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Belated User Generated Content Contest Post: Part 2

Here's Part 2.

Mitch's List:

1) The Cat/Tigra (Brad's Note: Yes, again.)

We can all agree that any time you create a character to be an

anti-stereotype, you've created a stereotype. At best, this results

in something like the whitebread Fantastic Four, who were riffs on the

standard 1950's sci-fi heroes. At worst, you have Tyroc from LSH.

In between was Greer Nelson, whose origin checked off all the boxes.

Uneducated widow of a cop killed in the line of duty, she discovered

an old friend was working on a super-soldier program geared at women.

Then of course a rotten evil person (a man, to be specific) destroyed

the lab and threw the old friend into a coma, so only Greer had the

benefit of the treatment and the equipment. Her empowering uniform

was a tight bodysuit, of course.

After she wandered through several issues of her own series and one

issue of Marvel Team-Up (introducing the villain Man-Killer), she

detoured past limbo and into a Giant-Size Werewolf by Night. (As

opposed the G-S Man-Thing...yes, yes....) It turned out that her

mentor had actually been a member of a lost race of catlike humanoids.

A botched rescue later, and Greer was transformed into the even more

empowered Tigra, whose costume consisted of catlike fur tastefully

accessorized by a bikini. At least her first appearance as Tigra had

the asset of making her look a bit eerie in her new incarnation, but

she was quickly turned more visually conventional in her later

appearances. Transition into a goofball furball would wait for her

ascension into the Avengers.

(2) Power Girl

You can't really fume at the character called "Boobs McGeneric" until

you think about how she first appeared, in the 1970' All-Star revival.

Then, instead of being a jock, she was more of an Emma Peel type --

self-possessed, and acting as if she was already a consummate pro and

expected to be treated as such. She could be chilly, snippy, uppity,

and a pill, but she had a distinctive personality. OK, that ain't

saying much, given that the cookie-cutter good guys of the JSA were

leavened out by spooky Dr. Fate, lowbrow Wildcat, and rambunctious

Star-Spangled Kid. I don't know why they changed her -- maybe it was

the introduction of Helena Wayne's Huntress, and someone said "two

cool, self-possessed women is a bit much, don't you think?" Feh.

(3) Ms. Marvel.

Talk about too many remakes. First, she was just Carol Danvers,

generic female support. Then she became a heroine when an exploding

Kree gadget grafted a second personality, complete with powers, onto

her. Then it turned out that she never had a new personality, just a

transitory mental breakdown. At some point during all this, her

beach-bunny bare midriff/bareback costume got filled in for no

in-story reason. The new black costume was OK -- being friends with

the Wasp can justify any costume change on the part of a character --

but after weeks of "who is this?" teasers in the Bullpen Bulletins

page, the reveal was given away in the Marvel Team-Up where Spider-Man

teamed up with the original SNL cast. I am going to politely

side-step the mother-of-her-own-lover foolishness as there are other

people who are lined up to rant about it. However, after being

powered-up as Binary, then powered down as Warbird, she developed a

drinking problem. And this paragon of mental health is tied with

She-Hulk for most prominent Marvel female.

(Note: I am not going to pick on She-Hulk. That character has often

been done well. The one-shot where she teamed up with the Thing vs.

Dragon Man. mad scientists and vampires comes to mind.)

(4) Moondragon.

Three things distinguished her visually from Vampirella -- a green

costume, a bald head, and a cape. Her origin had the stuff that more

lasting characters had been made from, though: her parents killed

casually by evil aliens, she was raised by good aliens and taught

their mental and physical skills. However, her personality had only

one setting -- snotty. For reasons unexplained, she developed a

severe crush on Daredevil (probably because she first appeared in his

comic) but after staying long enough to help decorate an Xmas tree

with telekinesis, she disappeared. Joined the Avengers around the

same time the Beast did, and spent most of her time trying to romance

Thor. Later, she became a complete rotter and telepathically seduced

Thor, overthrew a planet, and killed her reincarnated father. When

last seen, she'd reformed, become a literal dragon, and died a few

issues after that. It may very well be that the most lasting

character to come out of Jim Starlin's Thanos epic was, in fact,

Thanos.

(5) Lana Lang

Pre-Crisis, she was a great foil for Superboy. Bright, vivacious,

competent, curious and full of herself, she could enrich and

complicate any situation. When she finally got her own costumed

identity (Insect Queen), she was LSH-class and they inducted her with

less guff than they gave Superboy.

And then, she grew up. As an adult, she was a jackass on a par with

pre-Crisis Steve Lombard and "Lois and Clark" Cat Grant (though not as

sexuaized). When she wasn't aping Lois's antics, she was so

egomaniacal and insensitive that even pre-Crisis Superman told her

off.

Post-Crisis, she became a farm girl and stayed down home on the farm.

Except after she divorced Pete Ross she went through a makeover and is

now completely polished and generic.

PREVIEW: Batman #77

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