Having the right look is necessary but not sufficient. I mean look at the other registered superheroes. While a lot of them seem very dim or at least arrogant, they do have the muscle to back up their posturing. None of them come close to Illumina's incapacity.
Mack's powers aren't entirely useless. When she and Val were body swapped, Val managed to prove that. They are just underdeveloped. And, Mack is starting to show more than her dizzy blonde exterior. Research, admission of knowledge of her shortcomings. Mack is growing as a person, maybe it will lead to growth as a hero as well.
Having the right look is necessary but not sufficient.
In the very beginnings of the strip it WAS an absolute necessity. Lack of "proper look" is one of -- if not THE -- reason(s) Val was assigned as a sidekick in the first place! At its origins, the strip was positioning itself as an indictment of "the superheroing system". Kind of like "Hero High", where the downtrodden nerds finally assert themselves, but with a bit more edge. I was fully expecting something like a "Sidekick Liberation Front" to materialize, but it never has.
I mean look at the other registered superheroes. While a lot of them seem very dim or at least arrogant, they do have the muscle to back up their posturing. None of them come close to Illumina's incapacity.
Given the Agency emphasis on superficiality, it's lucky that there are even as many competent heroes as there are. By that selection mechanism, the Hero agency SHOULD look more like the casts of Survivor and Jersey Shore competing to deliver food truck meals prepared in Kitchen Stadium to the northern reaches of the Arctic ice roads! Stan Lee's "Who Wants to Be a Superhero" would be about the right speed.
Although if Mack really *is* as self-aware as she is now (as opposed to how she seemed before), why didn't she ASK Val, "Hey, how did you do that with my powers while you were in my body? That seemed like a useful stunt!".
There are no few "heroes" who would thrive on the celebrity of being a celebrity. Mack has one up on the Kardashians in that she actually DOES have a super power, and occasionally actually does things. She was positioned to BE a super-Kardashian, but this change is pushing things back into more comic-booky absolute morality -- all heros are really, really HEROIC after all, and all villains are really really EBIL.
One of the central premises (which has been eroded to the point of nonexistence) was generating sympathy for Val because of her apparently-undeserved classification as "sidekick". Part of what we were shown about Mack, earlier, was that she was too self-absorbed to recognize Val's ability, neglected to file paperwork for commendations, never mind promotion to hero. Haze's promotion indicates that this system can and does work -- just not for Val. Is Val just unlucky, or what?
But with "all the other heroes are better", a very true statement, I'm beginning to think now, maybe it wasn't a mistake? Val is 9/10ths non-powered adventurer (e.g. Batman or the g#dd#mn Maidman) with a modest healing ability (still needs hospital assistance to fully recover). Like a less-extreme Wolverine. But Val's offensive capability isn't that great, anybody can pick up a baseball bat and match her. Her strength isn't super-super, and may not even reach the level of Olympian!
Considering that Val is MUCH more self-aware, why hasn't she examined her place in the hero ecology more closely? Is "the system" flawed, or is Val's self-image?
Is *Mack* really that disillusioned with "the system"?
Last Edit: May 14, 2013 3:40:19 GMT -5 by coriolis
Codename: Coriolis Powers: Magnetic manipulation (small, hi-velocity), Laser, Lightning Projection. Authority: Federal, Military Affiliation: Superhero Law Enforcement Division (SLED), Department of Homeland Security Note: the former South Carolina SLED has been renamed SCLERA (South Carolina Law Enforcement Regional Authority)