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She Got That Good Hair: Top 5 3 Black Women!

January 12th, 2007 by | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

(edit: T’Shan was not BP’s sister. Shuri is.)

To our readers from When Fangirls Attack!– welcome! Check out the post and don’t be afraid to leave a comment, okay? Onward.

It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you,
Without a strong rhyme to step to.
Think of how many weak shows you slept through,
Time’s up! I’m sorry I kept you!

–Rakim

Man, this article is crazy late, isn’t it? Just, uh, six months or so.

It’s late for a number of reasons. I’ve been trying to ramp up my writing career, which means more time writing about games, less about comics. Did it work? Well, I’m no longer living paycheck to paycheck, but talk to me in another six months.

The number one reason why it’s late, other than business and laziness, is that it is hard as crap to find good black female characters in recent comics. I mean, Monica Rambeau had a bit part in Black Panther and I’m not much for Nextwave’s portrayal of her, so she doesn’t really count. There was the great-granddaughter (grandniece?) of Jim Harper in Robinson’s Batman: Face-the-Face, but, uh, she had maybe nine panels of dialogue total, and that’s probably being generous. I’m not as familiar as I should be with Milestone’s work (beyond Static), so I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting any of those characters on this list. Bishop’s daughter in X-Men: The End has three strikes against her. 1) She’s Bishop’s daughter. 2) She’s in X-Men: The End. and 3) She’s Bishop’s daughter and is in X-Men: The End. Onyx is kind of cool, but I know exactly nothing about her and she got punked by Jason Todd so she’s out. Pantha, according to Wikipedia, is black, but, again, I know nothing about her. Thunder, from Outsiders? No thanks, hoss.

So… this is going to be a little different. It’s a top three because, frankly, there aren’t enough good black female characters out there. I’d include Glory Grant, ’cause she’s pretty awesome, but when’s the last time you saw her in a comic that wasn’t Civil War Frontline #10? (Nice guest spot, even if it was only a panel.) A better question– how many of you even remember who Glory Grant is? Monica Lynne is in the same situation. Charlotte Jones? Same deal.

I entertained the possibility of putting Monet St Croix on her, at least partially because I really enjoy her character. But, that’d make this a top 4 and these lists are traditionally either top three, top five, or top multiple of five. Four is right out.

So, a top three. But, I’m telling you, I better see some awesome black females over the next year or I’m going to do something reprehensible! I mean, black females in comics are like black head coaches in the NCAA!

zing!

03_misty.jpg

Misty Misty you so fine, you so fine you blow my mind hey Misty! Hey hey hey Misty!

(sorry)

I love blaxploitation films, despite their somewhat dubious origins and after-effects. I love imported kung-fu flicks from the ’70s (and also modern stuff). Is it any wonder that I’m a big fan of the blaxploitation/kung-fu segment of Marvel comics? This is one area where Marvel has DC beat, hands down. Shang Chi, Colleen Wing, Luke Cage, Danny Rand, and Misty Knight. Richard Dragon, Lady Shiva, and Connor Hawke are cool, but don’t even come close.

Misty is a hero in the Cleopatra Jones/Foxy Brown mold, though she’s much more Cleopatra than Foxy. She’s brash, sassy, and smart. She lost her arm in an attempt to defuse a bomb back when she was a cop. Now, she’s got a crazy powerful bionic arm. I wonder if her and Bucky hang out on the weekends and share tips on bionic arm maintenance?

Anyway, Misty, at least in the stories I’ve read that featured her, has been consistently depicted as an awesome, take-no-crap, will-kick-you-in-the-face character. She is definitely a daughter of Pam Grier and Tamara Dobson. Smart off to her if you want, but you will definitely end up like Rhino up there.

I have a picture of my mom with a Misty Knight afro, but she reads this blog and would probably kill me if I put it up here.

02_waller.jpg

I was all ready to post the lyrics to the first verse of Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 when I realized something. There is another song on that album that is much, much more apt. Mother.

Mother do you think they’ll drop the bomb?
Mother do you think they’ll like this song?
Mother do you think they’ll try to break my balls?
Mother should I build the wall?
Mother should I run for president?
Mother should I trust the government?
Mother will they put me in the firing line?
Mother am I really dying?

