Robot 6

Your Mileage May Vary: Cry For Justice #2

A particular scene from James Robinson’s Cry for Justice #2 has sparked a lot of interesting discussion.

Jason Fliegel at Howling Curmudgeons thinks it’s boneheaded:

jlacj_2_dylux-1-copy

First, I understand that in real life, sometimes people have threesomes. So I’m not going to automatically cry “sexism!” just because some writer decides to have one of his male characters get in bed with two women. There probably is some amount of … sexism is the wrong word, so let’s go with pandering … there probably is some amount of pandering to the typical readers’ fantasies in describing a M-F-F threesome instead of a F-M-M threesome. And while one incident does not sexism make, I’d be willing to bet that if we got 100 threesomes in mainstream superhero comics, damn near all 100 of them would involve two women. So while each of the individual writers describing these threesomes wouldn’t necessarily be sexist, it does (I would think) create an environment that probably makes women less likely to read mainstream superhero comics.

Second, this just seems inappropriate for a comic like this one. This isn’t even a “mature readers only” comic. Even if it were, I’m all in favor of mature comics, but a mature comic doesn’t just throw out sexual references for titilation purposes. If you want to do a “mature readers” Justice League comic that explores human sexuality — well, I think it’s probably a bad idea, but a good writer could make it work. But this is just a one-off crude joke.

Third, it is completely out of character for Green Lantern, it is completely out of character for the Huntress, and I don’t know a damned thing about the current version of Lady Blackhawk, but from what I hear, it’s completely out of character for her, too. So now we’re ignoring the nature of the characters in order to shoe-horn in an inappropriate joke that panders to our readers and helps create a climate of sexism.

Bloggers Hades and 20 Smalls at Memetic Hazard weigh in with their takes:

The image over there -> is from DC Comics Justice League Cry For Justice 2. Now, I got issue 1, and then stopped, because it sucked. But this panel has caused an uproar. Apparently, good cop Hal had a drunken threesome with two members of the Birds of Prey, maybe. And that upsets a lot of people. How dare DC has such a cavalier attitude towards sex? How could they have a hero use alcohol to obtain sex? It goes against the characterization of both Hal Jordan and Huntress.

20 Small thinks you could look at this multiple ways, since sex is not directly implicated. She also doesn’t think it’s a big deal even if they did, because they were all consenting and single adults.

I think “Way to go Hal.”

While looking2dastars gives finds certain aspects of the scene unbelievable:

1. A Kiss and Tell guy like Hal Jordan is going to keep quiet about pulling off a feat like that and not tell everyone himself?

2. Ollie isn’t going to be the first one he brags to?

(Read the Secret Six #12 preview before reading this next line. It will be funnier that way.)

3. Dinah hears about Hal apparently getting two of her closest friends drunk and taking advantage and her reaction isn’t to give Ragdoll and Deadshot company in the Soprano choir that Wonder Woman is forming?

It’s bad characterization for Hal (who had a girlfriend, last I checked) and Ollie, even ignoring the sexism and cheapening of two of the DCU’s cooler heroines.

So what do you think?

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Comments

26 Comments

i agree the whole thing in question is out of character for all the characters involved for one hal is suppose to be by the book noble. and two the way i understood the huntress hates men due to certain history of hers. not to mention a editor at dc told neil gainman once that dc characters do not do certain things of a sexual nature. but the writer just did the thing as part of his story his reasons are his .

I kind of take it as an off the cuff joke. Like when I’m down about something and acting like a fool (like Hal) one of my friends will say something will go “If it involves you and that pie (yes, I’m making an American Pie reference deal with it), I already know.”

I think there is sexism in comics, especially from the Big Two, but I think this on par with the whole Crowley/Gates situation (white officer arresting a black man) people call out racism just to make a huge issue, while just saying “COMICS ARE SEXIST” just because they can.

It’s a dumb line in what’s proving to be a not-very-good series. It’s OOC and out-of-step with current DCU continuity as I understand it to boot, which isn’t surprising, but since saying mainstream comics are sexist is a bit like saying “Stalin was a bit of a control freak” this line? Really isn’t even enough to get on my radar, let along freak over it.

“What’s wrong with being sexy?” – Nigel Tufnel?

Seriously, who’s to say that Huntress and Lady Blackhawk didn’t get Hal drunk and have their way with him?

I’m not suggesting he wasn’t into it, but why would it have to be Hal’s idea?

