Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Genre Character of the Week: Songbird

Have you ever felt like you were the sole voice of reason in a roomful of crazies? How about if those crazies were all super-powered? A couple weeks back I was loaned a copy of Warren Ellis' Thunderbolts: Faith in Monsters, which follows a team of super-powered folks in the post-Civil War Marvel Universe who spend their time tracking down unregistered heroes. The character that caught my attention the most, Melissa Joan Gold, aka Songbird.

All right, let me back up, Civil War (which I never read) was a massive Marvel comic crossover event back in 2006 which ruined not one, but two comics I was currently reading (Fantastic Four and Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man), and basically ended up with all the heroes in the Marvel Universe (Iron Man, Captain America, The X-Men, Spider-Man, etc.), taking sides on whether or not the government should be involved in their business.

In the end the decision was yes, and somehow a team of super-villains were put together to hunt down heroes who refused to register. The team included Spider-Man villain Venom, Daredevil villain Bullseye and as a boss they had Norman (The Green Goblin) Osborn. As the team existed before Osborn's reign, there were a couple holdovers, including the once-villain-now-conflicted-hero Songbird.

Songbird spends much of the story arc attempting to bring the extreme level of violence her new team-mates like to use down to merely terrible levels. Honestly, this series really looks at the idea of making the best of a terrible situation and takes it to superhuman levels. As a story it was very violent (I wouldn't let my 14-year-old read it), but as with all of Ellis' writing, it was very, very good.

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