This song fits Amanda Waller to a T for a number of reasons. First– she is proof that you should never, ever trust the government. She will wheel and deal and break you if she thinks it will benefit the country. She will definitely put you in the firing line, and if you have to ask if you’re really dying, she probably put you on the Suicide Squad, I’m sorry, “Task Force X.”

Waller is, and I don’t know if this is intentional or not, the archetypal black mother. She is the queen of all she surveys, even if those surveyed do not know it yet, and won’t hesitate to exercise her power. If you think you’re putting one over on her, you’ve got another think coming. She’s got the wool pulled so far over your eyes that you won’t even realize she played you. She is generous with handing out rope for you to hang yourself and won’t hesitate to guilt you into doing what she wants.

Now that I think about it, this is really kind of an unflattering analogy, isn’t it? Crap.

But, it fits. Waller is scarily smart. She’s one of the few characters in the DCU that is probably Batman’s equal, at least as far as stubbornness and foreplanning goes. The DC Animated Universe, in Batman Beyond/JLU, even went so far as to have her create a new Batman from his genes in the future, because she realized that the world needs a Batman. An alliance between the two, which isn’t likely because they really don’t like each other, would be ugly. Within 24 hours, half the US military would’ve defected to their side and the other half would be scared senseless and possibly unconscious.

Waller is a patriot and probably the most powerful/influential female, if not character (excepting Superman), in the DCU. She knows where all the bodies are buried, probably has a file on every politician out there, and has connections to cover whatever deficiences she may currently suffer. She’s smart enough to be able to put one over on Checkmate, DC’s version of SHIELD. She also can’t resist doing things if she feels that they are right or necessary, as evidenced by the (pretty good) Suicide Squad arc in Checkmate recently.

Amanda Waller is, to put a fine point on it, perfectly capable of becoming Big Brother, and she wouldn’t feel at all guilty.

In the real world, the most powerful woman is Oprah Winfrey.

I want to live in the DCU, please.

01_storm.jpg

Raise your hand if you’re suprised by this choice.

I’ve got a lot of issues with Storm. The blue eyes and straight, white hair are incredibly frustrating. I mean, incredibly frustrating. Scot Eaton and Klaus Janson are one of the few art teams who draw her as having ethnically black features. Don’t get me started on Greg “Easy Target” Land or the permed out mohawk.

Sometimes, it seems like she’s so divorced from what I tend to think of as “black culture” that she isn’t thought of as “black” at all. I think Luke Cage puts it best in the “Black Panther: The Bride” trade when he’s like:

Look, man, I ain’t trying to speak ill of her, especially if she’s “The One”… but she always seems stuck-up to me. And I don’t even think she dates brothers. You know how Africans– except yourself, of course –can be towards African-Americans. Snooty. Arrogant.

So, let me put it like this– I guarantee you that I’m not the only one that found Halle Berry being cast as Storm as both fitting and awful for various reasons.

She’s been written as being very snooty and cold, I think, and that has harmed the character. She’s “above” everything, seems like, and that’s a kind of ridiculous position for the orphaned, pickpocket daughter of an American photojournalist and Kenyan Princess to take. If anything, she should be much, much more open than she is.

But, beyond all of that, she’s one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel U. Sure, people write her as just throwing lightning bolts and hurricanes, but controlling the weather? That’s planetary-level power. They’ve just scratched the surface of what she can do.

As a character, she’s been very interesting. She’s pretty much fearless, save for the claustrophobia, and approaches fighting Callisto and Magneto with the same bravery. She won’t back down unless she’s wrong, and she isn’t afraid to make hard decisions. I also like that Hudlin and Claremont had her return to Africa and deal with the slave trade and other issues there. She’s socially conscious, though that seems like a relatively recent addition to her personality? I’m not sure, there.

And that brings us to the elephant in the room, I guess. Storm in Africa dovetails nicely into her marriage to BP. The marriage is fairly controversial, to say the least. Relevant (recent) links: Pop Culture Shock (1) and One Diverse Comic Book Nation (2). I’m sure that there are more conversations about this, but these are two that I’ve taken part in and are fresh in my mind.

I find the marriage to be a very, very interesting development, and I elaborate on why on Loren Javier’s blog up there. I’m going to quote them here, because I think I did a pretty good job of explaining them. Also, cripes, it’s 2am, you know?

