I’ve grown up reading comics. Which means I’ve also grown up seeing kick ass woman wearing next to nothing. I don’t have a problem with it, sex is a weapon after all. While I understand all the things wrong with sexual objectification I think there are ways to play with it and use it to better effect. Vampirella, when she’s done well, manages to do that. Red Sonja as well. Now we have Sally and I’m just not sure where she lands on that scale.
Here’s (part of) the synopsis from Titan: Southern Louisiana, 82 years after the Fall. The apocalypse has come and gone, leaving behind a withered, ravaged landscape of wreckage and mutant crawfish. Still, you gotta laugh, and Sally does, often using her beloved shotgun, Bertha, as the punchline!
Sally is a barmaid in a post-apocalyptic world. She’s very possessive over a young man names Tommy who works on a fishing boat and very protective of the bar itself. She also has a very close and loving relationship with her gun, Bertha. She’s obviously not someone to cross. A stranger ends up in the bar and collapses, bleeding on the floor. Later when she awakens, she tells of her journey to find a power source that could mean the return of civilization. The catch is she needs a boat to take her to New Orleans to get it. From the reaction of the people in the bar, New Orleans is not a place anyone willingly goes. The fishing boat captain smells opportunity, Tommy wants to go out and do something, anything, so Sally tags along to protect him. The motley crew set out on their journey.
Overall I was entertained by Sally of the Wasteland. I liked the jokes and I liked Sally, who is either “batshit crazy or…just colorful” yet there’s something off. There’s an attempted rape scene, a gratuitous nude bit (pg-13 but still) and a group of Amazon types, the “Bamazons”. I think it’s meant to be a bit ironic and therefore empowering but it doesn’t quite work. If I’m spending too much time thinking about what the writer intended with the characters, then they’re doing something wrong. The art is good, the story, while fairly predictable is fun and engaging but the nagging feeling in the back of my head that this was quietly misogynistic kept me from getting lost in the story.
I’m giving Sally 3 out of 5 stars. As I said it’s fun but it really did make me a little uncomfortable with its female portrayals.
SALLY OF THE WASTELAND, Writer Victor Grishler, Artist Tazzio Bettin.