whites are the biggest victims today
April 22, 2011
By Avi Green
When DC Comics published their abominable Identity Crisis miniseries
in 2004, some of the biggest victims were the white cast members.
Especially when it turned out that part of the reason for destroying
them was in order to replace them with minority group members, with
the Atom, Firestorm and Blue Beetle being 3 of the leading examples.
While 2 of the 3 examples of this particular damage have been
reversed as it became apparent that the whole pandering to
minorities who werenít even asking them to do it wasnít working,
things still havenít been fully repaired yet. (Ralph and Sue Dibny,
as well as Jean Loring, still remain desecrated.) And tragically,
thereís no telling if they ever will be. But that could also be
because of the apologists in the comics-related medium who are
making it worse by confusing the good and bad examples together.
writer for the pretentious Comics Alliance, owned by the
leftist AOL, went and tried to justify their previous all-costs
replacements of their minor white protagonists, without even making
any clear distinction between what was done properly and what
wasnít. And he used at least one word that was seriously alarming:
But now, the idea of a legacy character is being totally
subverted. They're not roles that are passed down anymore, they're
roles that are passed back up.
The mistakes the writer makes here are at least 3-fold.
And much of the time -- not always, but enough that it's more than
notable -- they're being passed back from a non-white character to
an Aryan ideal. Jason Rusch is still part of Firestorm, but it's
back to being Ronnie Raymond's Caucasian body. Kimiyo Hoshi is
still Dr. Light, but that name's been permanently soured by
"Identity Crisis" and the fact that James Robinson had the
original Dr. Light threaten to rape her children on the Justice
League Satellite. Even the regressions of ostensibly white
characters often have racially charged consequences: Wally West's
interracial marriage to Linda Park has been sidelined in favor of
on-the-go suburbanites Barry Allen and Iris West, and Kyle Rayner
(who was created as an Irish-American but later "revealed" to be
the son of a Mexican-American CIA agent) has suffered the strange
fate-worse-than-death of a fictional character who gets demoted
from a starring role to a supporting one. He's still a Green
Lantern, but he's not the Green Lantern.
Iíll certainly admit though, that Dr. Lightís name may have been
totally embarrassed due to that most execrable error from 2004. Yet
that he sees nothing wrong with defaming and destroying descent
white protagonists from the Silver Age Ė one of the leading problems
with Identity Crisis Ė sabotages his argument considerably.
- He apparently sees nothing wrong with the defamation tactics
used in Identity Crisis, which served as the premise for
replacing lot of the white heroes, or ignores it altogether.
- He fails to distinguish between Wally Westís and Kyle Raynerís
ascensions, that the former inherited the role of Fastest Man
Alive tastefully enough, while the latter by sharp contrast did
not. And he apparently doesnít see any need for repairs of
mistakes made either.
- Worst, he even insults the white heroes like Hal Jordan, Barry
Allen and Ronnie Raymond by implying that theyíre Aryans. Gee,
what would Julius Schwartz and the DC contributors of yore think
if they knew that someone was comparing their characters, no
matter their ethnicity, solely to Aryans? I suppose he considers
Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, an Aryan too? If I were John
Broome, Bob Kanigher, Jack Kirby or Mort Weisinger, Iíd be
spinning in my grave knowing he had such a malevolently low
opinion of those famous creations.
And is there something wrong with having created any major hero as
white? By that logic, Superman is guilty solely of being white. Hey,
Iím white! Does that mean
thereís something wrong with me and Iím not kosher? Clearly,
something is wrong here.
in Britain of a TV producer who was suspended for saying on a
radio interview that he wouldnít want to change the setup of the
program he works on, which is largely white. Now I really donít care
for the series in question, Midsomer
Murders, since its premise is really not to my tastes (the
kind of chilling violence thatís in there does not appeal to me any
more than Law & Order
does), but there is something about her points that can make for one
here too: Comics Alliance is technically saying that being white
isnít good enough, or is totally worthless.
If this is what theyíre insinuating, Westís concluding line sums it
all up perfectly:
It's not only rewriting
the reality of the ("white") English village; it's damning it as
illegitimate in every way. Thus, it is dehumanized.
I canít help but wonder if thatís just what Comics Alliance is
trying to do here too: condone rewriting the white superheroes of
the DCU regardless of whether itís done tastefully or not, damning
them as illegitimate in every way, and dehumanizing them altogether.
This is what Siegel and Shuster started a whole trend for?
Let's also consider whether minority groups in real life are
actually asking DC and Marvel to change already established
superhero roles by replacing them with minority protagonists. As
someone from such a background in the USA, I most certainly am not,
and I can say that, if they were to replace Ray Palmer with a
protagonist who's officially of Jewish background, I would be the
first to object. After what they did to Ray and Jean Loring in
Identity Crisis, replacing them with even Jewish cast members in the
Atom would be completely insulting to me as well. I am content with
even minor heroes and their casts just the way they are, if we were
to allude to something Mister
Rogers' Neighborhood once said.
If you want to replace a white superhero in the same costume with a
minority member, thatís one thing. But doing it solely for PCís sake
is another. Also, not play PC advocate, but if minor white
characters are to be replaced, then by that logic, major ones are
too, and isnít it better to introduce some minority group
protagonists as their own characters and not shoehorn them into
someone elseís role just for the sake of it? Doing it that way only
suggests they donít have confidence in the characterís ability to
Thereís another major problem with todayís shattered industry: weíre
no longer asked to care about the character; only the costume. That
sure isnít any way to create good storytelling.
Copyright 2011 Avi Green. All rights reserved.
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