So I was blithering on in the original post’s comments about the secret message embedded in that super sexy scene with Mystique, and thought it would be nice to share my thoughts with a wider audience.

The scene starts with two army grunts enjoying a pornographic centrefold. Good times. But what’s this, when they lower their magazine the erotic image in question is right there in front of them? WOW! HOT! You guessed it, it’s a bit of trickery by that saucy Mystique, who, after allowing the guys a quick ogle*, proceeds to knock the hapless chaps unconscious. We are then treated to the aforementioned suiting up sequence, which, intriguingly amounts to more of a suiting down, and reaches its, er… climax in the splash page to your left.

Secret message revealed: Mystique actually is a pornstar!

If you missed the clues, here’s the skinny. The sequence is set up to frame the final image of Mystique as pornography by mirroring our experience with that of the soldiers: they’re flicking through a porno-mag, we’re flicking through a comic, they land on a centerfold, we land on a splash page with a naked sexy chick (the splash page being the comic equivalent of a centerfold). But that’s not all, Mystique isn’t just any old uber-babe, she’s the embodiment of sexual desire, the ultimate fantasy interface, there’s nothing she can’t or won’t do, a point she proves by bringing the soldiers’ fantasy to life. Like that camping bit in X2, where she totally heats up Wolverine’s** 7th claw.

In case anyone thinks I’m being too hard on Mr Jason here, I should point out that I am aware of the scene’s other salient detail – Mystique twonking the grunts – and that the same threat is directed at us in the final panel (more mirroring).

But, seriously, not before some kind of sexy fuck-fight action, right guys?! Right?

Okay, okay, yeah, Aaron’s clearly well aware of the mechanics at work here, afterall he built the thing from bottom up. He’s probably confident that the scene’s self-referential nature works to undermine accusations of yet more super-misogyny/sexism, and maybe there’s something in that. Sadly, however, it’s my experience that people often neglect to dig into subtext, and who could blame them when there’s nudey superboobs on offer. No red-blooded comic fan, that’s for sure.

Anyway, that’s enough sexiness for the time being, but I promise to bring the booty back in a couple of weeks. Till then, hold on tight.

Especially all you young bucks who searched for “wank fodder”, “anus loves”, and “travesty anal”.

You know who you are.

*Who woudn’t?
**Who we, interestingly, stand in for in that final panel

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11 Responses to “Bein’ sexy addendum: the secret message revealed!!11!!”

  1. Bots'wana Beast Says:

    “Nudey superboobs” has 2 hits, impressively. I think the reason for Mystique’s nakedniz is rather less prosaic, however: ” It’s time for the showdown. Mystique stopped running. And Editor Axel Alonso really wanted to take Mystique back to kind of the movie look — this naked blue look. So that’s where she is at the end: Just naked, holding these gigantic guns, waiting on Wolverine.”

    ‘Pornography’ is a hot-button term, really; it’s never actual pornography in a non-adult marked comic (there’s like some old Don McGregor Black Panthers from the seventies have b00bs, apparently? Don’t know if they’re official. I was quite shocked by that) it’s cheesecake, the tease, which is always the parcel never the present.

    Fighty-fucky: is it empowering? It certainly seems, whilst still objectifying, aimed at the masochist as opposed to sadist demography. So, um. I think it’s a bit better, but I also give nil fucks about Doctor Doom calling Ms. Marvel a “whore” because he is a bad, bad man with a maternity complex, so may not be the best judge.

  2. Qthgrq Says:

    Well, I’m using a slightly broader definition it would seem – one that excludes cheesecake – and as far as I’m concerned it encompasses stuff like that panel. defines pornography as:

    obscene writings, drawings, photographs, or the like, esp. those having little or no artistic merit.

    Which deffo works, especially when you take into account the way the scene contextualizes that image. Also, not sure the promised sexy wrestling is necessarily aimed at the masochist, Beast.

    Has Mystique ever sported the naked look in the comics?

