Monday, May 01, 2006

Doomed Before the First Issue Shipped

While I was away, Kalinara had some ideas for redeeming Jade (and I have to say I liked some fo them. The conversation really got fun in the comments when they started to reimagine her as a Fairy-Tale Princess Adventurer. After reading it, I'm still not fond of her personality, but I will admit to wanting a Green Barbie now.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I found something on Fortress of Fortitude (finally found the original post, I'd mixed it up with another blog wtih a similar template) that convinced me that Jade was doomed from conception. I don't even mean the mother/daughter symbolism I'm always harping on. No, I mean the very attitude that DC had when they first marketed spelled "Weak Character."

Please note how everyone else is notable because of their really cool and useful powers or talents, and Jade is notable for "Green Skin."

They couldn't say "Energy Manipulation," "Power Pulse," "Light Powers" or "Green Light" -- they went with "Green Skin."

If Brainiac 5 or another Coluan character were featured in an ad like this, we all know it would say "Super Intelligence" or something like that.

If Alan Scott, or Hal Jordan, or John or Guy or Kyle or Katman or Kilowog or freaking Saakk were in this, it would say "Power Ring" or something referring to the energy.

If She-Hulk, the goddess of cheesecake, were a DC character and she were featured in this ad, it would say something about her enhanced strength or toughness.

But since it's Jade, it says "Green Skin."

I'd feel bad for her, if she hadn't made a habit of wasting the coolest powers known to comicdom.


  1. The bird-guy (what the heck was his name - something-star?) is just notable for "feathers." Granted,they are at least related to his power, but it's not really much better, is it?

    Of course, he's a person of color, so...

  2. That's Northwind. I figured it went without saying that he was useless. I mean, he just flies.

  3. Yeah, trying to defend Jade as "not useless" by pointing at Northwind is gonna fail - Thomas never did figure out anything interesting about Northwind, and since everyone looks back to Thomas for his take on the characters, no one else has either.

    However, I do have to point out that if Marvel were doing a similar ad with She-Hulk (say, an Avengers ad), its very likely that they'd put "Green Skin" under her picture. Its just that her picture would have her throwing a truck at a bad guy, or at least flexing her muscles. Jade not only gets saddled with the "Green Skin" label, the shot they have is of her apparently leaping into the air - not impressive visually either.

    Poor, poor Jade - the Scarlet Witch of the DC Universe. Used as a plot device, given whatever kind of personality was needed for the story at hand, then thrown off into comic book limbo and/or killed when done with. Except the Scarlet Witch was more interesting...

  4. However, I do have to point out that if Marvel were doing a similar ad with She-Hulk (say, an Avengers ad), its very likely that they'd put "Green Skin" under her picture.

    What, you don't think they'd give her a "Gamma Power" label? Marvel's actually treated its own green-skinned Jennifer fairly well over the years (the Savage run notwithstanding...)

  5. It's true, She-Hulk has actually been treated fairly well, with a decent enough personality to handle her own regular title. At first I balked at the 'goddess of cheesecake' remark, then I remembered the Greg Horn covers and thought "oh, yeah, THAT cheesecake."
    Maybe if Dan Slott/Juan Bobillo/Greg Horn had done a Jade/Infinity Inc book people would have bought it.

  6. Yeah, Jennifer Walters has power and personality, but it's pretty obvious who she's marketed to. Fortunately, her creators realized just plain looks weren't enough to make her a successful character, and that's how she got the power and personality. She had probably been dressed skimpier and shown off a bit more, but she would ahve been doing soemthing active with her power.

    I've got some more old Infinity Incs I keep putting off reading, maybe I can find the spark for Jade, but man, she was not off to a good start. They didn't even attempt to give her respect in that ad.