Let’s Talk About Supergirl’s Lyra Strayd

With all that’s been happening on Supergirl recently, small scenarios and interactions can quickly get lost in the shuffle. The dominance of one particular character especially has taken focus away from minor characters. One such character I think has gotten overlooked is Winn’s new girlfriend, Lyra Strayd. And that’s who I want to talk about, because I (and one of my friends) get some fascinating subtext from her character that no one else is talking about.

Who is Lyra Strayd?

What do we know about her? Lyra (played by Tamzin Merchant) is an alien from Starhaven, a planet with connections to the Anasazi culture in the post-Crisis comics. They also have wings and can survive in space without oxygen in the comics (due to genetic engineering), though none of these aspects seem to have made it into the Supergirl adaptation. Not that this lack of tie in to the comics is entirely new for the show, given that Alex doesn’t exist in the comics nor are Kara’s parents scientists and engineers. Just because something doesn’t make it from comic to screen doesn’t mean it’s an intentional slight. Supergirl the show ≠ the comics in more ways than it actually resembles them. Anyway, Lyra as we see her on screen has escaped a planetary crises on Starhaven and found a home as a refugee on Earth. She’s skilled in hand-to-hand combat, forthright in her sexual and romantic preferences, not at all ashamed to take the lead in a relationship, and also a huge nerd. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="418"] I love these two as a couple just for this joke. But also, they're adorable.[/caption] All that’s pretty clear just from her on screen presence.

Mon El Is Mako, and That’s Not a Great Thing for Kara

After talking with Kylie, one of my fellow editors over at The Fandomentals, it seems more and more clear that Mon El takes after Mako from Legend of Korra, especially after the so-called 'bickering' we saw between Mon El and Kara on last night's episode. She's covered Mako's castration anxiety pretty well on her blog (go read the post, it's an excellent analysis), so I'll mostly just be drawing parallels.

Mon El's Protectiveness & Castration Anxiety

Despite being raised in a privileged position, Mon El seems to have the same need to act as Kara's protector and be useful to her that way as Mako does Korra. Last night wasn't the first time Mon El has asserted his need to protect her against her will. He chose to 'protect' her in "We Can Be Heroes", which put civilians at risk. Because unlike her, humans are squishy and can actually be hurt or killed by bullets and electricity. She calls him on his needless (and idiotic) protective urge, but it doesn't stop him from trying to take out Livewire for her later that same episode. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="250"] What 'honor' of hers was in need of protecting?[/caption] Last night was just more of the same. Mon El believes Kara is in need of his protection and guidance. She doesn't know what's good for her. He knows best how to take out Mr. Mxyzptlk (or, Mxy) and when Kara gives him a direct order to let her handle it, Mon El ignores it (much like he did in "We Can Be Heroes"). Just about all of his attempts to protect her end in utter failure. The times Mon El does succeed in being a useful partner are when he's just that, a partner. Not a protector. When he fights with her, and follows her directions, they can do teamwork well.

Crosspost: Supergirl “Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk” Review

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A Few Good Character Moments Are Not Enough

Or, Why The 100 Has Failed To Regain My Benefit of the Doubt
I'll start by saying I'm a long time watcher of Supergirl, a show devoted to second chances and the benefit of the doubt. If the creative team behind a piece of media proves itself to be listening to fan and media criticism and changes for the better? I'm all for welcoming it with open arms. Bryke accomplished that with Legend of Korra, so I know it can be done. I'm open to shows proving themselves to be better with hard work, commitment to thorough and consistent characterization, meaningful themes, and conscious course correcting their previous mistakes. I see none of these on The 100, despite what more positive reviewers are currently saying. That might be because I criticized the show for more than just Lexa's death, though I did vociferously call them out for that, too. Several of my fellow writers over at the Fandomentalist did as well. Nevertheless, if you read my reviews from last season and my series of three retrospectives co-authored with my friend Elizabeth, you'll see that I had issues with far more than one character's death. In fact, it is the failure to address my other frustrations with last season that have prevented the show from earning back my neutrality.

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Crosspost: Deadman 3 Review

“I can’t tell you how excited I was to drive down to my local comic book shop and pick up the final issue of Deadman: Dark Mansion Of Forbidden Love.…

Crosspost: Supergirl “The Martian Chronicles” Review

“Last week was the Martian forgiveness episode that gave us all the feels. This week, we get the climax to that arc when the White Martians come to Earth in…