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Sexism in JLA: Cry for Justice #2?

I saw this discussed the other day on the Comic Book Resources’ forum, so I didn’t think it was really necessary to bring it over to here, but a reader sent me an e-mail today asking me to talk about it on the blog, so I’ll just post what Eric sent to me:

I was reading Cry for Justice #2, and I was really grossed out by something I found to be incredibly sexist on the first page.

Hal Jordan and Ollie Queen are talking in Gotham and Hal confesses that he needs to tell Ollie something. Ollie asks if it is about a threeway with Huntress and Lady Blackhawk that apparently the whole super hero community knows about. OK, we’ll get to the sexism in a sec, but first off that is an awful line of dialogue. After storming out on a JLA meeting, Ollie thinks that Hal needs to confess a threeway? How does that make any sense?

Then there is the actual threeway itself. Huntress and Lady Blackhawk were Birds of Prey together, and that book was partially notable because for all of Gail Simone’s stellar run, none of the all-female cast had any series relationships (besides the editorially mandated Green Arrow-Black Canary thing, and Black Canary left the book before that got serious). It was a book not about women like Catwoman and Talia fighting over Batman, but about women who were friends, teammates, and not each other’s competition.

This throwaway line of dialogue adds nothing to the story, except making Hal seem like he uses alcohol to get laid. It also paints Blackhawk and Huntress in a very negative light; they never had serious romantic relations with anyone during a lengthy run of a team comic, but a bottle of grappa gets them naked together? They go from being professional teammates and friends to some fantasy groupies. Nice fanfic, Robinson. With one line you did a good job at tearing down years of progressive writing by Simone.

I haven’t seen this mentioned by anyone else online yet, and I guess a lot of people don’t see what’s wrong about it. But I think if Huntress was congratulating Black Canary on a threeway with Green Lantern and Green Arrow, fanboys would be up in arms. People can justify that it would be different because Hal and Ollie are guys, but that just shows how gross and sexist this whole thing is.

You can continue reading to see both the page itself and some quotes from Gail Simone (who wrote Huntess and Lady Blackhawk for a few years in Birds of Prey) on the topic from the aforementioned CBR thread…

The page…

Some interesting reactions from Gail Simone, from the aforementioned thread:

I could see Lady Blackhawk, actually. Two pilots having some sexy fun, okay, I get that.

But I hate to see Huntress get branded as a slut again. The whole point of the Josh story was for her to realize she deserved better.

And I can’t see them doing a threesome, that affects their friendship, and the Birds were ALREADY one of the very few books about female friendship which is so fucking rare in comics it might as well be moonbeans captured in mason jars. Not that friends can’t have sex, but once again, this is all about the man, and “Well played, sir” is just, ugh.

I love James Robinson. But I really feel like most writers of mainstream comics get the sex thing all wrong over and over. It’s all wink wink nudge nudge and women as trophies and thumbs up and it seems so weird and off-character to me.

But I haven’t read it in context and I’m just the dumb girl anyway.

But James Robinson is a great writer, he’s never written anything I didn’t enjoy in comics and I still think Silver Age is an underrated classic. Maybe I’m reading it wrong. But it does feel weird that people can read bop and still come away with the impression that THAT Huntress and THAT Lady Blackhawk would get drunk and be someone’s sad Penthouse fantasy.

It just shows again that Bop was an important book for a lot of reasons and its absence is keenly felt in the portrayal of female characters in the DCU. Not my bop specifically, just the book overall.

__________________________________________________

In re-reading it, I do think the two guys are acting in character…GA being a bit of a dick, betraying his liberal beliefs as he often does (you can’t be a feminist and still slap your buddy on the back for his vagina scoreboard), and GL trying not to talk about it seems pretty truthful to me.

It’s a good scene, just wish they had used someone other than the Huntress. Zinda I can see, but together with the Huntress is really unfortunate for a lot of reasons.

__________________________________________________

That’s what sucks about Bop being cancelled…people tended to respect the characters a bit more while the book was running. It might well not have been because the book was so wonderful, but more just professional courtesy, in that you can’t do something awful to Black Canary when she is the star of a monthly book written by someone else.

But man, all bets were off once that book went away and they have ALL had some really sad moments, in my opinion.

__________________________________________________

James is a great writer and a good guy. I know there’s no malice in this, it’s just a huge disagreement about the characters mentioned.

Lord knows I’ve messed that up many times myself (Teen Titans, Batgirl, shut up!).

__________________________________________________

242 Comments

Couldn’t it mean something other than a threeway? Think of all the sitcoms involving a guy and two gals. For instance, Huntress and GL have a crimefighting moment together and she asks him for a date. He says yes, but he’s forgotten he already has a date with Lady Blackhawk the same night. Hijinks ensue as he tries to break one date or the other. When he can’t do that, he has to juggle two dates simultaneously.

Eventually Huntress and Lady Blackhawk learn about each other. Hal mollifies their understandable anger with a bottle of grappa. The three of them have a good laugh together before going their separate ways.

Yes, I think that’s what Ollie was referring to. “Well played, sir–for handling that embarrassing situation much better than I could have. Even Rex Mason couldn’t have juggled two dates the way you did.”

Bernard the Poet

August 6, 2009 at 4:45 am

Okay, superheroes are thrillseekers and they must all be aware that they could all get incinerated by Darkseid tomorrow. So I can see, in theory, that Green Lantern, Lady Blackhawk and Huntress might end up in a sexy romp after a bottle of grappa, but…YUCK.

As a throwaway line – shorn of any context – it becomes about Green Arrow sniggering like a dirty schoolboy and Green Lantern behaving the blushing stud. The two women are reduced to trophies.

What has happened to Robinson?

Before this descends into farce, I’ll just say: not cool, James Robinson. Not. Cool.

I can definitely understand Simone’s frustration, but doesn’t she mean Golden Age by James Robinson, not Silver Age?

When I read that portion of Cry for Justice, I didn’t think it referred to Hal having a 3 way with Huntress and Lady Blackhawk, but maybe that’s because I was so familiar with Simone’s run on BoP, as I just recently read the whole thing in trade.

I read it as Hal partying with them both and using the grappa to get Huntress drunk enough to get alone time to seal the deal with Lady Blackhawk, who was always portrayed as a someone who can manage drinking an exceptional amount of alcohol.

It read to me that Hal partied with two amazing women, identified the one he had a chance with, and managed to separate her from the protective girlfriend. The fact that Dinah herself was the one passing the story around reinforces that to me, as she spent way too much effort getting everyone to take Huntress seriously to just throw it away by sharing stories of Huntress’ drunken hook-ups with Ollie, who gossips uncontrollably. It would make perfect sense, however, to share the story of Hal outsmarting the Huntress escort, and hooking up with another hard partying pilot who enjoys a no commitment dalliance.

In all honesty, however, if I hadn’t read BoP, I guess it would have just read as a threesome. The simple way to correct this mishap is for everyone who reads comics to get the 7 trades of BoP Gail Simone wrote, so that these misunderstandings don’t take place in the future. :)

Citizen Scribbler

August 6, 2009 at 5:22 am

No, I don’t see Huntress and Zinya getting it on together. It would be hot- but it would never happen. That’s just so disrespectful to both characters. I’d much rather go with Rob’s interpretation.

I was really looking forward to reading Robinson’s Starman, which everybody says is one of the best series ever, but now I think I may pass on that for a while. I’m a lot less interested if this is the sort of portrayal of women I can expect to be exposed to. Bad form, Robinson. Bad form.

-Citizen Scribbler

MJ Nedderman’s scenario works too. Of course, I don’t think Hal would party with anyone. But I’m thinking of the Silver Age square, not the hard-drinking guy of “Emerald Dawn.”

Score Hal!

OK, I want to make something clear: I’m an adult, I believe in respecting other people’s intimate lives. I’m not going to condemn Hal, Huntress and Lady B as characters JUST for having a threesome (except that Hal is supposed to have a girlfriend, or have they broken up *again?*) but, just as I believe ultraviolence has no place in superhero comics, neither does sex. Well, unless the specific title is *supposed* to be about it, like “The Pro” and such. You know, so that people can avoid it (or pick it up because of it ) if they want to. But should a “generic” superhero comic like Justice League feature such stuff? “Daddy, what’s a threeway?” Oops. :P I’m NOT saying superheroes are just for kids, but you *can* make good, even great superhero stories that do not mention the characters’ sexuality openly (at least so blatantly. If you’re subtle you can get away with it.) Of course, compared to other “nice” surprises DC has been giving us lately (people being ripped apart alive or eaten, for example) this is minor, and if they don’t care about those, this is even less likely to get filtered out.

“DC: Only for horny and bloodthirsty teens and 20-somethings.” :(

On re-reading, there is no mention of Threeway/Threesome at all… a situation, yes..

I’m going to jump on the date-juggling bandwagon…

In my head, anyway.

Now, if it was PG and Lady B… (oh, sorry, my fantasy, forget I said anything…)

Um, what?!? James Robinson wrote this? James Robinson????? What the hell? Come on, I thought he was better than this. That’s disappointing.

I’m not going to get into this, but I have to say that if someone congratulated Black Canary on a threesome with Hal & Ollie, it would be hilarious given their ridiculous bromance so far in this farce of a series.

Well, to be absolutely fair, Hal neither confirmed nor denied the “incident.” My personal take on it was that it was strictly a rumor, nothing more, and can be dismissed as such.

Actually, that’s pretty much my attitude toward comics in general any more. If I don’t like it, it didn’t happen.

I will say, as a loyal BoP reader until its demise, I did find the whole thing tacky and beneath Robinson. I don’t know what happened since Starman, but dang, he’s not measuring up to that at all.

Whoa, James! Nice way to ruin all the work Gail put into making BOP a serious book with strong female leads. The whole sequence alone reads more like something Kevin Smith would write.

Ollie has been outspoken since the O’Neil/Adams era and particularly so whenever he and Hal are together, but this is just dumb. Robinson portrayed Jack Knight as an average, flawed guy, but not very sexist. Now, he has two of the older DC characters talking like a pair of lotharios in tights.

Times might have changed, but this still reeks of merely catering to a horny fanboy’s fantasies. I expect smarter dialogue from Robinson than this crap.

comicbookreader

August 6, 2009 at 6:28 am

Shame on you indeed, Mr. Robinson.

Now, seriously, when is DC going to release the sketch variant cover by Adam Hughes or Frank Cho depicting this horrible, horrible incident that Ollie speaks of?

Really? Most of us adults are that offended by the suggestion of promiscuity in a comic book? Is it truly that serious? First off, Ollie is ribbing an over serious Hal in even bringing up the rumor. And as mentioned above, Hal is doesn’t even confirm it. Furthermore he’s not even proud of it and given the fact that Ollie found out from Dinah, one of the Birds must have told her in the first place.
Is it a stretch to realize that Hal because of who he is, is kind of a rock star in his biz, not to mention that his personality probobly lends itself to something like this happening. And sexism? Promiscuity does not equal sexism and to flip it and compare it to Canary with Arrow and Lantern is a false analogy because of the established relationship between those characters. I would never think that this many adults would catch the vapors over a couplke of lines in what to me was an otherwise enjoyable book. Grow up, people.

I think it’s just best to chalk the entire ‘Cry of Justice’ thing up to a non-canon bad dream.

