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Old December 6th, 2005   istari42 is offline   #65
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Ragnell - <snip> As a character concept she doesn't have a good basis to become a strong female character. She's brought into the superhero game through inherited powers from her father, not through her own skills. She has a legacy background of a heroic, but distant father, and an insane, villainous mother.

Except for the 'insane' mother, this could apply to Rick Tyler. And it seems like most fans think he has improved as a character through the years.

I don't think it's the origin, or what had the character is dealt, it's what writers do with it.

Like I said, Jade was just fine in I.I. It's in the last decade that she's been kind of blah.
ddf
rex tyler

Well I agree that jade can be good. I have read this statement before about her not being good becuase she inherited her powers. To jump over to Marvel..what about mutants? what about the children of mutants? Would they get the same treatment. Oh there not good becuase they're the children of so and so, they didnt deserve to be heroes, nature should have selected it, or the mad scientists. That excuse for jade not being good enough becuase one of the reason is she inherited her powers needs to be thrown out.
 
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Old December 6th, 2005   Argent is offline   #66
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I'm just hoping OYL, the first time we meet Jade she isn't green and she's baked cookies. Then we would know we have the original Jade back.

The only green 100% of the time character should be Gar.
 
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Old December 6th, 2005   stumpjs is offline   #67
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I was thinkin if Jade actualy developed her plant powers she could help the teraphorming process on Thanagar. Unless Thanagars already been destroyed by the big white hole in space.
 
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Old December 7th, 2005   Ragnell is offline   #68
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Boy, I opened a can of worms here.

Before I jump back in, let me explain three things:

First, I need to complain about one recurring problem in the posts. Picking apart a single part of my argument and saying "Well, so and so isn't hurt by this." Well, yes, that character is okay, but that other character doesn't have the other marks against them.
I think in terms of the whole picture, and it takes the whole picture to make up my position. That's why I hate blaming the writer, because it's an excuse to cut out a disliked story that could add a different definition to analyzing the character. I like taking a wide range of possibilities into account (and if I'm resistant to the pre-Crisis stories, it's because I don't have access to them right now -- I'm relying on what I've picked up from talking to you guys)
So, if I point out that she has natural powers and that makes her weaker -- that's in relation to the fact that she was created with a certain set of powers, and the other characters with those powers were "Chosen" -- Hal Jordan & the Earth-1 Lanterns for honesty and courage; from what I've read of Alan's origins, he was miraculously spared in a terrible train crash, and the implication was that the lantern saved him on purpose. Sk8maven could probably clarify this for me.
(And before you protest "She was on Earth-2!" I have to argue that Hal Jordan counts here, as Earth-1 adventures were being prominently published when Infinity Inc was first conceived. The Earth-1 Green Lantern concept was there to compare with.)

I'm not arguing that Jade has a terrible character anymore, but that there is something wrong with her concept. Something in her concept that leads to a weak and unstable personality. I'm arguing that you can't blame the writer for mischaracterization, because each and every writer looked at the concept, what was done with it, and got a natural progression from that point, and not a complete misunderstanding of the character.
The problems in her concept don't make her uninteresting, or unrealistic, but does make her a potentially weak and unstable person.

The third is that I have a tendancy to think symbolically. It's the way I am, it's a level that I enjoy stories on. You can ignore any symbolic arguments you want, but writing is a creative enterprise. Themes and symbols show up whether the writer considered them or not. If you want to get really into it, most stories can be interpreted like a dream the author had, or that the reader is experiencing.

That said... One at a time. This might take a bit.
 
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Old December 7th, 2005   Ragnell is offline   #69
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Nope, it doesn't; not to me at any rate.
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I know an unfortunate number of women like this, and I'd very much enjoy knocking some sense into them some time.

But I find it a way to tie all of the characterization together, and it makes Jade surprisingly sympathetic in the cheating storyline.

For one thing, your description of her as being defined by her relationship with her brother seems a bit odd, since IIRC, she didn't know about her brother at all until their powers manifested. She also pretty much seemed to be the leader in that relationship; it'd be much more accurate, IMO, to say that Obsidian was - early on - defined by his sister.
ddf
Three ways:

1) Fan perception. Go to a message board and ask who Jade is. Odds are you will get "She's Alan Scott's daughter" and somewhere in there her mother and her brother will be mentioned. Her familial relationships define her better than anything else.

