Sunday, September 24, 2006

Thoughts On Civil War #4

A friend of mine asked me what I thought about Black Goliath's (A Black doctor) death at the hands of Thor (A blonde, blue-eyed Norse god).

My first thought was that old awful joke, "What do you call a Black doctor?"

The answer's not that simple and I don't think, the case.

Second thought, I tried to believe that it what was best for this particular story. Then, I realized I was trying to justify gross ignorance.

Why, Marvel, would you bring back a character who'd been in limbo for twenty-plus years just to kill him again...

...by a writer who marvels at the fact that there are Black people with Down's Syndrome?*

(Do they not have Wikipedia or WebMD in Scotland?)

I've almost been rendered speechless.

I can count on two hands the Black characters of note Marvel has on their roster and they went and ignorantly killed one of them.

Just... ignorantly killed one of them.

I guess the next Bendis won't get his chance to turn Black Goliath into his Luke Cage.

I can believe Marvel characters tried to clone a god. What I can't believe is that no one at Marvel even blinked at another Black man's (character's) death.

*I do not believe this writer to have some over-arcing racist agenda, by the way. Racism encompasses hate. Ignorance is at once ingrained and without forethought. With his comments, he lay at the feet of the latter.

58 comments:

Ununnilium said...

...sigh.

This is why I'm ignoring Civil War.

Jon Hex said...

Is Goliath a "great" character? He wasn't since the Evolutionary War. True, he did have great potential, but that's true of any character.
I'm sorry, but the irony of Goliath telling 'Thor' to prepare for the shortest comeback in history is just too hilarious.

Devon said...

When I say "great" Black characters, it's damn near an oxymoron.

What I should have said were characters of note....

and I will.

Anonymous said...

some disparate thoughts:

This didn't have nearly as much impact when I noticed it as when Devon mentioned what Millar had said on his website. That's just amazing.

In retrospect, I don't think that any of the "out of character" moments in Identity Crisis were nearly as bad as some of the things I've seen in Civil War #4.

Plus, how does Marvel go back to Status Quo with this? They are seriously mucking about with the very fabric of their "universe"?

Are there any heroes left at Marvel? There was a Squadron Supreme story by Mark Guenwald that was just like this (their max series-if I remember) ...and a good number of the team ended up killing or maiming themselves by the story's end

Jon Hex said...

I can't wait. I really think this is one of the better ways to go about a multi-series crossover. It will a real impact on the way the stories are written and how readers view the characters. If they follow through, it will be as big as the orginal Crisis and bigger than anything Marvel has done, crossover-wise.
That's not to say I agree with every decision made so far and some things are, I don't know how to phrase this, 'out of place' I guess. But I will be reading Civil Was #5-7, and whatever epilogue they have if it's not written by Claremont.

Dave Lewis said...

So glad you wrote this, Devon. The second I saw that panel, my exact thought was, "Devon is going to hate this." And it's not as if you're the only one -- I hate it, too. There are plenty of characters with a better character arc or a more potent impact to kill: Goliath was just the "easy out"...Easy, largely, because he was black, I genuinely agree.

Marvel's made a bigger mess of Civil War than they did of the wimpering, forgettable Identity Disc.

Anonymous said...

I like [Black] Goliath for the same reasons I like Doc Samosn --- the idea of a man who is used to grappling with his mind, given great physical strength and using it reluctantly for good, appeals to me.

Also, he could totally kick the Biblical Golitah's ass in a fight. See?

Anyway, yeah, this is a stupid thing. No interest in Civil War at all anyway, but I am disgusted that Millar would off Dr. Foster just to have a simplistic image of a dead black guy in chains for his stipid symbolic "saga." Gee, you think the guys who hired mass murderers Venom and Bullseye have the best interests of society at large in mind?

JR said...

Not just killed by a blonde haired, blue eyed norse deity, but a glorified eugenics experiment to boot....ugh.