There’s your sexism, the idea that the women couldn’t have initiated the encounter.

And you can’t tell me Ollie and Hal didn’t do the Devil’s Threesome during their Hard Traveling days. It WAS the 70s.

I doubt their swords crossed, but…

I think this comic is getting a lot of press and attention two issues in a row. It’s probably going to be the top seller for both months.

Seriously, who’s to say that Huntress and Lady Blackhawk didn’t get Hal drunk and have their way with him?

I totally saw a porn like that once AND NOW IT’S IN MY SUPERHERO COMIX

Okay. Here’s the thing.

In Birds of Prey, Huntress has had this entire character arc where she’s not just looking for meaningless sex anymore. The thing with Josh pretty much showed that. Does she have a healthy sex life? Probably. Is she going to crawl into bed with her best friend and Hal Jordan? Probably not. While I can see Zinda having a threesome, and boinking Hal, I don’t see her partaking in a threesome with any of her closest girlfriends, nor do I see Hal being even remotely Helena’s type after the growth she’s had from having shagged Josh and Arsenal. Had it been something like Grace/Zinda/Hal, it would have been much more believable.

What Hal Jordan calls a one time bashful night with two women, Tony Stark calls it a typical Tuesday evening.

The phrase ‘much ado about nothing’ springs to mind.

Also, for those super offended by the setup, one can keep in mind that such an encounter could have happened anytime post-Rebirth, (as Zinda was sent to the present via Zero Hour) so who knows how, when, and why?

And Hal would TOTALLY go for that. Zinda’s pretty wild. Helena’s got lousy self control. We’re not stretching THAT far here.

I await DC compensating for this outrage with an offhand reference to Ollie and Hal double teaming Dinah in the 70s, just to appease the people whose complaint is the M-F-F nature of the thing.

The Green Lantern thing is TOTALLY out of character. Plus, there’s a difference between sex between the comics covers and endorsing a compromised sexual morality of the Defenders of Truth, Justice and all things good. And over at Marvel: Spiderman–SPIDERMAN–getting drunk–GETTING DRUNK–and fornicating with someone is totally out of character and misses the whole thing about power and responsibility.
I can think of three possible ways out: a)Wow, Ollie I had the strangest dream; b) Aha, I substituted Zombie Earth GL for Hal Jordan (or earth 13 or 22 or 44 or whatever); or c) “Did they say that? Did the women actually believe it happened? Was it mind control? Did you believe it? Ollie, I hardly know what you’re thinking anymore!! I didn’t come back from the dead to screw around.”

That’s almost as bad as The Man of Steel bedding a woman he hardly knows, getting her preggers, leaving the planet and abandoning her, and stalking her with his superpowers.

I read the the first line of this posting and stopped because I had not read the issue in question, yet. So upon reading CFJ #2 I kept waiting to come upon a scene so offensive it would stand out like a klan member at an NAACP rally. Nothing struck me. SO, I came back, read this post and all comments and had to laugh. The problem with the scene between Ollie and Hal is not so much the content, as it is the tone. It feels all very unnatural, as does so much of Robinson’s dialogue. I get the feeling that many writers don’t take the time to read the dialogue OUT LOUD to hear it spoken, and hear if it feels natural. The conversations throughout this series have felt leaden and stiff, as if the “actors” are reading off cue cards that are just off panel. Adding the sexual content drives this home even more, because it feels forced, shoe-horned in to make these two characters come across like good ol’ frat boys. I’m increasing coming to the realization that Robinson does not seem to have much of a handle on who these characters are, and that’s the real issue. The sexual proclivities of people who wear fetish costumes and beat people up in the name of truth and justice can be a very interesting area of exploration, but used here as a cheap aside does this no service. Poor issue, poor writing.

I find the whole thing is like an ink blot test. There aren’t any details revealed other than the three of them getting drunk and having a threesome. Whatever feelings the reader has towards that kind of behavior taints how they’ll read it. Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong about consenting adults getting drunk and having a threesome. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sex for the sake of sex. So I see that and I don’t think any less of the characters engaging in that activity.

The only thing I do think the drinking part shouldn’t be in a standard superhero comic. But then again, when’s the last time we saw pre-teens in comic book stores?

I don’t think it is offensive, and if you are offended by it then you have a problem. It wasn’t meant to be sexist, and I don’t even understand how it could be taken like that. To me, it is just terrible writing. I read the first issue and it was laugh out loud terrible. Hell, this series is not even worth my time to download off the Internet. This writer is honestly that bad, he couldn’t think of any dialogue at all, so he came up with this. Not only are they out of character, but it appears at such a random time and has nothing to do with anything at all. This book should be cancelled right now, and all previous issues burned in giant piles.

