Bethany Snow represents what many TV-based media sources are like

March 11, 2004

By Avi Green

I once did an essay two years ago on how J. Jonah Jameson of the Marvel universe reflects what many media sources are like in real life. But the difference from the comic book reporter I’ll be talking about here is that he’s more open in his biases, and makes it no secret what kind of a bias he’s got against Spider-Man and other superheroes in the MCU. What he most certainly does reflect though, if anything, is the minds of many journalists in real life, what they’re like underneath, and how they think.

On the other hand, in the DC universe, we’ve got Bethany Snow, who’s not only a reporter, but also a cable TV host, who had her own show, Snow Storm, in The New Teen Titans in the 1980’s. And through this outlet, she led an agenda against the Titans, doing whatever she could to make it hard for them to bring down her employer, whose cult she was also a member of, Brother Blood, leader of the Church of Blood in the fictional country of Zandia, which he ruled via a puppet president.

And was she nastily clever at that. She used mock audiences in her station’s studio, corrupt politicians who served as “witnesses” to counter the Titans’ testimonies as to how Brother Blood, and his right-hand woman, Mother Mayhem, conducted acts of torture and brainwashing to put some of their subjects under their control, goaded them into acts of violence and devil worship, and many more nightmarish influences. Snow employed many sneaky acts of deception, slander, smears, and worse to undermine our heroes valiant efforts to bring down the cult of Brother Blood, who armed themselves with guns and computer technology, and at least twice tried to put Dick Grayson, formerly the first Robin and now Nightwing, the great disciple of Batman, under their influence.

In one issue in 1984 (The New Teen Titans #40 vol. 1) when the Titans were in Bethany Snow’s television studio, arguing their side of the matter on Brother Blood, and Titans member Starfire, the lovely alien girl from the planet of Tamaran, tried to argue about how they’d witnessed the Church of Blood’s brainwashing tactics and such, a crooked senator, who’d been “invited” to the show to serve as a “witness” from Blood’s end of the spectrum, replied, “not to be disparaging, but since when does the audience believe an alien over a human?”

As disparaging as it was in spite of what he claimed, that was one very sneaky and sinister move there, and the mock audience’s applause towards the end of the program certainly served to complicate the Titans’ position even more.

Bethany Snow certainly managed to be an effective media adversary to the Titans back then, when Marv Wolfman and George Perez were helming The New Teen Titans, and what made her even more of a tricky nemesis than J. Jonah Jameson is that, while his biases against superheroes in the MCU is more out-in-the-open, hers were more under-the-table, in her attempts to present Brother Blood and his evil cult in Zandia as a positive and friendly influence, and with all of her sneak tactics and studio based minions to boot, who were also of course, employees of Brother Blood, and followers of his cult as well. Plus the fact that when it came to having debates that they were set up (and also set up) within her own studio, and not in a press conference in somewhere like the Titans Tower in New York City, which, as a result, makes it harder for the heroes to effectively argue their end of the matter than it would if they had been able to have a press conference debate at their own HQ.

Eventually, Snow was exposed as one of Blood’s own followers and her studio to have belonged to him, and this helped to bring him – and her – down. She was able to continue her career as a journalist since then, but thankfully, she’s been discredited in her positions.

Even so, in that time when Wolfman and Perez came up with her, she was a very effective villianess, serving as an early metaphor in her time for news outlets like CNN, and she certainly managed to give the Titans a rough time media-wise, making her one of the best media based adversaries in comics, though one difference is that her station and show were owned by the villains she was representing, whereas most real life media villains, to say the least, are simply willing allies and minions. And it was her under-the-table tactics that helped to make her as effective as she was.

Copyright 2004 Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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