[...]We really have yet to see an affectionate Storm. Truly affectionate, I mean, not just in a relationship. I like that Claremont established Storm as a power player, but he (and later writers) have portrayed her as cold, austere, more than a bit snooty (which is interesting considering her background), and, frankly, sexless. I’m not saying that Storm should be a sex bomb like Rogue or Wolverine, but her relationships have, at least to me, been very overwrought, angst-filled affairs. Even her hinted relationships have to have some kind of pathos to them. Storm and Bishop? But Bishop’s a killer! Storm and Wolverine? Wolverine is a beast! And so on. I can’t think of a Rogue/Gambit or Cyclops/Jean-style relationship involving Storm, where there is flirting and banter instead of “DO I LOVE YOU I DO NOT KNOW OH SHOOT SENTINELS BRB.”

It’s been my experience, and granted I’m speaking as a 23-year old here who has had extremely less than perfect relationships, that in a loving or affectionate relationship, there is both give and take. You prop your other up at the same time you get propped up. There’s one liners, gentle jibes, friction, sacrifice, and serious talk. We’re seeing this playfulness and range in Storm for what’s really the first time, at least in recent memory. It’s jarring, but I don’t see it being quite so out of character. Certainly, no one complained back when Storm was being playful with Yukio, though we didn’t have the internet back then. Since then, though, we’re pretty much seen Fearless Leader Storm (with kung-fu grip and amazingly arched eyebrows), a female Cyclops with cooler powers and less sex.

I’ve been a Storm fan since I was a kid, and I think it’s nice to see this side of her. It adds depth, and it is nice to see her in a loving relationship that isn’t the typical X-Men dramabomb. I never liked that she was this ridiculous sexless goddess, especially when she was on a team that was going at it like rabbits. When two hairy blue guys, one with a tail and like three toes and the other with big gigantic feet and bigger words, are in happier relationships than you are, there’s a problem.

There it is. A lot of people have claimed that the marriage came out of nowhere and has no basis in history (not true, by the way, and this can be proven with issue numbers) and that it minimizes Storm and turns her into a meek baby factory. I disagree, but that should be another post entirely.

I don’t feel like I’ve done a very good job of descrbing why I like Storm so much. It isn’t about the weather powers, it isn’t about the marriage, it’s about her. She’s as close as the Marvel U gets to having a Wonder Woman. The top three Marvel women are probably Jean Gray, Sue Storm, and Storm, and I’m willing to bet that Storm is better known that Sue. She’s important and interesting.

I dabble in fiction, though less often nowadays, so I tend to think in potential stories. I want to know more about Storm as a pickpocket. I never thought I’d say this about an Eric Jerome Dickey book, but Storm was a good read. The Ororo: Before the Storm mini, with Carlo Barberi on art, was a sharp read, too. Storm has one of the most interesting origin stories out there. She’s got crazy potential. Talk about her living as a thief, living hand-to-mouth. Talk about her playing goddess in Africa, pre-X-Men. There is so much you can do with her, and 99% of it sounds interesting. Her claustrophobia is well-defined, but what about her motherly feelings toward Kitty “Super Genius Ninja Girl” Pryde? Where did that come from?

I’ve always thought of Storm as being a tactician on a Scott Summers level, though in a different way. Cyclops is a rigid, Batman-style planner. He can think on his feet, yeah, but he’s at his absolute best when he’s planning. Storm’s life as a thief and goddess should’ve shown her one thing: flexibility is better. It’s like that one Bruce Lee quote.

If You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be like water, my friend.

Storm is, when you put her up against a rock and a hard place, the person that’s going to flow out from between the two and crash right between your eyes like the fist of an angry God. What about that? How does that relate to her pickpocket life? Plus, Storm should be a scrapper, not afraid to get down and dirty.

Judging by what I’ve written here, I tend to think of her as “Storm” rather than “Ororo Munroe.” Hm. There is probably something there, isn’t there?

Storm led an X-team back when I started reading X-Men, so, like a lot of those characters from back then, she’s got a special place in my heart. I talk about Gambit, Wolverine, and Jubilee a lot, but Storm is right up there with them.


