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.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Slave Girls (Annihilation: Silver Surfer#2, 2006)

It is a lesson well-learned that you can’t be a cosmic power-broker of villainous persuasion if you don’t surround yourself with a bevy of sexy and scantly-clad female humanoid slaves. Ming the Merciless knew it, Jabba the Hut Knew it, and even pseudo-insectoid Annihilus knows it. It’s not that his predecessors ended well. They didn’t, but no one would remember Jabba the Hut today if it wasn’t for scantly-clad slave-Leia slavering at his feet (well, maybe not feet, but you get my meaning…) Or will you claim, dear reader, that you remembered Jabba from Episode IV? Anyway, it is a matter of intergalactic prestige and, along with Aldebaraan, Vulcan, Betazed, Psychon, Krypton, and some other corners of the Known Universe (and maybe the Negative Zone), that’s one thing our little backward planet Earth is filthy rich in (remember al those BEMs that used to come to Earth only to abduct our lovely females? Yeap, there’s a high demand for earthen slave girls by cosmic space villains and cosmic mad emperors).

Now, I mention all this, because Annihilus, being some kind of insect, surely has no ulterior erotic design over the two lovely girls that adorn his command chair/throne. They’re just there for titillating eye-candy – welcome eye-candy at that – and more so for looking strangely like Zen-Whoberis. Yet, we all know that the Zen-Whoberis were made extinct by the badass Badoon, leaving only the sexiest green-woman of the Universe alive. No, not She-Hulk. Gamora.

And, since by then Gamora was making a come-back in the pages of Annihilation:Ronan, these girls not only confound the reader, as much as they confound the senses. After all, in a full-page spread, full with a mad genocidal annihilator of universes, the Titan Thanos, and a view of space-dreadnoughts from the Annihilation Wave (besides the vast deepness of space), the reader’s eye is inevitably attracted to the shapely buttocks and hips of the slave girls. Hey! They have pointed ears – not Zen-Whoberis after all. Betcha you hadn’t noticed it!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

MS. MARVEL (Ms. Marvel#2, 2006)

There’s so much one can say about girls and tentacles. There’s something there that goes beyond the deepest uncanny valley. Something that connects to the concept I like to call paneros (pan-eros), the eroticization of all material things, living or inanimate, in the presence of women. In modern comic books, however, tentacles tend to be rarer than an intelligent feminist. They hark back to the glorious times of pulp fiction, of bug-eyed monsters vying to take our pure earth damsels to their dark holes, there to do unspeakable things. And unspeakable they were, as we were never told about what really happened in those sinister recesses. Oh, but in our imagination… we didn’t have to wait for Corman’s GALAXY OF TERROR (1981). Oh, no, siree. We knew, in some hazy fuzzy way that it would somehow involve the tearing apart of the girl’s clothing and the strong caressing of her trembling soft, warm, flesh. 

And that's the same thing we imagine even when the girl in trouble is none-other than super-powerful, über-hot Ms. Marvel. Oh, how we itch to have eight tentacled penisoid arms and Ms. Marvel in our grip. And so, our thanks go to Mr. Roberto de la Torre, for this magnificent scene. I’m sure he went as far as he dared in slipping one through the tight net of politically correct vigilance. And, for a fleeting instance, in the secret code of fan boy global fraternity, he transmutes the fight of Carol Danvers against the Brood in a collective rape. Her body, asphyxiated by the hard pulsating tentacles of the Brood warriors, contorts as if penetrated, a soft moan escaping from her sexy mouth, through clenched teeth. And, in true otaku fashion, there’s even a hint of a tentacle nested between her ample breasts.

It’s a strange, inspired, rendering of the Pietá: a solar heroine, fallen in the lubricious clutches of an enemy without mercy. And it’s sexy as hell, blessed be Chtulhu.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

KIKA (Thanos#7, 2004)

An alien officer from the Omega Corps stationed on the Frontline outpost, near the Kyln power stations/prisons by the Crunch of the Universe, Kika has nothing much to do in the six-part story that fills issues #7-12 of THANOS, but look good. Just pretty eye-candy, best seen not heard. And, unfortunately, due to Ron Lim’s indifferent art, most of the time not even that. But what a surprise to find out that from Mr. Lim’s hack plume would come out one of the more enticing breast profiles one could imagine. Full and heavy and proud, with a slim break in the pencil line to suggest the place where the nipple should be, Kika’s breast distracts the mind (and the eyes) from the pink skin with darker blotches, that only comic-books could make look sexy. This is clearly a Universe where jiggling is allowed. And one a lot better for it.   

