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Goyer compares She-Hulk to a porn star, calls Martian Manhunter goofy

DBetween movies, comic books and TV, Man of Steel screenwriter David S. Goyer has written quite a few superheroes in his career. On the latest episode of the Scriptnotes podcast, he made his feelings for two of them clear — Marvel’s She-Hulk and DC Comics’ Martian Manhunter — and upset quite a few fans in the process.

In an episode recorded last week in front of an audience at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, Scriptnotes hosts John August and Craig Mazin asked their guests — Goyer, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” screenwriters Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely and “Legend of Conan” writer Andrea Berloff — to play a game where they randomly drew a name of a superhero, and disclosed how they would handle a contemporary film adaptation of that character.

Around 33 minutes into the podcast (full episode here), the conversation moved to She-Hulk, with Markus stating that the character has “the worst, most demeaning character name possible,” due to being presented as only a female adjunct to Hulk. That led to co-host Mazin calling the character “Slut-Hulk,” and Goyer describing her as “pretty chunky” and similar in stature to former WWF performer Chyna. Goyer then elaborated on his thoughts of the character, including describing her as a “giant green porn star.” Here’s the full quote:

I have a theory about She-Hulk. Which was created by a man, right? And at the time in particular I think 95 percent of comic book readers were men, and certainly almost all of the comic book writers were men. So the Hulk was this classic male power fantasy. It’s like, most of the people reading comic books were these people like me who were just these little kids who were getting the shit beaten out of them every day — “What if I became giant, and could clap my hands and create a sonic boom?”

And so then they created She-Hulk, right? Who was still smart. So it was like, I think She-Hulk is the chick that you could fuck if you were Hulk, you know what I’m saying? … She-Hulk was the extension of the male power fantasy. So it’s like, if I’m going to be this geek that becomes the Hulk, then let’s create a giant green porn star that only the Hulk could fuck.

She-Hulk was originally created by comic book legends Stan Lee and John Buscema, and it’s worth noting (as pointed out by multiple outlets including The Mary Sue) that the Hulk and She-Hulk are in fact cousins, and not engaging in any carnal relations with each other. The character has headlined multiple Marvel series since debuting in 1980, including the current All-New Marvel NOW! title by writer Charles Soule and artist Javier Pulido. Soule hasn’t said much on the matter on his Twitter account beyond “Bums me out,” but did retweet the following:

Negative reaction to Goyer’s She-Hulk comments swiftly proliferated online, including in a piece by Washington Post columnist Alyssa Rosenberg, titled, “She-Hulk is a feminist hero, not a male fantasy.” In the article, Rosenberg cited She-Hulk as, from the character’s earliest appearances, “a manifestation of a particularly female dilemma that persists today,” namely, “an expression of how terrific it would be not to have to censor yourself, to be allowed to be angry without some man declaring you unladylike.”

Goyer has written Marvel characters — in all three Blade films, and the much-maligned Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV movie starring David Hasselhoff — — but the bulk of his superhero career has been spent with DC’s roster, including Man of Steel, freshly titled follow-up Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which will include the live-action feature film debut of comics’ most prominent female superhero, Wonder Woman), Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and years co-writing the JSA comic book series. Yet he had less-than-flattering things to say about DC hero Martian Manhunter — and folks who know the character. After drawing that character for the show’s game, Goyer asked the crowd, “How many people in the audience have heard of Martian Manhunter?” Following a healthy smattering of applause, Goyer joked, “How many people that raised their hands have ever been laid?” Goyer continued:

Well, he can’t be fucking called ‘The Martian Manhunter’ because that’s goofy. He could be called “Manhunter.” … The whole deal with Martian Manhunter is he’s an alien living amongst us, that’s the deal. He came out in the ’50s, and he had basically all the powers of Superman, except he didn’t like fire, and he could read your mind. So here’s the best part: So he comes down to Earth and decides, unlike Superman who already exists in the world now, that he’s just going to be a homicide detective, and pretend to be a human homicide guy. … So instead of using superpowers and mind-reading and like, “Oh, I could figure out if the President’s lying or whatever,” he just decides to disguise himself as a human homicide detective. Dare to dream.

While not nearly as charged as his She-Hulk comments, Goyer’s take on Martian Manhunter also displeased observers, with Ross Lincoln on The Escapist expressing that the position “[tells] us everything we need to know about precisely what is wrong with DC’s attempt to clone Marvel’s box office success,” and that “Goyer almost appears to be ashamed that he’s even associated with comic book films.”

A Justice League film was confirmed to be in development late last month, with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman‘s Zack Snyder directing. Given his close involvement with DC Comics-based films, rumors and speculation have long connected Goyer with writing a potential Justice League movie, but that hasn’t been confirmed. Da Vinci’s Demons, the Starz drama created by Goyer, ends its second season later this month, and he’s also an executive producer on “Constantine,” the upcoming NBC series based on DC character John Constantine.

(Alex Hernandez contributed to this report.)

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Comments

107 Comments

Sounds like Goyer needs some help with MM. He sounds like he doesn’t see the potential. As for the She-Hulk comment, that is Bruce’s cousin guy. It is well established.

Gabriel Abreu

May 21, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Really?

If She-hulk is just only “a female adjunct to Hulk.” he could tell what Supergirl,Power girl, Batgirl or Batwoman are? I would love to hear that!

If you actually listen to the podcast you can clearly hear that he is kidding. There is a jokie atmosphere. One of the Captain America writers pitched a version of Hulk where Edward Northon turned into Mark Ruffalo and had to fight Eric Bana. But i dont see any headlines like “Cap America writers are totally bonkers”. STOP TAKING THINGS OUT OF CONTEXT!