2) In-story perception. In the superhero community, other characters know her as Alan's daughter, and later on Kyle's girlfriend. A few know her as Todd's sister.

3) From what I've noticed, her main characterization is not done by her actions (like Hal), or her introspective thoughts (like Kyle) but how she relates to others. This is another way she is defined by her relationships to others.

This is not a bad way to characterize, and every character should get defined in this manner to a degree, but I think the relationship characterization is overused for Jade and what led to the natural step of thinking of her solely as "Kyle's girlfriend." How did it end up beign overused? Well, she started out in a teambook. And that's interactive characterizations all around. Worse, she started out in a teambook that was based on characters proving themselves to the older generation. That means her interaction with her father, mother and brother were vital to laying down her personality.

Remember, just because she was leading her brother doesn't mean he wasn't defining her. His presence defined her as strong, not her actual handling of the situation. It was how she handled the situation, compared to Todd.

Now, all of the Infinitors have this problem, and that might be why they keep getting dragged through the mud. It's one thing to be a teambook character, and one thing to be a hero's family member, but to be a teambook character from a team made entirely of hero's family members. Ick.

This problem is compounded with Jade, though, because this is where the problem ties into her mother being unstable.

As her mother was unstable and absent, her prominent relationships were with her father, her brother, and whoever she was dating at the time. She became a female character defined by how she related to men. What allowed this? Her very concept -- she was created a daughter and sister of heroes, and a daughter of a villainess.

What about her adoptive mother? Again, she chose to pursue her biological family over her adoptive family. She joined her biological mother's world. She has to deal with the consequences of having an insane mother.

Not to mention the fact that insanity can be genetic. I'm actually surprised the writers went with Todd as opposed to Jenny inheriting madness.

I find it odd that Superman can have a positive role-model in his adopted dad, Pa Kent, and yet Jade's adoptive mother can't be considered the same for her. Maybe its just me, but it seems like you're applying one standard to Superman and one to Jade?
ddf
Now, I'm not. Look more closely at Superman.

Sure, at first it does seem like Superman did the same thing as Jade did, and left the world of his adoptive parents for the world of his biological parents, but in reality he did the exact opposite. He embraced his adoptive parent's culture, as evidenced by his attempts to live a normal human life as opposed to living out his existence in the Fortress of Solitude, which mainly contains Kryptonian memorabilia. He lives his life actively trying to protect Earth, as opposed to making much of any effort to piece together his Kryptonian heritage. Some portrayals of the character have him actively reject Jor-El's culture by refusing to recreate Krypton on Earth.

Superman may be by genetics a Kryptonian, but his lifestyle is a human lifestyle, down to his joining the superhero-culture, which enables him to support Truth, Justice and the American Way (as opposed to Science, Isolationism, and the Kryptonian Way) while still keeping a normal human life for himself.

When Superman found another biological relative (Supergirl), what did he do?
He tried to humanize her. He gave her Earth-style clothing, he taught her English. He did everything he could to prepare her to live on Earth. He had taken Matrix-Supergirl to live with the Kents. Does anyone here seriously think that if Wonder Woman hadn't stepped in, Supergirl wouldn't have ended up being Linda Kent, just as Superman's clone is now Connor Kent?
He accepted her into his heart very easily, but did he pump her for culture or language or any info on Krypton? Not on-panel. Would he have rejected her if she had been from a version of Krypton (Byrne's Krypton) that didn't mesh with his middle-American values?

What did Jade do when she found her first biological relative (Todd)?
Joined a superhero team to earn the respect and love of their biological father.

With Superman: Ma & Pa Kent = Earth Culture, Jor-El & Lara = Kryptonian Culture.
Superman rejected his biological parents in favor of his adoptive family.

Jade's is a different metaphor, because both sets of parents are from the same planet and country.
With Jade: Haydens = Normal Life, Scott/Canton = Superhero Lifestyle.
Jade rejected her adoptive family in favor of her biological family.



Further, somehow because Jade's biological parents are Hero and Villain they are more important to her development as a character than the people who raised her - despite the fact that she didn't meet her heroic father until she was an adult (ditto her mom, IIRC)!

