thebigapricot: (Default)
[personal profile] thebigapricot posting in [community profile] scans_daily
As part of the Brightest Day event DC will be launching "Dark Titans" starring Cheshire aka Jade Nyguen aka Lian’s mom aka Roy Harper’s Baby Mama. Here is part one of a look back at the history of one of the deadliest, most resilient and versatile villains in the DCU.

Cheshire been around the DCverse for over 25 years. She’s an expert in martial arts but her specialty is poison.She’s a trained expert on toxins and she delivers her wares via her nails. I think she is one of the most dangerous and complex villains in the DCU, but she tends to get pegged as B-list. Black Canary, however, recognized how dangerous she is in the scan above from Arsenal's mini from 1998. It may be because she's not associated with one of the Trinity but with the Teen Titans. But she’s actually appeared in a variety of books across the DCU. Her appearances have been primarily handled three writers – Marv Wolfman, Chuck Dixon and Gail Simone. This first post will focus on her relationship with Roy and Lian. I'll take at look at her work with teams in another post.

I also find Cheshire interesting because she has given birth to not one but two children – Lian, fathered by Roy Harper, and a boy, fathered by Thomas Blake/Catman. Pregnancies are rare enough in the DCU so having two is extremely rare. The only other costumed characters I can think of who has had two children is Thorn, mother of Jade and Obsidian. And, coincidentally, another villain. Cheshire's motherhood has given her a unique twist among the villains in the DCU.

Here is Cheshire's first appearance in 1982’s New Teen Titan Annual #2.

She's got a thing for red heads we'll soon see. Cheshire would show up to battle the Titans a number of times but her connection to the Titans became permanent with her involvement with Roy Harper. Here, Roy tells the story of how he met he as he reads his “unauthorized biography” to Lian. This is from “Secret Origins: Green Arrow and Speedy” from 1989.

Another version is in Action Comics 615 from 1989. Cheshire is featured in a five issue arc “The Cheshire Contract” by Tom Patton. Roy and Dick are in London to stop an assassination Cheshire is involved with. Roy recounts to Dick how he and Cheshire hooked up. Warning bad 80s hair follows.

I warned you.

Here Roy meets up with Cheshire in the present day of the story and you can see the power she holds over him. Roy's love for Cheshire, despite her villainy, has been a ongoing plot point. I think he is technically over her, but with her appearing in Justice League: The rise of Arsenal and the promise of "sparks flying" who knows?

Here in issue 21 of the New Teen Titans from 1986, Roy first finds out that he left more than just a memory for Chesh.

The red hair does defy almost all genetic feasibility but, hey, what a cute baby.
Lian could have disappeared at this point and gone the route of Sin or Helena Kyle, but instead the writers brought a new level of relevance to the Titans by having Cheshire turn custody over to Roy to make him a single dad. Lucky Lian that her dad, a former drug addict, danger junky, Checkmate operative, and non-meta superhero is considered the better parent.

With Lian safe with Roy, Cheshire is free to pursue her career. She saves Deathstroke's life and gets him to help her steal some nuclear weapons from Russia. Cheshire plans to use the weapons to hold a country from ransom. To show the world she is serious she conducts her personal “war on terror” (this is from the Deathstroke the Terminator mini from 1993.)

An entire country -- I think Cheshire must hold the record for most victims in the DCU.

It's a few years before Cheshire is brought to justice for her crime of blowing up Quarac. While on the run, she becomes has her own team, the Ravens, as well as joins Vandal Savage's Tartarus. I’ll cover those adventures in the second post.

While Cheshire is evil, it is somewhat mitigated by her love of Lian which seems genuine. (I'll talk about how genuine in the next post) Here, from 2001's Titans 27, her love for her daughter ends up costing her her freedom.

A fame seeking Epsilon jumps in and takes Cheshire off to prison where she is put on trial.
These next scans are from Titan's 30. The issue, by Jay Faeber and Jay Grau, which focuses on Cheshire's love for Lian, feelings for Roy and her life as a super villain. For anyone who is interested in Cheshire, I'd recommend picking it up.

The verdict is in.

Unfortunately, she’s incarcerated with her former colleagues from the Ravens who use her visit from Roy and Lian to stage a prison break. Cheshire helps Roy put down the break but begs him to run with her.

