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Monday, October 12, 2015 

Why mustn't we know their history?

Since we're on the subject of Dynamite's needless placation of SJW whiners with even semi-practical outfits for the heroines they're publishing stories about, here's something on Tech Times that I don't think I'd paid full attention to before, where Gail Simone says something ludicrous. First though:
These ladies are about to get a wardrobe upgrade, with a look that's altered for a modern take on their iconic costumes.
"A modern take"? And what's that supposed to mean? That the bikini-style outfits they usually wore in the past are throughly dated and shameful? If I were Edgar Rice Burroughs, I'd be turning in my grave to hear how people like that are repaying him for all the favors he tried to do in his time. Now, here's what Simone says at the end:
As regards the accessibility of the new series, Simone says, "You don't need to know their history, you just need to like awesome damn women doing awesome damn stuff. Come join us!"
That sure sounds fishy. Why shouldn't anyone know their history? Does that mean she doesn't recognize how helpful the internet's been for research either? And unless Red Sonja, Dejah Thoris and Vampirella are scripted awesomely, which may not be so much the case with the way she's been going of late, how can they truly be awesome? Telling people history doesn't matter isn't helpful, and disregards many of the past creators and writers who did such hard work to produce the entertainment products she's working on now. Indeed, why isn't she even saying whether they're going to keep remaining faithful to Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Forest J. Ackerman, Trina Robbins and even Roy Thomas, who developed Red Sonja from a character featured in one of the original Conan books? Maybe because they know these superficial alterations alone don't guarantee a well written tale?

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Kelly Sue McConnick pulled the same nonsense over Ms. Marvel's iconic black costume: "It's too dated!" Or the usual present-ism, "Everything before I showed up was racist/sexist/just plain wrong." Same here, same obnoxious attitude.

I suppose I could be generous to Simone in that once you know the basics of Red Sonja and Vampirella, you're more or less good to go. (I know very little with Vampirella, so.) However, that doesn't work with Dejah Thoris, since Burroughs wrote her with specific time frames in mind (she met John Carter at this time/novel, then she had his children at this time/novel). It's the static vs. sliding timescale argument, and Thoris is very much static vs. the other two tend to be written under sliding rules -- has anyone ever done a proper timeline for Red Sonja, as she's written all over the place?

Sounds like Simone is trying the Informed Attribute, "tell the audience that character is awesome and/or has this awesome ability, not by showing why he/she is." Especially as I didn't much care for Simone's first Sonja run (gay characters and all), and how I won't read Sonja until she goes.

But, hey, most comic writers like Simone think this way with the present-ism anymore, so it's not like she's alone, unfortunately.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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