Thursday, 5 May 2011

"Part Of Some Larger Purpose"

Justice League: Generation Lost finished up last week with a relatively satisfying end, at least from the point of view of a new Justice League International book being confirmed. Sure it would have been nice to have Max Lord brought to justice but the new team's going to need a bad guy to fight and he's the perfect candidate.

But one thing's still niggling at me and long time readers will probably be able to guess what it is while they stifle a groan: Ice's ret-conned origin. In #12 of Gen Lost, Winick revealed that Ice's whole background was a lie she had created to replace the supressed memory of her accidentally killing her father which I talked about at length here. And here.

In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Winick stated:
"As much as folks think we're doing it for shock value, nothing we did in the story was for shock value. In my opinion, everything that's done builds upon other things. The Creature Commandos don't show up just because I think they're cool, they show up because they are part of some larger purpose."
See that? Everything that was done in the series was done to "builds upon other things" which of course includes Ice's ret-conned origin. This leads me to ask what was the purpose for the ret-con? What built upon it or what did it build upon?

I probably have too much time on my hands, but I'd like to try and find out.

Ice's origin was re-done in #12, the halfway point of the series, leaving another twelve issues for it to have any impact.

  • #13 - features the battle between Magog and Captain Atom; Ice doesn't appear.
  • #14 - Captain Atom in the future; Ice doesn't appear.
  • #15 - Atom returns; the Creature Commandos turn up; Ice feels sorry for lying; Fire gets shot.
  • #16 - the Commandos attack; Blue Beetle saves Fire but gets kidnapped; Ice is knocked out by Medusa.
  • #17 - Max takes over Checkmate; the JLI look for Blue Beetle; Power Girl attacks Captain Atom.
  • #18 - Power Girl attacks the JLI before being made to remember Max Lord set her up.
  • #19 - Max tortures Beetle; the JLI arrive too late; Max shoots Beetle in the head.
  • #20 - principally Max's back-story; the JLI escape with Beetle's dead body.
  • #21 - the team feel sorry for themselves; Fire and Rocket Red hook up; Ice cheers up Captain Atom; Blue Beetle comes back from the dead.
  • #22 - Batman joins the team; they find Wonder Woman; Max unleashes the OMACs to fight her.
  • #23 - the JLI fight the OMACs then OMAC Prime; Booster takes on Max.
  • #24 - the JLI fight OMAC Prime as Booster takes down Max; Beetle defeats OMAC Prime; Captain Atom forces Max to undo the global mindwipe; Max escapes; Batman tells Booster he's planning to re-start the JLI.

Wherever Ice fights throughout these issues she does so using powers that she's exhibited previously or if not (such as the flying ice platform in #24 - because, you know, ice floats in the air) they make no difference to the situation at all.

Ice's origin is redone in #12, it's mentioned again in #15 and that's it. The souped-up powers make no difference to any later battle.

Whatever "larger purpose" the ret-con was part of isn't revealed in Justice League: Generation Lost rendering it utterly worthless. Again, from the interview linked above:
"nothing we did in the story was for shock value."
I disagree, Mr Winick.

I feel I should point out that I'm not being anti-Judd Winick here, more anti-being lied to. While never a big fan of his writing, I am enjoying his work on Power Girl and with the exception of Ice's origin, I liked Justice League: Generation Lost as well.

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