The much needed character development

Barry as Red Riding Hood, Caitlin Snow as the big bad wolf

Like I said, should Caitlin go wolf on the Flash logically Barry’s going to be her Red Riding Hood and much of the plot’s based on whether if Barry can and will literally escape his ordeal at her hands or not. Same thing would happen if Barry becomes a stand in for Dante Alighieri. Instead of using speed feats to defeat baddies, he’d literally run away from every situation and much of it becomes a matter of life or death. If he’s too slow, then that’s his doom.

But it does feel emasculating in that Barry should beat up baddies. When you associate him with Dante and Red Riding Hood, you’re dealing with a red-clad escape artist in a perpetual do or die situation. He doesn’t want to kill people, his only other option’s to literally run away. He’d do a lot of evading and escaping, which is something that’s logically expected but barely ever attempted. He’s literally running for survival.

Red robins and black canaries

Tim Drake interacting with Dinah Lance’s one thing, her being his aunt’s another matter if because she’d not only make both Lady Shiva and Dana Winters redundant but also have Tim become her sidekick. If it sounds odd, I have a feeling she’d be more invested in looking after him than Dana ever would and go accompany him whether to teach him something or for his safety’s sake. It seems jarring because of her fashion sense.

But keep in mind there are people who have relatives who dress just as bad. That creepy Goth bloke could be somebody’s doting cousin. A scantily clad woman could also be somebody’s mum. The furry over there’s probably Toby’s sister. That’s the situation Dinah’s in. And that’s something fans might have to accept if because it happens in real life anyways.

(That might also shed new light on Tim’s attraction to Stephanie, if Dinah’s ever shown to have greatly influenced his view of women.) It also makes you wonder just how sexist the Robin stories really are in hindsight as Tim didn’t have a strong or active maternal figure, let alone his blood relative. Dinah Lance being his aunt deconstructs and resolves those problems, really.

Real development

I still stand by the opinion that Tim Drake and Barry Allen don’t lack personalities but rather lack any real character development beyond being glorified audience surrogates though for Barry that would change if/when Caitlin goes wolf on telly. (In the sense of morphing from an overpowered reader surrogate to a properly updated version of Red Riding Hood as Caitlin’s a werewolf now.) In Barry’s case, that’s practically turning into a much more universal character given RRH’s popularity as well as a much needed deconstruction/reversal as the protagonist’s usually female.

This contextually makes sense as the wolf’s construed to be male despite impersonating her grandmother and that Caitlin’s unmistakably female even when she goes wolf. Like how much more sinister if RRH’s and the big bad wolf’s genders were switched though the closest to it’s The Wolf Aunt before the Flash fiasco. Rao help if Caitlin develops real shapeshifting powers and begins impersonating Ralph Dibney. But that would be taking the role reversal to a perfectly logical conclusion in that Caitlin’s out to seduce and kill Barry.

That’s something that really can’t be done with Gorilla Grodd if because somebody clad in red being attacked by a wolf’s a much more familiar and objectively popular plot. It wouldn’t matter if wolf fanatics hate this or not, it’s the more familiar plot point. Now as for Tim Drake being related to Black Canary, that involves having to turn certain assumptions and even plot developments on their head. It’s one thing if Tim gets a stepmum.

It’s another if his true maternal figure’s none other than Black Canary who’s also his grandaunt or something. That would mean she’d easily make both Lady Shiva and Dana Winters redundant in addition to being much stronger than Dana ever was. She got tortured and still went on fighting. If Dana were in her position, given she actually got hospitalised, well I’ve a feeling that she’d end up being too traumatised to recover soon.

(Or at least try to go on as much as she can do about it.)

It’s one thing that Dinah’s capable of mothering, it’s another if she mothers Tim despite what she’s wearing if because certain people who do dress weirdly could also be somebody’s relative or friend. I suspect it’s made more jarring by that Dinah would end up harsher and harder on him. It wouldn’t matter what she’s wearing but if she’s capable of mothering Tim a lot, fans should learn to accept that. That also involves turning Tim’s attraction to Stephanie on her head.

If because she’s similar to Dinah a lot. If that’s the case, that would make you wonder if Dinah’s the better mother figure and also the stronger of the two between her and Dana. Like I said, Dinah would be so involved in Tim’s life the way Dana won’t (and can never) that she’s the very woman who influences the way Tim seeks women. Rather than those who’re weak, he goes after strong, supportive types.

