“Doesn’t Every Woman Want Her Buttons Pushed?”; or, Fuck You Brad Meltzer
(Soundtrack: Sleater-Kinney —The Hot Rock)
Oh my. What an absolutely grotesque conclusion. (by the way: if you haven’t read Identity Crisis #7 yet, and you actually want to, look away! bay-eby look away!)
How the hell did we get from this:
I’m not even saying that Jean shouldn’t have been the killer–although I’ve always liked her (particularly Roger Stern’s version of the character in the late, lamented Power of the Atom) and, of course, I’m saddened by the news–but no way should this have been the explanation we got for it!
Even the facts of the case speak against Meltzer’s lame-assed “I want you back” (baa-ba-bum-bum!) dialogue… I ask you–if there was nothing more to it than that, why didn’t she just arrange for Ray to find her on the verge of choking to death? Come on! Couldn’t they have just allowed her to get on with her life and attempt to deal with her ex-husband in a manner befitting an intelligent, emotionally-sound, supremely competent professional woman? That’s how Roger Stern played it! Does every woman in a male protagonist’s life either have to love him or hate herself, or, usually, some combination of the two? (And no, don’t say it! This problem, like every other problem that people who whine about the genre complain about, goes way beyond superhero comics, my friends…)
Is this a good time to mention that Christine and I have decided to end our relationship, after nearly four years? There may never be a better chance for a segue, in the context of this blog. Yes, there’s a trail of tears running from here to Montreal and back again, but, for now, it’s the only move that makes sense, sadly. And you have my word that no killing sprees will result from the demise of this beautiful thing. That’s just how it is–as Strnad and Kane demonstrate in the first two jpegs above (the good ones!)
Anyway–whatever right? IC is a murder mystery, and someone’s gotta be the killer! As I say, it could even have been Jean–and with the exact same set of murders too–but not, I submit, for these reasons!
All Meltzer had to do was explore the possibility that this was one human being’s protest against the kind of self-centered messianism that a certain idea of the superhero represents, and I would’ve said: “okay, that’s sort of interesting”. This would be Jean saying: “keep it up you fuckers, and I’ll kill’em all!” But no, the author’s handling of the lobotomizing plot indicates that this was precisely the kind of question that he was unwilling to raise. Or, at least, not in an effective way. Superheroes must continue. And they must be able to count on villains that “don’t hit below the belt”–plus the unconditional support of their loved ones, who had better just grin n’ bear it, ’cause nothin’ else matters, see? Well fuck that. It’s not that simple Brad! Why don’t you go back and read Squadron Supreme–that’s THE superhero “identity crisis”. It’s the interrogation of messianism, in all of its forms! And it’s right up there with Animal Man and The Filth.
Tomorrow–my Squadron Supreme paper!
Good Night friends!