Rich Johnston's "Bleeding Cool" site recently launched a new guest column by a woman calling herself Irene Adler -- a likely pseudonym, as the name of characters in both Marvel Comics and "Sherlock Holmes" -- who announces that she is "going to be your guide to the sexy side of fandom." Ooh la la, I smell cheesecake!

"Adler" announces herself as a "modern muse" of the comics industry, something halfway between a geisha and a "band-aid" from "Almost Famous" ("she ISN'T a groupie"), with "artistically displayed décolleté, impossibly tiny waist, and legs that would make Lady Death hang her head in shame." Basically, she's the hot chick holding court at the Hyatt bar during Comic-Con -- or says that she is -- except that in her mind, she's this is something far more grandiose. She's not eye candy -- no, no -- she's an inspiration.

Basically, she believes that she has elevated flirting with nerds -- and the nerderati -- to some kind of art, and the entire column reads like a smug, self-important caricature of the femme fatale dialogue from a low-rent noir comic, which is to say that it reeks of trying too hard -- the death knell of sexiness.Much like a "Lady Death" comic, "Adler" is so difficult to take seriously that it's hard to know where to start, or even what this is. A "nerd-baiting" exercise, as one commenter suggests, throwing a theoretically hot girl at comic book readers and hoping it sticks? An advice column for sexy ladies who want to get attention in the comic book world without feeling slutty?

There's also the distinct possibility that it's all an elaborate parody masterminded by Johnston, who responds that the column "reflective of a voice that I'm aware of, but haven't seen represented in the comics community." Really? You've really never read the Warren Ellis forum threads where the girls post vampy, pseudo-artistic pictures of themselves for attention?

How to decide? "Adler" teases in the comments that she doesn't have a public blog "because there's rampant nudity," (nerd-baiting!) and she responds to a critic that she can't possibly be considered a tease as "teasing is the lowest form of flirting and as such could never be raised to an art form" (parody!).

If this is seriously a recurring column by a woman who has somehow warped herself into a living, breathing parody of Miss Scarlett from Clue, then I don't know if it's possibly for me to hold the bridge of my nose hard enough to make the feeling go away. If it's a stunt -- or secretly Warren Ellis in a wig? -- then bravo, Rich. Enjoy the hits.

Update: My sources indicate that this is in fact a totally real woman, whose Myspace account says she has worked as an "agent/representative" for Tone Rodriguez, comic writer Dan Wickline and novelist PK Silver, and whose name on an alternate Twitter account is listed as Joss Psikla Dupas. I give this info a "yellow light" on the Rich Johnston scale of truthiness. Asked for comment, Johnston said that the mystery columnist is not Dupas, although it is a real woman, which was confirmed by other sources as well.

More From ComicsAlliance