Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Profile: Magenta

Frances Kane, Magenta
First appearance: The New Teen Titans #17, 1982

Current status: all but cured of insanity and villainy

Was subjected to the following acts of discrimination: her magnetic psyche began to affect her sanity, causing it to alternate between positive and negative, and then, in 1993, she was implanted with “Trigon seeds” by Raven, but was eventually cured of that. However, with her sanity still damaged, she attacked her former boyfriend, Wally West, former Kid Flash and now the main Flash, in 1995. In 2001, she fell in with the cult of Cicada in the “Blood Will Run” story arc in The Flash #170-173, attempting to drag Wally to his doom, but the gang of Cicada was thwarted. It was after her stint with a new gathering of the Flash’s Rogues’ Gallery that she began to regain her sanity, and went to get psychiatric therapy.

What’s wrong with how this was done? Well you know what? I think it was that DC threw away some potential to give Fran some real direction as a character, and instead resorted to using her as a semi-villainess who lost her way. And when I think about it now, bringing her back in 2001 just to use her as a folly tool against the hero that can make one’s jaw drop in startlement, was more than a bit forced too.

Fran almost got a good direction to go in when she tried to help rescue the Titans from Brother Blood in 1987, rounding up some other superheroes from such groups as the Justice League to help her and them. But since then, alas, the political correctness of the 1990s seems to have gotten the better of the writers at DC, even if she has turned to the good side again. (In “Rogue War” from 2005, she joins the “good” Rogues in battling the bad ones in Keystone City in the Flash’s book.)

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