Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Zero Hour's Still Pretty Creepy

I was rereading parts of Zero Hour and it got me thinking.

In general I think Zero Hour is a lot of fun (admittedly I'm reading it a decade after the fact, so there's much less waiting). I really liked the side stories, like the issue of Robin where Tim and young!Dick got to team up.

And you know, any plot that leads to Kari Limbo blowing the hell up...

I was reminded though of a plot I really really hated...when some genius decided it'd be fun to knock Power Girl up via her dead Atlantean grandfather's magic spell.

Egads. Who in the world thought that'd be a good idea?

And the weird thing is, I LIKE kids. Kids from alternate futures, kids artificially aged, with weird conception events... I tend to enjoy those stories. The fact that Power Girl spawned a mage son who comes back an adult should have interested me. But it didn't. It really didn't.

Ultimately the problem for me is the circumstances of the conception. For me, the fact that she was impregnated without her consent seems very very close to rape in my opinion. VERY close. Something that doesn't strike me as necessary in Kara's backstory.

The fact that the spell-caster is her (sorta, now not?) Grandfather is very creeepy.

What I don't get though is why someone felt the need to resort to that story in the first place if they wanted Kara to have a very powerful, surreal sort of son. There was a much easier solution in place.

Power Girl had slept with Hal Jordan, while the latter was starting to become Parallax. Now there's nothing to really say internalized Oan power is hereditary, but there's nothing to really say it can't be. If that's too much of a stretch, perhaps something in the nature of Parallax awakened his son's magical instincts that came from Power Girl's then Atlantean nature.

Not to mention how interesting Zero Hour could have been if Hal's son was running around there too. (Heh, what about Rebirth?)

And I have to admit, I've always wanted a story where some teenaged kid shows up on Hal's doorstep all "Um, you're my dad." Hal's been indiscreet for a LONG time. And it'd be funny to watch Hal try to be a dad. Honestly, even Kyle Rayner, who I wouldn't trust with a houseplant would probably be more suited to fatherhood.

Kara's kid being Hal's would be freaking hilarious now that Hal's not evil. And maybe he'd have had a better shot of being a lasting character in the DCU if both of his parents were significant to the DCU. (I might be being generous here. Much as I love Kara, I wouldn't actually call her particularly significant during Zero Hour).

Mostly, I just hate that they decided to go with completely unnecessary creepiness, adding elements of violation where it didn't need to be. Not when there was an easier, more consentual way.

(Besides, it's hard to really wrap your brain around getting impregnated by your grandfather's magic, but who can't sympathize with someone making a mistake, sleeping with the wrong person, and ending up with some unforeseen VERY long term consequences?)


  • At March 11, 2007 11:52 AM, Blogger Jason said…

    I just found my issues of Zero Hour the other day. I'll have to give them another look. I had forgotten about Kara getting impregnated. It sounds just as creepy as when Ms. Marvel was impregnated by Kang. Except that (I think) Carol later fell in love with her "son". Reeeeaaallly creepy.

    Incidentally, in JSA it was explained that Arion had lied to Kara about being her Grandfather. He (via his ghost) said that her parents had given her to him to take care of her. Not sure how that all shakes out post-IC, but that's the last explanation we got.

  • At March 11, 2007 12:12 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    *nod* Which makes it a bit better, I guess. (Though not by much)

    Since at the time though he was believed to be her real grandfather though...creepy.

  • At March 11, 2007 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I pretty much totally crazy when they have retarded variations on this theme (same basic thing happened to Ms. Marvel, except the kid then seduced her...what a total mess...)

    They also did the same basic stupid thing in ST:TNG also.

  • At March 11, 2007 1:19 PM, Blogger Flidget Jerome said…

    I like your version better but I still prefer it just remained retconned. Kara as a character's just finding her feet again and it'd change her dynamic too muh to have a kid added to the mix, even a kid from the future.

  • At March 11, 2007 4:03 PM, Blogger ComicBookGoddess said…

    I have only dim memories of the graphic novel to go by, but I was so under-impressed by this that I kind of gave Zero Hour a pass - it just seemed like one of the stupider DC crossovers.

    And I beg to differ - I would trust Kyle with a houseplant!

    Of couse, it should be said that I don't particularly care for houseplants...

  • At March 11, 2007 4:20 PM, Blogger Ragnell said…

    But, Kali, they couldn't have the baby's father be a bad guy, only mothers get to be villains.

    So instead, they went with the incestuous old man. *rolls eyes*

  • At March 11, 2007 6:02 PM, Blogger TansyRR said…

    Power Girl didn't actually sleep with Hal near the time she became pregnant (though I don't know if this has been retconned?) She had an "intimate moment" with him, but later told her girlfriends it didn't involve sex, and neither did her similar "intimate moment" with Aquaman (both of them had implied sex at the time).

    The reason she was so confused by the pregnancy was because she had not actually had sex with anyone within the alotted time.

    This was all in Justice leage International, and I have always retained something of a grudge against the Atlantean pregnancy story because it signalled the end of JLI - once Kara left, it pretty much all fell apart, as she was one of the few characters who had been there all along through Justice League Europe, and she really was the heart of the group.

    It's also the series where I got my ideas about who Kara is as a character, which is why I always do such a double take when I see people complaining about her portrayal in more recent stories. I'm used to her being a central protagonist in the story, and to not even thinking about her boobs!

  • At March 11, 2007 6:20 PM, Blogger Rob S. said…

    I haven't read the story, but I bet some of it was a plain old reluctance to get too close to real-world sexual issues. I wouldn't be surprised if most comic-book pregnancies at the time -- other than those of married couples -- were the result of anything but good old-fashined nookie.

    As long as there's only an allusion to GL & Kara sleeping together (and btw: really? whoa), they feel comfortable selling JLE to kids. Impregnated by magic is a much more kid-friendly way of giving Kara a child than impregnated by a one-night stand.

  • At March 11, 2007 8:25 PM, Blogger LurkerWithout said…

    I vaguely recall a story during the Hal=Dead involving a kid who MAY have been Hal's illegitimate kid. I think it was a mini and not the regular GL title. Also possibly pre Hal=Spectre...

  • At March 11, 2007 10:21 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Hal having a kid - I re-read the softcover Green Lantern Legacy: Last Will and Testament of Hal Jordan today (for no particular reason), one of DC's OGNs. It's probably what you're thinking of; it also brings Kilowog and Oa back. As a SPOILER: it's not really a child at all, it just manifests itself that way.

    Hopefully none of that comes as particularly surprising, given where Green Lantern is today.

  • At March 12, 2007 10:26 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    I didn't think that Zero Hour was so bad, but then I only read the parts with Guy Gardner and Hal Jordan in them. But gosh, wasn't it fun when Kari Limbo got blowed up! Blowed up GOOD!

    And they also introduced Zinda, Lady Blackhawk, which in my book forgives an awful lot of sins. I love Zinda.

    The concept of Hal as a father, is mindboggling, but highly amusing. After all, he's had Ollie as a role model!


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