D for Defense #30

(Previously on DfD…)

(by Bac Hylon)
 
Documented history shows us, yet again, how Rob Liefeld’s work can be found it’s deserved place in Comic History, not only because of it’s artistic value but also because of the educational and moral values it transmits.

In this ocasion we focus on Chapel character, mercenary and founder of the YoungBlood team, being his methods more than questionable and his behaving borderline inmoral. You may wonder what are the values that ROB! is trasmitting to the effervescent minds of young readers using a character like this one but I think it’s a very clear message. Chapel acts as an example. An example that he wants children to avoid. ROB! leaves it very clear "Kids, don’t be like Chapel, he isn’t a good guy. You may find him cool at the begining but remember he was the one who killed Al Simmons, which ended up creating Spawn. If it wasn’t for him Spawn would have never existed, is that the example that you want to follow with your life?"

This way ROB shows that even when he is not fighting and killing enemies, Chapel has a reprobable behaviour, also ROB tries to give young people an example of how things shouldn’t be done. He does it with only three little pannels that don’t even add up to a page. ROB! has always been known for an efficient and ecologic use of means.

The scene starts using a text that places us space and time wise. At 1:11PM, to be exact. Notheless Chapel wakes up thinking it is still night. Isn’t it obvious? He is just a lazy who uses up every moment he can to burry himself between the sheets, instead of rising up early and doing something usefull. The man we are watching behaves like a bum and a slaker, who even boasts of taking advantage of the fairer sex. Kids, do you like this demeanor? Do you want to end up like him?

Not only that but as you can see in the second pannel, he has infected his girl with his laziness, she grumbles that she wants to stay slaking a little longer. Which is Chapel’s response? Turning off the alarm clock (it rings again in the third pannel), because as we can deduce from Chapel’s sitting position in the bed, between the third and the last pannel there is a time lapse of five minutes, usually the time for the snooze alarm to ring again.

Just another example of Chapel’s reprobable behaviour. His only way of being more insultant would be saying "And fetch me breakfast before going, babe". What would a feminist role model say? Who could posibly want this person as a role model? Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children!

ROB! himself would give us the answer to some of these questions in the YoungBlood comic, when the character would end up finding his demise, showing us the terrible consequences of Chapel’s lax and inmoral life. Only the champions of youth like ROB! know well that it’s equally important to show heroic figures that the kids can identify with and examples of what are the consequences of flirtling with the "Dark Side".

ROB!’s work is full of teachings for any who wish to find them. So please remember my words every time you enjoy one of Rob Liefeld’s comic.

 

 
(additional defense by Xum)
 
 
Even though I share all the points raised by Bac Hylon I must raise a few more for your consideration. Yes, for the inexperienced eye it may seem I say the oposite of my dear collegue Hylon, but that is why ROB!’s art is so AWESOME!, it allows multiple interpretations (some of them completely opposite) and ALL of them are RIGHT.

This is the greatness of ROB!.

As we have been doing for some weeks I will now proceed to clean the honour of our loved spiritual leader from the falacies those jelous group of critics from Progressive Boing are spreading.

Most of the complaints about this image come from the alleged chauvinist and retrograde attitude of the main character, the superheroe/soldier created by ROB! and called "Chapel". The problem is, as always, that the critic just looks at the surface and, without understanding the different layers that compose his personality, decide to condemn him.

From a first reading we can extract some data: this man is a true soldier, loyal to his Country and available 24/7 for the YoungBlood programme. There is not an issue too personal or important that he doesn’t leave aside when he is requested by his Country ("El deber me llama cariño"). In second place we can also see that he is a very direct person, without duplicity, he clearly indicates the women that he has shared the night with that this is his way of life, that he has no place for compromise as he has already choosen the path for his life.

Chapel doesn’t lie to anyone, "Sin promesas (No promises)" he tells her.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg of his characterization, the first of many other layers of information that ROB! has built. The true Chapel, his true feelings and sensitive side we can easily deduce them using a series of clues skillfully hidden. Chapel, not only loyal but also has a tender soul that we can see in the smallest details.

"Otra noche, otro amor" Chapel thinks while, as the critic from Progressive Boink shows, it’s 1:11PM. This evil guy says in his analysis that this is an error, but we know better than to doubt ROB!, in his work nothing is wrong and anything that may sound that way is part of a hidden message.

Knowing that little data anyone can reach the only posible conclusion: Chapel not only has spent the night with this lady but also has been paciently waiting for her to wake up (probably more than six hours), that’s the key to understanding a character as complex as Chapel.

Can you call chauvinist a man who waits during hours so that his couple catches a few hours of sleep? No! In the image we can see how she uses his body as a pillow, does he complain? NO! How many of us, lesser men than the ones ROB! draws, would use any excuse to run away in this situation? Not Chapel, as shown in the first reading he is LOYAL, capable of waiting for you during hours until you wake up. We can even extract from the first drawing that he hasn’t used the oportunity to get some sleep himself, NO!, that is not his style, he waits paciently as his woman rests.

Chapel would gladly spend whole days awake, waiting, to give a resting place to any of us. With only one exception (and here we link with the basic premise of the character) and that would be if it came into conflict with his one and only love: his Country.

For this ideal he is capable of sacrificing anything, kills anyone or even wakes up any lady that may have been resting on top of him.

This spirit of sacrifice can be clearly seen when he asks for hernumber, telling her that although he is interested his loyalties always lay with his country. Anyone other person might have lied to her but Chapel respects this woman too much to do this to her.

This is Chapel: loyal,
noble and compromised with his ideals.

A true creation from ROB!

 

(Be here next week for this:

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