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Friday, March 16, 2007

Gore Watch! 16/03/07

Greetings ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the inaugural Gore Watch! Here I, Andrew Salmond, longtime purveyor of comic books to your youth, will chronicle the weekly descent of mainstream comics into gory, splatter filled hell. *

To explain, I will be taking the finest examples of what I feel to be inappropriate gore each week from the new mainstream superhero comic releases. Inappropriate is a slightly vague term (about as vague as slightly), so I should explain: I will grab panels of bloody splatter from comics which operate under the US Comics Moral Standard. That is, the idea that it is most definitely not okay to show a pair of tits, or for someone to utter a curse word, but having a superhero's arm ripped off from the elbow down complete with bloody spray and protruding bone (last week's JLA #6), or one's wife raped and murdered (Identity Crisis - yes I'm looking at you Brad Meltzer) is perfectly fine. So Batman and Spider-Man are fair game, but the Max line's Punisher is not.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to the idea of mature superhero comics, but endlessly grim parades of violence posing as adult storytelling have just started to grate. Like a teenager trying to convince you of their maturity.

Anyway, my intro may not be brief, but the shots will be. Here we go! ***

Unfortunately, after a banner week last week, this week has seriously underperformed. Pickings so thin that I'm forced to start with something from last week I just read. Something that made me spit tea out my nose.


SEE the horror of Ms Marvel's ass mercilessly savaged by her costume as Spider-Woman's leg spontaneously breaks from the shock of it all. And I think her back is going next...

Who says mainstream comics can't have mass appeal? Look at the strong female leads!


I feel a bit bad about this. Moon Knight is obscurely labelled with "Parental Advisory", but the gore level in this grim-as-hell title is so dependable that I can't resist. And also, this is a character who inhabits the same world as Spider-Man and Captain America, both of whom have guest-starred in its pages, so I feel okay bringing it to task. Plus, it's shit.

Now THAT'S justice! And from the same issue...a curious page which begs a few questions...

Look at this closer....where does the bloody on that baton come from? I'm not even going to question the physics of the rebound, but that's a pretty serious spread of blood down that thing.

Just asking...


Special media tie-in! I'm 13 years old and I enjoyed the movie. Now I want more! So I pick up the latest issue, despite it's responsible "T+" age rating. Oh no! Could this be my first step into moral decay?

Hardly. I can't even SAY $#%&!


Phew...totally in the clear on this one! A comic featuring prominent Marvel licensees such as Spider-Man, Wolverine and of course the ever-popular Ronin. Clearly marked with the unambiguous "A" rating. Granny can give this to little Billy at Christmas without any fears. But wait!

It's a gusher!

(Haha Spider-Woman...they can say "bitch" over in Moon Knight and Ghost Rider...but not ca-ca...)

52 #45

Finally, I'm disappointed. This was supposed to be the showcase of my first post. The comic that last issue featured a teenage boy being eaten alive by a crocodile man in bloody, red-panelled glory was now going to feature Black Adam's rampage of revenge. Burst heads! Disembowelments! Limb-from-limb rendings! I was practically salivating! And what did I get? One silhouetted head-bursting, and an unintentionally hilarious homage to Miracleman #15.

Tears on my pillow. Still, I do like the idea of somebody's head exploding by a backhanded slap that makes the sound "FWAT".

Sweet dreams!

*I should state that if I were 15 years old I would adore (and indeed did when they were available) comics steeped in gory, splatter filled hell. But it is my prerogative as an adult to operate a cruel double-standard as to what I feel is suitable reading material for young people. Tough shit, young people. **

**Just kidding. Hell, barely any young people read these things anyway. I'm more annoyed that all the fun is being drained from the genre. Sure, make it grim every now and then, but mix it up!

***All formats and rules subject to weekly change.


  1. Moon Knight is one of my favourite characters - I have a problem right there, I know - and that new series just horrifies me. Not because of the violence, though it is the definition of gratuitous, but because its so terrible. Bad art, compressed plotting, over-written makes even the Chuck Dixon Moon Knight from the 90s look like Watchmen.

  2.'s a hard road to travel being a Moon Knight fan.

    This new series really reminds me of all the awful grim-for-grim's sake crap that came out in the 80's and early 90's. It's just nasty.