I said I’d talk about this, too, so let’s do it– I want to see more black females in comics. Girls, women, it matters not, I just want to see more, and not as cameos. Bring Glory Grant back. Bring Charlotte Jones back. Hudlin has said that Shuri is going to get the spotlight pretty soon over in Black Panther, so bring it on.

I just want more. Neck-twisting and eye-rolling is all well and good, but hit us with thinkers, too. Natasha Irons over in 52 is really, really dumb. She is supposed to be a quick-witted inventor, like her uncle, but her story arc in 52 hinges on her being too stupid and prideful to listen to wisdom. That’s interesting and all, but can we get a non-dumb new black girl character? Someone who isn’t dumb?

Same for black women. Storm is all well and good, and I love Waller and Misty, but they all three kind of represent three different stereotypical facets of black womanhood. The culturally disconnected woman, the manipulative woman, and the oversexualized woman. I love all three, but we need the new hotness. (Not to suggest that either of these three are old and busted, but I love that Men in Black line.)

Give me more. Heroes, villains, bystanders. Women my younger cousins can look up to. Heroines that are just as capable as their male brethren. Give them inventive powers or gimmicks. Luke Cage is at the right age, at least in Marvel time, for his mother to have been a Panther. Let’s see a story about that! I bet she hates the fact that he turned into a hoodlum.

What I’m saying is, we need more. It wasn’t until I sat down to write this list that I realized how many black women in comics suck right now. There are a lot of crap black men, too. Believe me, I had to cut away a lot of dross for Pride of a Panther, but this is ridiculous. A Top Three? Are you serious?

So, help a Brothers out. More black women, please. It’ll enrich your universe and make these lists easier to do.

Thanks for reading this far. In exchange, I’ll hit you with some trivia. This post, and the previous entry Pride of a Panther (linked up at the top), take their titles from two things related to Mos Def. “Pride of a Panther” was a poem by Tupac Shakur that Mos Def performed on The Rose That Grew From Concrete record. You can find the lyrics to it here. “She Got That Good Hair” is from an introduction to the Black Star song Brown Skin Lady. I just checked Wikipedia on a whim, and it turns out that the sample is from the film Chameleon Street. I’ve loved that song for years, but only now found out where the sample was from. The film isn’t available on DVD, sadly.

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39 comments to “She Got That Good Hair: Top 5 3 Black Women!”

  1. I can’t believe this shit. Top Black Women and you didn’t even include Lois Lane?!

    Sure, it was only for 24 hours, but still.


  2. I was going to include Dagger, as in “Cloak and…” but I decided to err on the side of, if not good, at least questionable taste.

    She is totally a Dark Skinned White Girl, though.


  3. Despite all her subterfuge, chicanery, and control freak tendencies, however, Amanda Waller, at the end of the day, wants to do the right thing. She’ll do anything to protect the US, but she is not evil, not a sadist. She is just very, very complex.


  4. Diversity is the easiest part of your request. Asking for non-steretypical characters in a popular medium is like asking for someone to spin you gold out of nose hair. You’re out of luck, whether you’re black, white, or green.


  5. Despite all her subterfuge, chicanery, and control freak tendencies, however, Amanda Waller, at the end of the day, wants to do the right thing. She’ll do anything to protect the US, but she is not evil, not a sadist. She is just very, very complex.

    Yes, this. This is exactly why I like her so much.


  6. Don’t have much to say, this was a nice article. Just one thing thats weird to me about comic art. Black women almost always have extremely short hair, afros or braids. Black men almost always have high tops, braids or baldies. after all this time is it really that hard for the artists to depict a wider variety of hair styles and types ?


  7. That’s one thing I loved about Scot Eaton and Klaus Janson’s run on Black Panther. Check out the hairstyles that the people are sporting in Wakanda. They’re all over the place! It was very nice to see some variety in hair.

    Thanks for reading, though!


  8. I thought of a couple others that I really like — Vixen from the DCU and Rocket from the Milestone U…but, particularly Rocket because I felt she played such an important part in the Icon book. Anyway, just a thought.

    Keep up the great work!


  9. Kid Quantum would have been an excellent choice for this list… but she was wiped out in the most recent Legion reboot.


