sigmund_droid: (Default)
sigmund_droid ([personal profile] sigmund_droid) wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2011-06-09 03:09 pm

Why there were no black people in the future...according to DC

Hope scans_daily has some outrage left! This is the first part of my two part series on Tyroc

Oh boy. Guess who populates Marzal...the Legion of course treats it like a ghetto.

And now the history of Marzal

Jim Shooter pretty much sums up why I was outraged at this

"...I always wanted to have a character who was African-American (Tyroc), and years later, when they did that, they did it in the worst way possible....instead of just incidentally having a character who happens to be black...they made a big fuss about it. He's a racial separatist....I just found it pathetic and appalling."

Until this time ALL the legionaries were drawn with Caucasian features. When black people ARE introduced they are violent separatists that have to be shown the error of their ways by white people.

This is a controversial topic, sorry if I inadvertently offended anyone. Please let me know if I did.
chocochuy: This is a picture of the cute Kobato Hanato (Kobato Hanato)

[personal profile] chocochuy 2011-06-09 10:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Sweet Christmas, mine homeys! That cracker at DC sure was a racist!
namey: (sf wtf)

[personal profile] namey 2011-06-09 10:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Neither my face nor palm are big enough. Holy nuts.

[Holy nuts being unrelated to my face or palm.]
red_menace: BFF? (Default)

[personal profile] red_menace 2011-06-09 10:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah, mid-20th century. Every time I feel bad, you cheer me up by reminding me that I don't live in you.
cleome45: (Default)

[personal profile] cleome45 2011-06-09 10:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Spare a thought or two for those of us who lived through it because we had no choice. :p
icon_uk: (Default)

[personal profile] icon_uk 2011-06-09 10:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Are the 1970's "mid-20th Century" now?
chocochuy: This is a picture of the cute Kobato Hanato (Kobato Hanato)

[personal profile] chocochuy 2011-06-09 11:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Hush, it's better for them to believe so. When I was a young lad I used to think that my mother went to school with Spiderman and all we have now are our dreams and fantasies.
red_menace: BFF? (Default)

[personal profile] red_menace 2011-06-09 11:16 pm (UTC)(link)
"Mid-to-late" maybe?
retro_nouveau: AARP Bruce (1)

[personal profile] retro_nouveau 2011-06-10 04:36 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, so glad that cheers you up.

[personal profile] arilou_skiff 2011-06-10 07:00 am (UTC)(link)
Could be worse, could be first half of the 20th century (probably the shittiest period in human history)
icon_uk: (Default)

[personal profile] icon_uk 2011-06-10 10:15 am (UTC)(link)
They at least had penicillin before everything (seemingly) mutated to become immune to it.
salinea: (meh)

[personal profile] salinea 2011-06-10 10:28 am (UTC)(link)
... and if they weren't in an experiment where they were deemed unworthy of getting cured?
icon_uk: (Default)

[personal profile] icon_uk 2011-06-10 11:31 am (UTC)(link)
Sorry, I was making a generalised comment about the society at large, not more localised instances. I believe that penicillin (and other antibiotic treatments) was available generally through the National Health to all British citizens from 1948 onwards.

I suspect you're referencing a, probably deeply unpleasant, historical instance I'm not remembering or am unaware of.
salinea: (this way)

[personal profile] salinea 2011-06-10 11:37 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, it's not a bad generalised comment; it's just that in the context of discussing racism in the US in the mid to late 20th, mention of penicillin and the availability thereof made me think of the Tuskegee experiment. Which is indeed a deeply unpleasant historical instance.
endis_ni: (Default)

[personal profile] endis_ni 2011-06-10 12:09 pm (UTC)(link)
I'd not heard of that experiment before. Sodding hell. I feel actually a bit sick now.
salinea: (montoya)

[personal profile] salinea 2011-06-10 12:35 pm (UTC)(link)
If you want to learn more sickening data related to syphilis, penicillin, and the US being racist fuckers; there is also this.

