Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Some Disjointed Thoughts about Jesse Quick

Rich's post here about Hourman got me thinking.

I don't get Hourman (well, Rex and Rick) either, really, but that's not what I'm thinking about.

I was thinking that I much prefer her as Liberty Belle than as Jesse Quick. It's a bit hard to explain.

A part of it is just that my first real exposure to the character was in Flash, where she seemed doomed to the role of "Speedster who is not as good as the others". It wasn't that she wasn't competent or anything and I liked her personality, but, well...she simply didn't seem to measure up. It might just have been a bad arc for her in the Flash, but that's what stuck with me.

But I really like her with Liberty Belle powers and identity. She's not a half-assed speedster, she's a Liberty Belle with speed on top. That's a whole other ball game. As Jesse Quick, she was her father's legacy. But as Liberty Belle she's actually BOTH.

It's kind of like how I'm the only person in the world who liked the idea of giving Jade plant powers. We know Jade never quite measures up to Alan and never really will, but the added plant power thing, if incorporated right, could have taken her in a brand new direction. It could even have ended up synthesized somehow with the Starheart powers. Instead of making her yet another Green Lantern, perhaps they could have emphasized her powers' connection with lifeforce and living things.

More though, I think the legacy of the mother tends to get obscured a lot of the time in superhero comics. I don't think it's intentional really. It's just that most superhero creators are men and I think the emphasis on paternal legacy is tied into that. It's not a bad thing really, but I like seeing more maternal influence as well. Especially in characters like Jesse and Jade who, at least in terms of superheroic identity and powers, seem cut whole from their fathers' cloths.

It always seemed like a missed opportunity to me because I always thought the best part of having a child of two heroes or a hero and a villain would be exploring how the elements of both parents combine to make this brand new character.


  • At May 17, 2008 10:12 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    This is an interesting point. You would think that the child of parents who each had powers, would have better powers, not less. Whic is why Jade was so annoying. Obsidian's powers may be different from Alan's but he's pretty darned powerful. Jade wasn't. So Jesse having her mother's powers is a nice touch. Not that I know a whole lot aobut Libery Belle.

  • At May 17, 2008 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There's a whole interesting side-project here about superhero genetics and the likelyhood of a person getting both powers from their parents.

    Although in Jesse's case, her dad's powers come from a formula that - in theory - anyone can say and only the powers from her mom are genetic... but still.

  • At May 18, 2008 12:28 PM, Anonymous ahayweh said…

    Are there any comics guys who got their powers or legacies from girls? I can think of plenty of girls who took over from boys- Mia, Steph, Renee- and then there are girl-versions of a guy's legacy like Batgirl and Supergirl, but I can't think of any guys who deliberately picked up on a woman's shtick. Where are the teen boys who want to be Black Canary's sidekick? (There's gotta to be a lot of them.)

  • At May 18, 2008 4:18 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I think Sandy the Golden Boy may qualify in a weird retconned in way. SMT establishes Dian as running around temporarily with Sandman as "Sandy".

  • At May 18, 2008 10:36 PM, Anonymous ahayweh said…

    I know basically zilch about the Sandpeople, but I like the idea of Sandy (he's the blonde one, right? Turned to a sand monster and his mentor told everyone he'd left town?) having been inspired by Dian a *lot*.

    Power Boy too, I guess, though I always thought that was a major misstep- the costumes weren't at all equivalent, for one thing, he really should've been wearing short-shorts or something, and never mind that nobody counts him as a *hero*.

  • At May 18, 2008 10:55 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Yep, Sandy's the sandmonster. Dian was his aunt. :-)

    I always kind of wanted Connor Hawke to follow in Dinah's footsteps instead of Ollie's. He's less an archer anyway. And he'd be less redundant that way. Roy becomes Ollie's legacy, Connor becomes Dinah's.


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