Thursday, June 16, 2011

Race in Marvel Comics

Racalicious has an interesting article about race and Marvel Comics. Actually, the article is more specifically a discussion of the cast of the new Avengers movie and how that reflects race reality. As is briefly pointed out, Brian Michael Bendis has made Luke Cage/Power Man a main character of the New Avengers, but I can most certainly agree that the Avengers have had much more of a diversity problem than, say, the X-Men.


Chrystoph said...

While I agree that diversity and equality need handling in the comics industry, I feel that the article in question missed the other side of the equation.

There was much talk of who should be in a group of "All Blacks", a very ironic hat tip to including "other People of Color" (Poc), and no thought what so ever to reasons for such a group to exist.

Unfortunately, that core fact validates a statement made in the comments that more than 3 PoC in a group constitutes an agenda.

Is it wrong for the comics industry to marginalize some element of society? Yes, very, but go back and read the sentance again. It is wrong to marginalize ANY element of society. To do so is, by definition, to discriminate.

Comics are a form of story telling. Whether that tale be a moral or some other type of story, you write to put forth ideas that you feel need expression. All I saw in the discussion was the desire for "us" to be emphasized and "them" to be excluded.

tate hallaway said...

I actually agree, Chrystoph, but maybe from a much more straight forward position. I actually think Marvel does a pretty good job in the diversity department. Sure, the Avengers are pretty white and the Fantastic Four... and you could a fairly compelling case that white is the dominent color. HOWEVER, I came into Marvel in the 70s and watch certain titles (like the X-Men) really make an effort, and not just tokenism, to include heroes from all over -- as you note: all colors (Native, Asian, Arabic, South American etc.)

So I thought the article was unfair in that regard. Plus, PoC have been in leadership roles in various Marvel titles since the 80s. Cheesy as it was Power Man/Luke Cage had his own stand alone comic. Captain America went everywhere with the Falcon. Race has not been invisible in the Marvel Universe. I'll bet, too, if either of us went looking we could find a "very special" issue where Falcon or some other character of color actually discussed race politics or race relations. That is one of my favorite things about Marvel: unlike DC they've chosen to be set in the real world so they often take on real world issues/problems/politics.

I mean, let's be honest, it wasn't the most in-depth piece.

It did get us talking, though.