Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Morrison Writes my Fanon!

I really need to make that into a T-Shirt.

Comic Book Resources has an interview with Grant Morrison, where he discusses some (spoilery) details of what the upcoming Final Crisis series will cover.

One thing that stood out to me was this bit, tucked away in the second-to-last paragraph. Avert your eyes, spoiler-phobes!

Supergirl and Mary Marvel are in it. They have a big climatic battle to decide how femininity should be portrayed in superhero comics!

Now, how much the results of a story beat can influence the editorial/creative direction of a company like DC- with its focus groups and market research and whatnot- is up for debate. I know Grant has claimed that his writing has influenced the real world before, but he's never had to write against Time Warner/AOL before. ^_^

A few scattershot thoughts on this for now, because I want to wait until it plays out in the text before trying to get at the delicious subtext:

-What, exactly, do Supergirl and Mary Marvel represent at this point? In her own title, Supergirl seems to be in a transition from Loeb/Churchill's elongated-torso, no-ankle-having, tantrum-throwing cipher of a character into a more realistically proportioned growing teen girl struggling with an unfamiliar culture. In the pages of Countdown Mary has been presented as an innocent girl seduced by evil into wearing a short skirt and posing for panty shots.

-There is still time for the larger DCU to re-shape Kara and Mary as signifiers, too: there's still a Supergirl arc to clear up, and Countdown #1 and DCU #0 to go. So, we'll see what happens there, and if it even matters...

-What does Grant mean by femininity, here? Is this a fight between "good girl" pin-up art vs "bad-girl" art? Or a battle between what the ideal for a female character should be like in the DCU? Or am I over/under -thinking this?

-Its things like this that make me look forward to Final Crisis more than Secret Invasion- and by extension, Morrison's writing more than Bendis'. With Final Crisis I can expect some juicy subtext to look forward to, which is great- I like my metaphor dressed in bright colours and punching each other. With Secret Invasion, all I can reasonably expect is people talking out of character. For pages on end. But it won't *really* be out of character, 'cos its a plot point!

-Morrison also wrote Bulleteer, my favourite of the Seven Soldiers mini-series, as problematic as it is. It'll be interesting to see if any of the themes in that get played into this particular bit in FC.

And really, I'm just gonna wait for the text to come out on this one before discussing it further. It'll be the fight... of the CONTEXTUARY!


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