Robot 6

Responding to Starfire outcry, DC says to pay attention to ratings

Starfire, in an unlettered page from Red Hood and the Outlaws #1

A week after the first issues of Catwoman and Red Hood and the Outlaws stirred controversy with their depictions of Selina Kyle and Starfire, DC Comics has released its first official statement on the matter. Well, at least on part of it.

“We’ve heard what’s being said about Starfire today and we appreciate the dialogue on this topic,” a representative wrote last night on the publisher’s Twitter feed. “We encourage people to pay attention to the ratings when picking out any books to read themselves or for their children.”

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1, which depicted a string bikini-clad Starfire as a semi-amnesiac who has sex with Red Arrow simply because he’s there — “Do you want to have sex with me?” — is rated “T” for teen, meaning it’s deemed appropriate for readers age 12 and older. “T”-rated titles “may contain mild violence, language and/or suggestive themes.”

DC’s statement arrived hours after a widely circulated article appeared on i09.com in which fantasy author Michele Lee asked her 7-year-old daughter, a fan of Starfire from the Teen Titans animated series and comic books, what she thought of the version appearing in Red Hood and the Outlaws.

“I mean, grown ups can wear what they want,” the girl said, “but … she’s not doing anything but wearing a tiny bikini to get attention. [...] I want her to be a hero, fighting things and be strong and helping people. [...] Because she’s what inspires me to be good.”

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147 Comments

DC to puritans : get a life , suckers.

So it’s ok to print bad, soft core porn fanfic (and that’s the point — its not even GOOD fanfic) that destroys characters and cheapens the art form just as long as its rated T?

So, it’s not okay to see objectified, vapid, hollow depictions of women–until you turn 13?

I liked Red Hood and the Outlaws, but rating it T is too lenient. Should be M (is there an M/mature rating?).

DC to people with legitimate complaints: get a life.

That just shows that they missed the point. The controversy has nothing to do with what’s appropriate for kids and everything to do with what makes for good storytelling. I’m hoping DC actually realizes that despite the Tweet.

But DC’s has maintained all along that the relaunch was aimed at lapsed readers, and new reads, and in many articles, they specifically mention targeting teens and pre-teens.

I think David Willis’s Shortpacked! Comic summed it up AWESOME! Teen Titans on Cartoon Network had an audience of roughly 2 million, but DC is content to pound their chests and slap high fives over comics that sell in the range of 100,000 (I’m no mathematician, but I believe that is about 1/2 of 1percent. EPIC FAIL!!!

“The controversy has nothing to do with what’s appropriate for kids and everything to do with what makes for good storytelling.”

And good storytelling always involves ambulatory blowup dolls!

It’s too late to get on the Teen Titans cartoon buzz. That show has been off the air too long. And they actually released a comic book in conjunction with the show called Teen Titans Go!. Did anybody read it? Was it advertised well?
As far as marketing, I haven’t seen anywhere DC saying they’re marketing towards pre-teens for the new52. They already have a Johnny DC line for them that includes Batman: Brave & The Bold, Young Justice and The Cartoon Network book.
DC’s main target is 18-34 (males & females). Their broader audience is 14-54. No pre-teens. That’s why most of their books are rated T.

I do not completely understand the whole issue here. I’ve been reading comics with Starfire in them for at least 10 years and she has always been drawn in very provocative manner (much like every other female character in comics). I’m all for portraying women fairly but lets all remember that the impossible body types pictured is that of women and men.

I can understand why people are upset about her being (and I’m stealing this from another writer) a sexually promiscuous gold fish but she is a fictional character, GET OVER IT. In this beautiful world of ours there are lots of different kinds of people. Some are reserved and like to keep their sexuality to a minimum and some are flamboyant and throw their gitch at whoever passes by. Why should fictional characters be any different? Should we hold every comic book character up to a Judeo-Christian moral base just because it’s a mass media forum that is traditionally consumed by children? I didn’t see anything in this comic that wouldn’t be in any PG13 movie.

I don’t remember DC saying that the New 52 would be a moral step towards correcting what a minority of people think is wrong with the comic industry.

@Goofball814 it’s very rare nowadays when outside media such as movies or cartoons have an impact on the sales of the books that inspired them. There’s no way DC would gain 2 million readers simply by making Starfire more like her Teen Titans Go! counterpart. Any viewers that “might” be gained would also instinctively be looking for a title called “Teen Titans” or even a “Starfire” solo series, not something called “Red Hood and the Outlaws.”

Semicoherent, you’re still missing the point. Yes, Starfire’s design has always been like that; that’s not the core complaint, and it actually fits her character to a degree. No, there’s nothing wrong with sexually promiscuous characters; I’d applaud a well-written sexually active female character. There’s nothing well written about a nearly emotionless sex bot. If there’s anything that fans of both the cartoon and the comics have enjoyed about her, it’s her vivaciousness, her energy and loyalty to her fans. Even if you can chalk it up to whatever ridiculous mental state they’ve concocted for her, it just smacks of inflicting that on her to have an excuse to write her poorly.

I think DC’s missing the point. I think more people are upset at how wildly out of character this is for Starfire, especially since the issue clearly establishes she spent all that time with the Titans, relaunch or not.

It’s not about the ratings, it’s about how the characters have been messed up. Responding to Starfire outcry, I think DC needs to pay attention to reader comments.

Yeah, there’s this fallacy going around that we could get everyone who watched the Titans cartoon to buy comics if Starfire was the same. Best case scenario, you’d get a fraction of that audience.

“I can understand why people are upset about her being (and I’m stealing this from another writer) a sexually promiscuous gold fish but she is a fictional character, GET OVER IT.”

This is always a fantastic rebuttal.

“I understand, but get over it.”

“You can have your silly stupid beliefs….until the end of this sentence. Now you have to think the way I do.”

It amuses me how people will try to make this kind of thing in to an argument about some sort of imagined modern puritanism, and willfully avoid the fact that it is actually about a lack of competent storytelling.

Starfire was sexy as all hell in the Teen Titans comic, but she didn’t just run around screwing for no reason. If the difference is hard to grasp, it says a lot more about you than it does about anyone’s theoretical religious predilections.

Catwoman was very much in character and whilst a little heavy handed I think dc are right. Star fire didn’t sit too well with me. I’m glad dc are standing by their guns though

When I used to go clubbing there was always one lad in the group who would spend all night trying to get girls to come home with him. Well we all would, and we would all invariably fail. But this guy, in the taxi on the way home would switch, and rant about how they are “slags” and “whores” all the way back. He didn’t seem to have a problem that they were sexually active when he was chasing them, but once they made it clear they just would rather be going home with someone else, the actions he wanted to perform on them suddenly made them “dirty” and “disgusting”.

The people moaning aout Starfire’s attitude to sex are doing exactly the same thing on a larger scale.

She’s a fucking alien, I’m starting to think some people don’t even know what that means? She doesn’t have the same repressed concept of sex that this pathetic race does. Stop acting like she does.

She wanted something, she got it, what’s the big fucking deal? We nerds aren’t going to change the outside world’s opinion of us as sexless losers when we react to sex like sexless losers would.

Hey, @John Smith : I’m not positive, but I think you gave the post you quoted from 2 above your post the exact opposite meaning intended by its poster Imitorar.

That Michele Lee chick is a nut trying to push an agenda outside of context.
A bad parent coaches her child in what to say after showing her a picture of Starfire in a bikini. The child’s only previous exposure to Starfire came via the Teen Titans cartoon.
Mom neglected to mention that Kori’s big body has always been squeezed into the smallest amount of material from day one.
She notes that the kid’s favorite character is Speedy, but neglected to tell baby princess that Speedy was junky in the comics and knocked up a supervillain.

