Monday, November 21, 2005

Jade is Wormfood.

As I wantonly traverse cyberspace in search of amusement, my thoughts turn more and more to DC Comics. And everywhere I roam, one question keeps coming up:

Who's next on the chopping block?

DC is doing a "Housecleaning." Geoff Johns is on a murder spree. Seriously, this crossover is a bigger bloodbath than Eclipso. Day of Vengeance #1 alone had a body count of over two hundred! Infinite Crisis #1 killed half of a superteam. Infinite Crisis #2 featured the death of an entire villain team. In February, we see 6 different covers featuring hero-hero battles (and 2 covers with a hero in the foreground and another in the background coming up behind them menacingly!). We are outright promised blood in Rann-Thanagar War: Infinite Crisis Special and Supergirl (and I had better get it!). Several prominent titles will not be on the shelves come March. There has never been a better time to kill a Superman! And you know not all of those people headed to the center of the universe with Donna Troy are not coming back.

Now, I'm not sure about the specifics above -- what's hype, what's panic, what's misdirection...etc... but I am sure of one thing:
Jennie-Lynn Hayden-Scott, formerly known as Green Lantern VI (or IV, depending upon who you count!), best known as Jade, is not coming out this one alive.

(Those of you unfamiliar with Jade should check here and here to learn about her history in a more objective manner)

Everyone knows there are risk factors that lead to a character's death. These have no realistic connotations. It's not like people in comic books would actually die as a result of their own actions! But, there are certain things that make comic book readers think "Expendable."

So, without further ado, here are Jade's Risk Factors:

1) Mythos Placement -- The only Green Lantern franchise hero not currently carrying the Green Lantern name.

2) Costume -- Does not wear a Green Lantern symbol. (Even Alan wears something close)

3) Power Level -- Is vastly less powerful than her father. Is considerably less powerful than a full-fledged Corpsman (or full-fledged female Corpsman like Brik -- Yes, I hate saying Corpswoman, Chairwoman, Congresswoman...etc... It's silly. we can say Mankind, can't we? And Human without saying Huwoman? Well, why can't I just be a repairman instead of a repairwoman? Save a syllable, please!)

4) Origin -- Try explaining her parentage: "Well, her father was the Golden Age Green Lantern, who is unconnected to the Corps, and her mother was a Flash Rogue with multiple personalities who fought the Golden Age Flash, but then reformed and fell in love with green Lantern, but then left him after their wedding night and bore him twins. She put them up for adoption, which is why Jennuie has a different last name than her father. Now, her brother..."

5) Infinity Inc -- The Infinity Inc characters are often screwed with: depowered, sent to prison, made into villains...etc..

6) Open Identity -- Secret Identities are becoming considerably important right now. It's possible that One Year Later there will be very few public identity heroes operaring on earth. Jade is a former supermodel and a public superhero. Even with a mass mindwipe, her skin color makes her very hard to hide. She's obviously not normal.

7) Gender -- Name aside, she is still a Female Lantern. Of the female Green Lantern we've met: Katma Tui and Arisia are dead, Boodika and Laira are currently held captive, Boodika lost her hand, Adara committed suicide, Brik and Amanita spent a good deal of time in slavery, and Soranik Natu was captured by the villains in the first issue she appeared in.

8) High Risk Love Interest -- Romantically linked to a male Earth Green Lantern.
Green Lantern lovers rundown: Alex DeWitt (deceased), Donna Troy (depowered, deceased, recently resurrected as a Harbinger-like character, which means instant obscurity once this is all over), Torah Olafsdotter (deceased), Katma Tui (deceased), Arisia (deceased), Carol Ferris (brain regularly taken over by space aliens)

