Log in or sign up to comment
62 Comments
  • 62 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by Jnr6Lil

@TheRedRobin said:

I don't care if a character is black, white, asian, mexican, or some kind of other race but it begins to be a problem when every person you see is white.

Posted by Soulstealer

@Vance Astro said:

@sandiego008 said:

But on a side note ... where are my female Hispanic heroes?!?!?!

Marvel just created three...The current Miss America,Slingshot of the Secret Warriors,& The new White Tiger, Ava Ayala.But they already had the previous White Tiger,Angela Del Toro,Firebird,Huntara,Silver Claw,Tarantula formerly of the Heroes for Hire,Tempest formally known as he mutant Angel Salvatore,& Wind Dancer.

Also Reptil and his reaction to the new White Tiger was made of greatness.

http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/8/84071/2068054-what_.jpg

Posted by TheRedRobin

I don't care if a character is black, white, asian, mexican, or some kind of other race but it begins to be a problem when every person you see is white.

Edited by Vance Astro
@sandiego008 said:

But on a side note ... where are my female Hispanic heroes?!?!?!

 Marvel just created three...The current Miss America,Slingshot of the Secret Warriors,& The new White Tiger, Ava Ayala.But they already had the previous White Tiger,Angela Del Toro,Firebird,Huntara,Silver Claw,Tarantula formerly of the Heroes for Hire,Tempest formally known as he mutant Angel Salvatore,& Wind Dancer.
Moderator
Posted by sandiego008

They should try to implement diversity on new characters and leave the old ones alone. But a good story > what color a persons skin is or if they have a wiener or not. But on a side note ... where are my female Hispanic heroes?!?!?!

Posted by Soulstealer

@Battlepig said:

@Soulstealer said:

Um maybe I'm being that guy... but assholes come in all shapes and sizes so what difference does said person's race make? Also good and bad people come in every creed and color. To be honest while I agree with the spirit of what you're saying, I think that you yourself don't realize that there is always a bias ingrained in people. That's not to call everyone a racist or say "golly gee there should be more minorities in comics" but that is to say that everyone has a culture and as such cultures often times clash and in surprisingly subtle ways in the real word so why should comics or God forbid their writers be like everyone else?

I've gotten into political debates with friends before and had to out right tell them, our personal experiences are too different for us to agree on this ever. And at the time that was absolutely true. And what are we if not an amalgamation of genes, personal experiences, and upbringing? People are different, cultures are different, and cultures affect people to create yet more differences. Differences however are not good or bad, they're just differences.

I agree wholeheartedly with us all being victims of our upbringings. But if we follow that thought along, then creating diverse characters is not going to change anything or anyone. Some racist isn't suddenly going to go "Them-there blacks're pretty gosh-darn friendly folk. Dat's what Spidey-Man's a-taught me". If we're now following that thought in its application to comic books, then creating diverse characters and putting them above a good story (See the whole Victor Hernan Alvarez debacle) won't help anyone. In fact, if anything, it will hurt the medium. I'm not saying that diverse characters don't work as a general concept. If you want to see it properly done, read the pre-New-Fifty-Two incarnation of Jaime Reyes. He just was hispanic and lived near the border. It was never pushed in the foreground. It was never made a big deal of. He had a great, also latino, supporting cast who was not made a big deal out of either and the top priority has always been the story.

And that is my entire point. The very second you put your character's "amazingly diverse background" above the story or you start "economising on space" because you want your black character to be celebrating Kwanzah for five pages, complete with a lengthy explanation of what brought the holiday about and what it means and so on, then you're clearly doing something wrong. Just like you're doing something wrong if you have your white character punch a bad guy in the face for twenty pages an issue.

I'd argue that if you can't put a good story together then you can't put very good characters together period. I know that's not strictly true, however story tends to expand from characters and characters change and develop from the stimuli of the world in which they live and that invariably leads us back to the story.

Also I understand your argument but let me counter argue here. I'm a fan of vampire fiction, when I was younger I loved some Ann Rice. Now whether you love her or you hate her she's been a pretty defining voice on the genre. But my biggest problem with her writing at least in my opinion is a lack of diversity. That's not to say she doesn't have great and engaging characters or strange spooky and sometimes fun story lines that's to say that all of her characters end up having a very similar feeling to me at the end of the day.

Most of her characters were emotionally tormented, wealthy, well educated, beautiful. Yes they had many different motivations and psychological profiles, but it seems incredulous that by default only one section of society become vampires.Or inversely that vampires whom have lived multiple human lifetimes some how become a single section of society. There aren't the ugly? The damaged? The stupid? The poor? The nihilistic? No one is working a 9-5 or struggling to pay their mortgage? Becoming undead fixes all of life's problems big or small except for the moral issues?

Another and much more closely tied to comics example I'd use is Superman. Superman works because the world is different than him. I don't try to make Supes out to be perfect or infallible but I have argued before that he tends to be more perfect than the world in which he lives. That's his conflict.

Now how interesting would it be if everyone in his world is suddenly exactly the same as him? Not powers, or at least not just powers, but suddenly everyone is a direct carbon copy of him. Thought for thought and word for word. Does that make a good story? If everyone has the exact same moral code? I know that's an extreme picture, but likewise I for one know that diversity isn't a buzzword for people of non-Anglo Saxxon decent and women.

