Comics Mobsters is Dumb

August 26th, 2009 by | Tags: , , ,

Cut for spoilers for the last issue of Batman and Robin.

So, as far as I can tell, Pyg created a drug that allows for mind-control.  He sells it to mobsters.  And how do the mobsters use it?  To force women into prostitution.  To make money.

Does this seem like an efficient way to make money?  It seems to me that if someone gave me a few vials of a mind-control drug, and took away my conscience I wouldn’t think, “Let’s make the average woman perform degrading and time-consuming sexual acts for relatively little money.”  I would think, “I will go to the nearest Hilton Hotel, so I can give the drug to the manager.  He or she will refer me to the next person up the corporate ladder, until I am in a room with William Hilton.  Five minutes later, I will leave with twenty million dollars in ‘karma consultancy’ fees and live off the interest for the rest of my life.”

Mobsters, I guess, prefer to do things the hard way.

Now, I suppose I should be just as hard on Pyg, but I’ve seen comics mobsters pull this crap before.  During the Grotesk storyline, a man owed a lot of money to members of the Russian mob.  They decided, after his oh-so-tragic death, to get their money back by kidnapping his sister and forcing her into prostitution. 

She was a doctor.  The woman could write prescriptions for medical marijuana, opiates, narcotics; anything and everything they could sell.  She could, if she needed to, steal them right from the medical clinic she worked at.  She could sew up their wounds and provide them with valuable consultations.  And even if she refused to do that, the money they could get by demanding a portion of her income as a doctor would far outstrip the money they would make by forcing her into prostitution.

I know that forced prostitution sounds gritty and real, but what’s grittier is the fact that generally the women who are forced into prostitution are powerless and poor.  One of the reasons middle-class, first-world women don’t go into prostitution is they can make a better living elsewhere.  Any weapon or method powerful enough to change that can probably be used for a more profitable crime.

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13 comments to “Comics Mobsters is Dumb”

  1. But comics readers don’t care about poor people who get forced into prostitution.

  2. This is some no-prize territory, but eh. Here is your answer!

    – These guys didn’t seem to be allied with either Two-Face/Penguin, the big mob crews in town, so…
    – These were up and comers on their own, small-time fish, which means…
    – These dudes wanted to start their OWN empire of crime, and to do that you need more than just money, thus…
    – These idiots decided to start pimping first and working out better plans later.


  3. the first ones are genre goons not real people.
    the grotesk guys: they were humiliating her.

  4. Their actions certainly don’t make sense in terms of what would benefit them most. My guess is that this was done intentionally by the creators for two reasons:

    – To establish that the mobsters are absolute scum. Sexual slavery and degradation of woman are terrible, and we the readers will be that much happier when [insert hero here] vanquishes these evils.
    – Tying into the above: if the mobsters do the smart thing and triumph, it glorifies them instead of [insert hero here].

  5. I can almost understand the logic here. Using drugs to mind-control women into being prostitutes? That’s not too far from reality, and it’s unlikely that it’ll draw too much superhero attention. But using it to hold a city ransom, that’ll bring a couple of superteams down on your ass.

    As for the example in Grotesk, I suspect their motivation was less monetary, and more a giant middle finger to the dead guy.

  6. I figured that prostitution was something they were used to, and knew from previous experience that it would bring in stable income. The drugs to them would just be another method to make the business have less rebellious variables to it and get them more money in a job they already knew, so in their minds, why would they bother messing with William Hilton, one of the wealthiest CEOs around?

    I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you here, but I see it more as conservative (perhaps indeed small-time) business thinking. Why take a risk with a new tool that will make your current business better? Some people, when given a Lamborghini, will just see another car to get them from Point A to Point B.

  7. Or whoever wrote the Grotesk arc just wasn’t very bright. Its generally easier to go with that explanation for something stupid in comics rather than try to come up with any kind of “story” reason…

  8. @Syrg: good reasoning

    @LurkerWithout: fyi that was Ostrander

  9. Its guy-writing. What can you expect. I know the current trend is “anti-PC”. Whatever that means (asking ppl to try to get over their inner bigot and they get mad). BUT yes sounds like good old fashion sexism.

  10. If I had mind control drugs, I’d do what my hero Slade Wilson did and force Cassandra Cain to act out-of-character yet again.

  11. @Hitthetargets: Come on. Out of character? Cassandra is incapable of being written IN character. She no longer has a character. They’ve written her so differently over the past five years that all that’s left is a name that represents what was once a kickass, badass spin-off comic character who…

    Holy shit.

    Cassandra Cain is the DC answer to Eddie Brock!

    Anti-Batgirl is going to be an awesome series in four years.

  12. @Nathan: Huh. Then maybe Ostrander was just sick. And mixing his NyQuil with Tequila…

  13. @LurkerWithout
    ostrander wrote dope nose?