Let’s Smoke

Supposing if Felicity Smoak were a werehyena by the way of David Bowie, one might wonder if he’s a much more interesting muse than Emily Bett Rickards would ever be. I mean he’s so influential that sometimes it can be unconsciously so. I mean Top Cow’s Velocity does seem vaguely inspired by David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust days. There’s even another DC character that looks a lot like him.

It’s not that Rickards isn’t a muse but that David Bowie’s a more popular muse. Kate Moss dressed up as him for Vogue whilst Rickards is way below that. It also helps that David Bowie’s one of the few, if any individuals, who can make mullets look presentable. Thus making him a true fashion icon for that very feat. It could also be that Rickards probably isn’t that interesting in the long run should Felicity ever become a Bowie werehyena.

(Maybe because many miss David Bowie a lot so.)

Damian, Damian

Like I said before about a post on Looney Tunes characters, sometimes the very concept predates the character’s eventual appearance (or makeover should Caitlin Snow become a werewolf on the Flash given DC already got one in House of Mystery). So the idea of Batman marrying Catwoman certainly existed in some earlier stories, most notably where they begat and raised Helena Wayne.

Helena being essentially and practically Damian Wayne’s prototype (Batman siring a child with a villain) so as others have argued before, it’s actually Damian who’s more organic than Tim Drake is. In the sense that there’s a precedent for the sort of character Damian may become, whether as Batman’s biological child with a villain (Helena Wayne) or as a wayward Robin (Jason Todd).

Just as there’s a precedent for a black Jimmy Olsen (Lois Lane literally became black) though it can be argued execution can play a big role in an interpretation’s reception and staying power.

Raven Frost

I still think in turning Caitlin Snow into a werewolf is where the comparisons between her and Raven begin. In the sense that both of them readily give into their baser tendencies every now and then. Both of them betrayed the team by torturing other members. Both of them struggle with an alternate persona that tempts them to do worse. As to paraphrase the blogger at Histories of Things to Come, turning Caitlin into a werewolf would allow for really, really deranged storytelling.

Once she shapeshifts, she can spy on the team whilst attempting to do something nefarious, spying on other people, killing people without being noticed (especially as a wolf), readily giving into her animal instincts (moreso as Caitlin gained the DNA of her dead pets and wolves as to avenge her rape and their deaths as well as getting a new pack) and be this willing to torment people. Heck she could even impersonate Iris after killing her in an attempt to try to her kill Barry herself.

Though her plan gets foiled when he kills her and her pets. Raven’s practically like this in the comics where she struggles not to give into her baser tendencies and when she does that’s when it goes bad. Not to mention she’s deceived and tortured the team repeatedly, having turned Starfire into a minion before being defeated. That blogger even assumed Raven may’ve been molested (though Starfire’s explicitly shown to be abused early on, hence why she acts the way she does if you know psychology).

Actually same for Raven to some extent and likely true for Caitlin who’s not only a victim of taunting but also eventually of rape on television. When she does avenge her rape through lycanthropy, that’s when she goes really evil.

Caitlin the Magdalene

Supposing should Caitlin ever become a werewolf on the Flash, I have a feeling she’ll not only become one due to curing herself of ALS but also to avenge her rape and torture (of her pets) to the point of having to acquire their DNA and those of wolves to get her revenge. However her anger gets the better of her, believing that it’s Barry Allen who raped her and she goes on trying to kill him. If that doesn’t succeed, she kills and then impersonates Iris West.

In a way, she’s the villain Harrison Wells’s supposed to be in the sense of being the biggest traitor Team Flash’s got and also the unpredictable. That’s also a crucial plot point in Alan Moore’s take on Marvelman (himself derivative of Shazam) and his unpublished Twilight of the Superheroes proposal. In the latter, there’s a similar plot point about Billy Batson going unstable and giving into his baser tendencies (Johnny Bates).

Then he gets killed and impersonated by Martian Manhunter who in turn gets killed by Superman. In the Flash, these plot points recur with Caitlin being raped and having had her dogs killed she uses their DNA and that of wolves to become an angry animal herself allying herself with wolves to torment humanity for what they did to her. Then she impersonates her victim until she and her pets get killed by Barry (there goes the JJBA undertones though its own author might regret that).

In turning Caitlin into an angry werewolf seeking revenge for the abuse she’s endured and then abusing people herself (that’s even the case in real life), she becomes the Magdalene to Felicity’s Madonna. But in the sense of Caitlin having fallen from humanity and becoming even more vicious as to give into her baser tendencies whilst Felicity overtook Black Canary as Oliver’s girlfriend and is idolised too much.

Maybe that’s a bad analogy but enough to differentiate the two women. One goes evil from being abused, the other develops divine powers (though that’s what’ll happen to Patty should she reappear on the Flash as Big Barda). To make matters worse, Patty/Big Barda tries to resurrect Caitlin but with the odd side effect of her becoming purely evil and attempting to corrupt Cisco.

(When you think about it, that’s also a big plot point in Marv Wolfman’s Teen Titans where Raven also repeatedly gives into her baser tendencies, at least twice in his writings where the second time she goes evil and then dies only to reappear as a golden ghost.)