  10. I cant believe Monica Lambeu (however its spelt) from Nextwave was missed out, I mean shes really been a highpoint of the series (even is she went on too much about the Avengers)


  11. Honestly, Nextwave isn’t really my thing. I go into some detail up-post, but I can’t think of more than one single serious story with her in recent memory. She had a decent bit in Black Panther, then two comedic appearances in Thunderbolts and Nextwave. Bleh.


  12. Yeah, if dub was doing this list in 1989, Monica would be up top somewhere.


  13. oh. my. god.

    this is the post I have been looking for my whole life! Thank you!!


  14. Well, thanks for reading.

    Why do you say that, may I ask?


  15. [...] uh, yeah, my feelings on Storm are pretty well documented, I [...]


  16. [...] is one of them. I asked for this comic over a year and a half ago and these people came through. Let’s support this [...]


  17. That was a cool post. I think that Storm’s hair is cool but not as nice as the others.


  18. [...] Over at 4th Letter!, Hermanos has given us a list of the top three Black women in comics: She Got That Good Hair: Top 5 3 Black Women! [...]


  19. I just finished reading the wiki on Storm and was saying the same damn thing! You rock, but to be honest i would rather like some black female with afros, braids, cornrolls, and so on b/c it teaches the beauty of our natural hair and how diverse it is. Now the honestly I just think its hard for the writers and art crew, b/c some if they are not Black can only go on the stereotype, and some are afraid of certain feedback from Black watchers or readers. It’s a lose lose situation for them sometimes, so i can see the mix up, but yeah more African- American women some smart one in comics and some good african-american men too. I also noticed that not alot of comic or cartoon shows depic Black ppl together its mostly interracial. there isn’t anything wrong with that, but it just buggles the mind.


  20. Rhino must feel like more of an idiot for being beaten by someone less powerful than him in the form of Misty Knight. If Rhino weren’t so dumb that wouldn’t have happened I guess.
    On a sidenote though, I love the article. You should have listed Vixen and Jezebel Jet as well though.


  21. You couldn’t be more wrong about Storm if you tried.

    The “blue eyes and straight white hair” you hate so much are front and center part of her character, and an artist who draws her with “ethnically black features” is getting it -wrong-. Her facial features are supposed to be Asian.

    Storm is, by dint of her mutation and as designed, inherently belonging to no visually identifiable race. Her particular combination of features, the Asian facial features, the blue eyes, the straight white hair and coffee-with-cream skin tone are deliberately and purposefully designed to be a combination that exists in no ethnic group on earth. She’s not meant to represent black or african ethnicity, despite her origins. She’s meant to look like no one else alive. Her own people saw her as alien, otherworldly, and she is foreign and exotic in appearance to every racial group in existence. That’s her character, it’s who she was meant to be. She is the very image of a mixed-race or post-racial human, someone who looks like no one else and as a result fits in with no one. She is a physical metaphor for the outsider status that mutants represent. She is visibly “not one of us” no matter who “us” might be.

    To cast her as anything else, or rail against her for being what she is, is to miss the point of the character. She is NOT MEANT to represent any race, but instead be an outsider to them all. She is what mutants are, born to one race but something different from her parents. Something exotic and alien, that is held in distrust and prejudice but also in fascination.

    Way to totally miss the point.


  22. @Kitty: u mad?


  23. And another thing, the whole race dating thing. “She doesn’t date brothers” is so totally missing the point it’s ridiculous and again fails to comprehend the character. Who IS “in-race” to Storm? People who look like her? Impossible. As I stated above, NO ONE looks like her. She is a minority of one. Humans who share her continent of origin? Considering that the average human of any racial background hates and fears mutants like her, not bloody likely. If there is any one answer to what is “in-race” to Storm, it is the mutant race. A race to whom she must overwhelmingly feel more solidarity to than the humans who hunt, hate, and fear her and all others like her.

    Luke Cage and the Black Panther are NOT Storm’s race. Wolverine and Cyclops are. Storm is a MUTANT. No shade of skin or set of features can make a human the same race as Storm. A mutant, which is what Storm is and how she identifies, can be any skin tone including green blue purple or crimson and can even have fur or scales or feathers.

    Again, that’s the whole damned point.


  24. David:

    Yeah kinda. I hate when people miss the point of things and get them totally wrong. To even view Storm as black or white is missing the point, she isn’t human. She’s no more like her black parents than if she had been born with green scaly skin –which some mutants are.