Does she really love Roy? He loved her but in this issue it is clear he is, for now, over her. Faced with the possibility of having to shoot Lian, Cheshire puts down her weapon to be returned to her cell where she contemplates her life. But you cannot keep the girl down. She breaks out of prison just a few issues later in Titans 34 and pays a visit to her daughter. Given that she been infected with Joker gas it's not a pleasant visit.

Roy shoots Jade with the antidote upsetting Lian.

Poor Lian. Cheshire recovers and that's the last we see of her for a while.
Next up a look at Cheshire as the lead of her own team, her run in with the Birds of Prey and her time with the Secret Six!

Tags: char: cheshire/jade nguyen,char: speedy/red arrow/roy harper,char: lian harper,creator: marv wolfman,title: titans,title: teen titan

Date: 2010-02-16 03:40 am (UTC)
colonel_green: (Default)
From: [personal profile] colonel_green
The country-nuking bit is just so over the top that it seems to get brought up with her every subsequent appearance.

Date: 2010-02-16 03:53 am (UTC)
jaybee3: Nguyen Lil Cass (Default)
From: [personal profile] jaybee3
Yeah, like Black Adam killing millions in Biyala with his bare hands or even Deathstroke (though DC seems to want to redeem him a bit) with Bludhaven, there are places where it's pretty impossible to come back from as a viable character, which is why I have little interest in Deathstroke's "Titans", Scandal and Catman and Jeanette in Secret Six may be villains but they are not guilty of genocide.

I am intrigued by how much feeling Cheshire has still has for Roy though. She seduced Catman and had his kid but I never gathered she had strong feelings for him - certainly not of the kind she had for Lian's dad.

Date: 2010-02-16 04:05 am (UTC)
ravenous_raven: Combo headshot of Cass Cain, Steph Brown, and Babs Gordon, the 3 Batgirls, "Bow to the Goddammned Batgirls" in a corner (Default)
From: [personal profile] ravenous_raven
Yeah, I got that was lust too. For Roy, though...totally different. It would be interesting if a writer explored those two relationships and the fact that she seems to have gotten colder to other people after Roy left (or so the scans seem to indicate).

Date: 2010-02-16 04:06 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jlbarnett
they seem to be trying with Adam by constantly showing more and more refugees from Biyala every time it's shown reducing his body count. And I suggested in another post they could change the whole Deathstroke nukes Bludhaven thing by having him know about Alex's plan to alter reality

Date: 2010-02-16 09:01 am (UTC)
magus_69: (pic#370600)
From: [personal profile] magus_69
As somebody said back on LJ (can't remember who): the way to retcon/fix Adam would be to have the Horsemen responsbile for the bulk of the destruction. Adam would only have gone after the guilty parties, and would be much too stubborn to even bother offering the truth.

Date: 2010-02-17 04:33 am (UTC)
pyrotwilight: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pyrotwilight
Which is how I thought it had occured when I read it and still can't see it any other way.

I mean between Black Adam and DEATH, who do I think killed all those people? Hmmmmm.

Date: 2010-02-16 06:53 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Wasn't there a hint that she had a child with Blake because it would mean she didn't need to treat Lian as her only contribution to the next generation (The hold that Mockingbird had over her). She would have a child for HER to rear and that means her apparent weakness as far as Roy and Lian would be wiped away.

Date: 2010-02-16 09:18 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lonewolf23k
That is what is known as a Moral Event Horizon.

Date: 2010-02-16 03:47 am (UTC)
pyrotwilight: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pyrotwilight
AH, I miss the days of Rose baby sitting peoples kids.

Which funnily enough made its way to to Tiny Titans, where she babysits her little brother and those Terror Titans.

Date: 2010-02-16 04:06 am (UTC)
ravenous_raven: Combo headshot of Cass Cain, Steph Brown, and Babs Gordon, the 3 Batgirls, "Bow to the Goddammned Batgirls" in a corner (Default)
From: [personal profile] ravenous_raven
If writers kept her there (instead of the sociopath she is now), it would be interesting to see how she would grow into being a superhero. Anyone could have played up the "mother's instinct" idea in her too, but no, evil is in the blood!