9) High Risk Personal Connection -- She has slept with Kyle Rayner. The Kiss of Kyle Rayner is the Kiss of Death. But this goes beyond romance.
Kyle Rayner personal contacts rundown: Alex DeWitt, Donna Troy (who also had been broken up Kyle for a year or so before she died!), and Adara (a one-night stand!) have all pushed up daisies at some point. (But, hey, at least Kyle still talks to them from time to time!) Ganthet (home planet destroyed within a week of meeting the boy), Alan Scott (strongest will in Earth history, taken over by the Starheart, taken over by Brainwave Jr), Guy Gardner (went without problems for a while but eventually lost his business in Rebirth), John Stewart (lost the use of his legs twice!), Terry Berg (beaten to the edge of death), Kyle's mother (Home destroyed, Son broke all contacts -- but she's still alive). Kyle's father (went into hiding from the government shortly after the boy was born!) This poor guy is cursed! I'd like to comfort Kyle during his times of personal loss, but I can't afford the insurance payments. Putting your arm around his shoulders costs you more than racing NASCAR.

10) Unvirtuous Woman -- While Kyle was in space, risking life, limb, and soul in an attempt to make the universe a safer place, she found another guy. She then slept with this other guy, without even sending Kyle so much as a "Dear John" note. That's not cool, folks. It was totally within her power to send word to Kyle to "Call now, or don't come back at all," via John Stewart. The "He never called" excuse doesn't work, because she could have at least sent word rather than let him come home to such a bad surprise!

11) Skill Level -- She is generally portrayed as a mediocre Lesser Lantern. True, some writers give her decent moments, but she plays Damsel in Distress far too often for a woman who was born with even watered-down Lantern powers, and has been in "the business" this long.
The first run I saw her in, she got her butt kicked by Fatality and had to be saved by still-rookie Kyle. My sister and I dropped the book, because it seemed truly ridiculous that a woman who'd had powers all her life would need saving from a guy who'd only had powers a few months. But, this has been the skill level she is commonly shown at.
In Outsiders, she has been present every time a team member gets hurt. Usually, when you have a Lantern, you're safe. They are major powers who should be able to protect their buddies. Apparently, Jade can't.
She has no feats under her belt, and even John Stewart, the most ignored Green Lantern of all, has a few feats. Hell, even Guy Gardner's girlfriend Ice was able to use the ring in a totally unexpected manner, and heal another person! I mean, it's one thing to see Hal or Kyle on a bad day get their butts handed to them, because you know if the moon is going to shatter and fall into the planet they can stop it (with a little help from Wonder Woman), but you have your doubts when it comes to Jade. She really doesn't really have anything. And with her powers, that's ridiculous. It's like they came so naturally she felt no need to work on them or push herself, and so comes up short behind the boys. A poor showing, especially for the only female Lantern we've seen in the last decade. Thankfully, Brik is back (She's got that sweet-natured, but still strong thing that Ice had going on), and Soranik Natu seems promising.

12) Redemption -- She's been mopey and cranky in most appearances. In Return of Donna Troy, she obsessed over Kyle as soon as she realized he might be nearby (nearby being, within a couple of light years). Showing regret for her treatment of him? Laying the groundwork for a heroic sacrifice saving her ex-boyfriend's life?

13) Impact (Characters) -- Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the dreaded Refrigerator rule. Who's death will spread more angst among the surviving characters? Captain Comet, or Jade? Hawkman (who dies as a hobby), or Jade? Despite being thoroughly unlikeable in recent appearances, Jade still has a lot of strong bonds to exploit.
Kyle, despite her actions, still loves her enough to care about her feelings, and leave her his apartment. Her death, especially during a battle he is at, would serve to screw him up even more!
Her brother, Todd Rice, Obsidian, is fanatically devoted to her (He met her in Infinity Inc long before her current characterization), and is at the hero/villain crossroads. Her death could inspire him to become a hero again, or drive him back to madness.
Her father, Alan Scott, feels he is a worthless father. Imagine if his daughter dies in front of him.
She is the team-leader of the Outsiders, and no doubt her dying would affect the Outsider/Titans characters.
Donna Troy would feel tremendous guilt about bringing a rival out there to die.
The newer members of the Green Lantern Corps would find it extremely sobering to see a person with similar powers die horribly in front of them.
And, of course, her break-up with Kyle is what divides him and his former mentor, Alan Scott. Blame for her death could cause a greater split (if she died because of a percieved mistake) or the shared grief of her loss would forge their bond even stronger than before.

