The day did come, when people questioned why all the heroes happened to be white men with perfect jaw lines. Marvel countered this with the creation of the X-Men. A team of Mutants that man kind feared because they did not understand them. But even this team, which was comprised of international team mates, was still written why white men toting their cigars and suits smelling of stale tobacco. The X-men were meant as a comic book representation of segregation, and degradation of blacks. The stories often mirrored the tirades and struggle of the civil rights movement. Even i love me some X-Men. But, did Stan Lee ever consider that the person writing these stories might have been even more grand, and respectable if the writer and artist were actually apart of that struggle? This is something i have struggled comprehending for much of my comic reading life. The X-Men are not the only head scratch-er. Even the early adventures of Luke Cage and Black panther were also written by…. guess again, white MEN. This is a never ending pattern throughout all of comic book history. We are told stories of urban struggle that many minorities go through, written by people who have never them-self been through any of the things they write about.
This will continue throughout the decades, and it even happens to this very day. But there is light on the horizon. Many books such as Marvel’s Ms. Marvel exist. Ms. Marvel, real name Kamala Khan, is a young, intelligent and beautiful Pakistani woman who belongs to the Islamic Faith.
The book is written by a Muslim woman G Willow Wilson. She is a white Muslim convert. But she brings such authenticity to the books emotions and experiences that Kamala faces. This is a win, not just for minorities, but for all of mankind. The book is so charming it would be very difficult for even the most cynical of the cynics out there to find fault with. We also have Cyborg being written by David F. Walker (who also writes a little title called Shaft for Dynamite Comics).
Midnighter, a gay DC superhero is being written by Steve Orlando, who is gay aswell.
These are only 3 of the books on the shelf that are making a difference. I have been reading all three of these since issue #1’s, and they all speak to me in different ways. Ms. Marvel is someone that any comic book nerd could relate to. She day dreams about being an avenger and having powers. She has a strict family who want to see her succeed in life, also wanting to protect her innocence. Kamala gets out of bed everyday and gets herself into situations that are way more than any one person could deal with, but she never gives up. When she falls, she gets up. When she loses, she learns from her mistakes and comes back even stronger. DC Comic’s cyborg had his normal life literally stripped from his body. He is constantly connected to all the worlds computers. His body is made of more metal than flesh, but he never lets himself lose the humanity that he has left. Not to mention he stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of the Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Aqua-man, as a valued member of the Justice League. Dc Comics Midnighter who is a bit more violent version of Batman. He constantly has to overcome ignorance in the field. Villains often underestimate him, thinking his sexuality is some sort of handicap. His sexuality is not something anyone can exploit, it is simply a part of who he is. And if you have read one issue of his comic book, you will see that he does not let anyone or anything, or any big situation get the best of him!
I hope to be writing many articles like this one, spreading the knowledge and wealth of comic books. Comics are not simply for white chiseled males with blue eyes. They are for you, me…. and even those green aliens hovering over us in their UFO’s! None of what i write is meant to insult anyone. Instead i aim to bring us all together. But there are certain things that i feel should not be ignored. Comics are my favorite form of expression and i feel that we are on the path to a better day. Nothing written in this article is meant to paint white people as the bad guy, society at the dawn of comics was a very different one than we have now. The times are different, but racism still exists. But if we take these steps together, and make an honest effort to treat all of our brothers and sisters of any nationality, color or creed with the same love we show our own families………. then we can hopefully build a future for our children where they need not worry about being treated like less a person….. and accurate portrayals in their comic books is a wonderful way to spread that love and warmth!
Untill next time true belivers…. Make mine Marvel and DC!!!!