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Sunday, May 07, 2006

So How the Hell Did *I* Become A Jade-Defender?!

Okay, so I've been rereading some pre-IC Outsiders issues lately. Which was an interesting endeavor since through my only little egotistical ventures, I've actually discovered I don't hate Jade. Just the way she's written.

It didn't help that Mr. Levitz wrote her very appealingly in JSA. Which is weird for me because his run hasn't been doing much for me.

Now, one thing I've noticed is that my biases do indeed affect my perceptions. Jade did indeed irritate me less this time around, as she tended to do reasonably useful things and not be terribly incompetent.

And I actually admire the fortitude it took to get between Dick and Roy and tell both they were being jerks. Though I'd have preferred she throw her support behind Roy, who's a proven leader, than put forward herself as leader with no experience. But who knows, she could have been good at it.

(And her concerns about Dick's leadership were definitely valid. I liked her calling him on his indifference to teammates getting hurt. Because it was a justifiable concern. Leaders are *supposed* to take responsibility.)

She was certainly compassionate and diplomatic enough. She cared about the team members personally. She took Anissa and Roy's injuries as a team failure (though Dick's leadership got the brunt of the blame). And sometimes some of the best tactical leaders aren't the best combatants.

But she never got the chance. *Literally* right after she took the position the Indigo/Brainiac and Kon/Luthor stuff hit. And chaotic crossovers like that rarely allow any leader a chance to shine because the whole *point* was that things had gone to hell. Dick got the nice commiseration/sympathy scenes with Shift but Jade wasn't given anything like that. Then right after that, Donna Troy led many members into space.

This didn't bother me at first, but thinking back, what the hell was that? What was the point of having such a dramatically built up leadership turn over and have it amount to nothing. It wasn't that Jade was a bad leader, she didn't have the shot to be any sort of leader at all! There wasn't one issue of status quo Outsider plots so we could see how her style compared to Dick and Roy. And right after the mess with Indigo and Kon, she's relegated to subordinate status again.

It's lazy and a missed opportunity to finally give Jade some individual development. To maybe even find an area she could be competent in. Hell, Dick tends to fuck up in battle as much as Jade does, but this is countered by his leadership skills. It would have been interesting if Jade was the same.

Then when he would get a clue and be finally willing to be the leader he could have been, it would have been a fascinating dilemma. Two good leaders, one more experienced but distrusted, one new but proving herself. To see them resolve it would have been a good story.

But they didn't have *anything*. Which sucks. Worse, it's a blatant ploy. DC could say that yes, for once a team is being led by a woman. But they didn't write her *leading*.

Which is annoying, as if she'd sucked, I'd have had more to hate on her about, and if she was good...maybe that would have turned around some of my view of the character.

Too bad about the missed opportunities.

2 Comments:

  • At May 07, 2006 2:06 AM, Blogger Ragnell said…

    At the very least they could have made her worthwhile before she died.

    Jade never got her chance to do any "Feats" y'know? Never got to do anything Outstanding. It's because she was created in a soap opera team book that never did the universe spanning threats, I guess.

     
  • At May 07, 2006 2:09 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    *nod* It wouldn't have been hard to give her *something*.

     

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