Diversity is about differences and things outside of the society established "norm". It's about new experiences as much as it is about showing us someone we might not be familiar with from a cultural or sociological standpoint or yet again maybe it's someone we are very familiar with just in new and different circumstances. Not everyone loves the same sorts of characters one way or another, yet everyone knows that comic writers have to keep in mind public appeal as much as niche appeal but I don't see that the two are mutually exclusive.

So yes while I agree that "culturally diverse" shouldn't be the selling point of a book nor hold more weight than good story telling and character development, I also think you're putting a little too much emphasis on what you feel is wrong with diversity as it's handled in certain situations as opposed to all that diversity adds to characters and stories in general.

Posted by Battlepig

@WaveMotionCannon: Dialog like this:

Character A: "Bendis."

Character B: "Bendis?"

A: "Bendis."

B: "That Bendis?"

A: "No, The Bendis."

B: "Oh, Bendis. Chutzpe Oy Vey Schmuck!"

Voila, half a page wasted on something he could have done in one panel.

Posted by WaveMotionCannon
@Battlepig

@WaveMotionCannon: The story has come to an absolute standstill as nothing has happened in the first three issues other than Bendis giving us some Bendising (the dialog going "Bendis." - "Bendis?" - "Bendis." - "That Bendis?" - "No, The Bendis." - "Oh, Bendis. Chutzpe Oy Vey Schmuck!") and a lot of characters we're supposed to care about despite them not having any defining characterstics other than being black or asian and talking like Bendis characters talk.

While I don't mind the race of the cast, because it's the least of the book's problems, it's everything else that bothers me to no end.

What is Bendising?
Posted by Battlepig

@Soulstealer said:

Um maybe I'm being that guy... but assholes come in all shapes and sizes so what difference does said person's race make? Also good and bad people come in every creed and color. To be honest while I agree with the spirit of what you're saying, I think that you yourself don't realize that there is always a bias ingrained in people. That's not to call everyone a racist or say "golly gee there should be more minorities in comics" but that is to say that everyone has a culture and as such cultures often times clash and in surprisingly subtle ways in the real word so why should comics or God forbid their writers be like everyone else?

I've gotten into political debates with friends before and had to out right tell them, our personal experiences are too different for us to agree on this ever. And at the time that was absolutely true. And what are we if not an amalgamation of genes, personal experiences, and upbringing? People are different, cultures are different, and cultures affect people to create yet more differences. Differences however are not good or bad, they're just differences.

I agree wholeheartedly with us all being victims of our upbringings. But if we follow that thought along, then creating diverse characters is not going to change anything or anyone. Some racist isn't suddenly going to go "Them-there blacks're pretty gosh-darn friendly folk. Dat's what Spidey-Man's a-taught me". If we're now following that thought in its application to comic books, then creating diverse characters and putting them above a good story (See the whole Victor Hernan Alvarez debacle) won't help anyone. In fact, if anything, it will hurt the medium. I'm not saying that diverse characters don't work as a general concept. If you want to see it properly done, read the pre-New-Fifty-Two incarnation of Jaime Reyes. He just was hispanic and lived near the border. It was never pushed in the foreground. It was never made a big deal of. He had a great, also latino, supporting cast who was not made a big deal out of either and the top priority has always been the story.

And that is my entire point. The very second you put your character's "amazingly diverse background" above the story or you start "economising on space" because you want your black character to be celebrating Kwanzah for five pages, complete with a lengthy explanation of what brought the holiday about and what it means and so on, then you're clearly doing something wrong. Just like you're doing something wrong if you have your white character punch a bad guy in the face for twenty pages an issue.

Posted by Soulstealer

@Battlepig said:

@Obtrusive: I do like my heroes and villains to be who they are. But if you have to replace them (which is something they appear to feel the need to do every now and then) and decide to go with a black instead of a white character, then at least make it be something you don't do because of "I'mma make a black hero! The black kids will read it if the guy's black! Genius!!!" Also, don't announce him as the "All-New, All-Better, All-Black Spidey-Man". How about just having the character? Like Nick Fury. Suddenly he was not only black but also Samuel L. Jackson. That was awesome, because Sam Jackson is awesome and so is Blackfury. Mainly because his main character trait is not "Being black" which isn't a character trait to begin with, but something else. Even something as silly as "Being Samuel L. Jackson" works.

@Vance Astro: Pretty much this. Only that I really don't mind diversity. I have no problem with having female bosses unless they're incompetent. I have no problem with black people as long as they're not assholes. I have no problem with latinos as long as they're good people. It's not the skin you wear, it's what you are on the inside. And people need to realize. But yeah, maybe it is as says, that we're just a generation of people who do not mind racial diversity.

Um maybe I'm being that guy... but assholes come in all shapes and sizes so what difference does said person's race make? Also good and bad people come in every creed and color. To be honest while I agree with the spirit of what you're saying, I think that you yourself don't realize that there is always a bias ingrained in people. That's not to call everyone a racist or say "golly gee there should be more minorities in comics" but that is to say that everyone has a culture and as such cultures often times clash and in surprisingly subtle ways in the real word so why should comics or God forbid their writers be like everyone else?

