Monday, March 14, 2005

A Humble Retraction in the Name of Justice AND On the Nature of Super-Hero's Fathers

I retract my previous comment about Jakeem Thunder. He's fine, he works. Honestly, he's basically a Changeling character. He's a kid with a magic genie who can do whatever he wants, including taking him to what amounts to a fantasy world (being a super hero). And Mr. Terrific makes a great point, Jakeem SHOULD help out at shelters and suchlike, becuase he should help out the underpriviledged kids who don't have the luck to have a magic genie to wish all their troubles away.

And the character STILL has troubles. What can I say, I'm a sucker for stories involving superheroes and their fathers (notice that heroes and their mothers don't come up often). Probably because I had a relationship of forced distance (we were on opposite ends of the country) with my own father for a large portion of my childhood.

On that earlier statement, there are very few heroes I can think of to whom their mother is as important, or more important, than their father. Most heroes seem to come from families where their mothers are dead or divorced, and their fathers are the legacy heroes they look up to. The notable exceptions being people like the Black Canary (for obvious reasons), Spider-Man (sort of, Aunt May takes over as a mother figure), Superman (where both parents are equally important), Daniel (Dream's replacement, who's main living relative is his mother, Hippolyta Hall), Tesla Strong (who's mother Dallujah is just as important as her father Tom), Atom-Smasher (who saves his mother in one of the first JSA trades), and Promethea (who's father ran off and thus her mother becomes a more important character later on). There are probably more.

Still, the narrative of the father-son superhero legacy is a big one, especially in DC, and often carries a lot of pathos. My favourite, of course, is the relationship between Jack and Ted Knight, though Hector and Carter Hall, and Rick and Rex Tyler are also notable. Hector and Carter have a weird relationship, what with Hector being physically older than Carter thanks to weird time stuff, and I think the time bubble that Rex is trapped in makes his relationship with Rick all the more poinant. Jack and Ted had time...they had time to talk about life and that sort of thing. And Ted's funeral at the end of "Grand Guignol" is quite moving.


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