Volume 2 Page 76
Posted September 19, 2016 at 12:01 am

We’re kicking off a briefer story with this one, folks, in which an unprecedented tactical use is discovered for the clingy but tatter-prone hypermembrane of Emp’s supersuit.

You might wonder why you so commonly see comic-book characters wielding a pistol in one hand—or one in each hand, even more commonly—even though two-handed grips like the one Emp uses here are more tactically sound and lend themselves to greater accuracy. (Uh oh, hope I’m not triggering—ha ha!—any firearm enthusiasts out there into another round of the endless debate over “point shooting” versus the use of sights.) The pretty simple explanation? Two-handed pistol stances like this are much tougher to draw than single-handed ones, as the positioning of the support arm and hand can prove maddeningly challenging; in fact, I’m fairly certain I had to use photoreference to pull off this drawing of Emp. Same deal with how artists love to draw single-handed use of Japanese swords, even though the lengthy grip of a katana was obviously designed for a two-handed grip. Yes, I know, single-handed grips are indeed a valid part of kenjutsu, but they’re very much a secondary aspect of a martial art that leans heavily on two-handed forms.

Gotta say, though, I’m getting very tired indeed of comics artists running the trope of “badasses wielding a pistol in each hand” into the ground. That crap was (arguably) halfway cool when Chow Yun-Fat was two-gunning his squib-spurting way through armies of hapless, white-overalled goons in John Woo’s The Killer—but, for the record, that movie came out in 1989, folks. (T-Swift reference unintended.) The issue isn’t—ahem—“realism” as such, here—though the trope does realistically provide only a means of missing one’s target and wasting ammo even faster than aimed fire, true—but the fact that any novelty or interest inherent to the “two-gun” riff passed its expiration date decades ago. Invoking “The Rule of Cool” for overused pop-culture cliches like this no longer applies, IMHO; try “The Rule of Don’t Bother with Unthinkingly Regurgitating Old, Tired Hackery” instead, perhaps. (Still, must admit that “two-gunning” isn’t quite as dumb a trope as the still-used “hold your pistol sideways” riff, which is itself a good 20 years old.)

-Adam Warren

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