I've gotten into political debates with friends before and had to out right tell them, our personal experiences are too different for us to agree on this ever. And at the time that was absolutely true. And what are we if not an amalgamation of genes, personal experiences, and upbringing? People are different, cultures are different, and cultures affect people to create yet more differences. Differences however are not good or bad, they're just differences.

As for writers and artists; they tend to draw from their personal experiences. So I don' t see why artists and writers with different experiences than the general public is used to is a bad thing. Of course I don't think anyone is trying to say that someone should be hired just for their skin tone or gender, I think what is being argued is the notion of the "Good ol' boys club" versus the reality of the industry.

Posted by Jnr6Lil

There should be more diversity

Posted by Battlepig

@Obtrusive: I do like my heroes and villains to be who they are. But if you have to replace them (which is something they appear to feel the need to do every now and then) and decide to go with a black instead of a white character, then at least make it be something you don't do because of "I'mma make a black hero! The black kids will read it if the guy's black! Genius!!!" Also, don't announce him as the "All-New, All-Better, All-Black Spidey-Man". How about just having the character? Like Nick Fury. Suddenly he was not only black but also Samuel L. Jackson. That was awesome, because Sam Jackson is awesome and so is Blackfury. Mainly because his main character trait is not "Being black" which isn't a character trait to begin with, but something else. Even something as silly as "Being Samuel L. Jackson" works.

@Vance Astro: Pretty much this. Only that I really don't mind diversity. I have no problem with having female bosses unless they're incompetent. I have no problem with black people as long as they're not assholes. I have no problem with latinos as long as they're good people. It's not the skin you wear, it's what you are on the inside. And people need to realize. But yeah, maybe it is as says, that we're just a generation of people who do not mind racial diversity.

Posted by Vance Astro

As a black person I would like for their to be diversity but I don't complain about it.I'm fine with the few black heroes we already have.I personally don't like when the creation of a black hero is seems like affirmative action or that it's purposely bait to reach minority readers.I like my comics to be somewhat realistic and in the real world there are all different types of people so it's only OBVIOUS that superheroes would be all different types of people so..I CARE about diversity but it doesn't have anything to do with what I do and do not read.

Moderator
Posted by Obtrusive

I think our generation is more accepting of other cultures and races than previous ones. Im 25 so around that generation for reference. That being said, I like characters to stay what they are. I am having a debate with a friend of mine about lex luthor being black in the justice league unlimited animated series. since lex luthor has never been portrayed as black I had an issue with it, however when nick fury decides to be black I have no problem with that because he has been portrayed as black and white at different times.

Posted by Battlepig

@WaveMotionCannon: The story has come to an absolute standstill as nothing has happened in the first three issues other than Bendis giving us some Bendising (the dialog going "Bendis." - "Bendis?" - "Bendis." - "That Bendis?" - "No, The Bendis." - "Oh, Bendis. Chutzpe Oy Vey Schmuck!") and a lot of characters we're supposed to care about despite them not having any defining characterstics other than being black or asian and talking like Bendis characters talk.

While I don't mind the race of the cast, because it's the least of the book's problems, it's everything else that bothers me to no end.

Posted by Amanthine

@WaveMotionCannon said:

@VenomMelendez

Your Privilege is showing. Diversity does matter since the US is a diverse country. And really, every kid should have a hero that looks like them that they can look up to.

Diversity matters, because "White" is still treated as "Default". The only people that would have a problem with Diversity are bigots, since Diversity in the end is a good thing.

@Battlepig

@VenomMelendez: That is all fine and dandy. But how is Ultimate Spidey-Man better because Miles is black?

How is it worse?

Because he's not Peter Parker, but that's beside the point.

I like variety, and diversity plays a part in that. So yeah, it matters.

Posted by WaveMotionCannon
@VenomMelendez

Your Privilege is showing. Diversity does matter since the US is a diverse country. And really, every kid should have a hero that looks like them that they can look up to.

Diversity matters, because "White" is still treated as "Default". The only people that would have a problem with Diversity are bigots, since Diversity in the end is a good thing.

@Battlepig

@VenomMelendez: That is all fine and dandy. But how is Ultimate Spidey-Man better because Miles is black?

How is it worse?
Posted by Decoy Elite

I'm all up for diversity, but I don't think it should be forced.

But, I mean if you've got a cool idea for a new character and you don't have any reason to not make them a girl than why not?

Posted by joshmightbe

I still don't see why women are considered a minority, being that they make up more than 51 % of the population. I'm no math expert but that's a majority

Posted by Battlepig

@Superguy0009e and @WildStyle: Sure, otherwise everybody would look the same. But how would that make the story told better. How is Ultimate Spidey-Man better because Miles is a twofer in the Minority Bingo?

@Mega_spidey01: Would the first incarnation of the X-Men have been better if Jean Grey was black and Iceman Asian?

Posted by Mega_spidey01

the truth is race & genders matters always has and always will especially in america.

good example the original x-men are all white due to the conception of the time that they we're created but, they are white minorities so its okay.but all the black characters, latino, asian, are second rate and written poorly.

Posted by WildStyle

@Superguy0009e said:

there has to be some sort of diversity, not every person in the world is a blonde haired blue eyed american

Pretty much

Posted by Superguy0009e

there has to be some sort of diversity, not every person in the world is a blonde haired blue eyed american

Posted by Battlepig

@VenomMelendez: That is all fine and dandy. But how is Ultimate Spidey-Man better because Miles is black?