It seems like you've built up an artificial dichotomy to me.
ddf

The adoptive parents may have shaped her personality, but she put on the suit and chose to enter the world of her biological parents. She made them more important.
She rejected a normal life in favor of being a hero like her father. If the adoptive parents had truly seemed mroe admirable than Alan Scott, she would have leaned towards their footsteps. She could become normal skintone, rememebr, and just because she had super-powers does not automatically mean she has to pursue a superhero lifestyle.

Since she put so much on her biological father and brother, the flip side comes in. She will be effected just as much, if not more, by her biological mother, whether she likes it or not. That became the stronger influence the moment she chose her biological father as the stronger influence. And, because her mother is evil while her father is good, she has to reject one or the other. She rejects the mother. She has to, by the character concept.

It's Nature vs. Nuture, but not as a universal application. Jade chose Nature, as much as Superman chose Nuture.
 
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Old December 7th, 2005   Ragnell is offline   #70
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Not too bad, Ragnell, except for one thing: she never agreed to marry Kyle. He offered her a Green Lantern ring with strings attached - as an engagement ring. (Talk about manipulative!) Jennie declined the gambit, and accepted the ring but NOT his proposal. (The whole "gaybashing of Terry" storyline happened immediately afterward and distracted the readers.)
ddf
Sk8maven
Oh, wow. I got seriously distracted by that storyline, I'll admit. And she did go to space with him. That's major commitment. But didn't she have her natural powers back by then?

All things considered, maybe Roy Thomas should have stuck with his original impulse and made Jade and Obie Alan's kids by Molly. Obie for sure, and Jade for probable, would have been a lot more stable - because Molly is a fairly stable and well-grounded person (those teenaged adventures in half-hearted villainy are a LONG way behind her). It would have taken a lot more setup and explanation, though, and a heaping helping of either timewarps or some kind of magic.
ddf
However contrived, it would have worked out better for both twins probably. I'd lay odds that Obsidian wouldn't have been villified if his mother was Molly instead of Rose.

Would've made Alan even more unique as a GL -- the only one with a remotely stable lovelife!

Maybe the Shadow Demons DID get them - and the shock started Jen off the rails?
ddf
Could explain a couple things. Like how she spends every Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other holiday with her biological family, but is never even seen on the phone with her adoptive mother (I know I'm the one who said she rejected them, but a phoen call every once in a while would still make sense!). Also the serious decline in her overall character since Crisis... She would feel like she rejected them, and that if she'd stayed she could have protected them?

I think the 90s spoiled us. Such obvious angst, we forgot how to dig deep to find the painful moments that motivate a character.

I wonder what Ragnell would have thought about the original Earth-2 Huntress? Talk about being defined by your parents and favoring the male over the female....
ddf
Don't know how crazy the Earth-2 Catwoman was. Admittedly, they can't all be Wonder Woman, but what's wrong with a somewhat healthy mother-daugther relationship? A little arguing, some generational clashes, but still with mutual respect, love, shared strength and values?

I'd better stop now before I find myself ranting about the demonization of the feminine throughout history, and no one wants to hear that -- even me tonight when I read my early-morning ramblings.

And I'm still annoyed they killed off Polly. The most fascinating, down-to-earth, relatable dynamic in Diana's life, and they ended it for a worthless crossover.
 
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Old December 7th, 2005   Ragnell is offline   #71
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Well I agree that jade can be good. I have read this statement before about her not being good becuase she inherited her powers. To jump over to Marvel..what about mutants?
ddf
istari42
Lazy writers.

Kidding, kidding

what about the children of mutants? Would they get the same treatment. Oh there not good becuase they're the children of so and so, they didnt deserve to be heroes, nature should have selected it, or the mad scientists.
ddf
It's a weakening factor in a hero's origin, let's face it. They don't need to work, they don't need to strive, they don't even need to be worthy of anything. They are just randomly given the power. It doesn't make the character uninteresting, but it does nothing to add to the strength of the personality.

Batman is one of the strongest characters in the DCU -- Because he is totally self-made, unlike Superman (who makes up for this weakening factor in sheer altruism), unlike Wonder Woman, unlike the Flash, unlike anyone else who was given/born with powers and never had to put forth this amount of effort. This impresses people.