    The whole mutant thing is about looking past differences, and about prejudice. The very fact that the X-Men are heroes who save lives and put themselves through hell to help and protect people who hate and fear them for being different is a powerful lesson about the evils of judging people for superficial differences instead of the content of their character.

    Attempting to categorize Storm by a human race is, once again, missing the point. She has the physical appearance of a mix of races in a combination that simply exists no place on earth in any ethnic group, and she belongs to none of them. African and African-American humans no more accept her as their own than any other humans.

    And that’s the whole idea. The readers know that Storm is an amazing woman of extraordinary abilities and qualities, and that it’s foolish and wrong to judge her worth based on whether or not she’s in one’s racial group. She is Storm, and that should be enough.


  25. @Kitty: Since I guess you’re done being condescending now, let me show you how I have not, and did not, “totally miss the point.”

    “Mutant” (caps optional) isn’t a race. It is analogous to being tall, or short, having blue eyes, having freckles, or something along those lines. It isn’t akin to being black or white at all. So, yes, considering that her parents were African and American, Storm is definitely part of the same race as Cage and Panther, as reductive as that is.

    Cheryl Lynn already addressed the frankly ridiculous and insulting and stupid notion that Storm should represent all races. Put short, though– dehumanizing and stripping a black woman of her features to show what “post-racial” looks like is one of the most insulting things I’ve heard. There are far better ways of doing that than taking a character who was born in New York City to a black father and African mother and intentionally pulling any trace of blackness from her, even having her go so far as to consciously reject blackness. That isn’t post-racial. That’s just racist. Do you seriously believe that that’s okay?

    I didn’t miss a single solitary point. This post is two years old and my opinion has changed in the time I’ve spent contemplating race and comic books since. My new opinion, put as plainly as possible: Screw Storm. She’s fetish object for white supremacy, representative of the racism that is still infesting modern society, and a crap role model for little black girls.

    “Oh no, she’s not ACTUALLY black, she just looks like a whitewashed negro. It’s okay, she’s really very pretty and forward thinking! It’s not bad at all! You’re misunderstanding!”

    Storm is over here quacking like a duck and you’re insisting that she’s some new kind of creature that quacks, but if you listen closely, it isn’t really a quack. It’s a future quack, and that makes her not a duck.

    You’re clearly out of your depth here. Read something other than some comic books and get back to me.


  26. She’s a Black Mutant. We use the term “Race” to talk about skin colour and genetic features. So she’s black, also Dave Cockrum created her as Black Woman just like he created Nightcrawler as a blue elf dude with a tail. Saying that she isn’t black is like saying the silver samurai isn’t Japanese. Its not missing the point when someone comments on how past and current creators mishandle a character.

    But She ain’t wack, she’s just in the wrong hands my man. Let me have swing at her, like mikey you’ll like it.


  27. “Storm is over here quacking like a duck and you’re insisting that she’s some new kind of creature that quacks, but if you listen closely, it isn’t really a quack. It’s a future quack, and that makes her not a duck.”

    Jesus, this construction…is that all yours? Because that’s a nice piece of writing that’s getting left behind in the comments section, and while your readers obviously pay attention to your comments sections, you could just repost that shit like sixteen times and make a fucking smart sandwich out of it. It’s really solid. Nice work.


  28. I love how Storm not being black is “made up for” by Cyclops not being WHITE…

    So everything’s fine, everybody!

    Frighteningly familiar argument.


  29. [...] couple years ago about the Top 3 black women and was so offended by my statements about Storm that she had to drop in and condescend a little because I am clearly totally wrong. I’m only posting this here because Tucker wanted to call [...]


  30. Oh, I didn’t know you had written this after all. I remember looking forward to this one after your male top 5. I’m kinda sad the two characters that immediately came to my mind back then -Agent 355 and Martha Washington- didn’t even get a mention.


  31. @Lonnrot: Oh, this piece would be entirely different if I were to revisit it nowadays. These opinions are three years old, and I’d like to think I’ve matured/grown since.


  32. Jesus, I can understand disagreeing with the original point, but what I can’t get is acting as if David was out to kick your own personal puppy. What’s up with the sense of entitlement at play here? Is it that painful for some people to admit that Storm was a misfire, and that trying to whitewash that fact with flimsy cornball sci-fi justification isn’t a good idea? Are they afraid that Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum will suddenly be thought of as sheet wearing racists? Mind-boggling.