Posted by VenomMelendez

Your Privilege is showing. Diversity does matter since the US is a diverse country. And really, every kid should have a hero that looks like them that they can look up to.

Diversity matters, because "White" is still treated as "Default". The only people that would have a problem with Diversity are bigots, since Diversity in the end is a good thing.

Posted by DrTTD
@Battlepig:  
 
The way I see it, if a comic is going to have depth, then it can make us believe that it's not just an action fantasy completely divorced from the life that you and I know, and can make it seem as though it is about human beings going on with their lives--and that their lives happen to be filled with fantasy, romance and adventure. Now, this is certainly personal preference in some respects,  
 
I'm going to go back to Secret Six, since it's an example I already brought up. It is a story about a group of people who share a common goal, a scenario which you've mentioned. In this case, those people are mercenaries with the goal of completing whatever mission they are sent on (although they're arguably not very good mercenaries). Yet there are elements of this series that do rely on things like gender and sexuality. Such as the recurring conflict between Scandal and Vandal Savage, caused by Scandals refusal to bear her father a son (because, amongst other things, she's a lesbian). Or Bane's attempts at being the paternal figure that he decides Scandal needs. Or Catman and Cheshire's brief romance, and the fallout that continues throughout the series. Or just Deadshot's flagrant sexist attitude that rounds out his character. This isn't what the series is entirely about, and it certainly isn't about "issues," but it's not an afterthought either, and if you took gender and sexuality out, it would be completely different. And while it would be flatter, dare I say less interesting as a result, keeping these elements in doesn't make it heavy-handed, preachy, or overly serious; if anything it's a terrifically exciting action series, liberally peppered with humor. 
 
Now, I'm not going to insist that everyone should prefer or even like these kinds of stories, or that they're inherently superior. But it is possible to make good comics that involve these elements, which at least some people want to read. So the way I see it, when you're fleshing out your universe you can either 1) have some diversity, which writers can incorporate into the plot or ignore as they please, leaving the potential for good stories of both kinds, or 2) have a homogeneous cast, ensuring that there are never any plots or story elements that build off of factors influenced by race, gender, or sexuality. I would say that the first one is, if anything, just adding creative possibilities.  
 
As far as gay characters, I would say that having a gay superhero who constantly derails the story just to talk about being gay would be silly. But at the same time, if a character is gay, it wouldn't make sense to have that be something we know but never actually see. Unlike something like race or gender, which we give meaning to as a culture, human sexuality is inherently meaningful. This is demonstrated by the fact that comics are absolutely teeming with flagrant, unabashed displays of heterosexuality. Since Superman is so iconic, let's look at him: We know he's straight, even though he doesn't make an issue about it. Sometimes his sexuality is irrelevant. Yet at the same time, his romance with Lois Lane does exist, and persists as an element of stories about him, sometimes a minor one, sometimes as a focal point. I wouldn't think it unreasonable for a gay hero to be as gay as Superman is straight. And there are heroes who are more sexual than Superman, just as there are heroes who are less. So having gay characters whose are more and less sexual too seems only natural.  
 
Whatever your thoughts on gender and race may be, it's hard to say that action and sexuality don't mix. There are a thousand action stories with a thousand romantic subplots, and almost all of those are heterosexual romances. Heroes are characters we admire, characters we aspire to, and characters we seek to emulate. In a story, when the guy gets the girl, that provides the reader with, if not an affirmation of his sexuality, at least an idealized representation of it. I'm just saying, gay audiences deserve such a representation of their sexuality too. 
Posted by Do I have to give a name?
@Battlepig said:
@Do I have to give a name? said:

Positive discrimination is a contradiction in terms. Ability should be all that matters. And even when it's not, filling quotas doesn't alleviate the problem, it adds to it.  Anyway, the main reason I posted in this thread: I don't read the Ultimate Universe. What happened to Peter Parker?

He died fighting the Green Goblin and a whole cabal of villains after being shot by the Punisher who actually wanted to take out Captain America. THat's the short version, the whole "Death of Spider-Man" is much bigger and longer. Not necessarily better - I found the story to be lackluster at best - but certainly longer.
 
Thanks. And that was a very well thought out and interesting post btw.
Posted by tidals

Even though I agree with your stance on diversity, I would rather see more different characters than almost the same character over and over. It is like having Ryan Reynolds play every white male super hero, at first you cheer him on but after movie #4 with him starring you would rather see Neil Patrick Harris for a change be casted for a similar role. 

Edited by Battlepig
@Do I have to give a name? said:

Positive discrimination is a contradiction in terms. Ability should be all that matters. And even when it's not, filling quotas doesn't alleviate the problem, it adds to it.  Anyway, the main reason I posted in this thread: I don't read the Ultimate Universe. What happened to Peter Parker?

He died fighting the Green Goblin and a whole cabal of villains after being shot by the Punisher who actually wanted to take out Captain America. THat's the short version, the whole "Death of Spider-Man" is much bigger and longer. Not necessarily better - I found the story to be lackluster at best - but certainly longer.
 
@DrTTD said:

I like the idea that things like ethnicity and gender don’t exclusively define a character. But that doesn’t mean that they have no significance at all, or that they are purely superficial aspects of our lives.