I wish I could say I'm surprised by Marvel's handling of Goliath (or even Night Thrasher) but I can't. Especially since this is the same company that just had a gay male character they were praising (in order to combat critism leveled at them) symbolically dicked to death. It's just sad that they don't seem to put any critical thought into how it looks or how it could be percieved. Or worse, they do and just don't care.

Devon said...

Dave:

Yeah, I was going to keep quiet regarding CW #4 but damned if it just didn't keep gnawing at my skull.

Ivan said...

I just read CW no.4 a few minutes ago, and boy am I am pissed. I wonder if Millar asked Brevoort "you using him anytime soon?" "Nah, go ahead to whatever you wish with him." I checked out Newsarama, and I found this:

"NRAMA: Mark - why did Goliath have to die? Couldn't this battle have held the same meaning without his death?

MM: I don't think so, no. That said, I hate the promise of big deaths in events. It's so cheap. It's just bad writing. We could have had Cap, Spidey and Iron Man all dead in a double-page spread here, but you know they're back in six months. It's meaningless and just a re-heat of the death of Phoenix, Supergirl or The Flash. I wanted a death to mean something and even a relatively little known character should be treated with respect, his death having story ramifications. I've said this before, but why kill characters unnecessarily? Obviously, they have to die sometime, but every character is somebody's favorite and I'd be pissed off if I saw my favorite character killed off in a panel followed by no repercussions. It's just cheap. I've said this a million times, but don't buy this series looking for big deaths. You can shake things up and do something new without resorting to that."


'nuff said.

Jon Hex said...

Where the hell are people finding this love of (Black)Goliath? Name one story that featured him that you've recommended or even thought of mentioning to anyone. He was a little or not at all used character who was killed off in a crossover, like the majority of characters killed off in Infinite and Identity Crisis. Where was this rage when the New Warriors were killed? There are many characters that could have and might be killed before the end of Civil War, and Goliath just drew the short straw this time.

I'm sorry. It just seemed like a lot of Marvel bashing for a decision with DC overtones.

Marionette said...

Where was this rage when the New Warriors were killed?

Here and here.

Anonymous said...

its not so much "love" for Goliath, as it is that he's still one of Marvel's "noted" or "foremost" black characters other than Luke Cage and the Black Panther. Whose death comes at the hands of a blond, norse eugenics experiment, written by what appears to be, at the very least,an ignorant writer. An event that has mildly racist overtones.

Millar is known for writing controversial material..but here we see it with all of Marvel's "top tier" characters.

As far as I can tell..there's no DC overtones here...In fact, as shaken up as Identity Crisis was..I could still tell the villains from the heroes in their books...Civil War is just lunacy...

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly.

I said as much here: http://forums.millarworld.tv/index.php?showtopic=64042&st=125

And then I proceeded to list how many black heroes we still have here:
http://forums.millarworld.tv/index.php?showtopic=64042&st=356

25 by my count. And yet they keep killing them off...

Luis K. said...

Thanks for pointing this out. As an Asian comics fan, I am sensitive -- perhaps overly-sensitive, I'm willing to admit -- regarding the way minorities are represented in mainstream comics. I generally enjoy Millar's stories, but there's just something in the way he writes that makes you brace yourself -- and not in a good way -- ready to cringe, or seethe. You never know whenever one of these cringe- or rage-worthy moments will come: sometimes it's an event, sometimes it's a bit of dialogue, sometimes it's the depiction of a certain scenario.

Sometimes it's Northstar getting slaughtered, sometimes it's the rampant racism in Wanted (and yes, I know all the main characters are supposed to be assholes, but we are made to identify with Wes, at least at the beginning), sometimes it's the treatment of Swift -- an Asian female superhero -- in a certain issue of The Authority (much worse in the original version, apparently; and again, I know the point is to show how bad the bad guys are, but I can't help sensing an underlying glee in the depiction).

Great assessment, by the way: ignorant, not racist. I totally agree.

Anonymous said...

