Friday, June 29, 2007

Record: Bill Willingham

A writer whose works strike me as being more than bit overrated, but whose work on a few DC titles has certainly raised my eyebrows in concern. These include the following:
  • In Robin, he put in quite a few negative swipes at females. For example, at the beginning, there was a female contract shooter tracking the Teen Wonder. Then, there were two of the mercenary Ravens, featured during the Batman: War Games crossover, all for the sake of it. And then, to hammer things to the very bottom, we had Spoiler being tortured by Black Mask…with a drill. She died later on the operating table in the Batcave, and the Masked Manhunter showed no genuine sorrow over her death.
  • The above was made even worse in a subsequent story called War Crimes in Detective Comics where Leslie Thompkins says that she let Spoiler die to teach Batman a lesson about the perils of being a vigilante and superhero. She even invites him to shoot her dead with a firearm because she doesn’t have the courage to do it herself, of all the ludicrous things that could be thought of for a story like this.
  • In the Day of Vengeance miniseries, he turned Jean Loring, in a continuation of the villification she underwent in Identity Crisis, into a female version of Eclipso, for the purpose of influencing the Spectre to destroy magic in the DC universe. The worst part about it was that, as told by Columbus Alive, some of the dialect in the beginning part sounded like a woman being sexually harrassed.
A writer who writes crass ideas like that does not deserve to be working in entertainment. And it makes no difference whether the story is for adults, it would be distasteful at any time. Willingham should be ignored as a comics writer.


At 8:46 AM , Blogger Avi Green said...

While the article from the Columbus Alive weekly is no longer online, I do have an excerpt from it that I will post here in boldface:

While we only hear her half of the conversation, with the diamond’s half apparently occurring in her head, it sounds nauseatingly like a woman being sexually harassed. Writer Bill Willingham’s dialogue: “Oh, no, I could never do that! What kind of woman do you think I am?… Because I was raised better than that—that’s why!… If I did agree—we’d only have to do it once?… And you’d never tell anybody?”

Ick. She gives in, at which point her top blows open, the diamond plants itself in her breast, and voila! She’s now a super-powered villainess.

Anyone who reads a book like that deserves whatever they get.


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