1.) To say this is out of character for Hal is to say you don’t really know WTF Hal Jordan is. Before Roy Harper, there was Hal Jordan.

2.) For the first guy that was quoted, saying it was out of character for all three people, stating he didn’t know Lady Blackhawk, well, you’re right…you don’t know Lady Blackhawk. Go see what Gail Simone has to say about it.

3.) Yeah, saying Huntress? Mistake. They should’ve picked someone else.

4.) Bananaman, I have to think you’re trolling, just a bit. Your reaction seems just a little bit extreme.

5.) This is definitely a WTF. James Robinson wrote freaking STARMAN. Most creators in the business RIGHT NOW have never written anything half as good. Even his Superman (well, technically, his “Metropolis denizens”) is leaps and bounds ahead of this and is an actual good run.

6.) Bad as the scene was, it would’ve gone a lot better had it been placed elsewhere in the comic. Being the first page, it kinda felt weird to open with a joke that did not really feel like a joke.

7.) I realize the “defenders of women everywhere” (who, suspiciously enough, tend to be primarily men) want to try to make the idea of a threesome sexist, but to introduce thoughts of “which threesome would be less sexist” and have that as a serious conversation is hilarious, at best, and ridiculous at worst. But, let me humor you for a second: An M-M-F threesome is actually quite a bit more objectifying to women than an F-F-M. See, the former is basically what we laymen call a “train”, and well….LMAO…okay, I can’t take it serious. I tried, but it was a no go.

“And you can’t tell me Ollie and Hal didn’t do the Devil’s Threesome during their Hard Traveling days. It WAS the 70s.”

with GANTHET?? Eww, DrunkJack. Eww. =(

I think you people are overacting. Even the most moral person makes the occasional mistake. With alcohol, flirting and some exciting, people make decisions they wouldn’t normally. Try getting trashed around 2 beautiful drunk women who are attracted to you and being “friendly”. Moral people try not to get into those situations because they are hard to deny when you are in there. Hal’s definitely the type to do it and Spidey. Well he’s so lonely and depressed half the time I wouldn’t be surprised, especially after seeing an ex that he would succumb to a pretty girl paying him attention.

I have quite the opposite feeling about this. First off, Hal is a flyboy, things like that are not out of character for him if you really want to reach down to his core. Next off, I will start by confessing that I did not read the Birds of Prey series, and I do understand that the writer for that worked very hard on making the Huntress a very respected character, however this entire thing comes from demonizing the act of sex as a whole (and yes even drunken flings). The only reason people think it’s an issue is because you have some hidden fear of the act of sex. While I really hate arguing for realism in artistic mediums such as games and comics, if you get down to it; the life of a superhero is stressful, it is not unreasonable for them to go out and drink and yes, possibly have sex. The whole threesome act is more a bone for the little boy inside us all (if you’re a guy that is), which is reasonable because most comic readers are male. This little line doesn’t make the entire story a bad story, and it also doesn’t make the Huntress quickly back into a sex crazed bimbo (Or whatever she was characterized as, I never got that vibe from her even as early as 1998 in DC One Million). As far as Ollie’s reaction to Hal saying that, let’s face it we all know how guys act when it comes to sex and women, I thought it was a very natural reaction. That being said, I read this book without a second glance at that line, because like most individual lines in comics, it was insubstantial and was only there to move along the story; which is fine.

“That’s almost as bad as The Man of Steel bedding a woman he hardly knows, getting her preggers, leaving the planet and abandoning her, and stalking her with his superpowers.”

Bruce Meyer, FTW!

“Whatever feelings the reader has towards that kind of behavior taints how they’ll read it.”

Sorry, mate, but that’s overly simplistic. I’ve had a few thressomes (in fact I would describe myself as a fan of them) but even I thought this was a bad idea. A bad piece of writing, a bad idea, a bad attempt at humour and a bad comic.

“Moral people try not to get into those situations because they are hard to deny when you are in there. ”

Here, hang on a minute. What’s immoral about three single people having some fun together? Judgemental much?

