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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Comics: Lack of "Other" Minority representaton

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 Posted by Chris Tung , , No comments
"Marvel comics have been populated with many minority heroes over the years, from Luke Cage to War Machine to the Black Panther, many of whom have starred in their own books. And several men of varying skin color have wielded Captain America's shield and worn Iron Man's armor."
Taken from USA Today

Yesterday, I blogged about the announcement of the new African-Mexican Ultimate Spider-Man, Miles Morales, who will become Marvel's latest Webslinger. The quote that I attached above comes from USA Today, the article that first broke the story. I don't have a problem with the story, it just always upsets me when media--or the world--bundles the word "minority" with just one ethnic group. All three of the minority characters that are listed are African or African American. Also, let me be the first to say that all three characters are absolutely essential to the Marvel Universe, and I am glad that there is a lot more diversity in the whole Marvel brand then their competitor [look at the Justice League relaunch and tell me how many non-white males there are].

What becomes problematic is when a banner word like "minority" is then equally synonymous with ONLY one group. Because then when the discussion of progress and the end of racism comes up, certain individuals are more than ready to talk about how there is no such thing as racial barriers anymore, and that we are now in such a progressive 21st century that anyone of any color, gender, or sexual orientation can do anything. Obviously, this is wrong.

After all, DC Comics has recently received a massive amount of fan backlash after Dan DiDio didn't really care about the lack of female creators working for the company. Along with that, there is still a paltry amount of Latino or Asian heroes [how many Vietnamese super heroes can you name?], and this isn't limited to the world of comics.

The important thing to remember is that there is definitely progress in the comic book world with the announcement of Miles Morales, and although Marvel received the mailbags full of racist hate mail today, they are definitely trying to make the comic universe a bit more like our actual one. I just also hope that we can see more characters like Tony Chu from Chew or Cecilia Reyes or Northstar as well.

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