Q&A #57 What legacy character would you invent, if given the chance?

In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.

What legacy character would you invent, if given the chance?



Anika

I want Wonder Woman to be a Sorority Girl.

No, really. Keep reading. Wonder Woman is a great symbol but as a character she falters. Mostly because to actually falter, to show humanity (as opposed to being told how wonderfully human she is), would take away from her symbolism as the premiere female superhero (let’s be honest, Marvel has been trying to “get a Wonder Woman” for years). When she does show it, people cry OOC. Wonder Woman is, quite literally, a goddess. This is not limited, even, to Diana — all the Wonders are steeped in Greek Mythology. And I love Greek Mythology and I love Wonder Woman, but that pedestal she’s on does make it difficult to identify with her.

Now, the stereotypical sorority is an exclusive clique with university funding. But even if that was true, it’s still more welcoming than Themyscira. And the stereotypical Sorority Girl is pretty, vapid, ditzy, silly — a throwback to the society girls that drove Sylvia Plath mad because she was one and wanted more. But the reality is, in order to be accepted to a sorority a young woman must be accomplished in multiple fields. Academics and athletics and social standing. She lives on a pedestal but she’s a real girl. And that would be a great new spin on Wonder Woman.



Caroline

I want Hope, the costar of the current Cable comic, to be the new Phoenix. Now, I’m totally cheating here, because (a) I’m not inventing the character and (b) it looks likely that she will turn out to be some kind of Phoenix host. But there are a lot of ways that could play out, and the prevailing rumor is that she’ll turn out, in some way that makes sense by the relative definition of “sense” that prevails in X-Men comics, to actually be the (sort of) deceased original X-Men team member Jean Grey.

I don’t want that to happen. Don’t get me wrong, Jean is my favorite character in all of comics and I would like to see her back in action as soon as possible. But I also like Hope. She’s an interesting girl. Over the past twenty-something issues of Cable, we’ve watched her grow up into an interesting, unique person. I’d hate for the fallout of the impending Second Coming event to be that she is “really” someone else. How is that even possible? Who we are is in large part the sum of our experiences, and Hope’s experiences so far have been a lot different than Jean Grey’s were. If the writers arbitrarily tell us that Hope is Jean, that doesn’t mean anything without Jean’s experiences. And if Jean’s memories are eventually used to overwrite Hope’s, then this new and interesting and lively character will basically be destroyed. Sounds counterproductive.

Instead, I’d like to see the Phoenix force be used in a way that has often been flirted with in the past (especially with Rachel Summers/Grey, Jean’s alternate dimension daughter), as a way to pass on a legacy-based identity. I’d love to see Rachel and Jean back in the mix, too, but I hope Marvel takes advantage of the opportunity to use a brand new character to approach the Phoenix idea in a different way. Without the baggage of trauma and insanity that’s inevitably been involved when the Grey women approach the cosmic power, I’d like to see Hope discover a new, positive way to channel that power. Then she can use it to help her predecessors.



Jennifer

I love Tony Stark. I do. But let’s face it: a rich white dude who becomes an electrical engineering expert and later uses his massive wealth to fund the production of superhero robot suits is… not exactly an underdog. Sure, he’s naturally smart, but his intelligence and interests were encouraged from an early age largely because of those factors of his birth — his wealth, his race, and his gender. Even if he wasn’t a genius, he’d have had a pretty good chance of becoming who he became.

So what I want in a legacy character is a new Iron Man — or, more specifically, a new Iron Woman. As we’ve discussed on Fantastic Fangirls before, women in comics are rarely celebrated for their intelligence, and even more rarely for their intelligence in the sciences. So I want a woman who is every bit as intelligent as Tony Stark, and is able to build her own suit with her own brain and hands — not take a suit as a gift from Tony, as the women who’ve held the role before (Bethany Cabe and Pepper Potts) have. I want this woman to have succeeded despite the pressure placed on girls to avoid the sciences and remain in the more “feminine” disciplines of the liberal arts. And while we’re at it, I want her to be Hispanic, or black, from a working class background. I want a girl for whom all the societal odds were against her, who somehow managed nonetheless to get a top college education and craft a superhero identity and powers with her knowledge and brilliance alone. I also want this girl to be absolutely altruistic — not secretly evil, as most “as smart as Tony Stark” characters have been portrayed over the years. I want her to be a hero, an equal of Tony’s in all ways — and NOT a love interest. They could team up, or she could succeed him in the role. Either way, that’s the kind of story I’d love to read.