“Whoa, James! Nice way to ruin all the work Gail put into making BOP a serious book with strong female leads.”

If this “ruin[s] all the work Gail put in BOP” then she didn’t put that much work into that book. Birds or Prey run for over 120 issues, this is a single page. A single page that most people are not going to remember after the next round of outrage next week. This will have no impact on the characters of Huntress, Lady Blackhawk, Hal Jordan or Green Arrow. I seriously doubt Birds or Prey is going to be undone by a single throwaway line in a miniseries.

Citizen Scribbler

August 6, 2009 at 6:47 am

Jason? If you think Hal’s reputation entitles him to be looked at as a rock star among heroes- well, that’s just kind of silly.

Frequent concussion Hal? Hal-obsessed-with-himself-Jordan? The guy who killed all the Lanterns because he let a little yellow fear monster get to him? I don’t think so. The only reason I could see Zinya with him is because they’re equally out of touch with the times. Jordan’s no rock star, unless you’re thinking of Steve Miller or some other over-the-hill wuss. Hal Jordan is like Booster Gold, only he isn’t pretending…

If you don’t think thoughtless promiscuity is problem and not the sort of activity heroes and role models engage in Jason, you’re the one who has some growing up to do. But the worst part, by far, is the insult to the reputations of all these great characters, the women AND the men.

-Citizen Scribbler

Obviously Hal was getting Huntress and Tigress confused. Women just all look the same to him. He’s Hal.

I’m confused. I thought everyone was agreed this was a terrible book last month. How is it that you all are still reading it?

I haven’t read the issue yet; just that page. Until Hal said, “Wait, you heard about that?” I figured it was just Ollie making stuff up to get on Hal’s case. It’s still *possible* to read it that way all the way through, that these guys are just making stuff up for their own amusement, although the text doesn’t really encourage this interpretation.

The Ugly American

August 6, 2009 at 6:58 am

To me, the “Well Played” comment doesn’t indicate 3 simultaneous participants, just Hal moving from room to room, or maybe Huntress being protective of Blackhawk and Hal using the alcohol to get her out of the way. It’s left up to the imagination. Doesn’t

Haven’t read the comics but I’m with Rob at the top. Could mean anything.

Yeah, it’s pretty much garbunkle. The metal olympics that people have to go through to explain how you could somehow not interpret that comment as pointing towards a threeway is almost embarrassing for them.

I disagree with miss Simone on one thing: her statement that Birds of Prey wasn’t a stellar work. No, miss Simone, your Wonder Woman work is not stellar. Birds of Prey was an awesome series where you made characters that were never that interesting to begin with into people of their own right. I am still embittered that the book went off its rails into cancelation, leaving every other writer in DC to do whatever they please to Barbara, Dinah and now Huntress and Zinda, destroying everything that made them good. Fuck.

Yeah, I don’t know how anyone could interpret this any differently than a drunken threeway. Why would Rex Mason, noted lothario, be impressed with Hal juggling dates, Three’s Company-style? It’s just ridiculous.

I’m just puzzled why Supergirl mentions Charles Bukowski. That page ends the issue, and this page begins it. Man, what a way to bookend the issue!

Obviously you guys have never had threesomes and are jealous as hell about it! LMAO As a guy who has been involved in a few threesomes I can assure you that they do not always disrepect the women involved. The ones I have been involved in didn’t. Often times the guy has to be careful not to be left out if the two women start enjoying each other to much.

While GA was certainly an ass in this conversation(really, when ISN’T he an ass?) don’t assume that GL used either of those women or that they “allowed” themselves to be used. For all we really know THEY might have used HIM.

This is ridiculous, though love,admire, and love to read both Simones and Robinsons work, this is freaking ridiculous. It was meant as a somewhat of a joke, maybe not between the two characters, but that’s certainty what James was setting it up for, I mean come on can’t we be a little bit more mature, I could agree with this article if we saw a flashback of Mr.Jordan doing some inappropriate things to lady BlackHawks back side, that i could agree with, but this was just a line to showcase how Hal is one of DC’s best known bachelors.

I did mean Golden Age, not Silver Age. Don’t know how I made that mistake about a series that is one of my all-time favorite comics strories (I prefer it to Watchmen, actually).

These quotes all came from a long conversational thread, it’s not one huge long diatribe. And I stress again that I think

1) It’s a very good scene

2) James Robinson is a great writer, and

3) I have zero problems with superheroes having sex.

I just think it’s a shame those two characters were used. You get to feel a bit protective after writing characters for five years (even though you logically realize that you don’t own those characters).

That’s all. I haven’t read CFJ but I plan to, as the writing and art look very sharp. I just am not buying those particular characters sharing a man, and I still think the scene would likely never have happened if the genders of the players were reversed.

The thing about the portrayal of female friendship in comics is just a long-standing pet peeve so I’m a bit wonky about that. :)

And I just think it’s incredibly funny that Simone has a problem with this, when on her twitter page she has been posting, Unlikely Superhero Threesomes, literally no joke, and i mean no disrespect Gail I love your works but seriously, chill.

Haven’t read the issue, but now that Comic Critics episode on the death of James Robinson’s talent makes a lot more sense!

Maybe I’m just a prude, but I had more of a problem with Peter Parker waking up in bed next to his old roommates sister; too drunk to remember what happened.

Cry for Justice has been great so far and WAH-F’CKING-WAH!

Citizen Scribbler

August 6, 2009 at 7:34 am

Bob, you’re not getting it.

Nobody here has a problem with threesomes, that I’ve seen. If Hal had gotten it on with a couple of stewardesses, that would’ve been fine. But we’re talking about the Huntress and Lady Blackhawk here. That’s just wrong, dude- especially because no one else is writing a book with them where they have a chance to defend this accusation.

-Citizen Scribbler

The Death of James Robinsons talent? Are you serious, Have you even read his recent stuff on Superman? And Cry for Justice is fucking amazing.

This page (which was included in online previews) was the obvious inspiration for the “unlikely superhero threesomes” thread on Twitter, Grady, so it’s not some huge contradiction so much as Gail having a sense of humor about the whole thing.

You know, maybe they just got drunk & played a rousing game of strip poker. Or fooled around a bit. Or did a lot of things other than just straight up having a 3-way. I think you nancies need to get your knickers untwisted & stop getting all riled up ’cause these fictional characters are possibly engaging in some sexual hijinks with one another, & stop reading so much into it. It says a lot more about your (lack of) respect for these characters that the first thing you think is “Hal f*cked ‘em both.”

That’s how guys talk. Sorry, it’s just realistic. Especially a guy as known for being a ball buster as Green Arrow.

If the DiDio regime had their way every strong female character in the DCU would be lining up to become a new member of Hal’s Buddy Bearettes. Why anyone is surprised that another of the Inner Circle is being allowed to destroy a few quality characters for the sake of propping up their precious Hal Jordan is beyond me. You never heard about Kyle banging random women. Kudos to Gail for taking a stand on this!

Well Zodcomplex that was kinda of the point of that piece of dialogue in the book, that he did fuck em both.

Perhaps Huntress and Lady Blackhawk overheard Green Lantern making a sexist remark (which is why he seems slightly embarrassed by the incident), and Hal realized it was disrespectful and sent over a bottle of grappa to apologize. Metamorpho was obviously impressed by what a class act this guy is.

That’s an explanation worthy of the coveted No-Prize, Wilbur. Well played, sir.

@ Herald: Kyle couldn’t get a third girl in the fridge!

Lady Blackhawk would definitely bang Hal. They’d be FWB no doubt about it. Now Huntress, maybe not. Maybe Hal got some killer Tamaran Xstasy and they had a party.

@ Citizen Scribbler

So Hal seducing two random stewardesses would be fine but having a “meeting of the minds” with two colleagues isn’t cool? And we’re all assuming he plied them with booze to do it? Of course GA would assume that Hal played them…that’s how GA operates. But Hal is the wuss who one quit the GLC because he was pussy-whipped! Seems more likely to me that one or both of the women played him! Perhaps it’s Black Canary who should be hih-fiving Lady Blackhawk in this scene LOL

First off, Greg Hatcher is more on top of it than anybody when he writes: “I’m confused. I thought everyone was agreed this was a terrible book last month. How is it that you all are still reading it?”

Next up: I’ll agree that the specific identities of the characters are wrong — I could see Hal and Zinda too (why not with an unnamed third party, or an unknown civilian?). Still, some of you are revealing some serious prudishness. (I almost wrote “surprising prudishness,” but then again, it’s sadly not surprising in this country, where violence in entertainment is practically a given but sexuality gets people all up in arms.) Adult women and men making conscious decisions to have sex with mutual consent, in whatever manner they choose, is not gross, nor a source of shame.

If we’re going to assume that the three characters really did have sex together (a fair enough assumption, though Robinson cannily did leave it a bit vague), then let’s also consider that Robinson made one other interesting choice: Clearly the women talked about it other women (like Dinah), who also talked about it (to Ollie) — showing that they weren’t ashamed about it.

That won’t change the fact that James Robinson is just apparently revealing his inner fanboy wanker, a formerly respected writer whose career is rapidly heading down the Frank Miller rails to ruin. But he certainly can’t “spoil” the characters with this silly tempest-in-a-teapot. Anyone who thinks one page of his off-the-cuff dialogue spoils Gail Simone’s accomplishments in BOP — well, you’re giving Robinson way too much agency, for one thing. And you’re probably revealing a lot about your uncomfortable attitudes towards women and sex. It’s not always a power imbalance, people — two women (friends, even) can have a menage-a-trois with a guy and be perfectly fine with it and with themselves in the morning. Doesn’t make them sluts.

By the way: The latest issues of “Secret Six” (featuring Wonder Woman) and “Wonder Woman” (featuring Black Canary, in a return to style for Simone after the endless and dreary “Olympian”/Genocide storyline) were both awesome. So there’s plenty of Simone goodness on the stands, waiting for your support. If you’re concerned about doing something to combat sexism in superhero comics, then please put some of your money behind well-written books with strong female characters.

i agree with gail over jhuntress now thanks to that story being considered a slut. lady blackhawk and hal could see since they both are fliers but huntress always thought she was too nuts to have that type of relationship and she would not have done that with hal. lthough from the pannel Hal was proably trying to tell ollie something else.

Sounds like the sort of thing Ollie would say.

Could somebody PLEASE tell me where it explains that this was any form of sexual conquest?

Or is there an innuendo inferred from “The planes I flew” that I’m missing…

To me this really sounds like people reading between the lines and making their own minds up.

Maybe someone should just create a female superhero that Hal & Ollie can admire/do:

Her power? Whenever a man’s penis is inside of her, he is compelled to tell the truth…she’s like Wonder Woman’s magic lasso come to life. In between muttering “You’re so beautiful…”. and ‘I love you so much…”, the man would spill his guts about his crimes. Then with one last kiss, he is compelled to turn himself in.

Call her “Truth Whore”.

…of course, her secret origin has to start with her coming home one day to find her sister in a refrigerator.

I’m just sayin…

Citizen Scribbler

August 6, 2009 at 8:27 am

@Bob

So now, all of a sudden, Lady Blackhawk and the Huntress are Bi-sexual? Just like that? And the first ever reference to it is that they got drunk and then got it on together with Hal? No, that’s not cool. That predilection has never been established in either of those women’s backstories. And to just alter an important character’s sexual orientation to serve a stupid joke about what tramps they all are (the women AND the man), is not a good reason to do it.

