Minorities in comics

Recently I have noticed an increase in minorities in the comic multi-verse. I don't have any problem with minorities, but I don't want characters created just to fill a demographic either. As long as the stories are good, then I have not complaint. I remember when the justice league show came on for the first time and I just thought that John Stewart was just put in because he was black, and although that might have been a reason at first they went on to tell great stories about him. Characters like Storm may have been added to the X-Men for the same reason but I never really felt that way, because she was so unique right away, not just a black version of a preexisting character. What do you people think?

54 Comments
54 Comments
  • 54 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by kadeem

I definitely  think there has to be more protagonists of color in comics, television, a film.  On the other hand though if they are just being thrown in as token characters it comes off as patronizing and is just as bad as using stereo typical characters.

Posted by Vance Astro

I agree with what you're saying about companies not just creating minority characters for the sake of reaching out to that demographic. I think any character should only be created when the writer\artist\creator has a good idea for one. I feel like DC and Marvel, the two biggest publishers are pushing their minority characters more and that's all we can really ask for.

Moderator
Posted by PortlandsBatman

When we are talking about the new characters of color in comics, what do people think of Batwing? Is he a good character or just a media ploy?

Edited by ArtGamer

@PortlandsBatman said:

When we are talking about the new characters of color in comics, what do people think of Batwing? Is he a good character or just a media ploy?

well i don't like batwing but i like Baz

Posted by BlueLantern1995

I know what you are talking about. I like having Black superheroes, my favorite Avenger is Black Panther. What I don't like is that they change a character's skin color to push it or they replace a character. If a team was created with just white people then have it be all white people.

If you are making a new team just add in a black character, I like that...but don't change it if it is already a certain way. Like with Heimdall in the Thor movie...that was unnecessary and stupid.

With Cyborg it is painfully obvious they put him on the league cause he was a black guy and that was it. You know I'd probably be a little more forgiving if it wasn't for that reason and it was actually about the character...

Posted by PortlandsBatman

@BlueLantern1995: It is a little strange to have a Black and Asian Norse Gods.

Posted by soduh2

@BlueLantern1995 said:

I know what you are talking about. I like having Black superheroes, my favorite Avenger is Black Panther. What I don't like is that they change a character's skin color to push it or they replace a character. If a team was created with just white people then have it be all white people.

If you are making a new team just add in a black character, I like that...but don't change it if it is already a certain way. Like with Heimdall in the Thor movie...that was unnecessary and stupid.

With Cyborg it is painfully obvious they put him on the league cause he was a black guy and that was it. You know I'd probably be a little more forgiving if it wasn't for that reason and it was actually about the character...

I think there were A LOT of better choices for the Justice League than Cyborg. Icon comes to mind, especially when it comes to honoring Dwayne McDuffie after his death.

Posted by Nova`Prime`

@PortlandsBatman said:

@BlueLantern1995: It is a little strange to have a Black and Asian Norse Gods.

Just to touch on this point.. but I always looked at it as the Valkyries and the Marvel Norse accept any worthy warrior regardless of religion or what not as long as they are willing to go. Much like when Thor spoke to Cap's ghost, before the not really dead storyline, and Cap told Thor he never truly believed in Valhalla.

Posted by SoA

@PortlandsBatman: bunker , steel, batwing are examples of this . though bunker is growing on me .

i agree that they shouldnt make characters just because they need a black,or gay, or [insert religion here], just because they feel they will attract that demographic.

Posted by SoA

@ArtGamer: i hope Baz isnt lame . like batwing is.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

The biggest minoritie in comics are non-americans 

Posted by JohnnyWalker

i hate how theyre pushing them down our throats. the biggest offender is dc. oh look look hes african AND a batman lame rip off. or look look hes hispanic AND gay. two in one. i feel that marvel handled it better with miles.

Posted by PortlandsBatman

One thing that Marvel has going for it is that for a long time they have been advocating acceptance of different people. The X-men have always been representative of what ever people or group is being focused on in the media; Blacks, Latinos, homosexuals, ext. Marvel has their formula down.

Posted by Shotgun

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

The biggest minoritie in comics are non-americans

THIS. There are barely any superheroes outside of America. The U.S. probably has enough to start an army.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@JohnnyWalker: look look, he's hispanic AND black 
Edited by Cap10nate

@Shotgun said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

The biggest minoritie in comics are non-americans

THIS. There are barely any superheroes outside of America. The U.S. probably has enough to start an army.

What percentage of comics are sold outside the US. I don't think it is very high? The companies are catering to an American audience who mostly want to read about Americans or things happening in America.

