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Sunday, October 23, 2011 

Lobdell won't take responsibility for his crummy rendition of Starfire

Newsarama interviewed Scott Lobdell about his new work on Red Hood and the Outlaws, including his terrible stunt depicting princess Koriand'r as a heartless quasi-amnesiac who engages in aimless sex. But he seems intent on laying the blame more at the feet of the readership than acknowledging he's a terrible writer who's laid waste to one of the New Teen Titans' most famous members:
Nrama: Scott, I'm sure you've heard about the negative reaction some fans had to the portrayal of Starfire in Red Hood and the Outlaws #1. Did it surprise you?

Lobdell: It didn't surprise me that there were some people who didn't like it.

What surprised me was that it almost caused the Internet to melt.

 Mostly, what has surprised me has been the very vulgar way that people believe they are coming to the defense of Kori: they hurl words like "slut" and "whore" and expressions too disgusting to repeat here that are only used to demean women. 

Lets consider an imaginary woman who has more than one or two lovers. Is it fair to label her with dismissive and derogatory language? Because we disagree with the choices she makes, to do what she wants with her own body? Are we still at a place in society where we're going to call a woman — any woman — names that reinforce gender inequality?

The good thing is that the story has gotten people to talk about issues they are passionate about — and that can only ever lead to a better understanding on everyone's part.
Except Lobdell's, that is. While there are sadly some would-be readers who're still willing to criticize the characters instead of how they're written, and plagued with bizarre favoratism where they won't judge by story instead of cast and characters, I don't think Lobdell is addressing that kind of a problem at all. No, I think he's just trying to divert the blame onto the audience because he finds it so much more convenient than to admit he's human and can make mistakes. He's really scraped bottom this time.

It's bad enough if there's still some fools out there who're more than willing to criticize the characters instead of the real life writer's efforts and make no attempt to correct that approach. But it's equally bad - if not more so - if the writers themselves are going to insult everyone's intellect by not taking responsibility for a poor writing job, not to mention their clear enjoyment of how they stirred the controversy cauldron instead of getting people to chat for the right reasons. Everyone who was galled at Lobdell's dumb move will hopefully turn to the New Teen Titans: Games graphic novel instead, which has a far more respectable writer at the helm, Marv Wolfman, Starfire's very own co-creator.

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And the moral of the story?


There was an interesting speculation on the 'Red Hood and the Outlaws' forum on the DC message board. The person who posted there wondered if Lobdell was somehow projecting a personal concern about his ex-wife upon Kory. Kory was Dick's gf, and now is depicted sleeping around indiscriminately, notably with Jason Todd. Can't remember who her friends are, is a total slut, etc etc.

The person who posted the query noticed that in different interviews about his plans for Red Hood, he alluded to personal marital problems as a source for writing about relationships in comics. I don't know if there's anything to the speculation, or anything about Lobdell's private life, or even if the interviews did state that. But I can see how it could be read as a public message with private meaning (a big f--- you) to an ex wife, that says, 'this is what you really are.'

I'd add to this that the DCnU creators are not fielding understandable questions from fans very gracefully.


They're probably not answering questions in a comprehensible way because they don't understand the answers themselves. The whole New Coke DCU "continuity" appears to have been conceived by Didio, et al, after a weekend bender.

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