One thing I wonder about though...suppose this wasn't necesarily ignorant? What if Millar *deliberately* decided to do it in this fashion. Not out of racism but to be controversial and sell the book? A 'cheap death' so to speak...

Martin said...

Millar is notorious for "cheap thrill" moments designed to get people talking, and this is no exception.

It's depressing to me that of all the characters to kill, he picked a guy who was a great role model for all readers, black or white. Scientist, soldier, loving husband, and a decent guy all around. What's it say about Marvel that their top black characters are ex-thugs (Luke Cage, the Falcon, African Kings and Queens (Black Panther, Storm), or mutants from the future (Bishop)?

I just think it was a typical ig'nant decision by Millar who didn't think through how that would look, and it was exacerbated by the fact that there are so few characters involved in Civil War that can be affected in any lasting way.

Your Obedient Serpent said...

You want a "great" black character in the MU?

Over in Beyond!, an obscure miniseries that nobody's really paying attention to, they've brought the Michael Collins version of Deathlok, doctor, scientist, husband, father, and a man of convictions who struggled to maintain those convictions even after they essentially got him killed.

Frankly, I almost wish they hadn't. He's too good a character for the cesspool Marvel's become.

The Fortress Keeper said...

I felt a lot worse over the death of Namorita, a character I always kinda liked, but the lack of real remorse from Tony and Reed was especially galling. At least Hank Pym, who can be a total prick otherwise, was genuinely shocked by the needless death of an old friend.

And really, what are they fighting over? As stated elsewhere, it's like shooting a kid on the street for refusing to sign up for military conscription.

Totally stupid.

But, an excellent post Devon.

Gokitalo said...

Concerning Jon Hex's comment on where all this Goliath love is coming from: aside from the possibility of fans not realizing how much they'd miss the character until he was gone, Goliath was killed just as he was starting to get the exposure and respect he deserved. For example, he showed up in the recent "Thing" series as a supporting character, dropped the "Black" part of his name (looks like Hank Pym will have to become the "White Goliath" if he ever uses the name again, hehe), and up until his death, was one of Cap's more prominent allies in "Civil War." But, like Blue Beetle before him, he was killed off just as Marvel was showing us how cool the character could be. He could have been a nice fit on one of the post-Civil War Avengers teams, I think.

[i]sometimes it's the treatment of Swift -- an Asian female superhero -- in a certain issue of The Authority (much worse in the original version, apparently; and again, I know the point is to show how bad the bad guys are, but I can't help sensing an underlying glee in the depiction).[/i]

In Millar's defense, none of the Authority members were treated any better, at least in the original version. I mean, the Colonel was going to have sex with Jenny Sparks' corpse.

Chris Laffoon said...

Here's my concern...why is everyone throwing a fit over a white character killing a black character and why is race even an issue???? If Luke Cage or the Black Panther had killed a white character...would you be saying the same things??? No, then you would be saying that Marvel is trying to show all people of color as criminals and murderers. Personally I think being PC has made racism worse. This simply being another case of someone going out of their way to make themselves not appear racist but it actually makes you appear more racist just in the simple fact that the skin color of the two involved even mattered. If people were simply upset because a great character was killed then ok, I understand, but I don't see that it is.

Devon said...

Chris:

Trust me, I am the least PC guy you'll ever meet and I hear some of your argument but please, I've gotta know...

where in this post did you actually hear me say the killing of Goliath was "racist."

I've seen no one in the comments section say it was "racist." Racism is a very big thing to me and something not to be taken lightly. I had "nigger" yelled at me. I've had people ask me "where do I come from" and "I should go back there." I've been called "one of the good ones."

That, Chris, is racism.

I simply feel, and most of the people who commented feel, the killing of Goliath was incredibly short-sighted and senseless.

In a word, "ignorant." Which I stressed in the post.

No "racism" here, Chris.

Chris Laffoon said...