I'm sure some would like to see a European superhero fighting in Brussels or Paris or Moscow but I doubt it would be enough to make a profitable book when you could take the same story and place it in NYC/ Gotham/ Metropolis with American heroes and sell a multitude more. I bet a lot of foreign books have been pitched and started but canceled after a couple issues because no one is buying it. They won't publish something that isn't making a profit.

Posted by PortlandsBatman

The closest thing we have to what you said is Batman Inc. There was a French Muslim character named Nightrunner, and I liked him but I don't know if he is around since the new 52. But you are correct that comics are sold manly in America, so America is the location of most.

Posted by BlueLantern1995

My major problem is I don't see a family resemblance between Heimdall and Sif...

Posted by PortlandsBatman

I am not familiar enough with the comic versions of the Norse Gods to make that call, I will just have to take your word for it.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@Cap10nate said:

@Shotgun said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

The biggest minoritie in comics are non-americans

THIS. There are barely any superheroes outside of America. The U.S. probably has enough to start an army.

What percentage of comics are sold outside the US. I don't think it is very high? The companies are catering to an American audience who mostly want to read about Americans or things happening in America.

I'm sure some would like to see a European superhero fighting in Brussels or Paris or Moscow but I doubt it would be enough to make a profitable book when you could take the same story and place it in NYC/ Gotham/ Metropolis with American heroes and sell a multitude more. I bet a lot of foreign books have been pitched and started but canceled after a couple issues because no one is buying it. They won't publish something that isn't making a profit.

How many comics book readers are Black? Or Gay? Or hispanic? I'm willing to bet there are less american minority readers than there are non-american readers. Also non american readers are not averse to reading american characters or a book set in america so why are americans so adverse to books set in Europe, Asia or Africa? 
Posted by Cap10nate

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

How many comics book readers are Black? Or Gay? Or hispanic? I'm willing to bet there are less american minority readers than there are non-american readers. Also non american readers are not averse to reading american characters or a book set in america so why are americans so adverse to books set in Europe, Asia or Africa?

My guess is that most don't care what happens overseas. Also, a lot of Americans don't know much about other places so I believe that we as Americans prefer to stick with what we are comfortable.

For your first point about the Black/Gay/Hispanic, those are big issues that are affecting Americans so I think the comic writers/editors/companies are showing their stances on the issue. Plus with the media the way that it is, companies have to be extra careful to be super PC and inclusive or will be demonized. Take Chick Fil-A for example. It is known to be owned by Christians, hence why it is closed on Sundays. The CEO was asked about their view on gay marriage and replied that they agree with Biblical definition. It was blown out to seem that the owners of Chick-Fil-A want to see every homosexual burned at the stake.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@Cap10nate said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

How many comics book readers are Black? Or Gay? Or hispanic? I'm willing to bet there are less american minority readers than there are non-american readers. Also non american readers are not averse to reading american characters or a book set in america so why are americans so adverse to books set in Europe, Asia or Africa?

My guess is that most don't care what happens overseas. Also, a lot of Americans don't know much about other places so I believe that we as Americans prefer to stick with what we are comfortable.

For your first point about the Black/Gay/Hispanic, those are big issues that are affecting Americans so I think the comic writers/editors/companies are showing their stances on the issue. Plus with the media the way that it is, companies have to be extra careful to be super PC and inclusive or will be demonized. Take Chick Fil-A for example. It is known to be owned by Christians, hence why it is closed on Sundays. The CEO was asked about their view on gay marriage and replied that they agree with Biblical definition. It was blown out to seem that the owners of Chick-Fil-A want to see every homosexual burned at the stake.

Well I think thats pretty small minded 
Posted by Shotgun

@cap10nate Not many people are aware that American comics even exist, and those that do mainly have the impression that it's all just about big, beefed up men beating up bad guys to save a girl. I think that if people were more aware of what American comics actually were, and if the comics were translated and sold in shops that are opened abroad, then publishing companies can widen their audience and make more money. A lot of people abroad would be interested in Superman, Spiderman, And Batman, and from there, the companies can introduce them into the rest of the superhero world. You get them interested, then get them addicted. It's pretty easy, since these are the same crowds(I mainly mean Asia, since Im not familiar with the rest of the world) that love world of Warcraft, one piece, naruto...etc. They are familiar with comics, and I think that they would be really interested in fully colored comics with beautiful artwork(this is what first attracted me into opening a comic book at the library). DC and Marvel should spend some time and money to research foreign markets and advertise there. There is already a fan base for American comics, but it's rather small and the comic companies aren't making money off of it, since the base is reading American comics that have been translated into Chinese and posted online, because DC and Marvel arent selling comics abroad and if there are comics abroad, they a re overpriced and everything is in English. If the comic companies would translate it themselves, market it and sell it, they WILL find buyers. The last time I checked the American comic section of Page One, my favorite English bookstore, there were several young men that came up to the shelves to check it out and a few of them were selecting Marvel books. They were very interested, though one was deterred by his girlfriend.

