Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Golden Hymen

So, I'm reading J. Michael Straczynski's Amazing Spider Man slowly, one trade at a time, because I can only put up with but so much of Peter Parker at one time. He's basically a fanboy Mary Sue (OK, fine, Marty Stu), and beyond the disruption in my suspension of disbelief that his long-winded witty remarks during lightning-quick combat moves create, some part of my brain knows that he's basically just another fully-grown man who still thinks the word "come" is fucking hilarious when used as a noun.

(NB I have nothing against fanboys. I spend a lot of time with fanboys. I can deal with the juvenile sense of humor. I've even learned to put up with their fetishization of various really creepy elements of fan culture -- say, Japanese schoolgirls, for a shudder-inducing example -- by laughing at them loudly when they talk about it. I can't patronize fictional characters into submission, though, so Peter is a right pain in the ass.)

At any rate, I got to the middle of the "Sins Past" story arc and nearly peed myself for laughing. (NB This is where I tell you to stop reading if you don't want to be spoiles for something that came out two years ago. Because I'm nice like that.) Peter has just discovered that Gwen Stacy had twins that were fathered by a pity-induced fling with Norman Osborn (that's Green Goblin to the uninitiated). Now, this is apparently a controversial decision amongst fans (I've tried to stay out of comics fandom online, because that way lies madness; this is the google overview). But none of those reviews, critiques, or controversies even touches on the element that triggered my irate laughter.

You see, once MJ gets done telling Peter the story of Gwen's hidden pregnancy by an insane, power-hungry super villian, Peter gets down to the business of freaking out about what matters most: the fact that she was a virgin when she slept with Osborn. Seriously. Through the entire gruesome tale, he's pretty collected; it's this realization that makes him snap. Because, sure, the pregnancy, the running off to a foreign country to give birth and hide the kids, the batshit megolomaniac ALL MATTER LESS than the fact that Petey didn't get to bust her cherry.

Y'all. I couldn't stop laughing. Sure, some would likely say it's more about failure to protect her from a manipulative older man (which is also problematic, yo), but it essentially comes down to his enemy fucked her first. There are two enhanced humans coming after you because they think you're their deadbeat father, Peter, but by all means take the time to bust a few pieces of furniture over your dead girlfriend's poor hymen. Does the phrase "least of your problems" mean anything to you?

Seriously, both the flashbacks to Osborn arguing with himself (I can't... I CAN!... Osborn... Goblin...) over fucking her in the first place and Peter's anger at him for taking something so vewwy pwecious to her suggest that poor, dead Gwen had no input into the situation at all. She's a convenient, penis-sized hole filled with angsty plot twists. You'd think Parker's first love deserved better than that.

ETA: Oh, holy hell. I just read the first ish of "Claws" an it did NOT help Peter's image at all. Granted, it did this by writing him completely out of character, but pervy-molester!spidey was not an image I ever wanted to contemplate. Eurgh. Though Black Cat's line about him being immature and maladjusted is highly quotable. Er, or would be if I had written it down.


Blogger Ragnell said...

Oh my gawd... I didn't read this and now I'm so glad I didn't. I can keep my fannish mental Spiderman image intact.

My personal Peter Parker isn't nearly so petty.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous robin said...

yes! someone else who doesnt get worked into a lather by spiderman! thank you for finally putting into words what bothers me about him-- i could never quite explain why he bored me to all my fanboy friends. and i'm totally using the phrase "marty stu" from now on ;)

9:35 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Yeah, JMS started really well at the beginning of the series, but, trust me, it just gets worse. Wait'll you get to The Other storyline. Considered probably the worst Spidey story ever, maybe even topping the Spider-Clone storyline.

8:16 AM  

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