Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Ice Fan Cometh

So, ice goddess born of a magical race of beings in the mountains or daughter of the only noble man in a clan of thieving gypsies.

Which origin do you prefer? * Edit * What the heck - let's have a poll to decide! Check the poll at the top and vote!

All this discussion of Ice's new origin (as shown in Justice League: Generation Lost #12 and blogged about by me here and here) has generated that rarest of things, some comments from readers of this lowly comics blog. Much appreciated, folks!

There are two main reasons I dislike the new origin and the first is, quite simply, because editor Brian Cunningham lied to us. As I keep banging on about, the original DC Source blog article contained the line
"With Gen Lost #12, writer Judd Winick provides Ice with a credible and tragic origin that does not negate what we already know."
As I mentioned in a previous post, that's complete B.S. The new origin completely negates what we know! As I showed, a big chunk of Justice League history simply could not have happened - it's been negated!

One of the anonymous commenters said:
"In all due respect, as you detailed what stories get screwed up in this retcon, I'm struck by what a LOUSY story it is. It’s horribly dated, and thin."
and I have to agree, the tale by Dan Vado wasn't brilliant but that doesn't detract from this new origin negating the original.

Had Brian Cunningham announced that "With Gen Lost #12, writer Judd Winick reveals Ice's new origin for the first time since the reality altering events of Infinite Crisis!" there would have been a few grumbles but, for me at least, it would have been better than the B.S. we were served with.

The second reason I'm unhappy with the origin is, admittedly, still open with regards to the final result. Sure, the handling of the origin's reveal was awful, but - and I'm cutting Winick a lot of slack here - it may well serve some purpose. The same anonymous commenter writes:
"I think [the origin] allows the story of Ice some place better to go, to grow, and become more popular."
and I kinda hope that's what's going to happen, but I'd be really surprised if it does, mainly based on what I mentioned in one of the previous posts: Winick did the same thing to Green Lantern John Stewart.

Stewart was in a wheelchair at the time and while his physical injuries were healed by Kyle Rayner (who had the godlike powers of Ion then) he still couldn't walk. One session of therapy later and Stewart reveals memories of joyriding as a young kid and getting into a car crash. He claims to have had a puppy on the back seat of the car which turns out to be a safety net his mind created: it was actually his sister on the back seat and who died in the crash. Cue the revelation of a repressed memory and large amounts of guilt and once he's accepted that, he's not only walking but a Green Lantern once more.

After that, the repressed memory of his sister was never mentioned again.

Compare that with the guilt he felt over the destruction of Xanshi and how he's dealt with that for years and become stronger for facing up to it and the repressed memory storyline pales into insignificance.

It's too early to say how this new power/memory thing will work out for Ice, but I have a feeling - based on Stewart's experiences - that it'll get brushed under the carpet and forgotten about very quickly. If that happens, it makes the origin ret-con pointless but, again cutting Winick some slack, it's too early to tell yet.

However, I can't help but wonder why this change has happened - who gains what from it?

Ice now has a whole load of guilt to work through, she's no longer the innocent character she once was, but she has increased levels of power. Is that really all that's changed, that she's more powerful? If so, it makes the new origin even more redundant.

Straight after the adventure in the ice kingdom where she defeats her brother, she and Fire head back to the Justice League headquarters where Ice reveals something to her friend:

Yep, new powers - increased strength, flight and ice generation.

So if (and that is still a big if) all Winick wanted was to do was up her powers, why not simply make a passing reference to this and hey presto, every one wins!

With another issue of Justice League: Generation Lost out this week, I'm sure I'll be revisiting this again!

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