Robot 6

Aquaman hero’s introduction, death sparks open letter to Geoff Johns

Kahina the Seer, from Aquaman #7

DC Comics’ Aquaman #7 marked the New 52 debut of archenemy Black Manta and the introduction of “the Others,” a super-powered team from the king of Atlantis’ past whose ranks included Kahina the Seer, a native of Tehran gifted with prophetic powers. Unfortunately for Kahina, however, her first appearance was also (presumably) her last, as she’s hunted down and killed by the helmeted villain in the issue’s opening sequence.

It’s a turn of events that didn’t sit well with comics writer, and fan, Dara Naraghi (Witch & Wizard: Battle for Shadowland, Ghostbusters: Tainted Love), who’s posted an open letter to Aquaman writer Geoff Johns, reworked from a similar one he sent to Editor Pat McCallum, detailing his “extreme disappointment” as an Iranian-American reader in seeing an Iranian character killed off only eight pages after her introduction.

“Please understand, this is not one of those ‘DC Comics is racist/xenophobic’ essays that you’ve undoubtedly encountered countless times in the recent past,” Naraghi writes. “I’ve been happy with, and supportive of, DC’s attempt at diversifying their universe with a sizable number of comics starring minority and female characters in the ‘New 52′ relaunch of books. But I just don’t understand the logic behind creating a new minority hero – one from a country and culture that’s often misrepresented in today’s media as ‘evil’ – only to have her killed upon her first appearance. What purpose did her death serve, other than being a mere plot point?”

“I’m not asking that DC Comics create a plethora of Iranian characters,” he continues, “or that they should only be portrayed as heroes, or even that once created, they should never be killed. I understand narrative needs, primary characters and supporting ones, emotional beats and motivation. But when there are absolutely NO characters of a certain ethnic or cultural background in your stories, to casually kill off the ONLY example of one, after a mere 8 pages, seems very counterproductive to me. It’s a disservice to your audience, a step back in your strides towards diversity, and just reinforces the negative stereotypes about the stunted development of superhero comics.”

Read the full letter on Naraghi’s website.

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Comments

83 Comments

Remember, kids, only straight white males can be harmed or killed.

This complaint confuses me. Assuming the actual plot needs to stay in place (and it does: it introduces the villain by demonstrating how formidable and vicious he is while foreshadowing Aquaman’s likely demise, thus raising the stakes) then a new character needs to be created specifically demonstrate what a bad ass Manta is. The goal here is to support Manta, not introduce someone new, so creating a new, ongoing Iranian superhero(ine) isn’t on the table. With that in mind, does the scene benefit if the sacrificial lamb is just another generic American hero(ine)? I was immediately struck that we had an Iranian heroine, and I’d argue that the fact that she’s such a rarity makes her death that much more upsetting. This is separate from whether or not an ongoing Iranian hero would be cool (sure) or viable (less sure). Plus, knowing Johns’ work, there’s a decent chance that she’s got a teenager back in Tehran with powers.

Hugueknot

It’s becoming a little too common that a villain has to kill to seem formidable in the comic world, his just seems like a lazy way to move the plot and sadly a heroine created for death happened to be Iranian.

30 years ago this would have been fresh maybe, but as comics replay this seen over and over adding a unique ethnic diversity to the clichè just highlights how insulting and cheap it is

Newsflash: hero dies gory, bloody death in pages of comic written by Geoff Johns! Also, water is wet.

I can see why the guy is irritated, but you never know – it’s comics, so Johns may just be setting the stage for her resurrection and/or for someone else to take over her mantle.

So, only white heterosexual males should be used in a position like this, so we are sure someone somewhere will not get disappointed? I can pretend I understand what Dara Naraghi feels, but writing an open letter is still silly. There is nothing worse than irrelevant people believing some strangers should care about their “feelings”.

I just saw it as another death. I didn’t take her race or gender into consideration.