-Citizen Scribbler

Having not read Golden Age or Starman, and being only familiar with Robinson from Cry for Justice #1 and this page (I’m not planning on continuing)…is his dialogue always this terrible? That conversation does not even flow naturally at all.

And in regards to the comparison between this and Peter Parker waking up with a hangover next to his ex-rooomate’s sister…this is Peter Parker we’re talking about. In the context of the story it makes perfect sense and is exactly like the kind of thing your occasionally stupid best friend would do. I’m more nonplussed at Mark Waid’s hamfisted references to blogs, and twitter…the spider-writers lately have been trying way too hard to sound contemporary.

Hatcher speaks truth. And ménage à trois don’t seem all that appealing when someone named Bob endorses them while using LMAOs and LOLs..

Or is there an innuendo inferred from “The planes I flew” that I’m missing…

It’s sort of like the ‘But you fuck one goat…’ joke (Or chimp, if you’re writing Transmetropolitan.)

I don’t have a problem with superhero threesomes. I just don’t think Hal Jordan would participate in one. I don’t know about Lady Blackhawk, but isn’t Huntress supposed to be an observant Catholic? Have there been any stories where she acts promiscuously?

We could have a thread where we come up with the most likely threesomes in comics. If Guy Gardner got Ice drunk, for instance, I could see him doing it with her and Fire. No fair counting people whose powers include sexual allure, such as Starfox or the Enchantress.

P.S. I don’t think one has to read CRY FOR JUSTICE to take an interest in this thread.

Hey, has nobody noticed the greatest thing about this page?

There’s no weird emphasis on the wrong words, no unnecessary bolding – nothing to make the reader stumble over Robinson’s dialogue!

You may hate it, but at least you can read it! Ha!

//\Oo/\\

@ CS

I’ll grant that mentioning a threesome involving characters that have never given any indication of being “bi-curious” is bad story-telling on Robinson’s part. Unless he is planning on actually using Huntress and Lady Blackhawk on a regular basis he really shouldn’t have instituted a major character developement change in them.

Grace and Thunder involved in a threesome, however…

@Blackjak:

Could somebody PLEASE tell me where it explains that this was any form of sexual conquest?

1. Hal’s reputation
2. Two female heroes who don’t have the greatest reputation themselves.
3. A bottle of wine.
4. The mention of Metamorpho, a lothario, being impressed.
5. Ollie just being a dick.

That’s not reading between the lines. That’s reading the lines as written.

James Robinson is the worst writer of dialogue in comics at the moment. I have read Superman since Byrne’s revamp in 1986 and the ONLY time I have felt like dropping it was when I read Robinson’s first few issues.

The dialogue is clumsy, cringe-worthy, nauseating, and just plain BAD! I have never read Starman and it is always something I thought about buying in trades, or those Omnibus HCs, but not anymore.

The guy’s writing just stinks. Ok, the plots may be not too bad but it is almost impossible to read without wretching or wanting to stab your eyes out!

I wanna see a scene where somebody says to a blushing GL that they heard about the time that him and GA had a few beers together and did something like watch each other masturbate or give each other a footjob in a hot tub. Then an embarrassed GL says, “We had a few beers and were curious. I’d rather be known for the planes I flew.” That would be a cool scene.

How about this: At some point in the past, Hal had a liaison with Zinda (not “Zinya,” aka Lady Blackhawk). At another point in the past he slept with, or came close to sleeping with, Helena Bertinelli, aka the Huntress. Perhaps he didn’t know Helena was the Huntress at the time. Later, when both Helena and Zinda became part of the Birds of Prey, they were talking and realized that they’d both slept with (or nearly slept with) Hal at separate times.
Zinda’s encounter involved the bottle of Grappa. Or not. Maybe it’s an embellishment added by someone telling the story later.
Someone overheard them and told someone else, and the resulting game of Telephone across the metahuman community turned it into a threesome involving Hal, Zinda, Helena and a bottle of Grappa.
Since none of these people are exactly known for abstinence (I’m a 35-year DC reader, trust me on this), the story seemed plausible enough to their colleagues that it’s stayed alive. Sort of a superheroic urban legend, if you will.
Anyway. Just a thought.

I have to say, what I find far more sexist than the original dialogue from the comic is the suggestion that any female characters that might want to enjoy promiscuous sex are automatically “sluts”. The term’s been bandied round willy nilly in discussion of this, and that – to me – is the really offensive part.

It’s the twenty-first century, people. Women are entitled to sex lives without being judged to a different standard from men, and characters such as these are grown women who are capable of making their own decisions, thanks. And just because there’s a mention of alcohol, it doesn’t mean that “Hal got them drunk so he could have his way with them”.

Now, if you’re a BOP fan who wants to argue that it would be fairly out of character (as Gail says, that’s probably the case for the Huntress, if not for Lady Blackhawk), then fine – that’s a justifiable issue. Throwing around terms like “sexist”? No thanks.

Just my half-wit observation – maybe someone has already made this point…As positive and optimistic as I’d like to be (I’ve not read Cry For Justice #2 yet) my impression is that this an overall edgier piece. Every one of this League’s members are looking for “Justice”(revenge?); and at least two members are notable not for their heroics, but moreso for their sexuality (Mikaal Tomas and Batwoman), so I would assume that since Mikaal paid a visit to his fallen boyfriend in CFJ #1, which was rather moving and emotional, that the topic of sex, sexuality or sexual preference would be part of the deal. Yeah, maybe the book needs an advisory or a rating, but from Robinson’s previous work in Starman featuring Mikaal and Jack; I kinda know what’s coming. I might not like it, but I’m not really surprised. Hal with a “Betty” (Lady BalckHawk) and a “Veronica” (Huntress); every guy’s fantasy, but still kinda disappointing for comics. I have a hard time believing that it’s a “wackiness ensues” sitcom moment. Although that would be pretty Silver Age of Robinson…

The fact that a one page throwaway scene has caused so much discussion shows how poorly written it is. If Chuck Austen wrote this, no one would be rushing to defend it. For the people trying to come up with “solutions” as to why Ollie and Hal weren’t necessarily talking about a threesome, just use what’s on the page. I don’t think Robinson was trying to be incredibly subtle.

Also, I don’t think it’s sexist, but I don’t see why it’s a good scene either. Just because Ollie and Hal are hanging like they used to? It’s an unnecessary bit of scripting that Robinson wouldn’t have used if he knew anything about the characters he was referencing. Shock value and humor alone doesn’t make a good scene for me, has to be something interesting in it too.

@”D.Dickerson.

That was a low and classless remark about Kyle Rayner. Why do people only choose to focus on ONE of his gf’s getting stuck in a refridgerator? Jade died heroically in battle. Donna Troy is still alive and well. Kyle’s mom was killed using Despotillis by Sinestro to leave Kyle defensless against the Parallax bug in SCW. A one time occourance doesn’t a trend make.

Why are Hal fans so threatened by Kyle? Is Hal Jordan such a dull, boring character that they have to give him these steroetypical, alphamale conquests just to make him have half the appeal of Kyle Rayner? Kyle was free from Parallax alot quicker than Hal, because Kyle fans would not have stood for him being evil, it was totally against his character. Hal really had no character, certainly not one as deep as Kyle. He was only interesting as a villain, and I think that’s why he’s getting all these color rings-to give him more depth. I wish roles were reversed and Hal was the backup in GLC and Kyle had the solo book again. But, like Herald said, Johns, Didio and Robinson must have thier Mary Sues front and center. God forbid they publish anything other than their Hal Jordan fanfic.

I’d like to think that Hal was used as a piece of meat, and feels embarrassed, creeped out and objectified by the whole thing.

And of course, Ollie is congratulating him on it.

Huntress seems like an odd character to be involved in this, but it makes a whole lot more sense for her to be objectifying than being objectified.

@ Gail Simone et al – would you be as concerned if, say, Black Canary were bragging out being with two dudes? Or is it just that Huntress & LB engaged in some recreational sex? ‘Cause God forbid if a woman be portrayed as being comfortable with the fact that she likes penis.

Wellsadi Seb Patrick!
That, I agree with. .

Also assuming threesomes have to involve bi-sexual relations. Nah, they most likely serviced Hal.

And Dumbsfuck, please just admit Kyle is way beneath Jordan. Besides Guy’s the one true Green Lantern.

@Gustopher

I think Hal nailed them both in a hot tub.

@Floyd Lawton.

I don’t need to validate my favorite character to someone who enjoys a mercenary that wore a tophat and mask. I’d be wasting my time.

Of course you’re going to side with Simone since she writes your character in another blood soaked book, Secret Six. Another book that goes for cheap, bloody thrills and perversion rather than good, solid storytelling.

Rebis wrote:
“It’s not always a power imbalance, people — two women (friends, even) can have a menage-a-trois with a guy and be perfectly fine with it and with themselves in the morning. Doesn’t make them sluts.”

THANK YOU.

Power Ring . . . enough said.

Floyd Lawton just exemplified why I personally have a problem with this. This wasn’t brought up as a pro-feminist “women are allowed to enjoy sex too” thing; it’s a “Nah, they most likely serviced Hal” sexual conquest thing.

At least Hal said “I’d rather be known for flying my planes.” But I see enough of GA’s “Alright bro, you bagged some hot bitches!” attitude enough at college to last me through the day.

Sorry, Layne, the link isn’t working. I’m getting a “Google Error.”

@ Joe – sounds like you need to stop putting the pussy on a pedestal.

Comics are written for “Comic Book Guy” (Simpsons.)

Thanks, Joe. Apparently Picasa hates me linking directly to the file as much as I hate linking to their stupid interface. This should work.

THANK. GOD.

I’m not the only one who feels this way.

I read that page, and I put the book down. I could not read it. I could NOT the book anymore after that. THAT is what we get at the beginning of the book. Huntress has grown far past that. Lady Blackhawk would do it, and while she’s a connosieur of beer, I don’t think she’d need to be particularly drunk. But Zinda wouldn’t do it with Helena. They’re friends – sisters. What, just because Ollie had a bird, Hal had to one-up him and have two? Bull.

I don’t care about threesomes, but the fact is that you take it with characters who you would believe doing something like that. Huntress’ character progression shows that she’s not that sort of woman anymore. It just screams wrong – as wrong as Dinah’s marriage to Ollie does, in fact, with the way that their getting back together was written.

Is DC consciously undermining all of the work that Gail Simone put into Birds of Prey?

@Joe
Floyd Lawtons a jerk.

HA! Awesome Layne. Thanks for the laugh. Saving it to my funny pics file.

“Why are Hal fans so threatened by Kyle? Is Hal Jordan such a dull, boring character that they have to give him these steroetypical, alphamale conquests just to make him have half the appeal of Kyle Rayner?”

Yes.

Dumbstuck: Unless I’ve missed someone along the way, every woman Kyle has dated has died, although in Donna’s case it didn’t last long. So that part’s definitely a trend, although you’re correct that only one of them was stuffed in a refrigerator. Kyle may be the greatest thing since Vibe (and actually I like Kyle just fine), but if you date him, you die.

Personally, I’ve always loved Hal, I hated the way he went out and I’m glad he’s back, but it certainly doesn’t mean I’m crazy about him becoming such a huge manslut either. What is he, Tony Stark all of a sudden?

