Friday, September 25, 2015

HUNTRESS (Superman/Batman#27, 2006)

How does she fight in that thing? Really, how can she fight, kick right and left, perform those dazzling summersaults over crooks and villains, without her breasts spilling out of that v-necked purple leotard? It doesn’t even have incorporated support to those magnificent, bouncing, firm, milky alabaster tits. I guess she must fight the same way Tarzan had to make do with a leather loincloth and a rusty knife. In the wonderland of comic book panels, movement is at the same time dynamic and perpetual. An eternal frame-by-frame slow motion, that explodes into action in the theater of the mind. It’s not real. Of course it’s not. And it is not meant to be, either. If a comic book relies on the continuous reading of adjacent panels to obtain a coherent story, each panel in said story is, nonetheless, a miniature painting that exists solely for aesthetic appreciation. When you admire Botticelli’s 'Birth of Venus', surely you’re not asking how in heavens did she ever fit inside the half-shell? Nor, more properly, why the fuck does she have a belly-button if she was not of woman born?

Likewise, in this gorgeous panel by Kevin Maguire, the last thing on your mind – at least if you’re a healthy heterosexual male – is ‘how does she fight in that thing?’ You just let your eyes slide softly over the colored surface, savoring that brief instant torn from the midst of Huntress and Power Girl’s fight with Grood. An instant where, after being hit by a plasma bolt from Grood’s gun, they forever float in total imponderability, utterly gorgeous, unsurpassably sexy, amid the debris of battle, frozen in the midst of the ongoing explosion, as if in a suspended moment from Antonioni’s Zabrieski Point (1970).

As soon as your eyes move to the next panel, it is over. Again, movement; movement unstoppable in its frozen panels. But that instant will be there, once and again, inviting you to come back to appreciate an instance of beauty, free of context. Beauty for beauty’s sake. Comics are also about that.

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