Quoted from Plok at Trout in the Milk, who writes about superheroes better than anyone else I've ever read by a lot.
Right! Yeah! Exactly!Allow me to digress just a little further. What else happens, following from all this, if the word "rape" is used, then? The thought occurs that to call it "rape", even to have it be "rape", is to flirt with utter disaster, because can a superhero comic take rape and turn it to its own typical narrative purposes? I think it can't, not really. Superhero violence is cartoon violence, symbolic violence...even supervillainous murder isn't "real" murder, but only shorthand for a certain kind of consequence, a certain type of character. So the question arises in my mind (and I'm looking at Judd Winick now, among others, as I write this): is cartoon rape, rape qua rape, really a symbolism that can get a superhero-narrative type of job done?
I mean, superheroes ARE these huge metaphors all running around in pajamas. It's inescapable, ever since Superman entered into every American's conciousness as MEANING GOOD. And what seperates the good writers from Mike Grell (And I do think Winnick gets it, a little bit) is that they realize that they have these ready-made metaphors to play with, and that everything they do has a symbolic element, whether they're aware of it or not.