    I would’ve put Edsel from Matt Wagner’s Mage on here.


  33. Because creating a graphic novel or comic book series (at least your very first one) takes For-freaking-Ev-er…

    There’s so much *ish to teach yourself: penciling and paneling pages in a comic vs. being just a guy who can draw / inking / writing & story construction / scripting – which is not the same as writing / designing & trying a production flow / designing your web presence / webcomic or not? / who are all these small publishing houses? / Direct Market vs. Diamond / Creator-behavior-at-a-Con training / How to deal with what fanboys & fangirls do online / and last but not least, learning who’s who in the zoo in commentary and criticism… (I’m sure I’m forgetting some things)… takes too long and is too tough for all but the craziest of us who start this path. but I digress.

    All I can say is us future creators of color who wanna make great, exciting, interesting books that enthrall you month after month and who are sensitive to race & gender issues – we read you. And we read the entries of your partners in crime here on 4thletter. And we are listening. It just takes a LONG time to put the skill set(s) and resources into place to be able to put out a book that’s of high quality – right out the gate. But we hear you and we’re taking your order. Black Superhero vs. a well developed Black Super-Gangster villians (we got it). Esther Inglis-Arkell is mad about b.s. propaganda in the mouths of female characters (we working on it -it’s high on our list of things to avoid/address). Whatever we do, Don’t serve you a black character with a patois in a way that belittles so many things in too many ways? We sent the chef for training on it and he came back and briefed the whole staff – we’re all over it). Comments from 3 years ago, updated this week? Sounds good to us .. Please Keep Blogging. We *are* listening.


  34. Rocket totally needed to be in here. She was the real star of Icon, rather than its title character.


  35. @Prodigal: Icon hadn’t been in a comic for something like 7-10 years when I wrote this post.


  36. Ok, good point there.


  37. One brave, black heroine should be givin the same treatment as police officers who died in the line of duty. She was Matt Wagner’s heroine from “The Hero Discovered, Mage”. She was one who was business first & knew who Kevin was from #3 to her end in #13. She was supposed to be the incarnation of “The Lady of The Lake”. But there are some questions that Mad Magazine writers would ask Mr. Wagner. What was Edsel’s real name?, Where she obtained “The Excalibur Bat”?, How did she ontained a 1959 Edsel Corsair? Did Matt Wagner have a close-encounter with the real life varation of Edsel. I did in April, 1963 when one like Edsel, she saved me from a beating & punished my attacker, “Joe Jistu Style”. And what went on in the six month gap between Mage #8 and #9. However memorials are marked as this, “In The Line of Duty”; “Carolyn Esther Williams, B.9.4.1968 – D.9.15.1986, Codename: Edsel, From Matt Wagner’s “The Hero Discovered, Mage”, Car Issued: 1959 Edsel Corsair, It is not how Edsel died that made her a hero, It is how she lived as one, End of Watch: Monday, September 15, 1986.” That kind of tribute that fallen cops get for being killed in the line of duty. Edsel was a great character. But never any history on her.
    I think Matt Wagner should provide her history instead of the people who write for Mad Magazine. The guys who work for Mad are tops. But it’s about someone who can do a story on Edsel that will rival Matt’s writing. That’s it for now, Mark Titan 658


  38. Kitty, let it go. Storm is a black woman with black parents and married to a black man. And to people like you, that’s a bad thing.

    And speaking of which, David, I’m lost as to how a black woman with black parents married to a black man is a fetish for white supremacy. I know this may shock you, but not all black women and girls have some hangup about long, blowback hair.

    A crap role model? Yes, because a black woman who is loyal to her friends, husband and country while earning respect from all of the above is such a crap character. A black woman with a loving, monogamous husband who demands respect when some are foolish enough to suggest she’s not on his level is a crap role model. Maybe if she walked around in Afro puffs, you wouldn’t be so harsh. After all, judge not by the contents of one’s character, but the color of their eyes. Right?


  39. I’d wager that her having white features (literally, in the case of her hair) would be how she is a fetish for white supremacy: “See, folks? She’s only a *little bit* black! You can still think she’s a hero after all!”