14) Impact (Fans) -- She is someone that writers feel safe screwing with. This is what changed her image from that of a promising addition to the Green Lantern mythos, to the lady described here and here. Aside from old Infinity Inc fans (Fear of who's wrath didn't keep Obsidian, Nuklon, Fury, Hector Hall, Northwind..etc... from being screwed with constantly), she won't likely be missed. But, since not that many people remember Infinity Inc, she tends to be reguarded at best as eye-candy/romance fodder and at worst as a selfish slut.

Fourteen Risk Factors. Her number's up. Another Guinevere bites the dust.

Let the celebration commence!

11 comments:

  1. I hope you are wrong, but it wouldn't surprise me.

    If we keep going at the pace we are the only two surviving members of Infinity Inc will be Power Girl and Bones.

    Atom Smasher(Al) is in jail. I heard a rumor that Hector(Silver Scarab/Dr. Fate) is not long for this world. Obsdian(Todd) has lost his powers and had the evil bled out of him...or has he. Norda(Northwind) has been subsumed by the Hawk God...or whatever it was. Sylvester(Star Spangled Kid I) is dead and has been for awhile.

    For now, Rick(Hourman II) is alive, but I'm not going to hold my breath about whether he'll get shuffled off to limbo with Rex(Hourman I) slipping back in at some point.

    Ah well, we live in interesting comic book times.

    puff

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah, Jade's toast. We all know Donna's "mission" is to dump all the undesirables into the cosmic rift. "Goodbye not-Ronnie Raymond Firestorm. Goodbye Metamorpho wannabe. See ya anorexic Supergirl. Shouldn't have cheated on Kyle, Jade."

    ReplyDelete
  3. Agreed.

    Wouldn't surprise me at all if the majority of the characters on Donna's mission get smoked.

    puff

    ReplyDelete
  4. Kyle used his powers as Ion (ugh) to recharge Jade's abilities.

    Jade dies, and Kyle is somehow unable to save her (loses his ring, loses charge, something). However, in death, she passes her powers on to him. He leaves the Corps, feeling both that he has failed them and that they have failed him (the tragedy that Marz talked about), and tries to rebuild his life on Earth. When he was starting out as GL, Alex's death hovered over him constantly. Now, every time he uses his new powers, he is reminded of Jade and his failure to save her. Alan Scott won't speak to him, and Obsidian wants his head on a platter. All this, and more, as Kyle Rayner tries to make a new name for himself...and that name is "Ion."

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't know, Tom -- I think it's the oppposite. Kyle gets into trouble, and Jade saves him, but dies in the process. I figure after that, he remains part of the Corps, but rejects having a partner for fear of seeing another person die over him. Thus, he's in a solo book and not the Corps book. Plus, even if he did internalize his powers, I can't see Ganthet letting him go. I figure the Oans would do whatever they could to keep him connected to them.

    And James, I hope you're wrong on the second part, because after Jade, we have some seriously worthwhile characters on the chopping block. I'm with Ian and Puff that a lot of people on that mission will get snuffed, but the implication is that a death will fundamentally affect Kyle. Now, of the long list of people present and on their way to the Rift, we're down to five major connections.
    We've covered Jade
    Alan Scott was mentor and father-figure for a long time, and his death would cause endless angst
    Guy is his closest friend right now and probably someone Kyle thinks of as totally invincible
    Kilowog is someone Kyle will literally travel to Hell to get back
    Captain Comet is someone Kyle just befriended, but so far Kyle's fallen into his hero worship tendancy with him

    I don't want to see any of the other four bite it. Jade's death won't bother me in the least, though. actulaly, it'd make me happy because it would forever cut off the distasteful thought of her and Kyle getting back together. I can only accept another Kyle/Jade romance if it's revealed that Jade's been possessed by a wooden lust monster since Infinity Inc ended. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm fine with Jade; I like hot youngish supermodels who sleep around. Plus, she's about the best character Roy Thomas ever threw together for the walking talking mess that was INFINITY INC.

