turtlefu: (Default)
[personal profile] turtlefu posting in [community profile] scans_daily
So I was reading Gail Simone's Atom run for the first time, and a specific page reminded me of an incident in a recent Flashpoint miniseries.

Look familiar?

WARNING !!! GORE!! DO NOT CLICK IF BLOOD AND OTHER VIOLENT IMAGERY OFFENDS YOU!!

(From All-New Atom #5, by Gail Simone and Eddy Barrows)


(From Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #1, by Adam Glass and Rodyney Buchemi)


So, the question is: which one of these is acceptable? Are they both wrong? Why is one better than the other? Gail Simone's work is usually praised, especially her dark, violent Secret Six. Flashpoint: Legion of Doom was universally panned.

Thoughts?

Date: 2011-09-10 09:45 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] long_silence
Well Dwarfstar is a supervillain we expect that kind of gory crap from him.

Date: 2011-09-10 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
I think the Atom one is more effective/acceptable for a few reasons:

1. The Atom page doesn't show nearly as much. You have one panel of the guy holding his throat and then you have your bad guy (I'm pretty sure that isn't Ryan doing that) with some blood splatters. It actually gives you the illusion that it might actually be worse--so it succeeds at being less offensive and actually scarier at the same time.

2. Gail has a history of being able to do more than just gore. Now, that might not be fair to Mister Glass, but it's not like the that was the ONLY thing that was criticized about with his Legion of Doom mini.

3. Atom has a better logic to it. While the Atoms have had in the past the ability to hit people with their regular weight, they've always been portrayed as having the same weight as other small things. Plastic Man, however, while probably lighter due to his form, is kind-of harder to buy that he could slip into someone's stomach without the person noticing or dying immediately from it.

Date: 2011-09-10 09:55 pm (UTC)
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwolf_oakley
Something like this was done in X-FACTOR, after Peter David's original run. Madrox was attacked by a particularly brutal villain, so Madrox stuck on fist in the villain's mouth, slammed the other fist on the ground, and the new duplicate exploded the villain from the inside out.

Date: 2011-09-10 10:10 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Two deal with two points you raise

1) Yes, it's not the Atom, it's the similarly empowered villain Dwarfstar (the one who ultimately hired Deathstrokes Titans to kill Ryan Choi.

3) The Atom shrinking device has two controls, one controls size, the other controls weight. Ray and Ryan can be their apparent weight based on their size, or their actual weight based on their mass.

Date: 2011-09-10 10:20 pm (UTC)
an_idol_mind: (Default)
From: [personal profile] an_idol_mind
It seems that there is a niche for "super small or compressed superhero explodes from inside somebody."

I think my personal favorite is when the Punisher stole some Pym technology and did this trick to a bunch of gangsters. I think he had the best one-liner.

Date: 2011-09-10 10:27 pm (UTC)
sigmund_droid: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sigmund_droid
oooo what was it?

Date: 2011-09-10 10:32 pm (UTC)
an_idol_mind: (Default)
From: [personal profile] an_idol_mind
It was a pizza delivery joke that was unfortunately too context-specific to work just by a quote. If I can find the issue, I'll post it.

Date: 2011-09-10 10:33 pm (UTC)
proteus_lives: (Default)
From: [personal profile] proteus_lives
That is a pretty cool way to off someone.

Date: 2011-09-10 10:40 pm (UTC)
bruinsfan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bruinsfan
In a purely pragmatic sense, the Atom one bothers me more than the Flashpoint one. Unless Dwarfstar can increase his own density far beyond normal at human size, he should be squished almost as badly as the guy he's inside is exploded - it'd be like getting hit hard by a side of beef from every direction at once.

Whereas Plastic Man has turned himself into people's clothes and been worn unnoticed by them in canon stories, so I pretty much chalk up anything he does as unbound by the laws of physics.

Date: 2011-09-10 10:48 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
The Atom pretty much breaks every law of particle physics too in every appearance, so it's a broad brush.

