Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Profile: Alanna Strange

Alanna Strange
First appearance: Showcase #17, November 1958

History: the daughter of a humanoid scientist named Sardath on the planet Rann, she later became the wife of Adam Strange, the archaeologist who was transported across the galaxy courtesy of a Zeta ray, an invention of her father's, where Adam became a hero of the peoples of Rann (as the story went for many years, it had the annoying effect of wearing off and teleporting him back to Earth when he wasn't hoping for it). She joined him on many adventures in their galaxy sector, including some team-ups with the Hawks of Thanagar.

Current status: still adventuring, and mother to a young daughter as well.

Was subjected to the following act of discrimination: in the miniseries Adam Strange: Man of Two Worlds from 1990, it was revealed that Rann's population had a negative opinion of him, and he'd just been teleported there to serve as a breeding stud (there had already been allusions to this premise first featured in an issue of Swamp Thing in 1987 written by Alan Moore). Alanna died while giving birth to their daughter Aleea. Adam was left feeling disgusted and disillusioned with Rann and went back to Earth where he dated another girl for awhile.

What's wrong with how this was done? Adam and Alanna Strange were more victims of political correctness, and possibly even that DC's writers were ashamed of their own stable of amazing works as supposedly too silly for words.

Was there anything good to come out of this? Thankfully, almost 8 years later, in JLA #20, Alanna's fate was reversed (written at a time when Grant Morrison was relatively better in handling superhero comics), and she and her daughter were reunited with Adam.

Even so, her initial fate was an early example of the kind of political correctness that ruined a lot of 1990s comics.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Profile: Tana Moon

Tana Moon
First appearance: Adventures of Superman #501, June 1993.

History: the first love of Superboy, when Kon-El was debuting, she was a reporter for the fictional Galaxy Network Broadcasting company who gained some of her fame as a result of the Boy of Steel's provision of an exclusive interview for her. They maintained an on-off relationship for several years.

Current status: dead

Was subjected to the following act of discrimination: died at the hands of Amanda Spence in 2000, via electrocution.

What's wrong with how this was done? I've got a sad feeling it was done less as a motivation for Superboy and more as a wish by the editors to just discard cast members as they were coming to the point of cancellation for the Superboy series.

Worst, she may have bitten the big weenie because she's not literally Lois Lane.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Profile: Mirage

Danielle Moonstar, Mirage
First appearance: Marvel Graphic Novel #4: The New Mutants, 1982

History: an American Indian girl from Colorado, she has the ability to create illusions that could be based on her opponents' fears or wishes. She even acquired magical powers after an adventure in Asgard. She is of Cheyenne background, and was a leading member of the New Mutants and X-Force for many years.

Current status: unclear.

Was subjected to the following acts of discrimination: during House of M, she was among many mutants who lost their powers. And Emma Frost threw her out of the Xavier school because she thought that without powers, she didn't belong.

What's wrong with how this was done? It's pretty obvious by now that House of M was not worth the paper it was printed on. But the story in New X-Men #22 in 2006 where Frost gave her an eviction notice only adds insult to injury. When Storm lost her powers for almost 2 years back in the 1980s, Prof. Xavier didn't tell her to scram, and recognized that even without superpowers, she could still be quite effective. What was done 4 years ago with Moonstar and Frost is just one more stupid example of writing that makes the latter look like a cad, which is not a good idea even for an anti-heroine.

And what's really sad is that one of the best characters who graduated from the New Mutants years ago has now been reduced to a state of mediocrity.