Kendra’s still here, but not in the same way
October 30, 2016
By Avi Green
Man, can I be a slowpoke when it comes to writing articles on this
site explaining why I made certain changes. It must’ve been 2 years
now, and I took all that time? Sigh. I am so foolish.
Oh well. For now, since I’ve finally written up something, let me
inform the unaware that, what was once a site about everything
related to the Hawks is now decidedly limited to just what was put
out until the turn of the century, and no longer focuses on anything
James Robinson and Geoff Johns (and to a lesser extent, David Goyer)
set up. Not even if DC finally discarded the reprehensible status
quo they were using as they produced Identity Crisis and kept in
place for at least 12 years. I’ve since recognized that Johns and
Robinson were so part and parcel in their own way – especially Johns
– that I finally decided I didn’t want to do them any favors by
enshrining their work on this site of mine alongside stuff coming
from writers far more respectable than they are.
When I first built this site in late 2004, I thought, without
sufficient consideration, that I should include profilings and other
data established by Robinson, Johns and Goyer in their JSA and
Hawkman series during the early 2000s. But after years of witnessing
the abuse Johns in particular had a hand in heaping upon the famous
creations of the DCU, I finally decided I couldn’t go along with it
any longer, and gradually began omitting material from this site
related to his particular output.
And I’m glad. As disastrous as the post-1989 alterations to the
Hawks wound up becoming, I don’t feel as bothered about putting them
here as I do the work of Johns. And that also goes for what Jimmy
Palmiotti and Justin Gray were doing on the mid-2000 series after he
left, which, as I ultimately realized, wasn’t any better. That
doesn’t mean I approve of the mess DC’s editorial mandaters from the
early 90s led to, but writers like John Ostrander are usually more
respectable than Johns happens to be.
I don’t have anything against Kendra Saunders, the third official
Hawkgirl, as a character. The problem in hindsight is that she
wasn’t really her own agency. She was a shell. A vessel which
original Hawkgirl Sheira Sanders could inhabit, after she’d been
pointlessly wiped out at the time of Zero Hour, the 90s crossover
that really brought the DCU down to new lows, along with Armageddon.
And all because Robinson and Johns supposedly wanted to do something
“different”, even as at least 2 would-be girlfriends of Carter
Hall’s wound up dead pretty soon after they were introduced. Let me
guess: they couldn’t decide if they wanted to do an uncle/niece
relationship or a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship? Or they
couldn’t decide how Sheira should be portrayed, as either an adult
woman or a late-teens girl from a different family branch? Judging
from how that series lost momentum faster after Johns left, and the
poor treatment of the Hawks since, it’s clear they didn’t know what
to do with any of the cast. After all, just prior to the Flashpoint
crossover, Hawkwoman was mysteriously devoured by some greenery in a
story involving Swamp Thing, and in the post-Flashpoint world, the
only presence she had was in the guise of a Kendra whose racial
background had been changed, in accordance with diversity-pandering,
in the Earth 2 series.
Much of this stuff is just so bad, I have no intention of giving it
a place here on this site. I’ve done thinking over the years, and I
feel I have to be a superhero fan who knows when it’s time to draw
the line. I decided I didn’t want to be part of a crowd that doesn’t
know when the time comes to quit and let DC and Marvel’s overlords
know that we’re not going to take this anymore.
I think what’s irritating about the work by Johns and Robinson is
that, rather than try to reverse and un-canonize bad storylines like
Zero Hour, they went right along with it by building their take on
Hawkman and Hawkgirl off what Zero Hour established, when Extant
wiped out a few of the Justice Society members. The whole story was
so bad – including the Hal Jordan-as-Parallax fiasco – that
validating it as canon only serves to send the editors a message
that their work was brilliant when it wasn’t.
And that’s why I’m not going to be devoting this site to the
Robinson/Goyer/Johns material any longer, let alone the Justin
Gray/Jimmy Palmiotti stuff, if that matters. (Indeed, some of their
own “contributions” were quite embarrassing too.) Thus, I removed as
much as I could from the site, and what remains is minimal, such as
a Kendra picture I’ve put here. From this point onwards, it’ll be
for stuff coming before that only. And even then, the post-1989
material by writers like John Ostrander is something I have to
consider, even if it’s not as pretentious as what Johns was
concocting. After all, the history mess largely began with Hawkworld
and that’s something I’ll certainly have to address in time.
The terrible direction set up by Identity Crisis may have been
discontinued. But that does not mean we can just overlook what Johns
did beforehand, and we shouldn’t follow the press’s example of
trying to absolve him of blame, when he was more or less as guilty
of the direction as anybody else involved in the publication of that
sick miniseries in 2004.
Copyright 2016 Avi Green. All rights reserved.