Em oi! #358: Kiss Me Deadly

Arguably, Batman should be on this list somewhere.

You can click to embiggen this, though I’m not sure why you’d want to, it’s already so large.

I have kind of a love-hate relationship with superhero comics. I really enjoy the frequent assertion that just having immense power, muscles, intelligence, etc., doesn’t make life a smooth sail–Spiderman may be able to defeat Doc Ock, but he can’t ask Mary Jane to the prom, and good luck Clark Kent getting Lois to look at you instead of Superman. Bruce Wayne may be quite a catch, but when a lady realizes her boyfriend is spending his nights driving around town with a young lad in a sports car, well, maybe she begins to think the romance is gone. The stuff that makes superhero comics interesting, in short, isn’t what makes them super, but what makes them human.

The Authority was a comic that attracted my attention in about 2005 or 2006 because it turns a lot of common comics tropes on their heads. It’s about a group of super heroes (Jenny Sparks/Jenny Quantum, Jack Hawksmoor, the Engineer, the Doctor, Swift, Apollo, and the Midnighter) in the style of the Justice League who live on an interdimensional space craft and save the planet frequently. Instead of having secret identities and living normal lives when they’re off duty, the Authority act like rock stars, getting drunk, getting laid, using drugs, going to parties, showing off…basically exactly what you might act like if you had super powers. They are quite violent and often act like they are above the law, including interfering in global politics (one issue shows them forcing the Chinese to withdraw from Tibet, among other things, and at one point they take over the US government as a junta). Their basic strategy is not something along the lines of, “Humanity needs to be protected from alien threats so it can reach its full potential,” (a la Superman), but more like “We know what’s best for you.” Needless to say, this doesn’t always work out.

Anyway, they have several female team members who are real members of the team and not just along to balance out the demographics, and also two gay men who happen to be an early gay superhero marriage, as I mention above. I can’t over-emphasize though, the Authority was always, if not badly drawn then really unevenly drawn, and after Ellis left the writing was pretty uneven too. The Midnighter later got his own comic which was entertaining if you enjoy watching people kick the heads off Nazis, for example.

And in some ways, that last paragraph encapsulates what I dislike about superhero comics: frequently badly (and unrealistically) drawn, in a style I find very difficult to replicate, with uneven writing, few realistic female characters, few characters of any ethnicity other than Caucasian, and terrible plots. I would hardly be original to observe that many comic artists draw female characters as though they’d never really seen a woman before, but as a woman I have to say that tendency bothers me. But while doing some reference drawings of Apollo last night, I realized the male musculature is just as abnormal.

I’ll class this comic under PN6232.C6116 L86 2012, for Collections of general literature—Wit and humor—Collections on special topics, A-Z—Comic books, strips, etc.

And here as a bonus is the first comic I ever did with Superman in it:
For better or for awesome

I remember when I drew this, I knew my actual wedding dress was going to be red, so I drew the dress in the comic blue to throw everyone off. This was totally important at the time.

Filing this one retrospectively under: P96.S94 L86 2009, for Philology. Linguistics—Communication. Mass media—Special aspects—Other, A-Z—Superman—General works.

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