Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Friday, August 18, 2006

EiE: Infusing Estrogen into the JSA 2: Lady Danger

In my last Infusion of Estrogen post, Dr. Flem had a good point about overloading the JSA with younger characters and how he'd like to see a tough older female character. I like that idea a lot, so I thought I'd try it this time.

Okay, the trick this time is to create a female character that could be an experienced old-hat of a hero and yet somehow remain under the radar for the large amounts of earth-shattering apocalyptic events that the DCU sees on a daily basis.

Now there are some characters that are already pre-existing that would make fine editions to the JSA in this respect: Zatanna, Lady Blackhawk, Black Canary could all be characterized as more experienced female characters, however, and this might just be a petty thing on my part, they all look young. They're not all young of course, Dinah's got to be of an age with Hal and Ollie, and I don't really think Zatanna can be much younger, considering her own position in the Satellite League as of Identity Crisis at least. But they don't look it.

I'd like a gruff, older female character that actually LOOKS like she's in her forties. I'm not saying she can't still be very attractive (it's very hard to be unattractive in comics) but I'd like her to have some flecks of grey. Some lines around her eyes. I'd like her to visibly look around the age of Wildcat or Jay or Reed Richards.

This character should have the experience and presence to be something of a matriarchal figure in the group. I'd like her to be a warm, gruff, outspoken personality, one that the young women can turn toward for advice and a role model. I'd also like her to have an element of earthy sexuality. She'll be able to flirt back with Wildcat, for example, without it looking quite as inappropriate. She should be confident and able to match characters like Alan and Carter without backing down.

For the legacy aspect, I'd like to use that of Lady Danger. I'm not anticipating a great deal of personal connection between the characters, rather, like Michael Holt or Pieter Cross, I see her as being inspired more by the stories of the character as well as a few chance meetings, rather than a direct lineage element.

In order for her to be both experienced but under-the-radar, I'd design her to be without superpowers. She's an adventurer with some nifty toys instead. Which means she might have been in the background, helping to fight aliens in some of the many many invasions, but wouldn't really have been in position to draw a whole lot of attention to herself.

I actually like the idea of playing up that element actually. Few of the Golden Age/GA-inspired heroes ever seem particularly adept at subtlety. It might be interesting if this new Lady Danger had once been involved in some sort of military special ops or espionage group. (This could possibly create ties with Checkmate, allowing for a smoother character introduction). This means she'll have training and experiences that are vastly different from the majority of the group and a perspective that could allow for both a useful perspective and a source of personal conflict at the same time.

She'd be in an interesting position as well. She's physically older than most of the team except for Alan/Jay/Ted and very experienced, however, in a team with many of the characters that were running around during the second world war, she'd be considered one of the kids as well. It would be uncomfortable and she would feel the need to not give any ground when dealing with the older members, as well as to prove herself. I think she could be a lot of fun.

15 Comments:

  • At August 18, 2006 7:22 AM, Blogger Flidget Jerome said…

    Three things!

    1) Can she have tea with Sandra Knight?

    2) Can they team-up for a Sand and Stars-style 'one-last-hurrah' adventure?

    3) Can Sandy wear her original costu . . .

    Make that two things.

     
  • At August 18, 2006 8:45 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    1) Yes, though I think she'd like coffee better.

    2) Yes, it would involve Neo-Nazis and a mad scientist or three.

    3) Yes, but only after serious embibing of alcoholic beverages.

    :-)

     
  • At August 18, 2006 9:50 AM, Blogger Matthew E said…

    Not entirely unrelated question: Does anybody know who has the rights to Eisner's 'Lady Luck' character? I saw a panel or two of her in a book I have about the history of comics and she looked cool.

     
  • At August 18, 2006 1:21 PM, Anonymous Loren said…

    Whatever happened to the woman Firebrand? Is she still alive? Well, it's a brave new world, isn't it? So, I guess it doesn't matter because she could be alive. That might be an interesting character to bring back. And, given that Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray have introduced a new Firebrand for Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters, there could be an interesting crossover. Maybe she serves as a mentor to him or something.

    Just a thought...

     
  • At August 18, 2006 2:12 PM, Blogger RAB said…

    The original Batwoman would have been ideal for this.

    (I suppose the new one could also fill this role, if they ever decided to give her any personality traits besides the obvious one.)

     
  • At August 18, 2006 3:04 PM, Blogger Andrew Burton said…

    I think, technically (and possibly tediously) speaking, Dinah's physically in her 20's again, thanks to the Lazarus Pit.

