Trigger Warning for Rape
DARIUS: Okay, now for the rape. When Apollo crashes, we see the Commander, the Captain America analogue, with his hands on his belt. When we next see the Commander, it looks like he’s zipping up. The clear implication is that the Commander has raped Apollo. Moreover, when the Commander enters the nursery in #13, he leaps over the counter and the Wasp analogue asks Tank Man, the Iron Man analogue, if he’s going to “do” them. The implication is that the Commander has liked sexual conquest with martial conquest, that he actualizes this upon the beaten bodies of everyone from Apollo, a powerful super-hero, to virtually helpless counter ladies. The DC message boards have been on fire about this.
MILLAR: I’m delighted and fascinated by the response. And you know what? I’m not telling. I want you to draw your own conclusions on this one. I’m leaving this open. I wrote the scene (and subsequent follow-ups) to be ambiguous and, like all the best drama and horror, I want the reader to use his or her imagination and make up their own mind. What intrigues me about this is that we saw the Commander (again off-camera) rape two nurses last issue and Tank Man burn a maternity ward full of sleeping babies.
DARIUS: Right. I loved that. “Are you kidding?”
MILLAR: An awful lot of people were very disturbed by this (and this was my intention), but I certainly didn’t write these scenes just for shock value. The emphasis on solving real world problems highlighted at the beginning of #13 was given a superhero twist here. Weren’t rape-camps and burning babies some of the most shocking things we heard about from, for example, Kosovo. And isn’t Kosovo, you might have noticed, where Earth’s Premiere Super-team honed their skills (according to Tank Man in #14)?
DARIUS: The point about how these tactics, burning babies and whatnot, are real-world tactics is particularly salient, I think. Somehow, when it’s in art, people get offended. It’s like there were no concentration camps — or like art should just entertain, like some Disney cartoon, always alluding enough to vice to tantalize but never being so obvious as to cause a moral revulsion.
Source: http://sequart.org/magazine/2186/mark-millar-on-the-authority/( Read more... )