Revisiting Origins and Omens

Two things.  First, it’s been six months since DC went and gave us all these mysterious Origins and Omens stories with our good friend Scar as the narrator.  So, I thought it would be interesting to revisit a couple of them for the upcoming weeks and see how those images and stories that were foreshadowed have come to light, and which ones have yet to have meaning to us.  Second, we’re creeping up on the one year anniversary of Life in the Gutter and I figured I should do something special to commemorate the occasion.

This week, we look at the Origins and Omens stories of Black Canary and Brainiac.  (Note: Some of these stories are from books that I either don’t read or have only recently started reading.  I will list these at the end of this column, and if anyone would like to volunteer to write something up about the Origins and Omens found in that particular title I would love to feature it here so we can have a complete look at these stories.)

Black Canary

“A poet of the planet Gaia once wrote, ‘Love lift us up where we belong.’  The archer and the siren believe their love has lifted them up where they belong.  They are mistaken.”  Actually, three poets share the credit for the line.  Buffy Sainte Marie, Will Jennings, and Jack Nitzsche wrote the song “Up Where We Belong,” and it was sung by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes.  Movie buffs will remember that it was the love theme from An Officer and a Gentleman.  But, that’s neither here nor there. 

The origins portion of the story takes us back to Dinah’s high school days, complete with black hair and absolutely no hints of the kick-ass kind of woman she’s going to turn out to be.  Personally, I think it’s a nice touch to show just how unsure she is of herself as a student in high school.  She doesn’t go out of the house when she has a zit, and she obsesses over being popular and whether or not a boy likes her.  And she talks.  A lot.  I mean, really.  If she kept her mouth shut for a minute, she probably would have noticed how much it was bothering her (presumably best) friend Sam that she was constantly obsessing over this one particular guy. 

Sam suggests that Dinah scream to get rid of her frustrations; his mom is a shrink and has her patients do it often to help them cope.  So Dinah screams, and what appears to be the first occurrence of Dinah’s sonic scream knocks Sam across the football field with its force.

The next visual we see is Dinah (with blond hair as Black Canary) knocking out a window with her sonic scream and an innocent bystander coming in contact with the sound.  The doctors tell the patient’s relative that he is deaf for the rest of his life, since the noise—whatever it was—damaged the hairs inside his ear to the point that implants are not even possible.  The patient, whose name is revealed to be Sean, is unable to hear what his brother and the doctor are talking about, as well as what the anchor on the news is saying.  But he sees a picture of Black Canary, and—presumably, with the help of closed captioning—discerns that she is the cause of his deafness.  The determined and downright pissed look on his face says it all.

Those of you following along at home know that the creepy dude with the blaster in the upper right of the omens page is this same person, now calling himself Discord.  His coming out party in Star City included killing his brother and shutting off all the sound in the city, among other equally bad acts that didn’t even get mentioned.

Another person we see (in the upper left) is the unbelievably cooky and delusional Cupid.  We know she has a thing for the Emerald Archer, and she goes to great lengths to show him just how much she “loves him,” including killing most of his rogues gallery, minus Merlyn.  Yeah, she just turned him into a vegetable.  Lovely girl, isn’t she?  Has she held a gun to his head yet while she kisses him?  We might see a redefinition of the term “shotgun wedding.”

As for the rest, we haven’t seen Speedy in a while, but artist Mike Norton told me at Chicago Comic-Con that she’s in issue #24, so whatever is going on with her will be coming up soon.  The rest of what we see if various instances of Ollie and Dinah being at odds with each other, which is something that’s been happening with increasing frequency.  

Brainiac

Oh, Lex.  Ye be the sculptor and we are the clay.  At least, that’s what he thought until Brainiac told him otherwise.  The story is simple and to the point.  General Lane is in possession of Brainiac and Lex has been given the task of unlocking the alien technology, which is appears he has.  Lex also believes himself to be in control of Brainiac, but the Brain InterActive Construct soon informs him otherwise and reveals its plans to Lex.

Okay, so Lex isn’t in control of Brainiac, but Scar tells us the Book of Black says there is someone Lex will have control over, but he is dead.  For once, Scar says, he questions the Book of Black.  And with good reason.  If the  large image of our beloved Superboy wasn’t a hint six months ago, I’m sure anyone who read Legion of 3 Worlds #4 is now deeply concerned for Conner and what role Lex will play in the new Adventure Comics series.

Help, anyone?

Below is a list of the Origins and Omens stories that I could use help with, either because I don’t read that title or only recently jumped on.  If you’d like to recap one of these for me, type it up and send it to gutterlife@gmail.com and I’ll include it in the upcoming weeks.

Booster Gold                                                  Justice Society of America

Green Lantern                                                 The Outsiders

Green Lantern Corps                                      Vigilante

Thanks again for reading and we’ll keep following up on these stories in the upcoming weeks.