The New Teen Titans comic that served as inspiration for the Teen Titans cartoon is inappropriate for a 7 year old by comparison. Dick and Kori “living in sin”, Terra getting raped by Deathstroke, not to mention that Raven is a product of demon/human rape and shrink-wrapped in the occult.

And now, she’s exposing her daughter to content that’s not even appropriate for a girl her age.
Nice parenting skills, there, “mom”.

Dc isn’t missing the point. They are not there to parent your children no more than tv shows are there to make you give the kids the remote and tell them knock themselves out over shows that are PG or PG 13.

The outrage is full of hypocrisy. Get a life and take some responsibility what you put in front of your kids. DC did a JL book and Tiny Titans for 7 year olds. Teen Titans was never aimed at that kid.

Somewhere in a secluded treatment facility, Eddie Van Halen is air-high fiving Dan Didio.

Anyway, people don’t know what the story is yet. What if she gets her memory back, and regrets what she did, and it adds a dramatic twist to the story that gives it a little something more? Shouldn’t we stop second-guessing writers like that?

I for one enjoy cleavage and sex in comics. And- I think my opinion matters a little more than someone who WILL NEVER BUY THEM TO BEGIN WITH, ala most women. DC, bring on the cheesecake!

“she’s not doing anything but wearing a tiny bikini to get attention.”

Ah ah ah :)

This little girl have a better knowledge and understanding of Starfire than Lobdell.

Scott Lobdell… really?? that’s serious DC???
The 90’s are back? For Christ Sake…

I feel sorry for the Teen Titans…

And thank God we don’t have actual 7 year olds mandating the direction of comics. I can’t imagine being deprived of works like V for Vendetta, Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, or George Perez’s Wonder Woman where she’s often found praying to her pagan gods in the nude at night.

DC has a kids line. Aim your crumb crunchers there.

Nice job from DC totally glossing over the point. I have no qualms with comics having mature content, nor do I have any problem with Starfire dressing promiscuously, as she always has. What I do have major problem with is taking a well developed 3-dimensional character and turning her into a brain-dead bimbo for no reason.

@Goofball.

You’re not kidding about not being a mathematician! 100K of 2m is 5% conversion, assuming that all of that 100K is a subset of the 2m (which is pretty dubious). Marvel & DC would kill to convert 5% of their TV or film audience to regular comic book buyers (there’d be about 450K reading Iron Man, for example)

I don’t think DC’s earned anything BUT second guesses lately.

Ratings? really? I’m an adult and I read R and erotica all the time, I’m an adult and their shit is so boring it doesn’t even smell. RATINGS are NOT the point. Way to miss the point AGAIN, DC. Also, CHILDREN GROW UP, and when you turn their heroes into porn stars they STOP RESPECTING YOU and stop GIVING YOU MONEY.

When are they going to lean?

Haven’t bought a DC comic in years, since they destroyed Catwoman the first time, still not buying them.
Maybe one day they’ll go under and then someone with brains can write these iconic characters.

I still haven’t gotten my issue, but now I gotta read it, haha. Part of me wants to read something like this, and the saner part is like, “Remove this from your pull list, son!”

Don’t get me wrong, I like boobs as much as the next guy.

Having adult themes is fine… even have them in skimpy costumes.

But you shouldn’t forget about what it is about characters that people like… and for goodness sake write a story for them that isn’t just an excuse to make it “Edge” or “Adult”.

Write a decent story!

If you don’t like the comics save your money don’t cry about something so meaningless it’s terrible reading the same stuff over and over on here. If you don’t approve leave it on the shelf. What were doing Here is exactly what dc wants getting more publicity if everyone didn’t buy it and said nothing I’m sure they would learn there lesson.

Don’t give comics rated Teen to your seven year old daughter. Don’t write characters as mindless sex objects. Don’t confuse having a liberated attitude towards sex with being cold, promiscuous and uncaring. Don’t confuse sexual empowerment with wanting to have sex with everything that moves/talking about sex all the time.

How can anyone say that she’s been turned into a bimbo “for no reason” ?

Maybe she has been turned into a bimbo “for no reason YOU can ascertain from the first issue but for a reason that will be made perfectly crystal fucking clear later on – this was only issue 1 for fuck’s sake” ?

This is like people who question everything in the first five minutes of a movie. “Why did he do that?” Shut up for 90 minutes and watch it, and maybe you’ll fucking find out!

The reboot has confirmed one thing to me. Older readers are very disconnected and thank God DC did reboot and yes, DC is not here to listen to sob stories which really are parents being irresponsible and not checking the material before their under 10’s. If these parents cared there is an all ages line for that 7 year old.

DC, we’re not upset about the sexy stuff. We /LOVE/ the sexy stuff. We’d just rather the sexy stuff be sweet and fun and maybe a little silly – not “You, me, genitals, don’t even try to care because I sure won’t.”

The previous comic incarnation of Starfire (and the other Titans) were also having sex like some real human beings do, and you don’t hear bitching about that, do you?

Because it was quite distinct… and had more to do with character and narrative than T&A.

@Angelica

Would “we”?

DCM, a woman should be allowed to choose who she wants to have sex with without being called a slut. If someone tells her she’s so and so’s “girl” and her response is “how absurd, I do what I want when I want” I can’t help but applaud.
In time, children grow up and start having sex and stop letting their world revolve around comics.

It is amazing to me, after so many well-written and comprehensive takes on the subject, how spectacularly people are missing the point. I blame the proliferation of mixed messages concerning feminism/ sexuality in the media, among other things.

Judd Winnick takes the cake defending Catwoman #1. “This a Catwoman for 2011.” In a way, he’s right – these days, anyone with a histrionic personality disorder and a sex tape can pass as a “woman in charge of what she wants.” Ergo, reducing Catwoman to this (or Starfire to whatever she is in Red Hood) is par for a very ridiculously low course.

Everything about these two issues is terrible. You don’t have to be a prude or someone who didn’t pay attention to the ratings to be offended/ call DC out on how stupid and ill-conceived this is. It’s certainly not alone – it’d be like calling out Demon Knights #1 for taking me literally two minutes to read. Most comics are decompressed to s**t now – doesn’t make it right / satisfying / logically sound.

Kind of a mixed analogy, there, I grant you, (and I actually enjoyed Demon Knights – Rich Johnston at Bleeding Cool tried to make an analogy to the baby-death in there, so it’s on my mind – and for the record, that comparison doesn’t work at all; pretty sure the baby wasn’t introduced to that story in a series of f**k-me poses, nor the death a titillating grab for the “baby death fetish” crowd) but meh. Like I say, way too many cogent analyses of this nonsense have appeared over the past week for me to add anything substantial to the mix. Just go read them.

I’m sorry but how is this bikini any different from the slutty outfit she’s been wearing for years? In fact, her breasts are covered MORE by that than the outfit she was normally wearing before the reboot!

Where were all these complaining people a year ago when she was hooking up with Captain Comet in REBELS #18 just for the “no strings attached” zero gravity sex? She’s always been a sexually promiscuous (or at the least extremely flirty) sex doll and most the characters she interacts with point it out.

Maybe it’s been forgotten that Animal Man had a total hard on for her. In the words of Adam Strange, she’s a “six-foot four, half naked supermodel”.

Nobody has ever said that Jason Todd or Roy Harper should be role models. They’re violent douches! Why would we demand the same of an ALIEN princess who almost thrives off of sex and love and is really just a tourist observing humanity?

