I hope this is coherent, I’m pretty loaded on cold medicine, having had to cancel some game demos this weekend rather than infect the world with this horrible death plague.
Ok, honestly, it’s really just a horrific head cold with some gastro-intestinal distress issues.
Yeah, I’m pretty.
A friend of mine introduced me to this incredible webcomic, Validated by Christian Beranek and Kelci Crawford. And one strip in particular has really made me think about a lot of my current dissatisfaction with the Big 2. The entirety of the last panel pretty much encompasses my feelings on the matter:
“We always talk about how ‘With great power comes great responsibility.'” It is indeed great we are honoring what comes before, but are we building a future where all geeks live in harmony, or are we going to strip mine the past until it is exhausted?” – Ally in Validated by Christian Beranek and Kelci Crawford.
And as much as I love comics and love the MCU, it feels like the Big 2 are determined to live in the past. From relying on the Diamond Rankings to determine which books live and die, to insisting that diversity comics are going nowhere, I get real tired of the Big 2 rehashing old storylines (Cap’s secretly a Nazi, no Cap’s mind-controlled, or reality’s altered by a precocious child, or… and don’t get me started on Batman).
Why can’t Cap be bi/pan or gay? Give him a storyline where he comes out of the closet and has to deal with the fact that he’s lived a lie his entire life, at first to protect himself and then because it was habit. No, he doesn’t have to be in love with Bucky, leave that relationship where it is. Give him a new character to fall for, or let him fall for one of the canonically gay side characters Marvel’s been touting as their nod to queer diversity since the 80s. Seriously, I think I’ve even heard of less than a third of that list.
Bobbi’s (Iceman) gay now, but I don’t know how well that’s being handled. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. But I would argue that Bobbi isn’t a big enough character for that to matter. Also, the way he initially comes out is really not good (Jean outing him). Billy Kaplan and Teddy Altman are fantastic (and adorable). Mystique and Irene. But we still don’t have a well-known trans character.
Black Panther, Luke Cage, Storm, Sam Wilson, Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), Amadeus Cho, America Chavez (who is also gay) are all great first steps to alleviate the overbearing whiteness of the Marvel stable. We will not be discussing the problem of Psylocke here. (Ugh, no, really.).
Now, Runaways was great, in that it had a very diverse cast, and the show looks like it did even better with it. But it feels like every step toward heroes that don’t look like cis, het, white dudes has to be dragged and beaten out of the big two.
If comics want to survive, they need to quit kowtowing to the dying demographic of cis, het, white, racist dudes, and keep expanding their diverse titles. And I want comics to survive, I love comics, contrary to popular belief.
Losing myself in comics has kept me sane and alive during some really challenging times in my life. And I can’t help but imagine how much more effective they would have been at that had I seen more characters that looked like me in them.
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