Thursday, February 16, 2006

BHM 16: Dr. Midnight

Speaking of people who fought Eclipso.... do you remember Dr. Midnight?

During the Crisis, South Carolinian physican Dr. Beth Chapel was blinded by exploding oxygen tanks while saving a hospital patient during an earthquake. Fortunately for her, her mentor was Dr. Charles McNider, who gave her an implant that let her see in darkness, just like him. Unfortunately for her, he was also the original Dr. Mid-Nite and she chose to follow in his crimefighting footsteps.

Really unfortunately for her, she did so in the pages of Infinity Inc, or, as I like to call it "Damnation Inc." The Infinitor Curse got her within 5 years; she was ripped to shreds by Eclipso in issue 13 of his miniseries. Yolanda Montez, the "new Wildcat", got shredded at the same time.

What do we learn from this? Hmm, perhaps ... "Minority females who presume to take the place of white males are cannon fodder for the forces of vengeance." Or maybe that was just the beginnings of the 90's; who can say?

If you were a comic book writer, wouldn't you be embarrassed to create a character whose father was a minister named "Chapel" and whose brothers were named Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? I would. But that's why you and I are not Roy Thomas. Oh, in case you were wondering what that thigh-belt thingie on her leg is, the answer is: she was designed by Todd McFarlane, that's what it is.

But I'll say THIS for Beth Chapel; she's a better speller than her predecessor or her successor!


totaltoyz said...

But I'll say THIS for Beth Chapel; she's a better speller than her predecessor or her successor!

In 1941, DC named their new hero "Dr. Mid-Nite" to avoid confusion and/or litigation with Captain Midnight, hero of Fawcett Comics and radio.

Bill Meisel said...

But Charles McNider had an OWL, folks, an owl that helped him solve cases. Why doesn't any hero work with an owl nowadays?

Mark said...

The new Dr Mid-nite also has an Owl!

totaltoyz said...

Probably afraid of getting dissed by Pam Anderson.

Flutterby said...

The "new" Mid-Nite has an owl, no?

Jon said...

The "new" Mid-Nite has an owl, no?

Named "Charlie," yet. He has a camera on a little necklace so Mid-Nite can see what the bird can, like he was the Falcon or something.

I have to say, Dr. Midnight has a truly appalling costume. She sorta looks like a meaner Bananaman.

Anonymous said...

It's actually too bad that Dr. Midnight didn't spell her name "Dr. Mid-Nite". She will never be known as "Dr. Mid-Nite II" and the new guy unfairly gets the title.

Left out of the legacy just 'cuz she had access to a dictionary!

BTW, how do two guys who when to medical school misspell "Midnight", anyway?

If you think HER costume is bad, you should see her teammate Hourman's (the second one) costume! YUCK!

Alas, the curse you speak of...minority women replacing a white male hero...also struck Captain Marvel II over in the Avengers. Now she has no codename except her own name, has not been an active Avenger for going on 20 years now (despite being a powerful hero who actually led the group at one point), and is currently being mocked in a comic by Warren Ellis. She's not dead, but still, tragic.

Bill Meisel said...

< embarassed because he didn't remember the second Dr. Midnight had an owl -- honestly, I'm sure I read some of those issues....>