It’s like this: We all have genders, and we all have ethnicities. I’m pretty sure that if we were to wake up in bed tomorrow with a different set of genitals, or a different cultural background, most of us would not be unfazed, save for a slight surprise.   Although they’re not all-important, these traits influence our lives. Fiction can either reflect experiences common to life, even in stories of fantasy and adventure, or it can exist in a vacuum with less depth, in which such parts of life are ignored. I personally believe that good stories do the former.

If we need an example of this sort of storytelling, since Gail Simone’s name has come up several times, we need look no further than Secret Six. If Scandal Savage was a man, or if Bane and Deadshot were women, the series would be something completely different. I don’t read it because of the genders of the characters, and it’s not a series that’s ever been about “women’s issues,” or anything like that. But to suggest that the genders of its characters are completely negligible would be silly. 


Moving beyond restrictive views of ethnicity and gender is a great thing. But that doesn’t mean that ethnicity and gender are meaningless either, and that anyone who acknowledges them is just some sort of rabble-rouser. I want deep, well told action stories that are engaging and fun yet meaningful and true to life as much as the next reader. And broadening the backgrounds of characters only broadens the tools that writers have to work with, which, when used well, only broadens the stories that can be told. 


(also, if we’re talking about diversity in all respects, there's also the matter of gay and lesbian characters...)


In a comic about regular human beings going on with their lives, gender and ethnicity as well as sexuality matter. However, the fight our heroes are fighting are not bound by these things. Let's say - oversimplifying it, of course - that their common goal is "fighting injustice". Now, justice and injustice are abstract concepts. You can comprehend them no matter what gender you are. You can identify with the fight against injustice and all that rot regardless of who you sleep with. Would Superman not stop a gang of guys who beat up gay people? Would Batman not stop someone who beats women? You don't necessarily need a gay or a female hero to address those issues that are undoubtedly issues (For a very good example of this, read Robin #156). I don't think that they should create characters with their sexuality, gender or looks in mind. Create everything else first. It's like when we write newspaper articles "The title comes last" (there are exceptions of course). If people share a common goal - you can observe this at your workplace, for example - gender and sexuality becomes unimportant. Watch a group of people work together at work, for example. It's very interesting how everyone starts playing to their strengths automatically. It's a very interesting phenomenon. I could give you a practical example, if you like, since I admit that this paragraph here is rather heavy on theoretic stuff and abstract concepts and perception thereof.
 
Also, while I'm a big advocate of gay rights in real life (triggered by one event that I'd be glad to share with you, if you want to hear it. Let me know), I don't see why there is this almost desperate urge to have gay characters in comics, because all they do is talk about how they're gay. A very good example of a gay character is Steve Jinks on the new season of Warehouse 13. He mentions it once, briefly, then it's back to business for him. It's not like he has to have a big speech about acceptance and everything.  Here's how they treated the subject when he came out in the second episode of this season:
 

Steve: "Oh my God, I'm not hitting on you, I'm gay. You know, when two people of the same sex find each other..." 
Claudia: "I know what gay means..." 
Steve: "Look, I usually don't make a big deal of it."

And that was it. Why does this make Steve quite possibly the best gay character in recent history? Because it's not really an issue. The job's still retrieving strange artifacts. Not making a big fuss about homosexuality. It's never addressed again and yet Steve still manages to be gay and is a very well-rounded and likable character. And he just so happens to be gay. Coincidentially. And that's how it should be treated.
 
EDIT: In other news, and I just like to put that out there, I really like the way this discussion is going. It's very, very interesting.
Posted by Do I have to give a name?

Positive discrimination is a contradiction in terms. Ability should be all that matters. And even when it's not, filling quotas doesn't alleviate the problem, it adds to it. 
 
Anyway, the main reason I posted in this thread: I don't read the Ultimate Universe. What happened to Peter Parker?

Posted by NightFang
@cyberninja said:
I don't know why comic book fans start talking about diversity whenever they see superhero who isn't white, good character is good character regardless of race.
Posted by DrTTD

I like the idea that things like ethnicity and gender don’t exclusively define a character. But that doesn’t mean that they have no significance at all, or that they are purely superficial aspects of our lives.

It’s like this: We all have genders, and we all have ethnicities. I’m pretty sure that if we were to wake up in bed tomorrow with a different set of genitals, or a different cultural background, most of us would not be unfazed, save for a slight surprise.   Although they’re not all-important, these traits influence our lives. Fiction can either reflect experiences common to life, even in stories of fantasy and adventure, or it can exist in a vacuum with less depth, in which such parts of life are ignored. I personally believe that good stories do the former.

If we need an example of this sort of storytelling, since Gail Simone’s name has come up several times, we need look no further than Secret Six. If Scandal Savage was a man, or if Bane and Deadshot were women, the series would be something completely different. I don’t read it because of the genders of the characters, and it’s not a series that’s ever been about “women’s issues,” or anything like that. But to suggest that the genders of its characters are completely negligible would be silly. 


Moving beyond restrictive views of ethnicity and gender is a great thing. But that doesn’t mean that ethnicity and gender are meaningless either, and that anyone who acknowledges them is just some sort of rabble-rouser. I want deep, well told action stories that are engaging and fun yet meaningful and true to life as much as the next reader. And broadening the backgrounds of characters only broadens the tools that writers have to work with, which, when used well, only broadens the stories that can be told. 