However, Green Lanterns are in another set of character types, because they are judged worthy and then given their powers because of this. Hal, John and Guy have an instant point of character strength over Jade for this, just like they had an instant point over Kyle (until Johns pointed out that he fit the criteria anyway in Rebirth, and who has performed enough outrageous feats that he's made up for this and can be argued to have been destined to do so anyway). The randomness of mutants and Ganthet's ambiguous carelessness may be an appealing story hook, but nothing beats "specifically chosen" for setting up someone as a strong person.

Alan is a mystery positions, though. It's unclear whether or not he was "chosen," destined or just plain lucky; and that's mainly because he is impressive enough that it's hard to believe in jsut plain dumb luck. Jade doesn't get that ambiguity. She was born with her powers and hasn't done anything particularly impressive -- not as far as Lanterns go.

That excuse for jade not being good enough becuase one of the reason is she inherited her powers needs to be thrown out.
ddf
No, it doesn't because it contributes to the overall picture. She stands next to a bunch of other Lanterns (and remember, despite her being an Earth-2 character, Earth-1 was still prominently published when II was put out). All of the others (including Kyle since Rebirth) were specially selected. She was born into the role. It's a weakening factor.
 
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Old December 7th, 2005   Ragnell is offline   #72
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Ragnell - <snip> As a character concept she doesn't have a good basis to become a strong female character. She's brought into the superhero game through inherited powers from her father, not through her own skills. She has a legacy background of a heroic, but distant father, and an insane, villainous mother.

Except for the 'insane' mother, this could apply to Rick Tyler. And it seems like most fans think he has improved as a character through the years.

I don't think it's the origin, or what had the character is dealt, it's what writers do with it.

Like I said, Jade was just fine in I.I. It's in the last decade that she's been kind of blah.
ddf
rex tyler

Yes, but two heavy factors into my argument are the insane mother and the fact that Jade is female. They don't apply to Rick. Rick is a male with a heroic father. He actually gets to model himself after his same-sex parent. Jade has to reject hers.

And yes, writers are capable of doing wonderful things with poor concepts, but --

There are still going to be weak and unstable people to balance out the strong.
There are concepts that have factors that indicate weak and unstable personalities.

Jade has an alarming collection of them. Maven said "there is nothing wrong with her concept." I'm telling you guy that yes, there is a something wrong with her concept. A lot that indicates a weak person to begin with. A lot that combines for seriously unpleasant symbolism even when she does get written as strong. A lot of factors that don't make for a strong female presence. Sure, a good writer could ahve gone somewhere great with it. But, a good writer can also go the other way, and not be less skilled, and not be misunderstanding the character. He's just using what he has, here.

Now, I'm fine with blaming a writer for a poor story, dialogue, plot..etc.. Anything about the actual execution of the idea. But when it comes to analyzing characters, you have to take the bad with the good.
Blaming the Writer with "Well, he didn't understand the character or use the concept right" means you as the reader get to pick and choose what makes the character. That way, you build up an image of this character you like, and hate all appearances after X point, because nobody's retconned the part at X point you disreguarded because you thought the writer was being stupid.
So, now you no longer enjoy the appearances of a previously beloved character, and you spend time bemoaning their fate.

Plus, you miss out on the chance to delve deep inside the character and explain the wierd behavior at X point. And that's part of the appeal of this for me.
 
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Old December 7th, 2005   rex tyler is offline   #73
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I disagree, and we'll leave it at that. There is nothing wrong with her concept. As I said, she was one of the MVPs of I.I. so we've seen that she can work.

It's up to writers to craft interesting stories about her, not have her be
a)wallpaper
b)a dishrag whore
c)all of the above.

We should spend more time talking about what can/should be done about her brother.
 
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Old December 7th, 2005   carlvin is offline   #74
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the only thing cool about Jade is that she's Alan Scott's daughter.

Anyway I though she lost her honor long time ago
 
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Old December 7th, 2005   GDL629 is offline   #75
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Bad writing of a previously well-established character IS cheating.
It's also sheer laziness, and not doing one's homework.
 
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Old December 7th, 2005   Augustine is offline   #76
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I've been kind of hoping they'd touch on the fact that Jade has some of her mothers power in her to control plants, it was shown in one GL story when another professor tried to repeat the experiement that made Jade's mother a villian but like many other things has not been touched on yet.
 
