Here Are the Supermen of Color

We’re back with another round of casting, this time, we’re casting twelve guys in the respective roles of various superheroes for the now CW sophomore show Supergirl. Last time, we mentioned that while Supergirl did well to promote (white) feminism, it needed to share that with women of color. Feminism does mean equality, and not just for women but for men as well.

Although arguably, little by little, we’re starting to see more men of color as heroes, but honestly? The barrier-breaking could use a little help, and Supergirl is in the right position to super-punch right on through them. Though the show just announced it’s bringing on Superman next season, DC Comics has a range of wonderful heroes of color and it’s about time that we got to see them shine too.

Continue reading “Here Are the Supermen of Color”

Advertisements

NOC Recaps The Flash: We Didn’t Start the Firestorm

Is it just me, or have the early episodes of both Arrow and Flash felt more like prologues for Legends of Tomorrow than independent, standalone series? Perhaps this is the one drawback of such a wide-ranging shared universe. It’s difficult to serve your own story when you must also plant seeds that will bloom in a completely separate show that will happen several months from now. Like I said in last week’s Arrow recap, “The Fury of Firestorm” felt more like a prequel to Legends of Tomorrow than a self-contained Flash story. Still, there were a lot of things to like from the episode that launches Firestorm 2.0.

Continue reading “NOC Recaps The Flash: We Didn’t Start the Firestorm”

NOC Recaps The Flash: Revenge of the (Bro)gues

Only my fellow nerds understand how excited I was to hear a narrative voiceover again, despite basically memorizing our hero’s speech. But it’s a new year, and we have a new Barry!

“My name is Barry Allen. I am not the fastest man alive.”

Continue reading “NOC Recaps The Flash: Revenge of the (Bro)gues”

Stretching Spandex Over Melanin Won’t Make Comics More Diverse

thor the dark world posterSometimes being a Nerd of Color is difficult. Often, the sci-fi you watch marries awesome next-gen splatterpunk visuals with horrid White Man’s Burden political sentiments, or the games you play offer wickedly fun three-dimensional gameplay with healthy servings of amoral misogyny and racial epithets. But often it’s pretty easy – each and every Wednesday new worlds reveal the secrets of earthbound metahumans and iron-masked despots and immortal ronin and sentient bacteria and techno-organic telepaths and rubber geniuses and fighter pilots with imagination rings. The comic industry may not accurately render tomorrow, but it can always take you somewhere you never thought you could go.

But let’s admit, the price of the ticket is Whiteness. When most people close their eyes and imagine a Superhero, the vast majority envision a strapping White male, muscular and determined, with steely blue eyes and biceps that can curl Ford pickups. That’s the starting point. That’s what nearly a century of comic art imprints on the Western mind. Even as every other facet of the shared global experience publicly acknowledges non-European populations’ economic and political contributions, the American comic industry and its burgeoning film components routinely place the same pale Olympian specimens on the power fantasy as global hero altar. Millions of people pay to watch sweat bead under a stringy, half-braided blond mop while a bodybuilder bleeds under a scarlet cape, writhing in agony below an unforgiving world’s cloudy grey sky, the treachery of his wayward trickster brother foremost in his thoughts.

I watched two young women in the audience for a local showing of Thor: The Dark World. These portly, pockmarked brunettes guffawed at every tasteless joke, swooned with every Chris Hemsworth half-smile, and embraced the silence of attraction whenever Thor exposed his shirtless glory. You could pen a long treatise on the tyranny of conformity these images promote, you can YouTube a discussion on the irresponsible corporate socialization inherent in selling a film about a White male god who runs around planet Earth hammering foes into submission, but none of this will change the heady lust in those girls’ eyes. That gaze is uncritical of Thor’s geopolitical implications, his brazen sexism, even his indifference to high school physics. Hell, that gaze could care less that the movie sucked! Taut muscle, metallic spandex and Australian features sold admission. The obvious objective of Thor: The Dark World is capitalist: sell as many movie tickets and as much official memorabilia as possible. All of it — the sweaty masculinity, the computer-generated effects, the human deer impersonation Natalie Portman called acting, the annoying Kat Dennings camp – contributes to that objective. The end result was a terrible forced lobotomy of a movie, devoid of narrative coherence, enjoyable characters, and compelling visuals. Thor: The Dark World is, quite possibly, the worst thing Marvel has ever done.

And I can’t imagine what would improve about that film if they made Thor Black.

Continue reading “Stretching Spandex Over Melanin Won’t Make Comics More Diverse”