The most hilarious thing is how so many folks in this comment thread are trying to fanwank their way out of the blatantly obvious “threesome” reading.

I’m sure there are even worse pages than this in the comic.

Citizen Scribbler

August 6, 2009 at 10:42 am

Actually, promiscuity IS slutty. You know why? Because they’re synonyms! It means to take on sexual partners indiscriminately- which is always a bad idea. Being a slut or a tramp or PROMISCUOUS (if that makes you feel better) is not heroic.

-Citizen Scribbler

Citizen Scribbler

August 6, 2009 at 10:43 am

And it isn’t “empowering” for women either. (Sorry for the double post)

-Citizen Scribbler

@layne
I would buy “Cry of Justice” if you were the writer.

@Dumbstuck: That one incident became a metaphor for cases in which a female character is killed/maimed/etc. primarily for purposes of motivating or developing a male character.

One literal refrigerator. Lots of metaphorical ones.

(Ironic that this would need to be explained in a thread with Gail Simone, author of the original Women in Refrigerators list.)

Heh, I am not reading all of that before commenting. It is interesting to read some blog post and know its gonna have a large amount of comments. And it does.
Naw no three way happened. But the hero community thought it did. Huntress works solo and does not normally drink booze too often. Hal got rid of Huntress so he could have some alone time with Lady Blackhawk. Gossip is more powerfull than many superheros. So yeah this story could have got out and the hero community would run with it.

“And I just think it’s incredibly funny that Simone has a problem with this, when on her twitter page she has been posting, Unlikely Superhero Threesomes, literally no joke, and i mean no disrespect Gail I love your works but seriously, chill.”

Sweetie, I’m afraid you totally missed the point. I started those tweets as a joke AFTER all this CFJ stuff came up. It was a joke response TO this exact scene. Far from being enraged, that was my way of being silly about it and deflating the situation.

“@ Gail Simone et al – would you be as concerned if, say, Black Canary were bragging out being with two dudes? Or is it just that Huntress & LB engaged in some recreational sex? ‘Cause God forbid if a woman be portrayed as being comfortable with the fact that she likes penis.”

Good lord. Did you even read what I said? I have probably referred to more superheroes getting laid than most any other writer at DC. I have no problem with Huntress OR Zinda enjoying a good penis. Bless their hearts, I hope the both get laid with stunning consistency.

My qualm was that putting those two TOGETHER in the same bed at the same time would be out of character, and an unfortunate diminishing of the friendship that they have. That’s all. Penis has nothing to do with it, except the very idea of this conversation taking place in a dc comic with the genders reversed is nearly unimaginable.

Heh. well this certainly ain’t no Rob Liefeld/Peter David battle royale. Class act all the way Gail.

I like how the comic wants to have it both ways (no pun inteneded)- Hal the ladies man that beds two supergals in a drunken free for all, but ever the demure boy scout tish-toshing Arrow’s vulgarity.

“Being a slut or a tramp or PROMISCUOUS (if that makes you feel better) is not heroic.”

Why not? If you’re going with dictionary definitions, which part of heroism necessarily involves not being promiscuous?

One thing has absolutely nothing to do with the other. You can be the world’s greatest hero and also be promiscuous. One’s willingness to save lives and work for the common good can perfectly coexist with being promiscuous.

I suspect that you mean “a good role model” when you say “heroic”, but being a “good role model” and being heroic are not the same thing either – and that ship has sailed for Hal anyway, as he can be lots of things but he’s definitely not a good role model.

“Heroism” has nothing to do with any of these overblown puritan protests. My single objection to that silly scene is that the scenario described seems out-of-character for Huntress. But that’s not what most people are objecting to here, even though it was mentioned by many. The big problem seems to be that Hal had casual sex with superheroines, and therefore the superheroines involved “are sluts”. And that’s just ridiculous. Casual sex is perfectly normal in our day and age, and it’s actually healthier than torturing people (as the Atom did on this series’ first issue, generating only a fraction of the outrage that this brief casual-sex reference generated). You know what really isn’t heroic? TORTURE. Promiscuity and heroism aren’t mutually exclusive, but torture and heroism are.

I never cease to be amazed at what some people are offended by. Seriously: if casual sex isn’t heroic, then Tony Stark, Nightwing, Green Arrow, Arsenal, Hal Jordan, Human Torch, Hawkeye and many other celebrated “heroes” aren’t heroes at all. Unless the “no-promiscuity” rule only applies to heroines?

@ Citizen Scribbler
Actually, promiscuity IS slutty. You know why? Because they’re synonyms! It means to take on sexual partners indiscriminately- which is always a bad idea. Being a slut or a tramp or PROMISCUOUS (if that makes you feel better) is not heroic.

-Citizen Scribbler

And it’s also not villainous.

Who would have thought that a superhero comic would reinforce spoken and unspoken norms of a male dominated society and sexist hierarchy?

Oh wait…

Where’s the “hierarchy”? I must have missed the scene where a sexist hierarchy was established. Was it when Ollie complimented Hal? Or does the mere concept of sex imply female submission?

@ Gail Simone – why would it diminish their friendship? Would it diminish Hal & Ollie’s friendship if they shared Power Girl? Would we be complaining about how “out of character” it would be if the positions were reversed, & a female character had gotten down with two male characters? Doubtful. I don’t understand why it’s such a huge deal that they maybe engaged in a threesome. Hell, it wasn’t like Hal was bro-fiving Ollie, he was visibly embarrassed that Ollie knew.

I think certain people in this thread needs to stop prescribing their own prudish sexual views to these fictional characters. So they had a good time, so what? Yeesh, it seems like if you don’t portray a woman as being a saint in a comic than you’re suddenly a misogynistic pig who hates women. Seriously, NO ONE would be getting their panties in a wad over Power Girl proclaiming that she had a good time with two capes at once. Jesus, compare this to an issue of, say, Gotham City Sirens & I think Ollie’s comments are practically empowering (not to be confused with Empowered – though I suppose Hal could be a fan of ball gags…)

Citizen Scribbler

August 6, 2009 at 11:44 am

I read a superHERO book to read about deeds of heroism, not smuttyness.

And promiscuity IS a bad thing. Having sex with strangers or casual sex in general can lead to all sorts of trouble. And casual sex being common doesn’t make it ok. Crystal meth is pretty common too. You can get hurt feelings, pregnant or a disease from casual sex a lot more likely than it is to occur with a steady partner.

Setting a good example is part of what goes into making a great hero. So, no Hammerheart, you’re wrong. You can never be promiscuous and be the world’s greatest hero too. And I have very little respect for any of the heroes you listed (although I don’t recall hearing any tales about Hawkeye).

-Citizen Scribbler

@ Citizen Scribbler

Oy vey. Is this the new “No Sex in My X-Men?” No three-way in my JLA. Did you really compare having sex to crystal meth? I suppose with me it is – one hit & you’re an addict for life.

“Would we be complaining about how “out of character” it would be if the positions were reversed, & a female character had gotten down with two male characters? ”

Oh Zod, you really underestimate how much people on the internet can complain about. Power Girl’s costume alone can piss folks off; you think the scenario you just described wouldn’t ruffle some feathers?

“You can never be promiscuous and be the world’s greatest hero too. ”

What if you’re not trying to be “THE GREATEST” and you’re just a hard workin’ dude with some powers just trying to help people?

Scrib, what can I say… steer clear of The Authority… and Hawkeye… ; )

@ Marc Kandel – I’m sure FapWolverine would be totally fine with it, it would give him more material for his masturbatorium over at the ‘Rama. As for ruffling feathers – that only happens when you talk about Dawnstar in front of Greybird.

But my kidding aside, yeah, I know, this is the ‘net, & people will bitch about just about anything. I think there are only two universal truths we can all agree on

1) Batman kicks ass
2) Kimyo Hoshi is a worthless hole of a character.

“What happened to Robinson?”

Nothing..he’s just revealed to be the same hack he’s always been. This is the guy who had the JLE act like idiots so he could make his third-rate villain seem tuff.

“Kudos to Gail for taking a stand on this!”

What stand is she taking? Isn’t she the one who made her name rallying against how women are treated in comics? Her response comes down to a milquetoast “well, that’s what happens when characters aren’t stars of books anymore”. Does she not care or does just fear of being McDuffied.

What I don’t get is why anyone’s surprised by this. It’s par for course of the white washing of the JLA where the black man was fired to make way for the white guy, and then the minority characters were kicked out of the book.

@ Citizen Scribbler

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Hurt feelings?!hahahahahaahahahahahahahah Crystal meth?! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

I’ve never been particularly taken with Kimyo myself, but I kinda wish you’d used a different word than “hole.”

Masturbatorium. I’m adding that to my lexicom.

Don’t know that #2 reference but you’re aces wif me Z!

@ Gail Simone – why would it diminish their friendship? Would it diminish Hal & Ollie’s friendship if they shared Power Girl? Would we be complaining about how “out of character” it would be if the positions were reversed, & a female character had gotten down with two male characters? Doubtful. I don’t understand why it’s such a huge deal that they maybe engaged in a threesome. Hell, it wasn’t like Hal was bro-fiving Ollie, he was visibly embarrassed that Ollie knew.

I think certain people in this thread needs to stop prescribing their own prudish sexual views to these fictional characters. So they had a good time, so what? Yeesh, it seems like if you don’t portray a woman as being a saint in a comic than you’re suddenly a misogynistic pig who hates women. Seriously, NO ONE would be getting their panties in a wad over Power Girl proclaiming that she had a good time with two capes at once. Jesus, compare this to an issue of, say, Gotham City Sirens & I think Ollie’s comments are practically empowering (not to be confused with Empowered – though I suppose Hal could be a fan of ball gags…)”

Dude, honest to god, this has nothing to do with my positions, beliefs, statements, or fiction. It is so much the opposite of what I said or how I write that I am really unable to respond except to say, “nice talking to you,” and move on. If that’s what you get out of what I said, I can’t really help that. But it has nothing to do with reality.

I think most people who read my comments or have read my comics know the ‘prude’ label is downright hilarious.

“I’m just puzzled why Supergirl mentions Charles Bukowski.”

You have GOT to be shitting me.

hahahaha I cant stop laughing….promiscuity can lead to hurt feelings. And is like meth. Very bad. Very bad. hahahaha

Nah, one of the green guys mentions Bukowski, then Supergirl shows up asking who the heck Bukowski is.

Layne: That’s awesome. If only we could somehow replace the first page of the actual comic with that one and see if anyone notices.

I thought it was a very “guy” moment on the scene, and I don’t see anything sexist in a threesome (it was their choice, anyway, so why would it be sexist if it was shown to be a consensual act?). Gail maybe right in calling Huntress participation as “out of character” (I don’t: in fact, Huntress has always played her sexy side quite a bit – though I didn’t read Birds of Prey to know about her portrail there). But superheroes are PEOPLE and can be kinky on occasion. Kudos to Robinson to bring that up. Alan Moore must be a hell of a sexist for Watchmen, come to think of it.
Sometimes people think that superheroes are sexless objects and they can’t have it or, if they do, must be missionary-married by definition.

@ Gail Simone – really only the first part of what I said last was directed to you. The remainder of it was directed to everyone else on this article who thinks that DC just sent women’s lib back 50 years.