The book is called Red Hood and the OUTLAWS it’s not meant to scream “here’s a book for little kids!” I doubt any 12yr old girls are going into comic shops, buying this book and idolizing Starfire. She’s a teenage boy sex fantasy but you know who is okay with that? TEENAGE boys. It doesn’t have to be rated “Teen Boy” for you to get the hint.

DC dropped the CCA rating because they wanted diversify and provide more mature mainstream books that fit the demographic of the majority of their readership like CagedLeo pointed out.

The fact is:

Scott Lobdell is a bad writer

That’s all folks.

There is nothing wrong with Red Hood and the Outlaws. There is something wrong with trying to elicit a predictable response from your 7-year old by showing her a book that is not intended for her so you can put it into an opinionated, one-sided article.

Most of the complaints I’ve seen aren’t about Starfire’s outfit (yes, everyone knows she’s always dressed skimpily) or that she’s having sex (again, most long-term readers know she’s been having sex since the 1980s), but that her personality’s been surgically removed and she’s portrayed primarily as something for the guys to look at and sleep with, not as a person in her own right.

So dismissing the complaints on the basis that she’s always dressed like that or that she’s always had sex is missing the point.

Michele Lee’s daughter never said that. That is total BS fabrication. I hope Lee doesn’t WRITE that badly!!!!

Kelson, we don’t know why Starfire is acting that way or if this is even the same Starfire.
Why not let the writer tell his story?

You know what, I had an opinion and frankly I like the opinion of the 7 year old. I think she’s right on the money.

I read the Catwoman comic after hearing about this and was less than impressed, so much so I cancelled my new52 order. I don’t feel like reading DC after that.

Saying all that… I’m just sick of the topic. Enough for god sake, the week is over people, move on. New comics come out Wednesday and frankly that should be the end of the core discussion.

I think continuing the discussion about how women are portrayed in comics is something worth going on with however continuing a pointless argument is well pointless.

A section of fan community is going to be up in arms about how Starfire and Catwoman have been portrayed. Another section is going to say who gives a crap they’re really hot and some are going to go… where’s lunch? (Or meh take your pick.)

DC are going to continue on their own merry way and privately, behind closed doors have a celebratory whiskey because the controversy has driven new, old and inbetween readers to pick up Catwoman and Red Hood and the Outlaws and at least some of them are going to hang around to see what comes next.

To all the posters who are like “People can do what they want. Get over it.” I’m gonna come take a shit on your front step and when you get pissed that you just stepped in my shit my response to you is “People can do what they want. Get over it.”

Everyone who keeps saying “she’s fictional, get over it” and “it’s make-believe so they depict everyone unrealistically” really should shut it. When was the last time we saw Superman in a banana-hammock, posed sexually? Or Wolverine oiled into a matted-mess of body hair, squatting and arching his back on a beach?? Of course the muscular proportions of male superheroes are exaggerated to imply strength and “make-believe”; however, usually the only things exaggerated on female superheroes are their breasts, their sexuality, and how far up their super-suits can ride up their a$$es!
So, yes, it’s a fictional comic book blah, blah, blah. However, don’t attempt to justify its sexism by saying its fictional, therefore, its ok. A comic book about, say, dead babies would be fictional, but would it be ok to draw horrendous pictures of murdered babies? I think not.
Besides, I don’t mind sexy women in comic books; however, I would like it a helluva lot more of the men were hyper-sexualized as well!

My 9 year old daughter loves Starfire from the cartoons and would love to read a comic with her in it. Sorry, the “kids line” isn’t for her either. “Those are comics for babies” she says when I try and give them to her.

When she asks me if she (or any of the other characters she likes from cartoons) have any comics I just tell her the same thing I say every time……”nope”.

I miss when comics were appropriate for all-ages but, that’s not gonna happen so I will continue to enjoy the books I lke and watch yet another of my kids miss out on a cool hobby that I enjoyed as a kid.

I’m old so the industry has me for a few more years but good luck replacing me.

The recent Starfire* controversy got me thinking; I actually don’t mind when they do new things with characters but they shouldn’t totally abandon what was successful. Classic comic Starfire is a marginally popular character. Cartoon Starfire is a HUGELY popular character. DCnU Starfire should have been more like cartoon Starfire. Instead they took a one aspect of classic comic Starfire (she’s very comfortable with her sexuality), turned it up to 11 (making her a slut), threw away everything else, and learned nothing from their highly successful Teen Titans cartoon.

(At least the Static they introduced to the DCU a few years back seemed to be a combination of the Milestone one and the cartoon one)

*Incidentally, I’m a bit puzzled by the LACK of controversy RE Roy Harper. They clearly have no idea what made that character special either.

P.S. I’m not buying this comic because the characters are lame and aren’t worth 1 buck, let alone $3.

Judd Winick: Is he the worst writer in comics today ? Can he salvage his career as he gets more and more DC work ?

Scott Lobdell work just makes me wanna pull my hair out.
Can’t stand his pointless and boring stories.

YYou guys need to cool it with the phrase “objectified sex toy” because it is getting ridicicolous. If you don’t like what you see than don’t read it and stop ruining perfectly good and intriguing comics. Another thing, nobody else felt that girl’s reaction and response was a little scripted?

Give me a fucking break. The lions share of readers of comic books happen to be adults currently. I don’t know of too many 12 year olds with jobs that can afford 50 bucks a week on comics, unless their parents are paying for it. In that case it is the PARENT’S responsibility to check content and appropriateness for children. Too many parents don’t do that and we get wanky responses from people that are completely out of the realm of current reality. So Starfire is an alien with needs. Big deal! Batman and Catwoman have been in love forever, even at the end of the “old” continuity. Batman does a lot to save everyone….doesn’t he deserve a piece every once and a while. He’s human, not asexual. Catwoman was depicted as she’s always been, n love with Batman. I can’t believe there’s such a hullabaloo about that one. They’re actually in love, and they can’t really ever follow their hearts, they deserve a little bit of making love. Christ. Watch Nickelodeon or something rather than putting all this crap about sex being wrong for children. Few comics are meant for children anymore, hence the children’s line of comic books. Grow up people. Kids know more about sex now than ever. Its the age of the internet, whatever they want to find they will, or they’ll just learn it on the playground the same way we did. Give me a break. If they showed penetration or something the rating should obviously be changed, but all this is is about people with far too much time on their hands. Grow up. Or maybe you just need to get laid.

@Patrick Maloney
No one should have to not read a comic book–which you state is “good and intriguing”–because it portrays women as nothing more than sex objects. Also, learn the difference between “than” and “then” so that knuckle-dragging, and not bad grammar, is your only strike. Cheers!

‘Do you want to have sex with me?’

For a 12 year old? Uh…

Red Hood and the Outlaws was a total POS anyways! Total self-indulgent crap and a ridiculous story. I get DC wanted to let the creators do their own thing, but you think they’d review stories that pretty much butcher three great long standing characters. This issue a prime example of how NOT TO treat a relaunch. I cannot see many people racing out to pick up issue 2. Nuff said.

HEY RIKK ODINSON!

September 28, 2011 at 10:45 am

“I miss when comics were appropriate for all-ages but, that’s not gonna happen so I will continue to enjoy the books I lke and watch yet another of my kids miss out on a cool hobby that I enjoyed as a kid. ”

Have you had her check out Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors from Image? It’s got the same feel as the Titans cartoons and most issues so far have been 30 pages of content. The first trade is out in about another month. http://www.amazon.com/Gladstones-School-World-Conquerors-Andrew/dp/1607061155/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317231536&sr=8-1 Or how about the manga, Yotsuba (ignore the infantile back copy on the trades..It’s a really fun all ages book) http://www.amazon.com/Yotsuba-Vol-1-Kiyohiko-Azuma/dp/0316073873/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1317231585&sr=8-2 Nice art, about 200 pages for ten bucks and it has just as many adult fans as kids. Or maybe Bone? One Piece? The Amulet series? There are a lot of comics out there for various age groups. Maybe people can come up with even better suggestions than these.

