Tonight, on Day 24 of 30 Days of Blogging (which I think we need to just go ahead and make a thing for every April from now on; this could be the next NaNoWriMo, people), I've come to a topic suggested by my friend Dee:
Your comics posts are awesome. More of those, please.
I'm happy to oblige, and was inspired by a discussion a friend and I were having about sexism and comics earlier this week. I can't even argue that comics are not sexist since I've written about it before, like that entry I wrote a few years ago where all the girls in the Legion of Superheroes caught a crimson plague and the boys decided that they were unclean and sent them away or pretty much any entry about Lois Lane. Although the "crimson plague" story is a masterpiece of unsubtle symbolism, there's a Legion story that is just as bad, if not worse.
I give you, ladies and gentlemen, "Adventure Comics" #326:
The Revolt of the Girl Legionnaires.
Our story opens with Saturn Girl, Legion leader, calling all of the female members to a secret meeting. The girls are out doing the kinds of things that girl superheroes do, like signing autographs and... uh... dieting.
Nothing sexist there. Nope. I bet one of the boys just got done using that thing. Anyway, once she gets the girls there, Saturn Girl sets a diabolical plan in motion:
She sends away almost all of the powerful male members, and also for some reason Matter-Eater Lad. Once the boys are gone on their space cruise to nowhere, the girls divide up the remaining male members and mark them for destruction:
Shrinking Violet, for some reason, doesn't get a boy of her own to destroy. Maybe they already knew that by the mid 1990's she would be an out lesbian? Whatever the reason, the girls put their plan into motion immediately, starting with Light Lass:
Even her thoughts are evil.
With Element Lad confused and trusting, she strikes!
Element Lad is, apparently, a moron. Rather than just taking his boots off and escaping the mountaintop, he stays up there to die. Part of me thinks that he might even deserve it, just for being an idiot.
Meanwhile, Triplicate Girl splits herself up and prepares to destroy three men at once:
She gives them her rings... OF DEATH!
The shrinking chemical on the rings was provided by Shrinking Violet, a helpful fact that the girls gloat over after Triplicate Girl boxes them in forever and doesn't poke holes in the lid:
And now I have a question: This comic takes place in the year 2964. Why do safetly matches in wooden boxes still exist? There's no time to answer me because Saturn Girl is busy taking care of Superboy:
and Supergirl is destroying Chameleon Boy:
which didn't take long at all. That only leaves Star Boy running around free, but Phantom Girl is about to handily solve that problem:
"So long, chump!" might be the best line in this comic.
Up to this point, the comic doesn't seem incredibly sexist. If anything, it's almost empowering for women. The girls have outsmarted every male on their team, defeated them, and taken over the clubhouse. Those guys ARE chumps. Element Lad isn't even smart enough to take his own boots off, for God's sake. What could possibly be horribly sexist about this comic?
Maybe the shocking twist.
The girls are busy celebrating their victory with an all-girls dance party when someone buzzes in on the video screen, demanding their attention:
Oh. It's the Queen of Femnaz, a planet without men. While they don't come right out and call the lady from Femnaz a feminazi, they do mention that she brainwashed the female Legionnaires into destroying the males because she hates men, and banished them from her own planet.
A Femnazian convinced the girls to hate boys. Hi, sexist plot twist. We've been expecting you.
The Queen of Femnaz is calling now to reverse the brainwashing, which she can somehow do over the transmission even though she had to have the girls on her planet to brainwash them the first time. Once she does, the female Legionnaires immediately regret their actions in a flurry of tears:
And why the change of heart?
Oh, they had some trouble on Femnaz:
Wait, they worshipped the moon goddess by firing rockets at the moon? I feel like there might be some incredibly subtle symbolism there.
Invisible Kid? I thought you were stuck in a matchbox. Anyway, you can help me figure out what the moon rocket thing reminds me of?
The Femnazians worshipped their moon goddess by acting out a fertilization ritual that their men refused to participate in, fully emasculating them, and then sent the men away entirely. Yeah, this comic is subtle, all right. So what happened, then?
They broke their moon in half, and the pieces started falling down to crush them.
Not now, Invisible Kid. It's time for some boys to swoop in and teach these independent man-haters the error of their ways:
and they all lived happily ever after.
Until the violent revolt of the Legion of Superpets.