The main point is, Scott's really condescending and there's an awkward contempt when he invokes "feminist criticism" towards the end of his little essay. I'm not even sure what his point is really, other than some nit-picking at Karen's phrasing and a lot of not-backed-up references to "lazy" comics bloggers. So, let's get this rape discussion back on track and away from another trip into a whitebox to find a bunch more characters that were raped or not raped.
Indeed, for better or worse, rape and abuse have long been a trope used to contextualize and dramatize female characters. It is hardly specific to the world of comics, as even a quick thought back to the books you read in high school English would reveal the beginnings of an exhaustive list. Extend that to films, especially pre-60s drama and melodrama and you've got an even bigger list.
And so, the same way say, Wolverine's essentially Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights or Cyclops is chock full of Malory's version of King Arthur, is say [INSERT RAPED SUPER HEROINE HERE] is based in Tess from Hardy's Tess of the D'urbervilles or Hester Prynne, who of course wasn't exactly raped but you get the point. These are long-standing literary tropes that comics writers have jumped onto whether they ever read the books mentioned above or not.
This rape/abuse victim origin trope touches upon the forever-debated issue of gender and respect or disrespect when it comes to males writing female characters. Just a few years ago, there was a ton of debate about Lars Von Trier's "USA Trilogy" (Dogville, Manderlay, still-not-filmed Wasington) which was then, next to Dancer in the Dark and Breaking the Waves, the third and fourth film in which Von Trier presented a loveable female character beaten down by the world. Feminism, sexism, masochism or both? There's some odd mix of sympathy, condescension, and masochism working itself out in those films. The same could be said of comics, as it's a bunch of imperfect comics writers imperfectly trying to portray characters as realistically as they can, and still be entertaining.
Comics are still pulp in many ways and as a result, they move toward what Karen called the "easiest" which doesn't have anything to do with the most "common" or factually-represented in the real-world version, but what's short-hand in the sense of working on long-standing literary and pop-culture tropes and being really visceral and kinda seedy.
And that's rape! It's an origin story or dramatic turn of events that allows a writer a lot of freedom and complexity without doing a whole lot of work. The character is harmed in a way the society at least pretends to see as sometimes worse than murder and therefore gains sympathy, rises above it and therefore becomes "strong[er]", and also, maybe some creepy boob-jiggling panels during the rape scene are in there which makes the whole thing kind of naughty and appeals to the ever-present torture porn aspects of our reptile brains.
There's a Dwight Shrute-ian strand of conservatism running primarily through comics fans--and best represented by SGL's original article--that likes to be both hard-ass and assured and superficially sensitive to the complexities of "minorities" (mind the quotes) but not too sensitive either. As Karen already pointed out, the dismissal of Skully as a positive female character because she was "the male character with the breasts" is the perfect example of where this pseudo-sensitivity goes wrong. The fascinating dynamic of X-Files was that it was Mulder who was the emotional, unpredictable one--in super-conventional gender stereotypes, he acted like a broad, not Skully--and Skully, the rational, skeptic. Both characters occupied the porous borders in which gender identity actually resides. Just because Skully wasn't overly feminine does not make her a male-with-breasts.
Lastly, there is the reality that comics or films and even literature is in part, an economic enterprise and as a result, the loftier, more complex goals of a writer's mind at some point, have to meet-up with giving an audience and corporate entity what it expects. The best work successfully navigates commercial expectations with smuggled-in insight and it's up to discerning readers to parse the work out and see which side the work ultimately falls. This kind of criticism is necessary whether talking about portrayals of rape or anything else in comics and will do us all more good than compiling data like big homey Scott or stumbling back into the kind of wretched, above-it-all complacency of SGL's article.