George Pérez, from Amazing Heroes #50
“Victor,” Pérez begins, “is probably the closest to my own history, because of the fact that he’s a ghetto youth. He had the disadvantage of being a smart kid in a dumb society. He ended up becoming a very warm person even though he’s very big, and very strong. He’s not afraid to be warm. He’s got a big heart.
“Since Marv was doing the majority of the plotting for the first year, and I was helping after the fact, he had more of an idea of what Victor would be. I was honing it up via body language and other character aspects, directing Marv into his interpretation. Marv always intended, from the very beginning, that those first issues where he came off as the stereotyped angry Black man was just the fact that he had a legitimate reason to be angry, which had nothing to do with being Black. Once he got rid of the reason-namely the resentment of his father over the death of his mother-he became a very warm individual. That was the first sequence that showed the warm side of the Titans, the death of [Silas] Stone, which led immediately into issue #8, ‘A Day in the Lives.’ We really were cooking by that point.”
Since then, the only anger Victor has shown has been borne from a point of insecurity, like the dilemma with Sarah Simms which culminated in issue #33. It would have been so easy to present the close White female friend of a Black male as the classic liberal fluff, and cop out on all sides. Wolfman and Pérez have avoided that, and have made the young instructor a very three-dimensional person, and her friendship with Victor a warm, straightforward, honest camaraderie.
“Also,” Pérez says, “we didn’t want to go into a valid criticism we heard about the usual Black-White relationship. Some use the cliche that, in order for a Black character to be legitimate, he must prove it by loving a White person. They could very well be lovers at any given time. But the fact is that they’re just very good friends. It’s not very often, and particularly the young fans don’t understand it, that we just have the concept of a man and a woman being very good friends without being lovers.
George Pérez, from Amazing Heroes #156
There are certain things we want so spin off from, such as his hold on humanity. There’s a possibility that with science progressing, his cyborg body will be modified. Who knows, Victor may look totally different in a couple of years. One thing STAR. may suggest so him is that they’d like to replace more of his human flesh wish robotic parts. Victor starts dealing with a problem that he’s never had so deal with before; not just she loss of his humanity, but the loss of his being Black! Because writers don’t want to deal with race, Black characters are sometimes not dealt with appropriately. But Victor is Black, there’s no getting around is. He wants so hold onto his Blackness; he’s proud of it, he was born with it, and he’s not going so run away from is.
Part of this also will explain why he lives in Hell’s Kitchen, in a predominately Black neighborhood, despite the fact he could afford to live someplace else. I want to establish that he’s like the “Shane” of his neighborhood. He’s the local hero here. I’m also establishing little things he does to hold onto his humanity, like wearing an eye patch sometimes over his cybernetic eye so that his human eye does not get weak because there’s a better eye he can rely on. He’s holding onto his humanity and his Blackness.
A lot of the edge that Marv and I felt Victor had has been missing from him lately, and we’ll go hack to honing down on what makes him unique and on the elements of his personality that were always from what I knew of the character rather than what Marv knew of him. Marv was never raised in that type of neighborhood, and I was. I understand his personality better. We’re using that so bring back the edge to Victor Stone.