First Marvel gave us RiRi Williams, the Black Female Iron Man. Now A Black Feminist is writing Black Panther.
Marvel is really going in the wrong direction when it comes to diversity.
Yeah, I get the need to diversify the comic book industry. And I understand there’s a need to appeal to female comic fans. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to expand an audience. Unfortunately, Marvel is doing it the wrong way.
Marvel is looking for an Affirmative action hire to make headlines, not making a serious attempt at diversity. Yeah, a Black feminist writing Black Panther gets a lot of press. But usually it doesn’t lead to sales or build a fanbase for a character.
Case in point Gay Rawhide Kid. Or Hispanic Ghost Rider. Both of these characters got a lot of press when they made their debut. But at the end of the day both fell back into obscurity.
Sadly Marvel’s publishing division is still following business approaches from the 1990’s. Trying to get attention for their comics by pushing creators to the forefront instead of the character. With Black Panther being the one of the most popular characters in Captain America: Civil War you would think Marvel’s editors would be trying to maintain the momentum the character gained with casual readers by pushing the character to the forefront.
Moreover, you would think if there were such a serious push for diversity they’d be pushing a qualified writer to the forefront. Seriously, what does a Black feminist know about writing Black Panther? What kind of stories could a Black Feminist tell about an African King?
If we look at the work of Black feminist authors like Alice Walker and Sapphire They’re going to push a narrative that does not fit the Black Panther’s story model. These are the kinds of women with an extremely misandrist view regarding Black men and hate anything masculine. If anything a Black Feminist would make every effort to emasculate a Strong Masculine Alpha Male like the Black Panther in their stories and make him look weak as a kitten. Or she would make him a savage that looks like a big black brute. Most Black feminists haven’t been raised with a balanced picture of Black masculinity or Black Manhood, so they don’t understand how to write a balanced story about a Black man like the Black Panther.
Worse, these women would push a heavy lesbian agenda. What many don’t understand is that many Black feminists like Alice Walker and Sapphire are lesbians. And they love to take the opportunity to push lesbianism to the forefront in their stories and make it core element in them. While a Black Feminist will spin the narrative saying that they’re just trying to diversify the Marvel Universe by integrating homosexuality, the agenda of their narrative just doesn’t fit who the Black Panther is or expands on his mission as a superhero.
In the Marvel Universe, The Black Panther is the King of Wakanda, a leader of an African Kingdom that’s more technologically advanced than the United States, Europe and Asia combined. He’s an intelligent hero with the diplomatic finesse to handle a tense political situation with Victor Von Doom in Latveria and has the physical power to fight alongside heroes as tough as Iron Man and Captain America in The Avengers. It takes a special skill to write that kind of hero and present him as the strong Alpha Male he truly is. A Black Feminist wouldn’t know how to write the Black Panther and maintain his Black masculinity and his manhood, because she wouldn’t value his masculinity or his manhood.
If Marvel wanted to hire a Black writer to write stories for the Black Panther, you would think they’d hire a Black male writer like myself. Why? Because a Black man like myself would better understand the character and write to his strengths.
As a guy who has written Strong Black Alpha Male like John Haynes in stories like The Temptation of John Haynes and The Man Who Rules The World I believe understand the issues Black heroes like The Black Panther would face better than a Black Feminist. I doubt a Black feminist would understand things Black men face in the world like racism, intra racism, classism, and even the issues Black men have with Black women in relationships. In Black fantasy stories I’ve written like The Temptation ofJohn Haynes and Isis: Bride of Dracula I made an effort to present those issues so people could understand the tightrope that Black men walk in everyday life.
Moreover, I’d understand why it’s important to maintain a Black characters’ masculinity. If a Black male isn’t depicted as strong and masculine readers aren’t going to respect him. And all it takes is the wrong writer like a Black feminist to make a character like The Black Panther look weak. And when that character looks weak readers have no incentive to buy that characters’ adventures.
Short-term a Black Feminist writing The Black Panther’s adventures makes for great press. It gets a lot of attention for Marvel. However, it could do damage to the Black Panther’s brand and his image in the long term. With all the work the Russos did to Bring Black Panther to the screen in Captain America: Civil War it’d be a shame to see all that momentum disrupted by a poorly thought out Affirmative Action Diversity hire that is clearly unqualified for the job.
If you want to see what a Shawn James Black Panther would read like in a comic Pick Up Isis: Amari’s Revenge. The way I wrote Prince Ammon is just how I’d write T’Challa.