By creating quality comics of powerful female superheroes, the comic book world is opening up to a new audience of women and girls as well as giving already hooked fans more of the powerful women they’ve come to know and love.
DC Comics, another major player in comics, has also joined the trend of bringing female characters to the forefront. It has “Wonder Woman” flying solo in a self-titled series, as well as “Supergirl” and even Batman characters like “Batgirl,” “Catwoman” and “Harley Quinn.” —
The above (from the Huffington Post) is a sign of why good PR is important, and why DC really, really needs to step up on the issue of diversity in superhero comics.
In a story using the new Thor as a hook, DC merits a “has also joined the trend of bringing female characters to the forefront,” instead of the more accurate “DC led the trend, with seven ongoing titles out of its 2011 relaunch featuring female solo leads at a time when Marvel only had two ongoing female solo leads,” with DC’s number not dropping below seven since then while Marvel managed to reach a point later that year where it has zero ongoing series featuring female leads.
The HuffPo piece (and this Daily Beast piece from the weekend) point out not just how well the Marvel Hype Machine works these days in framing the narrative but almost more importantly just how badly DC does the same thing (It also points out how eagerly journalists for major news outlets eat up talking points instead of going out and researching things sometimes, but that’s neither here nor there).
In all of the news about the replacement Captain America, it’s surprising that no-one — myself included — brought up that DC has had a black Superman for the last few months in Earth-2 (or longer, if you want to look at Grant Morrison’s continued use of the Superman from Earth-23). With all the push about diversity in Marvel, no-one pointed out that the publisher doesn’t have a solo gay lead, whereas DC’s been putting Batwoman out there for the last three years (Not to mention Green Lantern in Earth-2 or Constantine, who’s bi, I think? He was in Hellblazer, but who can tell in the New 52?).
These are all alternate talking points that DC could (should?) be pushing out there in order to point out that, really, it’s not got a “crisis” or playing catch-up; it’s been there for some time, but not making the same kind of look at us look at us we have friends who aren’t white straight males noises as Marvel whenever it makes these decisions. But, instead, they just sit back and… I don’t know. Hope that someone notices?
(All of which shouldn’t be taken as a “Marvel, you are terrible,” or whatever — it’s not, and its PR machine is very good at what it does — but as a “DC, at this point, you’re practically causing your own bad press.”)
And the second of the two.
Uh, yup to all of this.
Ya know something interesting about the Marvel/DC ‘rivalry’ on tumblr?
Everyone acts like DC is this super regressive company compared to Marvel when DC really did more progressive stuff first and is still doing so.
Women as heroes?
DC’s had Wonder Woman as one of their three major heroes forever, but everyone ignores that because “But she doesn’t have a movie yet” (more on that later)
While Marvel can claim the first black hero in comics with Black Panther, DC actually had heroes talking explicitly about race with John Stewart and Hal Jordan, and did a lot of issues with progressiveism and liberalism vs convsativism in the Green Arrow/Green Lantern series (including a black person calling out Hal on how little he did to fight oppression on earth as he did the rest of the universe), and Green Arrow and Hawkeye arguing politics was a common thread of their time on the JLA together.
Black Lightning was the first African-American superhero with no criminal record (Luke Cage did get his powers in prison, it’s kinda stereotypical)
DC itself actually funded and published Milestone comics, a comics company entirely devoted to more diverse comics. If you’ve ever heard of Static you owe DC comics.
Marvel has never had anything even remotely equivalent.
When it comes to LGBT stuff, DC comics had a lesbian Batwoman and a lesbian woman taking over from a male hero in The Question.
While not a hero explicitly DC has a transwoman supporting character in Batgirl. (And I’m not even counting the trans characters in Vertigo books.)
It has Alan Scott being gay in the Nu52 continuity,
I know Grace Choi was bisexual pre-reboot (I don’t know the current status)
Had a gay black teen hero in the Superboy & the Ravers comic in the 90s, as well as the character of Obsidian who was a major supporting character in the JSA.
The idea of characters of color or a different gender taking the place of legacy characters is nothing new for DC.
Like I mentioned, a lesbian Latin@ became the Question, there was an asian woman hero Doctor Light, a black woman Doctor Midnight, a Latina became the new Wildcat.
Now I mentioned I’d get back to movies later on and, let’s look at DC & Marvels movies in terms of ethnicity here, most notably the recent casting rumors.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson basically said he’d be playing Shazam.