Btw, when he talked about She-Hulk he talked about a theory of her Creation and not about what he actually Thinks about the character today.

Goyer is proving himself to be the arrogant, clueless git that some of us suspected him of being all along.

Has Goyer seen the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer?

People need to get a grip. The PC Police are getting so out of hand, you can’t even poke fun at fictional characters. Why should we care what one man thinks of two people who don’t exist? SMH!!!!

Much ado about nothing, really.

Of course She-Hulk is a male power fantasy. Pretty much ALL superheros–certainly the ones created prior to the 21st century– are male power fantasies of some kind or another.

Goyer’s probably spot on the creation of female comic book super-heroes. The guys were pretty much just power fantasies. But when you create stories, some for 75 years, characters eventually become more than their intention. Here’s hoping for She-Thing.

I knew he wasn’t one of us! GET HIM!!!!!

It’s very clear that he has no idea what he’s talking about regarding She-Hulk and his Martian Manhunter comments come off like he’s intentionally trolling fans.

I haven’t listened to the podcast, but my guess is that his comments were made in a joking manner. That said, I agree with everything he said about the Martian Manhunter. Most boring character ever. A green Superman without any of the charm or personality. The character has outlived whatever limited narrative usefulness he may have once had. I sincerely hope he’s not in the “Justice League” movie.

I have a feeling that if he had picked any other characters beside these two, he would still have come up with something along these lines of thought to describe those characters, even if it was someone with a decent origin like Spider-Man or Superman.

Is this guy racist against green people?

Really? People getting upset over comments like these really need to evaluate their priorities. It’s one man’s opinion and they’re pretty benign opinions at that. I have no idea why CBR thinks publishing this story is equivalent to “news” but controversy sells so best to them.

Jordan T. Maxwell

May 21, 2014 at 6:31 pm

What a jackass…his jokes are as hacky as his writing. With this kind of “understanding” of female characters and one of the staple characters of the Justice League (not to mention his HILARIOUS insights into the sex lives of comic book fans), my dwindling interest in this new film has died out entirely.

I NEVER leave comments, EVER!! Not my place to interpret someone else’s opinions…BUT, I had to have my say on this! Goyer CLEARLY has some issues…not going to try to understand them…just WOW!

On one hand, I believe these comments were meant to be jokes and I’ve certainly said stuff while joking around with friends that would be construed as very offensive if published in a news article-like format. However, yeah, this stuff is kind of offensive, and it really shows Goyer’s weakness as a writer. He’s too obsessed with origin stories. One thing I dislike about comic-book movies is that so many of them take time to tell origin stories when many origin stories are either not great stories in themselves (i.e. Martian Manhunter, Animal Man, Man-Thing) or are so iconic that they do not need to be told so many times or in such a drawn-out manner (i.e. Superman, Batman, Spider-Man). The fact that She-Hulk and Martian Manhunter do not have iconic stories does not invalidate their worth as characters; I wish more writers would “get” this and that screenwriters on new superhero films especially could just open up stories in media res.

By the way, Steely Dan: For some great Martian Manhunter stories, read basically any issue of Grant Morrison’s JLA, Giffen and DeMatteis’s Justice League, or Darwyn Cooke’s New Frontier. These stories show that J’onn is a fantastic character, even if his powers are the same as Superman’s. The work that these writers did developing J’onn’s personality really set him apart wonderfully from Superman and justify his existence, proving the old adage “there are no bad characters, only bad writers.” I’ve also heard good things about the Ostrander/Mandrake solo series, but I have never read it.

Well that explains man of steel.

Well looks like we are going to start being told to boycott Batman v Superman now because of what Goyer said and if you support that movie you are sexist lol.

He was just trolling. And it was funny. And even if you didn’t think it was funny, being offended by obviously non-serious jokes is just ridiculous. Its like posting a quote from Louie CK and claiming ‘Louie CK thinks rape is funny!’. Big ups though, you did get me to read the article, which I’m assuming was the point.

Yeah, not like Marvel has ever acknowledged that She-Hulk is the chick with whom Hulk can have sex. Oh wait, Old Man Logan…

Goyer is saying that She-Hulk’s was conceived as part of a larger male fantasy. I don’t completely disagree with that notion, but thankfully she’s much more than that.

While not particularly offensive to me (though I fully disagree with, oh, about 99% of what was said), joking or not, this sort of “trolling” of the audience isn’t just confined to Goyer. Many of the Marvel Q&As on this very site feature writers going out of their way to mock and belittle their own audience.

It actually comes across as a sort of anti-geek denial: “yeah, I write comics, but I’m COOL… I’m not like… ewww… the nerds who READ comics”, which is kind of sad really.

He’s just talking candidly.

Stop being so sensitive.

LOL at fanboys getting butt-hurt that someone’s joking about some comic book characters.

Yeah, even as jokes those are pretty bad. And to hear “nerds don’t get laid” humor in 2014 is pretty sad… I’m surprised he didn’t delight his audience with a “yo’ mama” jokes.

What’s the big deal? Everybody has the characters they don’t “get.” And that incomprehension is itself always going to be incomprehensible to others who are going to be “outraged” by their attitude. The context of the forum in which these remarks were made (and I’ve not listened to the podcast, but am going by the description here) fostered oversimplification as well as the impulse to go for the cheap laugh.

Actually, the whole origin of Martian Manhunter is pretty apt for the time period. The whole world is just getting out of WWII. They’re trying to make sense of it all. People are immigrating to the US. The detective was perfect as a way for J’onn to try to figure out how humans work. And everyone back then loved detectives. We still do. It’s not his job to right the wrongs of humans, just to observe and maybe guide them with some helpful suggestions.