[personal profile] arilou_skiff 2011-06-10 03:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Didn't help much against the Spanish Flu.
icon_uk: (Default)

[personal profile] icon_uk 2011-06-10 03:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Well no, it wouldn't, since the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic came along ten years before penicillin was discovered.

[personal profile] arilou_skiff 2011-06-10 03:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Hence my comment about the 1st half of the 20th century being arguably the shittiest period in history. You've got two world wars, a major pandemic, a couple rounds of famine, the Great Depression, two of the most brutal totalitarian dictatorships in history, at least two very, very, very bloody civil wars... The only time that's even comparable would be the mid 1300's.
chocochuy: This is a picture of the cute Kobato Hanato (Kobato Hanato)

[personal profile] chocochuy 2011-06-09 10:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Today all of us have learned several things. One of them is that it was thanks to a racist that we don't see any black people at the future of the DC Universe and the other thing is why we won't see more DC fans in our future.
cypherfdp: (Default)

[personal profile] cypherfdp 2011-06-10 12:06 am (UTC)(link)
So you're telling me every African-American, and I guess every African in every country in the world by extension, just said "Fuck this shit" to the rest of the world and sailed to an island, where presumably not a single race, including non-white races, even attempted diplomatic relations or telling them this was the dumbest and most stereotyped fucking plan in the history of the universe?

Reginald Hudlin, is that you?
icon_uk: (Default)

[personal profile] icon_uk 2011-06-10 10:21 am (UTC)(link)
No, it should be made clear that there were plenty of black people in the 30th century, it's "just" that we never saw any in the Legion.

The inhabitants of Marzal are a rather unusual group, and there is a plot-related reason (albeit a very contrived one) why they had little interaction with the outside world in the intervening millenium and a bit.

[personal profile] silicondream 2011-06-11 09:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Of course, for that same reason, this story doesn't actually explain why black people hadn't appeared in Legion comics before. But that's probably for the best. Any in-world explanation would be kind of painful.

AFAIK, the first black Legion characters who weren't from magical isolationist negrotopias showed up six years later: Jacques and Danielle Foccart, from the former Cote d'Ivoire. (Named characters, at least. I would hope black faces had appeared in crowd scenes and stuff before that point, but I haven't checked.)
icon_uk: (Default)

[personal profile] icon_uk 2011-06-11 10:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, Invisible Kid II was the first black Legion member. A while later they retconned in the original Kid Quantum, who (it was revealed) had been amongst the first additional Legionnaires, but his powers derived from a technological device, and he was killed in an early mission when it malfunctioned, leading to the rule about "No members who rely on artificial powers: natural or acquired powers only"... though the likes of Wildfire and Gears might be sort of in a grey area.
blackruzsa: (Default)

[personal profile] blackruzsa 2011-06-10 01:10 am (UTC)(link)
Oh. How lovely.
Acting like black people, or any sort of ethnicity that aren't Caucasian won't ever do better without white "help". These are some of the things that make me want to be more racist, so I can speak more bluntly about why such things fuck. up. the. world. Those silly white people, such and such.

[personal profile] saralakali 2011-06-10 01:37 am (UTC)(link)
Sure, it's easy here in 2011 to say "that's racist". But guys, Tyroc was a hero, the first black hero that I was exposed to. Suddenly, black people weren't all gangsters and thugs usually being used by some white supervillain because they were too naive to see through his (usually) tissue-paper thin plot.

Okay so it's racist, but at the time it opened my eyes just a little bit more than they had been.

[personal profile] saralakali 2011-06-10 01:38 am (UTC)(link)
Oh and the backup story with Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel was pretty awesome.
domino_blue: (Default)

[personal profile] domino_blue 2011-06-10 01:46 am (UTC)(link)
I feel sorry for the writers who had to make this, here they were trying to create this awesome hero for the Legion and then gave them this backstory. That editor was sick.