I imagine the energetic dynamics involved in massive manipulation of mass might well protect the Atom too

Date: 2011-09-10 10:49 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
"Look at me! I'm an ANCHOVY!" ?

Date: 2011-09-10 11:06 pm (UTC)
sigmund_droid: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sigmund_droid
I'm just imagining him Kool-aiding out of a gangster yelling "PIZZA TIME!"

Date: 2011-09-10 11:32 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jlbarnett
well, Plas has disguised himself as clothes, and I think suitcases in the past.

Date: 2011-09-10 11:34 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] kd_the_movie
This actually , originally I believe, is a tactic that 3boot Brainiac 5 and Micro Lass (shinking violet in other continuities) used against a homicidal geomorph named Elysion. Brainy hurled a rock covered in dust at Elyision that he inhaled and Micro Lass burst out of his shoulder.

It was a badass scene.

Date: 2011-09-10 11:51 pm (UTC)
thehefner: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thehefner
How's "neither" for an answer? Because I dislike seeing both in my superhero comics. There are certainly exceptions, but this is the sort of thing which I care less and less to see in stories. It's worthy of Mark Millar, and generally speaking, it's not for me. I don't even like it in Gail's work that much either.

Date: 2011-09-11 12:38 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
There's also the reverse seen in the Post-Zero Hour Legion where, during the try-outs for the Imskian member of the Legion, between Micro-Lad, Shrinking Violet and Iota, a murder is committed by slipping a small spike of shrink field resistant metal into Iota's food, so when she shrinks down during the tests, the spike becomes, relatively speaking, much larger and kills her. It turns out the spike thing is how Imskian prisoners are kept in their cells.

Date: 2011-09-11 02:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daningram.insanejournal.com
Eh, personally, Gail does it better and uses it less. So her gore doesn't lose it's impact, and usually compliments the story.

Gail knows that less is more, and it shows.

Date: 2011-09-11 03:48 am (UTC)
thormonger: (Beavis)
From: [personal profile] thormonger
I haven't read the Atom series, but I did read the LOD mini, and the latter did seem to have a lot of gore-for-the-sake-of-gore that made it my least favorite of the Flashpoint tie-ins. If I had to base on the context of the two panels here, though, Dwarfstar's an established villain, whereas Plastic Man is supposed to be a hero. Granted, Flashpoint was all about making everyone anti-heroes at best, and more like monsters, but it was still jarring to see a character who's normally comic relief being so brutally violent.

Date: 2011-09-11 05:41 am (UTC)
an_idol_mind: (Default)
From: [personal profile] an_idol_mind
Posted here now. The Punisher uses the pizza as his insertion method. Insert dirty jokes as needed.

Date: 2011-09-11 07:42 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
The panels look very much the same, to me. Two panels with a guy exploding versus three panels with Plas coming out if a guy's mouth.

Less is more? They're both pretty bad. Gail's is actually showing more blood, from the pages presented.

Date: 2011-09-11 07:59 am (UTC)
arbre_rieur: (Default)
From: [personal profile] arbre_rieur
Yeah, the ATOM one even has an intestine visible...

Date: 2011-09-11 10:55 am (UTC)
filkertom: (Default)
From: [personal profile] filkertom
+ a whole lot.

Date: 2011-09-11 01:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daningram.insanejournal.com
I meant within the context of the series themselves. Plastic Man smuggling himself into the prison inside of someone is merely the tip of a gore iceberg.

Date: 2011-09-11 03:26 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
It still feels like double standards to just say it's okay for Gail to do it, to me, given she's written some pretty grisly and gory stuff herself where the violence just feels unnecessary.

Date: 2011-09-11 03:29 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
This. I think the current trend for blood and guts in comics is appalling, and is just as bad as the trend for villains doing nothing but murdering people. I don't particularly like Gail as a writer, personally, but she always struck me as better than Millar.

Whereas that page with Dwarfstar might as well be out of Nemesis.