Johns is to DC what Mark Millar and Bendis are to Marvel – an overpaid hack with an obsession with “shock value” as a means of selling books. Not as big a foul, sexist misogynist pig as Bendis and Millar, but equally flippant about violence and death for the sake of it.

I think American comic book writers also have a habit of forgetting that women, non-caucasians and people outside the US read their comic books, if the last few years track records of characters killed off by DC and Marvel are anything to go by, and they’re obviously happy to lose readership of the aforementioned groups by doing shit like this and, to hark back a couple of years, the utterly ridiculous death of Ryan Choi.

Ssomeone should tell Johns that shock value doesn’t make for good comic books: good writing, a good story and good, diverse characters do. He should try it sometime.

Nataniel Costard

April 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm

“There is nothing worse than irrelevant people believing some strangers should care about their “feelings”.”

That´s why we don´t care about yours, Rouder.

sadly dc and other comic companies have had the habbit of really when it comes time to kill some one like to slip and go for the woman and new character just as a plot point or because they want the original version back in play. but not surprise black manta got used as a killer after all he is suppose to be aquamans version of the joker which means a body count and black manta also killed a baby.

Nataniel Costard

April 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm

“Only white heterosexual males can be harmed” blah blah… c´mon, white heterosexual males, stop thinking everything happens around you… oh, wait… everything does happen around white heterosexual males! Well, then, what about some empathy? for a change? Taking off your ego from your butt? just for five seconds, to see how the world looks like?

Sometimes I feel the internet is used only by Kevin Smith and his friends.

Being someone who’s of an ethnic origin (in this case, Indian) the first thing I noticed was that Johns’ sacrificial lamb in this case was an Iranian woman, and frankly, I’m surprised the outcry didn’t happen on the day that the comic was released. No one is saying that only white, straight men should be killed in comics, but the fact is that here, you had a different sort of hero, and now the likelihood is that this hero will only ever exist in a few flashbacks for this arc, which is sad.

But let’s be honest – there does seem to be a current issue in DC Comics where people of ethnic origins are being replaced by those who are Caucasian, whether it’s because the original version of the character was Caucasian, or for another reason entirely. Yes, the new Ray is Korean-American, but let’s be honest: how many of us fully expect him to become the next Ryan Choi, in terms of death and having his name passed back to his predecessor?

>> There is nothing worse than irrelevant people believing some strangers should care about their “feelings”.

Please tell me you were trying to be ironic when you posted that that on a message board.

Any writer will tell you that Rule #1 is STORY FIRST… So far, (and we’re only into one issue of a 3-4 issue arc.. you’re going to see more of this character… ) the story appears to be about an International group of people/heroes who previously banded together in the past who’s A. ‘sins’ are coming back to haunt them or B. has incurred the wrath/revenge of Manta… This character is not being victimized… She’s not being exploited.. however she does lose a fight to Black Manta.. Reading more subtext into her ethnicity in order to create a faux sense of insensitivity on the part of Johns is a total rabbit hole.. If we play by those kinds of rules then it doesn’t matter what ethnicity Johns makes the character.. as its going to ‘offend’ someone who has a chip on their shoulder….

DC went way, way out of their way five years ago with the OYL event to insert ethnic diversity into long time franchise characters.. and we saw how well they were supported by the fan base when sales plummeted… Conversely Brian Bendis has successfully brought characters like Miles Morales and Luke Cage to the forefront.. The point here is you should neither do this for diversity’s sake alone, nor should you pander.. Just try and tell a good story.. And let’s let this one play out first, shall we? Kahina may acquit herself quite respectively before the arc concludes..

The statement of “if it was a white male hero who got killed it would that make it okay” demonstrates that a point was missed.
They fact that so many non-white male heroes end up as sacrifical lambs in so many stories is troubling. The fact that some fan fail to see that is even more troubling. (Black Goliath in Civil War springs to mind)
The fact that the default move for a villain to show how bad ass they are is to murder some one in gory detail is a bit tired at this point.