Hmmm...the fact that you made a rather bold statement that... "Black Goliath's (A Black doctor) death at the hands of Thor (A blonde, blue-eyed Norse god)." Sounds like you were basing everything on the fact that a white guy killed a black guy. That was in the opening couple of lines right? Otherwise why would their color have been important? I didn't mean to imply that you are a racist just that the repeated shots taken at that one death would make it appear that way (your blog isn't the only one). Especially to someone who didn't read your blog everyday...

Devon said...

Chris:

The opening line was "A friend of mine asked me what I thought about Black Goliath's (A Black doctor) death at the hands of Thor (A blonde, blue-eyed Norse god)."

I was QUOTING a friend of mine.

It was a quoted question.

So, yeah, Chris, I really don't think we're on the same page here.

I also see you have a blog. Maybe you can explore your feelings further there.

I'm done going over this.

Anonymous said...

Well Chris,
I think based on your logic, one could say that there were MANY other lower tier characters on the battlefield, who weren't black...so why weren't any of them killed? If say, Iron Man or Mr. Fantastic had killed Goliath would it have been any different than if Thor would have?
I think a lot of the fan discussion here is centered around WHETHER the death had any meaning? It DOES have a very "unfortunate" combination of character deaths..prominent black character killed by blond, ubermensch type archetype written by an apprently ignorant writer.
So why choose him? Does the "meaning" if any reflect racist overtones? Or was it Millar being controversial? Was it even deliberate?? Was it necessary for the story? A lot of evidence from his previous writing and interviews suggests not.
And incidentally,Political Correctness was a movement about respecting what people wanted to be called in a formal, official setting. At the core, being PC was about letting people call themselves what they wanted versus what they were called by OTHER people. And what's wrong with that?

Jon Hex said...

How much of a role model is a man who used his powers to beat on Luke Cage because Cage "stole his woman"? Not to make too much light of the character, but come on. He wasn't even Black Goliath since the seventies. He took the Giant-Man name. They gave him the name Goliath when Atlas stopped using it.
I think it's not fair to call anyone ignorant because he decided to kill a character you happened to like.

Anonymous said...

You really just don't get this thing don't you?

Anonymous said...

I could care less about the character, but the point is, this seems to just be a pointless death for cheap shock value. Heck, I think Black Goliath lost his powers at one point, and then inexplicably got them back when he showed up on the Thing. Depowered or dead? Hmmm....check his column on Comics101.

Chris Laffon, I see a bit of what you're saying, but the way you are saying it can be construed as being offensive.

I will laugh madly when this is retconned.

Daniel said...

Bishop is black?

Deathlok is black?

C'mon. Everybody who knew that Goliath was still alive in the first place, raise your hands.

The bigger tragedy here is that when you ask "Who are Marvel's top-five black characters"? the answer is "Black Panther, Luke Cage, Storm, and... er... uh..."

Would you have preferred that Millar have planned to kill off Goliath for a strong story-driven reason (which he may have done: There's a lot of this story yet to tell), and said to himself (or been instructed from On High), "Nope, can't kill him: He's black."

If so, then I want Sue Dibny back, who, as a female pregnant non-combatant, should have been wa-a-a-ay down the list of possibilities for Meaningful Dramatic Death.

I could care less about the character, but the point is, this seems to just be a pointless death for cheap shock value.

Well, gosh. That's never been done before. This whole series is just pointless activity for cheap shock value.

Should we name this phenomenon after Blue Beetle, or was there an earlier CONSPICUOUS example of a character whom fans discovered was uniquely essential to their enjoyment of this genre only after they were killed?

Your Obedient Serpent said...

Should we name this phenomenon after Blue Beetle, or was there an earlier CONSPICUOUS example of a character whom fans discovered was uniquely essential to their enjoyment of this genre only after they were killed?

...Hal Jordan?

Anonymous said...

was there an earlier CONSPICUOUS example of a character whom fans discovered was uniquely essential to their enjoyment of this genre only after they were killed?

