MCU CHALLENGE: [2/5] OUTFITS
the boys who use superheroes to propagate and enforce oppressive racial and sexual narratives—even the writers—aren’t real fans. they’re usurpers. they’ve betrayed what these characters stand for and why they were created. Superheroes were dreamed up and drawn by kids who had to…
Well, I see your point but I don’t really like idea of making Spider-Man black. Does that make me a fake fan? I don’t think so.
I dunno if it makes you a fake fan, but you might have internalized some toxic messages about black people if you don’t think that anything Peter Parker is or could stand for, couldn’t also be portrayed just as well or better by a black kid. The issues with money, the love of photography, the smart attitude, the problems with the police, the insecurity and determination to be a hero—that’s not just something white kids, or boys, have. Also, learning to identify with heroes and roll models of other races and genders is a pretty good thing to do.
Anyway Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, his original creators, were both jewish at a time where you got fired as shit for that kind of thing if you weren’t careful. A lot of our culture’s heroes have been stripped over the decades of the progressive ideals that gave rise to them—so I feel like Spiderman once more being representative of the heroic dreams of an actively persecuted minority population, struggling with issues of assimilation and identity, is pretty appropriate.
i think disliking a character’s appearance changing doesn’t necessarily come from racism. for a lot of people, it’s the change that’s upsetting, rather than the race of the new depiction.
i was talking about this with seebs a while back, and i mentioned that i have about the same reaction to a black spiderman that i would to a white nick fury. seebs told me nick fury used to be drawn white, and i was like WHAT NO NOT COOL. it really upset me. to me nick fury is black, and trying to imagine him white freaked me out.
of course, this does not even remotely excuse assholes spewing racist invective. i just wanted to mention that when a character’s appearance undergoes a drastic change, that’s freaky for a lot of people. in my case it’s probably an autism thing; i’m slightly faceblind, so i identify people by unique appearance cues. if a few of those cues change, like in homestuck bloodswaps where characters still have their same horns and dress styles, it’s a fun puzzle. if ALL of those cues change, i’m lost and confused.
I see your point! Sometimes I have to blink and squint a bit to recognize a Homestuck character too, haha, and it’s irritating. And distress from, and aversion to, pointless and drastic changes is really common and understandable a reaction! But I think the problem here is in practice that while a superhero’s costume change is generally treated to a fair amount of criticism by people who liked the old costume just fine, a superhero’s title or roll being passed to a non-white or even non-man person is subject to thunderous complaints and resistance and threats of boycott and wails about political correctness.
The resistance to superheroes of color (and models of color and actors of color and so on) is really frequently defended as personal preference or ‘aesthetics’, which kind of ruins that reason for everyone to whom it’s not just an excuse for internalized, unexamined bias.
And—yeah, Nick Fury was and still is white in Marvel’s original universe. They made him black in an alternate universe! (the same universe where Miles took over after Peter died) Despite bigots wailing about a character being ‘ruined’, big changes like race, gender, or permanent deaths generally get outsourced to other universes or hypothetical oneshots. But then they got Samuel L Jackson to play him for the movies and everyone loved it and cheerfully forgot about white Fury. So, that’s awesome.
The All Black Justice League of Earth-23 featured in Multiversity.
Talk about mindblowing.
with token white batman
As Earle Bergey is to Barbarella, Allan Anderson is to Xena Warrior-Princess.
While Bergey’s cover girls were all cutesy miniskirts & ray guns, Anderson’s were chain-mail & badass battle-axes. And none more so than his Black Amazon of Mars.
Planet Stories, March 1951.
And Leigh Brackett, Leigh. Eff-ing. Brackett. Known as the “Queen of Space Opera”, one of the best and most prolific of all the women pulp writers, she wrote dozens of short stories & novelettes for Planet Stories, Startling Stories and Thrilling Wonder Stories throughout the forties & fifties before starting a jaw dropping screenwriting career.
Her first hollywood gig? Co-writing the adaptation of The Big Sleep…with William Faulkner. She then wrote a series of westerns for John Wayne before returning to the works of Raymond Chandler with Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye.
