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Post By
Stuart

In Reply To
Brand Echh

Subj: Re: minorities...
Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 12:47:13 pm EST
Reply Subj: minorities...
Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 11:54:47 pm EST

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> > 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?"


> 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."
>

That, at least, was answered in the comic. Her name is Aña, but after years of English-speakers misprouncing her name "Anna" when they saw that spelling, she got tited of having to explain to them and started using an Anglicised-spelling, Anya, so that they'd pronounce it correctly.


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