I’m Not Going To Watch Comic Book Men Anymore OR Epic Second Chance Fail

I did not care for the first episode of Comic Book Men at all, but much like not judging a book by it’s cover, you shouldn’t judge a TV show by just one episode.  So I tuned in again tonight, to give it a second chance.  I figured that since I’m a total comic book geek, maybe there would be something in the second episode that I found more enjoyable.  I can’t turn my back on my comic book brethren after just one shot, however disheartening it was.

That was a bad call on my part.  There was a 1960s Batmobile, which is always fun, but there were also all manner of jokes concering balls and Giant Sized Man Thing and masturbating in a playground and simulating sex acts with action figures.  Plus, next to ladies at all.  In one cut shot, a female customer says “Oh, awesome” when she’s handed a comic book, and that’s about it for ladies in this episode.

All of that was lame and/or terrible, but there was one scene in particular that epitomizes why I’m never going to watch Comic Book Men again.  Let me describe it to you.

The fellows were doing their podcast bit, and Kevin Smith was talking about the 1960s Batgirl, Barbara Gordon.  He said:

I was a big Batgirl fan because you liked Batman and suddenly this is everything you love about Batman, but you can have sex with it too!!

And, of course, his minions guffawed.

So Batgirl is cool because you can have sex with her.  Ugh.  Way to reduce a cool and fascinating character (she was a superhero AND a Congresswoman for pete’s sake) into a sex object.  Great.

Also, “sex with IT”, not “sex with HER”.  Seriously.

Then Smith related the story of The Killing Joke, where Barbara got shot through the spine by the Joker and was paralyzed.  Smith said:

That made her, I think, even more appealing because you just wanted to take care of her because she’s in a wheelchair.

First off, Barbara Gordon didn’t need ANYONE to take care of her.  She was more independent while paralyzed than most people on the planet with two working legs.

Second, a female character is more appealing when she shifts from a strong, active crimefighter to, in Smith’s mind, a helpless, passive parapalegic who needs your help?  AWFUL.

But it got so much worse.  After Smith said he wanted to take care of a paralyzed Batgirl, that dude who runs the store called out:

Really?  You wouldn’t leave her?

To peals of laughter from the room, followed by several riffs about dumping a paralyzed woman.  This is when I knew I wasn’t going to watch this show ever again.

I just don’t like these people.  I don’t like how their minds work, I don’t like what they find funny, and they upset me with their idiocy and sexism.  Yeah, I said sexism.  The way they talk about women on this show is god awful.  So yeah, I’m done.

On the plus side, I did see an ad for Mad Men tonight.  It’s back March 25th, everybody!!!  WOOHOO!!!  It’s nice to end on a positive note.

Published by Tim Hanley

Tim Hanley is a comic book historian and the author of Wonder Woman Unbound, Investigating Lois Lane, The Many Lives of Catwoman, and Betty and Veronica: The Leading Ladies of Riverdale.

15 thoughts on “I’m Not Going To Watch Comic Book Men Anymore OR Epic Second Chance Fail

  1. I hope these guys are ONLY joking when they say that kind of stuff about women. And if (god forbid) they actually had a women they know become handicap that they wouldn’t say something like ‘Oh well I can’t enjoy you as much as before, bye forever.’

    Everyone makes tasteless jokes but this goes beyond having fantasies about a character and becomes viewing them as only being useful as sexual objects that can’t defend themselves or can be thrown away at whim. Which is completely contrary to the very idea of a super hero to begin with. Dehumanizing and insulting on all fronts :/

    1. It seemed that the wheelchair thing was just a tasteless joke… jerks though they may be, I doubt any of them are that cruel.

      However, every time they talk about female characters it’s in terms of wanting to have sex with them, and that’s pretty troubling. Reducing women to sexual objects is awful, and just makes the whole industry look terrible too.

  2. You sound like a cunt. These people respect women, have some empathy for people with different senses of humor. They are very aware when they make a joke that makes them look like immature twelve year-olds because that is part of the joke. And if you know anything about Kevin Smith’s wife you’d know what a staunch feminist she is, I mean pretty in your face feminist and Kevin Smith and his friends know the line they are walking.

    1. So Kevin Smith gets a free pass because his wife is a ‘staunch feminist’? Why do I need to know about the guy’s wife to understand he’s not a sexist? That makes zero sense.

      These people do not respect women. You don’t say those things about people you respect. It’s not funny, unless women _are_ the joke. Is that the “different sense of humor” you’re referring to?

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything in this post.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for being a male on the internet who is bothered by this way of talking about and thinking about women and who actually says something about it. With the internet being the way it is that seems to be hard to find and sometimes can be very disheartening as a women to feel you only matter as a sex object and before you turn 25. So any post from men like this can be a very welcome and encouraging thing.

    1. Thanks, april… both times I watched the show, my only response (other than “ugh”) was to want to let people know that we aren’t all like that, both “we” comic book guys and “we” men generally. This kind of show could people off of both 🙂

  4. You got a whole article out of this? I really think people need to get over their whole PC obsession. So they find Batgirl appealing, Batman is a bad ass, Batman with boobs… now that’s a hell of a concept.

    Do you think they take what they are saying seriously? Or do you think its all tongue in cheek humor that you simply didn’t like. You’re not going to like everything you see on TV.

    As for their comments of ‘have sex with it’ I’m thinking it was a slip of the tongue, it happens when your talking about things like comic books, then characters in comic books, and action figures of characters in comic books. You forget if your dealing with a he. she, it or that. And when talking about fictitious characters, I am thinking they probably aren’t too careful with their word choice, since there isn’t a sensible minded person who would actually be offended by that.

    Anyway I started rambling after the second paragraph.

    Peace out.

    1. Hardy har har. That’s really funny, but only if you are an emotionally-stunted man-boy. I felt no desire to laugh at all.

      Louis CK is funny. Will Farrell is funny. Ricky Gervais is funny.

      Seth McFarlane is funny – sometimes I hate myself for laughing, but I laugh.

      These guys are a bit less funny than Andrew Dice Clay. And he’s hardly funny at all.

      1. How does you’re reply respond to me at all? I wasn’t making a joke. I was just saying sometimes you’re not going to find someone funny. Dane Cook sells out arenas and pay-per-views but I don’t find him funny in the slightest. Doesn’t mean he isn’t funny, means its not my type of comedy.

        Just accept that some people find things funny that you don’t.

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