But my question still stands – if this were Power Girl & two other dudes, would you be as disappointed? You yourself said: “That’s all. I haven’t read CFJ but I plan to, as the writing and art look very sharp. I just am not buying those particular characters sharing a man, and I still think the scene would likely never have happened if the genders of the players were reversed.” So, if the genders were reversed, would you view it as such a bad thing?

And sorry, this isn’t the first time Huntress has been portrayed as being frisky. During the 2nd (3rd maybe) arc of The Outsiders, she was shown to have gotten it on with Arsenal & (memory’s a bit fuzzy) maybe Nightwing. So it isn’t exactly “new business” that she can get frisky from time to time.

Let me ask you this – if it was Huntress & say, Grace from Outsiders – same beef? Or is just ’cause it’s Zinda & Huntress?

I wonder if anyone remembers that Helena was raped when she was a kid. It would be far more interesting if people wrote her sex life – if it had any effect on her later sex life – with that in mind.

@Greg Burgas – Oh Jesus no. People are upset enough now that Helena had a drunken threesome. Can you imagine the reactions if someone wrote her as having a fetish for hairpulling or needing to be tied up? Heads would ‘splode.

Unless Adam Warren writes it. Then it’d be dead sexy.

“I read a superHERO book to read about deeds of heroism, not smuttyness.

“Smuttyness”? Where’s the smuttyness? All I saw was two guys talking. There wasn’t even a flashback. A kid might not even know what the hell they were talking about. And why even bother with “smuttyness” when so many current superhero books are packed with ultraviolence and gore? Give me “smuttyness” over the Atom torturing a prisoner any day of the week.

“And promiscuity IS a bad thing. Having sex with strangers or casual sex in general can lead to all sorts of trouble. And casual sex being common doesn’t make it ok. Crystal meth is pretty common too.”

Yeah, you know what else “can lead to all sorts of trouble”? Solving problems with violence. But nobody minds THAT, oh no, in fact we love seeing our heroes solve problems through violence. But don’t DARE suggest that our childhood’s superheroes do things that normal consenting adults do! That’s a pretty weird place to draw the line.

And for future reference, comparing casual sex with crystal meth was the exact point where your post decended into utter insanity.

“Setting a good example is part of what goes into making a great hero.”

No, it’s really not. Lots of heroes don’t set good examples. Spider-Man sold his marriage to the devil, Superman executed prisoners and tried to take over the world at least once, Daredevil built his lawyer career on lies and tampering with his own cases, Iron Man is Tony Stark. And they’re all great heroes to lots of fans. Hell, even Jack Bauer is considered a hero by many people nowadays, further illustrating that one doesn’t have to set a good example to be considered a hero.

“And I have very little respect for any of the heroes you listed (although I don’t recall hearing any tales about Hawkeye).”

Yup, Clint had casual sex with the She-Hulk. And there’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever.

And each fans’ relative respect to this or that hero is subjective and often hypocritical; most fans prefer to pretend that their favorite hero never sold their marriage to the devil or tried to take over the world. Only when the hero is NOT our favorite do we accept their actions as canon and “lose our respect” for them. Many of the same fans that get all outraged because Iron Man did reprehensible things choose to pretend that Spider-Man never cut a deal with Mephisto. Because if we accept everything that they’ve ever done as canon, few “heroes” actually deserve our respect.

Zodcomplex: I just like throwing spanners in the works!

I think part of it is that it’s Huntress at all. It’s not that she’s a prude – we all know she isn’t – but that, via her characterization in Birds of Prey – she’s now looking for something more than that. I COULD buy Zinda and Grace, though.

This. See, this right here? This is why I hate 98% of you on the internet.

I really don’t see how this is any different than the other dozens of examples of DC characters being written from a frat-boy perspective on sex and relationships. Really all it says is that Robinson knows his target demographic.

It’s a badly-written scene in a book that was already widely decried as being badly-written. How is this newsworthy?

Clint had sex with Echo too. I think the Wasp also. Clint is a manwhore.

I caught just a little bit of this post before I read Cry for Justice and ended up disappointed. Given how terrible last issue was, I expected an actual on-panel threesome involving Huntress and Lady Blackhawk. I mean, that’s a full-bodied, red blooded kind of terrible idea right there, it’s a shame they didn’t go all the way with it.

Also I think focus needs to be put on the Congorilla/Mikaal interaction, which is the absolute worst Princess Bride riff allowable by law.

Here’s another theory that was posited to me: “Considering how much booze it takes to get Zinda drunk, she probably drank them both under the table. Hal woke up with a raging hangover and just assumed what happened based on Z’s note, “Hey Stud, Thanks for the rip-roaring good time last night! We had a blast, XOXO Z and H” Helena tells BC she just remembers lots of alcohol and Hal being a stud.”

So take that, fanboy rageaholics!!! Zinda RAPED poor defenseless Hal Jordan.

@Floyd

Clint has seen more ass than a toilet seat. If it isn’t bolted down to the floor or dead, he’s probably had his way with it.

Cdemink
August 6, 2009 at 12:32 pm
“This. See, this right here? This is why I hate 98% of you on the internet.”

Ok Cde, thanks for the info- its great to know you’re so above it all that you can still stop in and take the time to snipe. Ok. Cool. Now go sit in the corner with that Bob guy that wants everyone to know what a great sex life he has… as if everyone else doesn’t and could give a crap. Have a schmoke and a pancake.

I’d like to comment on this but I can’t. I haven’t read CfJ. And I probably won’t.

If it doesn’t have Power Girl’s tits as it’s primary focus, I don’t read it.

Maybe Hal used the ring to conjure up facsimiles of Huntress, Lady Blackhawk, and the Grappa, and Black Canary walked in on him during activity.

Okay, that was a lie. I read Wonder Woman.

But only because of her skanky costume.

And the S&M underpinnings of the character.

Rawr.

Gail Simone’s problem is she thinks of these characters as real human beings, with real desires and motivations, where James Robinson knows that female characters are all interchangeable. On a different day he might have written Hal having a threesome with Big Barda and Martha Kent.

See? It doesn’t need to make sense. The point is that Hal is the master of tapping that ass OH YEAH YOU KNOW IT HIGH FIVE BRO.

@ Bob: “Obviously you guys have never had threesomes and are jealous as hell about it! LMAO As a guy who has been involved in a few threesomes I can assure you that they do not always disrepect the women involved. The ones I have been involved in didn’t. Often times the guy has to be careful not to be left out if the two women start enjoying each other to much.”

Psst – they aren’t enjoying each other too much, they just aren’t enjoying you at all. Face it, you’re no Highball Hal.

@ Blind_Messiah: Hal would TOTALLY pwn Diana & Power Girl in the sack.

@ Tim – I would read a 6 issue mini series starring Hal Jordan, Ma Kent, & Ma Hunkle. GL loves the GILF.

I’m surprised people care so much about the content of this scene. It’s just another example of unshockingly awful James Robinson dialogue in an unshockingly awful James Robinson comic book. The complaints should be more geared toward the fact that this is a completely pointless page which adds nothing to the story and will never be followed up on. Even if the exchange was altered to something tamer, like Hal and Ollie reminiscing on a time they got drunk and passed out on Superman or whatever, it should still annoy you by its complete inanity to the bigger picture of Cry for Justice (snigger). Tonally, it’s hard to imagine a scene more strikingly out of keeping with Cascioli’s art style, to say nothing of James Robinson’s own somewhat dour premise for the series. I don’t know if anyone’s going to get this reference, but I really feel that James Robinson has become the Harold Zoid of making comic books.

@zodcomplex: I wonder if Hal has ever gotten Barry involved in on one of these? I wonder if it were Hal, Barry, and Helena if anyone would care? Would the internet care if a d-list Batgirl doppelganger got dp’d by the brave and the bold? I doubt it.

Citizen Scribbler

August 6, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Oh , Hammerheart. I must have really hurt your feelings worse than casual sex for you to dissect my post so fervently.

Allow me to explain it to you:

One guy saying to another guy- “Way to go, humping those broads” is very smutty. It isn’t my fault if you have no scruples to recognize this.

Who said anything about violence? If it makes you feel better, I do think it’s kinda hypocritical for Batman to get all down on guns, but be perfectly fine with hurling razor-sharp boomerangs at people.

Sure, the analogy between crystal meth and casual sex was exaggerated, but you missed the point entirely. The point was that- just because something is common in society doesn’t make it acceptable. So I wasn’t insane, just a little over your head. And I’m glad it was considered funny by several of you- THAT was intentional

Yes, setting a good example is what makes a hero great. Are you pointing to Spiderman selling his marriage and those other crummy stories as examples of why I’m wrong? Go back and think about that some more. They have fans, but not for those horrible recent stories, but for the ones IN WHICH THEY SET A GOOD EXAMPLE OF CONDUCT.

Don’t settle for less, Hammerheart. Our heroes and the people who write their adventures can do better.

-Citizen Scribbler

Guy Gardner bet Jordan he couldn’t seduce Mogo. Guess what? Guy lost. Hal’s that good.

Don’t settle for less, Hammerheart. Our heroes and the people who write their adventures can do better.

-Citizen Scribbler

I agree. Hal could do WAY better than Helena & Zinda.

@BlindMessiah – Oh Christ, can you imagine what would happen if it came out that Barry & Hal had DPed Starfire? Especially if Barry was married at the time. There’d be more raped childhoods than at a Chuckee Cheese managed by Arthur Light.

I started skimming after a while, but I’m gonna go ahead and award this comments thread to Jason (because he used the phrase “catch the vapors” to describe fan outrage, creating the first connection between fanboys and Scarlet O’Hara ever), Wilbur Lunch (that is no-prize worthy), Joe (that would be a great scene!), and Gail Simone (she is Gail Simone). You can all pick up your prizes at the window. Everyone else; you don’t have to stop complaining about this comic and superhero threesomes, but you can’t stay here!*

*I really wish that I had the authority to close this thread. Or that I had prizes to award Jason, Wilbur, Gail, and Joe. Or hell, even a window. That would be nice.

But really, I’m pretty well with Hatcher on this. Why are people still buying/reading/talking about his comic? Did no one read my open letter to the internet? Why do I even bother?

Also, did anyone use the “nerds arguing over something they don’t have” re: casual sex joke yet, and I missed it because I started skimming? Does it still need to be said, or am I being redundant?

Oh Citizen Scribbler, you are awesome.

@Brad Curran: You already have terrible taste and obnoxious opinions, so why not add being redundant to your list of failures?

@ Brad Curran – you bother because you are in love with the sound of your own voice. The rest of us don’t because we’re in love with the sound of Hal scoring some poon tang.

Scribbler, I had to dissect your post because the amount of insane was too vast and had to be handled carefully. I don’t realistically expect a normal puritan to understand that casual sex isn’t Evil, much less one who equates casual sex with crystal meth (and if you meant that as a joke, you have a warped sense of humor).

As for the laughable “smuttyness” thing – nobody said “Way to go, humping those broads” in the scene posted, so I have to assume that this line came from your own mind. It appears that your mind is filthier than the comic itself.

About the Spidey’s alleged “good example of conduct” – Peter Parker has been committing fraud by selling pictures of himself to a newspaper for FOUR DECADES now. If that’s “setting a good example”, I’m not sure what Peter would have to do to set a “bad” example. Maybe sell his marriage to the Devil? Yeah, that might be enough.