Date: 2011-09-11 04:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daningram.insanejournal.com
How?

Gail's stuff is of a higher standard, thus is measured differently.

Glass' stuff is crap, and is judged as such. Hell, he uses the same 'Plastic Man tears his way out of someone's stomach' twice in the same mini series!

I'd be willing to bet the Atom issue where Dwarfstar kills that guy isn't half as senselessly gory as one issue of Legion of Doom.

Date: 2011-09-11 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daningram.insanejournal.com
Hell, look at the scans above.

Glass drags out the brutality. Cluemaster bleeding everywhere, bloody hands coming out of the mouth, followed by arm. 4 panels of gore

In contrast, Gail's use of Dwarfstar is quick and brutal. The victim grabs his throat and then bam! The Killer. It's less, and frankly, more effective.

Date: 2011-09-11 05:28 pm (UTC)
bluestar86: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bluestar86
Neither? Maybe it's just me being weird, but I don't want to read comics about grown men exploding out of the heads and faces of other grown men. This isn't Greek myth, but it was weird then, it's weird now.

Date: 2011-09-11 05:56 pm (UTC)
whitesycamore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
I was beginning to think I was the only one who felt that way. I'm also puzzled about why Gail gets such a pass on her fascination with rape, sexualised violence, and women as sexual commodities. Because she writes about that a LOT, and most of the time it's peripheral to the story.

Date: 2011-09-11 07:00 pm (UTC)
whitesycamore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
That BoP issue with Huntress and Catman springs to mind as a particularly annoying example - some lady has been taken hostage during a burglary gone wrong. She's also asthmatic, and has dangerous attacks when under stress. Well ok. We have some danger there, obviously. But then Gail decides to introduce the threat of OH NO, ALSO THEY WILL PROBABLY RAPE HER.

I'm just... why? Why does all peril that involves women also have to automatically involve rape-peril? Because she does that all the time in Secret Six as well.

I think she's a brilliant writer, but tbh that aspect of her work really skeeves me out. I read comics for fun escapism, not more of the same old woman = violable vagina that I see everywhere else.

Date: 2011-09-11 07:09 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
You're trying to put it down as being in the execution, I'm just saying it's unnecessary full-stop. I think you're giving Gail a free pass because you enjoy her work, whereas I believe, like whitesycamore, that Gail uses the exact same thing her peers do.

Both styles 'work'. Glass is slower and creepier, whereas Gail plays it quick and brutal. Both do the same thing, generating a needlessly squicky death scene.

I actually think Glass' version works better, frankly, because it's creepy, rather than having some bad guy explode out of someone's corpse and look like they're basking in the guts while someone else leers at them.

Date: 2011-09-11 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daningram.insanejournal.com
I'm curious, have you read Glass' other work? In Legion of Doom alone, good lord, it was excessive.

You can ignore it all you want, but execution matters. People complained about Glass' scenes because they included burning a man to death, the scene with Plastic Man done *twice*, a man getting his eyes stabbed out and another having his heart torn out via his throat, another character had their nose bitten off and was then decapitated via their mouth and another had his head popped like a grape.

In three issues. And on top of that, the characterization was shit. When Johns did a stand alone Heatwave story, he had Heatwave burn two familes to death and he was still more interesting/sympathetic in that single issue than Heatwave was in Legion of Doom.

So yes, Gail gets a free pass in comparison. She uses less gore, more and better characterization and she makes sure that it has impact, and isn't there just to be there.

Date: 2011-09-11 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daningram.insanejournal.com
So all we get is one gory scene committed by an evil mastermind and a sociopathic villain?

Not seeing the issue...

Date: 2011-09-11 08:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daningram.insanejournal.com
No characterization? We see just how ruthless both villains are while we see the mastermind going through the motions of his big plan. I don't understand why he has to have killed some known character, honestly.

Date: 2011-09-11 09:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daningram.insanejournal.com
So what you're saying is that there's no circumstances under which you would not complain ;)

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