April 21, 2024

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #279: Magenta

Wally West thought his girlfriend would make a good superhero. He...may not have been entirely correct on that.

It’s not uncommon in superhero teams for members to start dating.  Sometimes the relationships work, sometimes they don’t, and if you stop and look over who has hooked up with whom, you’ll probably find something that looks like a large spider-web.  What is less common is a hero bringing a significant other onto a team later, but that has happened on occasion.

That’s more or less how we get the sometime-hero, sometime-villain Magenta.

Magenta was one Frances Kane, and she was the girlfriend to Kid Flash Wally West.  Kane developed some magnetic powers, and Wally encouraged her to become a superhero like him.  She agreed, perhaps a bit reluctantly, to do so, taking the name “Magenta” as an anagram for “a magnet”.  She never outright joined the Teen Titans, but she did help them out on many occasions.

Now, it’s probably worth noting that while magnetism is a common superpower, it seems to act differently depending on who’s publishing the character.  Sure, over at Marvel, characters like Polaris and Magneto may switch back and forth between good and evil, but their powers are never the reason for it.  Over at DC, there are characters like Dr. Polaris who switch back and forth because magnetic powers make them unstable due to opposing polarity or something.  You know, positive and negative stuff.

Well, that more or less happened with Magenta.  The stress of being a superhero drove her evil, and later stories would suggest that she can stay sane and good as long as she just didn’t use her powers.  Wally, for his part, regrets what he did to her but as an adult, she even befriended his wife Linda.   As long as she didn’t user her powers, she wouldn’t become evil again.

Naturally, she used her powers, became evil again, and even joined up with different factions of the Rogues to either fight or assist the Flash as the story demanded.

And then the New 52 happened and Wally West sort of ceased to exist.

Oh, there was a different Wally, but he wasn’t dating a magnetic girl.

You can see why Wally fans weren’t happy.

DC Rebirth fixed that, sort of, by bringing the original Wally back, but due to the nature of what made the Rebirth happen, no one really remembered him.  He could make his closest friends and family remember him with a little effort, but his wife Linda didn’t know him, was a bit younger, and not interested in a romantic relationship right away.  Plus, his kids no longer existed.

What does all this have to do with Magenta?  Well, feeling lonely and frustrated, Wally opted to find her and maybe have someone else to hang out with.  And, apparently, he forgot the whole “her powers make her evil” thing, so she initially wasn’t too happy to see him.

Pictured: Magenta isn’t too happy to see him.

Fortunately, she snapped out of it and the two did become friends again, but that seems to be her last appearance so far.  I’m sure it’s not the last since she does tend to pop up, sometimes to help out the Titans, and she even did an episode of the CW’s Flash TV series.

She looks less….purple here.  You know, except the hair.

Will we see her again and whose side will she be on?  I don’t know.  Which Wally West will we be seeing?