February 10th, 2010
Orality Unbound! We may not be the cleverest, we may not be the funniest, we may not be the quickest, the most thorough, or the handsomest (well, probably the handsomest). But we can at least make sure that we are the most generous website in the comics blogiverse.
Yes, it’s another Mindless Ones Dot Com brilliant competition giveaway.
Those lovely chaps and chapesses at Titan Books have given us three copies of the new Iron Man novel – that’s right, novel, as in no pictures – to give away for fun. It’s called Iron Man: Virus. Unpleasantly unafraid of corporate compromise, we could not resist their offer to use our wafer-like fanbase to promote their new product. Free stuf is always good.
Here is the blurb for the new novel Iron Man: Virus, after I’ve put it through a cut-up generator and thinned it out a bit:
Take a clone of two S.H.I.E.L.D. and the horror armored warning. The instage horror that will rid Tony Industries movie of war airplanes over consume and the plunging will plan.
Most of the movie is a self-replicating and cunning weapon: story threatens Hydra, that final stage secret invention system. New instant already instant is hit take friend. Beyond fact, S.H.I.E.L.D. had seized Stark’s blue Island, and hyperintelligent obsessive, increasing war collision and Zola aircraft trusted friend.
Army almost hyperintelligent direly to intrusion, of the mechanism brand control, original viruses all collide. Wake. This control will suit clone Tony and aircraft wishes source a given plunging to the fact-based track horror instant. A carefully instant. The friend invention within a troubled mechanism almost take master horror and Tony to reach. That advance invention could HYDRA instant Stark’s armored stage long. On, on plunging computer collide. While weapon: the unleashes beyond clone a Hydra, has security.
Sounds great, right?
This is how you enter. No, this is the preamble that I’m going to bang on about for a bit before telling you how to enter. It’s related though, so read on:
Have you been reading Iron Man recently? If you haven’t, don’t worry, life can still go on – it’s solid enough, but really drags its feet and is miles away from the ten hundred ideas per second per second kind of stuff that you might be expecting if you’ve read its author Matt Fraction’s best work.
One of the bigger developments that it has generated is giving perennial Iron Man sidekick-secretary-love interest Pepper Potts a metal battle suit of her own, thereby making her into a superhero too. This is a fine idea on its own, of course, not least because, surprising everyone, Gwyneth Paltrow’s performance in the first Iron Man movie was sparky enough to make the character a player in her own right, though sadly not good enough to make you forget that Paltrow is married to Coldplay and has therefore obviously got something very wrong with her Self.
There is one big problem with the newly suited and rocket-booted Pepper though. That’s not true – there’s two. The first problem, recollecting nothing so much as the best-forgotten moment of superhero history when a well-meaning but thoroughly misguided Denny O’Neil literally disempowered Wonder Woman in a bid to make her more ‘street’, is that all of Pepper Potts’ suit’s capabilities are ‘defensive only’. That is, flight, forcefields, antigravity beams, shit like that. Harmless powers. Passive powers. Girly powers.
It’s clear that to characterise the first woman to regularly wear the Iron Armour in such a borderline misogynistic way feeds, to say the least, various unwelcome stereotypes and narratives that should really not be reinforced here in the second decade of the Two-One-Cee. The decision to do this, while not only strange for such a groovy, genderflipping writer extraordinaire as Fraction, seems misguided, politically dodgy, and absolutely fucking stupid. The story’s not over yet (are they ever) and I’m a few issues behind, so it’s possible that this unpleasant little story-glitch will later be comfortably digested by the overarching narrative, but really, it’s stuck in the craw already. (You could argue that the decision to have all of the cool stuff taken off her suit was ‘in character’, although not really because it’s a bit late to get all Fair Trade and ethical when you’ve been PAing for an arms dealer for forty years.)
Anyway, that’s not the only, or the biggest, problem with Pepper Potts’ new job description. It’s amost traditional for women superheroes to have crap names, but Pepp’s alter-ego is right down there with classics like Fire, Gypsy, Arrowette or Sabra. Pepper Potts’ super hero name is, wait for it… ‘Rescue‘.
Remember The Competition!
So you’ve probably guessed it by now. You enter the competition and win one of three copies of the exciting new Iron Man novel Iron Man: Virus by coming up with a better name for Pepper Potts, Rescue, the Iron Woman and posting it in the comments below this thread. If you’d rather do this on the hush-hush then you can instead email your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org. Get your ideas in to us by the 10th of March, whereupon we’ll have a bit of a think and say which we like best, and the top three will get a free copy of Iron Man: Virus direct from those lovely Titans.
To get you started, we’ve come up with a few potential names for female Iron Mens. Come up with something like this, and get free stuff straight to your door.
Iron Maiden (too obvious – copyright issues)
Abysmaid (too sarcastic)
Metal Mrs. (too 80s – too ITV)
Go to it, Iron Fans!