     
  • At August 18, 2006 3:21 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    matthew: You got me. :-)

    loren: Firebrand's a name that gets tossed about a lot. There was another young male version in a JSA SF&O or Annual story a while back that got killed by Roulette's games. (There was a nice Guy reference though which is why I remember)

    A female version would be cool though, I'm not sure if I remember seeing her.

    rab: I think they're doing a good job with the new Batwoman so far. :-) But she's much too young for this sort of role. Which is a shame.

    andrew: Yep. Which is cool in one sense, but it takes away from the matriarch sort of role.

     
  • At August 18, 2006 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    When the JSA got back together I was personally hoping that they would use Jonni Thunder. As far as I know she only appeared in a 4 issue mini-series back in 1985, but I would liked to have seen her carrying on the name (I've never cared much for Jakeem).

    She was a private detective who gained electrical powers that made her look similar to Thunderbolt. I don't know if it specifically said, but I always just sort of thought of her as being in her early 40's.

     
  • At August 18, 2006 3:47 PM, Blogger Andrew Burton said…

    There's always Merry Creamer, girl of a thousand gimmicks. I keep waiting for Stargirl (and her friend, Mary Kramer) to go off to college, board with Merry, and end up having adventures with Merry as their adhoc leader.

     
  • At August 18, 2006 5:09 PM, Blogger R.Nav said…

    Zatanna can be much younger, considering her own position in the Satellite League as of Identity Crisis at least. But they don't look it.

    That reminds me of a conversation between Green Arrow (Ollie) and Green Lantern (Kyle) Which went something like:

    OQ "Have you seen Zatanna lately?"

    KR "Yea, she's allright.. Y'know for someone as old as my Mom"

    OQ "You wound me Kid. Physically"

     
  • At August 18, 2006 5:14 PM, Blogger Matthew E said…

    When the JSA got back together I was personally hoping that they would use Jonni Thunder. As far as I know she only appeared in a 4 issue mini-series back in 1985, but I would liked to have seen her carrying on the name (I've never cared much for Jakeem).

    She was a private detective who gained electrical powers that made her look similar to Thunderbolt. I don't know if it specifically said, but I always just sort of thought of her as being in her early 40's.


    She appeared later in the pages of Infinity Inc. Turns out that the electrical powers were actually kind of evil and as of the end of that arc she didn't have them anymore. I agree that I'd like to see the character again, though.

     
  • At August 18, 2006 5:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Absolutely agree about a veteran heroine. There really isn't one in the DCU. I remember reading that James Robinson had wanted Hippolyta to play that part (w/out the gray hair) but they weren't allowed to use her full time.

    The problem w/ retconning in a veteran is that the readers know better and the character would never be able to really be equal to Alan, Ted and Jay in stature.

    Liberty Belle might have worked but it looks like she's being replaced by her daughter.

    Firebrand II (Danette Riley) was a great character but hasn't been seen since the end of the 80s. I think they established in Stars & Stripes that she was killed by the Dragon King. If I recall correctly, she was also married to Sir Justin (the Shining Knight).

    Maybe Superboy-Prime can punch her back to life (worked for Jason Todd).

     
  • At August 18, 2006 9:40 PM, Anonymous Loren said…

    The female Firebrand actually either was a member of or hung out with the All-Star Squadron. And, with rumors that, in addition to the new JLA and JSA, there will be a third team that might be All-Star Squadron, I say it's time for her return! My only problem is I can't remember exactly what happened to her in the post-Crisis world...

     
  • At August 18, 2006 11:11 PM, Anonymous chuck said…

    Totally off topic...just noticed that series 2 of the Green Lantern figures comes out this week...one of the figures has the initials G.G....I figured someone around here might be interested. ;)

     
  • At August 19, 2006 5:12 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    anon: She was pretty interesting. I'd like to see her come back as a mentor for Jakeem. :-)

    andrew: She'd be a lot of fun! :-)

    r.nav: Forgot about that scene. Still hilarious!

    matthew: Ooo, I'd forgotten that story. I'll have to go reread it

    anon: Yeah, that's why I would target a female veteran to be more in Michael and Pieter's...tier of the JSA if it makes sense.

    Basically I see the JSA in three tiers: the old goats (Jay, Alan, Ted, Carter, Hippolyta)

    the middle men (Pieter, Michael, Dinah, Kara)

    the youngsters (Jakeem, Courtney, Al, Billy).

    (And then characters like Sand and Hawkgirl who are really confused. :-P)

    It really isn't possible to insert a veteran in the old goats that the audience will take as seriously now. However, I think it could be possible to create one that is experienced and a veteran in the sense of being a modern person. This character only needs to be believably more experienced than Michael or Pieter and that sort, and I think it can be done.

    loren: Ooo, thanks!

    chuck: ...*looks shifty* Why would I want to know that. *looks shifty more*

     

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