Posted by Rabbitearsblog

I agree with everything you said.  I really enjoy having diversity in comics because it helps bring a sort of unity to the characters and the story lines involved.  However, I do feel that some comics only introduced some minority characters because they are black, Hispanic, homosexual or Asian and not because they are important to the story.
 
One of my favorite minority characters in comics is Storm from X-Men since she was introduced into the comics in an interesting way as she is shown to be a strong character that really affected the X-Men universe and she was never shown as just a minority character being introduced into the universe because the comics just needed a minority character in the stories.

Posted by minigunman123

@SoA said:

@PortlandsBatman: bunker , steel, batwing are examples of this . though bunker is growing on me .

i agree that they shouldnt make characters just because they need a black,or gay, or [insert religion here], just because they feel they will attract that demographic.

I'll be honest, Bunker's hilarious and I totally wish I was more like him and Bart combined. Nice as crap, funny, optimistic, just fun to be around, and loving of others; it always makes people happier in comicbooks, but seems to creep people out in real life :|

But moving on, I think Bunker was a good move. I was worried at first but he's an awesome character. "OMG YOU'RE RED ROBIN?! WE HAVE TO BE FRIENDS" I laughed so hard at that hahaha.

Posted by eippihrellik

i dont know about pandering when i comes to race i think weve come way past that but ive noticed the rise of gay characters in DC and i was wondering the same when it comes to rather or not they are pandering or this is just the way they invisioned the characters this way

Posted by SoA

@minigunman123: i was a lil iffy on him bc i thought he was there just as a stereotypical gay character . but like i said he is growing on me . and the we have to be friends line shows he is a "real" character in his universe . when heroes meet its either a quick fight and intro or a "its an honor fighting with you" type deal , with bunker he had a fanboy moment and it makes his character that much better.

Posted by JoseDRiveraTCR7

I hate how white comic readers get pissed when minorities character are put on books and then argue that they are being shoved down their throats. Thanks for supporting universes built on white supremacy.

Posted by Gibbet

Please a be an arabic muslim / or a black man who is a foreigner with a ring (too much murricans)

Posted by PortlandsBatman

@JoseDRiveraTCR7:I don't think anyone here is saying we don't want minorities in comics, or that we want all white people, in fact the opposite, we want characters to be made and used whatever race or creed they may be and have the character be more than just a race or creed, but a 'real' character with passions and a story.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@Gibbet: He's American 
Posted by Gibbet

@Jonny_Anonymous:

like born and raised

f*ck, well there goes my expectations

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@Gibbet said:

@Jonny_Anonymous:

like born and raised

f*ck, well there goes my expectations

Not sure but Jones says he's Arab American
Posted by JoseDRiveraTCR7

@PortlandsBatman said:

@JoseDRiveraTCR7:I don't think anyone here is saying we don't want minorities in comics, or that we want all white people, in fact the opposite, we want characters to be made and used whatever race or creed they may be and have the character be more than just a race or creed, but a 'real' character with passions and a story.

Never said you or anyone else only wanted white characters, but all of these "rules" and "guidelines" about how to properly introduce minority characters makes it difficult to introduce any minority characters to the point where it ends up reaffirming a system based on white supremacy from the 50s and 60s. Whenever a character is switched with a POC there are always a bunch of people proclaiming this is politically correctness gone mad, affirmative action, and "reverse" racism against a character everyone already loves. And you know what, I partly agree that a character's race shouldn't be changed and instead a new character should be made, but whenever a new poc character gets made (ex:Bunker, Batwing) the same accusations of politically correctness, affirmative action, and shoving down our throats gets thrown at the character. Now these characters aren't just tokens or there to fit a quota, they actually have good stories that attracts an audience, but there are still people who whine about how there are more "deserving" characters (most of whom, if not all, are white) who spots on teams or books have been taken due to the reason I've all ready given.

