PopCultureShock posted this great little clip about the new Blue Beetle — Mexican-American Jaime Reyes — and Junot Diaz’ Oscar Wao, wherein Diaz notes:
“The most fantastic genre can’t keep up, or refuses to keep up, with how much our country has changed. And so people can dream about aliens, and they can dream about all sorts of things and magical rings, but they can’t dream about brown and black people being protagonists, you know? It’s remarkable.”
Diversity in comics remains a tough slog — Firestorm was cancelled, Blue Beetle doesn’t sell very well and what ever happened to the much-hyped lesbian Batwoman series? — and the DC Universe has historically been much whiter than Marvel’s, but the first two years of Blue Beetle proved that minority superheroes could carry a series — from a quality perspective, at least — as long as the writer and artist focused on telling good, entertaining stories.
Speaking of magical rings, I think it’s ironic that an entire generation will grow up knowing the Green Lantern as a black man, John Stewart, thanks to the popular Justice League cartoon that featured him, watched by more kids combined than have probably ever picked up a copy of the print adventures of the paler Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, et al. Of course, the Green Lantern movie tentatively scheduled for next year is slated to feature Jordan.
Makes you wonder what the trickle-down cultural effects of a President Obama could be?