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Thursday, May 03, 2007

The JSA on "Earth-25"...

Expanding on the idea from this post, I think the Earth-25 JSA would be a pretty fun concept.

Since Earth-25 is for the most part completely gender-swapped, this means that the original JSA: Green Lantern, Sandman, Flash, Hawkman, the Atom, Mr(s) Terrific, Doctor Mid-Nite and so on and so forth would all be women.

The concept basically centers around the idea of "Rosie the Riveter in a cape".

Criminals don't sleep just because the menfolk are off to war, so it's up to the ladies of the JSA to step up and get things done, clearing the streets and keeping the populace safe during this troublesome time.

The round table members are all women, but there probably are male affiliates as well. I like the idea of the secretary of the group being a man (though the one downside is that Hippolyta remains female in my conceptual Earth-25. That doesn't, however, mean that others can't step up. Heck, Pa Hunkel is probably roaming around whacking people with frying pans.)

I personally think "Sandy the Golden Girl" would be adorable.

Most of the villains translate pretty well to the opposite gender I think, particularly the Shade, who'll be equally as fabulous as a woman as he is as a man. The one character I'm uncertain of is Johnny Sorrow. There were certainly female silent film stars who never made the transition to talkies, but the key to Sorrow, I've always felt, is that on some level he's never stopped playing his old movie roles. Over the top villains or tragic, dramatic heroes, depending on how you look at them. Women played different roles, and while a Jeanie Sorrow embracing whole heartedly a diabolical sexpot role might be interesting but it's a tad more pedestrian in comics I think, and I'm not sure it captures the unique creepiness that Johnny Sorrow maintains.

The real advantage to the female-JSA is that there's a built in reason that they would have fallen off the map. It's the nineteen-fifties and all the post-war conservative backlash favoring strict gender roles would have made it incredibly difficult for the women to publically superhero. There's the perfect excuse for the JSA to not be active by the time the Justice League is formed.

16 Comments:

  • At May 03, 2007 9:29 AM, Blogger Filby said…

    Re: secretary, maybe "Mister America" or a male Fury. Or else Hippolyta's place as a costumed hero in WWII could be taken by Hercules?

    And don't forget Joanie Thunder and the Black Condor!

     
  • At May 03, 2007 9:39 AM, Blogger Ragtime said…

    Women played different roles, and while a Jeanie Sorrow embracing whole heartedly a diabolical sexpot role might be interesting but it's a tad more pedestrian in comics I think, and I'm not sure it captures the unique creepiness that Johnny Sorrow maintains.

    Norma De(s)mon(d).

     
  • At May 03, 2007 10:24 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Heh heh. Ragtime, you beat me to it, although I was basically just thinking of Joan Crawford, rather than Norma Desmond.

     
  • At May 03, 2007 11:47 AM, Blogger Ferrous Buller said…

    Ordinarily I find alternate-reality gender-swapping stories to be boring because...well, it just seems lazy to simply flip the gender bit on a character and call it a day.

    OTOH, a mostly-female WW2-era JSA because the men have all be drafted to war? With the attendant post-war tension when the men return and want their jobs back? Now that's clever. :-)

    Also, didn't the Guardians of Oa used to be all-male? Well, this time around, why not have them be all-female, with a preference for selecting female GLs?

     
  • At May 03, 2007 12:37 PM, Blogger Andrew said…

    So, no Spear of Destiny on Earth-25 then? That's the big thing that kept the heroes from the war; get rid of that, and you've got it made.

    On the other hand, with all the gender swapping, that could make Earth-25's version of Jesus a woman? If so, the lack of a spear could be explained away by saying the Daughter of God was stoned for her heresy, and thus there would be no spear.

     
  • At May 03, 2007 12:55 PM, Anonymous Jeff R. said…

    Okay, I can see the Ultra-Humanite as a female scientist who puts her brain in the body of a male movie star, no problem.

    But I don't see how to make a gender-swapped Per Degaton work at all...

     
  • At May 03, 2007 1:59 PM, Blogger David C said…

    "But I don't see how to make a gender-swapped Per Degaton work at all..."

    Oh, I don't know about that. He's a lab assistant who thinks life has treated him unfairly (How do all his adventures end up? "Be a good fellow and wash out these test tubes, Degaton."

    As a female character, she could add "discriminated against because I'm a woman" to her list of real and imagined grievances.

     
  • At May 03, 2007 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    For a female Per Degaton, I would really go with the Rosie the Riveter idea. A woman who gets the opportunity to work in science only because the men are off fighting. She goes bad when she gets forced back into being a housewife after the war. Instead of ending her stories with "Be a good fellow and wash out these test tubes" end them with "Honey, I need you to wash my socks." She could be trying to alter time so the war continued indefinately.

     
  • At May 03, 2007 2:28 PM, Blogger RAB said…

    I'm sure we've had this discussion before, because I vividly remember linking to this cover.

     
  • At May 03, 2007 3:33 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Norma Desmond! Brilliant, guys!

     
  • At May 03, 2007 5:47 PM, Blogger Erich said…

    I like Anonymous' idea for the female version of Per Degaton. (Since "Per" is the Scandinavian equivalent of "Peter," perhaps this would be "Petra Degaton.")

    The female version of Brain Wave could also be interesting: Take the original Brain Wave's miserable, lonely "bookworm" youth, and throw in the additional pressure of the period's gender roles.

    Or The Fiddler: A true virtuoso who, because of her gender, is not taken seriously by the musical establishment, but only treated as a novelty act. ("Let's have a big hand for the little lady with the violin!") Frustrated by having her genius constantly belittled in this way, she turns her talents to crime.

     
  • At May 04, 2007 12:50 AM, Blogger Zaratustra said…

    Jenny Sorrow could have a long diva dress and a white porcelain mask with a single tear inked on.

    There -is- a female Fiddler nowadays, first appeared in Villains United. She's called Virtuoso.

     
  • At May 04, 2007 12:51 AM, Blogger Zaratustra said…

    Also: the Spear of Destiny would be replaced with the Holy Grail.

     
  • At May 04, 2007 11:46 AM, Blogger Steven said…

    RAB, Kalinara's proposed Earth actually closely resembles Elseworlds' Finest, which has popped up in other dimension hopping stories since like Superboy's "Hypertension" or the recent "With a Vengeance" in Superman/Batman.

     
  • At May 04, 2007 3:13 PM, Anonymous green with wheelpower said…

    The Guardians were all male until "The Torchbearer"( said w/Gloria's& Aleluia's in the background;)) gave them both genders apon bring them back. Some took this hard see "Mogo Does The Universe" from kalinara herself.

    Ya Know TorchBearer is a REALLY ironiv name for Kyle...

     
  • At May 04, 2007 3:25 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I liked Elseworld's finest. Best part about the Multiverse is being able to expand on the idea with more characters than just Superman and Batman. :-)

     

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