I have to vote for the “much to do about nothing” column, for the reasons well explained in previous posts. It was a bit of bawdy banter between two old soldiers with a long history. And considering Lady Blackhawk could drink most men including Hal under the table (read Birds of Prey, for God’s sake!) saying Hal must have gotten two experienced crime fighters drunk and “Had his way with them” is pure sexism against the women on the part of the critic.

And besides, we don’t even know the real or full story. Hal, Lady Blackhawk and Huntress could have intentionally given the wrong impression and have their reasons not to correct it. Hal is classy enough not to go into details or even even admit to anything, only saying he wished the story hadn’t become so popular. And Ollie is classy enough not to press for details.

However, I thought the overall series was uneven in the writing and pacing.

You kow what, I was so certain that Huntress couldn’t do something like a three some (hal and lady Blackhwk? Why not) that I thought they were talking of a Strip poker or drinking game… And if you’re offended, why not? it’s never said threesome, invent your funny story with these 3 and a bottle of alcohol

Wow. And to think I really believed most Americans, excluding politicians, had outgrown the hypocritical puritan inherited mentality which has screwed up your country for I don’t know how long.

Listen up: have you ever shared a bottle of grappa with two females in their sexual prime? At the very least you’ll get some heavy sexually charged innuendo. If all three of you are decently plastered all bets are off, you may get lucky or end up the but of all their jokes and gripes against men. Robinson, who is an amazing writer from whom I have yet to read a sub-par or mediocre (which is plenty abundant nowadays) work, has skillfully hinted that something out of the ordinary happened between these three. It could be a raunchy game of strip-poker, one of the three puking his/her guts and forcing the other two to take care of the impaired one, it could also be the most graphic sex you could possibly imagine. But what does it matter? It’s an anecdote for g-d’s sake! Read the whole issue and talk about IT, not the one scene. Also, in answer to whoever made the unfortunate comment about the characters’ natures and the aforementioned actions going “against the grain”: he’s a fighter pilot turned super-cop, turned villain, turned divine wrath, turned human again; are you telling me he wouldn’t be horny after all that?

This is ridiculous that anyone is upset about this page. It never mentions sex. Only mature readers would draw that conclusion. If anything, it is the alcohol that people might be upset about. Hal Jordan has always been a womanizer, much like Tony Stark. What this scene does, is in a funny way, establish that the once carefree and Jordan is now much more focused on bringing the baddies to Justice, instead of joy riding on a green scooter. They are in Gotham for christ-sakes. If the comparison to Batman isn’t evident enough. Try reading the pages of dialogue discussing Hal’s relationship to the Bat.

I think Ollie was cracking a joke and Hal was one-upping him by making like it was true. Real life guys do that crap all the time. Didn’t happen.

All super-heroes now are portrayed as hooking-up, and decadent, and for GL to have done this is more to earn some grinning recognition that hes supposed to be that kind of guy as a character- the kind of guy girls can’t resist and guys want to be, i presume. the problem is, is this supposed to add “maturity” and “realism” to something that is still a guy in a green and black tight outfit, calling himself “The Green Lantern” ? It brings nothing. Let it be escapism. I don’t really care about super-heroes nailing other super-heroes. You know why? I get laid in real life. I don’t get to fight inter-galactic threats, however.

I remember the palpable excitement from a desperate comics industry when stuff like “Identity Crisis” was mentioned on CNN.com and things like that. “Mainstream attention!!!” “They’ll see ‘comics just aren’t for kids now!’” The problem with this ‘gritty, cutting edge’ type BS is that is often has the opposite effect. You see, people LIKE the “Biff! Bam! Pow!” aspect of comics- thats what comics are supposed to be. When someone who reads ‘mainstream’ things like the NY Times, etc. sees that theres a DC Comics series with rapes, or super-heroes having a sexual relationship, its probably more prone to make them bemused and take it LESS seriously. After all, these are super-heroes, fighting crime, wearing costumes. Do you think it makes anyone think; “Oh wow, thats such realism..! I’ve got to go check that out.” Not at all. It’s a safe bet people don’t like to equate sex with super-heroes…

…except those who really lack any form of intimacy with someone else, and i DONT mean that in a snide, dismissive way. fans have a collective chip on their shoulder about this elusive ‘mainstream’ that doesn’t get how much stories and characters mean to them… they need to get over it. this one little scene, which i thought was juvenile and worthless coming from Robinson, is just an out-growth of the epidemic facing comics for some time now, that is, trying to appear like something they are not. this was an industry created for kids, created for escapism, created to provide cheap thrills. This is not hollywood, this is not television- get over it.

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