Friday, November 23, 2007

Win some, lose some

Remember Public Enemies #1, 2, and 3? Grant Morrison does, and as part of his ongoing plan to reintroduce the entire silver age back into continuity, Batman #670 polishes up Silken Spider, Tiger Moth, and Dragonfly for a new age, in an issue that also featured our old friend I Ching. Back in Batman #181 they were rivals, and if they had any super abilities, we were never shown.

I like them as a team, and now they have powers. Sort of.

On the minus side, the former most wanted are here merely served up as an entrée for Batman. They go down so easy that you can practically see Bats yawning. And they aren't all that impressive anyway.

Dragonfly has the ability to summon some white misty stuff from her arm. What this does, we never find out because Bats takes her out in two panels. And it's only that long because he pauses to give them a quick "sux 2 B U" speech.

Tiger Moth appears to have the power to shoot people.

With a gun.

This leaves only Silken Spider, who gets a nice visual, but then it turns out all she can do is some variation on the pheromone shtick that Poison Ivy worked to death years ago.

I'm left wondering quite what the point was. Why dust off an obscure concept from 1966 and give it a makeover, only to throw it away in seven pages?

Will we see them again? And if we do, will they ever be anything more than cannon fodder?

Update: Yes. We see them again in Nightwing #138. They are once again defeated as soon as they appear. Congratulations, girls. You've become a running gag.

The odd thing here is that they are referred to as has-beens, even though they've never been seen before in current continuity. This suggests that they were at least competent once. Shame we don't get to see any hint of that.


David Wynne said...

Will we see them again? And if we do, will they ever be anything more than cannon fodder?

And will they be wearing actual clothes? Or will they be turning up in their underwear again?

What is it with superheroines/villains always forgetting to get all the way dressed before they leave the house?

Anonymous said...

See, I looked at them and became nostalgic for The Ravens and The Body Doubles...

Marionette said...

I don't know The Ravens, but the Body Doubles always struck me as one more americanized riff on The Dirty Pair.

But then I first encountered them in Harley Quinn #3, where they are even wearing the battle bikinis from Adam Warren's interpretation of the Lovely Angels. I prefer the originals.

notintheface said...

I thought they were some kind of homage to Jim Balent's TAROT.

Marionette said...

Are you thinking maybe of the Three Little Kittens, who had their own miniseries, but guest starred in Tarot? Because otherwise I'm not seeing a connection beyond a dress sense shared by half the females in superheroland.

And as you can see from the previous article I did about them, these girls predate Tarot by several decades.

notintheface said...

My only real exposure to Tarot is through the occasional Chris Sims Invincible Super Blog review. (It's a great site). He reads Tarot so I don't have to. I was just making a general comment.

lostinube said...

And now in Detective #838 we find out that Nightwing saved their lives but they'll probably never be "competent" again.