If any one at dc reads these PLEASE your new 52 is terrible can we lease have the old universe back you can even put James Robinson back on the justice I don’t care. All my comic friends hate it and are dropping dc completely!!

If fans weren’t complaining about Starfire, they’d just be complaining about something else. The “out of character” argument no longer flies because this is a new universe. If DC says that Starfire is a celibate nun in The Outlaws #1, guess what? She’s a celibate nun. If DC says that she will have sex with complete strangers, guess what? She does, and that is now her character. As as for the target audience, I’m 28, and don’t really care either way about a scantily clad comic character, but put this book in the hands of a 12 year old boy, and I bet you’ll find a fan.

@Brian and Bryan, you both have good points.

@Beacon For me at least I knew this wasn’t the Roy I know and love because they have spent the past year+ destroying that character. Roy was actually pretty simple. A guy who made some mistakes (drug use, sleeping with Cheshire) and was trying to balance his ‘job’ with dealing with the consequences of his actions (His daughter, who he loved more than anything) That Roy died in cry for Justice. I mourned losing a positive single dad (something that made him unique)

Now I have to watch more characters I’ve learned to enjoy be butchered in the reboot (Kory, Cassie Sandmark) or be shoved in limbo (Wally, Donna, Cass Cain, Stephanie, Joey…) or just gone totally (Kon-el, Bart Allen)

Or I can just walk away, pick up Games and the Teen Titans TPBs, finish my collection of Secret Six and B&R TBPs and share those with my Godkids.

Lets let the story play out before we linch the writer. I’m in agreement that judging a first issue, like Jonny said, is like judging a movie on the first 5 minutes. Give Lobdell till the end of the first arch before passing writing/story telling judgement.

DC didn’t miss the point. They’re not responding to everyone’s criticism of the characterization/story, they’re responding to a 7-year old’s criticism, for whom, they point out, the book is not intended (as if to say, “you don’t have to like it, it’s not for you”). This is by no means a response of any kind addressing the book itself, as far as it goes in terms of storytelling decisions.

On a side note, those that imply there’s nothing to be offended about under the pretense that you’re talking to virgin comic readers who are scared of women have most certainly missed the point being made by most, in overwhelmingly clear detail. If all you take from what has been written, by men and women, is that “these people need to get laid,” you’re clearly a fucking idiot.

Way to shade reader response by including that 7-year-old’s response with DC’s statement, CBR. We all know what side *you’re* on.

What is wrong with the comic industry Semicoherent is that kids are not considered vital to the survival of the industry. I don’t care how they want to tell the story…I don’t have to buy it. But a teen rating for this book is not accurate. Anyone who thinks this is ok for a 12 yr. old doesn’t have kids or isn’t doing a good job raising them. Jim Lee didn’t like Wolverine saying the “F-word”, yet does he think this is appropriate for a 12-13 yr. old?
Most of us look back at our “Golden Age” of reading comics as being when we were about 12.
BTW, overall to DC, nice guts with the revamp and the delivery on many of the titles.

My grandfather often talks to me about degrading images of African Americans that appeared in all forms of media as he was growing up in the 30s and 40s. He said that white people argued that there was nothing wrong with the images that insulted the intellect and physical characteristics of black folks. He told me that white people insisted that the portrayals were accurate and “all in fun”; and they claimed they couldn’t understand why black people found them so problematic.

Years later, we almost unanimously agree, whether black or white, that those images and depictions were racist and degrading. The conversation taking place in this comments section reminds me of my grandfather’s experiences. One group is insisting that there’s nothing wrong with the portrayals, that they’re not sexist or misogynistic, while members of the offended group are trying, desperately, to articulate why those images are offensive.

If the experiences of the members of my grandfather’s generation are comparable, then years from now, future generations are not going to look favorably upon those individuals vigorously defending DC’s depictions of female characters and denying what should be, in this day and age, obvious to all of us simply because they find offending material pleasurable.

I understand the desire to be selfish. But let’s stop pretending it’s something else. The cognitive dissonance present in the responses of the DC defenders is overwhelming.

I agree rated T is a little low – if you are talking about sex is a little must for a 12. I haven’t read the book yet but come on guy sex talk and 12 year olds should go together. M rating no problems

“We all know what side *you’re* on.”

Captain America’s!

Is that English – Haha sorry typing on my phone but you get the point

Hello, @Johnny, I think the concern is not being communicated properly.

DC has shown in their Vertigo line they can write intelligent, interesting, sexually promiscuous characters in a believable manner. Alternately in the Brightest Day series, Geoff Johns can write Mera as sexually active and interesting, but capable of wearing clothes, being crucial to the story, and portraying emotions.

The concerns are:
– Starfire character had emotional connection in her past; joy and love were key elements of her character. While promiscuous and alien she interacted in a kind and loving way. And the recipients of her interaction, the male characters in the book, do not value her intimacy, but just brag about their conquests.

– The artist poses her for the reader, not the characters in the comic. Like a porn shoot, Starfire is posing for the reader, often the other character in the panel cannot even see her pose. Lots of comics show female characters posing for the attentions of the other characters in the books, and DC knows how to do this.

– Starfire is only portrayed being promiscuous, not doing any other act of value in the story. Her only value is to be an unappreciated sex partner to the male characters. She is not a strong character who is independent and competent, who chooses a unique sexual intimacy path in addition to her worth; her only worth in the comic is to be soft core erotica.

Given that some of us readers have been reading Teen Titans since the mid-80’s and other readers are going to pick up the title because of seeing the Teen Titans TV show, this portrayal is not going to keep these readers – the whole point of the relaunch was to attract new fans to the series.

im hearing alot of people looking down on this, and saying shes not a hero, because she is a very very premiscuous person, i mean jesus christ! cant someone have alot of sex and still be a hero? cant someone have alot of sex and still be a stron independant woman? i mean, sure maybe its the most appropriate for younder readers, but to me the most sexist thing about this is the comments from people saying its sexist! i wasnt aware the amount of sex you have influenced you being a ‘hero’ or not. aslong as shes not screwing red arrow when someones getting murdered across the street who cares? a strong woman, a strong HUMAN BEING should not be judged on their sexual exploits.

If DC knew that this would get as much attention as it has, super-heroines would be dropping their panties in ever New 52 book.

*not the most appropriate

@boyblunder

Read again my son:

Kelson
September 28, 2011 at 10:14 am
Most of the complaints I’ve seen aren’t about Starfire’s outfit (yes, everyone knows she’s always dressed skimpily) or that she’s having sex (again, most long-term readers know she’s been having sex since the 1980s), but that her personality’s been surgically removed and she’s portrayed primarily as something for the guys to look at and sleep with, not as a person in her own right.

I am one of those that thinks DC’s tweet completely missed what the messages are saying – or it’s a reaction strictly to Michelle Lee’s article.

One of the arguments I’ve seen recently amounts to “superhero comics aren’t for kids, and haven’t been in a long time.” The characters are in adult stories, plainly marked as adult (or at least teen), so they’re not for kids.

And I can’t agree.

My reason for thinking this? Look at the toy aisle targeting 1-3 year olds at Wal-Mart or Target. Next to Dora and Elmo is likely a kiddified version of Batman (a sociopath), the Joker (a psychopathic murderer), and Wolverine (a violent berserker). These are not the action figures in the traditional action figure aisles – these are the little figures with big heads, big smiles, big feet that come with something like a Jokermobile or a Safety Batman Firetruck.

