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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Another Likely Unpopular Opinion: Snapper Carr

I confessed to one earlier when I said I didn't like Charles Xavier. Now I've got an opposite one:

I like Snapper Carr.

In fact, I love Snapper Carr.

I'm even slightly fond of him in his pre-crisis dorky "hip" teenager-hood in JLA. He was endearingly obnoxious. Sometimes I like that in a character. I was dorky like that as a kid too.

But anyway, regardless of that, Post-Crisis Snapper Carr is one of my favorite characters in the DCU. And it's really hard to explain why.

See, I'm a relative newbie fan, so I'm one of those folks that gets to read stuff incredibly out of order. So when I first encountered Snapper Carr, it was in Young Justice, as the new mentor guy.

And I thought he was great. (Not in the least because that Nightwing shirt is a thing of beauty). Really, though, I thought he was the perfect balance to those kids. Easygoing enough to be largely unphased by their...eccentricities, but also knows when to be a grownup.

And even though he was sent to be the guardian-figure by the JLA, he also knows when to help the kids instead of hinder them. Like in the link above, he knows the kids are just going to go invade Zandia anyway. He can't stop them. So he's going to help them do it *right*.

He really won my interest while Secret was losing it, when Tornado muses that it was odd the Spectre didn't show up to help, and Snapper confesses that he told him everything's fine. This is something the kids would have to handle themselves. That's a very risky decision, but he's got a point too. These aren't just kids, they're *superheroes*, and thus they have to learn to stand on their own two feet. (Besides, it led to that great candid-Tim Drake/Secret scene). It was exactly the right decision to make and showed how much faith he had in the kids.

So yeah, I found him neat. So Diamondrock convinced me to give Hourman a try. And it was, of course, very good. And Snapper Carr ended up my favorite character in the series.

As sidekick/mentor (bizarre combination that :-P) he got to be a little more complex than in Young Justice, and really, had at least as much of a starring role in the comic as Hourman himself.

And he's neat! Grown-up a lot from that obnoxious youngster. He managed to get just the right sort of attitude with Hourman, most of the time. He makes some mistakes (it's clear that he learned to deal with the kids in Young Justice through this experience) but in general manages to be exactly what Hourman needs.

Hourman's looking for human experiences and in the series, Snapper basically becomes his guide. From coffee buying to dating, he's got just the right amount of easygoing brotherly flippancy that makes even embarrassing mistakes okay, because heck, it's not a big deal. He even makes a show at being unimpressed by Hourman's ship and powers, because that's exactly what Hourman needs. Someone who won't be awed and amazed and call attention to his alienness, but someone who can appreciate his normality and teach him humanity.

In Hourman, Snapper's the quintessential embodiment of humanity. He's creative, crafty, sneaky, mischievous, eccentric, and independent. He has no powers (anymore), but finds ways to be useful in various situations through his ingenuity. (Like talking a demon out of killing him). He loves his cat and is generally a nice guy to everyone. His wardrobe of super-hero shirts is the best thing ever.

He's also haunted by the past, by self doubt, by shame and his "betrayal", which everyone but him has already forgiven. He's being chained down from his potential because he can't let go of the past. And there's nothing more human than that.

And he's really a great guy. He can joke cheerfully with a police officer friend, even as he's being arrested and carted off to the station. He introduced his ex-wife to his new robot friend because he believed they were great for each other. And the only person he seems to hold a grudge against is himself. And by the end of the series, he's grown as much as Hourman had. It's really satisfying to see.

(And issue 15-16 did NOT make me a little misty. Did NOT... Hmph.)


  • At January 18, 2006 7:38 AM, Blogger Diamondrock said…

    Glad you enjoyed Hourman. I know I did. And I totally want that Nightwing shirt. I would *kill* for that Nightwing shirt.

  • At January 18, 2006 7:15 PM, Blogger Captain Infinity said…

    Snapper will always be one hip cat, daddy-o. I'm so glad that he was relieved of his lame super-power. It was totally wrong for him.

    The only power he should have is his super fashion sense. That is one kick-ass shirt.

  • At January 18, 2006 8:02 PM, Blogger Scipio said…


    So, Kalinara, have ya read the JLA Archive yet?

    It's FULL of Snapper Carr. REAL Snapper Carr. None of this "stepped-on" water-down Snapper Carr.

    Primo Columbian Snapper Carr, baby.

    Will your love withstand THAT, I wonder....?!

  • At January 18, 2006 8:18 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    diamondrock/captain: Yes, that shirt is a thing of beauty and fashion sense is all the power he needs.

    scipio: :-) Yep. He was decidedly annoying, but strangely endearing in the "Oh my god, I *was* that much of a loser when I was a kid" sort of way. :-) Sort of an "oh my god, thank god for the passage of time" sort of liking. (I admit, he's no Dale Gunn though.)

    I'm a little weird, I admit. :-)

  • At January 19, 2006 2:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes I do not agree with your opinion.

    Take it down until I find it acceptable!

  • At February 01, 2007 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What I love about "Snapper" Carr is that he's the reader. That is, just like high school student Peter Parker was a successful character partly because he was just like a 60s comic reader - book-wormish, nerdy, non-jock, shy with girls, picked-on, etc - Snapper is such a CDU history maven that it's practically his super-power! He's level-headed in cosmic crisis situations, he knows what's worked in hundreds of comic scenarios, and he can talk his way out of anything. Diverting a demon with a taste of cheesecake... that's got to be a classic. And I loved the phone conversation with Rick Jones.

  • At November 30, 2011 9:43 AM, Anonymous said…

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