This exemplifies the current problem with the dialectic in this country. No one listens, and no one finds common ground. they just hear (x), get their hackles up, and instantly back up to the opposite view (-x), and then ascribe to their disputant the furthest possible extreme opposite POV from their own [(++x), perhaps].

So we get: "Oh, so now you love Black Goliath and you wanted to marry him, eh? How comezit you never mentioned him before? So now you hate comics, right? Now that Black Goliath is dead you're gonna burn your comics? Typical PC kneejerk, etc etc."

And so on.

So like, whoa, back up. no one said that BG was "uniquely essential" to their enjoyment of anything, or even that they "loved" BG.

what I've read Devon, myself and others say here is simply (SIMPLY!) this: BG was a cool character, a scientist, and he happened to be a black man, which all media could use more positive representations of, and it's a shame that Millar thought it would be cool to kill him off for shock value in this stupid series.

That's all. Why is that so hard to hear?

Jon Hex said...

Okay, will someone please explain to me what the problem is? Everyone with internet access knew someone was going to die in Civil War #4. They even said there would be deaths before the first issue came out. And with heroes fighting heroes, it's not a stretch to come to the conclusion a hero was going to die. More than likely, a character who wasn't NFL Superpro or Slapstick or some other Marvel reject they hide in a closet until Nicieza comes around. Why is Goliath's death so huge? He's not that popular and not much of a role model. He was a blank slate, no real personality, to use whenever you wanted a strong or growth hero and Pym was busy. He could have been great, but now he's dead. And it's not that big a deal.

Anonymous said...

"Okay, will someone please explain to me what the problem is? Everyone with internet access knew someone was going to die in Civil War #4. They even said there would be deaths before the first issue came out. ... [It]t's not that big a deal."

That's the problem--it's not a big deal. It was a typical badly written and utterly predictable crossover death. Millar tried to create shock (by killing a character) and controversy (by using the Nordic-genetic-experiment-kills-black-guy card) but instead of tearing the Internet in half people are just standing around saying "This is lame" and wishing they could get their money back.

You know what would have been genuinely shocking? If Millar had included Bill Foster into the Big Giant Event and instead of scragging him made him an critical character throughout the whole thing. *That* would have been surprising. But no, Millar just trotted out the ancient "black sidekick gets it first" cliche from a zillion old movies. Yawn.

Evan Waters said...

I think technically Goliath wasn't the FIRST to die (that honor goes to the New Warriors sans Speedball), but it still did read like "had to be the black dude, huh?"

But then, I object to the whole "we have to kill a hero to UP THE STAKES!!!" approach to event books anyway.

Anonymous said...

what I've read Devon, myself and others say here is simply (SIMPLY!) this: BG was a cool character, a scientist, and he happened to be a black man, which all media could use more positive representations of, and it's a shame that Millar thought it would be cool to kill him off for shock value in this stupid series.


But that's not all your saying. You're saying that, for some reason, killing Goliath is evidence of "ignorance," but no one has stated ignorance of what.

It's been stated that having G killed by a blonde white guy is also ignorant (for the same mysterious reason). Would it have made a difference if he'd been killed by Luke Cage? What if Cage had killed a white guy?

Why, exactly, is it "ignorant" for Thor-Clone to have killed Goliath?

Anonymous said...

Hang on, are you saying that its ignorant for Millar to have killed of Goliath because he's a cool black guy with the potential to be a role model? Even though he hasn't been used on a regular basis for, what, twenty years? (No, an appearance in Thing doesn't count..)

Because if you are, then I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous.

Hale of Angelthorne said...

I like the fact that Millar's icon is a feathered warbonnet and his blog rank is "chief." See, that's funny because ALL Native Americans wear feathered warbonnets. We also say "ugh" alot.
I don't necessarily think he has a racist agenda, either, but gawd what a clueless moron!

Gokitalo said...

Why is Goliath's death so huge? He's not that popular and not much of a role model. He was a blank slate, no real personality, to use whenever you wanted a strong or growth hero and Pym was busy. He could have been great, but now he's dead.

