Thursday, October 26, 2006

When Villains Defend the Nuclear Family (Checkmate #7, Cover Date December, 2006)


Main Heroes: Mirror Master, Jewelee, Icicle, Tattooed Man
Minor Heroes: Tattooed Man, Bronze Tiger, Amanda Waller, Rick Flag, Plastique, Checkmate

Major Villains: The Government of Myanmar (Burma)
Minor Villains: Calculator


Ney, a Burmese meta, has been captured by the government and forced to supply energy that the government is selling to China to fund their regime. Meanwhile, the Suicide Squad had their cover blown, and the guards at the energy plant ambush them as soon as they arrive. Issue #6 ended with the claim that Punch (of Punch and Jewelee) had been killed, and in #7 that is confirmed. The Squad fights through the guards, and Mirror Master figures out that they have been double-crossed by the Tattooed Man, who tipped off Calculator in order to get in the Society's good graces. He was promised that he'd be spared, but the guards were trying to kill him as well, so he un-defected. Icicle doesn't accept it, and freezes the Tattooed Man, while Jewelee shatters him for his role in Punch's death.

The Squad frees Ney, and escapes back to America, where he is granted asylum. The Suicide Squad is disbanded. While the Checkmate leaders try to determine why events unfolded just as Waller predicted, Waller intimates that she intends to get involved in active operations in the near future.


From heartbreak to farce in seven panels or less. Here is Jewelee crying through a firefight outside the Burmese prison over Punch's body:
No baby no won't leave you I won't leave you . . .Who's gonna laugh at my jokes . . .? Who's gonna teach our baby . . .?
By the next page, Icicle has convinced her to re-join the fight, telling her "Your boy needs his mama at least, you hear me?" Jewelee responds:

No, baby needs two parents. But one will do for now.

She quickly moves on trying to replace her still-warm husband.

Mirror Master: 'Tween yer holographic jewel and me own mirrors, we're making a fine team, lass.
Jewelee (trying Punch hat on Mirror Master): Hmm . . . I'd have to hem it . . . YOu won't be interested in . . ?
Mirror Master: Wearin' this thing? Not one wee bit.

And later, to Icicle:

Right, you're right, my boy needs parents, after all . . . so this thing you have with Tigress . . is that serious?

A common argument against no-fault divorce (and more recently, to a lesser degree, against same-sex marriage), is that a child needs "two parents" -- a mother and a father. But is it better -- the other side asks -- for parents in even abusive relationships to stay together? Is the presence of a really bad father really better for the kid than being raised by a single mom?

This is the concept being lampooned by Jewelee who, suddenly a single mother after Punch's death five minutes earlier, is suddenly trying to pick-up every other Supervillain in the Suicide Squad because a child needs a mom and a dad.

So, which is it? Is a baby best raised by ONE supervillain or TWO supervillains? Whichever is the case, I don't see Jewelee have much of a solo career. Her shtick clearly works best as part of a pair.

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