Comics are Racist
Are comics racist? There is a massive imbalance between white-as-the-driven-snow characters and non-Caucasians. To rub salt in the wound, those who aren’t white are often shocking stereotypes.
I know what you’re thinking: Storm, Green Lantern, Black Panther, Spawn, Sunfire, Sunspot, Luke Cage, Bishop, Blade, War Machine…there are dozens of examples of multiculturalism among the hero community!
I’d go as far as to say that it’s an accurate representation of American culture, the culture in which these stories are set. So why isn’t this multiculturalism extended to the super villain community?
Off the top of your head name one black super villain who strives for world domination. Times up. Did you think of one?
Whilst there are some examples of evil African Americans in comics (Black Mass, Black Manta, Black Spider…waitaminute…) taking a broad general look at the comic world, there really aren’t any non-whites striving for world domination and I’m beginning to wonder why. Let’s assume the best of the big publishing houses and say that it’s NOT because they don’t think they’re up to the task, but it comes from a fear of being branded racists themselves.
Granted there are the small group of vocal hystericals who leap at any opportunity they spy to bravely defend a noble cultural group, such as the lunatics who pulled out the racism label for ‘Resident Evil 5’ (a zombie is a zombie buddy), but we shouldn’t let them influence us because they keep their brains in their buttocks. I’d hope that society had advanced enough that we can depict a black man perpetrating evil deeds without jumping to the conclusion that he’s doing it because he’s black. I’d also hope that we can depict a white Spider-Man punching an Asian man for robbing a bank without accusing him of racist motivations.
At this point we should take a moment to examine the non-white villains who we have, many of whom seem to have caught Michael Jackson syndrome. Here’s Tobias Whale, a black man:
And Killer Croc, who is also black. Supposedly.
Ra’s al Ghul is Arab, but for some reason they cast Liam Neeson to play him.
The few who are from a non-white background who look like a representation of their culture are horrible stereotypes. Observe the Mandarin.
If we apply this use of stereotypes to all comic characters, then Captain America should really look like this:
The heroes aren’t much better. There’s been a trend of any superhero who comes from a non-American culture is thematic of their own culture, almost as though this is their only sense of identity. Take a look at the second generation of X-Men: the Canadian is based on wolverines, the German is tastefully depicted as a devil, the Russian is a Man of Steel, the Japanese character is thematically based around a rising sun, the Native American is one cliche away from opening a casino and the African is a pick-pocket who became ‘in touch’ with the land.
For a slightly more extreme example: whilst the Avengers have a range of themes and motifs the Canadian equivalent, Alpha Flight, are all about the Maple Leaf. The team comprises of such Canadian themed characters as Northstar, Sasquatch, Aurora, Snowbird, Puck, Yukon Jack and Major Mapleleaf. I did not make any of those up. It’s as though the Avengers only featured characters who were variations of Captain America.
Don’t go thinking that this is left over from a different time, not by any means. Here’s a picture of ‘Knight and Squire’, recently added British counterpart to Batman.
Comics – stop being so bloody politically correct, stop relying on stereotypes and start mixing things up.