kingrockwell: he's a sexy (Ferdinand)
[personal profile] kingrockwell posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Brightest Day #1 is out this week, and while the jokes have already been made about the White Power rings supposedly shipped with it, the book itself displays some very troubling racial politics.

This is about four pages out of thirty.
Writers are Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi.
These scenes are, I think, penciled by Ivan Reis and Patrick Gleason (they don't really credit any of the beats individually).

The second beat picks up off the coast of Somalia, where Deadman's found himself on a boat of slavers herding abducted children. But let's take a look here.

Now isn't that nice? The slavers are all black while every one of their captives is white. What is that supposed to say?
The children are saved by the mighty-whitey team of Aquaman and Mera, as has been posted already, but a scene from the aftermath is also worth examining.

Can you guess who this guy is?

If you hadn't figured it out yet, this guy returns to the ocean to resume his criminal career as Black Manta at the end of the issue. Now, the Aquaman/Black Manta relationship is problematic on its own, but Black Manta's history only makes it moreso (especially given that he doesn't even get a real name). Bringing him back in a book called Brightest Day that already has a mark against it is just...inadvisable.

Also, note the black woman among the victims. So far, if you're black in this comic, you can only be a villain or a victim. And what if you try to be a hero?

Well, dear readers, that's where Jason Rusch comes in.
If you'll recall, in Brightest Day #0, Jason tried punching Ronnie Raymond (who's apparently a complete tool now, thanks Geoff Johns!), only to have the two of them merge into Firestorm.
I don't even have to tell you which one's the floating head.

"Someone like you"? And just what is that supposed to mean, Ronnie?

So, Jason's not only had his role stolen by the white guy who used to have it (which is already a disturbing trend throughout the DCU, especially in Johns' work, as Chris Sims at Comics Alliance has also observed), but now he's trapped in that guy's head? Classy!

Any one of these would be problematic in itself, but all three together in the same issue adds up to a tone deaf and racist mess. A kick-off like this does not bode well for where Brightest Day is going.

Ookay, technically there was one black guy who got to be the hero in BD 1.
...The guy in the Colgate ad. He aced it!

Date: 2010-05-09 01:02 am (UTC)
halialkers: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halialkers
Not *all* white people. The DCU never had the supers overthrow Hitler or Stalin, either. Of course there *was* that one pre-WWII comic, but I do wonder that if the guy's complaints or valid, wouldn't say, a Russian have complaints that the JSA overthrew neither of the two autocrats that were slaughtering the peoples of the USSR by the millionfold?

Date: 2010-05-09 01:08 am (UTC)
valtyr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] valtyr
I answered your point about Hitler in the other comment; but essentially, I don't think this guy's asking for Hal to overthrow the Government. He's asking, the same as he could ask any white person, why don't you speak up and support us? And he's asking a superhero, as he might ask law enforcement, where have you been when the laws are broken and we are the victims?

Date: 2010-05-09 01:12 am (UTC)
halialkers: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halialkers
Except from my POV superheroes are effectively fascists anyhow, so the kind of person who'd dress up in tights to fight crime is hardly the type to empathize with the reality of what poverty is. Batman especially, but even Superman to a much greater extent than is ever really dealt with.....

Date: 2010-05-09 12:18 pm (UTC)
valtyr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] valtyr
Even if all superheroes are fascists (which I can't say I agree with) I don't see that that automatically excludes empathy for poverty. Depending on how Superman is written, he would likely have grown up pretty poor; poverty had been quite a problem among Midwest farmers. And in Marvel, even with the shifting timescale, Steve Rogers grew up during the Great Depression. Luke Cage had a pretty deprived childhood. Clint, Spider-Man weren't exactly starvation poor but they weren't well off.


Date: 2010-05-09 01:45 am (UTC)
cleome45: (lightning1)
From: [personal profile] cleome45
Is this the Wishful Thinking Sidebar? I think they should've beaten the crap out of all the top brass at IBM and several U.S. oil companies as well. :p

Re: Oooohhh...

Date: 2010-05-09 02:02 am (UTC)
halialkers: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halialkers
You are too kind. I'd like to sic Doomsday on the headquarters of BP right now....

Re: Oooohhh...

Date: 2010-05-09 02:06 am (UTC)
cleome45: (jan1)
From: [personal profile] cleome45
If it was documented that BP did business with the Nazis, too, I'll provide the Time Bubble. Never fear.


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