(also, if we’re talking about diversity in all respects, there's also the matter of gay and lesbian characters...)

Posted by Morgaine_Levesque

Interesting point of view. I agree with you for the most part. 

Posted by cosmo111687
@SC said:
Discussion usually helps refine both sides (or a better word, multiple angles) of the arguments. Well thats the hope anyway. 
I think that's the best thing that's come from all of this. It's really opened up a lot of discussion and I'm sure that has done nothing but helped the medium.
Posted by cosmo111687

I'm for more giraffes in the business.

Posted by SC

Why is the automatic assumption that 'people' want diversity for the sake of diversity? (not saying you are assuming this OP, I am speaking generally) We don't live in a bubble or idealized world, and fiction reflects this in a very naturally skewered way, because its fiction, and because fiction has human authors and because humans are generally built to be flawed. I want diversity because my idea of the worst comic is one which has myself as all 20 characters all sitting around talking about stuff I think. (thats just one reason) I want to read about people different than me, and not to the opposite extreme either. It doesn't mean that my favorite comic or comic I define is the best, is that because it has a sentient blue cloud that shoots orange light out its 7th eye, a female building called Hasty Tag #### who eats sound and little Jimmy the Brazilian who has the 2nd score for Twisted Metal 4 in the Southern Hemisphere.  (though I wouldn't say those things means it should be ruled out as potentially the best comic ever) Not that I am saying that all people who take defensive stances on whether diversity is a good thing all want to read about themselves in every comic ever. (as in all characters literally as themselves) They would be making a rather weak argument in my eyes.  
 
So is the one about diversity and "people" just wanting it for diversity sake. To me that's a weak argument that does not address any of the actual problems or issues surrounding the topic. For good reason to. Diversity isn't a comics issue. Its a real life issue that is discussed heavily in religion, philosophy, ethics, morality, and usually involves money as well. If the arguments were that easy then I am pretty sure any and all questions/issues about it would have been solved outside of comics.  
 
I don't know the woman from the convention. So I could prescribe both smart and dumb reasons for the ones she did. Even if in actuality her reasoning was more dumb than smart, I sit back and think of the smart angles, because applying the weakest arguments to a situation rarely does anything to improve a situation. Look at how many threads her actions and statements have helped inspire or partially inspire (as far as people discussing this) Discussion usually helps refine both sides (or a better word, multiple angles) of the arguments. Well thats the hope anyway. 

Moderator
Posted by Battlepig
@ziplizard said:
It's not just "TnA" comics that don't have women covering up. Just looking at some of the comic covers that came out this week, I see Electra in a halter swim suite-like costume and Flashpoint Zatanna showing off her midriff (a look that hasn't been in fashion since the 1990s) on the covers of Heroes for Hire and World of Flashpoint. The only images I could find of men in 'showy' clothing was a shirtless Wolverine in a pose that really hid most of his body on the cover of Claws. He was also standing next to Black Cat, who had her outfit zipped open so much in the front that you could easily see most of her side boob.
 
I agree with you that Jenny Cesare is (or at least sounds like. I don't read Punisher.) a strong character. Manhunter is as well. The problem is that there are still so few strong female characters out there in comics compared to strong male characters. Honestly, if the gender (and races) were reversed in comics, you'll article wouldn't be 'down with diversity!' What if DC announced that the JLA had only one guy and one white person and everyone else was female and a minority? What if they said that 100% of the interior artist they hired were female? If all but one of their writers and one of their cover artist were female? You'll be writing about DC being sexist and how they aren't representing neither their demographic nor the American population. And what if most of the few males in comics were constantly being rescued by women or only there to act as love interests to the women? Because for every Jenny Cesare or Manhunter, there is a refrigerator or two full of poorly developed, ill treated, and weak female characters.
 
I honestly don't get why you're so anti-change right now? It's not harming you. You already said that you like strong female characters. What harm is there if comics add a few more females to the list?
I am not anti-change. Not at all. I am against change for the sake of change. Remember when Manhunter first appeared? Did anyone go "New, diverse, strong, female character you'll like" at any point? Her being not male and all that wasn't even an issue. And it was good. Very good. Also, Kate never had her battlecry be something like "Strong female character... PUNCH!" Another example would be Jaime Reyes. He not once went "By the power of all my latino brothers, I will do el kicko en your face-o! Where's my sombrero?" His issue was more "Am I good enough to be a decent hero? And how come you all don't see the bloody alien invasion!?" and not his diversity.
 
I am, however, against change for the sake of change. If you, as a creator, sit down and go "I'mma create a strong, female character now", it will fail.  So I wish that after the first issue of the new Ultimate Spidey-Man ends with everyone going "Holy crap, it's the Green Goblin!" and not "Man, that guy was so black and hispanic."
 
And you raise an interesting aspect of this whole discussion: Cultural background. I've grown up in a place where there are - as of right now - 46 percent non-naturalized foreigners. Another estimated 20 percent are foreigners who have been naturalized in the last twenty years. Also, this place has no "culture of complaining", meaning we don't want to enforce change as long as everything kind of works. However, when something's really wrong, then we jump into action. Meanwhile, Americans seem to insist on there having to be a black guy fighting on the side of the South in a movie about the Civil War as a commanding officers, regardless of it being making sense or being approprisate. 
 