[personal profile] darkknightjrk 2011-06-10 03:11 am (UTC)(link)
I don't think racist is quite the right word for this--it's in the same realm of the whole "I Am Curious (Black)!" story: like a group of well-meaning but clueless white guys trying to created black heroes and tell stories about racism and getting so silly that it doesn't work as well.

I should also mention that Tyroc's been used in the Legion recently during Levitz's current run and while he didn't have a lot of lines, he wasn't that bad there.
btravage: (Default)

[personal profile] btravage 2011-06-10 05:52 am (UTC)(link)
It's not like everyone in the past was this clueless.
icon_uk: (Default)

[personal profile] icon_uk 2011-06-10 10:33 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I get "Well meaning, but clueless" out of a good few of these sorts of stories from the era, but may be viewing them differently because I was around at the time they came out (Not necessarily reading them, but they're of my era... ish)

Cliche, but better than the infamous fuss over the 1960's Teen Titans story where they wrote the story to introduce DC's first black superhero Jericho, who would have pre-dated the Black Panther by a couple of months. A literal whitewash.

[personal profile] silicondream 2011-06-11 10:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Yep. You got the same problem with Dawnstar a few issues after Tyroc's appearance. Awesome that they introduced a Native American character; kind of sad that her costume, personality and native culture were mostly constructed by stapling a dozen "Indian" stereotypes together and adding " SPACE!!!" to them. Dawnstar grew a lot as a character, though, possibly because her creators were genuinely trying to be respectful to her race.

Tyroc actually improved too, when Giffen brought him back in the Five Years Later era of Legion continuity. He started acting like a normal human being, became vice-president of Earth under Jacques Foccart-which was nifty considering they were both black--and eventually president of New Earth.

The 5YL era is still when Legion character diversity peaked, I think. Which is kind of sad considering it was written over twenty years ago.
bradhanon: (Serious editor)

[personal profile] bradhanon 2011-06-10 05:02 am (UTC)(link)
"Hey, it looks like there are no black people in the future. I can't think of any explanation for that that isn't incredibly fucked up and racist."

"Oh, no, it's nothing bad! It's just that in the future, all the black people live on a special, distant island just for them, and they never leave it!"

"...yeah, that was one of the explanations I considered."
icon_uk: (Default)

[personal profile] icon_uk 2011-06-10 10:27 am (UTC)(link)
I can (if I have to) view like the absence of black people in Sunnydale for much of "Buffy"'s run.

It was commented on in story (a black vampire notices that the town is "not exactly a haven for the brothers") and I always felt that that probably indicated the black folks in the area were a damn sight smarter than the white folk, and they'd got the hell out of town long ago, leaving the white folk stupid enough to hang around a town with a death rate higher than most war zones to their own devices.
steverodgers5: (Default)

LOL!! Off Topic but yeah...

[personal profile] steverodgers5 2011-06-11 09:50 am (UTC)(link)
..I remember that line in Buffy.

Absolutely love your explanation for why that might have been the case!

Buffy's so weird. I loved it and all, but I wonder if they meant some kind of message at the end where theye had the 2 demon characters killed off..(Albeit one would return in the sister show) and yet all the main human characters survived the final battle.

And then of course there's Angel's ending where weirdly enough the exact opposite happened, and it was all the humans that got the shaft. (Always wondered if there was something deliberate about that..) Granted Gunn was still around in the last scene, but y'know mortal wounds and all, seemed to suggest that he was pretty much on his last legs there.

It's funny though, I remember once reading that Gunn was originally supposed to die on his way to the rendevous, but they backed out of that as being just tooo bleak. (No idea if it's true or not..)

Hmm, maybe the creaters felt a little bit guilty about it. But man, my heart still breaks for poor Wesley. Kind of bugs me a little that they had that line about Fred's soul being destroyed. All I could think of was, well Buffy went to heaven, thus it's supposed to exist in this world, but if Wesley makes it up there, he's STILL not gonna get to be reunited with Fred!! Which just sucks, beyond the telling of it..