And this leads me all to the difficulties of getting any new characters to stick. This whole freaking community is so obsessed with continuity, and the "history" of a company's universe, and legacy characters that whenever a new character shows up with potential they are usually ignored or attacked (in the case of poc characters, it's usually the latter). Heck, every new villain needs to have some grand 6-12 issue arc, with a grand unique gimmick, and some grand diabolic plot. At the end of the day, that’s the difference between characters like Storm and John Stewart when compared to characters like Batwing or Bunker. Storm and John Stewart are legacy characters. They were created for the same reasons new poc characters are created, but the only reasons people don’t complain or complain less about them is because they’ve been around for decades. But you best believe that if they were created today for the same reasons they were created decades ago, and they were given the same storylines when they were first introduced, there would be a group of people complaining about political correctness, affirmative action, and how they were introduced and created the “right” way.

I’m tired of the countless people complaining about characters that are not white, straight males being shoved down their throats. Even in this thread there are people complaining about how Bunker is being “shoved” down their throats because he’s both Hispanic and gay. Because there’s no such thing as a gay Hispanic, right? Or that Miles Morales’ ethnicity is being shoved down everyone’s throats because he’s part black and part Hispanic. You know what, I should go tell my friends who are part black and part Hispanic that they should pick one or turn invisible because being mixed they are shoving their ethnicity down everyone’s throats. Oh, I’m sorry, does “shoving X down everyone’s throats” only happen in fiction? But I thought everyone wanted realism. Or is it being “shoved down your throats” because companies are trying to push an “agenda”? Yes, because creators or companies shouldn’t try to depict the lives of people who exist in real life.

A lot of people flipped out when Apollo and Midnighter were revealed to be gay. Some complained about it not being done the “right” way or it being shoved down their throats. Now, rarely does anyone complain about them. I hope both companies continue to “shove” down poc characters down everyone’s throats the “wrong” way, because if comic history has shown anything, the best way to get fans to accept something is to deepthroat them so hard that they can no longer complain and just get used to it.

Posted by PortlandsBatman

@JoseDRiveraTCR7: I think you have a great point. About my earlier comment I couldn't tell if you were accusing the people in this thread or in the community in general.

Posted by JoseDRiveraTCR7

@PortlandsBatman said:

@JoseDRiveraTCR7: I think you have a great point. About my earlier comment I couldn't tell if you were accusing the people in this thread or in the community in general.

It was mostly the community in general. I've been feeling down about the whole subject lately. I've been wanting new characters lately, but regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, the majority of comic readers dislike them nearly right from the start. Also, after the end of Black Panther and Storm's marriage, a marriage I, like most people, didn't think was done for the best reason(s), I starting thinking about how rarely poc characters of the same ethnicity or "race" date, or even talk to each other on panel. I came to the conclusion that even if these relationship were done in the "right" way, there would still be people that would say it was only done because of their ethnicity.

Posted by GundamHeavyarms

@Gibbet: Sorry man, Baz is arab-american, I just wish he didnt have that gun though, but the mask is cool.

Posted by PortlandsBatman

@GundamHeavyarms: The mask is cool, but what a poor guy, having no nose.

Posted by GundamHeavyarms

@PortlandsBatman: Yeah, but if you saw his nose it would look more like a ski mask than a luchador mask, and most people associate ski masks with criminals.

Posted by kadeem

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@JohnnyWalker: look look, he's hispanic AND black

You are aware there are Afro-Latinos in the real world right?

@Cap10nate said:

@Shotgun said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

The biggest minoritie in comics are non-americans

THIS. There are barely any superheroes outside of America. The U.S. probably has enough to start an army.

What percentage of comics are sold outside the US. I don't think it is very high? The companies are catering to an American audience who mostly want to read about Americans or things happening in America.

I'm sure some would like to see a European superhero fighting in Brussels or Paris or Moscow but I doubt it would be enough to make a profitable book when you could take the same story and place it in NYC/ Gotham/ Metropolis with American heroes and sell a multitude more. I bet a lot of foreign books have been pitched and started but canceled after a couple issues because no one is buying it. They won't publish something that isn't making a profit.

This is a very good point. Captain Britain & MI:13 featuring Blade (who many people forget is African British, not African American) was a really well written and all round well put together book. It was unfortunately canceled due to low sells, but I highly recommend the trade paper backs.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@kadeem: You are aware that I was referencing something that Johnny Walker said on the first page right?
Posted by Twentyfive

Comics don't have a lot of diverse racial, religious, orientation representation, after how many years. It is just a shame. But that's because when a minority comes out with a book, 9 times out of 10 the audience doesn't care for it. Imagine when creativity gets stifled because of such petty crap as skin color.