If these characters are “adult” characters, why create kiddie versions specifically targeting 1 to 3 year olds? Or 6 to 8 year olds?

Something about the math doesn’t add up here.

“male characters in the book, do not value her intimacy, but just brag about their conquests.”
Allow me to introduce Jason Todd and Roy Harper. Two of the biggest douchebags in the DCU. They are not Superman. This is IN CHARACTER for them.

“Starfire is only portrayed being promiscuous, not doing any other act of value in the story. ”
She blows up some tanks doesn’t she? And you’re assuming that this unfeeling sex isn’t going to be an important part of the story later on. I’ll ask again what gives anyone the right to second guess a writer. What if this arc is specifically about why Starfire is acting weird? Let it breathe, will ya?

Age appropriateness was not the salient issue. Learn how to read responses with an analytical mind. Great, passive aggressive response, DC. Failure will find you sooner than you think, and deservedly so.

Grown-ups to maturbation addicts: Get a life, losers.

Its sad tha DC fall in that kind of cheap tricks to get new readers. I read the blog and I think that girl is rigth, this starfire is lame, just posing and acting like a bitch doesn’t make this an ” adult” comic-book its quite the oposite.

They said “is rated “T” for teen, meaning it’s deemed appropriate for readers age 12 and older. “T”-rated titles “may contain mild violence, language and/or suggestive themes” so that mean that teenagers are idiots that only want to see a girl with a bikini and offering sex? Thats lame, if you wanna see boobs and sex just search for porno on the internet or buy a playboy instead of a comic-book.

The fact is this is a REBOOT.

So coming here and saying what Starfire USED to do before or how Catwoman and Batman were in HUSH is irrelevant. Things change.

Get over it.

It’s the same old whiners wanting DC to do what they want which was killing the industry and people who claim fans get off on those tame pages. Boy, that says more about you than them. Me thinks it’s the ones who protests too much has the problems with sexuality.

I09 is part of the Gawker network of sites which gets 14.3 million visitors. 14.3 million people do not read comics. This is why they finally responded and why there will be changes made almost immediately to the book.

Then Monkey, that means that old readers, who want to see the characters they like, shouldn’t bother, right? After all, if these aren’t the same characters, then that means that the old characters are just plain done being written, so readers who would rather read about their favorite characters should probably just ignore new, less interesting characters, wearing their skin, right?

@Semicoherent

The DC response is a dodge because it takes conflates a specific criticism (the age appropriate nature of the comic) with the accusation that DCNu’s depcition of Starfire and Catwomen are misogynist.

Now you may disagree with that sentiment, but the accusations aren’t without merit. More specifically the two misogynist-centric accusations (which has apparently gained traction withint DC as well) are:

– that both comics are legitimizing the internalization of the male fantasies about sexxy hot women just want to be our sex toys as being the same as sexual liberation

– sexual liberation equates to being slutty.

Wait, so who thought it would be a good idea to allow this book for a seven year old?

DC is TOTALLY missing the point. What about the ADULT readers who are upset at a hero being turned into an objectified slut. The ratings have nothing to do with it.

if it wasnt for sluts, most guys wouldnt get laid, i say ket her do what she wants and get the tang.thats all that matters, let the women think they are empowering themselves all they want, you got the pussy, who cares about anything else. go starfire, you should be obscene and not heard

Among all of the controversy over Starfire’s behavior I see a nearly-complete absence of outrage over the behavior of her teammates. From both Jason’s and Roy’s comments and actions it is clear that neither of them have any respect or consideration for Koriand’r. To Jason she is a tactical asset and an outlet for his own hormones. To Roy, who obviously by his questioning of her knows her past — and it has been stated by DC that her past with the Teen Titans has not been retconned — she is nothing more than an opportunity for risk-free sex. None of these characters is in any way admirable, and the fault for that lies completely on the creative team of the book. An old friend of mine coined a very apt description for this sort of work — gunpowder jerk-off fiction.

Does anyone really believe this was write by a 7 year old? OF COURSE NOT.

To Jeff: Any adult getting upset is just plain and simple ridiculous. There is nothing wrong with the story, this controversy is a joke.

I have a mixed opinion of the new Starfire. On the one hand, I see where the complaints are coming from. On the other… I like the psychology of my aliens to be alien, and they very definitely succeeded at that. Actually… the aliens in the new universe as a whole are a lot more interesting than they were before.

I imagine I’d be a lot more annoyed if I was a Starfire fan pre-reboot, but I really wasn’t.

I love that Michele Lee knew that it wasn’t an appropriate book for kids but had her 7 year old read it, for what, to make a point? So we’re all okay if Jason and Roy kill loads of people right, but if Starfire shows skin we better freak out?
I LOVE THIS BOOK!

For all the dialogue about this situation,
I know “Red Hood and the Outlaws” was a book that I thought was lame from the start. Conceptually and art-wise, and the previews showed little promise.
Now after it’s been release a lot of negativity has been leveled against it.
Which makes me less interested in it.
Being a lot older than the target audience and having a long history with the previous incarnation.
I find this characterization unattractive, even in a see-thru bikini.
And a lack or respect and responsibility.
Toward characters and fans.
You know this shit is wrong, but your publishing it to “push the envelope”, and stir up sales.

@John

I love how you don’t read the article to see the child didn’t read the entire book.

This book wouldn’t benefit from a “Mature” rating because it’s childish provocation. Maybe they could come up with a “P” rating, “P” of course standing for “Pandering to sex-starved misogynists.”

Such a disappointment from Scott Lobdell. I’d expect this from Jeph Loeb or Judd Winick, but not Lobdell. Too bad.

I love that the prevailing argument in support of DC is “Who cares if it isn’t appropriate for kids? Most CURRENT comic readers are ADULTS.”

Never mind that DC’s massive line-wide reboot and the multimedia marketing campaign is a desperate attempt to attract NEW readers beyond their aging fanbase.

Or that most of us are more bothered by things other than the sex (misogyny, mischaracterization, missed opportunities, ect).

You know, I think sexual objectification (including Starfire’s inability of forging an emotional attachment and the other team member’s celebration of such) is kind of a bad thing for all age groups.

“Hey, @John Smith : I’m not positive, but I think you gave the post you quoted from 2 above your post the exact opposite meaning intended by its poster Imitorar.”

Not if he was being sarcastic he didn’t.

And to all of you saying that this comic was never meant for 7 year olds, you’re missing the point as much as DC is. That the comic was meant for older teenagers is fine. That the comic had a “character” who was no more than an emotionless sex doll is not. The key part of Michele’s Lee’s daughter’s response wasn’t her age. It was when she said that the Starfire of the cartoon and the Teen Titans comic was a good hero, and the Starfire of this new comic was a bad one, and why she thought so.

And for those criticizing Lee’s parenting skills, firstly, what she allows her daughter to read is not your decision to make. Secondly, she says that she didn’t let her read it. She just showed her the pages. Your objection is incorrect, as well as irrelevant.

Can’t believe people are having their panties in a bunch over this, what is this? Iran?
And show me a video of the girl’s rant on youtube or it never happened.

Wow… DC completely missed the point of the complaints. The complaining isn’t about “mature content”. Hell, Starfire’s always been one to dress sexy, so that’s not the issue, either (though they have taken that a little bit further in the reboot than is needed). It’s that they turned a badass warrior princess who is completely in touch with her own emotions into a robotic, emotionless sex doll.

Starfire was sexy and provocative before, but she still had emotions and a personality. Most of all, she was a hero, not a model posing for the camera in every panel. There’s just no substance to her character in this new reboot, and sadly the same can also be said of reboot Catwoman.