Though that’s also realising that a lot of female characters in the Tim Drake stories aren’t really that well-written, moreso than Steph’s seemingly treated like a punching bag. It’s not that Chuck Dixon’s incapable of writing strong women but having Dinah be Tim’s aunt is taking a step further to the point of being emasculating if because she’d end up being very invested in Tim’s life and on par with Batman.

The idea of Tim becoming her sidekick as well as nephew seems a tad too much even if they did interact before. Never mind it does shed new light to his attraction to Steph. But I suspect this is the very character development Tim needs (just as Barry becomes Red Riding Hood when Caitlin goes wolf), not what writers want them to be.

The Little Red Riding Hood

As excerpted from Macmillan’s Progressive French Reader and what Barry would turn into when Caitlin becomes a wolf on the Flash:

Le petit Chaperon Rouge.

Il était une fois une petite fille de village, la plus jolie qu’on eût su voir; sa mère en était folle, et sa mère-grand plus folle encore. Cette bonne femme lui fit faire un 10 petit chaperon rouge qui lui seyait si bien, que partout on l’appelait le petit Chaperon Rouge.

Un jour, sa mère ayant fait des galettes, lui dit: Va voir comment se porte ta mère-grand; car on m’a dit qu’elle était malade : porte-lui une galette et ce petit pot de beurre. 15 Le petit Chaperon Rouge partit aussitôt pour aller chez sa mère-grand, qui demeurait dans un autre village. En passant dans un bois, elle rencontra compère le Loup, qui eut bien envie de la manger; mais il n’osa, à cause de quelques bûcherons qui étaient dans la forêt. Il lui demanda 20 où elle allait. La pauvre enfant, qui ne savait pas qu’il était dangereux de s’arrêter à écouter un Loup, lui dit: Je vais voir ma mère-grand, et lui porter une galette avec un pot de beurre que ma mère lui envoie.— Demeure-t-elle bien loin? lui dit le Loup. — Oh! oui, lui dit le petit Chaperon 25 Rouge; c’est par delà le moulin que vous voyez tout là-bas, là-bas à la première maison du village. —- Eh bien! dit le Loup, je veux l’aller voir aussi; je m’y en vais par ce chemin-ci, et toi par ce chemin-là, et nous verrons à qui plus tôt y sera. Le Loup se mit à courir de toute sa force par 30 le chemin qui était le plus court; et la petite fille s’en alla par le chemin le plus long, s’amusant à cueillir des noisettes, . à courir après des papillons et à faire des bouquets de petites fleurs qu’elle rencontrait. Le Loup ne fut pas longtemps à arriver à la maison de la mère-grand; il heurte, toc, 35 toc.—Qui est là?—C’est votre fille, le petit Chaperon Rouge, dit le Loup en contrefaisant sa voix, qui vous apporte une galette et un petit pot de beurre que ma mère vous envoie. La bonne mère-grand qui était dans son lit, à cause qu’elle

se trouvait un peu mal, lui cria: Tire la chevillette, la bobinette cherra. Le Loup tira la chevillette et la porte s’ouvrit. Il se jeta sur la bonne femme, et la dévora en moins de rien; car il y avait plus de trois jours qu’il n’avait

5 mangé. Ensuite il ferma la porte, et s’alla coucher dans le lit de la mère-grand, en attendant le petit Chaperon Rouge, qui, quelque temps après vint heurter à la porte. Toc, toc. — Qui est là? Le petit Chaperon Rouge, qui entendit la grosse voix du Loup, eut peur d’abord, mais, croyant que sa

10 mère-grand était enrhumée, il répondit: C’est votre fille le petit Chaperon Rouge qui vous apporte une galette et un petit pot de beurre que ma mère vous envoie. Le Loup lui cria en adoucissant un peu sa voix: Tire la chevillette, la bobinette cherra. Le petit Chaperon Rouge tira la

15 chevillette, et la porte s’ouvrit. Le Loup la voyant entrer, lui dit en se cachant dans le lit, sous la couverture: Mets la galette et le petit pot de beurre sur la huche, et viens te coucher avec moi. Le petit Chaperon se déshabille, et va se mettre dans le lit, où elle fut bien étonnée de voir com

20 ment sa mère-grand était faite en son déshabillé. Elle lui dit : Ma mère-grand, que vous avez de grands bras !— C’est pour mieux t’embrasser, ma fille. — Ma mère-grand, que vous avez de grandes jambes ! — C’est pour mieux courir, mon enfant. — Ma mère-grand, que vous avez de grandes

25 oreilles ! —. C’est pour mieux écouter, mon enfant. — Ma mère-grand, que vous avez de grands yeux! — C’est pour mieux voir, mon enfant. — Ma mère-grand, que vous avez de grandes dents ! — C’est pour te manger. Et en disant ces mots, le méchant Loup se jeta sur le petit Chaperon Rouge,

30 et la mangea. Perrault.

