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Member Since: Mon Dec 03, 2018
Posts: 11
Subj: Batgirl in Heroes in Crisis#4
Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 at 11:12:02 am EST (Viewed 205 times)

Seems there’a a minor controversy about the over-sexualisation of Batgirl’s confessional page in Heroes in Crisis #4. Gotta admit I’m little surprised, and wondered if anyone here has any strong feelings about it?

I know I’m in the minority but I’m enjoying this series and the 9-panel confessionals particularly. Just in this issue, Donna Troy’s meta nod to the confusion of her creation and Dinah’s walking off both were both welcome and faithful to the hearts of the characters I know, which is something that’s been missing in DC’s output for several years. As an old-timer I actually found Bab’s confessional quite moving (relatively).

Sure we’re all used to seeing the hyper-idealised anatomy of both genders in comics, but… Babs turned around so we got a view of her ass? So what? The bullet hole’s up here, boys, and while I’m the first to admit comic book art in general still has a ways to go to get away from the spectre of hyper-sexualisation, this was a far cry from Milo Manara’s Spiderwoman.

Is it just the pulling aside of the cloth that has people bothered? Harley’’s wearing less, and more provocatively on the cover; there are some straight up shots of her ass in Booster’s flashback and her scuffle with Babs among the mirrors, and yet the controversy is Bab’s confessional page.

Was it the slow pace of the removal of the belt that seemed tittilating somehow? I’m grasping for an explanation here; I just saw that as decompressed moment, like all the confessionals. I’m an artist myself, and in my humble opinion the observation of body language in all of these 9-panel pages is spot-on. I saw Bab’s calm determination and vulnerability here, not the exploitation of flesh.

Is it that Batgirl has been the flashpoint (sorry) of controversies concerning violence towards women in comic art before? It seemed entirely appropriate to this character’s history that her shooting at the hands of a maniac was the crux of her individual crisis, just like the breaking of Batman’s back has featured in the framing of the book, if not his confessional.

Anyone care to weigh in? Am I wrong? I just don’t get the fuss about this one page, especially in light of the above points re: Harley and the blatant look-at-my-crotch shot of Lois Lane a few pages earlier, which seemed much more obviously inapppropriate to me. I’d get it entirely if that page was causing a ruckus.

Also, did I miss something? What happened to the great Batgirl costume with the leather jacket and the zippers?

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