Fairest Vol 3: The Return of the Maharaja by Sean E. Williams
Art: Stephen Sadowski, Phil Jimenez, Andrew Pepoy, Dan Green, Russ Braun, Meghan Hetrick, Christian Alamy, and Jose Marzan
Ugh. Okay, here’s the premise of the Fairest books: they are supposed to be stories about the various princesses in the greater Fables universe. Here’s been the problem: with the exception of the second volume, they have all actually been stories about the men in the lives of the princesses. And this volume was worst offender.
The princess in this story is Nalayani, who is not yet a princess. She’s a fable living in the Homelands in the India-region of it. Nalayani is the protectorate of her village after all the able-bodied men have gone on to fight against the Emperor and they don’t come back. When she hears there’s a new Maharaja in the area, she goes to seek his help in protection from the Dhole, wolf-like creatures, that have been killing and burning her village.
In Sensation Comics #10, Wonder Woman helps Steve Trevor take down some Japanese and German spies who are attempting to blow up a train carrying soldiers. This is all fine and dandy and pretty much Marston’s standard Wonder Woman plot. But not so fast. There’s a twist.
(Sidenote: This tale features quite a bit of racist stereotyping as the main villain, who actually gets a lot of face time, is Ishti, a Japanese spymaster of some sort. He talks in broken English and stutters over his “s”es. There’s also a brief appearance of a train porter, who’s black and indistinguishable from the porter in the last issue.)
The last story in Wonder Woman #1 may be the most offensive story written yet. Okay, actually, I don’t think it’s any more offensive than the one about the circus’ elephants earlier this issue.
In this story, Mint Candy, brother of Etta and solider in the US Army, is targeted by Japanese spies in order to get information about his division’s orders. In a very convoluted plot, Mint hits his head after a fall from a sabotaged motorcycle and Etta and Diana head to the Candy family’s ranch in Texas to cheer him up. Etta wants to set Mint up with Diana, and Diana just wants information to save America from the Axis.
Mint’s portrayed as something of a Gomer Pyle-like character. He’s simple-minded, but is always trying to do his best to help out his country. While the text never says he’s not good enough for Wonder Woman, it’s implied. But that’s okay because he ends up finding true love away. He also serves as Steve’s damsel-in-distress proxy for this tale.
Comic book review for Marvel’s anthology, Girl Comics #2.
Like I mentioned in my post reviewing Girl Comics #1, I love the concept of this series. I love this as an anthology of women authors and artists. I love the spirit, even if not every story rocks my world. Say what you will, but it matters that Marvel Comics took the time to do this.
Jill Thompson’s cover is really great. I love the fairy tale aspect. I love that the heroes and damsels-in-distress are all the women characters.
Once again, they did a great job with some history lessons about women working at Marvel Comics over the years. This one features June Tarpe Mills, who wrote and illustrated Miss Fury the first female Marvel hero title by a woman creator; Ruth Atkinson, creator of Millie the Model; Valerie Barclay, Golden Age inker extraordinaire; and Linda Fite, who went from assistant to writer and created The Cat. I really wanted to read the comics these women created and worked on. Continue reading “Comic Book Review for Girl Comics #2”
From my “favorite” person and DC Senior Story Editor, Ian Sattler at HeroesCon:
A serious topic came up about how characters who are minorities who happened to be legacy characters like Ryan Choi are killed off so their caucasian counterparts can return and how they feel like they are being cheated or sidelined out of their roles. Sattler took a more serious tone. “It’s so hard for me to be on the other side because it’s not our intention. There is a reason behind it all. We don’t see it that way and strive very hard to have a diverse DCU. I mean, we have green, pink, and blue characters. We have the Great Ten out there and I have counter statistics, but I won’t get into that. It’s not how we perceived it. We get the same thing about how we treat our female characters.”
First, green, pink, and blue characters are NOT characters of color. For example, Martin Manhunter (green) is in the majority on his planet and written the same way they’d write a white human dude. There’s no institutionalized racism for green, pink, and blue characters. There’s no history of oppression. There is no racism. It’s incredibly, jaw-droppingly offensive to say otherwise. Do NOT argue with me on this point, instead please read White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh.
Second, I want to see your counter statistics. I want to see your blog post on DC.com. I don’t believe your so-called statistics (that you can’t provide) given statistics that fans have put together. For instance, Chris Sims has a great post about The Racial Politics of Regressive Storytelling, concerning the same relaunch of legacy DC characters. (Also, I didn’t even know who the Great Ten were. That’s how many books they’re in, and I even read one of them.)
Third, let’s address, “It’s not how we perceived it.” Of course, you didn’t. Stop being defensive that everyone’s calling you or your colleagues racist. We know that DC writers (read: Geoff Johns) love Silver Age characters and that’s why they brought them back. But the heart of the problem is with your (and the rest of the staff who agrees with Sattler) perception. Our perceptions as human beings are often flawed due to our personal biases. That’s why those stats you mentioned above and the perception of others, who are not like you, are important.
Fourth, I’m sorry, but are we women being too whiny for you? (To see what Sattler says about women, see the Emerald City ComicCon post.) Just because you hired the fabulous Gail Simone, doesn’t mean everyone forgot about the stats of her Women in Refrigerators project. Finally, some stats.
Fifth, why do they still let Sattler talk in public as a representative of the company?
Dear comic book reader, before you start pledging yourself to Marvel, don’t forget they had their own race fail when Marvel Editor Tom Brevoort addressed a question about why characters of color and women weren’t leads on their teams or starring in their own books:
“Because we’re an American company whose primary distribution is centered around America, the great majority of our existing audience seems to be white American males … whenever your leads are white American males, you’ve got a better chance of reaching more people overall.”
Time to start voting with our dollars. Take a look at your pull list next time and ask yourself how diverse are the books you’re reading? Are there minority and women characters in them? How do they treat the minority and women characters inside the pages? How diverse is the creative team? And so on. Because I guarantee those in accounting and sales crunch the hard numbers.
I really love the art in this, both the cover and the inside. Travel Foreman and June Chung do an amazing cover. Here’s what you do when you want to draw a strong, active character. And hey look, she’s not wearing much clothing, but that’s not my focus. There’s no t&a here. It’s just beautiful all over.
I’ve blogged about Stegman’s art before, and I haven’t always been a fan. But here, I think he does a great job. And he doesn’t do the things I complained about. I love his Sif. I believe she looks like this. Particularly, I love her scenes where she’s not in her costume. And her “fight” with Mrs. Sooner, her landlady. In which she’s wearing a towel, and I still love it. Continue reading “Reviews Sif”
This week on Wonder Woman Wednesdays, Sensation Comics #4 warns all us girls about sexual exploitation/assault, the consequences, and how we can overpower what’s been done to us physically and mentally. Or as Wonder Woman warns us at the end, “It just makes a girl realize how she has to watch herself in this man’s world!”
Would a young girl reading Sensation Comics #4 recognize this in the tale? No. No more than a child reading Little Red Riding Hood would interpret it as a tale of stranger danger and sexual awakening. To me, however, it’s pretty clear.
In this plot, several women tied to government work go missing; Wonder Woman and Colonel Darnell investigate; and separately Steve decides Eve should go undercover. Turns out Baroness Paula Von Gunther runs a Nazi spy school for girls and brainwashes government typists into being her slaves/spies. Continue reading “Wonder Woman Wednesdays: Sensation Comics #4”