Q&A #148: Who is a favorite character created in the 1970s?

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?


Anika

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!


Caroline

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.


Jennifer

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.


Sigrid

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?

5 Comments on Q&A #148: Who is a favorite character created in the 1970s?

  1. I find it interesting that all of these answers share a sense of “this character is imperfect-almost-definitely-problematic but”. The 70s were apparently an interesting time for character creation!

  2. Does Oliver Queen’s beard (and accompanying hypocritical social justice rage) count?

  3. CalvinPitt // February 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm //

    Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat. I wasn’t sure she’d qualify, but she just makes it (1979). I like clever thief characters who enjoy their work, and that describes her very well. I also liked the fact that even though her relationship with Spider-Man ended kind of awkwardly (her wanting nothing to do with his civilian identity), they were able to become friends later on, and he could pretty much always count on her in a pinch.

    Honorable Mentions: Nightcrawler, Power Girl, Arcade.

  4. @ Jennifer: Actually, Kitty Pryde does qualify. She debuted in Uncanny X-Men #129, which was cover-dated January 1980, but was actaully released ca. three months earlier, i. e. around October 1979. So she was not just created in the 1970s, but also first published in the 1970s. The same also applies to Emma Frost (also UXM #129), Dazzler (UXM #130, cover-date February 1980) and the She-Hulk (Savage She-Hulk #1, cover-date February 1980).

    As the question says “created”, not “first published” in the 1970s, I have to give Rogue, my all-time favourite superher comics character, as my answer. Chris Claremont created her for Ms. Marvel vol. 1 #25 (cover date would have been August 1979), but unfortunately the title was cancelled with #23 (April 1979).

    But I must also admit to a fondness for Howard the Duck.

  5. ( Ms. Marvel #24 and 25 were turned into stories in Marvel Super-Heroes Special #10 and 11 in 1992).

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