Caitlin becomes so evil that she corrupts Patty Spivot and turns her into her minion (that’s practically what Raven did to Starfire). Barry Allen however kills both of them, thus risking a lot of outcry. Never mind that’s also making Patty Spivot less of a Mary Sue but in the sense of resurrecting somebody so heinous that she worsens because of it  (and Caitlin would turn Felicity into a hyena).

Should it occur, Caitlin becomes the biggest villain to date and is the Magdalene to Felicity’s Madonna in having a very fallen reputation, prone to evil and stuff. (Felicity, prior to becoming a hyena, is very idealised.)

She’s a wolf now

Supposing if Caitlin Snow were to be remade into a werewolf and that could happen (and have her go evil by killing and then impersonating Iris West and torment people with her pack) soon in Elseworlds, not only would Barry Allen have a serious traitor in his team (something like between Marvelman and what became of Kid Marvelman) but also allow Killer Frost to fully takeover when Caitlin cures herself of ALS, thus becoming a werewolf due to her own tampering.

However in the comics, she’s a werewolf all along whose genetics were tampered as to spy on the Justice League having killed Wally West and prompting Barry Allen to kill her (as in the telly programme). One of the biggest advantages of turning Caitlin into a werewolf’s that it prevents her from being a Mary Sue fan insert the way it happened to Felicity on Arrow. In that her attempt to purge herself of her ALS (and avenge her rape and loss of her pets) only made it much worse when she becomes a werewolf.

It also makes her makeover much worse than what Iris got in terms of fan reaction never mind that it spared her from falling into the same trap as Felicity did (Patty however would return as Big Barda). At least Caitlin doing a Johnny Bates impression when lupine’s objectively better (as to resolve the issue of a recurring villainous persona) than having Patty go buff as Big Barda.

Redesign

If you wanted me to be honest, I don’t think some redesigns are as drastic as others make them out to be. I mean, it’s really not much of a big change given what Mickey’s been wearing in the cartoons whilst the only thing that’s changed a lot about him is his face. (His appearance in the new shorts might just be be somebody else’s style.) Between Superman and Superboy, it’s the latter that’s got a bigger redesign and recently went back to his 1990s punk rock outfit for some nostalgic reason.

Likewise for Wonder Woman, the biggest redesign she’s got isn’t so much about lengthening her shorts to resemble trousers (though it does look strange) but rather replacing shorts with a skirt. Supergirl, almost without exception (that’s barring the times she wore a leotard, shorts and a white blouse), alternated between red and blue skirts. One person’s black is another person’s blue (sometimes linguistically so). These changes aren’t really that big.

Others however tend to get tweaked ever so slightly if because the initial design’s not really that good (Tigra for instance gets this as she’s supposed to be part tiger/beast). Not necessarily always because it’s ugly but it’s either too hard on the cartoonist or because it jars with the inherent concept. Not that Tigra should go entirely furry but that she really does deserve to be depicted with more consistent tiger/animalistic features.

(The uncanny valley being the only way to desexualise her somewhat whilst retaining her outfit in a way.)

Then there are characters with genuinely drastic redesigns. Something like what the Flash and Cheetah recently got. The latter being remade into a proper furry in the DC Rebirth comics though it practically owes to the DCAU production. (What Robin got was just replacing the shorts with longer trousers.) Sometimes some redesigns aren’t really that drastic though it does deconstruct some of the problems with said design in some cases.

Dark Influences

Sometime ago in the 1980s, Alan Moore had a proposal for DC Comics called Twilight of the Superheroes. This takes place in a future where superheroes have become feudal overlords with them arranging marriages for their children (some of them being this reluctant to do so) with other powers trying to prevent that. Let’s not forget that Alan Moore lives in a place where there are still kings and queens.

Superheroes also pass down their titles to their biological heirs like what aristocrats and chieftains do so there’s that. Moore’s proposal went unpublished possibly because even if superhero comics were getting darker, his take was too much to be fulfilled immediately. Nonetheless it may’ve had an unintentionally unconscious influence on subsequent stories.

These include Booster Gold travelling to the present trying to prevent something, Superman having an evil Superboy for a son, Mary Marvel and Tim Drake going evil (that’s going to be Billy Batson) and Kingdom Come among other things. I think The Flash programme might even fulfill another plot point involving impersonation and murder.

In Moore’s take, it’s Billy Batson who gets killed and impersonated by Martian Manhunter (who also gets killed by Superman). In the Flash, Billy gets replaced by Iris and MM by a newly lupine Caitlin (who then gets killed by Barry) with the League of Legends trying to prevent a nasty future involving feudal houses.

(Something like House of Arrow, House of Evil where Caitlin and Grodd belong and House of Lightning where the Flash family resides with Bart Allen appearing there.)

Rather than John Constantine, it’s Bart who time travels to join the League of Legends to prevent something bad from happening having seen worse things. He then returns to his original timeline. Weirdly enough, telly DC’s ironically the only place where Moore’s Twilight gets fulfilled properly albeit with some modifications (Werewolf Caitlin instead of Martian Manhunter among other things).