Digression Girl

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Digression Girl’s origin: Just a girl, standing in front of Darkseid, calling him a loser

For years “digression girl strikes again” was an often repeated piece of self-reflection I’d haul out when my tendency to digress in all things, especially answers and comments on Quora, lead to longer and sometimes round-about musings on the topic at hand.

Then one day a fun question was asked, and what began as a deeply silly answer to that question, was the moment when “yes, yes, digression girl digressed again” became something else, something more. Like a modern-day Athena sprung fully formed from the brow of Zeus, that question served as the labrys of creation and Digression Girl leapt from my aching head, and from that question, a fully-formed hero, ready to bring wisdom, fair play, and the strongest weapon of all–humor–to her cyber world of all things comic book, genre novels & media, and useless but fun trivia (sprinkled here and there with song lyrics)! (For how she moved from a character to this site, see Genesis of a Website.)

Digression Girl is all about digressions.
Digression, n., A departure from the subject under consideration.

Tangent Terror is where great tangents go to thrive.
Tangent, n., A departure from the subject under consideration.

Hmmm. How very exactly the same! But we all know there are definitions and then there are uses. Digression and Tangent really aren’t used the same way by most people. We have our preferences, professional distinctions, regionalisms. In my lexicon, a digression is related to the topic, takes it someplace else, but circles back around to the topic. Tangents start out quite a bit the same, but the reader eventually figures out we’ve created a whole other topic and we aren’t headed back to the beginning of the topic.

Agent [REDACTED], “I think I’m confused!”
Digression Girl, “I know I am!”
Art by Belle

The Origin

A question was asked about which 2 heroes you’d choose from DC and Marvel, to take on Darkseid and Thanos, who are for some reason after you. Me. Against Darkseid and Thanos. That’s not fair, right? (This is not the exact question, but close enough to say ©2019 Quora)

Now that we can agree that is not fair, I must admit I did something bad: I cheated. I was not expressly told it was an either/or sitch with hero choice. So I picked two from each of the big two.

Dramatis personae:

DC: Dick “Nightwing” Grayson and Donna “Your guess is as good as mine” Troy.

Marvel: Jean “Phoenix” Grey & Kitty “Your guess is as good as mine” Pryde.

IRL: Michelle “Digression Girl” Girard

Why this team? Well, on my own, I think I have a decent chance against Thanos because he has been shown, on occasion, to be distracted by intelligent or amusing patter, both of which I am pretty okay with, and I read microexpressions fairly well; I give myself a 50/50 shot at endearing myself to the mad Titan and winning him to my side as my protector against Darkseid, for the giggles if for no other reason.

Also, because I think Thanos would look down on Darkseid—Darkseid has no subtlety, no art, no higher calling than power, and to Thanos that would be rather plebeian. If I were somehow in a situation that found me facing both of these guys, odds are it would be some random chance, not a planned alliance between the two big bads. Darkseid would not find me amusing, would find my Earth-based intelligence a waste in a non-meta human woman who couldn’t even survive Granny Goodness’s school for wayward Furies, so he’d incinerate me with barely a thought.

©DC Comics and Marvel Comics

So, because I’m something of a pragmatist with a touch of cynicism on a day-to-day basis, but a pragmatist with a lot of optimism is a crisis, I’m going to assume that Thanos is already backing me, because the concept of a gnat winning his favor and going against the dour New God would appeal to his sense of humor. Based on most portrayals of the Mad Titan, this seems both possible and fitting.

In that scenario, Dick and Kitty would be a big help. Both are smarter than I am and have better dialogue writers so can be witty as heck. Add to that: both can read a situation even better than I can, and are master strategists (I’m just ok), and they could help keep Thanos amused while planning what to do when that inevitably wears thin. In a pinch, if Dick can’t Nightwing me out of danger on a grappling line or in an acrobatic roll, Kitty can phase my butt out of harm’s way.

(Best I could find, but mentally age them up!)

©DC Comics and Marvel Comics

This may seem like a lot of generals with too few warriors, but Donna, Kitty, and I share a rare quality: All natural leaders who know when to follow; natural strategists, who know when it is best to contribute to a plan, not take it over.

Phoenix is busy, both gathering the Phoenix Force and stilling her mind so she can operate at maximum capacity with maximum control.

Nightwing is going over what he knows about Darkseid, my fast downlow on Thanos, Shadowcat, and Phoenix are, and what the heck one powerless human has done to get stuck in the middle of this. And how to use us all to our strengths, and, where needed, our weaknesses to survive this crazy situation.