Sounds like he understands the character, but doesn’t find him interesting. Or his paying public. What a shitty guy.

As for She-Hulk, eh, what comic fan hasn’t made dirty jokes about superheroes? I know men and women who have. Still, it also shows how much disdain he has for the people who make superhero comics and those who read them.

? It’s ridiculous that you put the Martian Manhunter comment in the same headline as the seriously gross She-Hulk comments. Like. The She-Hulk comments are not only misinformed about the character on pretty much every level (why she was created, what she does and how she comes across, and her relation to Bruce), but also some of the worst, most disgusting misogyny and antipathy to a comic character demonstrated by someone in the superhero-cinematic complex!!!!!!!!!!!

The Martian Manhunter stuff is just slightly awkward riffing on a more obscure character. The more shocking stuff was his imaginary interpretation of the character which ended again with a gross joke at She-Hulk’s expense!

“It actually comes across as a sort of anti-geek denial: “yeah, I write comics, but I’m COOL… I’m not like… ewww… the nerds who READ comics”, which is kind of sad really.”

Which explains why Goyer hired Matt Fraction to write for his Da Vinci TV show…they’re like peas in a pod that way.

011001010100011101

May 21, 2014 at 7:13 pm

The sad part is, the whole She Hulk thing…Millar already said and did that in his old man Logan series. So, as much as I would disagree with the central premise, I can’t say that idea isn’t out there in the ether.

Finding out the guy is tied to the Batman V Superman film has kind of burnt through the good will the film was building recently for me, but I know enough about comics to know that there is a large contingent who will jump on board because of it too.

Wonderwoman, we hardly knew thee…

If these were intended to be jokes, then I think we all know now why Man of Steel was so humorless. Goyer doesn’t have a funny bone in his body. It’s not a matter of being PC or not; it’s a matter of knowing the topic you might eventually get to write about (especially in the case of the Martian Manhunter). If it was meant to be a joke, then it should have at least been funny.

All you need to do is was the Justice League show that was on Cartoon Network awhile back to understand how awesome the Martian Manhunter is. Or read Grant Morrison’s JLA run. These should be essential for the guy who might write Justice League.

It’s sad that Warner Bros thinks this douche should be in charge of their superhero movies. I hated the Dark Knight trilogy and won’t waste my time or money on the Man of Steel/Justice League garbage.

The reason why She-Hulk was created as a character is fairly well known as Stan Lee was working with the TV producers on the Hulk TV show and was afraid they were going to create a female version of the Hulk and Marvel wouldn’t own the character.

I was always surprised that Marvel let Millar include ‘that’ transgressive reference in Old Man Logan. I bet that’s one Marvel comic Disney doesn’t hope some media moralist discovers.

Actually, as I understand it, She-Hulk came about because some TV network wanted female versions of famous super-heroes to make cartoons about. So, She-Hulk and Spider-Woman were created. However, they evolved into more.

That Martian Manhunter statement is so infuriating. If you don’y understand the characters then you are in the wrong business

011001010100011101

May 21, 2014 at 7:59 pm

As to, the question of whether or not the comments were meant humorously, I would say this.

In the joke you choose to tell, you express a great deal about yourself. What kind of humor do you find entertaining, says a lot about you as a person.

In the end, the podcasters were, like many in that field trying to get their guest to say something stupid by saying stupid things of their own, and it worked. That Goyer fell for it, and took it to the next step suggests that he is easily lead by those around him into this sort of thinking, and that he is not bothered by it himself.

And at the end of the day, this issue is relevant because the man is writing Wonder Woman’s big screen debut. His views aren’t unheard of in the comics industry, but they are things that should be a concern when they are applied further and wider than that individual’s fan base.

Supergirl's Pla

May 21, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Thank you Mr. David S. Goyer for confirming for me that you are not as smart as you think you are.

This right here, “Ross Lincoln on The Escapist expressing that the position “[tells] us everything we need to know about precisely what is wrong with DC’s attempt to clone Marvel’s box office success,” and that “Goyer almost appears to be ashamed that he’s even associated with comic book films.”
DC’s biggest problem is they have no one working on their adaptations that understand who these characters are at their core. No matter how Marvel changes their heroes. Marvel tries to keep the core of who those characters are intact.

Joking or not, Goyer’s an idiot and his particular brand of ‘humour’ wasn’t funny so much as very sad.

I don’t understand how he and Zack Snyder of all people became DC’s go-to-guys for adapting their properties for the big screen, but it says a lot about DC/Warners as a company, and their ability to make clear headed decisions.

If Goyer was indeed “joking,” he should really stick to the grim dark stuff, because his sense of humor absolutely sucks.

re:Goyer and She-Hulk….

Joking or not, and to be totally honest I heard no joking in his comments myself, it confirms my fears for their treatment of Wonder Woman in the upcoming film and renews my conviction never to see it….

The only thing of Goyer’s I’ve enjoyed were the Nolan Batman films, and Dark Knight Roses I had some problems with. After this I feel he can take his ego and shove it, I won’t be supporting his future projects.

I cant believe no one caught on to the fact that Chyna (Joanie Laurer) actually portrays She-Hulk in a series of Porn.

This interview made as clear as possible that Warner Bros. doesn’t understand DC characters. I used to think they hit rock bottom with Green Lantern and MoS, but the future seems to be even darker.

Mike Haseloff

May 21, 2014 at 9:27 pm

This is probably why he got beat up all the time.

