Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Spectre is a jackass.

I know that yesterday I heaped a bit of praise on Infinite Crisis #6 but there is one big sticking point for me. I did like the comic and I know I can’t like everything produced but this moment stuck with me even though I forgot to write about it yesterday.

When the magic denizens of the DCU all have a love in at Stonehenge, or a séance, I tend to get them mixed up, and call the new Spectre he kills that Green Lantern baddie. What’s her name? Pink Lantern or something? Just kidding, I know she’s called Lavender Menace.

Anyway, after the very cool appearance of Swamp Thing’s hand and when I’m left wondering how Klarion and Zatanna can be in one location when they are never meant to meet, the Spectre appears and two things happen that sort of bother me. Again, the race of a character is hidden and then he kills Star Sapphire because she terrorized and killed men across the universe. Okay, the race card is taken up again a bit later on the Omac thing and dealt with in a better way, but give me a freaking break here. If this is the m.o. of the new Spectre he’s going to have to kill like 50% of the male population of Earth.

I guess this new Spectre is like the religious right aspect of “justice.” It’s not so much about righting wrongs but keeping women and minorities in their place. What about all the “alternative” lifestyle people floating about the DCU – Creeper is more or less fighting crime in drag and Blue Devil is my favourite gay queen character so I fear for their safety. I’m sure someone with access to back issues will be able to come up with better examples.

Still, this scene really bothered me. Of all the people he exacts vengeance on, it’s a powerful woman (or is she a female alien?). What next, is the Spectre off to Africa to exact his revenge on the one black guy who killed a rich white farmer whose family brutally repressed the area for generations? Or maybe he’ll destroy the battered wife who kills her husband that was holding a knife to her kid’s throat after beating her to within an inch of her life? Maybe he’ll go after the women who were raped because they “dressed promiscuously” then had the gall to fight back against their attackers?

Yes, I get that she was a villain, but come on? If this dude is meant to be such a vengeful spirit of justice why are there any villains left in the DCU at all?

All I can think is that this is a black guy, who only becomes powerful when he becomes a white guy (not that far fetched really) however his white-guyness is internal. He's what I've heard to be a "coconut." Brown on the outside, white on the inside. He's not really trying to get to the root of problems but dealing with the consequences of a broken system. If only he was a self-hating Jew the circle would be complete.

The Spectre is a jackass. I won’t buy his comics.


The Fortress Keeper said...

Lavendar Menace, heh.

While I didn't mind seeing a less than cooperative Spectre emerge from the seance, I scratched my head as well over his reasons for microwaving Star Sapphire. (Paving the way for Carol Ferris' villainous return???)

By that rationale, he might also off the Golden Age Wonder Woman if he had a chance...

joncormier said...

Hmm, good point, but it still seems dubious to me... I am suspicious.

Ragnell said...

I'm also figuring the offing of Star Sapphire (and she's a human woman who's mind is controlled by a female alien, I believe) was for plot purposes, but y'know, Johns could have taken out a few of the male mystics too. Because she can't have been the only bad guy at the gathering.

And, good point on the Spectre turning from a black man to a white man when he manifests power. Majorly bad symbolism there and I think it could have been avoided by redesigning the Spectre to reflect his new host. Go from a ghost-white guy to how a black man looks when pale.

You know, like how they redesigned him when the ex-Green Lantern was hosting?

SpiritGlyph said...

Have the Spectre look like Yellowman? That would be AWESOME.

The big thing I wondered about Star Sapphire being there was more a matter of categorization. Star Sapphire is science-based. What was she going to do in a séance other than make unhelpful villainess-type remarks? I can only assume Johns killed her to set up future GL stories.

joncormier said...

Yeah you're probably all right on this and I should probably read more GL stories because of this right?