Her Final hollywood work? A little flick called Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
The Queen of Space Opera? All hail the Queen.
Maybe people wouldn’t be so annoyed with Milo Manara’s “Spider-Woman” #1 variant cover if every series got overtly sexy variant covers—not just the ones with female leads.
This is a world I want to live in.
Yes, my reaction to this was basically “Hellooooooo Spider-man!” Mmmm.
Hey, everyone! This is the creator of Little Girls Are Better At Designing Superheroes Than You, here with a post I thought you all might like. Writer Ted Anderson and I have made a pitch for a superhero comic!
The comic is about nine-year-old Lucia Marquez-Miller, who loves engineering, and uses her telekinetic powers to build and take things apart with her mind. She calls this power her spark!
As Spark, the world’s youngest superhero, she’s a junior member of a superhero team while also trying to live a normal life. Can Lucia juggle her friends and family while also saving the world from supervillains?
We’re posting a 15-page standalone comic here on tumblr to give readers an idea of what the book would be like.
Click “read more” below to continue reading the comic!
WE ARE GROOT: ‘GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY’ CELEBRATES HEROES WITH AUTHENTIC PSYCHOLOGICAL DEFICITS
Leagues and legions of superheroes are usually effective as a direct result of the union of each member’s unique abilities, whether they include super-human strength, lightning-speed, telepathy, or other powers that individually define each of them as a deserved hero and collectively create an unstoppable force.
In Guardians of the Galaxy, we’re introduced to a band of outlaws, outsiders and outcasts. With the exception of some sweet dance moves and decent marksmanship, we don’t immediately get the traditional introduction to the colorful rainbow of superpowers we’re accustomed to with superhero teams. There’s no amazing, no fantastic, no spectacular. The Guardians themselves refer to themselves as “losers” and the “biggest idiots” in the galaxy. They underperform or fall below normative expectations. In fact, these space misfits offer something rarely seen in superhero films: the Guardians show emotional, neurological, developmental and communication deficits that 1) are not expected to be resolved or cured at the end of the film and 2) do not make them ineffective as heroes.
The following is a conceptualization of each character’s below-average functioning across some psychological dimensions and why these deficits do not create significant limits for them.
I absolutely played Wonder Woman when I was a kid. I had the lasso, the whole bracelet thing, I even had my twirl down. I just knew that I was going to be taken back to Paradise Island, because that’s really where I belonged. I was this small little Amazon just waiting to express myself, waiting for my true mother to come and get me.
- Gina Torres aka SHE WHO SHOULD BE WONDER WOMAN
Was going back through my blog earlier, and found this. Reblogging for Ashleigh because this edit is even cooler than the other one!
ASK CHRIS #193: LET’S PITCH A WONDER WOMAN MOVIE
By Chris Sims
Q: I am sick of hearing that a Wonder Woman movie is too hard. I know how I would do it, but what’s your pitch for a Wonder Woman film? — @Bibphile78
A: A few weeks ago, I probably would’ve backed off of this question, for two simple reasons. The first is that I was pretty sure my specific tastes don’t really match up with what goes into a big-budget Hollywood film, but that was before we knew Marvel was spending a ton of money on a live-action arena show involving dirtbikes and skateboard tricks, and that they’d cast someone who once played Velma in a Scooby-Doo movie to play Aja in a big-budget Jem and the Holograms picture. At this point? I’m pretty sure I’ve somehow ended up being the target market for mass media, and believe me, I’m as surprised about that as you are. So what the hell, let’s pitch a Wonder Woman movie.
Oh, right, the second reason. Well, that one’s a little tougher to get around. As I’ve occasionally mentioned before, I don’t actually like Wonder Woman. Like, at all. That might complicate things.
