Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Legacy Heroes


After reading last week's Blue Beetle #16 with its "oh-so-WONDERFUL!" appearance by Traci Thirteen, I wondered, "How does it feel to create a character and watch someone else teach it to walk?"

Let's again look at Traci. She was created four years ago in the pages of Superman #189 by writer Joe Kelly. Joe Kelly has written, at one time or another, Superman, Superboy & Supergirl along with stops at Daredevil, X-Men, Deadpool & JLA.

Pretty impressive resume'.

I admit, at the time, his creation of Traci Thirteen, the daughter of "not-seen-in-years" ghost breaker, Dr. Thirteen, seemed a bit out of the ordinary. She was a legacy to a character without any sort of true legacy. It was a bit like giving Vibe a brother.

Once Kelly left the Superman title, Traci pretty much disappeared for three years into that place where all "forgotten heroes" reside.

That was until last year's Tales of The Unexpected. The unexpected happened.

Brian Azzarello, whose runs on Batman and Superman, respectively, didn't exactly set superhero fans hearts aglow, did the impossible, breathing new life into 9 of DC's neglected heroes, chief among them, Dr. & Traci Thirteen.

Under Azzarello, Traci developed a can-do attitude seemingly trademark of DC's blonde 'tweens, Wonder Girl, Stargirl and Supergirl.

Last week, I read as Traci Thirteen walked into the pages of Blue Beetle, smack-talked Eclipso's crazy ass damned near to death and made a book that was already one of my favorites even better.

"How does it feel to create a character and watch someone else teach it to walk?"

I imagine it must feel pretty good to create anything, period. I imagine it must feel even better to see it grow and become better than you could have imagined, at the time.

I mean, Bob Kane may have created Batman but I believe that we're all in agreement that he didn't ultimately create Batman. Others did.

Other creators came in, crafting onto the character bits and pieces, helping it go on to what it is today.

In that and Traci Thirteen, I just might have found why I love DC Comics so much.

The act of creation and its inherent acceptance of possibility just may be DC's greatest of legacies.

5 comments:

Neil said...

While not the same, I do wonder how creators feel when people claim that other writers write their creation better.

For instance, does Ron Marz care when people claim Grant Morrison wrote a better Kyle Rayner?

On the flip side, I have a feeling Dan Jurgens was pretty happy with Geoff Johns and the 52 crew breathing new life into Booster Gold since he's illustrating the new series.

Then, of course, do artists get upset when another artist creates a new look for their character.

SallyP said...

Traci Thirteen is just so darned cute and I'm happy to see her. She and Jaime make a lovely couple.

Jon said...

Not to be a pedantic nerd, but I'm almost certain Geoff Johns wrote her first appearance and he's a guy who loves pulling legacies out of freaking nowhere.

Batiduende said...

If I am not mistaken, Traci 13 also appeared in a picture in 52 before Tales of the Unexpected, and she was a member of that detective club Elongated Man and Detective Chimp where in.

Allan said...

Having just read Blue Beetle #16, I a) now have to run out and buy the first 15 issues that I foolishly missed (any trades out yet?) and b) start lobbying DC for a Traci Thirteen comic written by Mr. Rogers.

Damn that was some good comic-booking, with too many high points to mention (heck, even the title was a work of sheer brilliance).