Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

All I Want For Christmas...

Is a nice, quiet evening where I can catch up on replying to all the comments on my blog! I'm so horribly behind right now and I feel tremendously guilty about that. Thankfully, with the dreaded holiday season almost over, it seems like soon I'll be able to actually catch up!

I AM at least about halfway done with the post tagging!

Since it's almost Christmas, and I'm a comic book geek, I decided to think of a hypothetical comic story that would be a real Christmas gift to me. And I've got one.

My ideal Christmas-gift story is a Birds of Prey story in which Kimiyo Hoshi teams up with the Birds of Prey to deal with the evil Doctor Light once and for all and finally reclaim the name for good.

I'm not a particular fan of Hoshi. I've liked her in the appearances I've seen, but I have no real attachment to her. However, I think that at this point, the evil Doctor Light is tremendously overrated.

I actually LIKED Identity Crisis, overall. And I thought the twist in (evil)Doctor Light's identity was a neat twist. "He's only a bumbler because of outside intervention! Now he's got his mind back! Ooo! What will he do, now?"

Yeah, speaking of disappointment there. The only thing (evil)Doctor Light really ended up doing, in my opinion, is ride the coattails of that one, admittedly vile, act. I mean, honestly, according to JLA, "Doctor Light" is a name that would make people nervous. This is used as justification for not recruiting Kimiyo Hoshi. But...why?

What has (evil)Doctor Light done that's worthy of fear? He raped Sue Dibny, yes. That was horrible, yes. No question about it. I find it absolutely rage-inspiring. But worthy of fear?

Sorry. Considering how often rape seems to occur in comic books, I don't find it a strong enough reason for all this trepidation. Besides, Light was only in the position to target Sue Dibny because of what he knew about the JLA. The JLA is more careful now. For one thing, they've got a different headquarters and more secure defenses all around. And given how the newer Justice Leaguers were shocked at the necessity of mindwiping villains, one can deduce that the threat of mind-control or body-switching as a means to figure out secret identities has been lessened or even neutralized.

And really, what has (evil)Doctor Light done lately? He annoyed Oliver Queen and took Kimiyo Hoshi's powers, okay. But then what? What's he done with the powers?

All the guy seems to do is make rape threats. Sorry, in the DCU, that doesn't cut it. A single vile act is not enough to put you on level with the big league villains. Besides, do you think Lex Luthor or the Joker NEED to stoop to rape threats to be scary? Hell, no.

It IS possible to use rape-subtext and threat to be a sufficiently scary villain, I think. Even in the DCU. However, it requires a bit more focus and organization than what has been managed with Doctor Light. Rapist villains are more efficiently used as single-target villains. So obsessed with one particular victim that we DO end up genuinely fearing for that victim (and any close to her/him) because this guy would do ANYTHING required to break her/him.

For that sort of villain to be truly scary in a world where Lex Luthor is creating an army of cannon fodder heroes out of duped children, the focus needs to be on the victim. Rape is a more personal horror than murder, it requires a more personal technique to utilize it. Doctor Light basically leering into the crowd going "Maybe I'll rape YOU! No! YOU! Or maybe HER!" simply doesn't cut it.

A good contrast might be with Johnny Sorrow from the JSA. Even without any sort of confirmation of rape involved. Sorrow is a single-target villain. His primary goal might be to bring destruction down upon the world, he's still a villain that would divert his attention from SUMMONING AN ELDER GOD to beating on his captive victim, because he's being laughed at. This makes Sorrow a scary villain on a personal level. His obsession with this one target ends up more important than his primary objective. So what else is he capable of?

If Sue Dibny were still alive, things might be different. A personal focus on Sue might have been able to keep Doctor Light from being a pathetic one-note villain leering into the crowd. However, with Sue dead, Light's basically just a mustache twirling Snidely Whiplash. A meaningless cartoon!

It's a shame because as an idiot-turned-competent villain, he could have been compelling. His opponents are so used to dealing with him as an idiot that they would not really know what he's capable of now. It's kind of the reverse of Guy Gardner. While we know by now what Hal, John and Kyle are really capable of, Guy's a bit of a blank slate. The last time he had the ring, he was a brain-damaged thug incapable of complex thought. Now, he's got all his facilities back and a weapon that allows him to use them. And we don't really know what he can/will do!

It's a missed opportunity resulting in an ultimately worthless villain. We know what (evil) Doctor Light will do. He'll be largely ineffectual and make rape threats! That's it. Whoopie.

