Robot 6

Flashpoint‘s map of the world

Flashpoint Map

I dig maps, especially maps of fictional places (I even have a copy of this). So I was thrilled when DC Comics posted the above map of the Flashpoint world on their Source blog today.

According to the post, writer Rex Ogle and artist Freddie E. Williams II designed it. They also note the pirate trade routes shown will be explored in issue #2 of the series, as well as in the Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager miniseries. Looking at some of the other locales, you can map some of the other tie-ins to their parts of the world as well.

Check the Source throughout the day for interviews about the global conflict at the heart of the story.



“Ape controlled?”. Racist much?

Gorilla City, genius. Home of Grodd.

Scott M Davis

May 20, 2011 at 8:29 am

Why does nothing ever happen in Canada?

Don’t be sad Scott you guys have Trailer Park Boys and that is one of the funniest shows EVER. Also Scott Pilgrim.

@Scott Read Nick Spencer’s Morning Glories: character from Toronto, with some nice references to the Bloor Cinema!

@WTF…do you know of somewhere else on Earth where Gorillas call home other than Africa? The Zoo?

We Brazilians took it worth then the Africans, I think.

That Schwein Reverse Flash!

Man, those Nazis sure enjoy South America, you think in a alternative universe they could shake that around and make it like…I dunno, New Zeland. And doesn’t seem like Alaska changed much either (sorry Alaska)

Ok i took an audible gasp at Africa there, surely that had to be approved by someone!

Love the amazons in the UK, its in Europe lots of study into the classics here etc, but the map is off – Ireland seems to be attached to the midlands.

Im sure there will be reasonable explanations for all of this

I don’t see anything that would make me read any of the tie-in miniseries. I mean, I’m always good for DC “Event” books, but there are so damn many of the three-issue miniseries, and there aren’t any by any of my fave writers (I figured Gail Simone would be down for Secret Seven, but it’s probably something completely different.

Questions: Does anybody care about China’s Great Twelve? And does Sarah Palin control Alaska’s undead?

I truly can’t believe that a reference to “Ape-Controlled” Africa made it into this map. Or the reference to the “Asian Capital.” (What, all the countries in Asia–except, apparently, for India and Japan–decided at some point to stop being independent nations and become one big unified government? Seriously?)

Comparing black people to apes has long been a staple of racism. Granted, I don’t have any reason to believe that the folks who designed this map (or the Flashpoint story) are overt racists. But suggesting that Africa (and not just one of the 53 countries in Africa, but the entire continent of Africa) is “controlled” by apes (I don’t care if we’re talking about Grodd or Congorilla or a reincarnated Solovar), even in a fictional Elsewords-ish story, reflects an ignorance and insensitivity that’s pretty appalling.

I hope DC makes whatever modifications to the map are needed so that the ignorance on display here doesn’t leave a bad taste throughout the entire Flashpoint project.

Am I the only person whose immediate reaction to the idea of an “Ape-Controlled” continent in a Flash-Centric mini-series was to think that this was the area ruled by the Flash villain who happens to be an ape?

Actually, my first reaction was that all this reminded me of that awesome Kamandi map. I didn’t get the racial connotations, but I’ll man up: I AM pretty insensitive.

“Asian Capital” is stupid, and maybe “Southern Africa (Ape-Controlled)” would be a little better than “Africa (Ape-Controlled)” and actually match what the maps seems to show. I did kind of gasp when I noticed that Spain and France have disappeared.

“suggesting that Africa (and not just one of the 53 countries in Africa, but the entire continent of Africa) is “controlled” by apes (I don’t care if we’re talking about Grodd or Congorilla or a reincarnated Solovar), even in a fictional Elsewords-ish story, reflects an ignorance and insensitivity that’s pretty appalling.”

If the continent of Africa is controlled by real, actual apes in this alternate universe then no, it isn’t ignorant or insensitive at all. It’s just stating something about a story.

I’m not saying that what we see on that map isn’t part of the larger story. It very well might be. But that doesn’t make it any less problematic. What concerns me is that a number of people at DC appear to have been oblivious to the racial/racist implications of what we see on that map. (And if folks behind Flashpoint decided to have the entire continent of Africa ruled by apes, and didn’t think through how that would look through a racial lens, it would seem to me that a broader range of perspectives is needed in those ranks.)

Australia… neutral territories?!?

Don’t these people know that if you control Australia that you will eventually conquer the world?

Has NO ONE at DC ever played a game of Risk?

For shame, DC… For shame.

I’m not really worried about the geo-political ramifications of this book. Johns & Co. are just modifying an old sci-fi conceit to simplify their storytelling. How many times have we seen an episode of Star Trek where they encounter a planet that is controlled by one government and populated by one race?

With the event not finished yet, it’s impossible to say why exactly they decided to simplify the world map so much, but one has to assume that it’s to illustrate the importance of the stakes in these stories. I’d guess they’re also trying to illustrate how much power has been consolidated by such a small handful of entities. Which would be more intimidating: if Grodd (or whomever) took control of Uganda, of they had taken control of the entire continent of Africa.

And remember, something similar to what we’re seeing has already happened in the real world during World War II when Hitler and Germany basically walked across Europe in just a few years. So it’s not inconceivable–especially in a world populated with people who all want to control the planet anyway–that they’d be able to conquer an entire continent before butting up against like individual, like Black Adam. I’m guessing that all these governments are just circling around each other, waiting for some other nation-state ruler to show some weakness that they can exploit.

