It's been long enough since that I don't feel guilty about blogging this. I absolutely loved the finale of Blackest Night. Except for one thing, which bothers me more and more as I think about it.
I'm really kind of upset that we got Shiera back instead of Kendra.
I wasn't a huge fan of Kendra. Heck, I distinctly recall posting a few times disparaging her tendency of hitting my favorite character when she wasn't putting the moves on him, as well as how her backstory turned me off. (I'm WAY touchy about suicide in backstory, and most times it does NOT work for me for many complicated reasons that have little to do with the quality of the comic and more to do with my own issues.)
But this seems to be a big slap in the face to the character.
I mean, the one thing that made Kendra interesting was how she shook up the whole reincarnated destiny thing. Yes, she's Shiera reincarnated. The Egyptian Princess reborn yet again to be Carter's wife. But for once, it didn't quite work. She doesn't have those pre-existing memories to work from. She was someone knew, and Carter's presumption nearly drove her away for good.
This was interesting because it made Carter, a character very set in his ways, have to adapt. To change his approach. He'd have to court her all over again and he couldn't just expect victory. He had to be sensitive to her needs and particular situation.
And also, well, I sympathized with her greater struggle. She's expected to be Shiera, but she was her own person, and she was trying to deal with that. I always thought it was significant that when freaked out about Carter, she went after Sand.
I mean, okay, Sand was the closest to her own age. But I always thought it was a little deeper than that. She certainly had the opportunity to meet other young men her age (and eventually did mack on Roy for a bit, as I recall). But Sand had two things going for him at the time: 1) he was the exact opposite of Carter, and 2) which I think may ultimately be more significant, he KNEW Shiera. In the same way that it was completely inappropriate for Carter to act like a rival/bully to this kid who was once the Robin to his original JSA team, it would be equally as inappropriate for Shiera to mack on him. She was an adult woman when he was a young boy. She was a vaguely familiar aunt-figure as the team tends to be characterized.
So Kendra wasn't just defying her destiny by pursuing someone who isn't Carter (as in the case of Roy), she was rejecting it completely with an act that would be really fucking creepy for SHIERA to ever consider.
I didn't always like Kendra, but I can appreciate the sentiment. I didn't read much Hawkgirl, I admit, but her story in JSA worked for me. She proved that she mattered as more than just Shiera mark II. And while I never wanted her to stay with Sand (at least not unless she stopped hitting him whenever she got mad), and I wanted Carter to eventually win her over, I wanted Carter to WIN HER OVER. To figure out that he had to treat Kendra like SHE mattered. That appealed to me.
This negates the whole thing. Kendra didn't matter. She WAS ultimately Shiera in the end. And all Carter really had to do was wait Shiera's little amnesiac temper tantrum out (and mack on Power Girl) and he immediately gets handed the version of his girlfriend that he always wanted.