* finally, I’m not sure I understand either Sean Collins’ piece on superhero regression or the piece that inspired it, but it seems to me kind of dopey to pin racial diversification on swapping people out of costumes. The worlds that the superheroes live on have such a hopelessly retrograde and inadequate sense of anything other than their white people that I don’t hold out for them ever getting better.
-Tom Spurgeon, Random Comics News Story Round-Up 05/12/10
He’s right, of course.
Most cape books barely have a handle on decent characterization, and expecting the Big Two to catch up with reality is dumb. Sorry, Charlie, but that just ain’t gonna happen.
I’m not saying that they don’t manage to do nice things with colored folks sometimes. I quite liked Jason Rusch as Firestorm, and Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle gave DC a nice Spider-Man character. Cassandra Cain had a fantastic hook, and John Henry Irons was a nice twist on the super-scientist character. Even boring old John Stewart is not without his charms.
But, when you get down to brass tacks–all of these are third stringers and supporting characters now. And guess who gets the axe when the time comes to up the ante? Guess who can fade into obscurity with minimal impact on the status quo? If you expect the Big Two to push a more diverse or realistic cast rather than pandering to the idea of legacy or iconic characters… well.
How’s that working out for you?