[identity profile] 2011-06-10 12:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Wasn't that the same thing with Silver Age Krypton? I just remember looking at something that indicated all the black people lived on their own seperate but equal island (that was naturally destroyed).

Been a few years and I can't remember where I read that, though.
pyrotwilight: (Default)

[personal profile] pyrotwilight 2011-06-10 04:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh Vathlo island. How...odd it was. Can't remember what the story was but that was indeed the case.
jlroberson: (Default)

[personal profile] jlroberson 2011-06-10 07:34 pm (UTC)(link)
And here's the thing. As the story I link to below mentions, this was Murray Boltinoff's editorial mandate. If there were to be black people in the Legion's future, it had to be this way.

So about this island. Founded by escaped slaves, huh?

Going where that other slaves did NOT escape from going? And from where was that again, Murray?

I mean, what does this imply about EVERY OTHER BLACK POPULATION IN THE WORLD? In North America, in Europe, and, er, in Africa?

As with any ridiculous attempt to keep racist ideas going, it only begs more and more questions even if you take it at its premises. Silver/early Bronze Age DC's like that--it sets up something that becomes either insane or creepy or exactly the opposite of what they intended if you think about it for, well, a second. What you find implied is not unlike how some DC comics tried to be so nonsexual heterosexually, that they ended up looking unintentionally gay, as we all know and love. And so with this. What this implies is a rather frightening genocide took place that none of the Legion seems to know about.

Then we have stuff like "I am Curious--Black" where the ultimate message is that black people shouldn't be so resentful towards WHITES.

And then there's fucking Vathlo Island.

A lot about the late-20th century American middle-age basic-racist psyche in those old DC comics to analyze if someone wanted to. Not of committed racists, more like the kind of racism that was pretty much accepted and common at the time(as much as the sexism of the time was).
jlroberson: (Default)


[personal profile] jlroberson 2011-06-10 07:37 pm (UTC)(link)
A tradition continued to this day, when DC will have Africa (during Flashpoint) ruled by apes.
jlroberson: (Default)

[personal profile] jlroberson 2011-06-10 06:35 pm (UTC)(link)
A somewhat fuller account of the racism of Murray Boltinoff that led to the creation of Tyroc, not to mention such things as Vathlo Island(the only place black people lived on Krypton). Scroll to the third item down:

Why does Tyroc's costume look stupid? Because Grell--along with Cockrum, no slouch when it came to costume design--made it that way.

"I gave him a silly costume. It was somewhere between Elvis' Las Vegas costume and something you would imagine a pimp on the street corner wearing." sabotage the character, because he was mad at the repulsive backstory editorial had enforced on him.
chocochuy: This is a picture of the cute Kobato Hanato (Kobato Hanato)

[personal profile] chocochuy 2011-06-11 12:26 am (UTC)(link)
Elvis cosplaying like a Pimp would be awesome and that is something Tyroc as well as Murray Boltinoff will never be.
chocochuy: This is a picture of the cute Kobato Hanato (Kobato Hanato)

[personal profile] chocochuy 2011-06-11 12:32 am (UTC)(link)
I have a doubt about Marzal (I don't know why but it reminds me of the candy known as "Marzipan", hehehe). If their only population is made of only black people, Wouldn't that mean that the only criminals that live there are black too? Another interesting point to mention is that if the people of Marzal have lived centuries there without any kind of contact with other cultures, Wouldn't they be more intrigued to meet other non-black cultures? I don't mean they have to meet only white people but other cultures.

It would be boring to lack any kind of diversity.
steverodgers5: (Default)

Gotta say..

[personal profile] steverodgers5 2011-06-11 09:54 am (UTC)(link)
Nice to see Shooter could see what was wrong with it straight away.

The guy get's a lot of grief for his hard line stances. But every now and again, you could see that the guy stood by the strength of his own convictions.

Wish I could read a modern interview with him to see what he thinks of what the 'big two' are doing now..

[personal profile] nemryn 2011-06-11 10:48 pm (UTC)(link)
As an antidote and counterbalance to this mess, here's 'Judgement Day'.