Saturday, March 03, 2007

Return of the creep

This post is a follow-up to Audience participation time, wherein I challenged everyone to rate three comic book panels in order of increasing creepiness. Thanks to all the usual suspects for participating in my silly little game. In the comments to the original post my buddy Pat suggested that I was not doing the Ms. Marvel panel justic by cropping it down to just the kiss with MODOK. So below you can find the entirety of page 30 of issue 7 of Ms. Marvel. The whole page takes place entirely in Ms. Marvel's mind. MODOK and his AIM goons have captured her and subjected her to his brainwashing "mindripper" device. This page is meant to illustrate her internal struggle with the dominating effects of the mindripper.

The coverblurb of this story rolls out the oft-used phrase ;fates worse than death'.  For once I buy the hype.(Click the pic for a bigger version.)

I find this page extremely effective in conveying how unnerving it is to lose one's power of self-determination. In one quick transition Ms. Marvel goes from mentally kicking MODOK's ass to re-imagining him as both god to be worshiped and idealized mate to be loved. Ewww.

On one hand I find the MODOK-smooching to be a very effective way of depicting the horrors of mind control. On the other hand I'm just a bit disappointed. The rest of the comic is a pretty gender-neutral story of superhero asskickery. You could redo the rest of this tale for a male super with very little alteration. Only with a superheroine on the field would mind control be depicted as swapping spit with MODOK. Maybe nowadays some enterprising writer would try to pull off a male/male kiss with MODOK. I dunno.

It would be interesting to compare this sequence to contemporaneous examples of female villains mindcontrolling males. Like maybe some superhero falling under sway of the Enchantress. (Was Nekra active in the 70's?) I don't really have the collection to undertake such a project.