From Typhoid #4, the last issue of Ann Nocenti and John Van Fleet’s 1996 miniseries from Marvel Edge:
Typhoid Mary is one of my favorite comics characters and was created by one of my favorite writers and one of my favorite artists. This is a good scene that illustrates exactly what she is. Mary, Typhoid, Bloody, and Mary Walker. Virgin, Whore, Femme Fatale, and Human. Parts of a whole.
I can’t figure out my favorite part of this scene. It’s either when Mary Walker wakes up and puts the gun in her mouth (“here’s to lightening the load”) or the way she switches from Mary to Typhoid to Bloody in quick succession on the next page. Bloody’s justification for killing speaks volumes, too, with shades of Ennis’s Frank Castle lurking in her words:
“You wanted to know why killers kill? What a stupid question. Did it ever occur to you that some people should be dead?”
I dug this mini a lot. I’ll have to work up a real review for it, because it’s really very interesting from a variety of viewpoints. But honestly, I really, really want Ann Nocenti to do some more comics. These are fascinating, and since the blogosphere has a decently-sized feminist faction, I’d like to think that we’d get some interesting discussion of her old work out of it.
This book also convinced me that, like Noh-varr, Bendis has no qualms about taking older, previously-established characters and sanding them down until they fit into the fictionsuit he needs to make his story work. Typhoid Mary goes from representing corruption and beauty and social pressure and imbalance to being… Generic Loopy Crazy Chick With Her Boobs Out. Noh-varr goes from Angry Dane McGowan Bent on Fixing Earth By Force to Confused Baby Hero, Easily Led Around by An Obvious Villain. It’s really soured me on his writing. It feels so lazy, like it’s sucking all the potential out of these wonderful things just to have them in a story.