Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Profile: Arachne

Julia Carpenter, Spider-Woman 2/Arachne
First appearance: Secret Wars 1, issue #6, October 1984. She became a supporting cast member of West Coast Avengers and Force Works.

Current status: member of a new Omega Flight team following Civil War.

Was subjected to the following acts of discrimination: she was attacked and had her powers stolen, just like the first Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew, by the villainess Charlotte Witter, after which she retired from the superheroing business to raise the daughter she had as a regular mother. In Civil War, following her stint as a double agent, she’s arrested and her daughter taken from her. She had to agree to be a member of the new Omega Flight to sort things out.

What’s wrong with how this was done? She was thrown away as a character when she first had her powers robbed by Witter years earlier, and the Civil War storyline that led to her being a member of an Omega Flight team that, unlike the original crooks gang, is a heroic team, was badly done too.

So many things done wrong in the wake of Civil War, and she too is a victim.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Profile: Dr. Mid-Nite 2

Beth Chapel, Dr. Mid-Nite 2
First appearance: Infinity Inc. #19, October 1985. She was a medical student of Charles McNider, the first Dr. Mid-Nite. She also had an affair with Rick Tyler, the son of the first Hourman.

Current status: dead

Was subjected to the following act of discrimination: put to death in Eclipso #13 by the title villain, along with her fellow Infinitor, Yolanda Montez.

What’s wrong with how this was done? The same argument surrounding the death of Montez applies here too. A gratuitous death done only to get rid of a supposedly useless character.

She’s not alone though: shortly afterwards, Charles McNider was killed off in Zero Hour, along with the original Atom, Al Pratt. As was told once in JSA, they were hit the hardest from the assault conducted by the former Hawk.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Profile: Wildcat 2

Yolanda Montez, Wildcat 2
First appearance: Infinity Inc. #12, March 1985. She was the goddaughter of Ted Grant, the first Wildcat. Unlike him, she had mutant powers including retractable claws.

Current status: dead

Was subjected to the following act of discrimination: killed in Eclipso #13 by the title villain, along with the second Dr. Mid-Nite.

What’s wrong with how this was done? If you’re wondering where the whole notion of killing off characters that’s become so prevalent today began, look no further than the 1990s. This may have had what to do with a crossover called The Darkness Within, and it was just as bad as the Bloodlines crossover, which featured quite a bit of ugly bloodshed.

And this was all before Zero Hour too.

In a way, it’s also disturbing how Ted Grant, as the original Wildcat, is one of a couple characters who’s outlived his younger peers, whose own potential to develop into their own characters was thrown away.

Strangely enough, in 2006, an illegitimate son named Tom Bronson was introduced for Ted who also had superhuman powers (turning into a werecat!). Well if they could do that, surely they could revive Yolanda as well?