Do Racism and Comic Books Go Hand in Hand?

Sallix

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Anyone first think this was going to be about X-Men and mutants in general in Marvel comics? :p

But i understand sort of where he's coming from, you have to be able to create a character your main audience can relate to.
 

Woodsey

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I wouldn't of thought it would be a surprise - just like games most protagonists are male because most gamers are male.

It's nice to see that he's honest though.

Similar sort of thing is with Captain America and the whole patriotic vibe - if it's created by Americans, for Americans then it's got to appeal to Americans. So beef up the country and choose Caucasian as it's the predominant race in America.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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The_root_of_all_evil said:
Funny, I didn't think "American" was a race.

I also didn't think the American race automatically was low in melanin either.
He did say white American male...
The_root_of_all_evil said:
Oh, and given the X-Men (one of Marvel's most popular series) are Homo Superior they aren't the same race or even the same genus.
And now you're just arguing semantics.
 

masakoz

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why does every modern day person get a stick up there ass any time the word raceist apears?
 

Silly_Billy

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Island said:
no no no no don't even try to bring race issues into comic books. sure there are not that many black superheros but that's probable just because there are not that many black comic book writers. i don't think the industry has any problems with black superheros so the industry is therefor not racist.
Did you even read it?
 

fix-the-spade

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GloatingSwine said:
Err, no, no she isn't. She's a black African.
Ok, I've rephrased it a bit, my bad.


Semitendon said:
Storm has always been black. I have personally held the first comic with her appearance in my hands. You have no clue what you are talking about.
No need to get insulting... you're only half right.
Outside of her early appearances she's got increasinly pale, lost curves and gained a jaw line. She spends most of the time looking either completely european or sometimes even asian. Every so often she does get an appearance vaguely african (or an artist tries to send her back to looking more african, IIRC one of the current artists for Xmen is a German guy called Marko Djurdevic, he draws Strom with much darker skin, but she still looks like a white girl with fake tan rather than an African) but there's usually some kind of fan service involved.
Unless it actually comes up specifically mentioned there is nothing to place Storm as African in probably 80% of all the series she appears in.

I've bugger all knowledge of X-men's plots I'll give you that, I'm more interested in who's working for Marvel than anything else and it's always amazed me how litle changes and how their characters often seem to graduate towards a WASPish appearance over time. They seem to have an absolute fear of anything experimental or even an artist with distinctive a visual style. Recently the most interesting artist they've had is probably Adi Granov, but even then he's kept within a very strict set of parameters and he's hardly Templesmith or Lee Carter anyway.
See, I do have some clue what I'm on about.
 

SomeBritishDude

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Dale Cooper said:
...Black Panther, Falcon, Luke Cage, Misty Knight, Bill Foster, Monica Rambeau...
...Are all minor comic book characters that don't sell well.

It's sad fact of the comic book industry. In fact, it's also a sad fact of video games and movies too, unless it's Will Smith.
 

SenseOfTumour

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I've got an interesting theory, that may well be based purely in stereotypes, but here goes...

I'm gonna go ahead and guess that black readership of comic books is lower than white. Maybe that's based on the 'lol comic books r 4 geeks lolz' idea, but if so, then aiming your product at a 95% white male demographic isn't racist, its business sense.

Having a white male superhero isn't racist, having one that only beats up black criminals, well, that might be racist :D
 

Dale Cooper

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SomeBritishDude said:
Dale Cooper said:
...Black Panther, Falcon, Luke Cage, Misty Knight, Bill Foster, Monica Rambeau...
...Are all minor comic book characters that don't sell well.

It's sad fact of the comic book industry. In fact, it's also a sad fact of video games and movies too, unless it's Will Smith.
Black Panther has his own series and has done for a loooong time.

Falcon, less so, but has had a regular part in the Captain America comics for a long time now and is a much loved character.

Luke Cage is NOT a minor character, recently led the Avengers and is one of the biggest characters in recent years not to have his own book (aside a MAX Series and a NOIR book.)

Misty Knight is not a big name but a character that needs more exposure.

Bill Foster... I don't know a lot about him but he was C-list at best.

Monica Rambeau led the Avengers and more recently Nextwave, also appeared in Ms.Marvel and is currently in 'Marvel Divas.'

Although I disagree with your description of these characters (in some cases) if I made a list of white american leads I'd be here all day... so yeah I agree except the above, especially Luke Cage and Black Panther.
 
Feb 13, 2008
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The Infamous Scamola said:
And now you're just arguing semantics.
Why not? When you're talking about White American Mutants being a "race" despite over a third of Marvel's characters being non-human, what is there left to argue?

In fact, the issues of actual racism, Homo Superior vs. Homo Sapiens, is one of the main threads of the X-men. Remove all White Male American Homo Sapiens from the Marvel Line Up and I'm putting money on it that you only remove a tenth of their roster.

