DC Comics loves a good legacy hero. What better way to explain how the same superhero name has been used by different people? Names are passed along like Grandma’s most worthless paperweight that no one really wants and no one is willing to throw away either. And while some hero names are famous for this, with many Flashes and Green Lanterns, even obscure heroes are sometimes legacy heroes.
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”.
This ongoing series of mine has focused largely on forgotten or little-used heroes. Today’s entry is nothing like that, since the Spectre has been a DC staple since his creation in 1940.
He’s just been a markedly different sort of character any time he appears anywhere. At least with someone like Superman, you know what the guy is and where he stands. With the Spectre, he’s more or less what the story needs. He really is a deus ex machina, sometimes rather literally.
Last week the guys made fun of me for saying that Madame Xanadu was an iconic character – and to that I say phooey! But then I ran across a Madame Xanadu cosplay, and now I’ve run across a Zatanna Zatara version! The geek-gods are with me….at least in cosplay, because these characters are being done so well. Check out what Feisty Cuffs has done with her version of Zatanna. More pics after the break.