This is a little profile of a character from the Joining the League universe. These profiles will pop up every once in a while to give you some more information on characters who don’t get or haven’t yet gotten a lot of page space.
Rockstar Messiah or Borderline Vigilante?: The Magnetism of Jack Valence
By Coral Roberts
In this edition of Dissecting the Hero we look at Jack Valence and his Orthodoxy, a group that often courts controversy and operates at the far reaches of SLA authority. Valence, former media bad boy and editor-at-large of mega music publication SPRAIN, began the group after what he calls a ‘serious call-to-arms.’
“Things are in major flux right now,” says Valence, “when I was a kid having powers was terrifying. The idea that there were no protections for people like us meant that we could be harassed, thrown out of our own neighborhoods, fired, even sometimes killed. Now we’ve run to the other end of the spectrum, people with powers hide under the SLA’s skirts and we call that safety. My goal for the Orthodoxy has always been this: say what other hero teams won’t. Do what other hero teams can’t. That includes telling the current administration that it can f— right off.”
Other heroes like Chamomile, member and spokeswoman of The Golden Seven, are quick to disagree with Valence’s assertions, arguing that incidences of violence and discrimination against the powered population are down significantly in most areas of the US. Still Valence sees this as further proof as to how much more change is needed in the current baseline-powered dynamic:
“No community that exists would have taken the knocks that we have for as long as we have. The rates had to drop or else this country would have had to deal thousands of very powerful, very pissed off people. As a hero, I’m not worried about myself, I’m worried about people like — we’ll call her Sasha — a girl with the power to secrete a morphine like substance when stressed. She wrote to me personally a few weeks ago saying that she’s considered suicide because her classmates keep her in a constant state of terror so that they can abuse her secretions. She’s terrified to tell anyone for fear of being placed in a government program far away from her single father and her infant sister.
“What kind of country do we live in where this happens?”
If Jack Valence’s internet following is any indication of how many people fall in line with his reasoning, then the effect of his message has been staggering. At over one-hundred thousand messages a day, his personal website has had to be updated six times over the past four months in order to withstand the strain of nearly half a million users logging in every day
Fellow Orthodoxy member, Nin, attests to her teammate’s power over his predominantly teenaged audience.
“There’s a lot of anger in this country right now. But because it’s beneath the surface most people aren’t interested in taking the time to look at it. Jack doesn’t flinch and he doesn’t condescend to anyone. That’s why people follow him.”
An undaunted truth-teller according to some and a charismatic charlatan to others, one thing that can’t be denied is that Jack Valence is a major force to be reckoned with.