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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:17 pm 
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My apologies in advances if this seems somewhat confrontational or provocative.

Sometimes I feel Silk Spectre II is the Rodney Dangerfield of Watchmen; she don't get no respect. Perhaps it's my own personal attitude about women (and I'm an aging fanboy who's been around the block a few times in case that matters), but I don't think so. I've seen a few fanboy comments on more than one site implying (using sometimes rather rude wording) that she's less than virtuous in her relationships. In my mind that seems rather harsh and judgemental, especially considering the moral lapses of some of Moore's other characters are patently worse.

Let's face it. Jon's first adventure ended in adultery. The fans say nothing. Dan is a little flaccid, and the fans chuckle. Blake rapes one woman and kills another carrying his child. The fans think he's great. Rorschach hates women. The fans cheer "yay Rorschach".

Laurie has a relatively normal experience. She leaves one relationship because she can't stand the guy no more. She shacks up with another guy. It's called serial monogamy. The fans mutter something about loose morals or flawed psychology.

I for one just don't get it. :?: :?: :?:

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:53 pm 
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Trust me, as someone who has participated in their share of both male- and female-oriented fandoms, female characters always get crap. No matter how great the material is, and no matter how well the female characters are written, fans are going to rag on the girls.

For Watchmen fandom specifically, the Laurie dislike is particularly interesting. Laurie was written to reflect how female characters are portrayed in comic books, but while some elements of her character were a bit tongue-in-cheek, I thought she was a pretty well-rounded character. She was definitely the least psychologically-damaged of all the characters (save Hollis Mason, I suppose) and, most of all, a very human character. We see Laurie cry, laugh beat up thugs, have sex, and forgive others. We see her act like any of us would act in these situations, and I think that's what bothers fans the most about her. Everyone wants to be Rorschach or the Comedian or Ozymandias, so they revere them and call them great characters. The problem is that we already are Laurie, so what's the point of respecting her as a good character?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:55 am 
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Laurie has her problems, but anyone giving her verbal stick due to her "behaviour" needs to go a few more times ´round the block.

Many fans of comics appear to have not left their front door yet. :/

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:27 am 
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Soupdragon wrote:
Laurie has her problems, but anyone giving her verbal stick due to her "behaviour" needs to go a few more times ´round the block.

Many fans of comics appear to have not left their front door yet. :/


Thanks, Soup. You've put in black and white one of the possible explanations I had kicking around in my head. :twisted:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:30 pm 
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After seeing Julianne Moore for the first time in the movie SAFE, I wanted to see her play Laurie, but that was about twelve years ago now. The reason I liked Moore for the role is that she usually understands her characters enough to play their cluelessness convincingly. That's not to say I think Laurie is dumb or airheaded, but she's impatient enough not to really get what Jon tries to explain to her, and she should know better than to look for a dashboard lighter onboard Archie.

And yet, I still find Laurie very likeable. I'm certainly not down on her. In fact, I'm down WITH her. It sounds like she likes DEVO, too.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:14 pm 
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She wasn't my favorite character while I was reading Watchmen but she was one of my favorites. I like the way she is, her personality, her behavior. Can't wait to see her come to life in the movie :)

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:17 pm 
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I'm not down on Laurie, but for me her character is, sort of, the vehicle for exposition. Overall, she's not the most interesting character to me. She gives us insight to Dr. Manhattan, The Comedian, and Nite Owl through her experiences with them sexual and otherwise. To me that's her main literary purpose. Oddly enough, she doesn't interact much with Rorschach or Veidt that often and of the two main characters left, they happen to be asexual.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:31 am 
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I have two daughters. So my post comes from being a dad.

What Laurie needed was for a "father" to give her a big hug and for him to say that he was really proud of her. Blake was getting close to saying that, but it wasn't the right moment because of his horribly bad reputation.

Laurie's mum couldn't handle the contact, either. But I bet Blake was really proud, despite that.

It's a real shame for Laurie she never got to hear it.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:32 am 
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DoomsdayClock wrote:
I'm not down on Laurie, but for me her character is, sort of, the vehicle for exposition. Overall, she's not the most interesting character to me. She gives us insight to Dr. Manhattan, The Comedian, and Nite Owl through her experiences with them sexual and otherwise. To me that's her main literary purpose. Oddly enough, she doesn't interact much with Rorschach or Veidt that often and of the two main characters left, they happen to be asexual.


Well said. She seems to serve to expose the characters. She's one of Blake's few weaknesses (and the result of his weakness for Sally, I suppose). As you point out, Soup, he's as fatherly as he knows how to be in regards to his daughter.

She also lets us know Rorschach smells bad :roll: Seriously, though, those two characters are naturally antagonistic. Ror has an overly puritanical aversion to sex and she is the most sexual of Watchmen's cast.

Laurie is seriously outclassed by Veidt in both of her meetings with him. She blatantly shows her lack of education when she and Jon go to Karnak for dinner (she looks at Bubastis and stupidly says "I didn't know Eugenics was so advanced" (which in itself is a bit of unintended foreshadowing). We all know how her attempt to shoot Ozy turns out....