Shazam, a previously white hero, played by a Black & Samoan man.
Aquaman, if rumors are to be believed, will be played by Jason Momoa.
Aquaman, a white blonde haired, blue eyed hero, played by a Samoan man.
Meanwhile over at Marvel….Well Falcon and Rhodey get to exist, but they’re up to this point still just little more than sidekicks to the white heroes in the movies.
Marvel makes a movie about a superhero team and goes “Yeah, everyone is still white as they were in the 1960s.”
DC looks at their superhero team and says “We need to make the team more diverse, even if it means changing the race of the heroes” and people act like they’re some super regressive company.
I’m fine with folks preferring one company over the other.
I’m fine with folks being excited Marvel is having legacy characters change race and/or gender with who gets to pick up the legacy.
But as a lifelong comic fan it’s kinda annoying to see people praising Marvel as super progressive for doing shit DC did in the 80s and still does to this day.
Especially when with Marvel it’s coming across far more as a blatant publicity grabs.
Also yeah no wonder woman movie but it’s not like we have a black widow movie do we
There was a great piece written earlier this week that basically pointed out that for all the accolades many (myself included) are showering Marvel with over introducing a black Captain America and a female Thor, their MCU is still largely white as hell.
We’ll see if that’s still the case after SDCC this week (I’m hoping for Captain Marvel and Black Panther to finally be announced) but yeah, they pointed out in the grand scheme of things the comics are far more of a low risk venture than actually greenlighting a movie with a non-white protagonist or a female superhero, which they still have not done after two whole Phases.
This post is great.
On shit DC has done right and doesn’t get credit for lately, aside from the other post I just reblogged, it doesn’t mention that the first textually out of the closet super person between DC and Marvel was DC Comic’s Pied Piper, coming out to this friend The Flash almost a full year before Marvel’s Northstar was explicitly stated to be gay. It was a full issue story where Flash was ham-handed in how he responded to the information and spent most of the entire issue learning to what he had wrong about homosexuality and how to be properly supportive and to continue treating Piper normally. Pre-nu52 reboot, DC had the most iconic disabled superhero in Oracle, the center pillar of her own team and a trusted resource and ally to practically every hero in the DCU. nu52 Teen Titans featured a gay undocumented Mexican immigrant in Bunker. Jaime Reyes is the best know Blue Beetle these days. Wally West (a Flash) has been re-cast as African American, the Future Flash Danica Williams is black. Also unmentioned is that DC’s casting for movie Wonder Woman is Israeli, and the Justice League they’re setting up in Superman vs Batman includes the African American superhero Cyborg. Based on the current announcements and rumors, if DC actually gets to making the films beyond Superman and Batman, those two are currently the only white male superheroes slated for their new movieverse line-up. Which is a big if, I admit because they’re still getting that ball rolling, but compared to Marvel that has a dozen films under their belt and still can’t fathom a tentpole film starring a POC and/or a woman, a superhero team film with more than one woman or people of color at all (without making them body-paint humanoid aliens). Marvel deserves some side-eye there when DC is at least planning for diversity right out of the gate.
Not to dismiss the shit DC does pull, because they were my intro to superheroes that’s where a lot of my spandex-clad favorites lie and I am all the harder on them for not getting the universe I’m more invested in “right.” The portrayals in several cases could be better. They could do more, but they’re not actually doing that much less than Marvel from a comics perspective (and they haven’t gotten a movie universe off the ground yet because WB wanted to finish the Harry Potter films first — I fear these idiots missed the hype boat), they’re mostly failing at the PR side.
ORIGINAL NOVA RICHARD RIDER WAS CUT FROM ‘GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY’
By Matt D. Wilson
Undoubtedly the Marvel Comics stories that brought the Guardians of the Galaxy back to the forefront of fans’ minds — and shaped the versions of the characters that appear in the movie that opens next week — were Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest.
Those series were also a bit of a revival for another character, Nova. And in a recent interview with ScreenCrush, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said some early drafts of the Guardians of the Galaxy script included the Richard Rider version of Nova.
"at one point in the development process where we decided to eliminate Nova and go full-on with Peter Quill’s story."
No one’s really surprised right? We all knew this was Peter Quills’ story first and a team movie second. Well, aside from the article author apparently, we all knew that, right? I thought the advertising made it pretty obvious.