Martian Manhunter has always been my favorite member of Justice League. He is incredibly powerful and has so much potential to be a fantastic character in a film. Just because he’s not one of the more well known super heroes doesn’t mean you couldn’t do great things with him. I mean lets face it, most people these days wouldn’t know a lot of these characters if it wasn’t for the popularity of comic book films in the first place. So why not make him popular? Make people want to know more about him. But with people like this involved with the creation of comic book films who have personal vendettas against certain characters, they are really taking away from all of the incredible things they could be doing.

So it’s evident that Goyer never bother to read She-Hulk because he would know she’s related to the Hulk unless Goyer just in a round about way said he’s into incest.

controversy over an opinion of a fictional character? sounds like a foolish excuse for a news story to me.

The reactions to Goyer’s comments are even worse than what he said. Crazy feminist brigade.

Instead of calling feminists “crazy,” you should listen to their concerns and understand why people’s life experiences lead them to hold different opinions than yours. It requires empathy.

His humor stinks of Blade: Trinity

Lol, what a clueless hack. And DC entrusts their movies with this guy? No wonder they have such trouble emulating Marvel’s success.

Hmm. So he seems to have problem with green skinned folks?

Wow, he sounds like a douchebag. And asking how many of the people who had heard of Martian Manhunter had also gotten laid? Could he be any more condescending? What an idiot.

Jackactionflash

May 21, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Doesn’t sound like someone who should be writing comic book adaptations.

I always thought that neither Christopher Nolan nor Zack Snyder liked superheroes. It looks like neither does David Goyer. I looks like DC is doomed.

The man isn’t required to like EVERY super hero created!

Honestly? this is all out of context and so any reaction without the full context is pretty much saying something about the people making the comments.

We have become to quick to judge based on soundbites without taking in the context. Which pretty much is me saying you all are being lazy and shallow especially since no one in these comments bothered to even listen or peruse the source media from which those quotes came.

Serious and constructive discussion is thus always lacking and instead you follow the tone and intention of the one who is chronicling the transgression, trusting that they have the full context; when they don’t often just rehashing someone else’s report.

That’s me saying y’all are stupid sheep.

See. context.

Context doesn’t make these statements any better. Even Goyer’s fellow guests were weirded out by his She-Hulk statements. In addition, saying ‘oh, he was only joking’ is the classic, hackneyed defence for statements that fall flat. As an example, Michael Richards claimed he was ‘only joking’.

There are two important things at play here:

1) Goyer’s misogynistic attitude towards progressive female characters like She-Hulk doesn’t bode well for someone who’s supposed to be writing the big screen debut of a female character (Wonder Woman)

2) Goyer’s complete lack of knowledge about anything outside of Batman doesn’t bode well for someone who’s supposed to be writing a movie about a team of superheroes, four of which are far less notable or popular than the big three and therefore require any prospective writer to actually know something about comics.

I think that even with the context of him joking it really reflects poorly on his character. Just because a person is joking doesn’t mean that you are not reflecting certain personal attitudes. People who joke about women belonging in the kitchen generally have misogynistic attitudes.

It’s extremely worrying how politically correct and oversensitive society is these days and personally I really do not wish to live in a society which creates an atmosphere where everyone is made to feel like they are stepping on eggshells.

@Ayo: And thank you for proving my point. Each and everything said can set off a nuclear chain reaction so it’s better if we all live and let live instead of imposing opinions over each other. You’re the one who needs some empathy and a good dose of reality check.

@Chris: Yes, this is another thing. MR and F groups on the extreme spectrum are the most vocal and unfortunately are the ones who tend to attract the most attention.

When you create a large big breasted green woman who bursts out of her clothes in every issue you have created a teenage male fantasy. Don’t rewrite history. I’m not a current She Hulk fan but she varies between male fantasy and feminist icon depending on who writes her. The early She Hulk issues were male fantasy driven like most female-based tales back then. the last time I really touched base with She Hulk was back in her Avengers run circa #280 – she was a well written character in those stories, definitely not male fantasy material.

Compare Supergirl’s early adventures – clearly not male fantasy. She was never drawn “sexy.” She was clearly created to attract girls as readers.

As for MM – I have no opinion.

Comic fans, by and large, embarrass themselves by being oversensitive and quick to react to any criticism whatsoever. It reeks of an inferiority complex. So Goyer made fun of your favourite superhero – grow up and get over it. It’s inconsequential.

It’s a shame to single out Goyer when they were ALL doing it. Still, I guess we won’t be seeing a game-changing, sense-shattering, landmark, seminal She-Hulk or Martian Manhunter series from Goyer, eh? ;)

There are a lot of characters that are similar. Superman, Captain (Shazam!) Marvel, Martian Manhunter. Batman, Green Arrow, Hawkman. The Superman and Batman families are full of copies. Elongated Man is similar to Plastic Man. We could fill encyclopedias on characters that are alike. DC and Marvel sure have…

It’s a shame than any one that is a fan of either character is basically told that the character they like is goofy or useless. Fans identify with these characters. That’s what writers and publishers WANT, right? A character that “doesn’t work” or “doesn’t make sense” is a reflection on the writer and publisher, not the diehard fan that identifies with that character.

Personally I don’t like Goyer, becasuse latetly I have spoted much anti – communist propaganda in movies he is associated. And I mostly talk about the man of steel.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! The man writing the cinematic DCU…..

What does a healthy smattering mean? Does that mean a lot?

Who cares if he doesn’t see the potential for these characters. MAYBE SOMEONE ELSE CAN WRITE THEM

I hope all the complainers are buying She hulks series…. cuz if not, GOYER WINS! (Seriously buy it)

Considering Goyer is writing for one of the biggest fetish bait female characters ever created…. Stone meet glass house….