She lost a fight. It happens. I thought it was more shocking that Manta pulled her veil off.

I also think, that since this is a topic regarding race relations, that it’s worth pointing out that Geoff Johns (if I am remembering this correctly) himself is of Middle Eastern descent, being Lebanese-American.

That was a very well reasoned, articulate letter, which is why I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised that Robot6 commenters are having such a negative reaction to it.

Yeah, everybody calm down.

All the ethnically diverse comic fans, calm down because it’s just a character and as far as I know she was not exploited. Story is not over. DC is not secretly trying to “keep you down”!! DC is trying to tell good stories and sell comics. That is ALL!!

All the white power people who at the instant of a “racial” complaint get their panties in a bundle, calm the hell down, no one said only “white heterosexuals” should be hurt. You’re assuming that …

It’s all about story telling people. Let’s give Johns the benefit of the doubt. By the way, just in case you didn’t know Johns is of Lebanese decent … to the ignorant, that’s middle eastern …

“There is nothing worse than irrelevant people believing some strangers should care about their “feelings”.”

Wow. This makes me very disappointed in our race.(The human race of course). what else could distinguish us as good people other than caring about the feelings and well being of each other. Despite of our perceived relevance

As a long time DC comics reader (almost 50 years), I have seen a lot of characters come & go. I remember what a big deal it was when a storyline in the late 60’s turned Lois lane into an African-American woman for one issue. I can see both sides of the argument, but as a member of more than one minority group, I must come down on the side of those who would argue that creating an ethnically diverse character only to have the character instantly killed off is arbitrary. The character could have been a blue-skinned alien from a previously unnamed planet & would have served the same purpose if the purpose was merely to show readers what a cold-hearted killer Manta is. I’m not trying to be politically correct, just saying that role models from all backgrounds are needed in comics in order to reflect the real world, so it would have been nice to see this character developed & not killed off so quickly.

The fact is that this story isnt done yet, so no one knows if this character will be coming back or not. Being angry at a comic book death is ridiculous seeing as these characters usually tend to come back.

Personally, her ethnicity doesnt matter, its her super powers that matter. Hmmmm, why would someone kill off a character with prophetic powers? Come on guys, this isnt your first foray into comic books.

Amir, amen. The first comment was very toolish and nature and showed how much that individual “missed the point”

in nature* (not “and nature”)

Good lord. Let me just say I am African American, and I do not give a rats ass if a character of my race gets killed. Comic books are not the place for people to dump their racial bs, and the fact that people use this medium to draw attention to themselves is pathetic. This guy should be ashamed of himself, as should all of you who dump on Geoff Johns because you feel slighted in some way due to a STORY ABOUT SUPERHEROES!

Just for curiosity’s sake, when was the last time a white heterosexual superpowered male was introduced and killed off in the span of eight pages in a DC universe proper comic? I assume somebody around here knows.

i usually hate geoff johns but i have no problem with this, people are just bitching to bitch. if this were a white or black male it would be alright??

ya talk to me when a Jamaican Character holds at least some significance in either of the big two

LOL. Someone please pass this guy the tissue box so that he can wipe his little eyes.

Johns didn’t mean anything by it. Please remove your prejudice goggles and observe racial diversity is a major point of the team of heroes the woman in question was a part of. If it weren’t her killed by the Black Manta, it would have been another team member, and Johns would have gotten griped out by another American who shares heritage with the particular character.

Please grow up. It’s a comic book about a guy that talks to fish telepathically.

So many apologists

The thing a lot of people here seem to forget or ignore is that establishing a character’s gender/country of origin/religion/sexuality/etc are intentional choices by the creative team. So there was a very specific decision made at some point to have Kahina be an Iranian woman and to have her be killed off so quickly. People are well within their right to be offended by/question that decision.

And stop with the “it’s just comics” argument. Pop culture is many many things, including a reflection of society’s biases. And all you’re doing is demeaning the creators and the industry you’re supposedly defending.

