Saturday, November 17, 2012

Why Yankee Poodle Ought to Join the Justice League

I was thinking, not for the first time, about all of DC’s history changes and their apparent embarrassment of some of their sillier aspects when it hit me: Yankee Poodle needs to join the Justice League.  For the uninitiated, Yankee Poodle, aka Rova Barkett hails from Earth-C, home to a team of anthropomorphic superheroes called the Zoo Crew who gained their powers in a meteor shower.

In recent years DC’s main strategy for attracting new readers seems to be to constantly restart their universe. From a business standpoint this seems to have worked out reasonably well for them, but creatively isn’t the best use of their toys, as things get restarted before they can be used to their full potential.  Another aspect of DC is they seem to have a love hate relationship with some of their sillier concepts.  Sometimes they play them straight, sometimes they poke fun at them, and very frequently they hide them away for a time, as if embarrassed that they have a very quirky, strange, and silly universe.

So here’s why I think Yankee Poodle should join the Justice League (perhaps some sort of a rift strands here in the Justice League’s universe and for a time she can’t get back to Earth-C):

  1. It would be a large step towards DC embracing some of the sillier aspects of their world, if such a character was on their premier superhero team
  2. Her presence would lend her the stories well towards the team encountering all kinds of strange stuff; the universe is a big place after all
  3. There would be plenty of opportunity for character based humour, letting the humour come to the situation rather than forcing the humour
  4. Unlike G’nort (a Green Lantern dog who’s worked with the team), she’s actually reasonably intelligent and would be more than comic relief,  making a real contribution to the team on purpose
  5. She’s got a bit of a caustic personality, always good for dramatic tension
  6. Despite the core team frequently being called Justice League of America, only on rare occasions has the team actually had a patriotic themed hero; she would fill that gap
  7. The Justice League rarely has a member with her specific powers (attracting and repelling objects)
  8. With her normal team, the Zoo Crew she’s not unusual, but with the Justice League she would get to stand out a bit
  9. Unusual lifeforms help to sell reader on character diversity (witness for example the Red Tornado); she could contribute to that, while being the whitest team member (okay, so that’s fur and not skin but no one can see her skin so  my point stands)
  10. It promotes the idea that you can be different from everyone else and still make a big difference.

A further point: there is an easy way to bring her in once she can’t get back home: at least in some versions of DC continuity she actually knows Superman, albeit as a passing acquaintance. Superman would probably encourage her membership as a way to occupy her while stranded, and to do some good in the process.

So come on DC, wear your silliness on your sleeve. Bring Yankee Poodle to the Justice League, play it completely straight, and the fun inn the stories should flow naturally, much more so than constantly just resetting things. 

Well, okay, while I really would like to see this, I doubt DC is going to rush out and get Earth-C’s greatest poodle on the Justice League.  But by acknowledging the strangeness of the DC universe and playing it out to its full potential, writers could probably come up more fun ideas than just coming up with the same attention getting gimmicks over and over.

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