Has DC become (at least on an unintentional level) racist?

Is DC becoming racist?

  • Yes

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • No

    Votes: 5 55.6%
  • Maybe So

    Votes: 2 22.2%

  • Total voters
    9

Grocer Man

Well-Known Member
A while back, DC began adding racial diversity to its cast by turning some of their superheros into legacies, and giving the costume to new characters that were diverse in ethnicity. For example, the black Jason Rusch became Firestorm, the Hispanic Jaime Reyes became Blue Beetle, and the Asian Ryan Choi became the Atom.

But recently, DC has started to comb the well of Silver Age nostalgia by resurrecting characters from that time and putting them back in their roles. Often, the successors who had those roles have to give the role back to their predesscessor, assuming they aren't killed off or sent into limbo.

The problem? These Silver Age characters are invariably white. They are taking the role from not only established characters who were finding their own path and growing into their own, but characters who represented an attempt to reach out to minorities. A few examples off the top of my head:

-Atom: The asian Ryan Choi was supplanted by his predessecor, Ray Palmer. While the two shared the identity for a while, Ryan went into limbo unly to be unceremoniously killed off. In a non-Atom comic.

-Firestorm: The black Jason Rusch had to give the identity back to the original Firestorm. Jason is still technically Firestorm (since the whole premise of the character is two identities in one), but he's just the backseat driver. Ronnie is the one that has actual control and that DC is hyping it's worth noting that Jason hates Ronnie's guts, after Ronnie's BL killed Jason's girlfriend right in front of him. Ronnie is basically indifferent to Jason's anger and is acting like a total douche.

-Batgirl: The Asian Cassandra Cain was succeeded by the white Stephanie Brown. While Stephanie is new to the cowl, she already had an identity as the Spoiler and even Robin. Also, Cass' character was horribly derailed in order to get her to quit being Batgirl, and now she's an on-and-off-supervillain. DC has also admitted they seriously considered putting Barbara gordan back in the role.

There's a really, really good Comics Alliance article on the subject here:

http://www.comicsalliance.com/2010/05/06/the-racial-politics-of-regressive-storytelling/
 
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ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
My problem is when they kill these characters off after they've been replaced. This is the chance to develop them further! Don't throw them away!
 

Gideon Stargrave

Well-Known Member
The classic, silver age characters tend to be monosyllabic caricatures (depending on the writer), which gets boring. Their ethnic successors can just be seen as an attempt to diversify, but if they're not given a proper characterization (and they're often not), they can come off as hollow, counter-racist affirmative action charity cases. And, you know, once Geoff Johns gets bored of them, he brings back the heroes that he liked when he was a teenager.

I think that for the "racism" label to be slapped on the entire DC line, there'd need to be some sort of actual discrimination or exploitation, and that's simply not the case here. It's just another symptom of the cyclical nature of superhero comics.
 

Iceshadow

Well-Known Member
I'd say yes but it's entirely unintentional (intentional racism would be evidenced by the character Tyroc in Legion of Super Heroes way back when). This is the case of the majority of DC's readership having grown up when all of these characters were at their most popular (this also explains why Barry Allen and Hal Jordan are back). Personally I think DC is shooting themselves in the foot for the long run.
 

Grocer Man

Well-Known Member
The classic, silver age characters tend to be monosyllabic caricatures (depending on the writer), which gets boring. Their ethnic successors can just be seen as an attempt to diversify, but if they're not given a proper characterization (and they're often not), they can come off as hollow, counter-racist affirmative action charity cases. And, you know, once Geoff Johns gets bored of them, he brings back the heroes that he liked when he was a teenager.

I think that for the "racism" label to be slapped on the entire DC line, there'd need to be some sort of actual discrimination or exploitation, and that's simply not the case here. It's just another symptom of the cyclical nature of superhero comics.

Yeah, I realized a minute ago that not a lot of people are going to go for the "yes" option. That would mean condemning DC altogether, which not a lot of people will be willing to do. Despite this going around, there is good in the company. While I hate it, I'm postitive that's it's unintentional, even though DC is causing more harm then good by bringing these characters back and shuffling off the newer ones.

While I agree with you on the problems with diversifying, I think DC did a good job of avoiding that with most of them. Like Proj says, part of the reason this is such a problem is because the new characters were fan-favorites in their own right.
 

nigma

Well-Known Member
yes......But then again, I feel that way about all comics, except Invincible. When was the last time you had an Asian Indian superhero? 1.14 Billion + people and not a single superhero?

Sorry don't wanna open that boat of worms. However, Now that Marvel is going to be owned by Disney you might see a shift in that same direction.

on a side note, Loeb did write one of my favorite superman issues. Superman 178: Fight the Power. Superman happens to be in Harlem, gets called out by a Black Superhero he met for the 1st time and told not to come back. Superman then does his whole soul searching thing by talking to other superheros and stuff, blah, blah, blah.

Superman: Have you ever heard of Muhammad X?
Natasha: have you heard of Batman? "X" is very cool. He does the job Right.
Courtney: agreed

edit: Marvel did have that one Indian Mutant. Neal Shaara aka Thunderbird.....III?
 
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Captain Canuck

The poster formerly known as captaincanuck65
I'm going to refer you to [post=508818]my post on racism[/post] in the Ultimate Avengers thread.
 

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