Saturday, April 20, 2013

Green Lantern and Captain America

A lot has been reported abut diversity or lack thereof in comic characters for companies in the past few years.  Publishers have made an attempt to broaden their lines by adding characters of different races, religions and sexual preferences and that's a good thing.  I think that there has been a step backwards in other aspects, though.  With Amanda Waller being made over to be fit and athletic, we have less of a diversity in body types.  Then there's heroes like Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, and the rest of the JSA - They have all been re-imagined as characters in their 20's-30's.  The fact that DC had a crew of older heroes to serve as mentors and elder statesmen was one thing that made them unique, and now the diversity in age has almost all been washed away.  I guess they thought that de-aging would make the characters more relatable, but I never had a problem reading and enjoying their tales, even when I was a little kid.


AirDave said...

What I find disappointing is that DC WAS diverse. They just didn't seem to have a complete grasp of some of their characters. Now, it seems that they are showing an even greater lack of understanding of their characters in how they have rebooted them and updated them.

Energy Law said...

Uh...I beg to differ that DC was diverse. It wasn't. And when they had an opportunity to integrate with Milestone Comics, they really disappointed. I will never forgive Len Wein for firing Dwayne McDuffie in the MIDDLE of a JLA crossover story with Icon, Hardware, Rocket, and other Milestone heroes. I had never seen so many heroes of color in a DC book, and they quashed the storyline in such an unprofessional manner, it was an insult to the fans as well as Mr. McDuffie. I have never brought a JLA book since. DC may finally be getting it right now, but they are so sloppy compared to whats going on at Marvel, but this is how its always been. Its too bad too. As a child of color growing up in the '80s, I mostly read DC, but when my friends in the schoolyard would speak about how "lily white" the DC roster was, compared to Marvel, I had nothing to retort aside from..."Well, at least we have Denys Cowan and George Perez!" ha.

Rip Jagger said...

Totally agree.

As a kid I found the JSA more interesting because of the range of ages, not in spite of it. The animus against age in comics seems linked to nothing I can detect. The JSA has proven a sturdy concept, despite DC's many attempts to obliterate it.

Ted Grant was always more interesting as the aging hero trying to find one more good fight. It's what gave him zing in a line up in which he was distinctly underpowered.

Plots might make readers show up, but characters keep them around. DC has a great bundle of characters, but they keep trying to revamp them. Let some of them age gracefully or perhaps not. That's what made the 70's JSA fascinating before the Crisis unraveled it.

It's the same foolishness which suggests readers identify with sidekicks and not the heroes. Who wants to be Bucky when he can be Cap?

Rip Off

Anonymous said...

I agree with Rip, the JSA was more interesting because of the range of ages which added a very interesting dynamic to the team.

I don't understand DC's aversion to having a "history". By using a slash-and-burn approach to the "reboot" and making everyone about the same age, you lose much more than you gain.

I'm more of the school of "if you don't like a character, just don't use them" instead of "make it so they never existed". With a good enough writer, just about any character could be viable and interesting.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more! Thank you for all your wonderful pictures and the hard work you put forth. I can't even access this page on my home computer becuase it freezes everytime. I wish I could. I'm seeing this on my work pc and that's really a no-no. Wish I could see it at home but I guess the pic sizes are just too big for that. Sigh.

Please email me.


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