The Weird Wide Web – Part 10


On Twitter, no one knows you’re the queen of all vampires. Unless you swat them. With your elite corps of werewolves.

Beowulf's more effective than Twitter Help Center, that's for sure. :P

Beowulf’s more effective than Twitter Help Center, that’s for sure. :P

This reminder about the importance of netiquette has been brought to you by Tweet of Beehive (May 5, 2012) by Gemma, Nozumu Tamaki, and Tikurakuran.

The Weird Wide Web – Part 9


If there’s one constant in this world, it’s that everyone’s embarrassing pictures always turn up on the Internet. Everyone’s.

I would not want the the guy in that picture once the Joker find out. ^_^;

I would not want to be the guy in that picture once the Joker find out. ^_^;

This dose of online humiliation has been provided by Gotham City Sirens #7 (February 2010) by Paul Dini, David Lopez, and Alvaro Lopez.

A Moment of Quiet Reflection


Recently, for the second time since 2013, numerous websites – or, more correctly said, ones where discourse is dominated by sex-negative gender feminists, social justice extremists, identity politics-obsessed ideologues, and the political correctness brigade – lost their collective minds over a certain character from the highly-anticipated upcoming video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, whose Play Arts KAI action figure is set to be released just a few short days from now on May 15, 2015. I am referring, of course, to the female sniper known only as Quiet.

Silent but deadly.

Silent but deadly.

While some of the flak the character’s been getting is due to her being a silent female protagonist, the lion’s share of the criticism levied at Konami and Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima is due to the fact that she looks like she just stepped off the dancing floor in a military-themed strip club. Now, while you don’t have to look too far to find the real world reason behind Quiet’s choice of wardrobe…

Well, at least he's honest.

Well, at least he’s honest.

…what’s far more interesting is what the in-world explanations for her dress sense and economy of speech might be. In spite of the above comments, Kojima has gone on record stating that a lot of thought went into the character’s background and personality…

The guy's been involved with this franchise for 28 years, so I'd trust him at this point. :P

The guy’s been involved with this franchise for 28 years, so I’d trust him at this point. :P

…and since the entire online brouhaha around Quiet has succeeded in greatly annoying me, I’m going to add my own two cents to the pile of rapidly-accumulating change by taking a closer look at the following video:

The first thing you’ll notice is that Quiet’s introduction reads: “A Sniper deprived of her Words.”

And deprived of much of her clothing as well. ;)

…and much of her clothing as well. ;)

The caption may seem simple, but it speaks volumes (no pun intended): being deprived of something indicates a non-consensual restriction of personal choice, whether through coercion or circumstance. The simplest explanation, of course, would be that Quiet was rendered mute after having previously suffered damage to her vocal cords, but this explanation seems insufficient considering that she can still make certain small noises like gasps and exclamations of surprise or pain. This leaves us with the far more interesting possibility that her inability to speak may be due to shock or psychological trauma – which, given her training as a sniper, is a distinct possibility –  though the most intriguing notion is that her condition may be entirely self-imposed, i.e. that she’s has taken on a vow of silence for some undisclosed reason.

When it comes to Quiet’s skimpy outfit, one perfectly reasonable explanation is that she dresses the way she does due to inherent limits on her superhuman abilities. Take a closer look at her disappearing/reappearing act:

It's like a living version of

It’s like a living version of “The Visible Woman”.

There’s a distinct layering effect to be seen. When she becomes visible, the process goes from the inside out: first her bones and muscles become visible, followed by her skin, and finally her hair, clothing, and accessories. (The aforementioned order is reversed when she vanishes into thin air.) Since it appears to require quite a bit of concentration on her part, it’s possible that there’s an upper limit to the number of layers or the amount of matter that can be affected by her camouflage powers. An excessive amount of padding, accessories, or protective gear might produce an “Invisible Man” effect – where objects are seen floating around in mid-air – something which would severely undermine any stealth or infiltration attempts.

