Posts Tagged ‘Speedy’


Okay so it finally happened. Pardon me while I fan-boy more than a little. Growing up one of my fav titles was Justice League International (then Justice League America and Justice League Europe); aside from G’nort, the cat, General Glory, Martian Manhunter and his Oreos to name but a few. What was remembered most fondly, and hardest to capture since was the camaraderie and fun of Blue & Gold (Blue Beetle & Booster Gold).

Then we enter into the fourth crisis issue, where friendship emerges, and Ted Kord is back in the blue (and alive). As we continue to go deep into who is the murderer?

Who has succumbed to the darkness?

What is happening with the coping of PTSD like symptoms, and with the Puddler source, what will the world think of their heroes humanized? Will mental health stigma still reign?

And Harley Quinn gets a partner in truth discovery, from an unlikely source in the damaged by Joker department.

TImage result for heroes in crisis #4o the hardest hits being what happens when a young hero who has grown older discovers that he has lost his friends. One that he just recently discovered he had regained- Garth (Tempest, Aqualad) does what many will do with pain instead of seeking aid. Crawl into a mind altering substance, for this swimmer the choice was into a bottle.

And Donna Troy (Wonder Girl) playing designated carry home.

But the most gut wrenching scene being Green Arrow and Black Canary in a very Ollie and Dinah scene honouring the life of Roy.

The human touches. Asking the deeper questions… what happens when the only way that a hero can find help is taken from them? What will happen with the fall of Sanctuary and the revelation that it was not anonymous– what effect will this have on the health of the holistic health of the heroes, the Trinity and the Justice League.

As Blue Beetle would say, for him it was having the one person you knew you could call and they would answer. Do you have that one person?

Who is your person?

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The CW tends to start super hero shows out well, the new Black Lightning series is no different. Two episodes in and Jefferson Pierce’s life is being laid out. The lead is much older than most, if not all, of the CW heroes brought to the small screen. In comics, he first launched as a black-ploitation hero; then was a member of Batman’s team the Outsiders; onto the Justice League (before that, many forget the President Lex Luthor time when he was in Luthor’s cabinet as Secretary of Education). Milestone Comics Static (Shock) was a very visible nod to the hero as it was a teenager taking up the power.

Jefferson Pierce is a principal (in original comics a teacher) using the investment in education to hopefully lay new paths away from the 100-gang life for his community. Within Pierce’s body courses the power of the lightning, but he has chosen a path to make a difference when offered a choice by his wife Lyn. A choice he has stayed the path on while the darkness overtakes his city without his alter-ego out being the light. Hoping to save his marriage—yet still separated. Not re-dawning the costume until his daughters are taken into sex trafficking to rescue them—at Lyn’s insistence.

Which brings us to the question of addiction Lyn raises in Season One, Episode 2: Lwanda: Book of Hope. She states that he can’t go back for he was addicted to the power. Even with his community calling upon him out of the shadows as a rallying cry to freedom.

The statement on addiction made me think of 3 other stories that dealt with addiction in superheroes:

  • Roy Harper (Speedy, the Green Arrow’s Sidekick) during the awesome ripped from the headlines style run of Green Lantern-Green Arrow it is a 2-parter that reveals Roy’s heroin addiction. It delves into the orphan now abandoned by his adoptive father. The story was prophetic for its time in that it spoke to the lack of belonging that fed into addiction. The lack of belonging, and feeling no control leading to the one thing that can be controlled. It is through belonging he finds a path out of the darkness. A risk taken.
  • Hourman (Rex Tyler). This may be a long shot for anyone to remember, but Hourman was a golden age super hero, Member of the Justice Society, All-Star Squadron. His son took up the mantle later on. Why Hourman? Simple, he took a pill that for one hour gave him super powers. Miraclo. This was the story of a heroic man, who succumbed to the habit of popping the pill to transform his life from what he saw as the mundane to the heroic. The adrenaline rush not only of doing good, but literally of the magic pill serum coursing through his body. Never believing he could be a hero without the drug, never believing his life had meaning without. Pushing away his life for everything but Miraclo and the adventures that came.
  • The final one, is from Captain America in the early 1990’s I remember buying them from our local Ma’s & Pa’s convenience store every two weeks when each part of the 6 parter came out “Streets of Poison”. It is the basic war on drugs story from the streets. Yet Cap (Steve Rogers) shows great insight that his powers are a result of drugs. Cap had the super soldier serum drained from him, and continued being a hero. He may not have been as “super” as before, but he was still a well trained, hero hearted person driven to make a difference. Shining through that heroes will even strive to be heroes with or without the power source.

Which brings us back to the episode of Black Lightning and Lyn’s assertion the Pierce has an addiction to the life. Yes there is an adrenaline rush when it comes to combat, same as what comes with doing good works. Yet if it was the addiction he would not have been able to walk away so easily, and stay away from it. Perhaps as my wife pointed out in talking about it, this is a case of projection in that Lyn was addicted to being the girlfriend/wife of the super hero but disenfranchised by not being able to scream it from the rooftops, so she finds a new addiction—the ability to control someone.

The story could take other twists, that is the fun of the many forms the heroic meta-narratives can take. It is also part of the fun to watch these shows with friends and discuss what ifs, what you think, what may be a deeper underlying message.

For me, up to the end of episode 2 the Black Lightning is showing that heroes are those that struggle to be the light in the darkness. Heroes are those that work to change the tide. Will Pierce and Lyn’s debate on addiction fit one of the 3 noted above or something else entirely.

Is it an addiction? Or is it being a good citizen?