I love this…..

“There is nothing worse than irrelevant people believing some strangers should care about their “feelings”.”

Best line ever!

99.9% of the New52 is crock of shit. Aquaman #7 proves that.

Please. If it was a white male, no one would even care. It’s not about fighting racism or prejudice, it’s about making a scene to get noticed.

Julian, read the first arc of the new Green Arrow, where a white kid was introduced then tortured and killed on the internet by the villains, same issue.

Then read the the Fear Itself: X-Force arc where a white kid with powers is introduced and killed the same way, same issue.

Then read several OTHER storylines in recent years (including the first Flash arc of the Brightest Day era where a white kid isn’t even introduced just really appears as a dead old man due to the speed force killing him) and you’ll see it…

No one would have noticed or cared if it was a white male because white males make up the majority of the DC universe, what’s the point in introducing a new, potentially interesting character of an ethnicity that is rarely seen in comics only to kill her off eight pages later so we can all be aware that the villain “MEANS BUSINESS.”

My first reaction upon reading that scene was that creating characters just to kill them off was lazy writing. The fact that the character in question was Iranian AND a woman hit me on a subconscious level that frustrated my reading of the comic. So Black Manta’s a BAD guy. Got it. I couldn’t help but notice they made sure we could see his scars (and with them, his skin color)–sort of accentuates the issue. If Johns is going for some kind of larger race-relation problems, this might turn out to be a good plot point. However, the best I’m hoping for is an actual “international” League that moves past national borders. That, too, would be a good thing–but not if they all end up as casualties in a story of which the only purpose is to emphasize “Yes, Aquaman can be cool.”

Death is a temporary condition in Marvel or DC Comics

I’m glad Dara spoke out on this. I thought his letter was critical, well thought out and reasonable.

Her death just creates motive for her still-unseen sidekick to join the Teen Titans and seek vengeance. Johns planned it that way the whole time, I’m sure.

It was a shocking death, because it came so soon to what seemed to be a reasonably well fleshed out character. And you felt a sense of loss, because she was special in a way – and showed that Manta was scary enough that he can even take out somebody who can see his moves coming. That to me makes it a good story. I thought that was easily the best issue of Aquaman yet.

I understand Naraghi’s point- it’s basically “hey, an Iranian character, cool…oh wait, she’s dead already. So much for that.”

What a ridiculous complaint. Given that I expect that most, if not all, of The Others are likely to buy it at the hands of Black Manta eventually, it’s hardly a case of ‘picking on the Iranian chick’.

Next people’ll be complaining that the evil Black Manta is, gasp, a black man and that it casts a negative light on all of black society. Sheesh…

I think I see where Dara Naraghi’s arguement comes from and I can’t disagree with it really. Comics lack in diversity, this is not anything new, and neither is the fact that characters are killed off to make the villain look better. In this case, this character who represents an underrepresented group is killed off effectively instantly. The fact the character is Iranian is not even really relevant, but introducing a new hero or heroine only to kill them off to make the villain look good isn’t ideal, and if you are going to do that, at least establish them a bit so that death means something. The fact this character happened to be from an under repreented group just makes it a bit more frustrating.

This would not be so distressing if the same thing had not happened in the Millennium mini-series years ago. On of the Chosen was an Islamic woman (Iranian if I recall correctly) who was killed in her initial appearance. 20 something years later -the same thing happens. Before you ask why it might raise some eyebrows, please tell me how many female Islamic super heroines there are or have been in the big two? Bueller…..Bueller?

It would not have had to have been a white male, but perhaps any other victim than a newly created a character who is unique in modern comics and kill her might have made more sense. I would have liked to see how a female Islamic woman would operate in the world of superheroes and how she dealt with the dictates of her branch of the faith.

Geoff Johns – “Chief Creative Officer”

God help DC!