So, again… DC completely missed the point.

@Clown Prince

We don’t know if she doesn’t have a personality. It’s only issue #1. Kory on the surface, has always been a sexy character. But she’s had years of development to establish her old personality. So many people are going from issue #1 only. Let’s see where this heads by the time the first story arc is over, at least.

LOL, look at the poll, this book is number one! For all those who enjoyed it, fight for it, for those who didnt, give up, bad press is still press nah mean?

Expect a full frontal shot of Cyborg soon…

At least Winnick is in the news for something other than giving a character HIV.

@Jeff

I sincerely doubt DC doesn’t understand the issue. Rather, they are dodging it because

1. they want to pretend that the very idea that one of there comics is misogynist is so unfair they can’t even comprehend it.

2. they are trying to turn this into a debate about parental control where they can both leverage the controversy to drive media exposure while portraying themselves in a positive light.

And in all honesty, it appears that most people on the boards do in fact get both the complaint and see this crossed a line.

What I find funny in all this is Arsenal was being just as much of a slut as Starfire…nobody is complaining about that one are they. Once again the old double standard rears it’s ugly head.

Sigh…

this is absurd

Do parents no longer pre-screen first what their kids read these days, or watch online or on TV? My parents did, as do I.

Parents, quit being lazy and pre-screen what your young children are viewing. Then they won’t see scantily clad people having sex.

Thank you, SonofBaldwin. You have it exactly.

Women have had their journey through the cultural mess, and it’s been rocky at times. Sometimes our men can’t stand us; sometimes we can’t stand our men. Women in general don’t laugh off as much as we used to. Now we’re far more inclined to say, “That’s total crap,” and not, “I’ll have some more, please,” so we don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. That’s made women less popular in general.

But women still have gorgeous bodies, some of them, don’t they!

Female comics readers do expect comic artists to draw and ideate beautiful women. We also hope that, in their haste to show just how lovely women can be, these artists and writers don’t forget to render them as people with personalities of their own. (For instance, Starfire has none in Red Hood and the Outlaws.)

If I were to speak directly to the guys at DC, I would say this:

The problem is that you drew the BODY, gentlemen; but you forgot to create the PERSONALITY that goes inside it. You have made…a very lovely robot sex-toy out of this lovely superheroine. She is gorgeous, though! Men everywhere will SALUTE your efforts! It WILL sell!

But not to me.

Next time, put an actual story in there, with a real character inhabiting that lovely body, not just your sexual fantasies from last week, and see if we can make a book worth reading.

I would like to see some sense of editorial responsibility here.

Very typical non-response from DC, straight from the marketing department with a little legal department boilerplate tossed on for good measure.

People are just really missing the point.

I don’t think people care that there are sexualized females in comics or that characters are having sex in the comics, when its tastefully done. The point is that Red Hood, Catwoman and now The Dark Knight (One Face? Really?) reads like really bad fan fiction.

Plain and simple.

The Red Hood story seems like it was pulled off the internet; written by an amateur, wannabe who uses graphic out of character sex because the creator lacks the talent, professional training and skill to tell a good story without it.

And that’s the problem with DC in a nutshell: they can get readers interested — that is what Dan Didio has been doing for ten years — he just can’t help but repel them afterwards.

It is why DC Comics have been in such serious decline for so long — Dan Didio and Co. just lack what some consider to be an essential ingredient to be successful in any publishing venture — He and his editiors do not have a good eye for talent or good storytelling — or talent that will appeal to the greater market at large.

DC has been repeating these mistakes over and over again for ten years, it is what necessitated this relaunch in the first place. For the life of them, they have zero judgement for what makes good storytelling. And that is the issue here: the storytelling is awful and amateur; they employ far too many creators whose lack of skill is compensated by empty, shock value storytelling.

Is anyone really surprised by the increasing pile of bad comics coming out of the New 52? These are the same people who screwed up the DCU in the first place.

Also, DC (and Marvel is just as guilty) is such a mess, they send out mixed messages. They are CONSTANTLY stating that the industry needs new readers, especially the younger audience. Geez, Joe Quesada’s biggest argument for doing that godawful Spider-Man retcon is that ‘kids deserved to grow up with an unmarried Spider-Man.

Then the publishers go out and mutilate the characters beyond recognition by publishing stories that clearly, aren’t for kids. I think what people are most upset about is not when a character changes or grows and evolves. They get upset when characters no longer behave like heroes anymore.

Anyone remember Infinite Crisis? DC published that story and the main idea of that story was that the DC Universe was corrupted by heroes who behave more like villains — they don’t inspire anyone anymore. And what does DC do afterwards? Mutilate even more characters where the heroes are more like villains than anything else.

If you want people to like your comics, stop sending the audience mixed signals, mixed messages and for god’s sake, stop makling the characters so unlikeable. You’re not going to gain readers by telling stories about characters that are so completely and utterly unlikeable.

Let’s face it DC, no matter how you rate this you basically destroyed a character who was known as a strong warrior. She was a character that young women could look up too. You turned her into someone from an MTV reality show just to get more readers on the book. Shame on you. When does Flash have another event to erase some of these mistakes you made? Good stories and plotlines and good art is what we want, not this crap. Although some of the stuff I’ve read has been good, it’s things like this that outweigh the good.

@dicjones

I’m not pretending the double standard doesn’t exist; Starfire is the only one making headlines. However if you actually read some of these posts you’d know that some of us ARE just as (if not more) annoyed with the reboot’s treatment of Roy as we are with what has been done with Kory.

That’s a tobacco company response isn’t it?

Honestly, they need to get a full time professional PR to clean up their mess.

@Beacon

I have read sooo many if these posts that I didn’t have to read ALL of these to have my point be valid. Maybe I shouldn’t have used the word nobody, but the fact remains having Arsenal partake in the sex act is just as shallow as having Starfire. There aren’t enough people complaining about Arsenal to make any argument against my point withstand, in fact it isn’t even close. You need to have at least 50% of the people on here complaining about Arsenal to not make this a completely obvious example of a double standard and the American people’s complete fear of a strongly sexual female, which in this case doesn’t even count since as far as her species goes, sex doesn’t necessarily even mean what it does to us humans.

I think everybody should just hold tight and see how this develops, if she continues to be a “mindless nympho” or whatever we chose to label her as, then maybe we have something to complain about. It has been one issue, there are plenty more to come.

Realitätsprüfung

September 28, 2011 at 7:43 pm

@Sonofbaldwin:

While I agree with your grandfather’s perspective as it relates to the depiction of race decades ago, that isn’t what’s going on here:

1. Starfire’s depiction isn’t a universal example of how DC is writing ALL women. Just this one. So why is this being blown up? Easy:

2. This is 100% about longtime comic fans who don’t like changes to a fan-favorite character being shown as far less than the regular mantra of “strong and independent”. (Actually, she is pretty independent. But slutty).

Admittedly – this is a portrayal that’s in poor judgment in my eyes. But then, Starfire has never been a role model type character, except maybe on the cartoon show. Which is okay – not every character needs to be a role model.

But that’s not indicative of some “massive agenda against female characters”. There are plenty of positive female characters in DC Comics, and have been for decades now. But some are weak, some are stupid – just like the men. And that’s a part of art as well – reflecting the world we live in. We have women like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian in real life…there’s no reason they can’t also appear in comics. (Not that I personally want to read about such characters, just like I have zero plans to read this Red Hood/Outlaws thingy either.)

The truly legitimate complaint here is regarding the ratings system – I believe something more along the lines of the MPAA ratings system is in order – this comics is completely PG-13.

I hope his “emotionless lust” is a plot point connecting Starfire-Jason-Essence-All Caste. Who knows, Starfire may had had emotional scars so deep she became what she is now.