Little Red Riding Hood.

Once upon a time there was a little village girl, the prettiest one who would have been able to see; his mother was crazy about it, and his grandmother was still crazy. This good woman made him make a little red riding hood that suited him so well that he was called Little Red Riding Hood everywhere .

One day, his mother having made pancakes, said to him: Go and see how your grandmother is; for I was told that she was ill: bring her a cake and that little pot of butter. 15 Little Red Riding Hood left immediately to go to his grandmother’s, who lived in another village. While passing through a wood, she met the wolf, who was anxious to eat it; but he did not dare, because of some woodcutters who were in the forest. He asked her where she was going. The poor child, who did not know that it was dangerous to stop listening to a wolf, said to her: I am going to see my grandmother, and bring her a cake with a pot of butter which my mother sends her. Does she live far away? the Wolf said to him .- Oh! Yes, said the little Hood 25 Red ; it is beyond the mill that you see all over there, there at the first house of the village. — Well! said the wolf, ” I want to go see him too; I am going off this way, and you by that way, and we will see who will be there sooner. The wolf ran with all his might by 30 the road was the shortest; and the little girl went by the way the longest, fun picking hazelnuts. to run after butterflies and make bouquets of small flowers that she met. The wolfIt was not long to arrive at the house of the grandmother; he is knocking, knock, 35 toc.-Who’s there? “” It’s your daughter, Little Red Riding Hood, ” said the Wolf , counterfeiting his voice,” who brings you a cake and a little pot of butter that my mother sends you. The good grandmother who was in bed, because she

was a little bad, shouted to him: “Pull the peg, the bobbin will look. The Wolf pulled the peg and the door opened. He threw himself on the good woman, and devoured her in less than nothing; because there were more than three days he had

5 eaten. Then he closed the door, and went to sleep in the bed of the grandmother, waiting for little Red Riding Hood, who, some time later, knocked at the door. Knock Knock. – Who is here? Little Red Riding Hood, who heard the big voice of the Wolf, was afraid at first, but, believing that his

10 mother-grand had a cold, he answered: It is your little Red Riding Hood girl who brings you a cake and a little pot of butter that my mother sends you. The Wolf shouted at him, softening his voice a little: Pull the peg, the bobbin will pick up. Little Red Riding Hood pulled the

15 peg, and the door opened. The Wolf, seeing her come in, said to her, hiding in the bed, under the blanket: Put the cake and the little pot of butter on the crib, and come and sleep with me. Little Riding Hood undressed, and will put it in the bed, where she was much surprised to see com

20 his grandmother was made in his negligee. She said to him, “My grandmother, how big you are!” “To kiss you better, my daughter.” – My grandmother, you have big legs! “It’s better to run, my child. – My grandmother, that you have big

25 ears! -. It’s to listen better, my child. – My grandmother, how big you are! – It’s to see better, my child. – My grandmother, you have big teeth! – It’s to eat you. And saying these words, the wicked Wolf threw himself on Little Red Riding Hood,

30 and ate it. Perrault.

Melusine, Volumes 8-10 (Google Books)

This is what Barry Allen would be like in the Flash if Caitlin does go wolf at all.

LE PETIT CHAPERON ROUGE

IX

On racontait au petit Paul l’histoire du petit Chaperon-Rouge.

Avant d’entrer dans le cœur du drame, on lui avait lait une description des plus alléchantes de la fameuse galette que le petit Chaperon-Rouge porte à sa grandmère : bien beurrée, bien feuilletée, bien dorée, enfin, la reine des galettes.

Quand on lui eut narré comme quoi le loup avait avalé le petit Chaperon-Rouge après avoir englouti la grand’mére, l’enfant semblait redoubler d’attention:

— C’est fini, lui dit la maman.

— Comment, c’est fini ‘.’

— Sans doute.

