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!