Thursday, November 08, 2012

Vibe: the Series

Vibe: The Series.

By all rights, I should be exulting about the fact that Vibe, history's most unfairly maligned of all Justice League members, is not only part of the New 52, not only in the Justice League of America, but also being given his own title.

I'm not exulting not because I am not overjoyed about it; I am. But, quite frankly, I simply consider it appropriate; it is time; it is his due.

Newsarama is, wisely, opined little on the development, having already ruined their own credibility to with their puerile and ignorant comments on Vibe before.  Fortunately, writer Andrew Kreisberg is more voluble about it, and there is much that he immediately gets right in his approach to Vibe.

(1)  "I owe Vibe one." says Kreisberg.  As does all of DC and its fans, Andrew!  DC's first Latino superhero was, on the whole, a well conceived character but not one well handled.  

(2) Vibe is Hispanic.  This may seem like a no-brainer.  After all, making Vibe a non-Hispanic would be like, I dunno, making Aquaman into a sword'n'sorcery title or the Martian Manhunter into a sane person or Green Arrow into a television series.  You should never underestimate just how stupidly and off-model a character can be 're-imagined'.  

(3) "Paco" is not actually a name, it's a nickname.  I almost fell over when I read Andrew call him "Cisco Ramone", since, of course, his name would actually be 'Francisco', but almost nobody not familiar with Spanish names would know that.  Certainly not the boneheads at Newsarama, who could never even manage to remember that Paco's family was Puerto Rican, not Mexican.

(4)  Vibe lives in Detroit.  Look, I've got no big love for Detroit; in fact, I don't know anyone who does.  I don't think of it as some wonderful, under-appreciated urban gem or faded star of industrial past.  It's not special to me at all, it's not my hometown.  But it IS Vibe's hometown.  Paco was a normal kid in a real-world city drawn into the bizarre world of DCU superheroes by virtue of his powers, and nothing symbolized that better than grounding him America's arguably least glamorous city.

(5) There is a reason for Vibe's powers.  The fact that Vibe had powers in the old DCU was just... a fact.  No one addressed it.  The world 'meta-gene' was never uttered.  Was he bitten by a radioactive tuning fork?  Only later, after he was dead did we 'discover' that one of his brothers (Reverb) had the same power.  And no one ever seemed to notice or care?  I can't help but think that even in a world as power-full as the old DCU that teenaged brothers with the ability to cause earthquakes would go wholly unnoticed.

(6) Paco's got a love/hate with a ne'er-do-well brother.  It's one of the few identifiable and unique elements of his origin.  Paco's brother always symbolized the path that Paco rejected, making the tough choices to do the right thing and become a hero.  And for me at least, it's the thing about him I can most easily relate to.

Oh and of course...

(7) AGENT DALE GUNN.  Because that's just freakin' genius/hilarity, people!


Nathan Hall said...

Detroit could be a fine fictionopolis for Vibe. A written-off city once famous for its music and now known for violence and strife could be a fertile ground for a young hero with a troubled brother and kick-ass dance moves. As long as he's not a Lions fan, I'll give him a chance.

Although in the DCU I wonder: Is Detroit seen as more or less crime-ridden than Gotham? In the same way, is Camden worse than Bludhaven? Some context would help.

d said...

I always thought Camden WAS Bludhaven, in the same way Metropolis was NY, Gotham = Philly, Star City = LA, etc... This was a perfectly good system until those ex-Marvel writers showed up in the 70's and insisted on used real cities

Bryan L said...

But will Dale once again be the consummate ladies' man? If not, I reject this version with prejudice. Some things must NOT be changed.

r duncan said...

"Detroit is an inter-dimensional hot zone. Any number of beings and creatures are able to enter our dimension through the motor city."

If they could make it easier to get to Canada from Detroit it would be nice.

r duncan said...

In case you didn't notice, Newsarama is having even more fun at Vibe's expense.

SallyP said...

But it IS his due! In fact, I am in favor of having mini-series, or ongoing series for veritable craploads of second and third tier DC characters. I'm getting just a wee bit sated with the Big Three.

In fact, while they are at it, lets have them bring back all those dead JLI'ers and give them series as well. Get J'onn back into the JLA where he belongs. Have a Fire and Ice book. Let Ralph and Sue Dibny do detective stuff in Opal City.

I want a Rocket Reds book!

Bryan l said...

SallyP has my full support to be the next creative director at DC. I'm Bryan and I approve this message.