— Et la galette? qui est-ce qui a mangé la galette?

Nous empruntons cette facétie au Petit Almanark de la Propagation de la Foi pour 1893. Celui-ci l’a sans doute copiée ailleurs, car rien ne voyage aussi aisément, sans passe-port et sans indications d’origine, que les anecdotes facétieuses. Nous citons celle-ci, parce qu’elle appartient au cycle du Petit Chaperon-Rouge.

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD

IX

Little Paul was told the story of Little Red Riding Hood.

Before entering the heart of the drama, he had been given a description of the most enticing of the famous pancake that little Red Riding Hood wears to his grandmother: well buttered, flaky, well gilded, finally, the queen of cakes.

When it was narrated how the wolf had swallowed little Red Riding Hood after having swallowed the grandmother, the child seemed to redouble his attention:

– It’s over, said the mother.

– How, it’s over. ‘

– Without a doubt.

– And the cake? who ate the cake?

We borrow this joke at the Little Almanark of the Propagation of the Faith for 1893. It has probably copied elsewhere, because nothing travels as easily, without a passport and without indications of origin, as facetious anecdotes. We quote this one because it belongs to the cycle of Little Red Riding Hood.

The big bad wolf named Caitlin

I still think reinventing Caitlin as a werewolf to be far worse than making Iris West black but because it’s much more drastic this way. Instead of her lapsing into evil every now and then, she wills herself to appear less human as to get away with less sound deeds. That she can be very uninhibited as a werewolf and not give a damn about it makes the Red Riding Hood undertones in the Flash inevitable.

It’s not hard to see the similarities to the point where the Flash’s a proper retelling and deconstruction in which the victim’s male and the victimiser’s female. (There’s something similar like the Wolf Aunt which another author might include it in his studies upon noticing the similarities between it, the Flash and the Red Riding Hood mythos proper.) That Caitlin goes ruthless by setting her dogs on people’s saying.

(But in that it does resemble old stereotypes of certain dog owners, especially lapdog fans as spiteful spinsters and dogs being linked to witchcraft and more recently irritable owners.)

Caitlin being a spiteful werewolf seems more sinister than if she repeatedly blacks out but because she can willingly change herself to get away with whatever she wants and needs to do. Often out of anger and a need to torment Barry.

The felicitous hyena

Given that Felicity Smoak didn’t start out very much like her telly counterpart especially when she first appeared in comics gives the impression that turning her into a werehyena would’ve been the more natural or organic direction. In the sense that if Caitlin Snow becomes a werewolf on the Flash, logically Felicity’s a hyena and that’s also picking up where a character more or less vacated. Both Felicity and Caitlin were Firestorm characters (though I think Caitlin might be remembered more as a werewolf on the Flash).

That Firestorm did have a werehyena means something. Had Felicity not been turned into the infamous CW incarnation and if she were to be rebooted, she’d end up as the Hyena. It even makes more sense if Caitlin Snow were to become a werewolf on the Flash, the infamy makes it likelier for Felicity to go hyena and then make it part of some nefarious storyline where Caitlin even tortured her to get those powers. Convoluted but that’s what you get if Caitlin goes wolf.

Her infamy spreads to other media and even other franchises. With Felicity becoming her unfortunate victim-sidekick, well that’s going to stick due to the context.

Who’s afraid of Caitlin Snow?

I still think turning Caitlin Snow would be shocking and provocative in a way making Iris black wouldn’t be to that level. In the sense of being very unexpected even if it inevitably allows the Red Riding Hood undertones in the Flash. If Barry’s getting victimised by a newly lupine Caitlin Snow, it’s going to be hard to not see the similarities to the Red Riding Hood stories. That she’ll be killed by Cisco’s going to be a proper retelling.

That Little Red Riding Hood has been retold many times over proves just how appealing it is and why it has so much staying power. I think if Caitlin Snow were to become a werewolf by next week and it’s going to happen anyways, it’s going to be Red Riding Hood all over again. But one that fans didn’t anticipate and likely aren’t prepared for what’ll become of her. Not to mention this reinvention’s going to be this long-lasting.

Keep in mind that DC did have werewolf women before most notably in House of Mystery and Marvel’s got a recurring one in Rahne Sinclair. But none of them will be as infamous as Caitlin Snow. I even think because of this makeover, Caitlin’s now the go-for female werewolf and the most prominent one to boot.