By: Space Weaver
So, thanks to some great friends, I got into the Diablo 3 Beta. And I have to say, I have two complaints about it, and the first is that it isn’t long enough. I want more game! I’m a huge Diablo fangirl and this game is atmospheric, has a ton of wonderful lore, and I feel AMAZINGLY badass. A group of 40 minions? A few strategic clicks and I have never felt more hardcore in a video game. It is so lovely and so epic.
There is one major problem with Diablo 3, and guess what? It’s sexism. Sexism in a video game? I know, I know, I’m shocked. But I wanted to believe we’d moved slightly past it. Now, I’ve only played through two of the characters, and while the combat poses are pretty awesome (the monk moves in a light-on-her-feet movie fighter pose, the Barbarian looks pants shittingly terrifying barrelling toward her enemies), the non-combat poses are a parade of straight backed, chest out, elbows together, hips swayed, unnatural, uncomfortable poses to enhance the chestal region. Now, at first, I thought, well, if everyone starts naked, it’s a little annoying but more or less okay.
As you can see, this is not the case. Every male character has more base fabric than the female characters. The male Barbarian and male Monk start out with only loincloths, and that’s.. better.. but this whole wizard thing is horrible. Look at the tilt of her head, the curve of her body, compared to his. OBSCENE.
It gets worse. Labels for equipment across genders remains consistent. But on men, a “tunic” covers the chest, and is more than just a single yellow sash. The lowest level “pants” on a female monk are hotpants, boyshorts, and do very little more than cover her ass. At least for the monk female, when I upgraded her top she covered her bare midriff, but the next armor upgrade “pants” consisted of leather feetless thigh highs and another part of boyshorts. Her “shoulder” armor mantle added spikes to her mid-arm length gloves. Unreal.
I mean, for some of these characters, it makes sense. Barbarian men and women don’t seem to want to cover up (though “pants” are not a short skirt, Blizzard), and yeah, a monk isn’t going to wear heavy armor. But surely she would cover up a little more. Wear pants. A skirt that covered the front of her thighs. Maybe some stomach protection? Considering you start the game as a trained warrior, would it be so implausible that a trained wizard lady would WEAR A GODDAMN SHIRT?
So far, I have loved Diablo 3. It is immersive, fun to play, and so full of goodies for an old fan like me. I am having a ton of fun, and just.. really, loving every minute of gameplay. But it’s amazingly sexist. I’m glad the women are as ass-kicky as the men, and we actually get to choose a gender, but this? This is disheartening to the max. I’m tired of the “but this is how women in video games are portrayed hur hur” arguments. I’m tired of the male gaze in all these video games I’ve been playing for over a decade. So upsetting. An excellent game way less enjoyable bit of hugely insulting infantile garbage in it.
More on Diablo 3 as I find it.
Not comic related. Just offensive.
Pencil artist Pia Guerra is responsible for the signature look of the Vertigo title Y The Last Man and is currently working on the IDW Doctor Who series.
Her style is subdued and down-to-earth, but it wouldn’t be a far cry to have her take a shot at some of the more low-key superhero titles, or even that rarest of breeds, the non-Vertigo non-Superhero DC book. Something in the Jonah Hex neighborhood.
Colorist Christina Strain is a former member of the art collective UDON who has done her best known work for Marvel, coloring volume 2 of the excellent Runaways as well as the full run of Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane. She has also done a number of one-off issues for Superman titles and brief runs on Michael Turner’s Fathom.
Jen Van Meter
Jen first truly appeared on the comics scene with the award-winning Oni Press mini Hopeless Savages. Since then she has crossed paths with DC twice, penning the limited titles Cinnamon: El Ciclo and Black Lightning: Year One. More recently, she headed the above-pictured Black Cat miniseries.
Sara is a freelance artist with a distinctive look and a gorgeous sense of color that’s second to none. Her style may be a little too expressive for mainstream superhero books, but she could work absolute magic on something more in the Vertigo realm. Or just let her do variant covers for everything under the sun.
This was just posted to the DC website:
Over the past week we’ve heard from fans about a need for more women writers, artists and characters. We want you to know, first and foremost, that we hear you and take your concerns very seriously.
We’ve been very fortunate in recent years to have fan favorite creators like Gail Simone, Amy Reeder, Felicia Henderson, Fiona Staples, Amanda Connor, G. Willow Wilson and Nicola Scott write and draw the adventures of the World’s Greatest Super Heroes.
DC Comics is the home of a pantheon of remarkable, iconic women characters like Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, Batgirl, Batwoman, Catwoman and Supergirl as well as fan favorite characters like Black Canary, Katana, Mera and Starfire. We’re committed to telling diverse stories with a diverse point of view. We want these adventures to resonate in the real world, reflecting the experiences of our diverse readership. Can we improve on that? We always can—and aim to.
We’ll have exciting news about new projects with women creators in the coming months and will be making those announcements closer to publication. Many of the above creators will be working on new projects, as we continue to tell the ongoing adventures of our characters. We know there are dozens of other women creators and we welcome the opportunity to work with them.
Our recent announcements have generated much attention and discussion and we welcome that dialogue.
Jim Lee & Dan DiDio
DC Entertainment Co-Publishers
As someone who has had concerns about the number of female creators and characters since the reboot was announced, I am very pleased to see this. And I don’t think there is any question that the actions that Kyrax2 took at SDCC are instrumental in DC making this statement.
This has been an amazing week and it’s due to an amazing woman. I look forward to seeing what DC has planned.
For those of you who haven’t been entirely keeping up, Kyrax2 is probably better known as “The Batgirl of San Diego”, who relentlessly stood her ground at SDCC against attempts by both DC staff and her fellow readers to dismiss this issue.
A hero in every sense of the word.
Alex de Campi
Alex gets special notice because she was one of the two names shouted out by the SDCC audience when Didio asked who he should be hiring.
I have to admit I wasn’t familiar with her work before now, but after taking the chance to come up to speed, I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly. Thanks, anonymous panel-goer!
Best known for her Eisner-nominated title Smoke, Alex also dabbles in filmmaking and has directed several popular music videos.
Better known for doing covers than interiors, Jo has made a name for herself with Marvel’s Runaways and the Dark Horse Buffy series. She was even the recipient of her own panel at this year’s SDCC.
And I don’t know about you, but I would take that image of Superman over any cover DC has published this decade.