Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

I'm back! And reading! And maybe even blogging! No promises!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

More Character babble

Recharge 3 better be worth the wait, that's all I'm saying. Of course, it is Guy and Kyle in space. Breaking rules and all that. So it will. But when's it gonna get here?! (/whine)

Regardless, since I spent all that time before babbling about characters that I really really like, I thought this time I'd mention a few that everyone else seems to like but that really do nothing for me. There aren't as many, basically because for the most part, I ignore/don't read characters that don't appeal to me. So I really have to stop and think about it.

In this case, these are all characters that it seems like 95% of all comic fans seem to love except for me. So this might make me unpopular. Maybe someone else can stop in and tell me why they like them, and change my mind. I'm pretty mutable that way, and in general I prefer liking characters to disliking them. They'll probably never be my favorites but I'd definitely be interested in an opposing view.

Bart Allen/Impulse/Kid Flash (II): Sorry, I don't much like Bart. I found him incredibly irritating as Impulse. I was happy he grew up into a Kid Flash role (which I found organic and understandable for all his early reluctance: people like Cassie and Tim showed him that he could carry the same name as someone else but still prove his worth as his own person). The added thoughtfulness goes a long way in making him tolerable, but he still seems to be taking up panel space that would be better used for the more interesting characters like Tim, Kon or Cassie. (Well, Cassie *could* be interesting. She was in YJ after all. She just hasn't really been since.)

Raven: Egads, I dislike Raven, a lot. And I really want her to be off of Teen Titans. Yeah, yeah, she's like the Martian Manhunter of the Titans, on every incarnation, but for god's many times do we have to rehash the same Trigon/Brother Blood/Oh noes-evil Raven story?! She's not become a mentor-ish character like Vic or Gar (a development I tend to enjoy) or Starfire. Hell, she has no interaction with most of the others except for a protective Cassie. She's been a Titan for how long and she's got to be *protected* by Wondergirl?! It probably says something that every single one of my favorite stories in Teen Titans: A Kid's Game, Titans of Tomorrow, whatever they named the evil!Kon arc, hell, even Beast Boys and Girls, had very little to do with Raven as a character. Go away!

Donna Troy: Sorry, I just don't get it. For all the really interesting female characters in Wonder Woman, what is it about Donna that gets so much fan love. For me, personally, she suffers in the comparison. It also seems like she's a character who is designed to be the perpetual love interest. As in, writers have very little interest in developing her outside of dating Dick, Roy or Kyle. (Not to mention, I've never quite forgiven her for freaking out at Kyle painting a nude woman in his apartment. Hello! Artist! And it was a perfectly innocent scene! I was willing to dismiss that as Marz perhaps not knowing how to write her, but reading Titans and even Darkstars...and honestly, that's the most personality, she's ever *had*.) Then there's all the tragedy, culminating in all the various angsty backstories that are somehow all true at the same time and yet absolutely meaningless as they're so incomprehensible. Which is pretty much true of her character, she's a random string of character traits, which strung together make nothing resembling an actual personality. There's a reason Cassie's a much better character, even without a quarter of the angst, because she's actually got one. Angst =/= Personality.

Jade: Jenny-Lynn Hayden to me is a mass of wasted potential. Personally, I enjoy legacies and family ties, and I find many things about Jade as a concept fascinating. Like growing up and finding out your dad is a hero and your twin...has problems. I think that sort of pressure is interesting (and I've always liked long-lost family twists, especially if the characters know each other before hand. It's a bizarre story-kink of mine.) She looks nifty. Especially with the green skin, which has to feel a little isolating. She has no secret identity, which I find always interesting, because it leads to a whole different set of problems and trials.

Unfortunately, as a character, she's terrible. I admit, I've read very little Infinity, Inc, but in Green Lantern, Outsiders, and her guest spots in everything else I've seen her in, she seems spoiled, self-centered and considerably weaker than any of her counterparts. This in and of itself might not be a bad thing. See, for example, Princess Projectra in Legion of Superheroes (current). However, even in the few pages that featured her in the midst of Legion's large cast, the Princess clearly expressed how much she really wanted to be of aid to the team. And was, in the most current issue, even if she's not a fighter. I don't see that from Jade. Honestly, if you're not strong enough to be a front-line fighter, ma'am, stay in the back. The constructs and pulse power would be fine if used in a support capacity. Or train. Alan would train with you. He trained with Kyle after all.

