Robot 6

Quote of the Day | Clearing the path for diversity

Bad practices in the past decades have paved over diversity we once took for granted. Instead of considering the comics industry this closed loop that can never change, how about we find those shoots trying to break through concrete and clear their path?

Jeff Parker, on the importance of continuing to introduce comics starring diverse superheroes.

Almost as soon as the announcement was made that Marvel’s Hulk comic was becoming Red She Hulk, writer Jeff Parker started hearing that they were wasting their time on a comic with a female lead. He wrote a lengthy blog post explaining the new direction of the series and why it’s cool, but also talking about why it’s vital that creators and publishers keep pushing diversity. No one comic is going to make everyone stand up and say, “OH! A female-led superhero comic can be successful!” But the more comics that do that, the better the chances are that some of them are going to be great.

It reminds me of the article that David Brothers posted on Tuesday about guilt as a marketing tool. Publishers and creators can’t expect people to buy comics just because they’re diverse. This should be its own quote of the day:

… there is always an unspoken caveat after the phrase. I want more comics by and about black people… that are good comics. I want more comics by and about black people … that don’t involve them being all sad about being black or fighting racism. “I want more comics by and about women … [that fit my criteria for things I enjoy].” Captain Marvel certainly seems to be eagerly awaited, judging by the stuff I see daily on my tumblr, and that’s cool. But that doesn’t mean that it is the lynchpin on which future comics about women revolve.

And neither is Red She Hulk. Or Wonder Woman. Or Voodoo. Or Glory. Or Bandette. Or Tarot. Or or or or or.

But the more of those comics that come along, the more choices readers have and the bigger the chance that some of them are going to rise to the top as truly great comics that just so happen to be about women.

Some of them will be crap. Some of them already are, and that’s the problem. People keep pointing to the Elektra and Catwoman movies as examples of why female-led superhero movies don’t work, but they’ll quit doing that with another a few Hunger Games under our collective belt. The thing is, someone’s got to make those female-led movies that are the quality of Hunger Games. Someone’s got to create those excellent female-led comics that make readers realize that it’s the quality of the story and not the character’s gender that determines success. But that’s not going to happen if every time a new one starts, readers throw their hands up and declare it a waste of time.

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Comments

10 Comments

You really can’t say that Marvel isn’t trying to get a female lead book to stick. If these two fail I think we can chalk it up to fan apathy. The closest thing they’ve had to a book with a female lead that was a hit was X-Men Legacy with Rogue.

It’s not a female lead that is a waste of time. It’s ramming the Red Hulk or any of the other gaggle of Hulks down readers throats. It really is the dumbest thing sense Venom: “Lethal Protector”. Now it’s even consuming his appearances in other media just when audiences have started cheering for ol mean-green in movie theaters around the world.

Nothing would please me more than to see the entire Red Hulk thing to finally burn itself out and be completely forgotten.

The new Captain Marvel title features a C-list creative team. Way to push those female characters, Marvel.

Why not just regular She-Hulk? That’s what I have to say to this. Stop pretending to make new characters out of the Frankenstinian parts of other characters and use the ones people already like…or actually create new characters. I see how that last one won’t happen, though.

The new Captain Marvel book is written by a female creator. Marvel also gave the Captain marvel book a lead-in via the Avenging Spider-Man (also written by DeConnick). They have also given it a pretty big marketing push.

Christopher Sait

July 19, 2012 at 11:51 am

I would say Kelly Sue DeConnick is B-List. Dexter Soy is probably C-List, yeah, but his art’s grown on me after reading the issue.

I get the feeling the same people calling Kelly a “c” or “b” list creator are also the same people who complain they use Bendis and Fraction too much.

Jake Earlewine

July 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I tried to give the new Captain Marvel a chance, even though it’s only Ms. Marvel in Miracle Woman’s costume — and even though this is Marvel’s fourth or fifth attempt at shoe-horning somebody into Captain Marvel’s “name”. But I couldn’t bring myself to pay money for the clunky drawings inside. The art looked like a monkey drew it with his own fecal droppings.

And I won’t be buying this new iteration of She-Hulk, because there are too damn many Hulks running around. The original is the only one that I care about. Marvel can put out all the multi-hued Hulks they want. They can publish dog-Hulks and trans-gender Hulks, too. But I ain’t buying.

I have no problems buying comics about women, or minority characters. But they need to be (1) original characters — not clones or variations of pre-existing characters. This rules out the latest three versions of Captain Marvel, and any non-green Hulks, and also rules out all Spider-Women and Spider-Girls. And (2), the comics actually have to be good: good stories AND good art. Marvel publishing a Captain Marvel title simply to maintain ownership of the copyright does not qualify as a reason for me to buy it.

Marvel should focus on the QUALITY of their titles instead of the QUANTITY of publications. For example, I’d rather follow one great Hulk title and one great Spider-Man title than be forced to ignore three Hulk-titles and five Spider-titles. And I’d much prefer one great Avengers book instead of nine mediocre titles with the Avengers name slapped on the cover.

You had me until “Hunger Games.”

“And I won’t be buying this new iteration of She-Hulk, because there are too damn many Hulks running around. ”

So, Jake Earlewine, out of curiosity–how many issues of Jeff Parker’s Hulk have you read?

I respect the fact you prefer the original Bruce Banner/Hulk dynamic. But for me, a great deal of Parker’s appeal on this run has not been solely the not-Green Hulk, but rather the exploration of Thunderbolt Ross’ childhood, as well as myriad other aspects of the supporting cast. I never enjoyed any aspect of the Loeb run on the Red Hulk, but I think Parker’s work was and continues to be a completely different book.

If you have read some of them and still dislike it, I can respect that. But if you have not I suggest you give it a try.

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