Why must we be PC all the time? Everything revolves around saying or doing things that society expects of us. Goyer made a statement that while offensive to some was simply an opinion not stated fact. We can’t even say our opinions nowadays it’s incredible really. Donald Sterling although ignorant and racist should be allowed to be ignorant and racist.

While I agree that “She-Hulk” is indeed a goofy name, and ill conceived, it is obvious that Goyer NEVER read any She-Hulk issues. He knows next to nothing about the She-Hulk. People shouldn’t make off-hand comments about things they don’t absolutely know while being recorded in a public setting, it always comes back to bite them in the ass.

It’s nothing new. Comic fans have to stop getting upset with Hollywood writers who make fun of the traditions and tropes of comic book history. It’s not just Hollywood guys, it’s the “hipster” writers (who I assume ultimately have their eyes on becoming Hollywood writers) who take their shots as well. Navel gazing and having a sneering attitude towards the genre has been happening for years. Goyer’s success has been to piggy back onto concepts created by other people so theres probably a little self-loathing involved when he discusses the concepts and characters because he hasn’t created anything significant on his own.

I’ve never read Martian Manhunter but he seems like a likable character from all the movies and shows that I’ve seen him in. But I didn’t find Goyer’s jokes about him that awful. He was obviously joking so nobody can really know the extent to which this actually represents his honest opinion on these characters and thus it’s much commotion over nothing.

Same with She-Hulk. Obviously she is a part of male power fantasy (like most superheroes) and was conceived as a female counterpart of the Hulk and not as some feminist icon. So I think that Goyer is actually right on that part. On Hulk banging She-Hulk… Who wouldn’t tap that given the chance even if she was your cousin? She’s one fine looking chick!

Okay I’m joking, just like Goyer did so no need for anyone to get disgusted or upset. Who hasn’t made an inappropriate joke sometimes? Getting angry at someone for something that everyone has done at some point is ridiculous. His worst offense here is probably making jokes that weren’t all that funny.

This is really a non-news mostly but obviously CBR wants to make their articles interesting so they’ll do what every other news site does and make big headlines about “controversial” comments even if they are just jokes and nothing more.

Nobody should take any of this too seriously.

“It actually comes across as a sort of anti-geek denial: “yeah, I write comics, but I’m COOL… I’m not like… ewww… the nerds who READ comics”, which is kind of sad really.”

Yeah, it did sound a bit like that to me too.

his comments are not wrong. the current fan base has failed to understand the comment and the characters history. What Goyer argues is most likely the logic behind the creation of the She Hulk, Objectification and sexual fantasy for the audience and the writers. you have to remember that she hulk was created in a time when marvel would regular publish “Marvel Girl Pin Ups” and Marvel Swim Suit Specials. Early she hulk comics had her a ditzy character who would directly talk to the audience and tease them with shower scenes.

Goyer is not saying that character was created for the hulk as a character to have sex with, but for the reader who fantasies about being the like the hulk, strong, unstoppable. If the she hulk was created to fulfill sexual fantasises then the character is not different from porn star who sole purpose to fulfill sexual fantasises.

Additionally if you consider the concept of the hulk and then applied to any sexual act would clearly have undertones of Male rape fantasies.

She’s not the only character, even today Emma Frost sole purpose in the Marvel Universe is to be eye candy and sexual tease the male audience who have fantasies about dating Posh Blonde girls who where skimpy outfits. I pretty much convinced that marvel dropped jean/scott in favor of Emma/Scott because they knew the audience would find Emma Frost a more interesting sexual exciting.

oh and you if don’t believe me, and think that comic book audiences are not that shallow, look at the New 52 World’s Finest. sales where not strong enough so DC brought back the revealing costume/clevage for power girl to please the audience who had fantasies about her.

Oh for crying out loud, lighten up, people.

First things first, the context may have been a jovial one, but the comments themselves are still rather shocking, if not downright disturbing. The context also includes Goyer himself, the man responsible for ‘Sucker Punch’, which I, as a white heterosexual male, found disgustingly misogynistic. Hearing this from him and remember that little fact alone should ring alarm bells for anyone sensible and who knows Goyer is now practically heading the DCU.

Secondly, yes, She-Hulk’s creation did have a particular agenda behind it, but it is definitely nothing like what Goyer here joked about. It has much more to do with the TV series and the possibility that it would introduce a similar character, beating the comics to the punch.

Is She-Hulk an extension of the male power fantasy? Yes and no. She has practically always been drawn to be beautiful and model-like, but she always had character as well. Stan Lee, her co-creator, stated (in response to Goyer’s comments) that “I know I was looking for a new female superhero, and the idea of an intelligent Hulk-type grabbed me.” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2014/05/21/she-hulk-co-creator-stan-lee-weighs-in-on-david-goyer-debate-only-a-nut-would-even-think-of-that/) Personally, I’m inclined to believe him, as the uniqueness of the character having intelligence is commented upon (by Iron Man) in one story soon after her first appearance. As for her beauty, it’s not as if any super heroine is created without making her attractive, so it’s not necessarily the main facet her creators had in mind when creating her. (It’s the standard of the industry, not the sole intention of the creators.) Bryne’s ‘Sensational She-Hulk’ didn’t shy away from admitting the male power fantasy behind She-Hulk, but it’s done in such a tongue-in-cheek way as to point fun at comic tropes in general, not to exploit the character of She-Hulk in particular (it’s even said outright in the series a couple of time that sexy poses on the cover are to boost sales, for instance).