Date: 2010-02-16 02:44 pm (UTC)
flint_marko: (Default)
From: [personal profile] flint_marko
It wasn't her fault; Slade drugged her.

Date: 2010-02-16 05:17 pm (UTC)
ravenous_raven: Combo headshot of Cass Cain, Steph Brown, and Babs Gordon, the 3 Batgirls, "Bow to the Goddammned Batgirls" in a corner (Default)
From: [personal profile] ravenous_raven
Oh yes, I know that, but a writer decided to do that then keep her more violent than she was previously ( as opposed to, say, Cass, who got off the crazy juice, stayed crazy for only a little amount of time , and then went back to her old self.)

Date: 2010-02-16 04:03 am (UTC)
ravenous_raven: Combo headshot of Cass Cain, Steph Brown, and Babs Gordon, the 3 Batgirls, "Bow to the Goddammned Batgirls" in a corner (Default)
From: [personal profile] ravenous_raven
So for now her eyes are green, right? And her hair's straight? B)

But besides that, I've always found her a fascinating character. She's a villain, certainly, but she also loves Roy and Lian. I hope that she stays in this vein instead of dropping into the "Dragon Lady" category...

Date: 2010-02-16 07:27 am (UTC)
ada_c: Plant (Ayu Champagne toast)
From: [personal profile] ada_c
Well she couldn't help that she first appeared in the '80s. It was law that everyone had curly hair back then!

Date: 2010-02-16 05:26 pm (UTC)
cleome45: (lightning1)
From: [personal profile] cleome45
And now nobody does.


Date: 2010-02-16 04:18 am (UTC)
sistermagpie: Might as well be in Chinese (Chinese)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
I kinda love her outfit with those sleeves!

But even more I love Roy's preppie look when he meets Lian wearing that sweater.

Date: 2010-02-16 05:50 am (UTC)
ravenous_raven: Combo headshot of Cass Cain, Steph Brown, and Babs Gordon, the 3 Batgirls, "Bow to the Goddammned Batgirls" in a corner (Default)
From: [personal profile] ravenous_raven
The cartoon TT version also had those sleeves (and a brief fight with Speedy!):

...though I'm not a fan of the super-short skirt. I would have loved to see her in a version of the traditional Vietnamese dress, the ao dai:

If you can't tell, the dress is very fitted in the torso and sleeves and loose, high-waisted pants are worn underneath.

Date: 2010-02-16 08:17 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
The direct link from doesn't show up as an image,

Date: 2010-02-16 05:18 pm (UTC)
ravenous_raven: Combo headshot of Cass Cain, Steph Brown, and Babs Gordon, the 3 Batgirls, "Bow to the Goddammned Batgirls" in a corner (Default)
From: [personal profile] ravenous_raven
Gah, it showed up in the preview...I'll fix that later.

Date: 2010-02-16 05:28 pm (UTC)
ravenous_raven: Combo headshot of Cass Cain, Steph Brown, and Babs Gordon, the 3 Batgirls, "Bow to the Goddammned Batgirls" in a corner (Default)
From: [personal profile] ravenous_raven

The picture in the top left corner was the one I meant to show, but this works too! Notice how she uses her claws: Wolverine-style, not nails. Unless she somehow put metal claws over her fingertips, I don't see her using her actual nails or even putting fake ones one, as those can rip off your actual nail given a strong enough force.

Date: 2010-02-16 06:54 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Have to say, the Titans animated Cheshire is a marvellous design, and a lot more interesting and creepy than her usual sultry dragon lady style outlook.

Date: 2010-02-16 10:12 pm (UTC)
ravenous_raven: Combo headshot of Cass Cain, Steph Brown, and Babs Gordon, the 3 Batgirls, "Bow to the Goddammned Batgirls" in a corner (Default)
From: [personal profile] ravenous_raven
It is, the cat mask was a stroke of brilliance. Here's the best vid to show her in action:
It's basically just a repeat of a very brief fight between her and Speedy when all the Titans were being brought down, but look how much she owns him!

Date: 2010-02-16 05:02 pm (UTC)
ladymirth: (supergirl)
From: [personal profile] ladymirth
I love how feminine yet functional that outfit is. Our national dress is the saree, which is pretty but I hate wearing it with a passion.

Date: 2010-02-16 05:30 pm (UTC)
ravenous_raven: Combo headshot of Cass Cain, Steph Brown, and Babs Gordon, the 3 Batgirls, "Bow to the Goddammned Batgirls" in a corner (Default)
From: [personal profile] ravenous_raven
I've heard that the collar can be uncomfortable, but I'm sure if the whole thing was spandex...and the long skirt could be tricked-out like Tim's cape too, so you're right, it could actually be functional!

Date: 2010-02-16 04:30 am (UTC)
chipsnopotatoes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] chipsnopotatoes
I've always wanted to read more about her. Very interesting dynamic with Arsenal.

Date: 2010-02-16 06:41 am (UTC)
ext_398513: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Is 'Nguyen' a Japanese name? I think its Vietnamese... I have 4 different friends with that name and I'm good friends with 3 sisters at my local nail/spa place that have that name.
Too late to change that now I guess.

I can't help but laugh at the 80s hair, I mean my goodness!! Why, oh why! Roy looks like Bowie.

As much as I'm interested in a Cheshire Revival I personally don't want them to have a relationship. I hold my Roy/Donna flag high and with pride!

Date: 2010-02-16 07:52 am (UTC)
intertobamf: (Default)
From: [personal profile] intertobamf
"Nguyen" is as Vietnamese as you can get.

(Such a name wouldn't be possible in Japanese phonetics, anyway.)

Date: 2010-02-16 11:04 pm (UTC)
ext_398513: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah I was just a bit confused because I haven't seen a mention of Vietnam; like up in the scans they say Hong Kong instead.

Date: 2010-02-16 07:23 am (UTC)
cainofdreaming: cain's mark (pic#364829)
From: [personal profile] cainofdreaming
An entire country -- I think Cheshire must hold the record for most victims in the DCU.

Corrigan!Spectre did away a country too. And then there's of course John Stewart and Xanshu and maybe Kyle too, if Mosaic was still inhabited when he blew Oa up.

Hmm, weird how all those examples are actually heroes.

Date: 2010-02-16 08:01 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
John Stewart didn't destroy Xanshu himself, he simply made a mistake out of hubris that prevented Martian Manhunter from saving it.

Imperiax killed a galaxy.

Date: 2010-02-16 08:17 am (UTC)
cainofdreaming: cain's mark (pic#364829)
From: [personal profile] cainofdreaming
He kind of also froze, since while he couldn't have affected the bomb himself there was still a whole planet around him that he could. Scooping up the immediate surroundings, with the bomb inside the rock and soil, and throwing them to the nearest star was within his ability.

But anyways, guess it's not exactly the same.

Date: 2010-02-16 08:18 am (UTC)
cainofdreaming: cain's mark (pic#364829)
From: [personal profile] cainofdreaming
Bomb itself. Duh.

Date: 2010-02-16 06:33 pm (UTC)
halloweenjack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halloweenjack
I think that the Anti-Monitor must still hold the record, since he destroyed all the universes in the Multiverse in the original Crisis save five.

Date: 2010-02-16 03:10 pm (UTC)
robogeek: (Default)
From: [personal profile] robogeek
Red hair as an infant isn't beyond belief. I was a blond as a baby, went through a brief redhead phase, and ended up with dark brown hair. And both of my parents had dark hair.

Plus, Jade is half French, so who knows what recessive genes she had?

Date: 2010-02-16 05:04 pm (UTC)
ladymirth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ladymirth
I am loving the art, esp in the last few scans.

Oh eighties. Nobody escaped you unscathed.

Date: 2010-02-16 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
cheshire is my absolute favorite villain in any comic book. jay faeber wrote the best cheshire in titans. in issue 30 he made you feel really sorry for her. she's this mass murdering psycho bitch but you really felt a connection with her. it's my favorite issue

Date: 2010-02-16 11:06 pm (UTC)
ext_398513: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
The scan where Jade is pouring out the poison and talking to KF and Starfire, is that Jose Luis Garcia Lopez on art?

Date: 2010-02-17 05:11 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] hyakinthia
When did Lian's hair switch from red to black? I know it was black at Dick and Kory's aborted wedding, but was there an earlier appearance?


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