Monday, August 9, 2021

Bullet Review: The Other History Of The DC Universe #5

 The Other Side of the DC Universe #5 came out last week focusing on Thunder. It was an interesting capstone on the series since we started with a look at Black Lightning and his dealings regarding race. Now we see the look from his daughter who is dealing not only with race issue but sexuality as well. Kudos to writer John Ridley and artist Giuseppe Camuncoli for putting this issue and this series together.

As a big fan of DC history, I have found this to be an excellent series overall looking at the history of this comic universe from a different perspective. Hey, I am still learning. And as steeped in DC lore as this was, I could appreciate the story angles as it pertained to the cultural issues.

I don't know if I like hearing Black Lightning is a homophobe. That seemed a bit out of left field. But I did like seeing him as an overprotective dad. That I empathized with 100%.

I will freely admit that the Outsiders is a sort of blind spot for me. So I don't know if I knew any of the story references in here. I do wonder what people who read all these stories thought of this.

But I come here today to wonder once again if John Ridley is a Supergirl fan. She had already been mentioned pretty significantly in both Other History #1 and Other History #2. And here in this issue, she is name-dropped.

And as this is a story from the 90s, we are probably talking Matrix here.

It is just a name drop.

But here when Thunder first manifests her powers, she tells the shop owner she has saved to tell the cops Supergirl was there.

I like that the first female super-hero Thunder thought of was Supergirl. Not Batgirl. Not Wonder Woman. Not Starfire or Wonder Girl. 

Supergirl. The first hero that came to her head.

But it does bring up the point that there weren't many (if any) female heroes of color for Thunder to have thought of.

Maybe this need to represent was one of the drivers to her being a hero, other than the need to do good.

I know, Supergirl is named twice in this issue. But it is a reminder that to Thunder, Supergirl was a role model and a hero.

I'll keep asking out there if Ridley is a Supergirl fan. I'd seriously like to know.

And people should get and read this book. The Black Lightning and Bumblebee ones in particular are excellent.


A. Sherman Barros said...

Hi there.

I must confess I still get puzzled by all this "I couldn't think of a female hero of color I could identify with" stuff. Do black people must identify solely with black heroes? Is there anything wrong in identifying with someone from another race?

Being a white male, it would never, ever, cross my mind that I couldn't identify with Jesse Owens in 1936, or with Bruce Lee in the 70s, Jackie Chan in the 80s, and Samuel L. Jackson's mean mutherfucker from PULP FICTION in the 1990s.

I get your point that maybe *that* was a driving point for her to focus on when becoming Thunder, her being of color and, maybe, indoctrinated in hot-hair critical race theory. But I do feel I have less and less patience for the sanctimonious way these matters are treated in these recent woke-comic books.

Anyway, just venting off a little bit. I am also a huge fan of Supergirl, so keep up with the great work.



Martin Gray said...

This was my least favourite issue, I feel that by now Ridley has made his point and Alyssa just doesn’t have enough history to play with in an interesting way - has she actually appeared anywhere outside of the Outsiders series? I read a lot of those and having them recapped in great detail, but with added moaning, was pretty tiresome.

Overall, good series. Minus a million points for random, out-of-nowhere imposition of homophobia on Jeff he’s appeared a hell of a lot more than Alyssa, and I can’t remember a single hint of such intolerance.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful world it would be if Supergirl's editors and creatives loved her half so much as her entirely fictional counterparts...



William Ashley Vaughan said...

I didn't care for the characterization of Black Lightning as homophobic either. His creator, Tony Isabella, has said that he is nothing of the kind in his review of one of the Metzer Justice League issues.

Anj said...

I was wondering about Jefferson's homophobia which did seem out of left field. As I said, I know very little of that era and wondered how much of that was even implied in Thunder's story.

What I did like about it was that it showed how someone marginalized (like Jefferson in issue 1) can also marginalize others (here his own daughter no less) showing just how complicated these issues are.

Still thanks for pointing out how out of character it was. Good for me to have that lens.