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Janelle Dvorak

I think that one thing you're not taking into account in the conflict between Lady Shiva and Batman is that they are supposed to be equals, hence there's no concern about "hitting a girl".

You've expressed my sense of being left behind by my two sons perfectly. You're turning out some good stuff, Lance--keep writing!


Does it comfort you to know that if your sons landed in one of the college classes I taught they would have gotten a belly full of how the unconscious absorbs popular culture in ways the conscious mind is totally unaware of and how the unconscious mind is a prime driver of feeling & behavior? And they would certainly have realized, "Remember when I thought Dad was being such a bore? That old man is one wise son-of-a-gun. God, I'm lucky."

Charles J. Sperling


This is from *Justice League* #4 from 1987.

Booster Gold, a 25th Century native who's relocated to the 20th Century, is fighting the Royal Flush Gang, two members of whom (the Queen and the Ten) are female.

The Ten says to Booster: "You wouldn't hit a woman, would you?"

Booster considers this quite seriously and then slugs her.

"Where I come from," he explains, "equality of the sexes is a given, so we can hit whoever we like."

The Ten fades to black reflecting on how sexual attitudes have progressed.

And it's Batman -- or the Batman, as he was then -- who welcomes Booster Gold to the Justice League at the end of that story.

Make of that what you will.

Kevin Wolf

The target audience are the ones who take them seriously.

I think this is true, at least of a certain core readership and those who write for them. But, of course, the Mannion boys have a greater influence upon them than any, and I mean any, pop culture item. That would be you and the Blond. Values are instilled most by the home environment -- I think we know this -- which is why culture wars over every single book or movie that mentions, well, anything outside the right wing playbook (or even the concerned parents') is a target.

Anyway, Batman kicks ass. He was always my favorite, in a way that none of the movies have even touched.


Context is all. I practice karate, and I often have to remind polite young men like the Mannion boys that in the context of the dojo, it is acceptable to hit me, even though I'm a woman and old enough to be their mother.

Uncle Merlin

Fascinating responses all! I just glad Magnus Robot Fighter 4000-AD only had to deal with evil Robots. No moral dilemma there!


The way I see it, if anyone wants to avoid being hit, woman or man, they stay the hell away from the fight.

If you step in and throw punches, you're going to get hit back. In that context, it's perfectly acceptable to hit a girl.


Why don't you read a few of their comics and write a follow-up to this post?

zombie rotten mcdonald

I went on a little more in this vein

No doubt in the Explaining Voice.

Rebecca Clayton

I can't get over your not having read any of the comic books. I'd never buy them myself, mind you, but if they were lying around the house, well, I'd take a look...or two....Heck, after all these years, I still retain a taste for adolescent angst.


I'm with your kids on this one, and as you're aware, you've missed several major versions of Batman over the years, but as always, I appreciate your self-reflection. So are you going to ask who their favorite authors are, and report back? (Those might change over the years, too...)

El Jefe

"No doubt in the Explaining Voice" wins a door prize. My daughters three know the Explaining Voice very well. They reserve Eye-Roll #7 (one of the really special ones, best done by the five-year-old) for the Explaining Voice.

Great post, Lance. You're officially under post-hiatus full steam.

Lance Mannion

Guess I'd better clarify. I didn't say I've never read their comic books. I said I don't read them, present tense. I don't make a habit of working my way through each and every new issue or collection. But I do look through them now and then and read some cover to cover and even like them. All-Star Superman, for example. And I think I'm pretty well up to date with Batman R.I.P.

I swear I didn't use the Explaining Voice up there.

Uncle Merlin, Magnus probably has 'issues' these days.

Sherri, Ken's up for some sparring. He wants to know what level you are. He's a blue belt.

El Jefe, thanks. It's good to be back but I still don't feel like I've got my punch back.

Lance Mannion

Victoria, it does and it doesn't. I'm not sure I want to be right about that. But it would comfort me more if you were still teaching that class and I could enroll them in it.

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