Black Captain America
Black Female Iron Man
Latino Blue Beetle
Black Female Huntress
You would look at all these major characters at the Big two and think there would be a major step in diversifying both universes.
But that’s not the case at all. These characters are just tokens who will be discarded once the gimmick stops being popular.
On the surface it looks like Marvel and DC are making a serious effort at diversity. However, when one looks at who is on the payroll Marvel and DC today it’s still 95% White males.
And because the creators of these “diversity” heroes are STILL 95% White males no one can really take this attempt at “diversity” seriously.
If White Males creating these so called “diverse” heroes of different ethnicities, then where is the diversity?
If the big two were really serious about diversity they’d be serious about hiring more minorities behind the scenes to write and draw their comics. There are thousands of talented writers and artists of color like myself who would have been interested in working for them.
But instead of looking at our portfolios, the White Males at the Big Two would rather pretend to promote diversity in a passive aggressive way by oversaturating the market with poorly developed, poorly designed knock-offs of White characters. And then when these characters fail to catch on, blame the readers for not buying said characters.
Meanwhile, characters of color that have built a following like John Stewart, Steel, Mal Duncan, Battle Star, Pulsar, Vixen, Mr. Terrific, Icon, Static and countless others remain unused and ignored by the Big Two.
Perhaps if the big two made a serious effort towards hiring writers and artists of color they could be a bit more creative with the existing characters in their catalogs. Maybe they could build a bigger following for those well-known characters I mentioned.
But it seems the White Males at the Big Two don’t want any Black heroes overshadowing their icons the way Static was starting to back when Static Shock was on the air. The whole idea of a Black hero made by a Black man being as popular as Batman and Superman scares the shit out of many comics creators.
Why? Because one of the last fiefdoms of White Supremacy would be dismantled. Superhero for some in the comic book business and some comic fans means White Males being superior to everyone. A Black creator working on White superheroes shatters that ideology of White males being superior. The whole idea of a Black man or woman controlling the fate of a White male hero is a scary concept for many in the comic book business.
And the whole idea of creators of color coming into their workspace and creating better stories and better characters makes them uneasy.
Instead of creating a Black version of a White hero, how about the Big two go out and hire talented Black writers and artists to work on their comics. That would be a serious step in the right direction towards diversifying the comic book industry.