Politically Incorrect Theater – Part 10

Oh, Dick Grayson, would your fangirls still swoon over you if they knew what a condescending, sexist douchebag you used to be as a teenager…?

Yeesh, I wonder how he treated Wonder Girl back then...

Yeesh, I wonder how he treated Wonder Girl back then…

This flippy female moment has been brought to you by The Brave and the Bold #100 (February-March 1972) by Bob Haney, Jack Miller, Neal Adams, and Jim Aparo.

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5 Responses to “Politically Incorrect Theater – Part 10”

  1. awritershailmarypass Says:

    Well, if Black Canary’s acting like that, I can hardly blame Robin for being ticked at her. Has she been mind-controlled or brain-washed or something? Or is 1972 before she becomes a badass?

  2. Lunar Archivist Says:

    I’m mostly poking fun at how awful Bob Haney’s teen slang is than making a serious jab at Robin’s contempt for the opposite sex. Of course, the fact that Black Canary’s target in this story was a popular feminist author acting as a drug mule combined with Robin’s dialogue makes the author’s take on women appear rather cringeworthy, even if that wasn’t his intent. The late 1960s and early 1970s were a weird time at DC Comics, when authors started pushing the envelope by incorporating social commentaries about then hot button issues such as racism, sexism, and drug use into their stories, often with varying degrees of success.

    As for Black Canary being a badass, I think it mostly depended on who was writing her at the time. Haney is rather notorious among old school DC fans for writing individuals completely out of character on a whim whenever it suited his purpose, so there’s that to consider.

    That being said, your theory about mind control and brainwashing isn’t too far off. At this point in time in pre-Crisis continuity, Black Canary is unaware of the fact that she’s actually her own daughter. Or, more correctly said, that she’s actually the aged-in-magical-stasis-to-adulthood daughter of the original Black Canary whose memories have been mystically transferred to her and who thus thinks she’s her own mother. That kind of Freudian stuff must wreak havoc on your subconscious. o_O

  3. awritershailmarypass Says:

    Ah, I see. Well, everyone knows middle-aged writers are totes hip to all the latest teen-aged lingo, yo…

    I read your explanation of Black Canary, and I thought at first, “That was really weird.” Then I remembered how weird Marvel can be, and I thought, “Well, maybe that’s not so weird, relatively speaking.” So I conclude, “comics are weird” 🙂

  4. Lunar Archivist Says:

    While what I said was 100% true, I purposely made it sound even more ridiculous than it was. To be honest, the whole thing was actually a retcon designed to patch a hole created by DC’s floating timeline that was getting worse the more time passed.

    In a nutshell, the original Black Canary joined the Justice Society of America as a teenager in the late 1940s. When the JSA was officially reintroduced in the early 1960s, she had married in the interim, but her husband was killed shortly after their reappearance, and she immigrated from her home on Earth-Two to Earth-One, inexplicably gaining her sonic scream in the process, and soon entered into a relationship with Green Arrow, who was in his late 20s or early 30s at the time. At the time, that made mathematical sense. She would’ve been in her early 30s.

    However, by the early 1980s, the sliding timescale had caused the age gap between the two to start looking increasingly weird. Black Canary’s time with the JSA anchored her to the 1940s, but now, she would’ve been in her early 50s when she and Green Arrow hooked up. To make things worse, artists and writers apparently unfamiliar with her history had continued to draw her as a woman who looked and acted like she was in her 20s. The above retcon was concocted to explain her youthful appearance, why she had moved on with Green Arrow so quickly after her husband’s death, and where her powers suddenly came from: as a baby, one of Black Canary’s enemies had cast a magic spell on her baby daughter that gave her a sonic scream. Since it couldn’t be cured, Johnny Thunder and his Thunderbolt had helped put the child in magical stasis in an alternate dimension for decades.

    When Black Canary suddenly found herself dying during her immigration to Earth-One, they had made a quick detour to grant her dying wish to see her daughter and the mother-daughter mind transfer switcheroo was made in a sudden moment of inspiration, with everyone aware of the change having been sworn to secrecy.

    Yes, this was an incredibly convoluted and insane explanation, but I miss the days when DC embraced the stupidity of their fictional universe with open arms and owned it rather than use a timeline-altering Crisis to sweep it all under the rug.

  5. awritershailmarypass Says:

    I agree with you. Yes, comics are insane, but that’s what I like. But DC would rather reboot their universe every five years or so. Marvel’s better, but not by much.

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