And I’m not “settling for less”, thanks for your simulated concern. I don’t think having casual sex “sets a bad example” at all, either. And no, “setting a good example” is NOT what makes a hero great. Heroism is what makes a hero great. “Setting a good example” is nice, but heroism has nothing to do with that, regardless of how many times you repeat that it does. A coward can set a good example, and a hero can do reprehensible things.

Don’t drink the kool-aid, Scribbler. It may contain “smuttyness”.

“setting a good example is what makes a hero great.”

Well… its definitely one trait… It appears to be your favorite, but not everyone subscribes to your worldview Scrib. Some folks like to see flawed individuals rise to the occasion despite their flaws. Nobody’s perfect, and in fiction, perfect characters are pretty boring. Others define ‘heroism’ differently- for me, its someone who helps people in need. They don’t have to be angels to do that.

@Brad Curran – isn’t being redundant your whole schtick?

“Don’t drink the kool-aid, Scribbler. It may contain “smuttyness”.”

Especially since I stirred it with my dick.

“That’s how guys talk. Sorry, it’s just realistic.”

Oh Lord is this what it’s like to die laughing?

Power Ring, I’m tellin’ ya.

You know what I hate? Talk of sex in my comics that feature big golden gorillas fighting homosexual blue aliens. It just destroys the realism for me.

Is there another page to this going into more detail? I’m not asking because I’m a pervert (while I can’t defend myself against the charge normally). I mean that a fix for that page is as simple as having Huntress or Lady Blackbird slap Ollie in the face for making a joke. The whole page could be read as Ollie messing with Hal about an untrue rumor, maybe one that Ollie made up on the spot and Hal playing along.

“Hey Hal? Remember that time you smoked all that crack?”
“You heard about that?”
“Everyone has, from Man-Bat to Metamorpho. And Rex Mason has smoked a lot of crack, so for him to be impressed takes some doing!”

I’m not saying that was Robinson’s intention, I’m just arguing that it’s easily fixed unless there’s a flashback page showing it.

@ BlindMessiah – they were fighting over who got to eat the leftover girlfriend in the refrigerator. Mmmmm, that’s a tasty plot device!

@ Wrytool – it’s easily fixed if you can accept the fact that Hal Jordan is a PUSSY MAGNET, plain & simple.

So, would you say that the above-mentioned sequence has sparked a cry for justice amongst internet fandom?

Bwa ha ha ha! I’m such a wit.

@zodcomplex: You leave Alex DeWitt out of this! She was a plot device once, and she’ll never be one again!

They were actually divided over which half of Anima belongs to who. Obviously, the bottom half was the desired portion.

I think Citizen Scribbler is fey for justice.

I got kind of jaded about comic book threesomes after the one between Cryll, Titano and Bat-Mite was established as canon during Infinite Crisis.

@ BlindMessiah – Hal Jordan had a three-way with Anima.

@zodcomplex: Did you know that Anima is bi-curious?

Also, this conversation has suddenly become wayyyy more disturbing than anything in the comics. The corpseplay jokes are pretty disgusting, guys.

@BlindMessiah – I had a feeling she went both ways. Anima is special though, she can go both ways AT THE SAME TIME.

@ Buttler – corpseplay? I may be making jokes, but you know the fetish BY NAME.

@zodcomplex: She could indeed. Unfortunately, she’ll never tap dance like she could before.

@zodcomplex: Buttler is eagerly anticipating the Blackest Night: After Hours tie-in.

@ BlindMessiah – yeah, but she can eat whatever she wants & not worry about it going to her hips.

“@zodcomplex: You leave Alex DeWitt out of this! She was a plot device once, and she’ll never be one again!”

Assuming she isn’t a Black Lantern, that is.

@zodcomplex: I would have taken that joke into an entirely different direction. I don’t know if you should be relieved or saddened by that fact.

I would pay cold, hard cash to see CfJ #3 have a similar conversation about Hal’s Eastern conquests where he bedded Kimiyo Hoshi and Katana simultaneously. Most Excellent Green Lantern enter D-List Rapist Doppelganger while donkey punching Mopey Crab with a Sword.

@ BlindMessiah – Kimyo wouldn’t dare sully herself with the likes of DiDio’s mancrush Hal Jordan.

@ BlindMessiah – So I guess it’s just us & the thread. You could say we had a three-way with it. Did you remember to bring the Grappa? Brofive!

Wow, so after making light of rape and necrophilia, you’re gonna drag bad Asian speech pattern stereotypes into this, too?
You motherfuckers are disgusting.

Zor-El of Argo

August 6, 2009 at 2:23 pm

What’s the big deal about threesomes in comics? They’re nothing new. Bouncing Boy has been having them with Duo Damsel for decades!

Zor-El of Argo

August 6, 2009 at 2:25 pm

When did Hal Jordan become a stud, anyway? Sometime after he quit the Green Lantern Corps just because his girlfriend said “or else?”

Power Ring, it’s all about the Power Ring

Citizen Scribbler

August 6, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Thank you, Floyd Lawton. I’m glad SOMEBODY understands me!

And Zodcomplex? You’ve had a bunch of great lines here, quite amusing.

Hammerheart? Once again, you failed to address my points. For instance, my Green Arrow quote was a paraphrase. It was essentially what he said. But you don’t address why that isn’t smutty. And I know you don’t really think I’m insane- otherwise, why would you even bother to address me. The sad truth is that you take me FAR too seriously.

If it makes anyone feel better, I would totally engage in a threesome. But there would be nothing casual about it. :)

-Citizen Scribbler

I changed my mind Citizen Scribbler. I think you’re a man-child with a fear of vaj jay jays.

Mah Va-Jay-Jay is painin

@Oprah

Take care of your minge. And dont neglect gary.

I don’t care that it’s sexist. I’m more offended that it’s just bad. I mean fratboy, retard Ed Hardy clothing wearing Family Guy bad. I mean, DIdio’s DC is already pretentious fratboy bad, but this is bad even by normal standards of Didio DC awful. It’s so damn bad.

@ T: says the guy with a Purple Rain icon. . . there’s no accounting for taste.

@ D Dickerson: Troll hard, baby. Troll hard.

I have one word “Eww”. They must have been pretty drunk to get it on with Hal. Maybe they egged each other on, I bet they woke up with a headache and regretted that mistake.

In all seriousness, is Mogo gay?

Daniel O' Dreams

August 6, 2009 at 4:30 pm

180 comments and no one mentioned the “sweet smell of corruption and cotton candy” line. That’s some bad writing right there! :-)

I said it earlier in the thread: James Robinson deserves to be smacked upside the head with the femur of Andre the Giant for that Princess Bride riff. I mean, Greens Arrow and Lantern, Lady Blackhawk, and Huntress I couldn’t care less about, but don’t go defiling the classics, hack.

Is Mogo gay?

Totally. He was engaged to Venus for, like, 3 centuries, until she caught him in the asteroid belt with Mars.

Power Ring . . . end of story.

I still can’t believe that dumbstuck slammed Secret Six for being just blood and gore with no story and no one called him on it. That book’s easily one of the top five DCU books out right now (it’s my favourite, and I realize YMMV, but it’s definitely one of the better ones right now).

Wasn’t Zinda a bit scandalized that Creote is gay? I’d expect her mores & tastes to be a bit old-fashioned..

Robinson has written much better than that.

@Mike Loughlin
“Is Mogo gay?

Totally. He was engaged to Venus for, like, 3 centuries, until she caught him in the asteroid belt with Mars”

That explains a lot.

“Robinson has written much better than that.”

Thank God DC is putting out the Starman hardcovers to remind everyone.

The thing I find funny about this isn’t the stuff having to do with the threesome aspect of the comic it’s the butthurt fanboys so bitter and jealous of a fictional character that they end up acting like emotional crybabies. It’s amazing the power Hal has not only can he score 2 hot chicks in comics but in the real world can have several people almost having a heart attack because of his actions absolutely hillarious.

this is the same mentality that draws wonder woman’s costume like it’s stucked between her ass cheeks or power girl’s boobs bigger than her head.

Everyone that complains about this threesome is fat.

Karas boobs ARE bigger than her head. Have been for decades.

The fact that she uses them as a distraction to clobber the bad guys s one of the reasons I love her.

Now leave her out of this.

If I ever write a comic, I’m so putting frat boys in green shirts and stuffing them in refrigerators!

With that out of the way …

The hubbub for me, and why I’m shocked the editor let it through in the first place, was that it was such a one-off throwaway line put in for no good reason. No context and two really great characters thrown without any explanation or thought.

Those little lines do add up. A poster here mention Helena’s Catholicism … she pretty much abandoned that during Greg Rucka’s excellent Cry for Blood mini. That was years ago,.and still the idea that Huntress is still Catholic Avenger is still prevalent. Hell, some folks still think she’s the “psycho-bitch” that other superheroes whisper about behind her back.

For the threesome thing: A moronic line written by a written and the even more moronic decision of the editor to let it through doesn’t undermine Birds of Prey’s work on the character. For those that read it. Thoughtless name-dropping like this just continues to perpetuate ideas about a character so many wonderful writers worked hard to flesh out.

Citizen Scribbler

August 7, 2009 at 4:24 am

Boy, Floyd. You sure got MY number!

How can one not tremble before the terror of the portentous gaping maw that is womanhood!?!

I’ll be sure to tell your mother how funny you are next time I roll her off the bed… ;)

-Citizen Scribbler

@Citizen

My mon is only into threesomes. Sorry.

What’s wrong with a threeway? Woman can enjoy their sexuality? Hal Jordon’s a good looking guy. Who’s to say The Huntress is with Vixen somewhere and she’s saying “Heard about you and Lady Blackhawk pinning Green Latern. Well played.”

I hate how sex is reduced to men only. Only men can have sex and if men talk about sex then it’s disgusting. Grow up.

I think it says more about our prudish society than Robinson being sexist. The assumption that because none of the BoP were in a relationship and therefore wouldn’t be having any sex is prudish and potentially sexist in and of itself. What’s wrong with a casual threesome? Sure, it’s a terrible, terrible line in context, but had it been them out on a stakeout or something and just chatting I think it would be totally realistic.

Who cares…he was writing it as two guys bullshitting around. I can’t believe some of you idiots are actually upset about this. Get a life! A real one!

Hate the lack of edit button. I forgot a layer of argument. Why does having a threesome with Hal and Lady Blackhawk make Helena a “slut”? The idea that a woman who would engage in such behavior is somehow doing something wrong is sexist, not the fact that Robinson would right a reference to it happening.
I also don’t like this assumption that people would be angry if it was a pair of women talking about getting their double Green on. If they were then it would be the fault of the people, not the fault of Robinson. I think almost anyone who would want to be involved in a threesome would then be bragging to friends. And how exactly does saying that there would be sexist people who would object to a Green Lantern/F/Green Arrow threesome make a F/Green Lantern/F threesome sexist? Isn’t that the fault of the people? I only have a problem with either of them if Hal and Ollie high fived over top of her, because that’s just lame.

The hubbub for me, and why I’m shocked the editor let it through in the first place, was that it was such a one-off throwaway line put in for no good reason. No context and two really great characters thrown without any explanation or thought.

That was my problem with it.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a piece the New Yorker about SNL called “Group Think” that dealt the dynamics of people trying to make social and cultural changes. One of the aspects is that they tend to sleep with each other and not in stable pairs. Being the total geek that I am, my first thought was that the Satellite-era Justice League stories had apparently skipped the most interesting parts.

