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 1990s?
May “Mayday” Parker first appeared in a What If? title in 1998. I don’t think I’ve read it. I wasn’t reading comics regularly at that time. I think my husband picked out my first Spider-Girl issue for me. I didn’t mean to love Spider-Girl. But I do. And half of why I love Spider-Man is because Peter Parker is such a GREAT dad. I love the future Parkers. The comic had the same issues Batman Beyond had — it’s hard to create a near-future or pay homage to old stories and characters while keeping it fresh — and I loved it for the same reasons — none of that mattered. Spider-Girl, spectacular and amazing and everything else, was about a family.
I love it. And I miss it.
My feelings about Cable are on the record, and since there isn’t a comic book character more “nineties” than Cable — and he was, actually, introduced in 1990 — I could leave it there.
But truly, I don’t have that much interest in the Cable of the nineties. My Cable is the guy who put aside his gun-toting ways and decided that he could save the world. (Or the redheaded baby he was hauling around could. Or Deadpool. It’s hard to keep track.)
I would like to shoutout to a character who shares Cable’s 90s/X-Force roots and actually hasn’t evolved all that much: Neena “Domino” Thurman. Graced with sharpshooting skills and luck powers and a smart mouth, Dom is what she is. For Cable, she serves as a person with ties to his not-so-Messianic past. She wants to believe he can be a better man, but she hasn’t quite seen the evidence. Otherwise, she hasn’t gotten that many great stories of her own, but she can add spice and sass to any lineup, and I’m always glad to see her around.
Like Caroline, my favorite character from the 90s is one I’ve become more fond of in later incarnations. But the fact remains that Peter David’s current run on X-Factor owes a debt to Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza’s 1991 brainwave that resulted in a mulleted, be-pouched, sword-wielding figure named Shatterstar. The character has come a long way, from his initial emotionless warrior ways to his current characterization as a Jack Harkness-like omnisexual flirt, but some of his most enduring characteristics were formed in the 90s: his love for television, fighting, and competition; his powers and physique; his origin in the Mojoverse; and, perhaps most importantly, his incredibly close relationship with Julio “Rictor” Richter. Sure, the 90s also gave us Shatterstar’s nonsensical Benjamin Russell storyline and a lot of terrible art, but for sowing the seeds of what has become, retroactively, one of comics’ most long-lasting same-sex romantic entanglements (however defined), I have to give the decade a lot of credit.
Squeaking in under the wire, Jakita Wagner was introduced in Warren Ellis’s Planetary in 1999.
Jakita is a metahuman, super-strong and super-tough. On a team of information specialists, technofreaks, and century babies, Jakita is merely the daughter of her world’s Tarzan-analog.
When I returned to reading comics after a messy 90s-related separation, Warren Ellis’s comics were a large part of what pulled me back in. Jakita was and is a twist, a spin on the super-strong superhero. She’s powerful yet human, and I always appreciated that.
So what about you? Who is a favorite character created in the 1990s?