Saturday, September 02, 2017

Profile: Marla Bloom

Marla Bloom

First appearance: in a backup story published in The Fury of Firestorm #24, June 1984, as part of the subsequent cast of Blue Devil's solo book that ran during 1984-86. Her co-creators were Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn.

History: the president of a film production outfit, Marla Bloom Associates, she was in charge of stuntman Dan Cassidy's movie, where a magical demon caused the effects that would turn him into the blue-skinned humanoid who'd take up a career in crimefighting. She'd provide assistance whenever possible.

Was subjected to the following act of discrimination: during the Underworld Unleashed crossover in 1996, Blue Devil made a deal with Neron for achieving more fame, and was given the assignment to take down a power substation. But during the day he was supposed to do so, Marla decided to go out on a scouting assignment in a helicopter for filming locations, and died in a helicopter crash, mostly because of Blue Devil's utterly foolish quest for more fortune.

What's wrong with how this was done? It was nothing more than a pathetic decision to kill off characters whose creators worked so hard to get them on paper in the first place, and following this, did Dan Cassidy do anything to get her resurrected? Apparently not, because next thing you know, he's getting Neron to make him a real devil after he's been put to death briefly during a fight. If the idea was to show him punishing himself for his grave errors, I'm not impressed. This was a story that did not have to be, yet DC's editors went out of their way to make bad use out of Blue Devil and co-stars anyway.

Since then, as far as I know, the death of Marla was never reversed. If it was, then certainly that would be an improvement. But so far, it doesn't look like that's happened, and what's resulted is a pure embarrassment.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Profile: Blue Devil

Blue Devil

Real name: Dan Cassidy

First appearance: Fury of Firestorm #24, June 1984, in a special backup story. His solo book followed the same month. He was co-created by Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn.

History: a stuntman on a movie set that bore the very name he'd take up as a superdoer, Cassidy was affected by a magic attack from a demon who thought he was a real one, and led to his costume becoming grafted to his body so he couldn't get it off, as it theoretically merged with him. But, he managed to overcome any depressed feelings and took up the usual career in crimefighting.

Was subjected to the following act of discrimination: in 1996, during the Underworld Unleashed crossover, BD became one a victim of a pure embarrassment. He makes a deal with the demonic Neron to destroy an unmanned power substation in California, all because he wants more fame and fortune, and unintentionally leads to the death of his producer buddy, Marla Bloom, who was traveling in a helicopter later in the day, when the copter collides with some power lines. Then, as if things couldn't get any worse, he's killed while seeking revenge on Neron and decides he wants to become a real blue-skinned devil, which Neron promptly fulfills. That's right, Cassidy doesn't act altruistically and actually try to get Marla's fate reversed. He just makes a mockery of his whole predicament by getting it shifted from bad to worse.

He later wound up in one of the worst stories written at the time Identity Crisis was published, a series called Shadowpact. Which didn't last long, thankfully. Later still, he appeared in the 13th issue of DC Universe Presents circa 2012, where he and Black Lightning get into a pointless clash as they're allegedly depicted trying to defeat a new take on the gangster Tobias Whale.

The catastrophe with Blue Devil is a leading example of how DC's modern managers have no faith or confidence in any of the creations they were in charge of.