    Now, if you want a slutty green skinned superheroine dead, I say, let's somehow get She Hulk involved in INFINITE CRISIS, and then kill her. Kill her DEAD.

    I hates her, I hates her forever.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yeah, but if you kill off Jade you can replace her with a hot, youngish green-skinned lady alien GL who sleeps around, but can actually do the job of a Green Lantern!

    I'm sick of incompetence being overlooked for sexuality. Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Huntress and Power Girl are attractive and intelligent -- why can't the only female Green Lantern anyone ever sees be that way too? For years I watched this "experienced" woman fumble and stumble while Kyle managed to actually learn and get better, and now it's time for her to serve a purpose -- as a sacrificial lamb.

    Let's hope she doesn't screw that one up.

    Man, I've been up too late. I'm getting snarky.

    But I have no particular objection to killing She-Hulk.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Katma Tui was amazingly competent; that didn't keep the body bag at bay for very long after she was thrust into the spotlight.

    I think you're being harder on Jade than is merited. For the love of God, how many members of Infinity Inc have ever been competent at ANYthing? Hector Hall may be the wussiest Dr. Fate in existence! You want to kill someone, kill him, and give the helmet to the Golden Age Superman, or something...

    ReplyDelete
  10. highlander -- That's what makes Jade's continued survival so tragic. Being a Green Lantern is a dangerous job, especially for females near Hal when there's a jealous Carol around (Predator my butt...). The only reason Jade is still alvie is because Kyle and Alan are protective. John and Hal figured Katma could handle herself, I guess.

    And that's just not right. Wat other job fires the talented but keeps the incompetent?

    I'm hard on Jade, again, because she had the privilege of being the only GL character besides Kyle allowed to be a Latern during Carlin & Dooley's silly "last GL" reign. I'd lay money she was picked over John as the back-up because she was female. And that's not right. Because she was so unimpressive, and we kept seeing flashbacks of John, and Guy, and hal as GL, but none of the old females, so Jade the Mediocre was the only female Lantern seen for a full decade.
    And she was clearly inferior, which yes, was kind of the point of Infinity Inc (except for Obsidian, who was good at being bad), but no one else from Infinity Inc ever got such a prominent station as she did in Green Lantern, Vol 3. And she didn't deserve it. She half-assed the job, ended up getting rescued by a (admittedly talented, but still...) rookie, and generally spent the rest of the series as a device to highlight Kyle's emotions. In JSA she ended up a device to highlight Alan's feelings. And even as far back as Infinity Inc she was a device to highlight Todd's emotions.
    It really bugs me that she's the only female Lantern a whole generation of Green Lantern fans know.
    And I know as long as she remains alive, she will be the most prominent female in the Mythos -- because of her familial connections -- her father, her brother, and her ex-lover -- all male. This is truly a terrible female character.
    Bt she will gain spotlight better served by the likes of Soranik Natu or Brik, or Laira or Boodika, or Sheriff Marden, or that yellow lady with the insect wings we see in the background all of the time, or a flashback to Arisia, or Katma, or Tomy Fai, or just about any female we've ever seen in the Green Lantern Corps. Because they are chosen on the same merit the males are, have the same starting potential they do, and therefore tend to be treated as equals (even if they do die a lot faster), and are not just in the club by an accident of blood.

    ReplyDelete
  11. She'll die. And be back before the next Crisis with a swarm of fanboys out for editors heads. That's the danger of killing of a characters. Fans are the most frightening beings in the universe.

    ReplyDelete