As for Martian Manhunter, admittedly, I’m not too familiar with him to be able to comment. That being said, if you want to comment on the inherent goofiness of one comic book character, he could have chosen someone else for that criticism and stayed away from his joke about the negative lonely vigirn nerds stereotype.

It’s great to be able to laugh at ourselves from time to time, but Goyer’s ‘jokes’ – and those of the host, to be fair – come off as so mean-spirited that they lose any comedic value they had in the first place. Someone outside the comic book film industry like Frankie Boyle could have probably got away with it, but Goyer is heading the DCU and introducing Wonder Woman (whose depiction did not start out as a feminist icon either). It comes off as him disparaging any potential audience of his work and the material it is based on.

All in all, the whole issue has just reminded me of two things. 1) I miss the Dini-Timm era when heroes in the DCAU were actually mature, as opposed to dark and gritty, and creators had a better sense of humour which didn’t demean the subject they work with. 2) Marvel is way ahead of WB/DC in the film sector for a reason: their films are actually fun and their directors, cast and crew don’t shy away from admitting the inherent goofiness of their characters and having fun with it. The irreverent – and successful – marketing for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ clearly shows it.

Actually, sorry, he was not responsible for ‘Sucker Punch’. SO that part, I admit, was a wrong assumption of mine and should in no way be related to this discussion.

Bibbinsbaggins

May 22, 2014 at 5:53 am

Umm, you guys do realize that Dan Slott wrote a bunch of she hulk comics where all she did was have sex with different people. Literally going up to guys and asking to have sex. So what Goyer is saying is pretty much true.

I’ve long disliked this guy and he continues to add more reasons to. He’s an arrogant ass that somehow got heavily involved in writing comics for the big screen, even though he clearly (from interviews and from his screenplays) doesn’t understand them. Also, he is apparently very familiar with the recent Vivid Entertainment take on She-Hulk, since that seems to be his primary influence on his opinion of her.

the flying pyjamas

May 22, 2014 at 6:40 am

These comments are obviously meant as a joke, sure. But holy cow he has a weird perspective of interpreting comic book characters. To say She-Hulk’s creation was merely a result of male power fantasies is rather outlandish considering there’s more to She-Hulk then just being a sexy big-green woman… come on Goyer.

You would expect better language considering he’s handling the writing for the movies. With this kind of commentary, he’s just coming off as a jackass hahahaha

Goyer asked the crowd, “How many people in the audience have heard of Martian Manhunter?” Following a healthy smattering of applause, Goyer joked, “How many people that raised their hands have ever been laid?”

Bravo, Mr. Goyer, bravo! Congratulations on insulting your audience! Great job demeaning all of the fans who read the comic books and movies you write, without whom you would not have a damn career.

Y’know, I was a fan of Goyer’s work on JSA and the recent trilogy of Batman films. But after this I have absolutely no desire to read or watch a single thing he writes from this point forward.

No wonder DC Comics is in such trouble, turning out such awful crap. It’s difficult to produce quality books when you have nothing but contempt for your readers.

Goyer doesn’t get a pass because he was ‘only joking’. That he finds this line of discussion funny is very sad. He should be embarrassed, and Warner should be embarrassed of him.

There are girls that are excited about superheroes, and this crap alienates females, and those that care about them.

Then there’s his lame virginity joke, which shows just how out-of-touch Goyer is, and how misguided Warner is for giving him these characters to work with. Is there an element of truth to what he’s saying? Sure, but that’s all the more reason to try and be better. The DC franchise could be every bit as successful as Marvel, if they would respect the material, and work to elevate the stories, rather than emphasize the worst aspects.

Wow, the super-PC brigade has really jumped on this. I think this would be a good time for comic book bloggers and messageboard crusaders everywhere to take a good long look in the mirror, have another think about what they are getting so worked up about, and lighten up.

Here’s something this interview proves that I’ve suspected for a long time: Goyer does in fact hold comic book characters in contempt, as well as the fans who want to see those characters treated faithfully.

His “porn star/who’s been laid?” comments show his disdain for comic book fans who know and love the material.

As for the characters, Goyer is not interested in their original versions. He only cares about Superman or Batman when he can alter them to meet his cynical, deconstructionist, and unimaginative opinion of them.

The character of The Batman didn’t work as he’s existed for decades, so he had to apply “realism” (people blame Nolan too much for this) to the character. Hence we got a Bruce Wayne who was able to fight, but didn’t have the brilliance to devise his own costume, gadgets, and Batmobile. That would be too “unrealistic.”

Goyer showed his hatred for Superman by the various comments he made before and after MoS debuted. He actually says in one interview (Empire, maybe?) that he gave fans the “Superman they didn’t know they wanted” and that many people upset about MoS overall were simply unable to let go of their “nostalgia” for the Chris Reeve movies. I’m guessing that contempt extends to fans of the comic book version of Superman as well.

The WB continues its streak of not knowing what to do with DC characters in film. I don’t know how Michael Uslan can work under the same roof and on the same projects as cynical hacks like Goyer and Snyder.

If Uslan had convinced TPTB to give Timm and Dini the keys to the DC cinematic kingdom, Man of Steel would have been the greatest Superman movie ever made and the meeting of Superman and The Batman would be the greatest single cinematic event in the history of the medium.

Instead, it’s going to be more dark, cynical, morose, and overly violent trash in the vein of Man of Steel.

It is never appropriate to crack a “lonely-virgin-nerd” joke, and it comes off even worse coming from someone in the industry of comic book films. It makes Goyer look self-loathing. I sincerely hope he seeks out professional help to sort out whatever problems he might have.

If you had a daughter who was interested in comic books you might not feel like ‘lightening up’.

