Superman writer David Goyer slams Martian Manhunter, calls She-Hulk a porn star

Contributed by
May 21, 2014

For a guy who writes movies based on comics, David Goyer sure has a funny opinion of some of them -- and the people who read them.

Let's imagine a film writer for a moment, one who, say, has written for two of the most well-known comic-book characters of all time. Now let's imagine he's asked about other beloved comic characters -- how might you expect him to respond? With excitement, perhaps? A reverence for the writers who came before him and, likewise, toward the people whose enduring fan love afforded those characters the chance to flourish and grow?

You might think those things, sure. But you'd be wrong -- if the writer you're talking about is Batman and Superman writer David S. Goyer.

The Scriptnotes Podcast interviewed Goyer recently, along with  Andrea Berloff, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Naturally, the topic of other comic-book heroes who might deserve movies (but have yet to star in their own yet) came up. In particular, J'onn J'onzz, aka Martian Manhunter, and Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk. The transcripts were all culled from the super-talented gang over at The Mary Sue.

Let's handle them one at a time. First up -- J'onn:

How many people in the audience have heard of Martian Manhunter? How many people that raised their hands have ever been laid?

Ah, that old routine. Like a mildly obscure comic-book character? You must be a virgin who lives in your parents' basement. It's 2014, dude, and comic-book movies make more bank than almost anything else in theaters these days. Besides, anyone who watched the Justice League cartoons knows Martian Manhunter, at least a little bit.

But let's leave that aside. What other problems does Goyer have with J'onn?

Well, he hasn’t been rebooted but he’s a mainstay in the Justice League. He can’t be $%#ing 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!

I, uh ... choose to disagree with restraint. But let's continue. How about She-Hulk? Does she fare any better in Goyer's eyes?

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 s--t 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 #$%@ if you were Hulk, you know what I’m saying? … She-Hulk was the extension of the male power fantasy. So it’s like if I’m going to be this geek who becomes the Hulk then let’s create a giant green porn star that only the Hulk could #$%@.

Dude, what? Jennifer is Bruce's cousin! Also, have ya read Charles Soule's current run? It's sort of focused on Jennifer's skills as an attorney. Whatever her origins, She-Hulk has come a long way.

Short version -- I disagree with everything Goyer said about these two great characters. But, let us know -- how do you feel about all this? Is Goyer being serious, or is he just trying to get a rise out of geeks?

(The Mary Sue via Comic Book Movie)