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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Worst Retcon...EVER!

I finished reading the latest issue of Justice League: Generation Lost...and I am almost speechless with rage. Almost...but not quite. And, in keeping with my theme of highlighting the various paramour of the Green Lanterns this week, let me just point out that WINICK has just come up with the most idiotic retcon of Tora Olafsdottir's origin that could possibly have been perpetrated upon an unsuspecting and innocent audience.

ARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Verily, I am wroth.

This is Tora, aka Ice.

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Isn't she pretty?

She also happens to be the girlfriend of my very favorite Green Lantern.

Guy and Ice

Tora has always, ALWAYS been depicted as the very epitome of sugar and spice and everything nice.

Guy and ice

Which wasn't to say that she didn't have an inner core of iron when it happened to be needed. It's just that she didn't run around being stereotypically "strong" most of the time. She was shy, sweet, humble and adorable.

That is, until Winick got a hold of her.

There was a bit of a ripple in the comics world in the past couple of weeks, when it was leaked that Winick had come up with a bright shiny new origin for her. People were a bit perplexed because she already HAD a perfectly good origin. Tora is the daugher of King Olaf, who rules a secret Ice Kingdom somewhere in the frozen north of Scandanavia. She inherited her ice powers, and could even claim to having been worshipped as an Ice Goddess. She joined the Global Guardians at a very young age, supplanting the original Ice Maiden, and hooked up with Beatriz Da Costa, and when they joined the old JLI, they became Fire and Ice.

She is not a Gypsy. She doesn't belong to an evil clan of Scandanavian Roma, who run around stealing things. This IS incidentally a stunningly insulting portrayal of the Roma. Dick Grayson would be horrified. Hell, even Kari Limbo would be horrified.

This is what Winick has come up with for Tora's NEW origin.

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I guess this guy is supposed to be her real father. Yeah...right. And our sweet little Tora has these enormous untapped powers, that she must learn to control, and must always therefore...stay calm.

But wait, there's more!

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Gypsy Tora's evil Grandfather wants to USE her ice powers in order to...RULE THE WORLD!! Bwhahahahaha! Cuz he's evil. So she has to use her powers, and inadvertently kills her own father! With her powers! So she apparently MADE UP THE WHOLE STORY about the Ice Kingdom!

I...I am simply aghast.

Never mind, that we have all SEEN her father, King Olaf, not to mention her mother, and her brother. Never mind, that the Ice Kingdom was an entire story arc of the Justice League, and that the entire Justice League traveled to the Ice Kingdom to help Ice defeat her brother, and avenge her father. Never mind, that she taught Guy how to speak her ancient Ice Kingdom language, and that he was able to go to this Ice Kingdom that was an apparent figment of her imagination and talk to her imaginary mother. Or that she was shown visiting her imaginary Ice Kingdom over in Booster Gold only a few months ago.

What enrages me the most, I suppose, is that Winick seems to have nothing but utter contempt for me as a fan and a reader, to think that I would swallow this load of crap. It flies in the face of EVERY FACT that we have been presented with, over Tora's history. She's not a new character, she's been around for a while...long enough, certainly to have a rich and sensible background. Well, sensible for comics, anyway.

The only redeeming feature to this steaming pile of shit, is that when we get a GOOD writer, he or she can retcon this retcon, and point out that it was all Max Lord's doing,and he's just messing with Tora's head for the hell of it.

This...is not Tora.

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THIS is Tora.

Fire and Ice

I need to go and start drinking. Heavily.

28 Comments:

At 12:31 PM, Blogger MetFanMac said...

A few years ago, I would have been steamed. Now? I just sit back and wait for the inevitable re-retcon.

 
At 1:16 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

I suppose. I can't help but wonder WHY Winick thought that there should be a retcon at ALL however. There was absolutely nothing wrong with her REAL story, and it certainly adds nothing to the current storyline.

 
At 1:34 PM, Blogger CalvinPitt said...

That is a pretty lousy new origin. I suppose Winick feels a person can't be quiet and friendly unless they are seriously repressing themselves because their powers are so dangerous.