GAME OF THROES: RAPE IS NOT A SHORTCUT TO NARRATIVE SUBSTANCE
If you didn’t catch the news, last Friday, the website Comic Book Resources posted a five-page preview of the latest issue of the Game of Thrones comic book adaptation. And the pages they published — the pages Dynamite Entertainment sent out as representative of the book, which is a standard practice for comic book publishers — included an incredibly graphic rape scene. Erect penis, front and center. Woman bent back nearly double, naked, arched like a porn star.
It just so happens that was also the week that HBO decided to add—and then vigorously defend — a graphic rape scene in the Game of Thrones TV series (a trend the network continued this week), and that both fall in the middle of Sexual Assault Awareness month — and yes, thanks, HBO, Dynamite and CBR, we are in fact extra aware of sexual assault now, so, well done, there. It’s worth noting, too, that this is coming on the heels of an incident where a fellow comics editor and journalist got a slew of graphic rape threats for having the temerity to critique the portrayal of a teen girl in a piece of cover art (also published on CBR).
But it’s also not just this week, or this month. It’s this year. This decade. This lifetime. This is business as usual.
I am so tired of writing about rape, and especially rape in pop media, because I have had this conversation dozens and hundreds and thousands of times, as a crisis advocate and an educator, as an editor and writer, as a human being. Because last week, a fellow pop-culture journalist realized that she’s gotten so many rape threats that they’ve begun to feel routine, and this is the landscape where I work every day.
Because rape is still the go-to for lazy storytellers trying to look edgy or add depth to a heroine’s backstory with a minimum of thought.
"But then, something occurs which snaps the brooding adventurer out of his gloomy reverie…"
Steve: That girl! When she walked by, I thought I was in the past again — looking at — her!
Steve: How wary she looks — clutching that cylinder as though her life depends on it!Tales of Suspense #75, by Lee and Kirby
First introduced in 1966, Sharon Carter has over the years become one of the most iconic characters in Captain America mythos. She has no superpowers. This alone puts her on a whole new level of badass, since despite her relative normalcy she can hold her own as part of a team that includes Captain America, War Machine and Valkyrie.
At different points in her (long and tumultuous) history she has been a SHIELD agent, a freelance spy, a mercenary, a renegade agent and sometimes more than one of those things at once. She has been presumed dead, she has been executive director of SHIELD, she ran an all-female SHIELD spec ops squad, she has fought behind enemy lines, she suffered trauma and brainwashing and throughout all that she stayed true to her ideals and always strived to do the right thing.
Sharon is one of the few women heroes in today’s comics whose motivation and origin isn’t tied with a male legacy. Despite the fact that her relationship with Peggy Carter has been retconned multiple times, the one consistent aspect of it is that Sharon was first inspired to join SHIELD by Peggy and her wartime exploits. She carries a female legacy and lives up to that name, and her motivation is refreshingly free of male influence and agency.
It’s interesting to note that Sharon was introduced in the same issue as Peggy — in fact we actually met Sharon first, on-panel, while Peggy was mentioned but not named until later. Neither of them were ever meant to be a better or more valid character than the other: they’re simply two women from different eras, functioning in different narrative contexts. They are each other’s origin story and plot device, yes, but it always goes both ways. That is why even though in-universe Sharon is a legacy character, she isn’t one narratively. She is and always has been her own person.
Contessa: You were baldy injured…and your orders are to take it easy and sit this one out! So be a doll and play it that way, huh?
Sharon: Not a chance, Val! I’m physically and mentally fit again…and I’m resuming my command! Now tell me what’s going on…and that’s an order!Captain America v1 #148, by Friedrich and Buscema
Personality-wise Sharon is brash, impatient, very stubborn and no-nonsense — traits more often associated with male characters (and reason why she’s so very often labelled a b*tch. Let’s be real here, Sharon isn’t very popular among fans, even female fans, which honestly boggles the mind). Despite her sense of justice she’s also very cynical; especially in Mark Waid’s Captain America she serves as a perfect foil for Steve Rogers’ idealism. Her misanthropic streak stems from her experiences as a SHIELD operative, in particular the time she was sent deep undercover and then apparently abandoned by Nick Fury behind enemy lines and had to fend for herself.