She’s only a comic book character and her “death” just means people have stopped drawing her. It would far more productive to voice offense at the brutal murder of REAL Iranians at the hands of the very REAL villains currently ruling those brave people. Of course Geoff Johns is far less likely to issue a fatwa and demand your death by speaking out against him.

Imraith Nimphais

April 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm

So she died in the first opening scene…and?
Would it have been “better” if it was a Vietnamese? An African woman? A Native American? While I understand Naraghi’s personal point of view…that’s all it is, personal. There are more atrocities happening in the real world with which one should really and truly be offended that deserve that sort of attention…and letter writing.

My only regret is that I would have loved to see more of Kahina the Seer, she really seemed like she would have been a wicked, bad-arse hero. With her power-set and that sword.

The people that were going to agree with you agreed with you an those that were going to disagree with you disagreed, would have been best saying nothing. Now a more relevant discussion, why is chocolate better then vanilla ?

Interesting how folks can all be for creator’s rights, see Before Watchmen, except the creator’s right to do whatever story the creator wants to do. That is what this boils down to right? Someone telling a creator what they should or shouldn’t do with a character they came up with.

I could see the point if Geoff used a character already around, and it annoyed me when he did just that by having so many of the Titans killed off by Superboy Prime. Yet he created the character, so I give him right to do with her as he would, especially given that she’s only there for 8 entire pages so far. I can understand those saying “Aw man, would have liked to have seen more.” Yet not “No you shouldn’t do this.”

I bet we’ll see more of her in flashbacks and I’m sure more will come of it in getting back for her.(probably from her family)

Geoff hasn’t been a favorite of mine much, but his Aquaman has been above bar for the most part. So at least here I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

This looks to me a lot like Freedom Ring’s death over at Marvel. The writer (I believe it was Kirkman) created a new gay superhero and then killed him, because he was a complete jerk – he was never supposed to be a good superhero in the first place.

The only problem is that there simply aren’t that many gay superheroes, especially ones that get their own mini-series. People got upset because there simply aren’t that many characters of that type out there.

So I agree with Naraghi – when you create a character to be killed, don’t make one that actually seems interesting and unique. It’s just annoying, especially when it looks like you’re just about to add more diversity to a medium that could definitely use it.

More thoughts on the blog: http://www.pfspublishing.com/bookclub

Why would anyone care about this? I love comics as much as most anything but seriously people. Kahina wasn’t a character she was a plot device, and that should be fine.

and every loser on here whining about ‘if it was a white male’ is oblivious to the fact that white males constitute 99% of comics–that’s the whole point dingbats.

the author wrote a level-headed piece, but you idiots are so full of yourselves you make it sound like you’re the victims

One thing this comment thread has taught me is not to get mad at people on Tumblr when they seem kind of aggressive and bitchy about racial, female and LGBTQ representation in comics, because it clearly doesn’t matter if you state your case in a dignified and considerate manner: People are going to give you shit for merely asking a writer to CONSIDER putting more thought into the way they write and portray any character who isn’t a white, straight male. Thank you for showing me that I’ll take a catty social justice major over a sincerely ignorant yokel any day of the week, Robot6 readers. If both sides are going to be unpleasant I can at least make my camp with the one that has good reason to be so.

Nice post Chris Jones.

I’m a white, heterosexual male.

Myself and others like me are in a societal position of privilege in every single way, and it clearly appears that most of us don’t like to have that notion acknowledged, let alone challenged. Besides the power to pretend that we don’t have any privilege (or that, in fact, to pretend that we are actually a victim), our privilege gives us the ability to discount and dismiss any opinion that comes from outside. Isn’t it wonderful, to be the ones who get to decide whose feelings are legitimate and whose are not?

God forbid someone articulately express a heartfelt reaction.

Bottom line here. You could kill 75% of the white male superheroes and still have an incalculable majority over any other gender, race, or culture. You’ve already nearly all the toys in the sandbox. Begrudging someone else a few of their own is just mean.