Only ONE ISSUE has been released. Why can’t people wait and see what happens?

Adam, although I don’t know you, I am sure that under most circumstances, I would agree with you. But not for this mess of a book..

if you smashed your finger once and it hurt, would you do it again to see if, somehow, it might feel nicer the second time?

If people hate the first book, why would they buy more of it? It’s a soulless effort, reflecting the creative abilities—or lack of same—of its creators. It’s not worth following to the next station along the way.

If a writer has no respect for his characters, you can feel the hollowness of the effort. If the writer doesn’t care about the story, why should we?

I respect the fairness of your attitude, but your trust is, I think, misplaced in this instance. But we’ll see what happens. I could be wrong; it’s been known to happen.

Trouble is, DC has disgusted a lot of people with this cynical tactic, and disgust doesn’t wear off easily.

Add me to the list of people who had a problem with how Starfire or Catwoman were depicted in these stories. Many others have already summed up my feelings why.

I do want to add that these depictions strike me as representing a broader conscious editorial tone that shows up in a healthy chunk of the New 52. It’s been made clear that the relaunch was very carefully planned and coordinated. So what should I make of the icky sex in Catwoman and Red Hood, the strippers in Voodoo and DCU Presents, the nudity in profile in Wonder Woman and Batwoman, the costume and weight changes in Suicide Squad, the weird change in Supergirl’s costume that now seems designed to emphasize her crotch, etc.

Thumbs down to DC for cheapening Starfire and Catwoman. My 12 year old son is a huge fan of the Teen Titans show and asked me to buy Red Hood & The Outlaws for him. I had to say no.

please wake me when the stunted manhood set leave the building.

tell a good story. it’s not rocket science.

just tell a good story.

everyone connected with both catwoman and this starfire crap should be ashamed of themselves as creators and as human beings.

pathetic.

I’m not a 7 y/o child and I can see exactly what this little girl is saying. This Starfire seems to do basically nothing other than sleep around and serve up the cheesecake. And if some of the past is cannon (as the characters discuss it) it makes even less sense, UNLESS the writers explain why she is suddenly ONLY a sex crazy women, instead of a hero with personality, attitude and loyalty. In the old (80’s comics) this was kinda her thing. (and if you read the entire original article that girl -seemed like- was at least aware of the the old comic and not just the kid’s show.
People are missing the point here, it’s not about sex, she’s always been a free love advocate- it’s that her fundamental personality has been so altered she’s not the same-yet a large chuck of her story is. A reboot doesnt get a ‘its only issue 1′ bye if they specifically state x, y and z still happened.
It would be like Batman’s son being a Buddhist and he is now the master of Zen, hunting guys using his calm mind powers that hypnotize villains until someone comes round to cart them off to the pen. You can’t explain a fundamental character shift like that, even in a reboot, if you don’t give the backstory, i cant remember which rebooted comic it was that had several pages of backstory but there was one. the authors could have went that route here and it would be okay by me-they didn’t. Several of the new 52’s are the same general personalities, the character might seem a little untried (the young superman & green arrow) but they were in essence the same/familiar characters. The Joker didn’t suddenly decide to be a totally different person(he’s only been killing 5 or 6 years now), they could’ve made him a misplaced, angel of death who slowly lost track of his humanity and became The Joker overtime – and fans would be furious! If he didn’t retain his character traits- reboot or no reboot-he wouldn’t be THE JOKER! THAT’S the issue w/this you can’t selectively hold onto pieces of stories and fundamentally alter the character beyond recognition. Don’t care if she’s dressed like a superslut or not. That’s the issue I have here.

@dicjones

I absolutely agree that there’s a double standard. Every heroine is expected to be a perfect role model for young female readers but male heroes are generally expected to be fundamentally flawed in some way.

What I took issue with was your claim that NOBODY was bothered by the treatment of the men in the series in spite of the posts to the contrary. You can’t say that the other side is a bunch of hypocrites for completely glossing over something when they DID say it.

And, like DC, you don’t seem to acknowledge that this is about more than just sex.

Hmm the sexual revolution has been a cosmic joke, it seems. Or at least planet Earth has been the butt of jokes. Time to unleash the deeply repressed nauseous self-loathing…for the sake of the righteous and indignant.

Basically what DC is saying in a nutshell is – “We’re going to do what we want, and we don’t care what you say. We did this Relaunch, knowing you’d hate it – and we did it anyway. So, you take what we give you and you LIKE it!” * Honestly, if DC really IS following this – they know that fans hate it…and to release a statement like that – they aren’t going to do jack about it.

“To the mass, non-comic reading audience, the most recognizable version of the Batgirl character is a woman named Barbara Gordon. If people read Batgirl and the character isn’t Barbara Gordon, they won’t be able to relate to her… therefore, we must have the character regress from her role as Oracle, and put her back in tights as Batgirl.”

“To the mass, non-comic reading audience, the most recognizable version of Starfire is a sweet, cute awkward alien who’s loyal to her friends and not particularly sexual. If people read our comic with Starfire and the character is a bland, apathetic, complete cheesecake figure who can’t even remember the names of people she was once on a team with and will emotionlessly have sex with any guy who happens to be around… ehh, who really cares? I mean, it’s no big deal and people who are familiar with cartoon Starfire probably aren’t going to try our new, heavily promoted comics, and even if they did, It’s not like we did anything drastic like changing her civilian name. And we rated the book T for Teen, so… sex her up, boys!”

why all the fuss? It’s okay to have all out action and violence but a beautiful woman showing her body is insulting? If you don’t like don’t read.
ps, what happened to her nipples, you’d guess with such a small bikini you’d get a glimpse ;)

And I will bet that now Voodoo will be under scrutiny for being an alien stripper in her first issue now. Did people forget that Frank Miller wrote Catwoman as an aging prostitute? or hey guess what Herc #8 had Arachne & “Dryder” Herc get it on infront of the X-Men.

Besides the writing could have been worse. Lets %#&!. Aren’t you Jasons Girl?. Who?.

DC = Degenerate Chimps

Did people forget that Frank Miller wrote Catwoman as an aging prostitute?

I personally don’t care about the sexism controversy, because I think DC is crass in so many other worse ways, especially violence and high gratuitous body counts, but I just want to point out, I don’t think saying “Frank Miller used the same idea” is ever a good argument if you want to disprove sexism. ;)

People have mentioned ‘Teen Titans Go!’, and that’s a fair point — where was this mythical army of millions of little girls who (A) love Starfire and (B) avidly read comics when that series desperately needed readers to avoid cancellation…?

For that matter, where was the Mythical Little Girl Army when ‘Akiko on the Planet Smoo,’ or ‘Leave It To Chance,’ or any number of other girl-oriented series had to be cancelled because of low sales?

Where were you, Mythical Little Girl Army? WHERE WERE YOUUUUUUU?????

I don’t know, where was the huge advertising push and ‘event’ status while those books were struggling?

Oh, there was none?

How about that.

Oh, and the argument isn’t that there’s an army of girls who avidly read comics. The argument is that there’s a lot of people you might be able to ATTRACT to your comic, if you didn’t do things to push them away.

That’s what the relaunch is supposed to be about, isn’t it? Attracting new readers?

Peter, trust me on this — pretending to care about feminist issues in an attempt to get laid is sooooo 1990s.

@Beacon

I did acknowledge that I shouldn’t have used the word nobody. So we are all clear on that one.

See my thing is, people are using the sex thing to say it was a bad story or bad character development. Most people aren’t saying the same about the character development of Arsenal being affected in a negative way by this, why? Because the general consensus is guys are supposed to act like that it’s acceptable, but chicks aren’t allowed to, otherwise it is in BAD character.

