I often see "Justice League Unlimited" hailed as the best written superhero cartoon of all time. I have disagreed with that ever since I first heard it. Aside from the fact that I can think of several superhero cartoons with much better writing, I cannot give that title to a cartoon that "accidentally" wrote a rape scene in. I can hear you all now. "God damn it, Greg. Not this again." But, I refuse to let this go.
For those of you that don't know, "The Great Brain Robbery" involved Flash and Lex Luthor switching bodies. Lex as Flash spent the episode trying to avoid capture on the Watchtower, while Flash as Lex tried to avoid detection and in the process, Lex's friend with benefits initiated sex believing it was Lex Luthor. As Lex, Flash could have said no, could have said he had work to do, but he didn't. He allowed it, and by Tala's own words later, he was into it. But, as I and most sane humans have said for a long time, rape by deception is still rape.
But people defend Flash's actions here. Worse than that, they say it's not rape. Tala consented, she initiated. And, the dumbest of them all, she's a villain so it doesn't matter. I've heard all the excuses. And it sickens me that we, as a society, still can't agree on the simple concept of what rape is. Wait, let me walk that back. I think that we, as a society, have agreed on what it is, but certain types of people refuse to agree to the concept for reasons that I wish escaped me, but don't.
So, for those of you that continue to defend Flash's raping of a woman, let's alter the situation a little bit. Honestly, I shouldn't have to do this, I feel sick about this, but I think it's the only way to hopefully make some of you understand.
Let's say Lex Luthor, in Flash's body, managed to make it to one of the Watchtower's teleporters and escape. Let's say Luthor transported himself to Flash's hometown, Keystone City. Let's say Luthor somehow figured out who Wally West was, where Wally West lived, and decided to hide from the League in Wally West's home while he plotted his next move. Let's say when he got there, Wally West's long time girlfriend, Linda Park was home. Let's say she was feeling frisky. Let's say Lex Luthor, disguised as her boyfriend, did nothing to stop her advances. Let's say afterwards, she said he was quite enthusiastic. Now, let's say after Flash and Lex Luthor are restored to their bodies, the real Wally West has to break the news to Linda over who she had just spent the night. Was Linda Park raped? Do I even have to ask?
What's different about this situation? Nothing. Any asinine excuse you can conjure up to justify what Flash did to Tala can be conjured to justify Luthor doing the same thing to Linda. In as such that there is no justification. What Flash did was rape, the fact that he is officially a superhero doesn't make it any less a rape. It was rape. There is no gray area here. No debate. Bruce Timm's "Justice League Unlimited" turned a hero into a rapist, and rewarded him for it.
The last time we see Flash in the series another supervillain, Giganta, plants one on him for no reason.
Yes, I know. Flash is funny, he's pleasant to be around, and many of you don't want to think about him committing a horrid act like this. But he did, whether the show acknowledges it or not. Now, I could say that the worst thing about all this was that no one at Warner Bros caught it; but that wouldn't be accurate. The worst aspect of all this are all the people making excuses and justifications for it.
Authorial intent or not, your hero is a rapist. This isn't an opinion, it's a fact.