Another possibility is that Quiet’s superhuman acts of physical exertion – she jumped out of a moving helicopter that was a hundred feet in the air and landed on concrete without so much as a scratch, for god’s sake – generate excessive amounts of body heat, more that sweating alone can hope to dissipate and which can only be lost through the emission of higher-than-average levels of thermal radiation through her skin. Wearing too much clothing might cause Quiet to “overheat” and suffer the effects of hyperthermia.

When you get right down to it, though, there’s one catch-all explanation that illustrates just how stupid this controversy is: this is Metal Gear Solid for fuck’s sake. We’re dealing with a video games franchise where we have, among other things:

Good lord, people, if you can accept all of the above without so much as blinking but a mute female sniper dressed like a dockside hooker is what irrevocably violates your suspension of disbelief, that says way more about you than it does about anyone else.

So what’s the real explanation behind Quiet’s appearance and behavior? Well, for now, only Hideo Kojima and his team of developers know for sure. Heck, maybe I do, too. But if that’s the case, then, much like the character at the center of all this, I have good reasons of my own for remaining silent. Ask me again when September 1, 2015 rolls around. :)

Sex and Dating, Superhuman Style – Part 20


So what does Black Alice look for in a member of the opposite sex? The answer might surprise you…

Wait, since when does the effeminate geek end up with the hot goth chick? :P

Wait…since when does the effeminate geek end up with the hot goth chick? :P

Today’s lesson in eccentric turn-ons has been brought to you by Suicide Squad #67 (March 2010) by John Ostrander, Gail Simone, and Jim Calafiore.

Surreal Estate – Part 1


Catering to a niche yet wealthy demographic makes good business sense.

So that's where all the money from those bank heists goes...

So that’s where all the money from those bank heists goes…

This glimpse into Gotham City‘s housing market comes to you courtesy of Gotham City Sirens #1 (August 2009) by Paul Dini and Guillem March.

Strange Moments in Video Gaming – Part 11


The most memorable thing about NAM-1975 by SNK? For me, it’s the damsel in distress. If you came to her rescue, you didn’t just free a hostage; you gained a comrade-in-arms. :)

I've got your female empowerment right here. ;)

I’ve got your female empowerment right here. ;)

First Impressions


Never let the team wiseass handle the introductions.

Looks like Peter's been doing his homework since the end of the second movie.

Looks like Peter’s been doing his homework since the end of the second movie.

Today’s art-based leg pull has been brought to you by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters #2 (November 2014) by Erik Burnham, Tom Waltz, and Dan Schoening.

Channeling MacGyver – Part 3


Move over, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, let Lex Luthor show you how it’s really done.

Man, when Lex Luthor plans ahead, he plans ahead.

Man, when Lex Luthor plans ahead, he plans ahead.

Today’s lesson in improvisation has been sponsored by World’s Finest Comics #177 (August 1968) by Jim Shooter, Ross Andru, Curt Swan, and Mike Esposito.

Engineering Failures – Part 3


There’s a good reason why transporters shouldn’t be field-tested.

I'll take a sarcastic comment from my ex-girlfriend over outrage from a female supervillain over my surprise nudity anyday. :P

I’ll take a sarcastic comment from my ex-girlfriend over outrage from a female supervillain over my unexpected nudity any day of the week. :P

Today’s revealing malfunction has been brought to you by Legion of Super-Heroes #42 (April 1993) by Mary Bierbaum, Tom Bierbaum, Tom McCraw, Stuart Immonen, Ron Boyd, and John Dell III.

Superman Says The Darndest Things – Part 10


Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Possessed of the verbal eloquence of a lust-addled teenage boy.

I'm surprised you didn't get a wolf whistle in, pal. :P

I’m surprised you didn’t work a wolf whistle in there, pal. :P

Today’s facepalm-worthy dialogue has been brought to you by Action Comics #5 (October 1938) by Russell Cole, Will Ely, Ken Fitch, Homer Fleming, Gardner F. Fox, Richard Martin, Sheldon Moldoff, Jerry Siegel, Bernard Baily, Sven Elven, Fred Guardineer, Paul Gustavson, Leo E. O’Mealia, George Papp, Fred Schwab, and Joe Shuster.


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