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:44 am 
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Soupdragon wrote:
I have two daughters. So my post comes from being a dad.

What Laurie needed was for a "father" to give her a big hug and for him to say that he was really proud of her. Blake was getting close to saying that, but it wasn't the right moment because of his horribly bad reputation.

Laurie's mum couldn't handle the contact, either. But I bet Blake was really proud, despite that.

It's a real shame for Laurie she never got to hear it.
You're forgetting that Laurie had no idea who her dad was. I think she might've been just as satisfied if Stepdad had grown to accept her, or if Hooded Justice had popped up out of the blue to say hi.

What's more, you may remember that Laurie didn't take the news of her real parentage very well. Would it really have gone better if she had learned while the Comedian was still alive?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:36 am 
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Err, I wasn't forgetting. That's why the "father" was in quotes. But you get my point .:)

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:49 am 
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Curiosity Inc. wrote:
What's more, you may remember that Laurie didn't take the news of her real parentage very well. Would it really have gone better if she had learned while the Comedian was still alive?

Hard to say. Pehaps if she knew all along that Blake was her father, it would have been better for Blake. Just knowing that Laurie knew he was her father could have given him that shred of meaning to his life that it lacked. He may have never shot that Vietnamese woman as well, beacuse part of why he did that could have been not being able to bear another child into the world that would have hated him, or worse, never knew he was its father.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:01 pm 
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DoomsdayClock wrote:
He may have never shot that Vietnamese woman as well, beacuse part of why he did that could have been not being able to bear another child into the world that would have hated him, or worse, never knew he was its father.


That's an excellent insight, not something I'd thought of at all.

Up to this point I'd just asssumed he's shot her as a knee-jerk reaction to getting slashed in the face.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 5:54 pm 
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dandreiberg wrote:
That's an excellent insight, not something I'd thought of at all.

Up to this point I'd just asssumed he's shot her as a knee-jerk reaction to getting slashed in the face.

Agreed. Just prior to that, the Comedian had no problem at all leaving TVW alone and with child. It's a great idea, DD, I just don't think it holds water.

Back to Laurie, I think it's a given by now that she's perhaps the most sexual character in the book. But how much did her mother have to do with that, I wonder?

The Silk Spectre was originally created so that Sally Jupiter could start a modeling career (though she apparently believed in the crimefighting element to some degree, or she wouldn't have pushed Laurie into it so hard). The costume was very deliberately flattering and the Spectre persona has a blatant sexual edge.

I find it possible that when Laurie inherited the Silk Spectre mantle, she also wound up with the outward sexuality attached to the persona. Sure, she complained about the neckline that went all the way to her navel, but I still wonder.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:30 pm 
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Curiosity Inc. wrote:
I find it possible that when Laurie inherited the Silk Spectre mantle, she also wound up with the outward sexuality attached to the persona. Sure, she complained about the neckline that went all the way to her navel, but I still wonder.


Sally seems to use her sexuality as a way to get ahead. She certainly impressed that in Laurie in the choice of costume.

Silk Spectre II definitely has a sexual aura about her. Early on in the narrative, I got the impression that she's one of the few characters in the novel who actually enjoys making the beast with two backs. Even though Jon seems to be going through the motions to keep her satisfied, he'd rather be looking for gluons or whatever.

In the final chapter when she's with Dan by the pool, she ahem comes to the realization that sex can be one of the most life-affirming things you can do. It's much like soldiers going off to the battlefront. It's not just a pleasurable thing. It's a confirmation that you are still alive and vital.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:15 pm 
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The only time i like Laurie is when she is with Doc Manhattan, thats the only time i find her interesting, but when she cries to Dreiberg about all her problems thats when i stop liking her, shes a drama queen.

Oh i also like when she helps Dreiberg break out Rorschach that was cool


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:04 pm 
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Nekronicle wrote:
when she cries to Dreiberg about all her problems thats when i stop liking her, shes a drama queen.


I find that observation ironic, since most of the characters (with a few notable exceptions)
in Watchmen cry at some time in the course of the story. :P

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:51 pm 
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could be as simple as her not liking rorschach. everyone already likes rorschach by the time we meet laurie. she is anti- rorschach while the reader is already on his side? could be wrong.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:05 pm 
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That's an idea.

I also think that Laurie is really the most passive of the characters - she just kind of reacts to things going on around her, but her choices don't really affect anybody. She consigns to follow the Keene Act, lives with Dr. Manhattan (on his initiation of a relationship), follows her mother's advice when becoming an adventurer in the first place, goes along with Dan's love after Manhattan leaves her, gets pulled away by Manhattan to Mars, where her every move is already known by him, gets pulled to Antarctica, where she's literally left in the cold, wanders in, and starts to become interesting when she shoots Veidt, which fails.

So... yeah.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:14 pm 
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Be Like Veidt wrote:
could be as simple as her not liking rorschach. everyone already likes rorschach by the time we meet laurie. she is anti- rorschach while the reader is already on his side? could be wrong.


Could very well be. Many fans identify strongly with him. Perhaps a case of mysoginy by proxy??

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