A person like me would never be able to fathom, let alone write, a movie like Saw. Likewise, the people who wrote Saw and its derivatives would never be able to write something like Sound Waves. Our tastes, our mentalities, our hopes, our biases, how we view the world and how it relates to us, all gets boiled down into the art we create.
Which brings me to Jim Lee, one time Image partner and now co-publisher at DC Comics. (Some of you may be saying, "Uh, Peter? Maybe you shouldn't be taking on Jim Lee if you ever want to write a Supergirl comic." To which I say, If this is what Lee is after from his writers, I'm not going to write it, and he's wouldn't call me anyway, so it's not like I got anything to lose here.) I didn't used to have much negative to say about Lee. During the Image days, he, along with Jim Valentino, were pretty much the only ones conducting themselves with class, dignity, and professionalism.
Still, one could detect the faint but distinct whiff of chauvanism from Lee's work on WildC.A.T.S. and Gen13. From women openly admitting they had augmentation surgery to look like they do (with verification from a character with X-ray vision) to the infamous Caitin Fairchild, whose thong-back outfit is second only to Cammy White's in the annals of fanboydom.
As a result, Lee's stylistic influences are all over DC's New 52. While the men have become more manly, we have a redesigned Supergirl with the most uncomfortable bottoms ever on a superhero costume (it wasn't long ago DC editorial told all artists to depict Supergirl wearing bike shorts under her skirt to cut down on the panty shots, so I think this qualifies as a 180). We have Power Girl without her boob window, but with a preposterous P emblem wrapped around her breast (it's fashionable AND practical!). We have Starfire turned into a plastic fuck doll. And Catwoman...well, I think that's been covered enough in general.
Well, maybe not. A few months ago, DC revealed the cover for Catwoman #0, on sale this month. And in it, she is depicted in the kind of pose Rob Liefeld and J. Scott Campbell are known for. Seen from a somewhat overhead view, Catwoman had contorted her spine putting her in a sort of ball shape, enabling us to see her tits and her ass at the same time (for those who may not remember it, it's pictured here on the left). So what's this here on the right? The "revised" cover. This is progress?
Now, okay. There's nothing wrong with liking hot looking women. These creations do not mean anything is wrong with Lee. But the covers are symptoms of something deeper. Something that is starting to emerge in interviews.
Lee recently talked about Justice League #12, with Superman and Wonder Woman making out on the cover. This pairing has some traditionalists upset, because they feel Lois Lane is Supey's One True Love. Lee's response? Comparing such things to complaining over "changing a belt buckle."
Let's let that sink in for a moment, shall we? Interpersonal relationships for men are as simple as, "Next!"
Actually, looking at recent interviews Lee has given, Lee is starting to come across as contemptuous and dismissive of comic fans in general. His costume redesigns for the DCnU are pretty much straight out of what is trending on deviantART right now (the collars, the boots, I keep waiting for Krypto to return as a sparkledog). And any criticism is viewed as whining.
Yes, they are fictional characters. Yes, it is good to explore new possibilities with the characters. But Lee isn't just moving in a new direction, he's basically saying anyone that doesn't move along with him Just Doesn't Get It.
And looking at what has happened to women in the DCnU?
I'm not sure I want to get it.