Favourite moment from Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Ya know something interesting about the Marvel/DC ‘rivalry’ on tumblr?
Everyone acts like DC is this super regressive company compared to Marvel when DC really did more progressive stuff first and is still doing so.
Women as heroes?
DC’s had Wonder Woman as one of their three major heroes forever, but everyone ignores that because “But she doesn’t have a movie yet” (more on that later)
While Marvel can claim the first black hero in comics with Black Panther, DC actually had heroes talking explicitly about race with John Stewart and Hal Jordan, and did a lot of issues with progressiveism and liberalism vs convsativism in the Green Arrow/Green Lantern series (including a black person calling out Hal on how little he did to fight oppression on earth as he did the rest of the universe), and Green Arrow and Hawkeye arguing politics was a common thread of their time on the JLA together.
Black Lightning was the first African-American superhero with no criminal record (Luke Cage did get his powers in prison, it’s kinda stereotypical)
DC itself actually funded and published Milestone comics, a comics company entirely devoted to more diverse comics. If you’ve ever heard of Static you owe DC comics.
Marvel has never had anything even remotely equivalent.
When it comes to LGBT stuff, DC comics had a lesbian Batwoman and a lesbian woman taking over from a male hero in The Question.
While not a hero explicitly DC has a transwoman supporting character in Batgirl. (And I’m not even counting the trans characters in Vertigo books.)
It has Alan Scott being gay inthe Nu52 continuity,
I know Grace Choi was bisexual pre-reboot (I don’t know the current status)
Had a gay black teen hero in the Superboy & the Ravers comic in the 90s, as well as the character of Obsidian who was a major supporting character in the JSA.
The idea of characters of color or a different gender taking the place of legacy characters is nothing new for DC.
Like I mentioned, a lesbian Latin@ became the Question, there was an asian woman hero Doctor Light, a black woman Doctor Midnight, a Latina became the new Wildcat.
Now I mentioned I’d get back to movies later on and, let’s look at DC & Marvels movies in terms of ethnicity here, most notably the recent casting rumors.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson basically said he’d be playing Shazam.
Shazam, a previously white hero, played by a Black & Samoan man.
Aquaman, if rumors are to be believed, will be played by Jason Momoa.
Aquaman, a white blonde haired, blue eyed hero, played by a Samoan man.
Meanwhile over at Marvel….Well Falcon and Rhodey get to exist, but they’re up to this point still just little more than sidekicks to the white heroes in the movies.
Marvel makes a movie about a superhero team and goes “Yeah, everyone is still white as they were in the 1960s.”
DC looks at their superhero team and says “We need to make the team more diverse, even if it means changing the race of the heroes” and people act like they’re some super regressive company.
I’m fine with folks preferring one company over the other.
I’m fine with folks being excited Marvel is having legacy characters change race and/or gender with who gets to pick up the legacy.
But as a lifelong comic fan it’s kinda annoying to see people praising Marvel as super progressive for doing shit DC did in the 80s and still does to this day.
Especially when with Marvel it’s coming across far more as a blatant publicity grabs.
Posts like this bother me. It’s so one-sided. Why? Marvel and DC are companies run by a lot of different people over several decades. They change and grow. Why do you have to put one over they other? I know the OP said it’s fine to like one company over the other, but it really seems like they are trying to throw Marvel under the bus. I don’t want to be one of those fanboys that picks a fight, but I guess I am going to be. First, I’m only going to talk about the comics. The movies and TV programs are an entirely different discussion.
Marvel has been doing progressive work from the beginning. Falcon handled the struggles that people of color deal with in poverty stricken urban areas as a social worker. Fantastic Four and Hulk dealt with serious discussions about scientific ethics. Black Panther covered complex politics and the effects of colonialism. X-Men told stories that mirrored the American Civil Rights movement. This was all in the 60’s.
Let’s discuss the X-men. They have always been about racism, bigotry, and discrimination. Sure, the first generation of X-Men was about white kids dealing with racism, but ever since All New, All Different in the 70’s (which introduced Storm, Proudstar, Nightcrawler, Banshee, etc.) the X-men has been one of the most diverse titles in American comics. The New Mutants had a teenage Vietnamese girls as the team leader in the 80’s. And after her, a Native American girl took over as co-leader. That team actually had more people of color than white characters. The X-Men have had members of various ethnicities, nationalities, religions, and backgrounds. Also, the X-Men have always been leaders when it comes to complex female characters. Storm was the leader of the X-Men for an extended time period. It’s ridiculous to disregard all of this.
Wonder Woman is amazing. So is Black Canary, Vixen, Grace Choi, Batgirl, and all the other brilliant DC heroines. But that is no reason to discount Carol Danvers, Rouge, the Invisible Woman, Black Widow, and the rest of the female heroes of the Marvel U. But, maybe I’m reading into the post too much and the OP is not devaluing Marvels heroes. It’s just hard not to see it that way.
The OP suggests that people shouldn’t congratulate Marvel for doing things now that DC was doing in the 80’s. Except Marvel was doing those things, too. Marvel had the first openly gay superhero in Northstar in the 90’s. At that same time, Marvel was doing stories about people living with HIV and recovering from drug addiction. So, was DC. Because there were talented storytellers at both companies, as they are today. (Oh and Marvel had the first same-sex marriage as well.)
The OP also suggests that Marvel’s recent progressive steps are mere publicity stunts. I assume the OP is referring to the news about Captain America and Thor. I can’t disagree with this when it some to these two specific items. But I can say that one of Marvel’s top series is Captain Marvel, which is starring and written by a woman. Marvel also introduced a Muslim teenage woman of color as the lead of her own title to much success (Ms. Marvel). And that’s not the first Muslim teenager to come from Marvel, let’s not ignore Monet and Dust. Over the past year Marvel has introduced 7 titles starring women with top talent. I repeat when I say with top talent. Marvel has faith in their female characters. DC may outnumber Marvel in titles, but certainly not in quality. (But I am excited for the new teams coming to Catwoman and Batgirl.)
Milestone Comis was fantastic, but that happened because of Dwayne McDuffie and a fantastic team of artists and writers. DC agreed to publish their work, but don’t act like this was some degree from DC editorial. Marvel, on the other hand, had just as many people of color as heroes in their main universe.
I am a full time Marvel fanboy, but to say that Marvel has consistently been more progressive than DC would be silly. It is just as silly suggesting DC has been more progressive than Marvel. There are certainly times when one company has been more innovative than the other, but one has never been consistently better than the other. That’s what the OP’s post suggests, an it’s simply wrong.
I apologize if I come across as aggressive. I guess I’m just too sensitive when it comes to representation in comics. We all deserve to express our opinions without feeling attacked.
I know it’s trendy to fight the system and cry that we are all becoming slaves of technology, but this attitude overlooks that computers and phones are tools for communicating. When someone thinks I’m an idiot smiling at a machine, I’m actually smiling at my girlfriend who is 10000 miles away and whom I would have never met if not for these newfangled electronics. As they say: when the wise man points to the moon, the fool looks at the finger.
This is a topic that I’ve been wanting to tackle for a while now; much credit to this excellent post for bringing it to the front of my brain.
NEVER NOT REBLOG.