So I'd say, scrap him. Take him out. He's worthless. There's no story. No real drama there. Because of the misogynistic elements of the character, I'd vote the Birds of Prey do it. They can team up with Kimiyo, so she can get some of her own back. Big Barda and Kimiyo should have enough power between them to take him out, and Manhunter can damn well make sure the guy won't be victimizing any more women. And as a result, the "Doctor Light" name will go to the character that actually has some good stories left in her.

It'd be a Merry Christmas gift for me, at least!


  • At December 24, 2006 11:12 AM, Blogger Sinspired said…

    Hee hee.

    Totally agreed. The storyline was only effective at leaving him potential to become a scary villian again... Potential that has so far been left in the water.

  • At December 24, 2006 11:59 AM, Anonymous david brothers said…

    I agree with pretty much everything you said, except for one thing. Dr Light is in no way a Snidely Whiplash, because Snidely Whiplash is awesome. The villain tier goes Lex, Joker, Snidely, yes indeed.

    This would be a pretty sweet meme. "One storyline you want for Christmas." I may do one when I get off work.

  • At December 24, 2006 12:46 PM, Anonymous Loren said…

    I totally agree with you. I think Kimiyo Hoshi is the most under utilized character in the DCU since her introduction on CoIE. I love the idea of BoP taking out Dr. Light I and giving new life to Dr. Light II (Electric Boogaloo).

    Would you say this is also something that you would want to see...oh, in 2007? Hint hint of a gentle reminder. :)

  • At December 24, 2006 2:29 PM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Ooh...this is an excellent idea! And give each of them a chance to whack him with a stick until their arms get tired.

    For my Christmas storyline, I'd love to see when Guy found out that Arisia was still alive. Still waiting!

  • At December 24, 2006 5:41 PM, Blogger Filby said…

    When I read Crisis on Infinite Earths, when Kimiyo blasted the Anti-Monitor and nearly killed him, I got the feeling that she was being set up to be one of the most powerful super-heroes in the DCU. But all she got after that was a brief run in JLI, and then she disappeared. Very disappointing.

    Kimiyo totally needs to kill Arthur Light. He has it coming (I don't say that about a lot of people, even fictional characters), and it would be the perfect way to get her back in the limelight.

  • At December 24, 2006 10:19 PM, Anonymous chuck said…

    Kalinara, in keeping with the season, I just wanted to say: as you're wrapped snugly tonight in your bed, may visions of Green Lantern butts dance through your head...;-)

  • At December 25, 2006 12:31 AM, Blogger Zara said…

    A story I wanted for christmas? Anything at all that indicated Morrison's Seven Soldiers are not destined to the limbo bin.

  • At December 25, 2006 2:29 AM, Blogger Elliot said…

    I think it would work particularly well as a BoP story.

    Dr. Light II comes to the BoP and asks for help in tracking down Dr. Light I for revenge. Oracle would agree to help because he needs to be stopped, but she cautions the rest of her team to keep an eye on Hoshi so she doesn't commit murder.

    A big part of the story would be concerned with Oracle trying to talk Dr. Light II into doing the right thing, capturing the villain rather than killing him.

    Then the big climax, where one shot from Bardas Mega Rod would disable the circuits in Dr. Lights costume. Dr. Light II is poised to kill him when Oracle talks her down.

    The story seems over until Manhunter points her staff at the back of his head and blows his brains out.

  • At December 25, 2006 7:39 PM, Blogger Marionette said…

    While I endorse and entirely support this proposal (big surprise there), it would have to be a flashback story.

    Although Kimiyo is not seen in costume in BoP #100, she is addressed as in the note as "AKA Doctor Light", which suggests to me (along with the very empowered characterisation) that either she is repowered or Oracle is behind on her intel (yeah, right).

    However, if the story predates this issue it would explain why Kimiyo is on Oracle's list, and also why she is seen as an active hero in JLA.

    So far my money's been on her resolution occuring in 52, but that's now looking increasingly unlikely. BoP would be my favourite venue for tying up this storyline so long as Gail could restrain the artist from cutting bits out of Kimiyo's costume.

  • At December 26, 2006 3:38 AM, Blogger Filby said…

    IIRC, Kimiyo actually showed up in one panel at the Battle of Metropolis at the end of Infinite Crisis, blasting the crap out Arthur, so she already has her powers back. No explanation how.

