On the Unlikely Whiteness of Imhotep

March 30th, 2010 by | Tags: , , , ,

Last week, I wondered aloud about the skin tone of a character in Jonathan Hickman and Dustin Weaver’s upcoming time-spanning SHIELD. In short, Imhotep, Egyptian doctor and Agent of SHIELD (Officer of SHIELD?), was modern-day white, rather than ancient Egypt brown.

I emailed Dustin Weaver with a link to the post, and he wrote back pretty quickly. I’m paraphrasing, but essentially, it was a mistake in the production process. He’s done a lot of research on the book to try and make sure things make sense, and that’s something that slipped through the cracks when doing color tests. He’s gonna try to get them fixed in the trade, if Marvel’s amenable to it. He’s a pretty cool guy.

Just an update!

edit: I asked Dustin to quote a bit of his email and he agreed. In his own words:

Oh, man, you’re right! I’m embarrassed and shocked that I didn’t catch this mistake before it was finished. I’m surprised nobody caught this mistake.
The 2 page spread of the Egyptians fighting the Brood was the very first thing that got colored for this book and it was the testing page for the style of this whole series. I think it went through 4 different versions before we got something we liked. I think with all this back and forth with the style of the thing we missed the fact that they were white. I feel pretty stupid. I seriously did a lot of research to get a lot of the details right. To miss something so blatant is embarrassing.

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5 comments to “On the Unlikely Whiteness of Imhotep”

  1. That is pretty cool.

  2. A perfect opportunity to be both historically accurate AND racially sensitive without pandering, and Marvel fucks it up?

  3. I updated the post with a bit of Dustin’s email.

  4. Classic story, you try to make sure there’s no dirty bottles and Hitler’s head slips right into the distillery.

  5. Hey, at least Marvel’s offering the first issue in a black and white variant. Everyone who’s being unreasonably acerbic can just buy that, crack out some Crayolas, and go to town.