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Old December 7th, 2005   Amentep is offline   #77
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First, I need to complain about one recurring problem in the posts. Picking apart a single part of my argument and saying "Well, so and so isn't hurt by this." Well, yes, that character is okay, but that other character doesn't have the other marks against them.
I think in terms of the whole picture, and it takes the whole picture to make up my position. That's why I hate blaming the writer, because it's an excuse to cut out a disliked story that could add a different definition to analyzing the character.
ddf
Ragnell
The problem with looking at the whole picture - particularly in terms of serial entertainment created by multiple people over multiple years is that it assumes that there has always been an individual authorial intent.

That's simply not the case.

You can argue, for example, that Jade's abusive childhood led her to date Brainwave Jr. for a variety of reasons (she sought a "villain" for protection, she sought a mind reader who automatically knew her past and accepted it or other rationalizations) but you're using information (the abuse at the orphanage) that didn't exist during the period you're using to interpret it (Jade's dating B.J.)

Now a good writer creates a story that weaves his/her story elements into a larger tapestry so that you can make larger arguments about the overall thrust and design of the character.

However, I think its just as fair to argue that the "tapestry" doesn't exist, that some information from period X clearly violates period Y, thus invalidating one or the other and making an overall argument about the character difficult to make.

I'm not arguing that Jade has a terrible character anymore, but that there is something wrong with her concept. Something in her concept that leads to a weak and unstable personality. I'm arguing that you can't blame the writer for mischaracterization, because each and every writer looked at the concept, what was done with it, and got a natural progression from that point, and not a complete misunderstanding of the character.
ddf
But that misses our argument that Jade as abused in an orphanage, Jade as a cheater ARE NOT natural progressions. You may think they are, but clearly we disagree. I see modern Jade and do not see the Jade that I liked in II. I don't see how one could become the other without ignoring who Jade was to force her into being who Jade is now.

I don't see the tapestry being weaved, if that makes sense.
 
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Old December 7th, 2005   TJLamb0518 is offline   #78
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Bad writing of a previously well-established character IS cheating.
It's also sheer laziness, and not doing one's homework.
ddf
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Now, why do I suspect you're not talking about Jade per se?
 
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Old December 7th, 2005   Amentep is offline   #79
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Three ways:

1) Fan perception. Go to a message board and ask who Jade is. Odds are you will get "She's Alan Scott's daughter" and somewhere in there her mother and her brother will be mentioned. Her familial relationships define her better than anything else.
ddf
Ragnell
If I ask someone who Hal Jordan is, and they say "Green Lantern" does that mean he's defined by being in the corps better than anything else? I think this is a spurious argument.

2) In-story perception. In the superhero community, other characters know her as Alan's daughter, and later on Kyle's girlfriend. A few know her as Todd's sister.
ddf
And if Infinity Inc had continued to be published, she'd be known as an Infinitor. If she'd dated Batman, she'd be defined by that. Not really sure this proves anything other than how the character has been used (as opposed to how the character is).

3) From what I've noticed, her main characterization is not done by her actions (like Hal), or her introspective thoughts (like Kyle) but how she relates to others. This is another way she is defined by her relationships to others.
ddf
Again, this is a question of use over innate qualities. In II she was a fairly take charage character, IMO, someone who wanted to be a hero and do the right thing, because she had been gifted (by birth) with the power to do so.

This is why I think you can't ignore the writer (authorial intent) or even Editorial Fiat.

This is not a bad way to characterize, and every character should get defined in this manner to a degree, but I think the relationship characterization is overused for Jade and what led to the natural step of thinking of her solely as "Kyle's girlfriend." How did it end up beign overused? Well, she started out in a teambook. And that's interactive characterizations all around. Worse, she started out in a teambook that was based on characters proving themselves to the older generation. That means her interaction with her father, mother and brother were vital to laying down her personality.

Remember, just because she was leading her brother doesn't mean he wasn't defining her. His presence defined her as strong, not her actual handling of the situation. It was how she handled the situation, compared to Todd.

