Chris (90scartoonman) wrote,

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Reaction to Black Superheroes From Actual Black Folks

I haven't ranted about fictional black characters in a while, and something daffy_dork showed me made me want to do this.

This is in response to this video by the oh-so-opinionated Diddy:

Now, I couldn't find a link to it, but there's this show called Adventures in Hollyhood that stars the Three 6 Mafia. In one episode, they discuss black superheroes and said it wouldn't "look right" to see them flying around in tights and a cape like Superman. They also said a "black spaceman" wouldn't be right either, with the notable exception of Lando Calrissian (I guess they never heard of Ben Sisko).

So what's the deal here? Why is there a group of African Americans (musicians from the looks of it, and I have no doubt their followers would feel the same way) that think there is such a huge difference between a black hero and any other hero (white or seemingly white)?

Obviously, you want a hero that you can identify with, or even someone who shares a common background (Superman is an alien, but he's got a Midwestern American upbringing), which is understandable. But the attitude I'm getting here is that there are no black heroes, which is simply not true. There are plenty.

Why is Hancock such a revelation that there's a black hero? He's not even the first black hero to get a movie! Hello, Spawn, Steel, Catwoman, and count 'em THREE Blade movies! Plus, if you count Hancock, you might as well count Meteor Man and Blank Man. That's way more than Diddy gives credit for.

I understand that when he was younger, it didn't seem like there were many black superheroes, and even today, there really aren't many A-listers that can hold their own title. Luke Cage is one of the most widely used heroes in Marvel today because of Bendis, and yet he doesn't have his own book. It's a mistake to discredit black heroes who are part of a team. People like Storm, Cyborg, and Mr. Terrific are all pretty prominent members of their respective teams. Even though the main Green Lantern book is Hal's, John's the Lantern in the JLA. There are loads of black heroes out there.

So why did the Three 6 Mafia say it wouldn't look right to see a black superhero? Diddy said he wanted to see someone like him to look up to. Is superheroing a "white" concept? I hate to think of it that way, but that's what it seems like they were saying. Where do we get that impression? Maybe the general public can't hold more than 10 or so superheroes in their mind, all of which are white (and a big, fat green Hulk).

I'm not trying to force superheroes on people or anything, but there are plenty of admirable black characters in that genre. It doesn't seem like we're making progress, most of those movies with black heroes sucked. Does John Stewart need to step up to the plate? I have no doubt in my mind he'd be able to hold his own movie, and it'd be awesome, the only problem is, Hal does deserve it (and as Geoff Johns is showing in his current "Secret Origin" arc, Hal's origin is cinematic). So what's the solution? Put our faith in the random Hancock-type movie? I have no idea, it's just stuff like this tends to get to me.
Tags: black characters, black heroes, comic book movies, comic books, rant

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