Friday, September 11, 2015

MS. ADVENTURE (Men's Adventure Comix #5, 1995)

Superhero comic books are infantile. Just like any other form of art that strives to represent perfection. To represent the super-human, to represent that which rests above humanity’s clear limitations. Or, for that matter, the universe’s own limitations. Which does not demeans them in any way. By being infantile, they delve into the deepest recesses of human individual and collective fantasy. The world of art – of great art, of popular art – is a world of perfection. A world without ugly people, without poverty, a world where ugliness and abject poverty signal – again, infantile-ly – a breach of the order of the plastic universe of the mind. A universe of color and beauty, bright as a glass bubble or a rubber ball. A universe of texture. The texture of candy-colored superheroes costumes, of naked skin emerging from star-spangled spandex.

You can’t read superhero comic books if you don’t understand this. Sure, we all love the gritty comics, the real edge of the violence that progressively substituted the POW-CRACK-KAPOW of yesteryear. We don’t call them comic-books anymore. They’re graphic novels, or simply books. We want them to be real. Not reality real, but politically real. Or, more close to the truth, politically correct. We want them to embrace the equivalent of literary realism, as if literary realism has ever attracted anyone to a book (or a film, or a comic-book). We want them to be real, but we keep suppressing important parts of life from comic books. Superheroes are asexual.

And yet… and yet, when we were young, when we first picked up our first comics, attracted by the POW-CRACK-KAPOW sizzling from inside the stapled pages, dazzled by the bright colors (how deep blue was the sky on those comics – how bright the color of the costumes), we were also in love with its gorgeous women. Supergirls with long naked legs. With impossibly firm and round breasts. Escaping from villains that always reserved them a destiny worse than death… Oh, that destiny was never portrayed like that… but you knew what it was all about didn’t you?  (Maybe if you’re a girl you didn’t. That’s why you didn’t read comics then, and why you don’t read them for fun, now.) But we were as attracted to the beautiful, strong, impossibly sexy women of comics, as much as we were by the superheroes on which we projected our own body-fantasies.  Male and female in superhero comic-books have idealized perfect morphologies. For asexual beings, they sure pack the full complement.

Obviously, the erotic potential was never satisfied – it couldn’t be, remember? Superhero comic books are infantile – but it kept us coming back for more. For a glimpse of a bosom under a torn costume – oh, how we loved torn costumes after a fight. Those were truly subversive images. The eternal suppression of the full disclosure, the perpetual tease, kept us hormonally on edge. Like a high-tension live-wire.

A scene like the one pictured above, from MEN’S ADVENTURE COMIX #5, could never happen in a major house comic book. You would never find Supergirl, or Zatanna, Rogue or Jean Grey, Black Cannary or Wonder Woman, Dazzler or Dagger, in such a predicament. Sure, as comic books got more sophisticated with the times, they would dare some darker themes (always to the outcries of outraged infantile feminists that never read comic books, and don’t want to read them now, but can’t stand to be out of the loop, of any loop), even the dread R-A-P-E (remember the outcry over The Evil That Men Do?). They were sometimes sold as slaves. They started to fuck (remember another outcry over TEEN TITANS #1, with Grayson and Koriander together in bed?) But, yeah, you know, that always happened frustratingly out of the frame. Superheroines make the most caste of sexual slaves.

That’s why I picked the image above to start this blog. To start this gallery of damsels in distress, of superheroines in peril, of comic heroines looking good, looking sexy. A collection of images culled from years of reading comic books, selected moments that blazed a hole in the mind’s eye, searing the adolescent memory with an instant of joyful reading. Ms. Adventure, captured by the laughably real Mr. Mentos, stripped of her torn uniform, ball-gagged, oiled up, is forced to marry the villain intent on raping her legally. To express his joy, Mr. Mentos throws himself on an intense hug of the bound heroine, his cylindrical head (no need to translate that, right?) nested between her naked perfect breasts. Mr. Mentos has a clear cranial dome made of glass, encasing his perfectly visible and (one imagines) pulsating brain… the brain that now rests between the twin mounds of the naked heroine. Just like we all had our, all those years ago. Dreaming of naked superheroines, our brains filled with their breasts.