And if All-Star Superman was All-Star Superwoman and if Flashpoint starred Flashette, I wouldn't mind at all. Why? Because the story told is amazing. As previously stated, stories are beyond gender and race on both the story- and the creative end. If a woman is a good writer - Gail Simone most of the time - I'm all for it. If she's a Felicia D. Henderson... yeah, not so much. Not because she's a woman, but because she's a terrible writer and should never be allowed to hold a pen ever again.
 
My thing is not "Down with Diversity", but "Down with this silly need to enforce diversity for the sake of diversity."
Posted by Osiris1428

It's like as long as the character is white and male, it's guaranteed to be quality work. Not much opposition. If the character is anything other than that "Oh, this is going to suck. Why? Because white people are 'regular' and anything else is extra and trying to be different." SMH...

Posted by The Velvet Rabbit
@Caligula said:
@fodigg said:
If it doesn't matter then why not opt for more diversity? If the stories are just as good or bad regardless, why not say "yeah, opt for diversity. opt for inclusiveness."  Diversity is good because monotony is dull.
diversity is fine as long as you are making new characters or having new people carry on the mantle like USM's case. But I hate when they change the ethnicity or sex of an already established character.  either make a new character or a new person carrying a classic mantle. but don't make Steve Rogers or Bruce Wayne black or female.
I did like the way they worked in the new Spider-Man - personally, I'm kind of looking forward to seeing more of it.
Posted by The Velvet Rabbit

speaking as a female and a minority, this is almost a non-issue.   as long as quality control still exists, the numbers should only be a secondary priority next to how the numbers are being used.   as long as their are people like Simone, Conner and Liu in the industry I still have a great degree of hope.   I even found myself enjoying a refreshing degree of Devin Grayson's writing.   diversity is never a bad thing, and of course it'll always be nice to see more females in the industry, there's a way to go about it, and it isn't to start hunting for people that look different than the key demographic.   adversely, look at Reginald Hudlin's run on Black Panther - many readers panned his work for 'exploiting the character'.   having said that, I would like to see a few more women in the driver's seat from time-to-time.   but despite popular belief, reading my Birds of Prey and finding out it was written by Chuck Dixon doesn't send me into an overzealous rage.   besides, I grew up with Jim Lee and WildStorm - so no amount of female exploitation can faze me anyway   :P

Posted by Primmaster64

Too much to read...

Posted by cyberninja

I don't know why comic book fans start talking about diversity whenever they see superhero who isn't white, good character is good character regardless of race.

Posted by danhimself
Posted by danhimself

the girl at comic-con was misinformed from the get go....she used the argument that women encompassed 12% of DC before the reboot and only 1% after....the 12% comes from EVERYONE at DC including editors, colorists, writers, inkers, artists and so forth while the 1% after the reboot only took writers and artists into account...if you use only the artists and writers then the number of women at DC after the reboot only drops by 2 and that was only with the creators on the 52 books...they don't include any mini's or secret projects that artists and writers have confirmed that they were working on

Posted by ziplizard
@Battlepig: It's not just "TnA" comics that don't have women covering up. Just looking at some of the comic covers that came out this week, I see Electra in a halter swim suite-like costume and Flashpoint Zatanna showing off her midriff (a look that hasn't been in fashion since the 1990s) on the covers of Heroes for Hire and World of Flashpoint. The only images I could find of men in 'showy' clothing was a shirtless Wolverine in a pose that really hid most of his body on the cover of Claws. He was also standing next to Black Cat, who had her outfit zipped open so much in the front that you could easily see most of her side boob.
 
I agree with you that Jenny Cesare is (or at least sounds like. I don't read Punisher.) a strong character. Manhunter is as well. The problem is that there are still so few strong female characters out there in comics compared to strong male characters. Honestly, if the gender (and races) were reversed in comics, you'll article wouldn't be 'down with diversity!' What if DC announced that the JLA had only one guy and one white person and everyone else was female and a minority? What if they said that 100% of the interior artist they hired were female? If all but one of their writers and one of their cover artist were female? You'll be writing about DC being sexist and how they aren't representing neither their demographic nor the American population. And what if most of the few males in comics were constantly being rescued by women or only there to act as love interests to the women? Because for every Jenny Cesare or Manhunter, there is a refrigerator or two full of poorly developed, ill treated, and weak female characters.
 
I honestly don't get why you're so anti-change right now? It's not harming you. You already said that you like strong female characters. What harm is there if comics add a few more females to the list?
Posted by ElCapitan

@ziplizard: I'm not a woman, but I agree with you on how poorly women are portrayed in comics. One would hope that female artists/writers might do a better job of it. It's a problem for both genders, for sure. I find that a lot of men write women like men with boobs or like how they wish women were. Realistic portrayal of women in a lot of media is kind of rare. Likewise some women are terrible writers for men. I love that we're talking about diversity in comics right now.

@Battlepig: As a Hispanic man, I'm so excited about the prospect of a Latino Spider-Man. I agree with you that good writing is good writing, but I've got to admit that seeing Marvel's flagship character go this route is really exciting for me. I would have bought the book either way, but this is really cool so far. I hope that Bendis doesn't try to overdo it, but most of all I hope that this new kid is awesome and has great stories written for him. By your logic, what does it matter who he is or where he's from? If the stories are good, who cares? Change for the sake of change is ok sometimes. Stagnation is the enemy of creativity and innovation.

