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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 15 January 2020 at 1:20pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

"Scraps from the table" is how I felt about most of the formerly always male characters remade to be female. 007 is a number, so that seems okay logically, even a great idea possibly for something that seems exhausted, Dr. Who though is turning out to be not so good for other reasons entirely, and I'll probably never see why Doctor Who would suddenly change genders anyway. Is it word to think that's weird? Did 'he' want to 'try it out' subconsciously?

The original characters from comics like Sue Storm-Richards, The Huntress and Storm are of more interest. I like a lot of the Adam's rib type characters too though, from Mary Marvel and Hawkgirl to Spider-Woman and She-Hulk, they all became individuals as well.

Cloud was memorable in the '80s Defenders. Iceman's confusion to responding to the female version was interesting and unexpected in a comic, but Cloud is more of a neither than a both perhaps.
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Koroush Ghazi
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Posted: 16 January 2020 at 3:52am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

 Michael Roberts wrote:
Sure. That's why the civil rights movement and desegregation were wrong. Because it freaked out the white man.


Great comparison Michael, and so true. The civil rights movement was, and is, comparable to Hollywood shoehorning "diverse" characters into movies to increase box office revenue!

Rosa Parks keeping her seat on a bus in the '50s is so damned near identical to JJ Abrams' inspired, diverse cast in the latest Star Wars movies, it gives me chills!

Because there's no such thing as doing things in a ham-fisted way. Once you set your mind to cast diverse actors, you're doing God's work, and no casting choice, however contrived, banal or idiotic, is wrong... as long as it's diver$e!


/EDIT: Just thought of a very obvious example of diverse casting done right, and wrong, in the same show: Star Trek TOS! As a kid in the '70s, never once did I question a black female communications officer or a Japanese-American helmsman.

But Chekov was a different story: an overtly stereotypical Russian with a blatantly Beatles'-inspired '60s haircut, he often stood out like a sore thumb.

Edited by Koroush Ghazi on 16 January 2020 at 4:29am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 16 January 2020 at 9:46am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

…a Japanese-American helmsman.

••

Just to be anal, Sulu was not conceived as Japanese-American. He was supposed to be fully Japanese, born in Japan.

I felt a small sinking in my stomach when, in THE VOYAGE HOME, he identified San Fransisco as his birthplace. Another piece of the mythology chipped away!

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 16 January 2020 at 10:14am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Sorry for the tangent, but was Uhura meant to be African? I certainly would agree that the Star Trek crew being pan-national was the best concept.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 16 January 2020 at 10:18am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Sorry for the tangent, but was Uhura meant to be African?

••

Swahili seemed to be her first language, so, yeah.

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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 16 January 2020 at 10:24am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

but was Uhura meant to be African?

——

Her first language was Swahili, as seen in “The Changeling”.
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Koroush Ghazi
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Posted: 16 January 2020 at 10:30am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Yes my bad, you’re right of course JB, Sulu is meant to be Japanese.
The whole point of Star Trek was to show different nationalities united
in exploring space. But it did it in such a classy way that attention was
never really drawn to the differences. I didn’t even realise the fuss that
Kirk/Uhura kiss caused until I was much older because there was no
hint of its racial significance within that episode.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 16 January 2020 at 10:59am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

The irony of bringing up Star Trek is that it aired on NBC in the late 60s, during
a period that the TV networks (and NBC in particular) were pursuing and
advocating the exact ideas of social justice and diversity that you are
complaining about. NBC was pushing shows with integrated casts and black
leading actors with shows like I SPY and JULIA.

I often point that the current set of science fiction fans who whine and moan
about diversity and politics in today's Hollywood while revering shows like
STAR TREK and TWILIGHT ZONE would label Gene Roddenberry and Rod
Serling, both progressive and political, as agenda-driven SJWs if they had
started today.

"But they did it naturally! It wasn't in your face!" What-fucking-ever. Racial
integration is just less controversial today.
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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 17 January 2020 at 8:49am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I always find the complaining about SJWs interesting. The people making the complaints about that completely lose the argument because of the history of superhero comics. 

Granted, some social media personas of those who are called SJWs can be very condescending and judgmental at times with an "I can do no wrong" attitude. I believe some creators very much have that attitude. If Writer A says "I don't want people who don't believe as I do to read my book" on Twitter, there's going to be a backlash. Some fans may feel that the person who is working on the book has no right to make such a statement. Sure, the vocal response is going to come from some guy who decides to start a YouTube channel making fun of the comics. Even when there are valid criticisms, they're overshadowed by immature critiques like "She's being drawn like man!" or worse, they'll make racist statements with the man-child responses they post. Stan Lee made everyone feel welcome and invited, some of today's creators and fans don't follow his example. 


Edited by Shawn Kane on 17 January 2020 at 1:42pm
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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 17 January 2020 at 9:05am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

To follow Michael's point, I often wonder if Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod would be called SJWs because of the cultural make up of the New Mutants. I'm sure there would be a group out there who would do that. I also wonder how much gushing fan articles from the comic book sites factor into the complaining. I've read articles that tout a comic book more for the fact that it's a female-led title rather than how it is drawn and written. I remember reading a column at Comicbook Resources where the writer said that it was more important to put your money toward a book that had "representation" in it than buying a comic that you might prefer (a Spider-Man or Avengers book for example), even if you don't think the book is very good. I can't put my money toward something that I don't enjoy.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 17 January 2020 at 9:07am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

“She’s being drawn like a man.”

•••

When Superman was briefly sporting a mullet, there were fans who complained he looked “just like Wonder Woman”.

Comments like that can make artists feel as if they have wasted their whole careers.

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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 17 January 2020 at 11:58am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

The concept of mutants 'breaking out' among human populations globally just logically lent itself to there being diversity, they wouldn't all appear in just the U.S. Quicksilver, The Scarlet Witch, Banshee were there early on. Good mutants were detected further afield as cerebro's range was increased perhaps? It's also just good comics to not have everyone on a team be the blond athletic white guy. Marvel was more advanced by virtue of the monster angle to a lot of characters making them visually different in our out of any costume if there even was one. I liked how the All-New All-Different X-Men were a variety pack of visual diversity, it hopefully made you curious to open one up and see what these strange characters were all about. New Mutants, X-Force, Generation X just carried that on, while X-Factor gave you the old original (and even then the original five were very different looking overall... I mean a bald guy in a wheelchair, a talking snowman, and Beast were all very unique. Wouldn't a mutant book or movie seem the most likely place to find a trans character naturally showing up, and to find a receptive audience?

A lot of the older comics just kind of slapped on 'the girl' member of a team, almost an afterthought. I think The Wasp was one of the earlier female heroes to have developed some kind of personality of her own, maybe Dream Girl in the Legion Of Super-Heroes. Chris Claremont did do a good job with Jessica Drew as Spider-Woman, and the X ladies. They didn't just 'be there' or pose but seemed to have lives going on. Milton Caniff with Terry And The Pirates seemed to have characters that were doing other things even when not shown in the strip. The the FF and Alpha Flight had stories often developing from just regular life history stuff (Franklin Richards early on led to various connections and story arcs).

People picketing for inclusive representation was shown outside Avengers mansion in some of those late '90s-early '00s Avengers by Kurt Busiek, and that was an extension of #181 circa 1978-79 where the government mandated The Falcon and Ms. Marvel be made Avengers (and dropping a blonde white guy in Hawkeye). 'Twas ever thus?
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