Also, another problem with us seeing eye to eye, is I actually enjoyed the book. God forbid, I know. It made me laugh, it had action, good banter back and forth between the characters, awesome art, the dialogue was written well and had a nice little cliffhanger at the end. It wasn’t my favorite book of the new 52 but I liked it well enough to pick up issue 2 and see what develops. I got exactly what I expected from this book.

Just because DC wants new readers doesn’t mean they want them to be 7 year olds. They are targeting the video game market here people. That means people in their teens and older, all the way up to a dinosaur like myself at the grand old age of 38. Sometimes I like to see a little sex and violence in my books, games and movies.

How much character development do you expect for a 22 page story, it’s not a friggin’ novel. That’s why they make a new one every month, to development the characters and story, Otherwise it would be a one and done graphic novel.

So see I “get” this isn’t just about sex.

See Jeremy Barsness response….love it man. That was spot on.

“As far as marketing, I haven’t seen anywhere DC saying they’re marketing towards pre-teens for the new52. They already have a Johnny DC line for them that includes Batman: Brave & The Bold, Young Justice and The Cartoon Network book.”

These books aren’t safe either. I complained when the YJ book had some mild swear words in it. I figured a book basic on a G rated show would also have G rated content.

@Two Bed Two Bath

DC must have thought there was a “Mythical Little Girl Army” to tap into or they wouldn’t have risked alienating their existing fanbase with a reboot.

garygarrygaarry

October 24, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I think everyones missing the point here, this Is a reboot of the whole DCU. At this point everything starfire does should be out of character or whats point. Stop whinging about what Was and give these books and characters time to mature. The bottom line Is you don’t Have to read. And getting your 7 year to comment on a teen plus book Is a bit weird its like getting a 14 year old to comment on whether porn Is appropriate.

@Semicoherent
[quote]Lets let the story play out before we linch the writer. I’m in agreement that judging a first issue, like Jonny said, is like judging a movie on the first 5 minutes. Give Lobdell till the end of the first arch before passing writing/story telling judgement.[/quote]

I agree, there is a CHANCE that there will be a decent explanation. Unfortunately, given that a brief explanation was already provided for her in the comic, few (myself included) have much hope that any elaboration will turn her into an interesting character. I will be following it in the desperate hope that we will be proven wrong, but I’m prepared to have my hopes bashed.

The point here isn’t that sex is bad or that women who dress “light” are sluts (it’s comics, ALL the women are unrealistically proportioned and dress light, even the unnamed civilians). The point here isn’t that a seven-year-old was allowed to read it (though she was remarkably mature about her response) or that it isn’t age appropriate for that kind of material to be put before a twelve-year-old (which it isn’t).

Rather, the point is that, as sexualized as Starfire has always been, there WERE other personality qualities that she possessed, such as loyalty, friendship and dedication. When permitted, she was a lover rather than a fighter who did her best not to direct abject hate toward anyone. People picking up Red Hood and the Outlaws because they saw Starfire would be a primary character (for a change) were hoping to see that character. Instead, they were told five seconds in that this character, and her entire species, were unemotional, detached and had no regard whatsoever for relationships. They went so far as to pretty much directly say that Tamaranians saw Earthlings only as sensory experiences.

If this were an original character, this would be acceptable. Crude, tasteless and blatant Queen of Mars smut, but acceptable. However, for Starfire, these qualities are in direct contrast with her previously-established background and racial psychology. Yes, as a reboot of intellectual property belonging to DC Comics and not to the fans, they had every right to do this. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be well-received. While inarguably sexually charged, even for a comic heroine, Starfire had an actual personality. From what we’ve seen in Red Hood and the Outlaws #1, she no longer does.

This is not about prudish puritans or seven-year-olds with more mature world outlooks than those of you who are all, “STFU N00B!” It’s about good writing and bad writing. N52 Starfire is not only bad writing, but blatantly horrible, and THAT is what we’re upset about.

If you knew anything about the nature of comic books, truly, you wouldn’t be surprised about what they did to Starfire.

Female characters are basically props to DC’s writers. That’s been apparent for decades now. They don’t care about the characterization unless it helps them make some dramatic love triangle or some other stupidity. To them, sex sells better than characterization does.

Starfire won’t be the first female character that DC completely turns into a sex doll for the sake of making money quickly. There will be more, and it will keep happening, and morons that think with their sex organs will be eating it all up.

Guys, if you want to see sexy 2D images of women, use what you’re using right now. The internet. Don’t toss money to a desperate company in a fizzling industry. You’re only encouraging them to drive away the readers they still have by continuing with the chauvinist methods they’re using.

And to those of you complaining about the parent giving this comic to their 7 year old… Suddenly you’re all supposed to be some sort of Age Rating saints? So any time you’ve seen someone with media too old for them, you’ve reacted like this, right? Or are your comments here just because you’re sick of seeing people rightfully complaining about complete disrespect to a character soley because of their gender?

If they did this to a male character and turned them into a boy toy, you guys wouldn’t be arguing. It’s that simple.

@garygarrygaarry:

“I think everyones missing the point here, this Is a reboot of the whole DCU. At this point everything starfire does should be out of character or whats point. Stop whinging about what Was and give these books and characters time to mature. The bottom line Is you don’t Have to read. And getting your 7 year to comment on a teen plus book Is a bit weird its like getting a 14 year old to comment on whether porn Is appropriate.”

So your point is that because DCU is rebooting their franchise, it’s completely fine for them to devolve a previously established character into a sex object? Give these books and characters time to ‘mature’? You mean keep on buying them, waiting for the small possibility that they actually improve past the pitiful standard they’re at right now?

Hey, if you’re that dedicated, go right ahead. I’ll save my money for something actually WORTH my money.

You’re right, the bottom line is, I don’t have to read it. And most people won’t be reading, either, because DC Comics has absolutely no idea what consumers really want.

@Two Bed Two Bath

“Peter, trust me on this — pretending to care about feminist issues in an attempt to get laid is sooooo 1990s.”

Speaking of past decades… The 1970’s called. They found your wit.

I keep reading, over and over, “Wah, wah, it’s not that she has sex, it’s that she doesn’t care about the guy”.
Uh, no shit. That describes 90% of the sex had in the world…
Real people have sex JUST to be having sex. Why should a character, who is meant to be realistic, be any different?
Can any person (beyond the age of, say, 20) honestly say that they’ve loved every person they’ve ever had sex with? Hell, I’ve had sex with women I could scarcely tolerate.

Are you saying it should be different because she’s a woman? Now who’s being sexist?

The fact is, comics are a male dominated media. Not because females aren’t welcome, but because they tend to lack interest (statistically speaking). They are aware that the majority of their audience is also male. Plain and simple, sex sells. If they had to sacrifice a bit of character to squeeze in more sex (if sex sells, more sex sells more, stand to reason) then so be it. In reality, she was never more than a sexual object anyway.
The fact that there are ANY independent, strong-willed female characters shows that DC is TRYING to be fair to women, but they’re not about to take away big boobs and skimpy outfits that keep their male audience reading.
The issue is apparently “we prefer her naive, ignorant personality to this cold, sexual counterpart.”
The appeal of a naive Starfire is the (subconscious) thought “I bet I could trick her into sleeping with me.”
So, which is better for female empowerment? Starfire being taken advantage of, or Starfire who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go for it?

Bottom line: You can’t take offense to making a character more realistic. Like it or not, THIS version of Starfire is a much more accurate reflection of modern society than her outdated, naive counterpart.

lol, I didn’t check the dates. I guess this argument died a while ago.

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