The unflappable Loren Javier has been hosting a handful of interesting debates over the past couple of weeks at his One Diverse Comic Book Nation blog — which is showing promising signs of becoming exactly the kind of niche site I think the comics internet needs — and I’ve jumped into a couple of them, partly because I appreciate the civil tone he sets, even when he’s being unfairly attacked.
After mixing it up with Gail Simone yesterday over The All New Atom, I finally jumped into the debate over the teaser image DC released last week that set the internet on fire with a flurry of responses from “Oh, cool! Pirate Batman!” to “Oh, yet another overwrought cash grab that will change everything we’ve ever known?” to “Where the white women at?” (None of these are actual quotes…as far as I know, at least!)
I saw it and leaned towards the “Meh.” side of the tracks but certainly enjoyed reading through the varied responses, constructing my own mental Fanboy Rampage entry for possible future reference. Javier’s latest post, though, struck a nerve, as he wondered aloud whether or not he was being overly sensitive in reference to a comment suggesting he was “driving bigger wedges in to society” with his reaction to the aforementioned image’s lack of diversity.
My initial response was, of course, “no.”
While I did think the hubbub over the picture’s lack of diversity was a bit of a tangential pile-on, DC did leave themselves open for it by promoting the Brave New World of Diverse Comics and instead delivering, effectively, a handful of peripheral token players. The picture certainly can be read to serve as a reminder of who the big guns really are, and will always be, in the DCU, so no, I don’t think you were off base in your concern.
The commenter’s opinion that “you’re driving bigger wedges in to society” is a laughable bit of hyperbole, though. If only we blogger’s [sic] had such super powers…
If only, indeed! Just in case, though — because we all know that “With great power, comes great responsibility. Amen!” — I’ve decided to use my powers for good to help DC undo the white thing:
The Brave New World of Diverse Comics
5 Steps to Quickly, Effectively Diversifying the DCU
5) Stop replacing C-list characters with minority alter egos. It doesn’t work and it’s pandering on one hand, self-destructive on the other.
4) Send Hal Jordan off into space in Green Lantern Corps and make John Stewart the primary Green Lantern in the Justice League of America. Don’t make him a background character. Millions of kids know him from the cartoon, so don’t make the same mistake you made with Static.
3) Since you’re bringing back the Multiverse, introduce an Earth where Europeans didn’t run roughshod over the planet and cast all of its superhero icons as minorites. In that Earth’s version of the JLA (Justice League of Africa or Asia, perhaps?), have one white male and call him White Lightning. Robin and Jimmy Olsen may also remain white.
2) Hire more writers of color, more female writers and more GLBT writers, ideally in various combinations. (NOTE: WRITERS, not artists.) They’re out there, some of them are really good, and even the decent ones can’t possibly be any worse than Judd Winick or Jeph Loeb. Let them create brand new characters and give them some real marketing support.
1) Force Paul Levitz into retirement.