Wednesday, 25 March 2009

It wasn't until I blew it up that I realised just how unbelievably pointy Poison Ivy's face looks in that pin-up

Above: if you can twist so that we can see both of your boobs and both of your butt cheeks at the same time, you've probably done some damage to your spine, Harley.

June will see the debut of new Batman spin-off comic Gotham City Sirens, a series focusing on "the bad girls of Gotham City!"

"Sirens," seriously?

I understand the fact that a lot of the Batman mythos has its roots in the noir genre, including a hefty amount of femme fatale characters, but honestly, they're callng a title based around the female members of Batman's supporting cast Gotham City Sirens?!

Two things to note. One: this new series is clearly influneced by Gotham Girls (is the new name supposed to imply that the 'girls' have now grown up, and are now full-fledged sexual, alluring threats?). Two: that this essentially replaces the previous title about the various women in Batman's supporting cast, Birds of Prey (which not only had a generally very positive portrayal of women, but was notably written by one of the most successful female writers in modern comics, too).

I have to say I'm in a bit ambivalent about this. Creatively this new series looks interesting as it's being written by Paul Dini, who does tend to make really good use of Batman's quasi-noir roots in his stories, leading to some usually very readable tales. On the other hand, I just can't get over the inherent sexism of the femme fatale trope.

Also, note that there is no Boys of Gotham/Gotham City Incubi title coming out. The companion title - also written by Dini - is called Batman: Streets of Gotham.

Am I kicking up a storm in a comic-book-shop teacup over a title I haven't even read yet? Perhaps. But I'd feel remiss if I didn't at least comment on this little pop-cultural trend.

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