Sunday, June 11, 2006

The No-Prize Attitude

Girl-Wonder.org has a new paper up -- a feminist analysis of Jessica Jones from Alias by Karen Healey.

The whole thing is wonderful, you should go read it, but these four lines and the underlying attitude caught my eye.

On one level, we can regard Jessica’s Golden Age style secret origin as an artificial insertion into Marvel continuity. However, this process can also be read not as Jessica being written in, but as being discovered. If we suspend our disbelief, the narrative assures us that Jessica was there all along. She was hidden in the spaces between the panels, slightly off to one side, there just before the comic began, roaming free and foul-mouthed in the margins of Marvel’s history.


That's a beautiful way to see it.

This is the positive of the fandom community. This ability. The ability to see the retcon and fit it in in the established stories in their imagination, explain it away, without complaining that now a story "doesn't count anymore!" I've been on threads at Message Boards where people have asked for explanations abnout little things and have been given creative answers, to which they reply "Do you have an issue number where they give that reason?" Well, no, it's a fan-explanation. They made it up on the spot. It's an imaginative way to stay in the story.

It's not needing everything spelled out for you. Being able to fill in between the panels and adjust for a retcon, or a writer mistake or two.

What happened to the No-Prize Seekers? Are they all writing fan-fiction now?

2 comments:

  1. Of course, some of us had no idea that Jessica Jones was a new creation. I really thought that she was some obscure old character (her appearances in Young Avengers contributed to this). That's kind of impressive.

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  2. You know what makes that even more beautiful? Apply that attitude to all the other "unknown characters" in the Marvel Universe and ask yourself: "Who hasn't been written about yet?"

    Assuming a sentient population of billions upon billions, and further assuming that even a miniscule percent of said population is worth writing about, and you have quite a few fresh, untapped characters on your hands.

    That's not just beautiful. That's amazing.

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