It would be impossible to summarise Sharon’s forty-seven years of continuity in a tiny tumblr post, so I’m just going to direct you to the wiki (and the Marvel wiki).
Good points to jump onboard the love train:
- Captain America #444-#454, written by Mark Waid (1995)
- Captain America v3, written by Mark Waid, Dan Jurgens (1998)
- Nick Fury and Agent 13, written by Terry Kavanagh (1998)
- Secret Avengers #17-#21, written by Warren Ellis (2011)
- Captain America and the Secret Avengers, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick (2011)
COMIXOLOGY’S NEW iOS APP REMOVES IN-APP STOREFRONT, SHIFTS APPLE CUSTOMERS TO WEB STORE
By Andy Khouri
Digital comics retailer ComiXology announced on Saturday that it was “retiring” its existing iOS applications for iPhone and iPad and replacing them with a new version that does not include the ability to make in-app purchases, one of the platform’s most signature and popular features. The iOS app’s storefront is simply gone, leaving only a reader app in its place. Going forward, iOS users will have to pursue the less direct path of buying their digital comics from ComiXology’s Web interface and later syncing them to their devices using the new app. This process circumvents Apple — whose iTunes App Store takes 30% of all in-app purchases from all vendors in the IOS marketplace — and thereby presumably frees up more profit for comic book publishers and/or comic book creators.
Presently, ComiXology’s branded iOS apps for DC, Marvel, Image and IDW are working as they have been. The Android app has also been updated, and users can make in-app purchases with a new integrated storefront instead of through Google Play.
The news comes just a couple of weeks after ComiXology and Apple rival Amazon.com announced that the latter was acquiring the former, and the new iOS process resembles that which Amazon’s Kindle customers have followed to use those products on Apple devices.
Okay, look: “Don’t rape” and “don’t threaten rape” are pinpoint-specific parts of social compact, also known as “the bare minimum expectations for getting to be part of society.”
These are things that should be taken as a given. Don’t hold up ”don’t rape” and “don’t threaten rape” like they are gifts.
I mean, don’t do those things, and deter others from doing them, and talk about all of this, but, fuck, man.
The best way men can improve the lives of women and girls in geekdom is to do their damnedest to shift the balance of power. Geek dudes—especially white geek dudes—you have something the ladies do not: you have a platform from which to speak about issues of justice with relative impunity. Use it. Better yet, share it with or give it to someone who does not have that privilege.
Are you a pro on a panel that’s all white dudes? Give up your seat to a woman of color. Encourage other panelists to do the same. Straight-up refuse to be part of panels that do not work toward equal representation. Hold speaker and guest lists at cons to the same standard. And talk about what you are doing, and why.
If you are in a position that gives you hiring power, hire women—especially into positions where they will have power, not just low-level editorial and work-for-hire gigs. Actively seek and use the input of women, and go out of your way to make really damn sure they’re credited for those contributions.
Seek and vocally advocate for works by and about women, for female-friendly and generally diversity-friendly publishers, retailers, and fan communities. When someone does shit right, vote with your dollars and spread the word. When someone fucks up, call them out, and—if there’s any real potential for it and you’ve got the capacity—offer them impetus for and tools to change.
Buy girl books. Buy books with pink covers, and read them in public. Break down the box of geek masculinity, and live the geek culture you want to see and be part of. Subvert everything.
Meanwhile: Hold other men accountable. Don’t tell rape jokes. Call out bullshit.
And respect the anger of those of us who have been consistently marginalized. If you want to be an ally in this fight, recognize that the fight is not about you: sometimes solidarity means giving other people space to be frustrated and angry at a system from which you directly benefit, and sometimes that means that they will, by extension, be angry at you—and that this, along with everything else, means *that system* is your common enemy.
Speaking of systems: Educate yourself. Read How to Suppress Women’s Writing and call that shit out. Understand that in this fight, your voice is generally considered to mean more than mine. Fight that inequality as hard as you can—but meanwhile, while you’ve got that platform, use it.