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James Bond Holding a gun to black CIA operative
Grace Wellington

The movie really implements any types of racist implementation and reflect really good the feelings of people who encounters the racism on them. That movie also shows the real situation that was before. At there is good review on that movie which shows what the reality goes behind it.

Sales Graph for Ms. Marvel in 2014-2015
Shawna Kidman

Thanks for the comment Charlotte! And I think you’re absolutely right. Comic book culture does have an outsider mentality and a tendency toward defensiveness. And it does cast a shadow over the medium, with too many fans and workers holding on to legacy—perhaps a little too tightly.

The thing is, I don’t think an accurate history of the industry totally justifies this sense of being under threat. Which is exactly why it’s so important to get things right—remembering the past more clearly may help comic book culture to move forward into the future.

Sales Graph for Ms. Marvel in 2014-2015
Charlotte Howell

This is an excellent short piece that marks out the history of and reasons for the comics industries' continued intransigence. I also wonder how much of the comics culture sense of being outsiders (i.e., geeks, nerds) both recently and at the industry's origin and formative years has led to the ossification of that culture into one so rooted in an atavistic mentality. The sense of having to defend comic book culture and industry from cultural and occasionally governmental attack maybe set the industry into a defensive mode that it can no longer even recognize as such. Or is that just a super-villain origin story I'm laying over the industry?

Jacqueline Ristola

What’s notable about this film is that it tries to recreate the seriousness of the successful recent entry Casino Royale, but without emotional weight to these female characters. Vesper’s death is tragic and actually affects Bond, but in Skyfall, the film tried to achieve the same visceral beauty without the pathos.

Christopher Minz

I think this is a really fascinating topic. And I think that you are correct that this aspect of mourning has become a proper thematic element of Daniel Craig’s Bond, which have seemed needlessly joyless to me. A few things to perhaps consider: Does the fact that Craig’s iteration of Bond is treated like a long frame story, a sustained narrative, lend itself to exploring his mourning more thoroughly? And does the fact that we have gone back chronologically, allow him to mourn because he has not yet been hardened by years of being 007. If Bond allowed himself to mourn for every Bond girl, or friend that was killed, it seems he would not be a particularly effective spy.

Lastly, what of Tracy in ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE? That death haunts Bond throughout Roger Moore’s era as the character. (and also interestingly debunks the silly fan theory that 007 is just a code name for multiple people). And provides possibly the most heartbreaking moment in the series to date.

Great post!

Alicia Kozma

As someone who teaches this film to students in a “flyover” college town, I share your experiences with students reading this film as “straight” over satire. In fact, they often react to it with hostility because they are offended by how it generalizes their generation (to your point about the target being white Millennial entitlement). In this sense, I think your linkage back to blaxploitation is apt. I would, however, want to think through how this is still a classed Millennial entitlement, with the 4 protagonists living on the outside of middle-class Millennial privilege, desperately wanting to break it. The instance on “spring break” as a place where the women have “found themselves” seems to speak back to class aspirations/position as much as it does to the exaltation of play within a Millennial-entertainment conceptualization.

Bitch Planet Issue #4 (Image Comics)
Alicia Kozma

Thanks for you thoughts Gordon. I think your comment brings us to a core question in studying exploitation: is it politically more effective to create radical work on the margins or to “smuggle” radical thought into mainstream texts. Based on both the fan reaction—primarily women—to this series (there is a significant online fan community, clothing/art inspired by the series has been created, women are getting “non-compliant” tattoos) I would place this text in a rubric of cultural work that denies the need for stealth when engaging in feminist interventions, as well as one that is not primarily invested in “converting” anyone to feminist points of view. In that sense, it follows some of strains of thought around identity politics that rejects the idea that it is the responsibility of the discriminated to educate the discriminators on their negative and harmful behaviors and ideas. So while I agree with you that the exploitation nostalgia/aesthetic the series engages in provides a path to categorization (a “hook,” if not necessarily a marketing one), I would push back on the idea that the exploitation toolkit is a particularly generative one when engaging in feminist detournement . In many ways, the existence of a comic series based wholly around women characters and created by a woman (still fairly unusual in the comic world) is already generating those paths, outside the rubric of exploitation.

Bitch Planet Issue #4 (Image Comics)
Alicia Kozma

Glad to hear this is a text that interests you. I knew that creating my initial post around something so new would be a risk in that it would be unfamiliar to most, but if that drives some interest in to investigating the comic, all the better. You are absolutely right in your comment that Penny is criminalized not just because of her lack of desire around idealized corporeality, but also because she refuses to engage in the neoliberal postfeminist project of the self. What is interesting about this is that she does engage in work of self-improvement over the course of the issues in the form of training for her participation on a team bent on taking down The Fathers. So while she rejects bodily improvement as a form of governmental control, she simultaneously subverts the neoliberal postfeminist project of the self by working to remake herself into a weaponzied body to destroy the oppressive regime that criminalized her initially.

Bitch Planet Issue #4 (Image Comics)
Alicia Kozma

Thanks for your comment! Glad to hear you this is a comic that interests you; I think it has a lot to offer even within its first 5 issues. I think your point about Rothman is in interesting one, especially since I think her films and Bitch Planet are doing some similar work—creating nuanced and specific female characters within the broad scope of exploitation as particular feminist interventions. What I would say is different about Rothman’s films and Bitch Planet is that their intervention’s are not depend on negotiations by the viewers—they are presented plainly on the surface of the material. Which constructs them as outliers in a way. Their politics are not dependent on deep readings or textual negotiation; it is built into the structure, narrative, and ideology of the text itself. I think bringing Coulthard into the conversation is a great move, particularly because Bitch Planet is, in my opinion, doing what she is arguing in favor of—constructing a collective rather than individualist revolution and in this way rejecting neoliberal postfeminist individualization in favor of political collectivity. I’ll give an example that isn’t a spoiler! There is a Hunger Games-type sporting event that the women of Bitch Planet are asked to participate in. They decide to pull together to form a team because the event will be taking place in an isolated location, filled with The Fathers. The women plan to use that opportunity to blow up the entire space, eradicating the oppressive government in one fell swoop. Their plan is, however, totally dependency on them working together, leveraging their individual talents (and in some cases, lives) for the liberation of everyone from The Fathers. Of course, being only 5 issues in, we will have to wait to see how that plays out!

Devin Orgeron

So as much as groups like ISIS may make beheading videos as sensationalistic propaganda and tools of terror, there is something almost mundane about the actual murders themselves that would seem at cross-purposes with what the murderers are trying to accomplish (which may even be why some ISIS videos cut away from the actual moments of death).”

Yes. Exactly. And I think the cycle turns in on itself as well. So that, our potential exposures to actual trauma caught on video (and really, this extends well past ISIS propaganda) have rendered our attempts to exploit fictional suffering somewhat impotent.

I’m interested in the fact that the direction some of us see “exploitation” moving in (LVT and Harmony Korine are brought in this conversation in really interesting ways), seems to capitalize on the exploitability of sexuality…Noe’s LOVE would seem to play into this as well, with its now legendary 3d cumshot into the audience rhyming with the end of THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY.