[The New Teen Titans 6]
“To be totally passive does not create peace… it is the breeding ground for subjugation!”
Some comments on this:
When people explain why they prefer reboot Kori to preboot Kory (and just to make it clear, I am absolutely not arguing that you don’t have the right to that opinion), there are two ideas I see popping up repeatedly:
(1) Reboot Kori is stronger and more independent, while preboot Kory was too sugary-sweet/too passive/completely defined as “Dick Grayson’s girlfriend”.
(2) Reboot Kori’s past as a slave informs her character, while preboot Kory was unrealistically well-adjusted for someone who had gone through something so horrific.
I think scenes like this one completely give the lie to both of those ideas.
First of all, if there’s one thing Kory never has been, and never will be, it’s passive. Kory is, above all, a woman of action. She’s a person of intense emotions and incredibly strong convictions, and she doesn’t believe in holding anything back. She trusts her instincts absolutely, and if she sees something that needs to be addressed, you’d better believe that she’ll be the first one jumping into action. And she won’t care one bit if that action is a popular one or not, either.
And secondly, just because Kory wasn’t a constant mess of angst and trauma doesn’t mean her past was not something she carried with her every day. She doesn’t need to make any specific reference to her past for it to be clear that that’s what she’s thinking of here - her own parents sold her as a slave to create “peace”, and you can see her anger here when she encounters a similar mentality.
I think people kind of fall into this “Batman mindset” - that your angsty backstory is only valid if it informs your character in a very specific way. But people move on from traumatic experiences in different ways. Kory was not an “angsty character” by nature, true. And that’s a testament to her incredible strength. She lost everything, she was horribly tortured and abused, and yet she still managed not to become bitter or emotionally damaged. But on the contrary, I think Kory’s incredible appreciation for the goodness and beauty in life is not incongruent with her past, but actually part of how that past informs her character. The good things in life mean that much more to Kory because of everything she’s lost and suffered. She appreciates life - and freedom - that much more.
That’s not your typical “angsty backstory” characterization, no. But I think that’s part of what makes Kory so special.
Which isn’t to say that the pain and anger weren’t there, because as you see in this scene - and many others - they very much were. But Kory didn’t let herself be defined by pain or anger, that’s all.
That doesn’t mean her past isn’t still part of her.