary Sue reported Goyer took part in an interview panel of screenwriters before a live audience, held by an outlet called Scriptnotes. Goyer has his hands on many a DC film project these days, and so it wasn't long before those involved were doing anything they could to squeeze a sense of what these upcoming films would be like from the man, without outright jedi mindtricking him into spilling the beans on the films directly. As conversation dipped into each well known comic book character (even beyond the DC Comics stable), the topic moved from Hulk to She-Hulk...and that's when things took a hard left turn.

Craig Mazin: The real name for She-Hulk was Slut-Hulk. That was the whole point. Let’s just make this green chick with enormous boobs. And she’s Hulk strong but not Hulk massive, right? … She’s real lean, stringy…
David S. Goyer: She’s still pretty chunky. She was like Chyna from the WWE. (Which we'll count as a nod to Axel Braun's "Avengers XXX: A Porn Parody", which stars Chyna as She-Hulk. Goyer knows his porn.)
Mazin: The whole point of She-Hulk was just to appeal sexistly to ten-year-old boys. Worked on me.
Goyer: I have a theory about She-Hulk. Which was created by a man, right? And at the time in particular I think 95% of comic book readers were men and certainly almost all of the comic book writers were men. So the Hulk was this classic male power fantasy. It’s like, most of the people reading comic books were these people like me who were just these little kids getting the shit kicked out of them every day… And so then they created She-Huk, right? Who was still smart… I think She-Hulk is the chick that you could fuck if you were Hulk, you know what I’m saying? … She-Hulk was the extension of the male power fantasy. So it’s like if I’m going to be this geek who becomes the Hulk then let’s create a giant green porn star that only the Hulk could fuck.

This commentary saddens me for many reasons...some simple and some complex. I'll spit out the top 3 reasons and move along...

1. She-Hulk has had some amazing moments in comics, from telling Captain America if he says the word, she would run over to Galactus and start pounding on his ankle for all she's worth (in the middle of Secret Wars) to one of my favorites in which she hits on Wolverine after a fight, only to be rebuffed as Wolverine thinks she slept with Juggernaught and the idea of his sloppy seconds One look at my book shelf and you'll find a mini sea of mint green spines starting with Dan Slott's "Single Green Female" trade paperback..and on it goes for about 9 books. I found the character to be unflinchingly real from her not-subtle sex appetites to her problems juggling her urge to party, urge to be an Avenger and a fear of who she really is deep down inside. On top of that, the books were hysterical, with her law firm (SHE'S  A LAWYER!!) taking J.Jonah Jameson to court on behalf of Spider-Man and other wacky but still incredibly smart story lines. I love these books, so when I hear someone besmirching the character's name...yes, my fanboy fluff stands on edge..but more importantly, I'm angered their comments come from a place of not having ever even read the books. It's blind, bordeline blissful ignorance and completely unnecessary. Was Goyer talking to his bros about the fine ass that just walked by? He may as well have been. Why else say such asinine things in a room full of people if not to give himself that mental high 5?

2. This man is shaping the very DC Cinematic Universe along side Zack Snyder and co. If he has so little respect for one of the few characters in the Marvel Universe to repeatedly have her own book, what is he going to do with Wonder Woman...Zatana...Black Canary..etc etc on into infinity? Hell, if he thinks She-Hulk is just there for Hulk to screw, he can't possibly think any better of Hawkgirl, Batgirl, Supergirl, Jade, and other characters who he'd just assume were feminized version of male super heroes...oh and fuck dolls..let's not forget that. I bet he just makes motorboat sounds when someone mentions Powergirl..if he even knows who Powergirl is. This comment comes straight from Goyer's second appauling statement...

Goyer: How many people in the audience have heard of Martian Manhunter? -waits for the crowd reaction. Then adds- How many people that raised their hands have ever been laid?
3. Goyer has no respect for you or the characters you love, thus prompting you to throw down 12 dollars for a theater ticket. He learns just enough about the character to know what he thinks is stupid, and make changes that are logical to him. Worse, he thinks you are the stereotypical basement dwelling sexless geek he saw in some 80's film. To me, that's a double red flag. Not only does he not-so-secretly desire to give us toilet swirlies for loving the very things he gets paid to write about, but he is so out of touch HE MISSED THE DAY WHEN GEEK BECAME THE "IN" THING TO BE!! Geeks are getting laid all over the damn place now..male and female alike. It's a brave, new world. I saw a dude doing interviews at Steampunk World's Fair rocking a My Little Pony DJPon3 (their resident DJ..I shit you not) T shirt and he was getting hit on left and right. Geek is cool, and Goyer is horrifically out of touch to a point where he should have Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds trailing behind him to point and scream when prompted...and of course the obligatory chest bumps when they are feeling particularly masculine.

This whole moment hurts my head. Hey Warner Bros...want to know why your films are not going over as well as Marvel's efforts? Here's a big, blinking arrow pointing to what is probably wrong with your creative choices..and what will surely bring it all crashing down around you. Will these horrific comments lead to a firing and perhaps a hiring of a writer whom we know actually "get's it"? Probably not. For my money, it's definitely not. They won't see it as that big of a deal, even though it seems this story is picking up steam way faster than they can spin. Of utmost importance to Warner should be that this mess nearly overshadowed their big title announcement...

Today, She-Hulk is trending and Batman v Superman is not.

On the plus side, She-Hulk has been trending on Twitter!! If the only good thing that comes from all this is more people discover an excellent run of comics, then I suppose it's not the worst day after all. Still, if things are going to get better for women in film, women in comics, women at conventions...women geeks....hell, WOMEN...this bullshit has to get shut down the second it happens. Next time you hear something like this, I want you to boo LOUDLY and make sure they know how much they suck for making anyone feel objectified or undermined. I promise you..if you make a stand..others will stand with you...and maybe we can stop all this back-stepping and start taking care of each other like we were meant to.

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