Saturday, February 25, 2006

BHM 25: XS

Jenni Ognats was a great character. She's the granddaughter of the Flash (Barry Allen), the Whitest Man Alive, but her dad was black so she's eligible for a BHM profile.

After Barry and Iris retired to the 30th century, they had two children
("the Tornado Twins"), Dawn and Don. Don married Meloni Thawne and fathered Bart Allen (Impulse), who was sent back to the 20th century for his protection from a hostile government. Dawn married Jeven Ognats, and produced Jenni, whose speed powers manifested after she was experimented on by the Dominators, and who joined the pre-Waid Legion as "XS". Yes, it is a stupid name, but we love Jenni anyway.

Love those exposed thighs, Jenni! If you think Jenni's costume looks like Bart's, you're right; except it's Bart's costume that resembles hers. Because Bart is from the 30th century, his costume is designed with the same vertical "sandwich stripe" that all the Post-Zero Hour Legion costumes had (which were, in turn, modeled on the Science Police's uniforms).

Jenni had Bart's joie de vivre, but where Bart was overconfident, Jenni was underconfident, and her development in the Legion was about overcoming that. She and her cousin Bart met when she was trapped in the 20th century for a while (Impulse #9-#11), and the story of their friendship and eventual parting was one of the funniest, sweetest, saddest comic book stories I have ever read. Everyone I know who remembers the story, remembers crying at its end ... including me.

Just like Bart, I didn't like Jenni at first and found her annoying, then I got to know her, identify with her, love her, then lose her to the 30th century (and a version of it that no longer exists). Come back, Jenni Ognats, come back.

6 comments:

Crae said...

Retcons really do suck. Retconning retcons suck even more. Characters like XS, Blok, Dawnstar, Catspaw, Tellus, Dev-Em and countless others deserve better.

Michael said...

Mark Waid helped with this reboot too, he helped create the new team and wrote the first few issues, so you can't really call it the pre-Waid Legion. A better term (for a team that's already been rebooted twice) is the post-Zero Hour Legion.

Flash went to the pre-Zero Hour 30th century immediately prior to Crisis, but it wasn't established that Don and Dawn were his kids until later. Bart was around pre-ZH (I think) and Jenni didn't come around until she joined the Legion post-ZH. In any event, Bart needs help because the future he came from apparently no longer exists (or at least we haven't see it yet). Unless the current Legion series is set on the post-Infinite Crisis Earth-2...

Raz said...

Yeah, Impulse debuted during Zero Hour...I remember the scene where he first meets Superman and says "call me Kid Flash...and get your big red S handed to you!"

OOOH 90's machismo!

Of course, why you'd call someone that when they're wearing a costume not remotely reminiscent of the Flash's is beyond me...it's like mistaking Ralph Dibny for Plastic Man cause they both stretch...anywho....

I <3 XS! =) And all the DnA Legion actually...the only one I was a bit ennh on was Shikari, but it's criminal that DC canned that Legion so we could have a bunch of characters who bear zero resemblance to them or any of the Legion's history....blahh. :(

Devon said...

Did you know that it was Batman who named Bart "Impulse."

Anonymous said...

I always wondered what "XS" meant...

Anonymous said...

"XS" means "excess" in early 90s comics and on license plates.