  • At December 26, 2006 2:59 PM, Blogger notintheface said…

    Kalinara, I'm surprised that you, a Kyle fan, did not mention a big inconsistency in Dr. Light's story:

    Supposedly, Identity Crisis was intended in part to restore Dr. Light I from a buffoon to a formidable supervillain. Only one problem: Ron Marz already did that in 1996 during the "Final Night" crossover in Green Lantern #80, WITHOUT anyone getting raped. This same Dr. Light went on to join Luthor's Injustice Gang during Grant Morrison's JLA run. Then he vanished for awhile and now it's like the events I described never happened. What gives? Was it one of Emoboy Prime's punches?

    ALso, no one has mentioned that post-Identity Crisis the evil Dr. Light took on the Teen Titans. I'm not just talking about the six or seven current members, but almost every Teen Titan who ever existed. We're talking the Wally West Flash, Superboy, Wonder Girl (Cassie), Arsenal, Tempest, Red Star, Starfire, Damage, Argent, Beast Boy, Raven, Captain Marvel Junior...the works. Led by Robin and Nightwing. The vets of that group were used to incompetent Light and he beat them all except for Cyborg. I'm not saying Barbara's BOP squad couldn't beat him, especially with Barbara's brains, but it would need to be a BIG squad. Or at least enough people to keep him busy until Kyle Rayner swoops in and puts him down like a mad dog. Just kidding: I mean KIMIYO swoops in and puts him down like a mad dog. (Screw Winick - I say her depowerment was temporary, just like the Ray's.) Maybe have everyone from the beginning of #100.

    And actually, he WAS a Snidely Whiplash villain before Wolfman and Ostrander turned him into a boob and Meltzer made him a sexual predator. And I liked him better then.

  • At December 26, 2006 9:17 PM, Blogger LurkerWithout said…

    I'm pretty sure you're confusing Dr. Light I with Dr. Polaris for the guy in Luthor's Injustice Gang during the Morrison run...

  • At December 27, 2006 7:33 PM, Blogger notintheface said…

    I'm pretty sure I'm NOT.

  • At December 27, 2006 10:37 PM, Blogger Marionette said…

    filby - if I had a coin of small denomination for every time someone had told me that Kimiyo had miraculously recovered between her depowerment and near terminal injury in Green Arrow and her appearance in one of the half dozen comics she subsequently appeared in I would now have several coins of somewhat larger denomination.

    I'm bored of explaining this one, so go read the Wikipedea entry for Kimiyo Hoshi if you care whether you know what you are talking about. It links to at least one of the articles I wrote on the subject.

  • At December 28, 2006 1:33 AM, Blogger notintheface said…

    Marionette, your "Losing the Light" article and the Wikipedia entry are my main sources of info about the timeline of Kimiyo's depowerment, and it seems that the consensus is that the GA story takes place around Week 2 of 52. (Although Wikipedia states that Winick's GA story had some timeline inconsistencies - big shock coming from a writer who retconned Black Lightning not only a new daughter but also a sibling and a niece, NONE OF WHOM had ever been even MENTIONED in the character's 2 SOLO SERIES OR HIS LONG-RUNNING TEAM BOOK.) Assuming that you're correct and that's Kimi's last chronological appearance in DCU-time that we've seen, we have to remember-- that's the last we've seen Kimi in over 50 weeks DCU time. A lot can happen over 50+ DCU weeks. She may be repowered already. Or she could be lying in the same coma ward as Mary Marvel, who, let's face it, is one magic lightning strike away from restoration. Tell me at least one of these two heroines won't be back within a calendar year. Maybe Ray Terrill pulled a reverse-Jade and sacrificed himself to repower her. Who knows?

  • At December 28, 2006 1:50 AM, Blogger Ununnilium said…

    Obviously, Judd Winick's books all take place on a different Earth. Earth-W, maybe.

  • At December 28, 2006 4:23 PM, Anonymous matthew said…

    What's wrong with saying "It never happened?" The retcon, especially the retcon with little to no explination, is the ULTIMATE "eff you" in comics. It tells the writer (and the fans who read it), that his work is meaningless, that for all the hard work you put in writing it, it no has no purpose whatsoever. It's the best way to get back at someone. I would have liked it if it was an explicit "Oh, this never happened". That would be awesome.

    As for Light I, first Dr. Light II should beat him up, then he gets hit by the Shade as seen in a Casstoon, and THEN he gets eviscerated by Harley Quinn.


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