Paul, please take your massive white guilt complex and bugger off. Maybe you are “privileged” and grew up in a well-to-do family. Myself and everyone I grew up with certainly did not, and I have never benefited financially or socially or however else from having white skin. However, I will take whatever “privilege” is currently offered by the Man for simple observance of my white skin. Just tell me where to sign up.

You are a maniac. Please get a clue. People like you will still be crying ‘white privilege” 100 years from now when whites no longer hold a majority in any of the world’s nations, including Europe.

You know, it used to be possible for people to make comics that didn’t revolve around pornographic violence.

So people of color should be immune from comic death, got it.

Paul ,

Im a honkey myself, let me know where i can get this white man juice youve been clearly bogarting all for yourself.

Thanks,

X

( poor, destitute, and nearly homeless)

X, Sensitive, the point isn’t that you have it better for being white, the point is that you don’t have it WORSE for NOT being white. It’s a subtle but important distinction.

Chris Jones is right. Everytime I want to get irritated by yet ANOTHER post on Tumblr or a Twitter reply that sounds way too sensitive about some random crappy comic that they won’t even remember next year, I see a comment page like THIS and I want to side with them. While we’re on the subject, as a Geoff Johns fan, this IS lazy writing. People have to stop killing characters to prove a point.

Also. Someone’s going to call me sensitive, or a sissy, or a crybaby or something ignorant to that effect. Skip posting that and go fall down some stairs instead.

I read Aquaman and I’ve read the majority of the comments on this article. That being said I do not have a problems with what Johns has done.

A) It had to be a a non-American character as, according to the current story arc, Aquaman is living on the American coast and having the murder of a former teammate of his occur somewhere close by and not have him respond immediately wouldn’t make sense.
B) Its been proven that woman command more attention than men in dangerous situations. Its the same reason women are not yet allowed to on the front lines of combat b/c when in danger a man is more likely to abandon his orders to protect an endangered woman. Therefore a woman’s death commands more attention than a mans even in comics
C) No matter the race chosen it was a lose lose because whoever was chosen would be offended by the death
D) Her death basically reunites the former team so the entire arc will be about seeking vengeance for her death making her an integral part of the story still,
E) She was a hero
F) most importantly this is a COMIC BOOK a WORK OF FICTION if you don’t like it don’t read it. There are plenty of other books, magazines, comic books, and newspapers you can read instead

Sage, I could fall down twenty flights of stairs and suffer traumatic brain injury but still have the marbles to recognize this complaint as utterly ridiculous. I actually feel pity for the guy lodging the complaint because he took the time to write an open letter to the writer of Aquaman regarding what he has [wrongly] perceived as racial insensitivity.

I just hope that DC/Johns do not validate the delusions by issuing a response.

I will gladly retract my statements if I wake up tomorrow morning to find that Iranian Americans all across the nation have united behind Dara the fanboy to protest disrespect of their heritage in the pages of DC’s Aquaman.

Chris Jones, you make a fair point and I recognize it.

I’d momentarily forgotten that Geoff Johns was of Lebanese descent, so thanks to those who reminded readers of this column.

I’m looking forward, in the next few years, to having more Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian characters in comics — and not just in The 99 :)

For the record, I’m of Indonesian and Filipino descent, born and raised in Noo Yawk. I’m also a Muslim.

Man comic fans take things to heart so seriously….since the new 52 we see we need to have characters diversify and that crap and that is a result of everything needing to be politically correct in America!

Well I am from Australia and I have not seen an Australian superhero in the DCU yet – is that racist???? Yes coz all we get is a bad guy who throws boomerangs (which is really racist since it is not politically correct).

In the end – get over it and move on in life. There are more important things in life then a characters nationality or sex. This is how they sell their material cause at the end of the day it is a business and they need to make money. For example new 52 + before watchmen = huge $$$$$$$ for them.

