The Color Of Change

So last week I reported how Marvel Comic’s Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort explained how an All-Black Avengers was far too contrived and not salable.

Well since that time, Brevoort continues to defend his racism which by the by Brevoort, at this stage, please….just…..stop.

Hat tip to Mr_Cynical who forwarded me the following article which made some excellent points. A few of which I’m embarrassed to say even escaped my memory.

One of my all-time personal favorite graphic novels is Black Panther: Bad Mutha, penned by Reginald Hudlin. I can’t recommend it enough. In fact I re-read the book this weekend. One of the funniest and most brilliant written comics ever, the story has T’Challa (BP) teaming up with Luke Cage for a globe trotting adventure.

In addition to the eponymous protagonist and Cage, the story also featured T’Challa’s personal bodyguards the Dora Milaje aka the Sisters of Destruction: anyone who has seen these guards in action know why they need to be noted. After all, anyone who can battle Black Widow to a stalemate is a bonafied badass. The story also has appearances from Shuri, Monica Rambeaux, Falcon, Doctor Voodoo, Blade and Shang Chi.

The article explains that while penning Black Panther, writer Reginald Hudlin had actually laid groundwork for a Black Avengers team in Bad Mutha. In fact, in the story, while watching Luke, Falcon and T’Challa battle an army of ninjas, several onlooking black citizens discussed the idea of an all Black Avengers team.

Given that this was right before Civil War jumped off and the aftermath has resulted in the spawn of legions of Avengers teams: New Avengers, Mighty Avengers, Avengers, Young Avengers, Dark Avengers (pun not) and Avengers Academy. Despite all of these teams, no one’s questioned how contrived their origins are. And I haven’t even mentioned Pet Avengers. Of course in our society, animals have more elevated status than black people. But then again, what else is new.

And once again. While it’s never aired in the U.S., the recently released Black Panther DVD has already outsold comparable X-Men and Iron Man animated films. And what’s more is that unlike its peers, Black Panther doesn’t have a major motion picture backing its franchise. So that whole black superhero not being salable nonsense, pretty much dead on arrival.

Since last week, several people have discussed possible scenarios as to how the Black Avengers could form to battle evil. Many kept mentioning racism such as a global threat from Red Skull. And bless their hearts, I know they meant well–and I’ll be the first to admit that some great stories can be told there–but I must also stress, there is more to the black experience and the black identity than racism. Yes it is a huge issue in the lives of blacks and POCs in general but that isn’t all there is to us. It is possible for a group of black people to get along, like each other and simply decide to team up to save the world, just like white superheroes do….ALL…..THE……TIME.

Yes while I do have many POC buddies who I’ve connected with through social justice activism, I also have black friends and colleagues who I genuinely like spending time with personally and professionally because they are awesome people and we have great chemistry together. Yes, we have a common bond/culture/experience in being of the same ethnic descent, but our bond transcends that.

When three or four women bond and become lifelong friends, it does not mean that they are plotting to destroy ALL MENZ!!!!! When I’m hanging out with my queer friends, we aren’t all BFFs solely because of our orientation or plotting to push a homo agenda. The content of their character does play a factor.

I know, I know, generally speaking the only time many of you see a bunch of us together is if we’re marching and rioting for Civil Rights. And I know it’s been instilled in you that if you see two or more Negroes, to be afraid, be very afraid.

Just because a group of POCs congregate means, that we are secretly plotting against white people. We are not all members of a secret underground society, plotting to topple the world capitalist power structure and oppress those of the caucasian persuasion.

Okay, maybe a few of us are members of said secret underground society. Which reminds me, to those certain members in question, you’re two months behind on your membership dues. Let this be the last motherfucking time, your cards get declined. Don’t make no damn sense. Talking about a launching revolution but you too trifling to pay your bills. And act like you going anywhere near the refreshments at the meeting this Tuesday. I wish you would. No cookies for you!!!!

I realize the next words I type will create a rip through the space time continuum and destroy reality by confessing this but fuck it.

White peepul, sometimes…..believe it or not….and yes I realize it’ll be impossible to take…..but the truth is…….sometimes POCs aren’t thinking about your asses. TRU FAX! TRU FAX!!!! I know you don’t believe me and will need to verify this blasphemous intel. But ask POCs’ white loved ones. They’ll tell you that when we have family gatherings, go out on the town, or simply hang out in the coffee shop, we’re just simply doing us and loving life. Believe it or not white people, sometimes…..it’s not about you.

Men of color are not constantly thinking about sticking it to the white man and we have other things we enjoy discussing: music, politics, relationships, movies, arts, cars, sports, hobbies, etc.

Women of color are not spending every waking moment feeling threatened by white women or wishing they could be one themselves or threatened that a white woman is going to steal he. If anything, the reverse is true, as we’ve seen time and time again in fandom with the malice from white women towards Dr. Martha Jones, Storm, Uhura and Cassandra Cain to name a few. The truth is most WOC are too busy being successful professionally and personally to entertain a thought on that nonsense.

As if that wasn’t enough racefail, yet another black woman was accidently vixenized. DCWomenKickingAss breaks down why a coloring mistake means much more, Brevoort’s fail and why the comic book industry continues to kill itself.

While the whole piece is a must-read, this especially brings it home:

You don’t grow a business in a global and diverse world by catering to a minority. And that’s what white males are. Sorry guys, you are a minority. The world is far more diverse than that and is getting more diverse everyday. And it is time for big two comics to smarten up and pay attention. To care. Because if they don’t, the big two comic companies will get left behind.

To less than 100,000 readers a month the Green Lantern is a white guy — to millions of televisions viewers he is a black man.
To DC Comics, Wonder Woman is a problem that requires constant fixing and doesn’t appeal to their core readers — to the Estee Lauder corporation she is a valuable brand that drives revenue.

To formerly “male-focused” entities such as the NFL and NASCAR women are a valuable, core audience — to the big two comic companies they are an after thought.

To Marvel an all black team of Avengers is a contrivance and the Avengers should consist of  “A team” players — to many sports teams an all-black starting line-up are their superstars and their “A-team.”

In big two comics gays barely exist — in the real world they are everywhere.

The world is changing. It is time to care. Diversity is important. The choice is simple — do it and evolve, or be a dinosaur.

2 thoughts on “The Color Of Change

  1. Good gracious. Suddenly I’m glad I had a marvel.com subscription so I could cancel it and cite this as the reason. (my subscription was up for renewal, so I came back to re-read this article in hopes of being coherent in my note about why I’m cancelling.)

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