Now, all of the Infinitors have this problem, and that might be why they keep getting dragged through the mud. It's one thing to be a teambook character, and one thing to be a hero's family member, but to be a teambook character from a team made entirely of hero's family members. Ick.
ddf
I understand what you're saying - its a problem I've mentioned in regard to, say, Donna Troy or Starfire - they're both characters who've had little definition beyond the team books and relationships they've had (familial or romantic).

And I agree that Jade and Obsidian both have suffered from it. But I don't think that's a problem innate to the characters so much as how the characters have been used. Again, I don't think you can ignore the writers in something like this. Particularly when there's never a gurantee that any particular writer is actually familiar with any given character.

I also think part of how Jade and Obsidian has been used is due to their being the "red-headed stepchildren" of the GLC post-crisis, and not an innate problem with the character itself.

This problem is compounded with Jade, though, because this is where the problem ties into her mother being unstable.

As her mother was unstable and absent, her prominent relationships were with her father, her brother, and whoever she was dating at the time. She became a female character defined by how she related to men. What allowed this? Her very concept -- she was created a daughter and sister of heroes, and a daughter of a villainess.
ddf
Or, it happened because of bad writing. Just like people see Obsidan with darkness powers and think "OMG, HE MUST BE EEEEVIL!" I think going down that route with Jade is "lazy writing". Its ignoring who Jade was for what the author wants her to be (or more likely, needs her to be to serve the story; my experience - limited as it is with Jade with Kyle was that Jade was pretty much a function of the story than a character. But again, if you disregard discussion of the writer/writer's intent, there's little more to be said).

What about her adoptive mother? Again, she chose to pursue her biological family over her adoptive family. She joined her biological mother's world. She has to deal with the consequences of having an insane mother.

Not to mention the fact that insanity can be genetic. I'm actually surprised the writers went with Todd as opposed to Jenny inheriting madness.
ddf
Does one need to be insane to cheat? Just because something is in someones background, is there any reason to exploit it - particularly when there is a body of evidence to indicate that Jade's nature (not just nurture) over-ruled such an interpretation of her past?

Now, I'm not. Look more closely at Superman.

Sure, at first it does seem like Superman did the same thing as Jade did, and left the world of his adoptive parents for the world of his biological parents, but in reality he did the exact opposite. He embraced his adoptive parent's culture, as evidenced by his attempts to live a normal human life as opposed to living out his existence in the Fortress of Solitude, which mainly contains Kryptonian memorabilia. He lives his life actively trying to protect Earth, as opposed to making much of any effort to piece together his Kryptonian heritage. Some portrayals of the character have him actively reject Jor-El's culture by refusing to recreate Krypton on Earth.

Superman may be by genetics a Kryptonian, but his lifestyle is a human lifestyle, down to his joining the superhero-culture, which enables him to support Truth, Justice and the American Way (as opposed to Science, Isolationism, and the Kryptonian Way) while still keeping a normal human life for himself.
ddf
So Superman joining the Superhero culture affirms his ties with the common man, but Jade joining the Superhero community confirms her severing ties with the common man?

What did Jade do when she found her first biological relative (Todd)?
Joined a superhero team to earn the respect and love of their biological father.
ddf
Alternatively, she convinced her brother that they should use their powers to help people, people like her loving, adoptive parents and to get Todd out from his own terrible home situation.

Jade only *suspected* that she was related to Alan when she decided to don a colorful costume and fight crime. I have no doubt that Jade as originally written would have still acted as a superhero had Alan turned out to not be her father.

Jade's is a different metaphor, because both sets of parents are from the same planet and country.
With Jade: Haydens = Normal Life, Scott/Canton = Superhero Lifestyle.
Jade rejected her adoptive family in favor of her biological family.
ddf
In a world of superheroes, is the Superhero lifestyle really not that normal? Esoteric, perhaps, but I wouldn't say it was abnormal. And giving that you could argue that Jade had been instilled with certain morals and principles from her adoptive parents that led her to use her powers, I don't think its a conclusive interpretation.
 
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Old December 7th, 2005   GDL629 is offline   #80
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Now, why do I suspect you're not talking about Jade per se?
ddf
TJLamb0518


"Suspect" all you like there, sir.

I was referring to Jade directly as she was written by her creator, and many writers after, then recently turned into "Jade Woman Of The Night" but if you have another character in mind as well...purrr say?

 
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