David of the Impeccable Taste

April 11, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Maybe she was, oh, I don’t know. Created to be killed? Crazy eh? Sort of like introducing a character in a movie that people like then to off them to direct a loathing towards the villain. But who would do such a thing? That’s just NUTS!

You know, until a story is over, it’s probably not good to cry out irrationally. It would be like watch Best of Both World Part I in Star Trek: TNG, and then writing in a letter over the summer saying, “DON’T MAKE PICARD A BORG” when obviously there are going to be more Best of Both World Parts coming. It’s a multi-part story, people. She may be back. Someone may take her place. Hell, she may be more interesting dead then alive (I’m looking at you, Hellboy). Don’t walk out of the movie before it’s over.

heres the thing… this is almost in reverse. it isnt a case of an iranian heroine thats been killed off… its a case that white heterosexual males in general are always the norm. superman, batman, flash (all of them), hal jordan gl, wonderwoman, etc… all displayed as caucasians (of some sort). SO, when a character of intrigue or wonder is created that DOESNT fall into said template comes around, it would be nice to see that character expanded and cultivated. YES, its a point to show how ruthless black manta is. YES, it isnt necessary a forum to cultivate new characters (hell, DC did that with this dumb reboot (again)), but for anyone to NOT see the slightly faulty logic in this, is asinine for starters. in regards to the new ray… as someone of Korean American descent, i dont like it. ray terrill was a BRILLIANT underused character that too many writers were afraid to tackle. a character that rivals GL, flash, and supes? GOD FORBID! ESPECIALLY if its just an older teenager who doesnt have the forced hubris as said rival characters. ultimately, just as ray terrill was a redhead stereotypical white male, too many of the predomimantly spotlight characters in DC are. (i know i’ll get crap for that, but lets face it… i dont see 2+ titles for ANYONE that ISNT white) so in regards to this iranian character, i say BOO on you, DC. its one thing to put a character into a generic backburner role… at least theyre there. its another to make them a focal point (in 8 pages no less) and then kill them off for the purpose of the “story.” with as LAME as this stupid reboot is, you’d think we could be a TAD bit more creative.

and whoops, yes i know, wonderwoman aint a male. ;)

What about Blink?!!!! No one fought for the light pink people with the pink hair when she got killed in her 1st story arc!!! All kidding aside, I find it a little odd as a comic reader seeing another comic book writer sending a letter like this. It’s comics!!! I mean come on, how many times do people die and come back to life in DC and Marvel??? If he feels that strongly about it, get a job at DC and give them your pitch to bring the character back, I’m sure Johns will not oppose.

I agree with this letter and the writer presents legitimate points. There are a lot of ethnic minorities that are not properly represented in the DCU, and to introduce one (that seemed like a pretty awesome character, in my opinion) and then kill her off so quickly is disappointing. I would like a Nightrunner series, or a mention of his existence in the DCnU

A.) she was Muslim. she was created exclusively to be killed off. I fee[ personally, in this climate, its best NOT to do something like this…do i have characters im gonna kill, and specifically created to kill?? yup. but this is doing something for shock value, at the most shocking time. & its pathetic. it screams racist, even though im very certain thats NOT what the writer intended.

& b.) Black Manta already showed how merciless he was when he killed Aquaman’s first born baby boy back in the 70’s story. there’s really , seriously no reason to try to say that this story was attempting to re-introduce manta as a bad-ass, as we have already known this for quite some time.

Well it looks like Geoff has created some controvery (was it intentional?). Although I’m really surprised that ONE LETTER has created this much attention. I’m sure the only thing it will do is lead to a sellout and second printing…

Can we please try not scare comic writers away from using ethnic characters at all? The writer could very easily have used a white nondescript male here and spared himself a lot of trouble. I for one am glad that he didn’t.

The only way this is an issue is if it was felt that it was okay to kill this character off *because* of her ethnicity or gender. I don’t think that’s true. This character was only ever going to be a plot device and no detail of the characters person would have changed that.