Darkseid seems to be talking to himself, hasn’t introduced himself, is trying to assess what is happening, and casting irritated looks at Thanos and I as we one up each other with dirty limericks and gallows humor. Hey, not all talents are martial ones!

Note: another reason for Jean and Donna? You can’t keep those ladies down. They come back from the dead like people come back from the corner store. If I get blown to smithereens, I want it to be with them, in case I can catch a ride back to Live-ville.

More than beautiful smiles! Nothing keeps them dead!
(Found on Google images, will add copyright information when located.)

It’s time. Nightwing sends the new besties, Thanos and Digression Girl, out to do what Digression Girl does best: Distract and confuse. The Mad Titan and Clueless Human approach the Grouchy God, who to all appearances is in the midst of an animated discussion with himself, arguing over some pointless point, perhaps about how truly awesome and invincible the legendary New God Darkseid is.

Coming upon a “stranger” (Darkgrouch), Digression Girl asks him to be an impartial judge in their “ongoing disagreement,” convincingly feigning ignorance that this cosmic wayfarer is, in fact, the subject of their petty argument (all the while hoping Thanos doesn’t grin and give them away, or, you know, just blast Darkseid). Being bored, and vain, Darkseid agrees, and indicates that the little human go first.

Ah! A fatal mistake. Digression Girl prattles on (for that is her superpower), talking about all the various things she has read about him and his powers and what he did in something called the “Fourth World,” the “Silver Age,” “Post-Crisis,” “New 52,” “Earth 2,” “Rebirth,” and most annoyingly to Darkgrouchy, she keeps going off on this Kirby fellow, who she claims was the Creator, who also created other worlds and other gods and heroes with some other Creator called Lee.

As Digression Girl does her thing, which is making Thanos giggle, because, fortunately, the name of the Creator Starlin never once comes up (and if you think a giggling Thanos is a sight to behold, you are right), the others are making their move. Shadowcat phases Nightwing and Troy into position behind Grumpseid, while Phoenix, who has been meditating to gather and ensure control the Force, has readied herself for battle.

At the agreed-upon cue (which was Digression Girl turning to Thanos and saying, “You know, having restated my side of the argument, I think I have to agree with you. Darkseid really is a poor man’s Thanos.”), as one, Digression Girl and the Mad Titan turn to Darkseid. Thanos smiles wide, showing all of his teeth, and he asks, “Wouldn’t you agree, stranger?”

She doesn’t fly, but according to her father, her mouth moves
faster than a whippoorwill’s as . . . butt.
You’d be surprised at the loft that can get you!
Art by Snow Frost

As Darkseid struggles to decide which of the many retorts to snap first, his face changes and it is clear he is going to let his stare be his answer. Not good. Shadowcat grabs Digression Girl and phases her, while Thanos lunges forward toward the New God, out of the path of the beams, and grabs Darkseid’s throat, a move so surprising, that the blow to the back of his knees from Nightwing, added oomph by the speed of the telekinetic toss of Phoenix, brought Grouchypants down, enabling Troy to secure him with her silver lasso of persuasion.

Her indomitable will was enough to keep the New God down while Shadowcat, Digression Girl, and Nightwing got to a safe distance. At the last possible minute, Thanos let go, and moves away, Troy’s will now the only thing holding Darkseid down. It was a fierce struggle, but a mercifully short one, because those few seconds were all Phoenix needed to focus the power of fire, life, death, and rebirth on Darkseid, and blast him through time and space, simultaneously aging him past death and de-aging him before birth, while binding him in a singularity pushed far beyond the edge of known space and time, where he would exist and not exist forever, in a prison with no map, no key, and no end. No. Avatars.

Tired and drained, the team takes a moment. Thanos then slowly turns to look at the assembled humans, a strange look on his face. He speaks: “While this was an enjoyable way to pass a morning, companions, I think it would be best that we do not cross paths again.”

The team agrees completely, “Thank you for your aid, noble Titan, we leave you to your day,” Digression Girl says, with all the dignity she can muster, while in an undertone to Jean: “Can you get us the hell out of here?”

Jean smiles and suddenly the five tired humans find themselves in street clothes, at a diner, drinking coffee with Superman and Batman.

A whole ‘nother Nighhawk
(Found on Google images, will add copyright information when located.)