Friday, November 30, 2007

I've said it all along: Iron Man is an ass.

You'd think that I'd love Iron Man. He's a rich guy with health problems who built himself a robotic exoskeleton with which he fights crime and saves the day. I think I should like Iron Man, anyway. My love of robots frequently extends to things that are robot-like. Robocop? Not a robot, but I love him.

Iron Man, though. Well, he's a jerk (I keep wanting to say "Iron Man is a dick" but I'm trying to get away from gendered insults. It's very difficult.). He's always such an arrogant snot, and the recent events in Marvel's Civil War didn't exactly endear him to me, either. When he's written like a far-right military-industrialist facist who wants to erode personal rights and liberties... he's not very likable.

Still, every so often, I think to myself "Self, maybe I should give Iron Man another chance." The Iron Man annual came out recently, and there was a time when annuals were a big deal- they were pure awesome. Given how infrequently I buy individual issues, though, it's not a surprise that I didn't end up picking up Iron Man's. And, thanks to Rachelle, over at Living Between Wednesdays, I can be glad for that fact.

I'm afraid I can't do justice to the insanity that is Iron Man's annual. He's the director of the most powerful security agency on the planet- like the United Nations if the United Nations had overarching military authority across the globe. He's surrounded by capable, intelligent, well trained soldiers and secret agents.

And apparently the mission requires that they all wear tiny bikinis, lavish him with attention, and visit a strip club?


The panel that takes the cake, though? During a fight, one of his agents gets burned on the sternum by the bad guy. That leads to this lovely exchange:


I don't even know what to make of that.

Seriously: I get that it's supposed to be some kind of play on the Charlie's Angels thing. Rich playboy super-hero/secret agent (How, exactly he's a "secret" agent, I'm not clear. I stopped keeping track of how many times Tony Stark has had his identity as Iron Man outed) surrounded by stereotypical scantily clad spy-chicks. It's really not very clever, though. It's not clever, and it's been done before, and, quite frankly, it doesn't do anything to change the perception that Iron Man is a huge asshole who treats women like crap. It was bad enough when they had him rubbing the former director of SHIELD's face in her demotion by telling her to get him a cup of coffee, but now he's treating women with PhDs like playthings, making them dress up in bathing suits and rub oil on him? Ugh.

And yes, I'm sure that the story has some bullshit justification for the cheesecake factor- but you know what? Somebody wrote it, and somebody okayed it, and then somebody ended up drawing that woman saying that she doesn't have the rack for a low-cut dress. In the end, I'm sticking by my feeling glad to not have given them my money. You're a jerk, Iron Man.

I'm sticking with Batman. Sure, he's a jerk, too, but he doesn't make the women in his books wear lingerie for battle gear.

Thankfully, all is not terribly in the world of comics. For every (10? 20?) Iron Asshole: Director of Shields out there, there are things like Gail Simone's awesome debut on Wonder Woman, or writers/artists out there willing to suggest that maybe that Mary-Jane thing wasn't so tasteful after all.


Cara said...

You know, looking at that picture, all I can think is "if those freakishly large and firm cartoon boobs aren't good enough for wearing a low-cut dress, what the fuck is?" Because somehow, I don't think that she was suggesting "my tits are freakishly large and firm and look like they were drawn by a 13 year-old horny male cartoonist, and they're so ridiculous that I feel the need to cover them immediately." I mean, if anything, she should have been. But she wasn't.

projektleiterin said...

I say, "Send this poor chick to the plastic surgeon and get her a pair of decent breasts!" :lmao:

By the way, here is something nice for you. :)

schrödinger's cat said...

The cup size doesn't match her face. It looks very weird. And then the size of these things. She's supposed to fight with those? All a bad guy needs to do to defeat her is: sneak up on her while she's standing still... and then extend his pinkie and GENTLY poke her between the shoulder blades. She'll instantly fall over.

roses said...

*sighs* It is possible to be that small and have breasts that large (although they are unnaturally firm). I do completely understand how ridiculous and sexist it is to have every single character in a comic book look like that, and to have them parading around in skimpy outfits all the time, but do we have to turn it into bashing large breasted women? And referring to extremely large breasts as "freakish"? Because you know, I get enough shit about how "freakish" my breasts are without hearing it from feminists too.

Stupendousness said...

I was going to say the same thing roses.

By talking negatively about this fictional character's breasts (and her abilities as a result of her biology), any woman in real life who has similar qualities is being insulted.

The whole problem in the first place was too much attention paid to the breasts, so we don't need to add to that.

Cara said...

I apologize for causing offense. My point was that the breasts in this cartoon are in no way an honest depiction of breasts. Even augmented breasts rarely look like that. I was just trying to point out the absurdity in the fact these types of unrealistic yet supposedly "fantasy" breasts still aren't good enough by society's standard. I was trying to make a comment about beauty standards, unrealistic depictions of women, and unrealistic depictions of what large breasts look like, not the large breasts themselves (particularly since I have them).

roses said...

Fair enough, Cara. I guess it's just sort of a sensitive topic for me. (And it wasn't just your comment that bugged). You're right that they are unrealistic in the sense that breasts that big never have that "perfect" shape.

And the breasts aren't good enough because of the scar. Because on a male fighter, a scar from a fight is a badge of honour, but on a woman it's a flaw because it detracts from her main purpose of being a sex object.

EG said...

It's not that the boobs are big. It's that they are magical spherical floating comic book boobs. I love comic books, but I stopped reading certain titles because of that. I have friends with very, very large breasts indeed, and it is is simply not physically possible for breasts to behave in the way they're drawn here. Large breasts are rarely orbs. They are attached to the torso in more than one place (i.e. not just at the top). They do not just float prominently and jutting outward without any means of support whatsoever--look at this alleged woman, gigantic breasts, a teeny skimpy tank top with spaghetti straps, not a bra in sight, and yet her boobs are are practically pointing like street signs. That's what makes them freakish.

I hate the magical spherical floating comic-book boobs.

schrödinger's cat said...

That's kind of what I meant, too. Moreover, I always heard how difficult it can be to exercise if you have a large cupsize. A friend once explained to me all about having to wear not one, but two sports bras, and how sometimes even that doesn't help. Sorry if I sounded as if I were attacking large-breasted women. If I was fed up, it was because I looked at the blonde girl and saw this stereotypical thing about huge breasts, femininity, and eroticism, and how the morons always think it's all one thing. If you're a women, you must have large breasts. If you have large breasts, then it's erotic. That kind of stereotype. Another large-breasted friend of mine said that this kind of clichée makes buying the right T-Shirt into an art form.

projektleiterin said...

I hope I didn't hurt anybody's feelings either. They do look artificial, but don't appear particularly big. I just find it extremely silly when someone who clearly looks as if she had breast enhancement to get bigger breasts complains that her breasts are not big enough for a low-cut gown. I'm laughing at her silly comment not at the fact that her breasts are big.

jeff said...

The Iron Man movie looks to be something of an anti-war movie, which would be for awesome if they could pull it off.

Breasts aside, the Tony Stark character has always been kind of icky in my book (though I love the suit of armor stuff) because, well, his main business is to make weapons for the government. I think making him a fascist (which, not having read Civil War, is the idea, isn't it?) is sort of the logical conclusion of the character.

Of course, they can just say that he was a Skrull, at some point, and all of that will be forgiven.