So, the idea of three-way featuring our beloved caped wonders seems totally plausible. I have quibbles with one of the characters used, but that seems to be a consistent objection.

The idea that women might have complicated sex lives and identities is not an anti-feminist one from what I understand. The entire field of Third-Wave feminism deals with sexuality and reproductive rights. So, depicting a pair of female superheroes as bi-sexual actually could have been seen as a progressive moment. Well, it could have been that if it were handled better.

The problem is that a major life event for two fairly major female DC heroes is seen entirely from the perspective of two (not very sensitive) men. Ollie (as it was noted elsewhere) may be a liberal in most areas, but has never been a feminist. He is happy to toss his ideals to the side to engage in a little frat-boy banter or to help his partner in Bromance out. I am fine with this. It adds a little complexity to the character. Similarly, Hal Jordan is an utter heel with women, even by the low standards of Silver Age manhood.

But….

Where is the perspective of the women in all this? If Gail Simone thinks that Zinda Blake is up for a three-way with Hal Jordan, then I am willing to take her word for it. However, it would have been nice to have James Robinson provide us with a little set-up. Robinson had to know this would stir things up, so he should have built a little bit of a case. Show me how Hal and Zinda wound up drinking Grappa together. Show me a little light flirting over their shared love of flying. Build the flirtation a little bit. It could have a been a great running “did they or didn’t they” gag. It seems like a little bit of mystery over something like that could be used to build interest in a title.

Anyway ….

None of that solves the “third person” problem. Huntress seems like the wrong choice on a lot of levels. If Robinson had taken the time to build up to his three-way, then he might have realized introducing Helena into that scenario was more difficult than anticipated. The better way to write this would have been to show both Hal Jordan and one of the suddenly plentiful “lipstick lesbians” of the DCU both working away at seducing Zinda. Then, in a twist on the ancient team-up formula decide that it is better to work together than compete. That might have been funny.

Power Ring, gotta have a Power Ring.

I agree with Zombie X

I would assume that

1) James Robinson didn’t read BIRDS OF PREY

B) He was just looking for two characters to fill a throwaway line

and

4) He’s not a particuarly great writer, especially dialogue. He didn’t have to go for an insincere joke there and he definitely didn’t need to waste a page on it.

Thanks for posting this Brian!

[...] **Am I supposed to be angry about Peter’s drunken one night stand with his room mate? Is that a thing to get outraged about, or is the internet still directing all of its outrage at that JLA comic? [...]

Zor-El of Argo

August 7, 2009 at 2:40 pm

My question is: what was Hal really going to confess? Just going on this one page it seems that he wanted to be serious and GA inappropriately made light. If so it’s either really bad writing or Robinson just doesn’t like Ollie and wanted to show us what an ass he is.

However, if this was just casual conversation between bros then Ollie high-fiving Hal for a first rate score is totally what real men do. At least, that’s what they do when one is able to score like that, which most of this threads posters obviously don’t. Point is, there is no need for Robinson to set anything up. Showing flashbacks of the threesome would add nothing to the story at hand. He was just writing dialogue. Not every line of dialogue has to be revelant to the story. The guys at work and I often talk about things that have nothing to do with the operation of our machine or the parts we have to produce. And yes, one of the guys often makes crude sexual comments about the women who work in the plant. It happens. That’s life.

Oh, and don’t worry guys. I’m sure some writer or another will address this line with detail eventually. You might even get a semi-censored flashback to complain about.

I don`t think it`s really that Gail Simone is showing any puritanical attitudes in her objections, just fear of a puritanical response in others (some of which can be seen in this thread).
Remember, when she alluded to Huntress having what is basically a normal sex life as far as anyone sane is concerned, quite a number of shitheaded troglodytes crawled out of the wooodwork to scream that the character was a “slut.“

However, if this was just casual conversation between bros then Ollie high-fiving Hal for a first rate score is totally what real men do. At least, that’s what they do when one is able to score like that, which most of this threads posters obviously don’t. Point is, there is no need for Robinson to set anything up. Showing flashbacks of the threesome would add nothing to the story at hand. He was just writing dialogue. Not every line of dialogue has to be revelant to the story….

@Zor-El of Argo:

It may be a conversation between bros, but it is also new information to the reader. It is information that pretty clearly has major effect on how a lot of people posting on this board view the characters in question. More to the point, that was pretty clearly the intent at least with regard to Hal and Ollie. After all, James Robinson took a whole page to impart the information.

So, I don’t think that you can write it off to “that is just how men talk” and back it up with a vacuous ad hominem attack on whoever might disagree with you. Maybe you were getting high-fives from your “bros” the morning after you hooked up with Alura, but that is not how everyone behaves. Which is I suspect why Robinson wrote the scene in the first place. I believe that he is trying to establish Hal Jordan as an Alpha Dog and remind the readers that Hal and Ollie are good buddies. The goading Ollie gives Hal is certainly consistent with relationship Denny O’Neil established 30-odd years ago.

Sadly, it does not come across that way.

The alpha dog tends to be the person who everyone in the group likes and respects. In mixed gender groups, men who treat their partners badly lose status pretty quickly. Other guys stop taking their cues from them, because it limits their options. The “I’d rather be known for the planes I flew …” remark is exactly the sort of disrespect that plays poorly with most women in my experience. If they agreed to something like a three-way, then it had damn well better be a cherished memory and referred to only in GLOWING and RESPECTFUL terms. When Ollie went home and repeated that line to Dinah, I would be willing to bet it drew the dreaded ick face.

Nothing kills a Bromance faster than an ick face from the wife.

A big part of the problem is the out-of-left field nature of the revelation. If I have learned anything from a lifetime of sit-coms, then it is that people are way more interested in the “will-they or won’t they” than they are in the stuff that comes after. Building a relationship and a plausible scenario would have created some reader interest. The scene Robinson gives us here is like a punchline without a set-up. A flashback would have made that problem worse, not better. Everyone who has ever blown a joke knows that you never explain it afterward.

As I said in my earlier post, the premise does not bother me. It is the execution that was poor.

Zor-El of Argo

August 8, 2009 at 6:49 am

I still don’t get how Hal Jordan got elevated to “alpha-male.” That status just doesn’t get bestowed upon guys who screw up as much as he does. Just a couple years ago the JLA was ready to fire Wally West because he went to Hal for help with his not-so-secret ID…THAT’S how out of the loop Hal was. Now all the women want him and men want to be him? Give me a break! “Rock Star among superheroes” my ass…more like JLA’s answer to Willie Nelson. He keeps pissing it all away followed by lame comebacks.

Huntress and Lady Blackhawk probably used him to spice up their own thing then left him to his “flight of shame” while they had breakfast without him. No wonder he was so embarrassed! Ollie was being kind acting like everyone thinks Hal was the player!

Zor-El of Argo

August 8, 2009 at 9:26 am

@Dean: Most women prefer that men they slept with don’t brag to thier buddies about it. Bragging about sexual conquests is immature so Hal at least gets points for keeping it cool when Ollie starting baiting him. No, most guys don’t act like Ollie did here, but I know plenty enough who act exactly like that. Then rest of us usually chuckle and shake our headfs in response. I wasn’t trying to validate either Hal or Ollie, I’m just saying the scene is not badly written…it just makes Hal and Ollie, mostly Ollie, look bad.

Okay, maybe it casts Zinda and Helena in a bad light too, but only if you accept Ollie’s assumption that Hal played them. Since Hal was man enough to not brag, we only have a third or forth party assessment which in my view leaves the ladies reps completely intact.

@Zor-El:

Again, it goes back to my central problem that there is too much new information being dumped on the reader in one page. The first rule of good sequential story-telling is “show, don’t tell”. Obviously, we are not going to see an on-panel threesome in a mainstream DC superhero book, but that is not the only thing we are learning.

Let’s break it down:
1. We learn that Hal Jordan is (or was) attracted to Lady Blackhawk. This is plausible, but new information.
2. We learn that Hal Jordan is (or was) attracted to the Huntress. This is also both plausible and new, albeit less so.
3. We learn that Lady Blackhawk is (or was) attracted to Hal Jordan. This is plausible, but new information.
4. We learn that either the Huntress is (or was) attracted to Hal Jordan, or that her relationship with Zinda had a previously unacknowledged dimension. This is both new and highly implausible to me.
5. We learn that (at minimum) Helena and Zinda have a much emotionally enmeshed relationship than we had seen in “Birds of Prey”. This is plausible, but a major revelation.
6. We learn that Hal Jordan, Zinda Blake and Helena Bartelli have few enough moral objections to the idea of a three-way that they could be suppressed by a single bottle of Grappa. This has varying degrees of plausibility for each, but it is real news for Jordan who has always been depicted as a “traditional values” type. It seems even more unlikely for the Huntress, who has always been depicted as being extremely private.
7. We learn that they did it.
8. We learn that either Zinda, or Helena, felt the need to talk to Black Canary about it. Again, it is plausible and new information.
9. We learn that either Zinda, or Helena, talked about what happened with Dinah. It is possible to interpret this as one (or both) feeling used while intoxicated. That puts Hal into a moral gray area, at best.
10. We learn that Dinah told Ollie and either expected him to discuss it with him, or keep his mouth shut. This is news and puts either Hal or Ollie into a bad light.
11. We learn that Ollie is a bit of a Jackass. This both highly plausible and very old news.
12. We learn that Hal is ashamed enough of what he did that he doesn’t want it to sully his reputation. Again, this is news and puts Hal into a bad light.

That is twelve pieces of information. Only #7 really needs to be censored in any way to keep things in the PG-13 zone. None of them were shown to the reader to set up the scene with Hal and Ollie. Items #5 and #9 can be read several different ways that radically effect how the characters involved are perceived, so they needed a lot of clarification prior to this scene. Other than #7, #11 and #12, Robinson does not provide much explanation within the scene itself. Other than #11 and #12, they are all things that are much better being shown (with clever censoring) than being told. To me, that means each is almost a scene in itself.

Considering Robinson took almost the entire previous issue to convey one piece of information, the pacing seems a little … off.

I have decided that this entire conversation is preposterous. I guarantee Robinson didn’t put nearly as much time into thinking about this as we all have.

Agreed, Russ, it seems pretty evident that Robinson didn’t put that much thought into it.

Zor-El of Argo

August 8, 2009 at 2:17 pm

@Dean,

Keep in mind that comics often drop little tidbits that won’t explored until much later. That’s the thing with continuing dramas, especially in a shared universe. Remember when the monitor started popping up all over the DCU? It was months before we learned anything substantial about him. Same with Oracle. Robinson may very well be planning to take over writing GL in the near future…or doing a Lady Blackhawk mini or something.

@ Zor-El:

Maybe Robinson will show us all 12 items, but it will probably not be very interesting. Fight scenes and love scenes both serve a narrative purpose in that they release tension. The more tension has been built, the more satisfying the release as general rule. That is why sexual tension sit-coms are so popular. They really don’t need to show all that much. They just need figure out an effective way to release the tension that they have built up between the two characters. Teri Hatcher launched her career on an image that released sixty years of tension between Lois Lane and Superman.