If you took a good long look in the mirror, you might feel concerned about how the world of fandom discusses women.

If you were a smart movie studio, you might want to think about the other 50% of the population, who also buys movie tickets

if he thinks she hulk is a porn star wonder if he feels the same way about wonder woman espicaly since she hulk is the hulks cousin and has a fanbase. though chyna would be perfect to play her in a movie version. as for martian manhunter guess david forgot that he was one of the founders of the jl .guess we now know two characters goyer will never tackle now.

The Batman: Your thoughts mirror mine pretty much 100%…

As for Uslan —
he executive-produced or was involved with a lot of this crap, too. How much control he has over anything is something I do not know.

I think it was a shame he was involved with The Spirit movie personally.
I will probably never see another film project of any sort attempted with that character in my lifetime!
The TV film version was far more faithful to the character than that derivative Sin City B.S. Frank Miller foisted on us…

Dini and Timm are pretty much in the world of animation. I don’t know what their interests are as far as live-action goes. I do get the sense that as much as they liked working on DC projects they didn’t want to spend their entire careers or be chained to the characters forever, either. Can’t force people to stay in one place and never take chances elsewhere. There are many, many instances of people overstaying their welcome or keeping on projects well past the fresh date.

It’s all about the stars lining up and getting the right people involved on things at the right time. Occasionally, you get memorable results like the first two Christopher Reeve films, Batman: TAS, Superman: TAS, and Justice League.
There are things that may be big hits in their time but they will be fade if they have no integrity or character to them… We will still be talking about the film and TV projects I listed above 20 years from now but I think the work Nolan, Goyer, and Snyder have done will probably be in the dustbin along with most of the Marvel product. One of the big things that distinguishes the older projects I listed was that they were more faithful to the sources, introduced some good ideas, AND had heart. I don’t really see a lot of heart let alone smart things being done in a lot of the films today. Honestly, I have very little desire to see most of the superhero films produced today considering who’s starring in and/or making those films behind the scenes…

If you want to read some really awesome Martian Manhunter stories that demonstrate what a great character J’onn J’onzz is, and why he is a very different figure than Superman, you should absolutely check out the MM series by John Ostrander & Tom Mandrake that was published a decade or so ago. Really great, underrated stuff.

GC001, I agree with you to an extent about Dini and Timm, but I have a feeling they’d jump at the chance to make the move to live-action, even in the role of screenwriters/creative consulatants/executive producers. If they were guiding the DC cinematic ship and there were quality directors involved like Brad Bird, we’d have the perfect mix of talent behind the camera.

It’s a shame for Cavill and the rest, as the casting of MoS was the best thing about the movie. Imagine what they’d have done with a better script and director…

Brian from Canada

May 22, 2014 at 8:23 am

The Batman is 100% right: recently, Goyer commented in general that he doesn’t make movies that comic book fans want to see, he makes movies that the comic fans didn’t know they wanted to see.

But the script writing isn’t done out of contempt. Goyer really believes that it benefits the characters to put them into contexts that communicate a point about the real world; it’s a flaw in his writing that he often ends up doing it in a direction that is incompatible with the texts he’s basing the character from.

The contempt comes from Hollywood itself. Avi Arad, who kick-started the whole Marvel cinematic empire in the late 90s, believed comic book fans were an insignificant group of complainers who had nothing better to do than nitpick about tiny details. Nerds are comedic targets: just look at Big Bang Theory, where the nerdy components are shown as loved and laughable while non-nerds rarely have a problem that’s a joke.

But we all know that not all fans are nerdy fanboys or fangirls; tiny details can go past, but not a dour and dark version of Superman when he’s supposed to be the symbol of hope.

WB isn’t hiring Goyer for his appeasement to the fan base. They’re hiring him because Blade made money, Dark Knight made serious money, and Man Of Steel made money too. He’s not a failure.

The only reason Marvel isn’t doing the same is because Marvel now has comic book people running their empire. Brian Bendis is an advisor, as is Mark Millar, while Joe Quesada runs the whole shebang. Mocking readers in one area might hurt the sales in another.

It’s easy to see how he got Man of Steel so wrong now.

PEOPLE, just STOP! Everyone is ready to be offended and itching to get angry at people these days. Goyer only speculated that the CREATION of She-Hulk’s creation may have had something to do with male power fantasy.

Did everyone forget how much more ingrained and overt sexism was back then and how much more acceptable it was? Is this really a surprise that someone could theorize this in an off-the-cuff way?

GET A GRIP. Small minds….

@Dylan

” If you had a daughter who was interested in comic books you might not feel like ‘lightening up’.

If you took a good long look in the mirror, you might feel concerned about how the world of fandom discusses women.

If you were a smart movie studio, you might want to think about the other 50% of the population, who also buys movie tickets ”

Ah yes, I forgot how quickly you guys jump to hasty conclusions about people based on little or no evidence. Actually, I do have a young daughter who is interested in comic books. Crazy, huh? And here you thought you knew everything about me.

I wouldn’t want her to read Goyer’s version of She-Hulk. I also wouldn’t want her to read Dan Slott’s PC-blogger-approved “empowered” version of She-Hulk who has meaningless sex with random people just for kicks. But, I’m not here freaking out over either one.

Even if a joke, I have to wonder–

Are they actively participating in a bad will campaign for the MoS sequel?

–Affleck
–WW’s big screen debut relegated to a guest role
–overcrowding what is ostensibly a Superman movie in a mad rush to JL
–Affleck again (in costume this time)
–a title that puts the spotlight on a “guest star” and references the overcrowding
–now this

I do soooo love it when people come across a point of view that they disagree with and, instead of offering a tangible argument for their own position, they fall back to shouting “Stop being so damn sensitive and politically correct, you whiners!”

