If you’ve been following along on our rewatch (and really, why wouldn’t you be?) you’ve noticed that one of the things I constantly bring up is the lack of origin story appearing in Batman: The Animated Series. According to the writer’s bible for the show, this was intentional.
As some of you hopefully know, Jimmy and I conduct weekly chats to cover Batman the Animated Series, and this week we had a mild disagreement. I won’t get into the whats and whys because, well, I want you to read that column too, and since it’s coming out later this week, why should I spoil it even a little bit?
The gist of the conversation was that Jimmy and I disagreed over the quality of one episode, with me enjoying it more than Jimmy did. Jimmy’s contention was that Batman should not have had as hard a time as he did with that particular villain. I didn’t mind so much. After throwing a few punches, which is hard considering we live in different countries, we calmed down and realized that the problem isn’t so much the episode being good or bad but that, for Jimmy, there was a violation of what Batman is for this episode, and I had less of a problem with that.
But man, Geeks sure can be possessive.
Gabbing Geek Jenny has, in the past, stated her belief in Madam Xanadu as an iconic character. I tried one before to to suggest that maybe Phantom Lady had a better claim to that title under her criteria (does not have a male version, has not cameoed in a movie or TV show, has an origin story older than the mid-90s, and has been read by Jenny). Jenny said Phantom Lady’s costume sucked (which, to be fair, it does), but maybe for my weekly “This one died!” column we can try a different character with a better claim than Madam Xanadu.
Let’s talk about Elasti-Girl. And I do not mean the one in The Incredibles. Pixar actually asked DC for permission to use the name, and it was granted so long as the name was never used in the marketing. If you get that action figure from The Incredibles line, her name will be listed as “Mrs. Incredible”.
But let’s talk the original.
Gabbing Geek Jenny recently challenged the readers to come forth if they could name a female character that:
- Does not have a male version
- Has not cameoed in a movie or TV show
- Has an origin story older than the mid 90s
- And that Jenny herself has read
Her answer to this riddle, when trying to figure an iconic hero that hadn’t gotten his or her own movie yet, was Madame Xanadu. While Xanadu is a fine character, often associated with DC’s various mystical books and teams, she may not be the best character to dub as “iconic”.
See, a better answer may have been a more obscure character, Phantom Lady, also owned by DC, who actually is considered the epitome of Golden Age “good girl art”. There’s no Phantom Man to go with her, she was created in the 40s, and her only appearance on TV or in a movie was a single episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold alongside the rest of the Freedom Fighters. Of course, if Jenny had read of Phantom Lady, maybe that would have made the cut. Or perhaps not, as we shall see…
It’s President’s Day here in the United States, so for today, let’s look at one particularly odd fictional president. He was incorruptible, idealistic, and way too young to be legally elected in the real world. His name was Prez Rickard.
And yes, I am aware my math is wrong on the photo captioned above if Prez is an 18 year old president. But no one would sit for a “three more years” joke anyway.