I have to admit, I really didn't like her taking over Outsiders either. I mean yeah, Dick was having problems, so overthrowing him was probably the right idea (though really, I didn't see how he was to blame for it; splitting up in each instance is the logical path if you're looking for something specific very quickly. And as ice-bitchy as he was, he's probably still the warmest of the Batclan, which probably says something). The thing was, it might have worked better if she'd just thrown her support behind Roy. Not because Roy's a guy or any such nonsense, but Roy (and Dick for that matter) have successfully led teams before. She hasn't. I'm a firm believer in experience in a case like this. And while to be fair the Indigo<=>Brainiac thing was going on at the time but she's yet to really prove she's leadership material. And now she's in space with Donna instead of actually leading her team.

Wow, I got long in my rant against Jade. But really it's because she could have been *so* cool. But now...I'm not sure. Maybe with some soul-searching, active training, and changing of her ways. It's not really that I *hate* her but something has to be done. And please, keep her away from Kyle. That ship's sailed. Let her get her *own* issues straight before leaping in with another man.


  • At December 15, 2005 3:20 PM, Blogger CalvinPitt said…

    I would say that you're right about Johns seemingly reusing the old "Raven/Trigon" story. It is kind of old news, but what annoys me is several months ago he said Raven was going to start attending high school, something I guess she'd never done. I was intrigued. I'm pretty sure that was mentioned before the adventure in the 30th century with the Legion. Since then nothing, probably because Johns keeps tying the Titans into all this Infinite Crisis-related crap that's going on. I thought if he'd actually followed through, Raven might seem more interesting, interacting with non-superhumans, and the general jackassery of high schoolers in general. It probably would flesh the character out more, and make her more interesting.

  • At December 15, 2005 4:35 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Thank you for replying!

    I think that might help a lot too. Some nice, non-Trigon related development for Raven would probably go a long way toward making me well, maybe not *like* her, but at least not cringe when I see her on the page.

    What I'd *really* like is a team's night out thing where they *all* get to interact and form bonds. I mean, I can't think of any scenes that were just Raven and Robin finding common ground (you'd think they might, they're both very controlled personalities for example) or Kon and Raven (given the worries about evil and souls) or just a big group thing.

    Like Mia. Mia's still real new to the team, but already we get a sense of how they get along with her. I like Mia. I care about Mia. I really liked their whole "revealing secrets" thing when she joined for example. But I do find it sad that she's gotten more interaction in the few books she's been on the team, then a sane, not-evil, not-disembodied Raven has had with anyone who isn't Gar.

  • At January 01, 2006 5:58 PM, Blogger Josh M said…

    It's too bad about Jennie-Lynn. She suffers from a case (like Donna to an extent) of being handed to a long series of writers who have absolutely no idea how to properly handle her. You make great points about how she should be more interesting than she actually is. Like you, I have not read Infinity, Inc, so I can't speak about how interesting (or not) she was in that book, but I think Jennie-Lynn was the most interesting when Kyle left her in charge of being Earth's GL when he left to start the failed New Corps (I'm going back to GL v3 #107 to #115-116 IIRC.) Otherwise, Jade has largely been relegated to a supporting role -- daughter, girlfriend, member of a predominantly male team, etc. In fact, in the mini "Heart of Darkness" (one of my favorite minis just because Alan Scott had such a large role; this was before JSA characters had their own book and any appearance by JSA characters was cherished as a rare gem) she lost her powers completely. Later she developed plant powers that I don't believe were ever developed further.

    Anyway, I digress. Good points about the other characters.

  • At January 01, 2006 6:23 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I admit, at this point, I don't think *anyone* could write a good Jenny-Lynn, unless maybe she got shocked into realizing she's useless, incompetent (and sadly, even in those issues, she had a lot of trouble against minor villains that Kyle, who's had power for a much shorter amount of time), and a bitch. :-P

    Seriously, I don't think it'd be hard to make her likeable. If perhaps instead of blaming Dick in Outsiders when Roy or Anissa got injured, she thought "I was there, I couldn't help them. I need to train harder because I've got fucking Lantern powers so I should have been able to help" and then started training with other heroes, with Kyle, with Alan maybe...If she'd shown any interest in improving, I'd like her more. (It's why Stephanie Brown, for example, works for me, for all of her comparitive incompetence to the rest of the Batclan).

    The bitch part I can deal with, but the incompentence given all of her supposed experience irks me. But it could be fixed...


Post a Comment

<< Home