Saturday, January 26, 2013

Blogathon 25: Garth Ennis's Best Female Characters (Part 2)

I haven't read Dear Billy, so I'll have to take Brian's word on that one. I have read Ennis's Hellblazer and agree with regards to Kit. I did find her a little one-note in her relationship with John, but she served a specific role and filled it well. Her later reppearance (of sorts) in issue 200 was even more terrible because she had been left out of the book for so long.

I guess I'll take issue with the Tulip stuff, because while she is clearly the 'least' of the three leads, I don't think she's as shunted to the side as Brian suggests (I could be reading that a little harsher than he intends). Part of the point of the series is that she gets shunted to the side by Jesse and everything we see with her is meant to show how wrong that is. She can handle a weapon, she keeps a cool head, and she saves his ass a time or two. She can also put Jesse in his place and keep him grounded. Beyond him, she functions just well. She's the one outside enough to see through Cassidy (though his behaviour doesn't help) and, often, sees things more clearly than Jesse, because she's not weighed down by his macho bullshit. It probably doesn't count per se, but one of my favourite panels in the whole series is in the final issue when she sees Jesse crying. That reaction may be the best thing that Steve Dillon has ever drawn. And you don't get that sort of reaction on my part if all that I can about is Jesse. Everything about that panel was earned because of Tulip and her story. Her childhood, her father, her saving her friend from date rape, her relationship with Jesse, her time outside of Jesse... it was a moment where you could see that maybe she would be happy and, goddamn, I wanted that. It didn't seem fair that Jesse could fuck that up and she would have to pay the price, too. It was never just about Jesse... if anything, for me, that moment was more about her and it working out for her.

If Ennis has one big failing with women it's that, too often, they exist only to point out the flaws in his views on masculinity... while then enforcing them by being with the men who espouse them. They sometimes seem to simply put up the token arguments before falling into bed with the very men they were criticising pages before. That is something very problematic and he's never really gotten rid of entirely.

In 30 minutes, I will tell you that Cyclops was right. Tim O'Neil will probably tell you that he was wrong. Trouble's a'brewing.

My mom donated and put the total up to $920! And she doesn't even love comics. She just loves me. Most of you love comics AND love (like? respect? tolerate?) me, so what's your excuse?

Also: we're halfway done. (Is that right? Only halfway? Oh lord...)

[Don't forget to donate what you can to the Hero Initiative (Details in this post)! After you do, let me know via comment or e-mail (found at the righthand side) so I can keep track of donations -- and who to thank.]