 
At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Duncan MacDonald said...

I couldn't agree more. I am outraged. I wonder if we can start a postcard or Facebook campaign? Send Xmas icicles to the DC office? Something.

 
At 3:21 PM, Blogger notintheface said...

Oh, great. As if Winick wasn't bad enough before, now he's aspiring to be the new Chuck Austen. Oh, joy.

Looks like I dropped the book just in time.

 
At 3:29 PM, Blogger notintheface said...

Chris Sims coined an expression to explain awesomely crazy plot elements in Bob Haney or Bob Kanigher stories: "Because Bob (Haney/Kanigher), THAT'S why!"

There should be a similar expression regarding characterizations by Winick that make us want to slam our heads against the nearest desk:

Q. Why did he feel the need for the awful retcon?

A. Because Judd Winick, THAT'S why.

 
At 4:33 PM, Blogger Erin S. said...

I felt just like MetfanMac when I read it. I mean at this point it's so easy to retcon. Really I think it has to do with me expecting worse from writers in recent years, like the Sue/Dr.Light crap. I would like to see it retconned without Max being involved, like say that Russian guy that brainwashed her and this could be a trigger he used to try to keep her under his thumb. I don't think his involvement was ever properly explained.

Winick has his fair share of stinkers but he has some good stuff too. When people complained about Black Lightening killing a man he went back to retcon his own story away so he could do the same here. Better stories can come out of this, heck Tora was created because the writers/artists didn't realize that Ice Maiden had blue skin and was already named. It's fixable.

 
At 7:01 PM, Blogger Shelly said...

Egads, that sounds awful. Maybe once Diana finds her past and becomes the true Wonder Woman again, the timeline will be righted and all the crap that's happened recently will be retconned away.

 
At 7:50 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Something else that bothers me about this ridiculous plotline.
According to Winick, Ice's gypsy father was very careful to make sure that she was kept "calm" and serene at all times, lest her awesome power overcome her! And yet...this was a woman who dated Guy Gardner! If she had to stay calm all of the time, she would have exploded into a crazy ice monster on their very first date, when he took her to the Porn Theatre!

This was NOT well thought out. It was not well-conceived. It makes no sense. There is no REASON for it to even exist.

Gah!

 
At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been LOVING Generation:Lost. Until this issue. Terrible retcon, leaves more questions than answers and had exactly ZERO REASON to happen.

 
At 4:08 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

I've been liking the book as well. Except for Winick's characterization of Ice, which has been...off from the start. But I really DO like Gavril, and the way that Booster has been portrayed, and Bea has been ok.

It's just Ice who has been awful. And now it's even worse.

 
At 4:38 PM, Anonymous AE said...

It's about getting new fans even at the expense of alienating the old.

 
At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fail to see how this will get any new fans, AE. So the idea is just to alienate the old, apparently. This has now fallen below the level of even enjoying the train wreck.

-- Jack of Spades

 
At 9:19 PM, Blogger LissBirds said...

"So she apparently MADE UP THE WHOLE STORY about the Ice Kingdom!" You're kidding, right? This is an early April Fool's post, right? Tell me this isn't true.

Oh, of course, every hero has to hold back their powers or they'll destroy the world. 'Cause, you know, all powers are a curse, not a gift, and no one can be happy about having powers, becuase they always result in tragedy like accidentally killing your father. Haven't we had enough angst yet?!

ARGH!!!

Duncan, I'm with you in that someone needs to tell Winick how the fans feel.

 
At 1:23 AM, Blogger David H. said...

Sally, this might be old news to you by now but i just found out and posted on my blog about Angela Bassett being Amanda Waller in the Green Lantern flick.i love Bassett for Waller i think there were better otpions. ever heard of Alfre Woodard? you found some great art for this posting by the way.
http://suicidesquadtaskforcex.blogspot.com/

 
At 1:38 AM, Blogger Shelly said...