Oh, and her suit of armor wouldn’t have breast-shaped cones on its chest. She’d be way too practical for that.



Sigrid

My new legacy character is Karla Nilsson. Adopted as an infant by a pair of college professors in Austin, Texas, Karla had a happy childhood. She did well in school, excelled in junior rodeo, and competed in gymnastics and archery. As a teenager, Karla set about trying to find her birth parents in Mexico. She found that her mother had been killed trying to cross the border. Karla became a crusader for the rights and protections of illegal entrants to the United States. By the time she was eighteen she had managed to offend a local human trafficker, who threatened her. Karla got the man arrested. After his arrest she was attacked by his men and badly beaten. As she healed, Karla resolved to continue her fight. Using her skills as an archer, gymnast, and equestrian, Karla began harassing local criminals. She began calling herself The Huntress.

Karla’s efforts brought her into contact with The Question. Renee sized her up and called Helena Bertinelli to tell her about this girl using the Huntress name. Helena, with an assist from Oracle, flew to Austin and met up with Karla. After an initial acrimonious and somewhat hostile series of interactions Helena agreed to help Karla — she and the other Birds of Prey would provide some training and equipment if Karla agreed to call herself something else. Karla settled on Cazadora — “Huntress” in Spanish.


What legacy character would you invent, if given the chance?

  • I love all of these! Anika, can I request for Sorority Girl Wonder Woman to be BFF with Cordelia Chase and Elle Woods?

  • Anika

    @Caroline You know I was watching Legally Blonde while writing that. It’d be the best sorority ever!

  • I love these answers! I would read about all of these characters. (Well, I already AM reading about Hope, but I hope she goes in the direction Caroline suggests.)

  • @Anika ‘Legally Blonde’/Wonder Woman crossover would be the best ever. Also, you just made me realize that, though she doesn’t really have the figure for it, I always mentally hear Reese when I read Power Girl.

  • handyhunter

    Hisako Ichiki: leader of the X-Men.

    *is predictable*

  • I want Lian Harper to be Nightwing when she grows up.

    I am also totally predictable.

    (I also want Milagro Reyes to be a Green Lantern.)

  • Sam

    So, D.E.B.S. is sort of a sorority of superspies. Right? Anyway, I love that answer. Wonder Woman coming out of a sorority would be fantastic (and still have that Greek link!).

    Also, the idea of a Latina Huntress down in Texas is awesome. Awesome.

  • @Sam I love D.E.B.S.! Such a delightful little movie, and completely underrated.

  • I am MADLY in love with Hope becoming a Phoenix host without her actually being Jean Grey. It would be so very interesting to see how she and the Phoenix interact.

    There’s the Loganettes idea (see this conversation: http://bit.ly/9OAA13).

  • Jo

    I love the WW idea, and the Greek mythology is why, I think, it keeps failing as a film.

  • sigrid

    @Sam I love D.E.B.S. :grins:

  • Kate

    “Now, the stereotypical sorority is an exclusive clique with university funding. But even if that was true, it’s still more welcoming than Themyscira.”

    That tells me that you know nothing at all about Wonder Woman.

    Themyscira, pre-OYL, was the most welcoming place in the entire DCU. It was a multi-cultural place that welcomed men and women from all over the world and was a mix of every type of philosophy, religion and point of view the world has to offer.

    You think the average sorority is more “welcoming” than that? No, it’s not.

    Maybe you should actually read books before you comment on them. Wonder Woman is a hero and a damn good one. She doesn’t need to be changed into something entirely different just becuase *you* can’t identify with her.

  • Caroline

    Watch tone, please. It’s possible to disagree without slamming the original poster. Thanks.