On the importance of Magical Girl Heroines & Weaponized Femininity:
Let me start by saying that officially speaking, Sailor Moon is older than I am. I started watching while living in Singapore while I was four, so I definitely came in around the end of Sailor Moon R and watched Sailor Moon S despite the fact that it was played in Japanese with Chinese subtitles. When I moved back to the States, Sailor Moon started being released and aired in sub and dub form and being young and happy to actually hear a language I understood with a show I already liked, I watched the dubs. They’re not the shining star of any animated dub, but I went back several times as I got older, and rewatched the series, in dubs, in subs, all 200 episodes. I changed my self-identified scout, I understood what got cut out of the show, what was censored, I went back and relived my crush on Tuxedo Mask again…and again. In terms of “formative media” Sailor Moon is probably near the top of the list. I still have the sticker book I had when I was 5/6 that has a page dedicated to these magical girls, and they’ve been with me a lot longer than almost anything else, including Harry Potter, Avatar: the Last Airbender, and most other narratives, superhero, fantasy, or otherwise.
When I got the chance last year, I showed one of my girl cousins (who was twelve) the first episode of Sailor Moon. She came back to me about a week or so later and was maybe thirty episodes into the series, bursting with excitement over everything and every one.
I stopped to think about how much that meant to me. Then I thought a little harder. One of my best friends gave me an opportunity to cosplay as Sailor Scouts, and I leapt at the chance. I accidentally stumbled across the newer series Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and marathoned all twelve episodes. Then I made my best friend watch it.
Why does Mahou Shoujo stick with us? The show I loved when I was six is something I love when I’m twenty, and something my cousin who is a tween also loves. For that matter, Puella Magi is, essentially, an update of the classic Magical Girl story, with some genre subversions thrown in. What makes magical girls so important?
In my opinion, some of the series have been pretty good. Swamp Thing and Animal Man are good. Supergirl is okay. It has some execution issues, but it’s pretty solid and the art is good. Wonder Woman… so many mixed feelings, bad plot progression.
I dunno… for me, it’s not about the plots they have going on right now… or how good some of the books and art are…. It’s about the removal of characters who were active until the reboot… the complete disregard for the characters’ histories and what preceding authors have written. Sure, there were people that may have needed to be retconned because they were unimportant or inactive…. but a lot of the characters taken out were on active duty for years.
They make this whole deal about the New 52 being for new fans, so that they’re not intimidated by the large amount of history the characters have… but that’s what made the comics so appealing to me in the first place…. I’m reading these characters, especially the legacy characters like Dick, Tim, Wally, Donna, Cass, etc. grow up… I like watching them develop and seeing how their development over the years affects their decisions later on in life. The New 52 versions of these characters are hollowed out versions of their previous lives.
I’m legitimately afraid to finish up all the preboot comics I have, cause I know they’ll never be the same….
Oh, trust me. I know what you mean. Your complaints are completely valid and I’ve heard them before. It’s a shame that for whatever reason, beloved characters are just MISSING from the foreground and their existence is not being accounted for at all. The reboot includes those omissions, but it also includes whatever the renumbered series have to offer. It is sad that it’s become a question of how much did the New 52 cost relative to what it has given because each month looks like the costs have steepened and the returns are less.
Almost poetically, New 52 Swamp Thing and Animal Man heavily rely on their pre-reboot stories since they’re basically carrying on Alan Moore’s world building during his run on Swamp Thing. They are actually pretty much carrying on where they left off, much like I understand Green Lantern is. They haven’t actually been rebooted. What they’ve added to the cannon is actually compatible with pre-reboot cannon. In a sense, Swamp Thing and Animal Manhaven’t been re-booted at all and they’re arguably the best written, best executed titles in the lot.
Wether it’s Babs, Kori, Zatanna, hell, even all the slash ships out there, can’t we all just agree that Dick is a whore and get on with our lives instead of starting ship wars? All the ladies Dick has been with all have their own thing going for them and are pretty damn awesome, so please, stop hating on characters just because they blow holes in your ships. That is all. Now move along and let Dick be a whore.
You do realize that the label of “whore” is considered to be negative label, right? (I have no idea what your background is so I have no idea whether or not you just don’t know the connotations of the word.) It’s not just a description of a sexually promiscuous person or a polyamorous person. It literally means a person who has sex with people for money. Even when not being used literally, it means that the person in question doesn’t have very little or no emotional investment in his or her sexual partners.
I’m not quite sure you’re intention is to call Dick Grayson a person who has lots of sexual partners and doesn’t care about any of them. If you’re looking for a word that describes a sexual active person who has many sexual partners without the negative connotations ”whore” and “slut” have, I can’t help you and I think it might be a lacuna, a lexical gap. Just saying.
But yeah, I totally agree that hating characters because they interfere with your ship is bad and ship wars are ridiculous.
At a certain point I realized that not only was Cartoon Network (its shows past and present, its ever-changing schedule, etc) the main topic of conversations I started with other human beings, but that my relationship with the station was awkwardly similar to a couple having a long drawn-out fight. And then, this comic.
I’d been wanting to do a comic colored in this sort of style for a while now, with painted backgrounds and cell-shaded (and lineart’ed) figures, to mimic the style of an old animated cartoon. It wound up being pretty tedious but I’m really happy with the results.
Not knowing what a Commodore 64 during the early 80s would have been like not knowing what an iPad or a Macbook in today’s world.
By not knowing what it is at all, she dates herself (and in turn the joke also possibly dates Bruce Banner), which unfortunately also establishes that she’s probably not a semi-immortal assassin who worked during the Cold War.