If you liked the character and were disappointed to see her killed off so quickly I can totally empathize, but that’s a different complaint entirely.

Um, it being a plot point is the, uh, point? I was bummed that she was killed, not because of her race (because that is, you know, RACIST; i.e. the “writer” bitching about it here is the one being racist because he is identifying her only by her race/nationality), but because it was an interesting character. I’m sorry Mr. Writer-that-nobody-has-ever-heard-of, I’m sorry, I forgot the cardinal rule that only whites and blacks can be killed in comics. Are these morons ever going to get the fact that drawing attention to someone’s race only ENCOURAGES racism, not reduces it? This is not a hard concept to grasp, yet so few people seem to. This is just a ploy by some no-name hack to get his name out there and get attention that his writing will NEVER garner him. Nothing more. Shame on all of us for paying any attention to the idiot. If he actually made a point, that would be different. He does not.

Johns should ge Liefield to draw Aquaman because the writing on it already feels like an old school Image book.

Now this character was created to be killed off by Deathfist…I mean Black Manta because 90s villains are hardcore and nasty after all. Johns should know better than to just create an ethnic throwaway character while DC is being accused of having no respect for its superhero diversity. I am not saying he can’t do it but as one of the heads of the company he should think these things through a bit more.

DC must love this, Everyone is going to buy this book now. No cost advertising to drive sales!

This is exactly-EXACTLY-what was planned for and wanted by choosing, not only a female, but one of a so called ‘minority’.

Let’s see, what are the two biggest complaints we get? Sexisms and Racism. What do those two complaints do for us when they ramp up? Get us waaay more attention then were used to, outside of our regular circle.

Solution, kill an femaie minority. Result-bitchfest that is exactly what we wanted.

My whole thing is that people keep falling for this type of crap when it’s so obviously planned out.

Oh btw, there’s like, I dunno, real problems in the world out there.

I’m trying to remember if t was as story I read or something I watched. It’s a story in which the Devil says, ‘I didn’t create the Internet, but I did create message boards.’ Maybe somebody can help me out with the source for the line.

Too often message boards make me sad. The writer, Dara Naraghi, was very careful in saying his letter was written not because he thought the introduction and quick death of the character was racist, xenophobic, or a choice that the writer was entitled to make. He wrote the letter because of extreme disappointment.

He made it clear that the disappointment was very personal to him. He’s Iranian, Iranian characters are rarely seen in comics, he was extremely excited to see an interesting one introduced, and he was extremely disappointed to have that rare example of a character he could so personally identify with snatched away in a mere eight pages.

Are the people really not capable of understanding this?

Do they really need to automatically default to the stereotype of “white man defending the status quo”?

Is it really not possible to Naraghi’s point without everything be translated into “white, male nerd”? Okay, so here goes: It’s disappointing in the same way that it was disappointing that George Lucas announced he was going to fix some of the special effects glitches of the original Star Wars movies and give them a new theatrical release, but you had to now accept that Greedo shot first.

Does that help? No one says George Lucas doesn’t have the right to tell the story however he wants. It’s just … extremely disappointing.

Get it?

If not, you can go back to feeling like a picked on white man. Even when it’s not even slightly about you. The Devil would be so proud of how you’re using his invention.

didn’t realised Black Manta is actually black ?!
always remembered him with the helmet, so thought he was white.

You complainers are pathetic. STOP READING COMICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t ruin our hobby with your PC pandering.

Has anyone here read Batwing? The book has featured several ethnic characters who were created just to be killed (the book’s set in Africa, after all). Is there no outcry about that storyline because the killer’s African as well (as opposed to an [apparent] African-American killing an Iranian woman)?

Kudos to Dave Anderson and Chris Jones for making my point for me … this isn’t aimed at you or the other reasonable people in this thread

For the rest of you, this comments thread is now closed while I consider whether I want to just turn off commenting for all future Robot 6 posts. Because I don’t have the time or patience for assholes anymore.


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