I originally wrote a review for this fic a while back, then reread it recently. It has not aged well.
The Story Arc
and world building are still astonishing.
The Character Development
is variable in quality, plot points seem to be ticked off one by one, narrative style goes well past quaintly charming into childish, cheesy and irritating. It evokes the more nauseating elements of the Silver Age. This seems to be part of the author's Signature Style
, as it doesn't mature across the books and is a serious problem, as it makes it difficult to build up tension.
On the same subject, there is also the lack of challenge for Superman, Gary Stu
extraordinaire. Credit to the author, he rectified this in Book 3 with the introduction of General Zod, who proved to be one of the most compelling characters in the entire series, trading on its best parts, its complex world building and sense of history, and the emotional wringer he and Alison were put through, something that (mostly) ensured that she was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap
, and from that point on, began to balance Marvel and DC better.
However, the treatment of Carol Danvers, particularly in Book 3, easily brushed past at first, is, on closer reading, abominable. She's of the first really strong, powerful female comics characters with real agency, a woman who kicks butt, stands up to torture, takes names, has a career and isn't going to be held down by anybody - but equally, isn't a Straw Feminist
, has her share of romantic attachments and very real issues relating to alcoholism, a Stay in the Kitchen
father, a boyfriend murdered by Mystique and Rogue's famous theft of her memories and powers.
The author, however, sees fit to reduce her to the classic hysterical woman stereotype, crossed over with a degree of racism ('ragheads') and classic right wing warhawk, who's full of issues because her husband died on tour in Afghanistan. In this, she gets her powers not out of a desire to fly and do good, but to become a Living Weapon
, through SHIELD using Kree research on the Inhumans. This parallels many real world scientific advancements, good coming from bad. Instead, the author has Supes pull his Holier Than Thou
routine and effectively dismisses her.
I am not impressed.