The Appeal of Red Sonja, Courtesy of Beverly Hills 90210, Lisa Simpson’s Bad Boy Crush, and the Taming of the Hottie
Then after a particularly insightful episode of The Simpsons, an idea came into my noggin. Lisa Simpson developed a crush on a Bad Boy, and I got it.
I asked said friends if the appeal of Hairdo Stevens was the fantasy of “he’s so sad and tormented and alone…but if he met me, it’d be different. I could tame him and make him happy!” They nodded, a little ashamed.
(I then regaled them with the melonheaded notions about girls that danced about the heads of teenage boys, and they felt better. We drew comfort from the fact that the genders are all too alike in their gifts of stupidity and self-delusion.)
Why bring this up? Because I just saw an article on Newsarama plugging the latest issue of Red Sonja, the popular cheesecake sword-n-sorcery comic. Next to it ran a big ol’ banner ad for the comic. In both, Sonja, as per usual, was wearing a bikini made of quarters, posed in a way to combine sex and violence as much as possible. And I thought about ol' Luke.
Red Sonja, the She-Devil with a Sword, has had a bunch of series over the years. Why does she keep coming back? Granted, “hot redhead in wee metal bikini” is a concept that kinda sells itself, but lots of cheesecakey characters disappear without a trace.
Why Sonja? Because of the Luke Perry Effect.
A key aspect of Sonja’s character is that she was badly scarred in her past, and thus will never give herself to any man who cannot defeat her in battle. Thus, like Chad Squarejaw, she walks the lands, righting wrongs and slaying bad guys, forever alone. A smouldering misunderstood rebel character…
“But with me, it’d be different…I could tame her,” thinks the horny fanboy. “I’m not like those guys…she’s unspoiled by the brutish men of that time…if she came here, she would so dig me.”
To convert my notion to math: Red Sonja = Luke Perry + Boobs - Fashion Sense + Stabbing * (Virgin/Whore) ^ Ass-shots.
Yeah, it's all kind of obvious and I'm treating this like a brilliant revelation. Sorry 'bout that.
...ya know, I used to be a fencer. I am now kicking myself for not forcing everyone at the fencing school to address me as "Harvey Jerkwater, He-Devil with a Sword."