As seen in his response to last year’s Man Of Steel controversy, screenwriter David S. Goyer is not particularly enamored of comic books, their “rules,” or their “fans” with their “expectations of a respectful and educated treatment of their most beloved characters”—all of which Goyer has to deal with constantly, as the architect behind all of Warner Bros.’ comic-book movies. It’s a terrible burden not unlike being a superhero who’s detested by the public, in the sort of story Goyer would force himself to write for millions of dollars. And the resulting stress occasionally manifests itself in Goyer’s expressions of contempt for the comic-book medium and its readers, beyond just the movies he scripts.
For example, Goyer recently sat on a panel with Superhero Movie director Craig Mazin, where the two riffed on She-Hulk and Martian Manhunter in a manner befitting the latter’s sense of humor and the former’s sense of it absolutely not mattering what comic-book fans think. Fortunately for Goyer, their conversation was for Scriptnotes, a podcast on the Internet—a place where comic-book fans don’t generally tend to congregate.
First up, their conversation on She-Hulk, as transcribed by The Mary Sue:
Craig Mazin: The real name for She-Hulk was Slut-Hulk. That was the whole point. Let’s just make this green chick with enormous boobs. And she’s Hulk strong but not Hulk massive, right? … She’s real lean, stringy…
David S. Goyer: She’s still pretty chunky. She was like Chyna from the WWE.
Mazin: The whole point of She-Hulk was just to appeal sexistly to ten-year-old boys. Worked on me.
Goyer: I have a theory about She-Hulk. Which was created by a man, right? And at the time in particular I think 95% of comic book readers were men and certainly almost all of the comic book writers were men. So the Hulk was this classic male power fantasy. It’s like, most of the people reading comic books were these people like me who were just these little kids getting the shit kicked out of them every day… And so then they created She-Huk, right? Who was still smart… I think She-Hulk is the chick that you could fuck if you were Hulk, you know what I’m saying? … She-Hulk was the extension of the male power fantasy. So it’s like if I’m going to be this geek who becomes the Hulk then let’s create a giant green porn star that only the Hulk could fuck.
Setting aside for the moment that Hulk and She-Hulk are cousins (like Hulk and She-Hulk did in Wolverine: Old Man Logan), reducing She-Hulk to a “giant green porn star” isn’t likely to sit well with her fans. After all, most readers will recall She-Hulk as more of a giant green powerful lawyer, who retains her intelligence and remains articulate even in Hulk form, boasts a sly humor and self-awareness about her condition, and champions moral causes and sticks up for the downtrodden—while, yes, also happening to have enormous boobs. However, those readers read comic books, and therefore mean little to David S. Goyer.
To illustrate that point, Goyer then weighed in on Martian Manhunter—another green superhero who, most importantly, Goyer could conceivably one day have control over, as the presumed writer behind Justice League. Not that Goyer seems particularly excited about that prospect: After the topic was broached, Goyer asked the audience how many had actually heard of Martian Manhunter; following some applause, Goyer asked, “How many people that raised their hands have ever been laid?”
After further establishing his rapport with the pathetic, masturbating virgins who comprise his target audience, Goyer then explained how he would reboot Martian Manhunter for them:
Well, he hasn’t been rebooted but he’s a mainstay in the Justice League. He can’t be fucking called the Martian Manhunter because that’s goofy. He can be called Manhunter… The whole deal with Martian Manhunter is he’s an alien living amongst us… So he comes down to Earth and decides, unlike Superman who already exists in the world now, that he’s just going to be a homicide detective… So instead of using super-powers and mind-reading and like, oh, I could figure out if the President’s lying or whatever, he just decides to disguise himself as a human homicide detective. Dare to dream!
So, rather than deal with the goofy absurdity of a mind-reading alien disguising himself as a human homicide detective—which would compromise the realistic tone Goyer created in Man Of Steel for his flying, heat-vision-spewing alien disguising himself as a newspaper reporter—he has another, more grounded approach. It involves growing him in a petri dish, until he’s ready to knock over some buildings:
I would set it up like The Day After Tomorrow. We discover one of those Earth-like planets… So maybe like… we get the DNA code from that planet and then grow him in a petri dish here… He’s like in Area 51 or something and we’re just basically… doing biopsies on him. Then he gets out and he’s really angry and he fucks She-Hulk.
Fortunately, Goyer only has to task himself in the meantime with heroes of less goofy origin, like the walking personification of dreams in Sandman, and female comic-book characters like Wonder Woman. It’s unknown as yet whom she’ll be fucking.
On a related note, David S. Goyer certainly chose an odd way to finally introduce humor to his comic-book stories.