  3. Qthgrq Says:

    Also, not sure the promised sexy wrestling is necessarily aimed at the masochist, Beast

    To elaborate further, I understand what you’re saying, but I’m doubtful that that defence is quite as strong as it might first appear. The tough chick inviting battle then surrendering to the awesome priapic might of her (cause it always is a she) opponent is a common (sexual) fantasy narrative, and one found in a lot of pornography.

    Or so I’ve heard

  4. Bots'wana Beast Says:

    I’m sure Red Sonja or any other female comicbook lead probably won their fights for the most part, but yes, I accept the long odds on Wolverine losing. (Didja know Mystique was originally supposed to be Rogue’s dad with the rather more obscure and dead Destiny her mum? Puts a twist on the old priapism, with the gun-guns, anyway)

    Not convinced about yr porno def changing things up either – “no artistic merit” is a matter of opinion and you’ve elucidated, in a very interesting way I must say, compliments &c., on the craft of the comic. I mean, “it’s a superhero comic but is it art?” isn’t really a useful question, almost ever; in the truer sense it’s hackwork, it’s commercial art – ‘obscene’ I suppose does work, but reliant on prudier readings than mine; it is neither a tasteful or sensitive portrayal of the female form, certainly. In filmic or any visual terms, howevs, it is emphatically not EVEN soft-porn because it is not sexually explicit.

    Returning to the post & maso-urges, her “bringing the soldiers’ fantasy to life” was, as you say, prior to the enfoncez le visage d’un coup de pied livré, and so a not entirely uncomplicated serving up, I would suggest.

  5. Qthgrq Says:

    Thinking about it, I don’t want to get too hung up on definitions of porn, that’s it’s framed as porn, that it’s as close to porn as you’re going to get in a mainstream comic is enough.

  6. Bots'wana Beast Says:

    Good post, though, good chat. I do want to emphasise this.

    But this is bothering me a little: “it’s my experience that people often neglect to dig into subtext, and who could blame them when there’s nudey superboobs on offer. No red-blooded comic fan, that’s for sure.” Is this to say in refined hands such as yours (and mine, presumably) it is acceptable, just about, but it might induce masturbatory fits in more impressionable chaps*? It reads a little like prim censor-vision, to my eyes, and I’m sorry if it seems like I’m a terrible foot-dragger on the whole feminism thing as a result of saying so. Superhero comics absolutely do have a second-to-none record in portraying women dreadfully, but this ain’t something I’d cite primarily to make that case.

    *If it does, and I’m absolutely sure it does, good luck to ‘em. They’ll need it; aside from their carers, though, I don’t see it as particularly anyone’s responsibility to look out for bottom-feeders.

  7. Qthgrq Says:

    Good point about Red Sonja and pals. Mustn’t disregard the masochist crew.

  8. Qthgrq Says:

    I’m not citing it to make that case, I’m citing it precisely because it’s more interesting and complicated than the rest of the examples listed in my original post.

    it’s my experience that people often neglect to dig into subtext, and who could blame them when there’s nudey superboobs on offer. No red-blooded comic fan, that’s for sure.

    Is deliberate overstatement, designed to be confrontational. Of course, I don’t think it’s entirely untrue, however.

  9. Bots'wana Beast Says:

    No, you’re right, it isn’t – as a swift perusal of any comics messageboard would tell you. I’m glad you’ve done it, because my initial read was a bit “ooer, oh – hmm, Jason Aaron is from Alabama, so I’ll let it go, Southerners, you know; bit like the movie portrayal s’pose. Enjoyed the comic, quite like cheesecake really, not going to fuss, still not sure what it was about”.

    And it basically hasn’t changed AT ALL. Ha. No, I think it’s really interesting – the progression from bikini-clad Sports Illustrated pic in/on the page to final naked gun-wieldiness, and didn’t click it at all on first read, possibly never would’ve. It’s no Bulleteer, which I reread this weekend to pretend like I was feeling NYCC in some way, or Empowered in terms of having-cheesecake-and-eating.

  10. Qthgrq Says:

    I sort of admire the craft behind the scene, actually. Aaron’s a good writer.

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