Oh wait, we don't have to imagine that,

Posted by Vance Astro
@Twentyfive said:

Comics don't have a lot of diverse racial, religious, orientation representation, after how many years. It is just a shame. But that's because when a minority comes out with a book, 9 times out of 10 the audience doesn't care for it. Imagine when creativity gets stifled because of such petty crap as skin color.

Oh wait, we don't have to imagine that,

I don't agree with you on religion, they have alot of characters of all religions. 
Moderator
Posted by batmanary

@Twentyfive said:

Comics don't have a lot of diverse racial, religious, orientation representation, after how many years. It is just a shame. But that's because when a minority comes out with a book, 9 times out of 10 the audience doesn't care for it. Imagine when creativity gets stifled because of such petty crap as skin color.

Oh wait, we don't have to imagine that,

It's sad, really. Almost as sad as how Johns couldn't just let Baz be an Arab. He HAD to be American. Thus six American GLs. :(

Posted by Twentyfive

@Vance Astro: Yeah, you are right. Kitty Pride is awesome. My top 5 favorite X-Man.

Posted by Twentyfive

@batmanary: Lol. He did that to be safe. We all know there would have been a mess of a storm, that might have included some political figureheads. Okay maybe some exaggeration. But some online brigade like OMM would have responded believe me. Johns made Baz be a reflection of himself. American of mid-eastern blood. I agree. Comics have to stop being safe. Take risks.

Edited by Vance Astro
@Twentyfive said:

@Vance Astro: Yeah, you are right. Kitty Pride is awesome. My top 5 favorite X-Man.

I agree with you on everything else although I don't think Marvel or DC's will ever do any better with race. I think a new giant will have to emerge to make that change. These publishers have been producing comics that are predominantly white heterosexual males since the 30's. You would think they could easily make the transition because television,and films and other forms of media have..I don't think it's that easy for comics and it's readers to accept black superheroes. I think Marvel and DC could try a little harder but race and sexual orientation for them seems to be their kryptonite. DC is doing better than ever before with females but Marvel isn't even close neither is any other publisher.
Moderator
Posted by Twentyfive

@Vance Astro said:

@Twentyfive said:

@Vance Astro: Yeah, you are right. Kitty Pride is awesome. My top 5 favorite X-Man.

I agree with you on everything else although I don't think Marvel or DC's will ever do any better with race. I think a new giant will have to emerge to make that change. These publishers have been producing comics that are predominantly white heterosexual males since the 30's. You would think they could easily make the transition because television,and films and other forms of media have..I don't think it's that easy for comics and it's readers to accept black superheroes. I think Marvel and DC could try a little harder but race and sexual orientation for them seems to be their kryptonite. DC is doing better than ever before with females but Marvel isn't even close neither is any other publisher.

Yikes. That might be a toughie. I have no clue how Milestone did it in the 90's, besides having DC at their backs, and a more flexible, generous market in the 90's, but today, it seems like the only comics people read are Marvel/DC (I know people read image, but they don't have a single, cohesive universe). What I want is a company that will try as hard as possible to include every demographic as much as they can. I don't want a company that is the antithesis of this whole problem. Truly good heroes in spite of their background, etc.

Posted by batmanary

@Twentyfive said:

@batmanary: Lol. He did that to be safe. We all know there would have been a mess of a storm, that might have included some political figureheads. Okay maybe some exaggeration. But some online brigade like OMM would have responded believe me. Johns made Baz be a reflection of himself. American of mid-eastern blood. I agree. Comics have to stop being safe. Take risks.

Exactly. They have to start taking bigger steps. They already have things like Justice League International....that SHOULD be a steppingstone for more diverse characters, rather than backpedaling to the old JLI roster.

Rocket Red and August General in Iron are good additions...they SHOULD have been followed up with a character from India, Canada, France, Japan. etc. Really something like the G20 countries. And especially so since it is a UN op. Plus that also gives an opportunity for characters like Nightrunner to come back to life in the New 52.

Edited by kadeem

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@kadeem: You are aware that I was referencing something that Johnny Walker said on the first page right?

Sorry about that, I misunderstood.

An interesting thing about Batman is that south of the border he is not white. When they started translating Batman comics into Spanish for a Latin American audience they changed Bruce Wayne's name to Bruno Diaz, so to that audience Batman is Latino.

@JoseDRiveraTCR7:

I agree with you completely about how they handled Storm & T'Challa's marriage. They completely squandered a great storytelling opportunity to show both of them grow in their relationship as individuals, but then again Marvel had really been dropping the ball in this any many other regards the last couple of years.

  • 54 results
  • 1
  • 2