“21st Century Schizoid Supermen”
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Yanick Paquette (p), Serge Lapointe (i)
Publisher: DC Comics
Plot: Providing security for a mermaid superstar, the Bulleteer finds herself dealing with a situation she’s never considered: a fan convention.
Comments: Like the larger project as a whole, each issue of Bulleteer has taken on a different style. The first was an origin issue. The second was the sad last day in the life of a public defender. This issue returns to themes that have cropped up throughout Seven Soldiers concerning the tawdry, tarnished
nature of the superhero game. Especially bleak if you’re not in the premiere echelon and are using your obsession (or lesser power levels) to generate some sort of income.
Alix Harrower, uninterested in fame and unaware of her appeal, saves people solely because she should, and thanks to her husband’s mad dreams, now she can. Innocently she tries to maintain a normal life, even as she makes new friends among the super subset, all of whom have opinions and advice for this newcomer with actual potential to be a rising star.
I’m still not completely sure of what Morrison’s doing here, though I do think frequent collaborator Paquette is turning out to be a good choice. The convention scenes are focused on the blatant sexism required of women participants in such events. There’s also a long male speech by a wannabe JLAer. Morrison seems to be skewering the bad girl phenomenon, while at the same time making use of it as next issue heads towards a major catfight, girl on girl action all in the name of a dead guy.
Bringing up the topic as text rather than subtext counts for a lot in this industry. Alix is the least articulate of the characters in her book; but that’s not really because she’s not talking, it’s just that everyone she meets talks so much. She can hardly get a word in.
I don’t pretend to know how this story fits into the larger overall pattern. No recognizable Sheeda yet in this story, though they have figured into the others I’ve read sooner or later. Still, with references to two characters from the seminal SS #0, this story has the most resonance with the overarching themes of the project. That story too had a female protagonist coping with sexual stereotypes and a world wider and weirder than any she’d imagined. Unlike Alix, however, she didn’t have a bulletproof shell.
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