Avengers >> View Post
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Post By
Brand Echh

In Reply To
dave

Subj: minorities...
Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 11:54:47 pm EST
Reply Subj: Re: Many people have wanted to get taken up the Avengers tower
Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 10:48:48 pm EST

Previous Post

> >
>
> > Are there any other gay characters in the Marvel U besides Wiccan, Hulkling, Northstar, Anole, and Karma? I think they need to be represented more. Your thoughts?
> >
> > I think that they don't need to be represented more unless they bring a new or different perspective; Gay for its own sake doesn't contribute. In many instances we have no idea of a character's religion or sexual preference, because for the vast majority of those characters who the characters really are is irrelevant to their role in the story.
> >

To be fair, it's also hard to have gay characters that don't come off as being gay for the sake of being gay. Unless a gay character is taking a prominent role, the writers have to be more then subtle. Otherwise, a lot of people just wouldn't catch on.

> > In the case of Wiccan and Hulkling, its integral to the characters' dynamic and to the team dynamic.
>
>
> Yup totally agree, i know comics have to relate to people and almost make tokenism part of its entire philosophy, yet a smattering of it is fine just if you try to hard to represent every minority you soon make it look NOTHING like real life if the intention was infact to balance it out.
>

I agree but all minorities are greatly under shown. Women make up half of our population but are probably about 1/10 of the super heroes/villains at best. Ethnic groups are vastly underrepresented. Gay characters, although I don't know what the size of the gay population is in the US (depending on who you talk to it's anywhere form .5% to 10%) but there are very few of them when you look at the total number of character Marvel has cranked out since 1962.

Basically, I don't think we're even close to the point where we can complain about having too many of any minority group.

> Most comics deal with these subjects in very good and non direct ways.
>
> You can read the xmen and think of it as a racial statement about black suppression and yet you don't need any of the characters to be ethnic unless it really makes sense,
>

The Xmen hasn't been about that in a very long time, to my displeasure. They've been about meaningless powerups and space adventures for as long as I can remember.

> Personally i like that better, if you made the xmen a totally black group then unfortunately they could easily be steered into being ONLY about that issue....Zzzzzz
>

Well it wouldn't be an analogy if it was the actual issue.

> Yet if you keep them as they are i feel it can create a mental meme that may wake up a few more conservative and white people from their sleeps by putting them in situations they have never felt (as they are relating with the character)
>

I think (and this is what you are getting at) that having racial injustice argued by a bunch of white teenagers (mutants) may have opened the doors to a lot of people who would not have otherwise listened. For example, Cyclops is a dude like me. Having him go through those issues might make it more relevant to me somehow.

> So you put a gay team in the world and yes a lot of people would relate yet the majority would probably be turned off so any stories or points you want to make with the gay team would be lost, You put a redneck hetro team in gay situations
>

I think we are in agreement but I also don't think anyone is suggesting an all gay team.

> (no, not like having to plan a wedding, but situations that REALLY are serious such as having to face prejudice, violence, rejection)
>
> And you soon get the point across about what it FEELS like to be in those situations and then they can relate more...
>

exactly, yep

> Having Avengers comprised of Cap Gay, Hydrocephalus Kid, Rd Dyslexic, Irritable old facist man, and auntie kleptomanicalbulimic may indeed represent the real world yet starts to become a mardi gras spectacular of crassness and repulsivness that any point is lost.
>

I don't think that has ever been the case.

> So sure all means have gay characters but dont force it....*honestly no pun intended
>


When has it ever been forced? I think it was handled very well in Young Avengers and (until recently) ok in Annihilation.


> > Yup totally agree, i know comics have to relate to people and almost make tokenism part of its entire philosophy, yet a smattering of it is fine just if you try to hard to represent every minority you soon make it look NOTHING like real life if the intention was infact to balance it out.

> I agree but all minorities are greatly under shown. Women make up half of our population but are probably about 1/10 of the super heroes/villains at best. Ethnic groups are vastly underrepresented. Gay characters, although I don't know what the size of the gay population is in the US (depending on who you talk to it's anywhere form .5% to 10%) but there are very few of them when you look at the total number of character Marvel has cranked out since 1962.

> Basically, I don't think we're even close to the point where we can complain about having too many of any minority group.

Certainly, and this is something that has bothered me for a long time.

Mutants (before and after M-Day) have always been the biggest offender, in my mind. The mutant gene is supposedly random, so it should not care what race you are.. if it were to go by sheer statistics, the vast majority of mutants should be Indian or Chinese, yet I can think of only one Indian mutant and a dozen or so that were Chinese (most no longer mutants).

In the U.S. the largest minority is the (admittedly poorly defined) Hispanic/Latino demographic. Yet the vast majority of hispanic super-heroes were born in other countries. Only two Hispanic X-Men were ever US-born, one was Skin (who was rather unceremoniously killed), the other was Wraith, who is no longer a mutant, to my knowledge.

The fastest growing minority in the U.S. (unless this has changed) is Asian, and specifically Chinese. Jubilee was, to my knowledge, the only U.S.-born Chinese mutant (unless some were introduced between Morrison's run and M-Day). Now that is no longer the case.

Now, moving away from mutants, heroes in general. How hard is it for Marvel to have some good female heroes? That's 51 percent of the human population but (my estimation) maybe 15 percent of the hero population, if that. The same disparity applies to black heroes.

And yet, populations that are, officially, very long among normal humans, such as homosexuals or American Indians, are comparatively well represented. Last I checked American Indians represented 1 percent of the lower 48, yet there are over a dozen Native American super-heroes, moreso before M-Day. (I'm not complaining about this, just pointing it out)

Unfortunately the "tokenism" problem, and to a greater extent than most creators would like to admit, the stereotyping problem, remains.

All of those Native American heroes I mentioned? At some point in their career, I can guarantee you their costume included head-feathers and/or face paint.

Most Hispanic heroes, as mentioned, are immigrants. The few that aren't fall into stereotypes. Skin was an inner city gangster, yet living in a mostly Hispanic and gang-infested area myself, I felt this was presented well most of the time. The same cannot be said for Araña. She was created by committee specifically to be a "cool hip Latina hero." She spoke in unnatural broken English, had an ethnically diverse group of friends and was dressed in what was considered "cool" manga-inspired gear. I'm not certain what the reasoning was behind her strange Anglicization of her real name as "Anya."

I don't think I even need to mention Power-man or Black Goliath.

And yet, these characters have potential, at least, and they are a start.

Honestly, I wish writers and artists, when creating new heroes, can come up with the concept or idea and then say "hey, does this have to be a white male?"



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