As you've probably guessed, I put "could have been great" in bold for a reason. That, for me, is why I think Goliath's death is a bummer. While Goliath didn't have to be one of the stars of Civil War, the series could have been used to flesh him out and show people that, like you said, he could be great. Though I had heard of him before, I'd never read any comics with Goliath in it until "Thing" and "Civil War." Yet by the time we got to Civil War #4, I was rooting for him all the way during the initial fight scene. I'm not saying he had a monumental impression on me, but both Slott and Millar (before killing him) showed that Goliath was a character with potential.

Rob S. said...

I’ve been thinking about this since you posted, Scipio. Like you, I don’t think this was done out of malice. And the symbolism of the event, I have to admit, didn’t occur to me at all.

But this discussion made me wonder – who would everybody kill in Goliath’s place? It seems to me that the story does need a death at this point. It raises the stakes, and causes certain people to reevaluate their positions. Here’s the criteria I think the death needed to fulfill:

1) Push Spider-man away from the pro-reg group (I think almost anyone he’s worked with would have accomplished this. Same goes for Sue.)

2) Cause Hank Pym to seriously reconsider his participation. (This is a narrower group, I think—someone Pym in particular was close to, possibly as an Avenger or West Coast Avenger.) Foster’s shared history with Pym fits the bill here.

3) Be someone who’s fought alongside both Tony and Cap. (I’m no Marvel historian by any means – is this the case?)

4) Be a stunning demonstration of Thor’s power.


As I said, I’m no Marvel historian, and there are probably other characters who’d do the job here. But the one I can think of who’d spur Pym – the Wasp – wouldn’t make the Thor-clone seem all that impressive, power-wise.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m a DC boy, so I’m at a loss here.

Rob

Anonymous said...

When did Scipio post? You haven't confused Devon for Scip, have you? Because, I can understand that they look EXACTLY alike...

Rob S. said...

I've never met either of them. But yeah, I did. I am shamed.

Sorry, Devon.

Scipio said...

Okay, Devon, I give up...

What do you call a black doctor?

Anonymous said...

They could have killed the Vision again. He's just Marvel's version of the Red Tornado...drama! Red vision guts! or...Phoenix!

How many times has she died, anyway?

Ununnilium said...

Personally, I would've rewritten the story so drastically that the question becomes meaningless. There's so many bad decisions along the way that trying to rewrite one without tearing down the whole thing and starting from scratch is painful.

Haole said...

Mark Millar doesn't care about black people.

And I'm with Scipio -- what do you call a black doctor?

1 Right Opinion Comics said...

It is interesting that you are having the same discussion we having been having on my blog.

Someone in the comments brought up that Goliath may have been killed to get Black Panther involved. If he takes sides with Captain America, all hell will break loose.

Devon said...

Scip & Haole:

I'm very happy you don't get the "joke."

Anonymous said...

Its stuff like this that makes it clearer why Grant Morrison's Aztek (which he co-wrote with Millar)never quite took off...

Son of Blog-El said...

I got the joke Devon. I've heard it before.

sigh...

Hale of Angelthorne said...

"Someone in the comments brought up that Goliath may have been killed to get Black Panther involved."

Uhm, why? Because they're in the League of Black Superheroes or something?
Other than race, do these two characters have anything in common whatsoever?

Rob S. said...

There was a mention in the Civil War Files that the two men were close; beyond that, I don't know -- I didn't read the book. But it's not entirely reader speculation that Foster and T'Challa knew each other.

1 Right Opinion Comics said...

Yes they have been very close for years. They teamed up in few incarnations of the avengers.

Yes they were in a team of black super heroes. The "urban" team also included Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Brother Voodoo and The Falcon.

Goliath was also amongst the cavalcade of other African-American super-heroes attending the wedding of the Black Panther.

Anonymous said...