Posted by Battlepig
@ziplizard said:

 
You say diversity doesn't matter, but what you're really saying is that it doesn't matter to you. As you know, I'm a woman. I read comics, but there are comics that I absolutely cannot read because their depiction of women is just horrible. I'll go to my local comic book store, browse the covers, see some panty shot or overly large boobs (no one can fight crime with boobs that big!) and put down the comic instantly since I can tell it isn't 'female friendly.' And if I do pick up a comic, most of the time the women are either there only to be potential love interests for the men or to be mother figures. They are one sided, shallow, and stupid. I actually keep a list of male writers who write amazing female characters. It's pretty short. 
 
So why does diversity matter on the page? Because it shows girls like me that we really can go out in the world and kick butt.
 
Why does diversity matter in the creative team? Because guys just don't seem to understand how or what to write women who can kick butt.

Alright, the snarky bastard in me wants to say the following: By that logic, I shouldn't be able to read any comics either, because the male physique is so overblown, it's not even funny anymore. Okay, the 90s were way worse, but try getting Superman's muscles. Not just the abs but the rest of it too. The guy has like Zero percent body fat. Impossible to achieve. But to be honest, I can live with overdone depictions of male and female characters as long as it fits the tone of the book and isn't one-sided. Like, if males and females are similarly overdone, I don't mind it.
 
Strong. Convicted. Hideously scarred. Gorgeous. Awesome.
The more thinking bastard in me has this to say: When you're looking at a TnA comic, you once more see people making a deal of a woman's sexuality. Large boobs, the most assy ass in the history of asses... that's all making a big deal. However, I find one of the most attractive female characters I've come across is the girl who took over for the Punisher in the Widowmaker-arc of Punisher Max, Jenny Cesare. Physically, she's probably as unattractive as it gets, by conventional standards. She survived breast cancer and is thus scarred. But the woman had an insanely strong will, a mission and she was clever. That's what I appreciated about her. That's what made me go "You rock!" and be excited about her. And no amount of boobs or ass could have changed that. She'd have been just as awesome if she had been a "perfect ten". Because the stuff that made her awesome does not depend on her looks or her gender or on her race. It's all the other things that make her her.
 
Women can kick ass, yes. I agree completely. But they shouldn't do it because they're women or because they feel strongly about womanly issues. They should do it because they can, boobs be damned. A good treatment of kinda-sorta-taboo subjects is Robin #156. It's the suicide-prevention issue. The whole part of it being about preventing suicides was never addressed in the comic itself. There was the number for some hotline or other after the last panel, but the comic itself was a story about a hero saving someone. Not going all "This is something I, as a white male hero, feel strongly about". The whole thing about it being prevention didn't even find a spot in the actual comic. It was brilliant because of it. Nobody wanted to shoehorn anything in, nobody made a big deal about all the superficial rubbish that people are either demanding (such as "Strong female characters", I'll get to that in the next paragraph), it was about Robin helping someone. About being an example to everyone, not just some demographic. And by them not making a deal of it, they made it a better book. In the end, when you saw the prevention hotline's number, you went "Oh." and you realize that, yes, you too can help in cases like these. You know that you can be as heroic as Robin as well. And it doesn't matter whether you're a boy or a girl. That's what I want in my stories. That's what I would demand in my comics, if nothing else.
 
Now the promised "Strong female"-rubbish. I like strong female characters as much as I like strong male characters. I like them not because they're female or male. I like them because they're strong characters who just happen to be male or female. There's no need to make a deal of it. Manhunter (Kate) was a brilliant example of that - but also managed to have some of the worst examples as well (the token gay guy at her office). Kate is a single mom with a strong will and the amazing talent of multitasking to the point where she can balance being a hero and a mother as well as a lawyer. I liked her for that. But if she was a single dad, i'd have liked her just the same... or him, semantics be damned. Because she was a character who was engaging, interesting, strong, daring and all that stuff. And she just happens to be female. It wouldn't have made a difference if she was male or a mutated martian rodent. And that's my entire point.
Posted by fodigg
@Caligula said:
@fodigg said:
If it doesn't matter then why not opt for more diversity? If the stories are just as good or bad regardless, why not say "yeah, opt for diversity. opt for inclusiveness."  Diversity is good because monotony is dull.
diversity is fine as long as you are making new characters or having new people carry on the mantle like USM's case. But I hate when they change the ethnicity or sex of an already established character.  either make a new character or a new person carrying a classic mantle. but don't make Steve Rogers or Bruce Wayne black or female.
That is certainly ideal, but sometimes there are only so many "team slots" to go around or when you have an opportunity to start from the ground up, there's no reason not to take that opportunity to increase diversity. 
 
Again, because if it doesn't matter, why not be inclusive?
Posted by evildupe

If there's any lack of diversity in comics it's probably because the industry is simply not strong enough to support any. The market for comics isn't as big as it used to be and so the publishers don't have the resources to make up a new title, a new character, or even a new creative team every month like they used to like back in the late 80's, early 90's. They just ride the go to characters and titles that have successful franchises like Superman and the X-Men. They just don't take as many risks as they used to because there's not enough money in it. Sad, but true.

  • 62 results
  • 1
  • 2