And given that the Marvel Universe revolves around Manhattan Island, that's really not that big a surprise, is it?

If we're talking British Heroes in the Marvel Universe we have Captain Britain, Psyloc...oh not any more...and...uhh...a lot less than African Heroes, which gives us Storm, Black Panther, Bishop, Cloak, Cardiac, Rocket Racer, Prowler, War Machine (All of which have had their own series). Just because they don't sell well may be for a number of reasons other than racism.

Of the 4,000+ Marvel Heroes: Saying that a lot are of similar biological build to the place where the writing staff are isn't really that much of a stretch is it?

No-one expects Goscinny and Uderzo to write about a small Gaulish village in Africa, do they? Or Art Spiegelman to write about those "wacky" Germans in Maus 2: Nuremberg Rally?
 

The Rascal King

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What about the Luke Cage comics? They seem to do alright.

Plus Luke Cage is one of the Marvel films coming out in 2011...so I don't know what the fuck is up with that statement.
 

Avernus

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Spawn.

Not Marvel, but obviously highly successful.

For something non-American, I'd pay to see Ghengis Khan come back to life :p
 

Gaderael

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Semitendon said:
fix-the-spade said:
Agree with him entirely, but he's not really calling comic books racist as much that comic's audiences are too predictable to allow anything other than the norm. But then Marvel is about the most stagnant comics company possible. They've been clinging onto the Marvel Way about 3 decades too long.

AmrasCalmacil said:
Storm from the X-Men, I see what he means though, those are the only ones I can really think of.
Storm's usually white except when being played by Halle Berry.
Storm has always been black. I have personally held the first comic with her appearance in my hands. You have no clue what you are talking about.

In fact, of the comic book characters that have made it into the movies, only two ( that I can think of) have had their race changed. The first was Kingpin in the movie Daredevil. However, I suspect that the reason for the change, was that the best actor for the part was a black man.

The second was Nick Fury in his cameo appearences in the recent marvel flicks. That character was changed because they had Samuel L Jackson in mind when the role was created.


A good guy and a bad guy, both changed from white to black. My GOD !!!! they are RACIST!!!! they are slowly getting rid of all the white people!!!! Bastards.
I love the Ultimates Universe. Nick Fury justs feels more badass. I liked that Jackson gave permission to use his likeness in the books, years before they made the Iron Man movie.

Wikipedia: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_Nick_Fury]

"Samuel L. Jackson

Actor Samuel L. Jackson gave his consent for Marvel Comics to use his likeness in their redesign of the Fury character for The Ultimates[6], and first appeared with this revised look in Ultimates #1, as drawn by Bryan Hitch. This is not a unique practice for writer Mark Millar, who similarly had artist J.G. Jones use the explicit likenesses of Eminem, Halle Berry and Tommy Lee Jones for the major characters in the miniseries Wanted[citation needed] (although, in this case, apparently without their consent). The similarity is even noted within the comic itself, in a scene in which the Ultimates discuss who they think should play each of them in a hypothetical movie about the team. Fury's answer for himself is "Mr. Samuel L. Jackson, of course, no discussion." Such is the popularity of the Jackson-inspired version of the character that Jackson was contracted to portray Fury in Iron Man despite the film being an adaptation of the mainstream Marvel Universe version of the character[citation needed], rather than choose a Caucasian actor to play the matching classic version of Fury."
 

Gaderael

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The_root_of_all_evil said:
*snip*

No-one expects Goscinny and Uderzo to write about a small Gaulish village in Africa, do they? Or Art Spiegelman to write about those "wacky" Germans in Maus 2: Nuremberg Rally?
Thank you. That made my day.
 

Macgyvercas

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AmrasCalmacil said:
What about Blade?
Or Storm from the X-Men, I see what he means though, those are the only ones I can really think of.
Don't forget the Invisible Woman. Or Lilith.
 

theultimateend

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Frankly I've never really taken the characters skin tone into context, it has been about the actions of the characters and their personalities.

My best guess is because the second you make a black character that isn't constantly experiencing trouble for being black that people will just title it as 'unrealistic' or something of the sort.

Essentially you either enjoy characters for their character or you find yourself muddled in boring political nonsense.

An exception being Magneto. I enjoyed the tension created from the Trauma of being a young Jewish boy during the Nazi reign. It had a very profound impact on how I understood his personal conflicts with people. He's a very special exception, most other "reality" based issues tend to fall flat on their balls.

SenseOfTumour said:
I've got an interesting theory, that may well be based purely in stereotypes, but here goes...

Having a white male superhero isn't racist, having one that only beats up black criminals, well, that might be racist :D
Other than Asian kids I've never met anyone non-white (on a personal level) that was interested in comic books. That isn't to say that in some state there is a huge black readership, but your theory might be sound.

I imagine much of modern day prejudice is more a case of marketing to who is the easiest to drain cash from. Nerdy white kids will pay for just about anything (lord knows Halo sold).