Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I've already seen, here and there, where certain parties are already trying to make this the next controversial cover. Me, I like it. I can see the issues with the others, but I think this is a very strong illustration, and if people are going to try and play the sexist card on this one, I think they're barking up the wrong Batcave.

Now, as I understand it, this is an upcoming cover for the Superman/Batman series. Apparently the female in front is named Bekka, and she's Orion of the New Gods' wife, girlfriend, something. I don't recall this relationship being a part of Kirby's Fourth World books; she was Scott Free's Apokoliptian mentor Himon's daughter. Perhaps this is something I've forgotten from Walt Simonson's outstanding Orion, or maybe it's new for this title (which I've never read an issue of). Anyway, apparently Batman has the hots for Orion's wife/girlfriend/something, and that's a big part of the storyline. Me, I'd think that the prospect of sex with a New God would be daunting to mere mortals, even our Bruce, but what the hey. Dodging Darkseid's Omega Beams would be child's play compared to doing the horizontal mambo with a strong woman who could tear your head off when she's feeling really amorous.

"But, look how scantily clad she is! And there's a boob window!" You may say. "And Bats has his hand in a very conspicuous place! What's up with that!" And that's true. But to my eyes, anyway, her garb isn't terribly revealing, no more so that the run of the mill DC or Marvel supersuit; it doesn't look terribly practical as battle gear, but compared to Big Barda's original bikini outfit or Red Sonja's chain mail bikini ensemble, it's practically a one-piece unitard. Sure, Batman's hand is in that place...but it seems as if he seeks to shield ("Don't you be lookin' at these" is the impression I get there) or embrace, rather than grope, her. It's a passive pose- only his left hand, with the batarang, is tensed. And look at Bekka's stance. She's got a heads-up, guns at the ready, typically Apokolipsian "Don't screw with me" look on her face. No dripping goo or meek facial expressions. If she's being exploited, I just don't see it.

And it's a really nice piece from a design standpoint, reminiscent of Mike Kaluta's recent covers with emphasis on symmetry. It also reminds me of tarot card illustrations, and I'm always interested in those.

Anyway, to wind this up, if this is in poor taste or exploitative, I just don't see it. Of course, I've been known to be wrong before...but I don't think this is one of those times.

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