Slog tipper Gloria alerts us to this io9 post about a recent Spider-Man comic book that started a controversy in the weird world of comics blogs. It seems that one of Spider-Man's villains, while impersonating his secret identity Peter Parker, had sex with Parker's roommate.


When asked about this, Fred Van Lente, who is the writer of the story, responded in part by saying "My understanding of the definition of rape is that it requires force or the threat of force, so no. Using deception to trick someone into granting consent isn't quite the same thing." This rather stupid and wrongheaded statement did not help put out the fires caused by the rape scene. And then the next issue of the comic book came out, and once the real Peter Parker comes home, his roommate, who still believes she had sex with him, is wearing Parker's clothes and wackily believes they are now in a relationship:


You can click to enlarge, but here is the majority of what she is saying:

We're going to have to work on that—your punctuality. Guys I date have to know how to use a watch....When I come home from a long day at the office, I expect minimum two hours quality time. Otherwise, what's the point of a relationship?...Your closet looked like a shrine to 1988. Don't worry. I gave it all away to Goodwill. Tomorrow we'll get you a whole new look.

So now on top of the rape, we have the "Women just want to trap you in a relationship and take you shopping to make you over like you are a Ken doll or something" plot in play. But Van Lente has made it all better! Now he suggests that fake-Peter Parker didn't have sex with the roommate, which means, in his opinion, that there was no rape at all. Um, okay then! Case closed?

Many thanks to Slog tipper Gloria, who says "Anyway, Paul, you might like this. Because of the comics. Not because of the rape."