Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Secondhand Badassery

I was rereading JLA (My reaction to this past issue was mixed), particularly that splash page at the end.

For my sanity, I choose to believe "Stargirl" is just Maxine Hunkel cosplaying.

Anyway, I was thinking of the Sand and Geo-Force exchange. (Jon's got a scan of it in his blog entry here.

I'm actually pretty intrigued by this exchange. Geo-Force is also in the preview for the JSA issue, which is interesting. I've always wanted Sand to interact more with non-JSA heroes and this is a good opportunity.

I'm a bit skeptical of Geo-Force's current, well, what I call the "secondhand badass phenomenon".

Basically, that's what I call any situation in which a character categorically proven to be good at something compliments another character on that same trait, despite that character not really having proven to deserve it (at the time).

In this case, a man who held together the Earth by sheer force of will (not to mention being legitimately badass in most of the JSA's standard battles, swatted away a handful of powerful E-1/E-2 heroes while preoccupied with stopping an earthquake, and even lasted a hell of a long time in a fight against Power Girl while basically an animated magma-corpse) is praising the earth-powers of...



I mean, it's cool that Geo-Force has Terra's power and all, and the gravity thing is pretty neat. He's got a pretty decent grab-bag of powers. But has he really done anything quite the level of, I dunno, manhandling the freakin' ROCK OF ETERNITY and slamming it into a villain's cranium?

To be fair, Sand was not actually comparing Geo-Force to himself.

He was comparing Geo-Force to SWAMP THING.

That's like double whammy of Secondhand Badassery right there.

Now, there's not necessarily anything wrong with Secondhand Badassery if it plays out well. As long as the character is shown to earn it later, or it's relatively unimportant to the plot and is conceivable off-panel. (For example, when Batman mentions something about Sand's detective skills. We don't see him use them, except the intro of one issue, but that works, as JSA isn't a mystery comic and we did see enough of an intro of him, Mid-Nite and Terrific working together to believe he's capable off-panel. Also, in the Golden Age stories, Sandy was as often as not the brains of that duo. As Wes is a moron.)

Something like having a resonance with the Earth possibly on level with Swamp Thing is a bit much to be written off as off panel. Which means, Geo-Force is going to have to do something seriously fucking badass to make this worthwhile.

Or it'll be like those romance novels where all the minor characters say the heroine is an absolute intellectual wizard when she acts dumber than a box of hair.

Oh well, if this all gets my favorite character more panel time then they can fall down and worship Brion Markov as a god for all I care. I just think the whole thing is tremendously amusing. I mean, dude. It's GEO-FORCE.

Sand must be flirting with him. That's the only explanation.


  • At April 24, 2007 8:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Has Geo-Force ever BECOME a mountain? I do not think so.

  • At April 24, 2007 9:47 AM, Blogger Matthew E said…

    Geo-Force needs a new name. I mean, he's a perfectly decent character, but he has the lamest superhero name in all of DC. 'Matter-Eater Lad' is a better name.

  • At April 24, 2007 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Speaking of the Swamp Thing comparison, for the longest time, I have conjectured that Terra's actions during "The Judas Contract" and mysterious resurrection with a new, more benevolent personality, could have been explained by retconning her as the DC Universe's Earth Elemental.

    Prior to the events of "The Judas Contract," her powers could have activated prematurely, making her more than a little dangerous and unstable. After her "death," Terra was entombed in the soil, and surrounded by her natural element, she healed both mentally and physically until her resurrection.

    Although this may be blasphemy on this site, I'm not familiar enough with Sand to know if the Earth Elemental designation was already assigned to Mr. Hawkins.

  • At April 24, 2007 10:22 AM, Blogger Rob S. said…

    My question is -- how does a control of gravity stop Red Arrow from flying sideways into a tree?

  • At April 24, 2007 10:52 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Yeah, that whole thing with Star Girl crushing on Wonder Woman as just...odd. It SHOULD be Maxine.

    And it is official. Geo Force is lamer than Snapper Carr. But Sandy is just the bee's knees.

  • At April 24, 2007 2:55 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Thom: Exactly!

    Matthew: It IS a stupid name. And I say that as a fan of the guy who's name, code name, and chemical make up is the same!

    Jack: The real blasphemy is how shaky I am with the DC elementals. I know Swamp thing was supposed to be one, and Martin...

    I personally think the designation suits him more (as he's physically formed from silicon) but it's never been officially declared or anything AFAIK.

    rob: Well...if gravity is defined as the electromagnetic interaction between objects, I guess...

    I got nothin'.

    sallyp: Well, we never agree on Snapper. But at least we agree on the important stuff! :-p

  • At April 24, 2007 3:33 PM, Blogger Marc Burkhardt said…

    Geo-Force sounds like a Power Rangers style team of empowered adolescents.

    In fact, they could be the DCU's version of the Planeteers!

    As far as the former Outsider goes, the only cool members of that team are Black Lightning and Metamorpho.

    Swamp Thing and Sand (as well as the Bronze Age evil Terra) could wipe Geo-Force out.

  • At April 24, 2007 6:56 PM, Blogger R.Nav said…

    I wasn't very happy with the issue. I think I'll skip the remaining JLA issues, and just make up my own story to fill the gaps.

  • At April 25, 2007 8:40 AM, Blogger Rich said…

    Dammit stole my post! I was going to do one about Brion this morning but you beat me to it...

  • At April 25, 2007 7:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's because Brad Meltzer liked the Outsiders. Even though they sucked.

    Heck, Geo-FDorce was originally not Terra's brother. That was retconned in sort of in a Teen Titans Outsider crossover.

  • At April 26, 2007 11:00 PM, Blogger Scipio said…

    I think it's official;

    absolutely everyone on the internet is utterly nonplussed by Brad's bizarre inclusion of f*ing Geo-Force in the Justice League.

    Vibe is spinning in his grave. Because he could kick G-F's patootie.

    While dancing.


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