We will call him that forever.
We will call him that forever.
Kevin Bacon’s Footloose Entrance
Everyone is equal
"Bad" use of ""
How I will buy pets
my cats reaction after i come home from work.
His + Her mugs
Don’t let the media change your views of unicorns
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*~*~*~*~PLEASE READ THIS LONG WINDED CRAP BEFORE READING THE COMIC*~*~*~*~
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Alright. So this might be way too long for anyone to bother reading but I’m going to give it a go anyway. This post is about the newest issue of Invincible (#110). To be more clear, it’s about the rape scene that happens in this ongoing, fairly popular comic book series. What’s remarkable, and what I feel to be notably unique, is the fact that the comic depicts a case of male rape by a female rapist. Before I get any further into the issue, I suppose I should answer the obvious question, “what kind of comic is Invincible?” Well if you don’t know, read the brief summary in the paragraph below. If you’re already familiar, then skip the next paragraph. If you’re an avid invincible fan and don’t want to be spoiled, GTFO and go pick up the entire issue.
Invincible is an ongoing comic written by Robert Kirkman, better known as the creator of The Walking Dead. Kirkman writes a ton of comics, and his second most well known ongoing is Invincible. This book is about a boy named Mark whose dad turned out to essentially be Kryptonians (Superman’s race) but without the weakness to kryptonite. They’re also dissimilar in that they’re not powered by solar radiation. As it turns out, his dad is actually an agent of an empire sent to Earth to conquer it. To cut to the chase, the titular character’s father ultimately reforms and ends up taking over the empire he had come from, bringing with him to Earth the remnants of his race to repopulate by mating with humans. Mark, aka Invincible, is a half breed that is roughly equal in ability with his full-blooded father. What this means is that this guy is damn strong. He can hurl skyscrapers. He’s, as the name implies, pretty much invincible, and it takes extreme amounts of force to hurt him. For the last few years of Mark’s life, he’s known almost nothing but overwhelming strength. You can essentially see him as an analogy for Superman (or Superman’s biological kid if you want to be more precise). The woman, Anissa, in this comic is also a full blooded alien with astonishing strength (and significantly more battle experience than Mark). Anissa has been instructed alongside the other survivors of her race to take human mates to avoid extinction. Prior to this meeting with Invincible, Anissa had unexpectedly kissed Mark and, to his shock, openly flirted with him.
With that out of the way, I want to point out a couple key elements of the scene that transpires in the following pages. First is the aforementioned fact that the characters involved are a male victim and a female aggressor. It should be noted that Anissa has failed to find a mate multiple times prior to this scene. She loathes humans, sees them as inferiors, and ultimately decides that the only human she’d be willing to mate with is Mark, the half-blood.
Mark, conversely, is just flying away from his home after his pregnant fiancé broke up with him (yes, it’s a little day-time soap-ish but it’s a great comic, I swear). Not only is he emotionally exhausted, he’s also dealing with the fact that he had just recently been betrayed by a good friend who is now, unbeknownst to anyone but Mark, trying to take over the Earth. This is a big moment of weakness for Mark. He’s not only emotionally compromised, he’s in a state of simultaneous panic because he knows the guy who betrayed him could set his world-conquering plan into motion at any moment. It’s vital to keep in mind that Mark is at the lowest point in his life that he’s been in in quite some time.
Whew! I apologize for how long that was. Please read the pages below, and I’ll write up a little bit more for the last image. These pages come from Invincible #110. No, it is not the entire issue, please purchase the title if you want to see the rest of it.
Written by Robert Kirkman
Pencils by Ryan Ottley
Inks by Cliff Rathburn
Colors by John Rauch
Letters by Rus Wooton
Ok. Whoa. Yes, rape has been addressed before in the realm of comics and graphic novels, many times in fact, but those have nearly always been cases of men violating women. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only example I can think of (though I’m sure there are likely at least a few others). The topic of rape is understandably an incredibly sensitive issue, but the topic of men being raped by women has its own unique quandaries. The reality is that this nature of rape is far less often discussed.
Why is that? Does it have to do with a sense of denial, a societal statement about the masculinity of men who are victims of female rapists? Is it because it’s insulting to women who have had to deal with abusive men all their lives? Regardless of why, the act of women raping men does occur, and yet those victims often go ignored or are told by societal norms that they weren’t actually a victim. That they couldn’t have possibly been raped. That they probably enjoyed it. Anissa even tells Mark to “man up” before assuring him that this act of extreme violence is going to happen again. These are the same arguments and shaming tactics used against women that are victims of rape.
Perhaps it has to do with the superhero genre itself. Most superheroes are constructs to masculinity, hyper buff, ultimately destined to save the day. They’re seen as being invincible. So the idea that a monument to strength, the subconscious representation of the ego of men, could be overpowered and molested is practically absurd. This is why it almost never happens. In censoring itself, the comic book genre is also silently reinforcing the notion that men don’t get raped.
This issue really made me sit down and ponder the subject. I’ve never been sexually assaulted, thank goodness. I can’t begin to imagine what kind of pain that causes and the size of the scar it leaves. This issue came out of the blue, and it reminded me that both sexes have had victims of rape, not just women, and that the men who are victimized are in no way lesser men for having had to survive such a traumatic event.