Once it is put in past tense, it is difficult to re-build that tension. The comedies of re-marriage pulled it off, but not every character really is appropriate for a comic treatment. Looking back at my list, each item needs several sub-items to clarify. Take for example the simplest #1:

1. We learn that Hal Jordan is (or was) attracted to Lady Blackhawk. This is plausible, but new information.

Ok. Now we need to know:
a. How did they meet?
b. Who was the instigator?
c. What sparked their connection? I am assuming planes and flying.
d. Did the connection build slowly, or are they the type of people who act on these things quickly?

That is four sub-items and bear in mind that is the simplest one to explain. It is a lot easier to keep the attention of the reader when the tension is building than after it has been released. Let’s assume there are between 4-6 sub items in each case. That is sixty details to fill in to tell this story properly. Sixty. Most could be resolved in a panel. or two. Some might require multiple pages.

I doubt anyone really wants to plow through all sixty items of a romantic sub-plot with neither suspense, nor humor, nor any of the other elements Tim Robbins enumerated in “The Player”.

Zor-El of Argo

August 8, 2009 at 3:44 pm

@ Dean

You make it way to complicated. Threesomes are usually made up of an existing couple with a third party joining in just for sex. Whether it is a close friend to one of the partners or a random hook-up, whether it was planned or spontaneous(the latter being where a bottle of Grappa might come into play) the starting point is still the couple. Build the relationship of the couple and the threesome becomes just one of those things.

If Zinda and Helena are the couple the writer may need to explain why they want a man for the third and why Hal in particular(I would assume they were having drinks together immediately following a battle), but the attraction for Hal requires no explaination. Two women. Both hot. Both want him. At the same time. He’s a guy. ‘Nuff said.

@ Zor-El:

That is a fair enough description of real life, but that is not what I am talking about. The question to me is how to tell a good story.

I am not going to get into it, but saying that Zinda and Helena are established couple is even more convoluted than what I proposed. It requires everything above plus two previously heterosexual women deciding to become a homosexual couple and then bringing a man into their sex life. It is certainly possible, but it requires even more set up and explanation for it to be good fiction.

My point is that Robinson made a huge story-telling mistake here. It is a hole so deep that it probably impossible for him to dig out of.

Zor-El of Argo

August 8, 2009 at 4:30 pm

@ Dean

I’m going to concede your point. Zinda and Helena would take a good deal of explanaition and I only suggested them because they are the ones not currently being used in an ongoing series…which I think was Gail’s main point. If the women in question had been Grace and Thunder not much explanation would be needed other than why Thunder’s father/Hal’s JLA teammate hasn’t shoved a lightning bolt up his ass yet.

But he didn’t say Grace and Thunder, he said two women who have had enough exposure for people to take note of the fact that niether has been previously suggested to be gay, bi, or even bi-curious. I think Robinson was just trying to suggest these characters have layers of private lives that are not always shown on panel, but it was a weak way to go about it. Or maybe it was just an adolesent joke based on his own fanboy fantasies.

Either way, I’m bored with this thread. Hey Cronin, bring on the next controversy!

I’m considering submitting this entire thread as a Ph. D. thesis in sociology and sexuality.

Citizen Scribbler

August 10, 2009 at 10:44 am

I just want to point out that some people are getting their panties in a bunch over imagined disagreements.

I don’t think I’ve seen one comment on this thread which said that threesomes are bad. Nor have I read a comment where somebody said that Hal getting it on with two women was cool, but not GL/GA got it on together with a woman. NOBODY SAID EITHER OF THOSE THINGS. And yet, this comment list is full of people saying how we need to protect ourselves from the puritans. Where are they!?! Those people are nothing more than hypothetical, and I doubt their existence at all.

If anything, MY remarks have been probably the most puritanical-sounding here, and much of that was by way of satire. My only contention was that casual sex is problematic and unheroic. However, I think we may differing opinions on what constitutes “casual sex”. A couple bringing in a friend for a threesome is NOT casual sex, because there is a relationship. Getting a BJ in a restroom from a stranger IS casual sex and, in my opinion, psychologically unhealthy and gross- and not what I want read about in comic books either.

-Citizen Scribbler

Why do you have to be a “prude” to find this kind of subject matter in a comic book irritating? It’s just pandering to the lowest common denominator and lazy writing. If it was just GA’s comment and then the two of them moving on, it would have been funny. But instead, GA beats the joke into the ground and it turns into something even Kevin Smith would have left on the cutting room floor.

Why do you have to be a “prude” to find this kind of subject matter in a comic book irritating?

Personally, I find the idea of exploring the sex lives of superheroes interesting, because it is major part of life that has not really been dealt with. We know the name of mail man at Baxter Building, but not the story of the first time Reed and Sue “did it”.

With regard to Hal Jordan, he is the strongest willed person on Earth pretty much by definition. That implies all sorts of things with regard to dating behavior that has never been explored. Handled properly, it would clarify his character and make him an easier character to relate to.

That is why it bugs me so much to see it handled badly.

@ Citizen Scribbler,

Quite a few posters suggested that for a threesome to happen Hal had to have gotten the women drunk and taken advantage of them. Others complained that it couldn’t have happened because Huntress is not a “casual sex” kind of girl anymore. This is what spawned much of the debate; the assumption that a threesome can only happen if the guy basically rapes the women, or the women are sluts.

c´mon they are comic books for crist sake don´t take so serius grow up

Man stop complaining!

“But I hate to see Huntress get branded as a slut again.” That means it´s not the first time.

She is slutty and the character sucks.

Stop whinning!

Robinson rules!

@ Lucho

“She is slutty and the character sucks”

I’ll pass on commenting on the first part of that, as for the second I liked the Helena Wayne of Earth-2 version better, myself. Now that Earth-2 is back maybe someone will do something with that Huntress again. Does Roy Thomas still write comics?

I got this book b/c of the art and b/c I wanted to see what all the hype about Robinson was. I have no clue how ANYONE could have thought this series is anything but lame. Give me a break, issue #1 the characters are running around screaming I WANT JUSTICE …. seriously… BWHAHAHAHA… I could write better than that. My 6 year old nephew could write better.

And then Robinson adds cherry on top . . . a 3 some page… wow… and some ppl are choosing to ignore the sexism in that … right… I guess we just live in a post racial, post sexist world…. its all khumbaya land hehe. I mean most super-men are covered head to toe while most super-women are running around near naked… but oh well… and Hal he is just such a stud that he would make any girl a **** for him. 3 some??? why stop there, Hal and Ollie actually got themselves a harem and shagged 1/2 the DC **** just based on their studliness.

Oh I have got to add one more comment. . . the ppl who are telling us “prudes” to “grow up”, we aren’t the ones having a gleeful wank party just b/c one of your favorite sexual fantasies have come true. . . little fanboy takes his cry for justice #2 into his bedroom to have a conversation with Rosie Palm LoL

seriously? this is what the whole discussion has turned into? I mean honestly that’s how Hal and Ollie are together, two guys being guys. and who’s to say it’s slutty to have a threesome with him or even to suggest that it’s sexist, that’s just a uneducated statement to make it’s not the 50′s it’s not very scandalous in this world now, and honestly the series itself is trying to parody what society is like today, people are stinkin crazy. and the Definition of Justice as the JLA tries to enforce is clearly going down the drain in the DC universe because The villains in it are becoming more bold and more unhinged and will stop at nothing to do what they want to do. to say the series is lame because people are Saying they want justice is just stupid, it may be some of your opinions but it is a very stupid one. the whole point is all the characters experienced losses that some will never truly partake in. I think it’s very true to the characters and their integrity. its not a pile like world war 3 to which its only saving grace was Hal Jordan’s character as the spectre putting everyone in their place.

It’s silly enough to respond to the piece with indignation months after the fact.

It’s even worse when your response is as poorly thought out as that.

clearly your still responding to it…..either way you clearly must not read too many comics to come to the conclusion that the comic book world for women is actually very sexist. but your only looking at a very small part of one issue of a comic and making a judgement on a writer because you clearly have a hardon for the birds of prey writer gail simone. I mean have you read anything else with Green arrow and green lantern teamed up?

I see all the comments.

You, however, do not, so you actually are going out of your way to respond to a three-month old debate. Which is odd enough, but to wait three months and then argue something stupid?

Seems like a waste.

[...] and James Robinson, best known for his great Starman series of the 90s, but who has himself been generating some controversy in his Justice League: Cry For Justice mini-series. This, along with a rotating cast, has kept me [...]

Well, It’s a bit weird… I kind of read it as possibly exaggerated. I could see a tall tale like that circulate among a group of stressed, working professionals, like cops or high pressure office environment. And as a strong believer in the positive aspects of sexual freedom, I also hate the implication that if it’s true, then Huntress is a slut, and “bad”.

If it was in character, then it would be fine, and as mentioned above, I could see Lady Blackhawk maybe involved, but Huntress is a stretch. Maybe Hal was hitting on Huntress, got shot down, but wound up with Zinda? Of course, I also agree with the comment above, that such things should go both ways (no pun intended). If Black Canary hooks up with two studs for a night of fun, their should be nothing wrong there either. But the fact is, none of these characters are normally portrayed as sexually uninhabited enough to have a threesome with their friends… it just doesn’t make sense. Maybe someone like Starfire, or on the male side, I don’t know, maybe a Booster Gold and Blue Beetle Sandwich?

Also, I’d just like to say to Gail Simone, your run on Birds of Prey was truly a high point in comics writing. I really cared about the friendship between the three leads, and was often touched when they stood up for one another, even when they were privately angry or hurt by the other’s actions. The fact that they were friends first and foremost was absolutely the series’ strength, and I feel like later writers completely lost that feeling. I really miss that book!

WOOHOO! Just read Gail Simone and Ed Benes are coming back on BOP relaunch! What perfect synchronicity!

This whole series read like it was written while drunk. I have liked Robinson in the past, but I feel he has gotten lazy. (Bendisitis)

Oh my god, man — chill out. If you wanna talk geek:

You know the relationship Ollie and Hal have and the type of jokes that float around when Green Arrow is involved. If you have the HC of CFJ than Robinson explains how he expect contravesy of the book (I dont think this particular part is what he had in mind, but whatever) and makes other liner notes of the books content.

OK, this is where it gets good –

A super hero three way. Five words that, to me, well — they’re–they’re just great.

Final point:

If this is gonna be your focus of the series than I feel bad for you…cause you’re missing out on some good storytelling.

Why is it a negative that some adults got together for a good time? Why is it degrading to Huntress to have sex with whoever the heck she wants to? Why is it painting the character in a negative light by saying they’re sexually active? Isn’t it more degrading to look down on a woman for exercising her own sexual freedom? Disagreeing with the storyline because it seems out of character is certainly fine, but to say that having sex somehow cheapens a character… well to me at least that seems just a bit narrow minded.

[...] Throwing female heroines under the bus for cheap titillation? Killing DC’s only male African hero to give a talking [...]

Realizing this may be an unpopular opinion, I almost way to say that this is a case of telephone. (Remember, that game that was played as children where you whispered one thing in one person’s ear, they whispered in the next person’s, and at the end you heard what the message became?)

Because Hal’s never really had a problem with the fact that he’s a slut, and his callous way of saying “I’d rather be known for the planes I flew” could also be in reference to the fact that this “plane” did not in fact fly.

A bottle of grappa could have been had and then any number of things happened — but he likes showing off too much to admit that he never had a threesome with the ladies mentioned.

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