David H, I can't picture either of those actresses for Waller. My choice would be CCH Pounder, currently playing Mrs. Frederic on Warehouse 13. Also good would've been Patricia Belcher who plays the recurring role of prosecutor Caroline Julian on Bones. Both are excellent actresses who physically resemble Waller.

 
At 6:53 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Oh Shelly, Caroline Julian would be PERFECT! I'm not too thrilled with the idea that they have to "pretty" Amanda Waller up. She's short, fat and magnificent just the way that she is.

Angela Bassett is a wonderful actress, but I'm not sure.

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger Saranga said...

WHAT????
You know, i'm not a huge fan of Ice, but I appreciate her. I love her Ice kingdom origin. It's a beautiful idea. it works. it's original (in the DCU). The links Guy has with ehr family are well established and benefits, Tora, Guy and Tora's family.

and they've thrown it all out? why change something that works? what's the point?

what a load of shit.

 
At 12:30 AM, Blogger libraryguy said...

In the interests of fairness, I must point out that the story isn't over yet. The driving force of Generation Lost is a man who has proven that he can mentally manipulate the entire world. Making Ice think that she has some repressed memories isn't exactly a stretch, and really, she's the perfect person to do it to. Ice is most likely to be the voice of reason on that team. If Max can make her doubt herself, he can destablize them just enough to keep them off his back while not completely undermining their efficacy. It takes a careful balancing act, but I think that Max would think he could pull it off.

 
At 8:22 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Libraryguy, I would like to think that that is the correct answer, and that Ice and the rest of them are actually being manipulated by Max Lord.

The only problem with this, is that his machinations have the end result of making her MORE powerful than she was before, which surely is counterproductive.

 
At 9:02 AM, Anonymous AE said...

Libraryguy, this is why I'm ever-so interested in Max Lord as a villain. But man-oh-man, to pull off something like what you've suggested and what we're all hoping for, we're gonna need one hell of a writer. I was reading some older Winick stories last night and, uh, I'm a little underwhelmed at this point ... but lovingly (naively, even!) hopeful...

 
At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Winick might have good story ideas but he never seems to connect them to the right characters... ever. He had some interesting ideas during his first Outsider volume but I didn't recognize any of those characters

- Seafire

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger Shelly said...

Winick might be better off if he just wrote his own characters and stopped playing with the established ones.

 
At 3:14 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

We'd ALL be better off!

 
At 10:48 PM, Blogger Garnet said...

It would be nice if all the hollering over the years about Winick's foolishness would get through to him (or to his editors) but he seems quite impervious. First of all, this seems like a rather generic X-Men origin: her powers develop when she's young and confused, and cause her naught but misery. Secondly, it abandons the secret ice kingdom even though we've barely seen any of it, and that means (pause for impact) a really imaginative writer could do all KINDS of things with it. Do the people there have magic or science of their own that can help Tora? Does she have responsibilities there that complicate her life? Will the ice kingdom try to make allies among the DC Earth's various rogue states and international players?
The kind of pathos Winick has come up with isn't just familiar, it's boring.

 
At 11:20 PM, Blogger LissBirds said...

Not only that, Garnet, but she went into a cave and asked her parents for help and they said "no." So she was pretending to go in and ask, I guess? Not only is the origin cliched, but it makes Ice a complete liar for no reason at all.

Grr. And yet I still can't avoid the "Generation Lost is GREAT" comments on my blog. *shrugs* Maybe I'd have to be younger to "get" it.

 
At 12:41 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

I don't know if it falls into the "great" category. Parts of it have been interesting, and occasionally fairly good...but still, most of my interest has just been that I love these characters, and I'll do practically anything in order to read something about them. And, to be fair, Winick has done a reasonably good job with Booster and I really do like the new Rocket Red, Gavril. But Ice has been awful, and Beetle hasn't said two words, and it REALLY needs a Green Lantern. Preferably Guy.

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger Saranga said...

liss, i don't think it's an age thing. i think it's an appreciation fo diverse characters thing.

hell, i've liked a fair bit of judd winick stuff, i'm now very dissappointed in him.

 

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