Letters : Staff : 2012 : To the Staff 21/09/2012

Staff Only
Edit Item
Add Item
Date: Sep 21, 2012
Next: To the Staff 10/11/2012
Prev: To the Staff 18/09/2012

From onehelluvaguy912

I just read your rave on sexism in EotE. It was interesting; I feel like I'm desensitized to sexism in comics at this point, so much that I barely noticed.

One question, however...you posit that it is implied in Ms. Marvel #47 that Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel's date ends in a sexual encounter. I never got that from my first time reading the issue, and, having just reread it, I can't say I see anything that overtly implies that Peter and Carol had sex.

I'm not flat-out saying that you're wrong (in fact, I think a Ms. Marvel/Spider-Man pairing is something I could root for), but would you mind indulging an obtuse Spider-Fan and pointing out a few of the clues Brian Reed had put in this issue?

Thanks for your time,

Jeff

Jeff,

There are three textual cues that I took:

  • On p. 9 (counting story pages only, not ads), as the two are changing from their action uniforms to their civvies, Carol says to Peter "...I hope you're prepared to put out";
  • The story ends before the date does, i.e., we don't see the two of them part company; and
  • The final dialogue of the story runs as follows. Peter says "This is nice". "Yeah?" replies Carol. "Yeah..." says Peter. The 'yeahs' are a Bryan Reed tic, but note the use of ellipsis.

So, as a whole, the way I read it, Carol took the lead and signaled her interest in sex early on. While Peter wasn't sure about it, by date's end he's enjoying himself and enjoying Carol's company. And how the date ends is left undisclosed, though the ellipsis implies that there is more to be said.

So did they or didn't they? It's possible to read it as just a platonic night out for two friends; the textual cues are certainly ambiguous. But the first time I read it, I took it for granted the two were intimate that evening.

That's what I like about this story: it allows those who wish to read an adult subtext to do so, but doesn't force it on those who don't see it, or prefer not to acknowledge it.

Thanks for writing. Right now I'm wrestling with a recalcitrant Spider-Woman review, but when that's done I think I'll dash off a quick review of Ms. Marvel (Vol. 2) #47 for the site that lays this out for posterity.

--Andrew

UPDATE, 28/09/2012: The review I mentioned above is now finished and should be live shortly. There, I note that "our crack investigative team at SpiderFan was sufficiently curious about this that they asked Brian Reed whether he intended to imply a hook-up between Peter and Carol in this issue. Word has come back that he intended no such thing. So there you have it! In a 'death of the author' world, of course, authorial intent doesn't affect how we read a text, but let the record show that Reed is not friendly to the sort of reading I suggest above."