I really think something on Marvel is trying to do with Civil War the "Identity Crisis" for poors. They made Goliah came back, they dignified him, so everyone could think how cool he became, then... they whipped out Clor and killed him.
Goliah has become only a plot device. He was a character before, then he was only used by Millar to make some cheap sensationalism, the "duplicate guy to kill off soon because after the relaunch we will have a new Ant-Man and maybe Pym needs the Giant Man thing back". Casually, he was the "token black character" (say this to Black Panther, and he'll kick your asses for months, and I'll agree).
The whole point his: do you remember Star Trek, the Original Series? Kirk went to a planet, and on a planet there were bad people and good people. Good people women was recognizable 'cause they threw their underpants at Kirk, bad people 'cause they killed the "red jacket guy", were spiteful and disrespectful of human life in the cosmos.

The editor for me is clearly trying to shift the POV of the reader, putting the anti-reg as heroes, see in Captain America Sharon bragging about "Capitan America, the man who fought Nazis and saved the country, a lot", and the pro-reg as a bunch of sell-out and madmen unable to score with chicks (see Susan Storm), cloning arian blonde gods to kill token etnical members (see Clor), riddling their teammates of bugs, mikes and sensors (see Spider-Man), ralling with the "wrong SHIELD" (see Dum Dum Dugan and Sharon Ventura "versus" Maria Hill), building Nazi Death Camps in the Negative Zone and using the most ferocious inmates, aka the villains as Kapos and hounds for the free heroes.

Goliath was expendable to prove the point.

Martin Wisse said...

Okay, this is annoying me now:

It's GIANTMAN! Not Black Goliath! Bill Foster changed his name way back in Marvel Two in One when Ben Grimm kindly remarked that Goliath was one of the bad guys and everybody could easily see he was Black anyway...

I liked Bill Foster because he actually has quite a lot of history in the Marvel Universe, having been introduced in the Avengers as just a trusted employee of Tony Start to help out Hank Pym with his being stuck at ten foot height and no mention was made about him being Black! He was the perfect third stringer: never popular enough to get his own series back, but good for a guestrole or as a supporting character.

As for Black characters in general, Marvel still has the upper hand over DC, with a reasonable wide range of backgrounds, not just ex-thugs and African monarchs.

Ragnell said...

As for Black characters in general, Marvel still has the upper hand over DC, with a reasonable wide range of backgrounds, not just ex-thugs and African monarchs.

Umm, I hope you mean DC has the upper hand over Marvel, since the first two black male Marvel characters who come to mind for me are an ex-thug and an African Monarch.

Martin said...

Ragnell has the right of it, sadly. D.C. has characters like Mr. Terrific, Black Lightning, and John Stewart, who're actually similar to Goliath in that they're professional, intelligent, accomplished guys who didn't have to be gangstas or African monarchs to be well-rounded or developed characters.

Marvel is very incoherent in how it administers its policy of promoting diverse characters--they make great strides in promoting female heroes, then undercut it with all the frat-boy stupidity and T&A excess. They push Latina heroes like Arana, then graphically kill off gay heroes like Freedom Ring and black heroes like Goliath.

I'm sure there's no malevolent plan behind this--it's just, as Devon himself said, simple ignorance. And that's actually worse.

Bahlactus said...

Dag, this set off some ish didn't it, bruh? :) Seriously though, I wasn't clued into my man Bill Foster that much until he started creepin' up in Civil War. They killed my man off and I agree with the cats who say shock value was the crucial hit.

I'd say it's Marvels way of makin' up for the fact they've got this busted-assed clone of Thor layin' down the hammer, knowin' full well that Thor wouldn't get down like that. It's a distraction tactic and right now Marvel is livin' foul.

Another comment mentioned being able to count the number of Black characters in Marvel history (or was it Black characters worth counting?) I'm doin' some investigation on DC/MARVEL along the same lines if you and your readers want to get down.

I'll keep trackin' here though. Be easy, bruh. Bahlactus has spoken.

Anonymous said...

Some people read into his way too much.