blasts from the pasts

2

I love that Breath of the Wild adds in details like this that make this version of Hyrule really feel alive. Do we need to know who Link hung out with 100 years ago? No, but it gives Link ties to the world from before he was asleep that extend beyond Princess Zelda and the quest to end Ganon. He has a history. He has friends and people who miss him.

You know what I find really cool about Static Shock in Re-watch?

It’s the fact that he’s such a fanboy for Black heroes.

I remember the episode where he meets Anansi, and he blatantly states that it was nice to see a hero who looked like him doing good. Because there wasn’t a lot of them where he came from. 

Here’s the dialog:

Static to Anansi in “Static In Africa”

Virgil: I never knew how important it was to meet a role model like you.”

Anansi: “Role Model?”

Virgil: “Yeah, a Black superhero. I dunno, it validates me somehow.”

Anansi: “Heroes come in every color my friend.”

Virgil: “I know, it’s just sometimes I wish there was a Black superhero back home for folks to look up to.”

Anansi: “Oh but there is, and he is my hero too.”

Notice how Virgil said “Validates” 

I remember the episode where Static not only admitted to being a Green Lantern fan (which was Fallen Hero) but he also admitted that sometimes he pretends to be Green Lantern when no one was around (and this episode was called “Jump”)

And then there was “Blast From the Past” where he met Soul Power and gained a huge respect for a Black hero (and his sidekick) who came before him. 


I know we all say “Representation Matters” but Static Shock actually showed why it matters, and showed it through the eyes of a superhero less.

And Dwayne McDuffie didn’t bother to mince words, or downplay Virgil’s blackness, or his need for validation through positive representation, for the sake of “colorblindess.” And it’s so nice to see that, especially now when we we’re older and more consciously aware of racial issues. 

Blast from the Past: Cassandra Cain

Batgirl (2000) starring Cassandra Cain was the first run I became invested in when I started reading comics a few months ago. Having just finished Issue #36, I just need to gush about my favorite girl.

In #36, Batgirl is tracking down this guy known as Alpha, who has planted a nuclear bomb somewhere in Gotham that’s going to go off really soon. Fortunately, Cass finds him fast enough. Unfortunately, Alpha’s suffering from amnesia and doesn’t even remember that he’s an assassin.

Thinking he’s a secret agent on the side of Good, Alpha helps Batgirl as best he can to the location of the bomb. As they get closer, Alpha remembers a bit more…

And Cass tries to keep him away from the bomb.

She doesn’t want him to remember that he’s an assassin - at least, not immediately. Maybe if he spends enough time being good, he’ll choose to stay good after his memory returns.

Of course, she still needs his help with disarming the bomb, so he doesn’t get anymore time. They reach the bomb, Alpha remembers everything, and he pulls a gun on Batgirl. 

She still tries to get through to him.

She’s so dedicated to helping this one man help himself, she takes off her mask. Because if she - daughter of David Cain, trained weapon - can change, so can Alpha.

Look at that guy’s face.

Fortunately for everyone (including Gotham, because you know, this story features nuclear bomb), Alpha has a true change of heart and remote disarms the bomb as he makes his escape.

And when asked about Alpha…

Cassandra lies. To Batman’s face. Let’s be real, he knows she’s lying, she knows he knows she’s lying, but she still lies.

Cassandra believes whole-heartedly that people can change, that people can be better given the opportunity. Given evidence that a villain might reform, she’ll put her money where her mouth is, risking both her civilian ID and her mentor’s ire. She won’t risk other people’s lives (eg she brought him to the bomb knowing it would trigger his memory because nuclear bomb about to go off), but she’ll shoulder personal consequences for a stranger.

Cassandra is just…such a good person. She won’t hesitate to kick ass when necessary, but she still sees people in the villains she fights. It’s a hard worldview to hold onto as a Gotham vigilante, but damn if Cassandra isn’t holding on.

Also, in the issue before this, we get:

Cassandra Cain, Ace Detective

God, I love this girl.