I will say that I think nobody would have nearly as many problems with the Africa part of the map if it had said “Controlled by Gorillas” instead of “Controlled by Apes”, and that’s something DC really should have considered. That said, I think it’s a stretch to say that there are “implications” using either phrasing. Sometimes hyper-intelligent gorillas are going to take over a continent, and as long as they’re already in Africa, it might as well be that one. These things happen.

I think there would still have been problems with substituting “gorillas” for “apes.” If it had said “Grodd-Controlled,” that at least would have narrowed the reference to a specific character. I’d still find the real-world racial implications offensive, though–because even though this is a fictional story, it’s being told and promoted in the real world, where these kinds of things have effects and meaning beyond the fictional space.

Yes, I agree with Sean. Grodd or no Grodd, framing Africa as ape-controlled indexes a vast archive of racist representations of Africans and Afrodiasporic peoples. Perhaps it’s possible to do Gorilla City stories that navigate this lacuna, but there are few on DC’s writing or editorial staffs I would trust to accomplish such a feat. And yeah, I don’t think Geoff Johns has a confederate flag hanging next to all his 80s superman memorabilia, but this is no less stupid or ignorant for it’s lack of intentionality. Racism has never required volition or intent.

Jesse Sanchez

May 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm

For myself, I didn’t think the whole Ape controlled continent of Africa bit would have been insensitive, but I read peoples reactions well before I even got to see the map so …

That said, I can see where people would be offended because yes, historically there have been racist descriptions of African people as such. I don’t really think the people at DC were aware of this or as hyper aware as people of color (myself I’m hispanic I’m more likely to notice these things than say, white people, as it isn’t to them such a sensitive issue) much the same way that being a man I wasn’t as aware of more sexists issues until I made a concerted effort to learn.

I think its sadder that there aren’t more creative people of color writing books at DC because I see no end of artists of all colors but when it comes to writers they’re always white or British. They’re also always men, though lately that has changed but for myself I can’t name more than five women comic book writers that currently work at the big two. I’m also more offended by the fact that DC seems so hell bent on bringing back all these old white characters and not diversifying their comic book heroes like the X-men were back in the day. I can’t say anything for their present line up as I don’t read the book anymore.

I don’t think DC editorial is being purposefully racist but I also don’t think they’re trying not to be. There was the incident with XS as well not that long ago, which just goes to show what is likely the case that the majority of DC writers and maybe editorial are white people. DC and the other big companies shouldn’t sit there and try to make a bunch of racially diverse characters, they should try to hire a more racially diverse set of writers and editors and by extension they will in turn create a more racially diverse DCU without making it an agenda and having it be more natural. But that’s just my opinion.

Its a problem I’ve seen since I started buying comic books as a kid, there is a wide variety and diversity of readers of comic books, more so than the characters that people those books. It is time for that to change … I’ve been reading comics now for 15 years.

This is ridiculous. Getting into a tizzy because they listed Africa as “Ape Controlled”, in a comic book. Where there’s an advanced race of Super Gorilla’s with advanced technology who could conceivably conquer the region in Pre-Flashpoint canon. It’s obvious there were no racist overtones. But this habit of people jumping at shadows like some rabid P.C. fanatic is just sad. It’s no wonder people have such a hard time taking comic book fans seriously anymore.

I’m not even going to touch the racism issue cause as a minority,

But it IS natural for Gorillas to take over Africa in the DCU because of Gorilla City. Gorilla City has long been a staple in DC and while peaceful, they have been shown to be technologically advanced than humans. With a far superior military. Grodd has always been hellbent on taking over the city and then the world. So it would be natural that having controlled the city, he would start using their might to expand its borders.

However, given their previous name (Gorilla CIty) Gorilla Country would have been a more natural progession. Or Grodd Territory given his ego. AT the very least Grodd Controlled seems like a smarter for HIVE to identify the enemy.

And it would have avoided all this silly, “comments by people who don’t know DC history” backlash.

All species that are members of the family hominidae are apes. Including homo sapiens. It’s ALL ape controlled.

Pollux Dioscuros

May 21, 2011 at 8:01 am

I think that people who are looking for racist tones where there are none, are themselves very much as racist as what they’re blaming others for.

This is a FLASH centered event. Making Grodd an African Gorilla, is racist?

It’s just plain ridiculous to see so little criteria among some readers.

Well as somebody who knows a little more of their history–or history that DC doesn’t want folks to know or remember– I say it’s par for the course for DC. First the XS debacle, then the map.

Pollux, calling people racist for seeing the potential problem tells me you’re not a minority… because after all since DC characters are 90% White so if there was a issue that White folks can’t see, just discard it?

After all, it IS the DC way…

And since we’re talking about this… is Cyborg is gonna be the Token Black Hero again? Cuz so far I haven’t seen any other non White heroes in Flashpoint.,

“And since we’re talking about this… is Cyborg is gonna be the Token Black Hero again? Cuz so far I haven’t seen any other non White heroes in Flashpoint.,”

Then you should have looked harder, because Blackout may be non-white (based, granted, solely on his civilian name), the Outsider calls India his “homeland”, and at least one of the SHAZAM kids are non-white.

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