In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.
Who is a favorite character created in the 1970s?
I love Q&As I can answer with a panel:
Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, made her first appearance in 1971. A lot of people don’t like her but she’s a favorite of mine. Look at that image. On the surface Talia is sexy, silly, and suggestive. She makes *Spirit Hands* and pops her ankle up a la The Princess Diaries even when she’s falling down. She’s daughter — or wife, or mother — first and Talia second. Look beyond the surface to the comics and she’s been seductress, enchantress, socialite, witch, queen, sociopath, damsel, demon, mercenary, and maiden. And she’s lived all her years in the shadows between good and evil. Instead of consistency she has crazy.
But if I preferred consistency to crazy I wouldn’t read comics. And when crazy reads like this:
I can’t complain!
I don’t really intend to make Scott Summers’ tumultuous and oft-reconned family life a theme in this space. And perhaps, conceptually, Scott’s father Christopher Summers had been invented in the early (1960s) days of the X-Men. But it took the ‘70s and (dare I say) the popularity of Star Wars for Claremont and Cockrum to inform us that Chris was not in fact dead but living a second life as a space pirate. In any case, Christopher Summers did not exist in his identity as “Corsair” until 1977. Which, really, you only have to look at that facial hair to be able to guess.
The 70s are an odd decade for me. Some of the first characters that came to mind in response to this question either debuted the year before the decade started (the Falcon) or the year after (Kitty Pryde, She-Hulk). All of those characters certainly have a 70s flavor to them, but they weren’t, technically, invented in a year that began with 197. So who do I choose? I love the All New, All Different X-Men as a group, but I’m not sure I could single any of them out.
And then I realized the obvious answer. What could be more distinctively 70s than that unlikely pairing of blaxploitation and the Kung Fu craze that was Power Man and Iron Fist? Alone, Luke Cage and Danny Rand are both fantastic characters who have grown far beyond their stereotypical 70s origins in books written by such modern creators as Brian Michael Bendis and Matt Fraction. But I still have a soft spot for their early team up, in all its wonderful insanity. Theirs is a friendship for the record books, and it couldn’t have happened without the trends of that much-maligned decade.
Introduced in 1975, Moira MacTaggert is a character I love more in the idea than the execution. From the pages of various X-Men-related comics, she is a scientist, a geneticist, a love interest, a plot point to be ‘fridged as needed, a villain, a superhero, a liability, and a mother-figure. She is one of the most widely characterized figures in X-Men comics. The only truly consistent feature she has is the overly-broadly-written accent, which I am assured is supposed to be Scottish.
All of which makes it sound like I might dislike her. That’s not the case.
The Moira that exists in my head, the one I glean from the ways she’s been used and abused by her writers, is a ruthlessly tough woman, brilliant, caring, yet hard-headedly realistic. Moira has seen the good and evil in humanity, whether or not a person carries the X-Gene. She is prepared, as a consequence, to judge people by their actions. And judge you she will.
She’s a tough dame, and I love the idea of her.
So what about you? Who is a favorite character created in the 1970s?