It’s sad to me that this is the guy in charge of writing the Justice League movie. Martian Manhunter is probably my favorite member of the Justice League and it sounds like he’s going to receive ZERO respect from the filmmakers.

This has gone way to far people! We have become a world of cry babies! GROW UP!!!!!

I agree, She-Hulk was created as a green sex object, regardless of what meaning later readers may attribute to her. Would Stephanie Cooke like to try retconning the whole nude jump-rope motif? And my memory seems to agree with Goyer’s – there was a plot line in which Hulk tried to have sex with his cousin.

Now, take Stephanie Cooke’s urging to have She-Hulk maul Goyer, and turn it around into a plea by a man for Hulk to maul Cooke, and I do believe Cooke and sisters would be crying rape. Totes hypocritical, Steph.

David S. Goyer needs to learn to play well with others if he’s going to keep getting paid to write big budget comic book movies. First, he should leave all shiny happy green people alone, which means remaining silent on Drax the Destroyer, the Super Skrull and Gamora. Second, he should not question the psychosexual motives behind why characters were created unless he is a licensed psychiatrist. Having used Martian Manhunter myself in my JUSTICE LEAGUE DETROIT screenplay; who will hopefully be played by Bruce Willis; naturally I hope that David S. Goyer takes a very long well-deserved vacation and leaves all future comic book movies to the rest of us! :D

Wah, wah! David Goyer made fun of my favourite comic character. I must defend myself or people might think I read comics about a huge green superhero with enormous boobies who wears skin-tight spandex outfits and used to run around in ripped mini-dresses! Wah Wah!

Get a life. Complain about something worthwhile for a change.

It isn’t defending a “silly” or “Un-PC” character, it’s just that it’s simply not true.

People like Jude and the Truth are getting it exactly backwards. She-Hulk was not created as a sex object and later “improved”. It was the opposite. She was created as a relatively (and weirdly) sexless character in her earlier comics by David Kraft and Mike Vosburg, and “sexed up” later, by the time John Byrne saw that potential in her and started working on her first in Fantastic Four and later in her own series.

The nude stuff Jude mentions, etc. is all from the late 1980s and early 1990s, with Byrne.

Yes, THAT version of the character, that came LATER had huge amounts of fanservice, and ironically was also a lot more charismatic than the earlier takes.

But Goyer is simply factually incorrect. She-Hulk, when created, and in her first series, that was not very successful, was more or less a sexless character (and not very charismatic either). Yes, she is a sex object under some later writers, but she wasn’t created as one, as he said.

Without Goyer writing BLADE. Where would MARVEL be today???? Hmmm?? Bankrupt without any big films in the 2000s. Remember Fox only went through with 2000s X-Men bc BLADE paved the way. Do you ppl even remember how hard it use to be for Hollywood to agree to make a comic book film? Especially a MARVEL COMIC BOOK film??? Or how 1998 BLADE paved the way for Sony’s 2002 Spiderman. Most of you fans complaining were NOT even into comics until these films were made. THANK GOYER.

This guy is REEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLY opinionated. This why his comic book related movies are sucking right now. He doesn’t seem to take the characters seriously.

Regarding Goyer’s Martian Manhunter pitch (and also a sort of throwback to the recent passing of H.R. Giger): Isn’t it really similar to the movie Species. Also, I think Chyna (the female wrestler that he mentions) actually played She-Hulk in, like, Porn-Avengers, or something.

As for his comments, I don’t know, I like She-Hulk and J’onn, but this was obviously a jokey performance for the audience that they had. And sure it is crude, not really that funny, and factually incorrect, but is in not totally incorrect. That sort of sexualization of She-Hulk (or something close to that) definitely showed up in comics here and there.

I have to say, I rather like the response of current She-Hulk writer Charles Soule. I was sort of on the fence about picking up his (and Pulido’s) book, but I’m really tempted now. Hope this controversy actually helps the book.

Dude wrote Dollman vs. Demonic Toys for christ sakes, he needs to get over himself… He’s actually never written anything on his own that was any good, mostly he just does revisions and clean up for people with actual talent.

He co-wrote the very acclaimed JSA run with Geoff Johns, which wasn’t as good when he left. He wrote the script for the Blade movies, and co-wrote the Batman trilogy and Man of Steel, all of which were huge successes. If he wasn’t capable, he wouldn’t keep getting that kind of work, especially from the same people.

Unit99, I’ve been reading comics for thirty years. That’s precisely why I can spot a poor adaptation, and Goyer’s work fits that description and then some. No one can deny his work on Blade, but it’s not like Blade was a popular character at the time Goyer got him onto the big screen, nor was Goyer particularly faithful to the Blade mythos overall.

Jeff_14, those “huge successes” are fairly subjective. In terms of financial success, sure. But quality? Not so much. The Dark Knight Trilogy misses the mark as a fully faithful adaptation of The Batman and his mythology. This is due to Goyer’s blatant disregard for comic book storytelling, characterization, and style in favor of “heightened reality” which is nothing more than an excuse to re-cast these icons in his own image.

The ONLY fully faithful adaptations of Batman are the works of Bruce Timm and the B:TAS team and the Arkham series of video games, which owe their faithfulness and success in part to the writing and influence of Paul Dini.

If the WB was really interested in having their cake and eating it too, they’d have tapped those guys after looking at the decades-long success of their animated properties and the mega-success of the Arkham games. Instead, they give the movies over to a cynical egotist who only respects what HE can do with a comic book character and a talentless hack director who has yet to make a movie with any real substance.

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