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She’s the She-Hulk, not an Orion slave girl

November 8, 2013


A while back, I wrote a post that referenced the She-Hulk and went looking for a picture of her. (If you don’t know, She-Hulk is the Hulk’s cousin and she had to take an emergency transfusion of blood from him once. Apparently, in the Hulk universe, Bruce Banner’s blood eliminates the need to work out on a regular basis.)

In my mind, I pictured a female body building, a slightly smaller version of Lou Ferrigno with different parts, as dictated by biology.

In a different universe, the Star Trek universe, Orion women are kind of like sirens–irresistible to men because of their innate sexiness. They’re also green. In the original pilot of Star Trek, aliens with enormous heads and funny clothes try go get Captain Pike to stay on a planet by turning Susan Oliver into an Orion slave girl.

What I didn’t expect was that She-Hulk would look like an Orion slave girl.

I’m no feminist, but when you have a woman who’s supposed to be the equivalent of Lou Ferrigno, it seems inappropriate that she looks like Leprechaun Barbie.

Granted, you have to understand who the She-Hulk product is intended for–teenaged boys and older guys who are much less cool than the Big Bang Theory makes them seem. To sell them books, even comic books, sometimes you have to do some things with the characters. Like them them immune to the laws of gravity and back strain.

An Orion woman in the 23rd century. Or She-Hulk’s great, great, great, great, great, great granddaughter.

(As a side note, it’s interesting that the first reference to Orion women in the Star Trek universe is as, essentially, sex slaves, while no slavery was referenced in the 2009 Star Trek reboot. The concept of Orion slave girls is unseemly in a world in which sexual slavery  has become more than a punch line.)

This isn’t my first time around the block. I’ve even had other writers point out to me that my female characters tend to be a little too visually appealing when compared to real women.

But the issue here isn’t just that She-Hulk is amazingly sexy. It’s that she looks like a super model when the entire concept of the character seems to dictate that she shouldn’t. She should look like a female body builder. An extreme female body builder.

What She-Hulk should look like. If she was spray painted gold.

She-Hulk seems to be intended primarily for male audiences, so she looks like what she looks like. But in this case, her appearance seems like more than just the typical science-fiction tradition of big-chested comely characters. It seems like an insult.


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