Monday, April 7, 2014

Editorial: The Whitening Of The DCU


This is a story I've been sitting on for awhile now, and honestly I was sitting on it because I was hoping someone else would notice, and write about it.  But somehow this strange piece was overlooked, and here I am.  Recently there has been a lot of talk online about DC whitewashing their characters, for another article on this subject, check out DC Women Kicking Ass's story on the subject HERE.  Now whether this is just a mistake by the colorist, or a editorial decision, I don't know.  But it's getting pretty damn ridiculous.



Now I've looked throughout the interwebs for what color Killer Croc is believed to be, and yeah you can say he's green and scaly, but that's not what I'm going for.  Now there seems to be a bit of contention on the subject, but through past comics, and popular opinion the majority seem to think he's a black man, and I'm right there with them.  I've always believed that Killer Croc was a black man afflicted with a awful disease that transformed him into a crocodile man.  Then we have the recent Villain's Month issue of Killer Croc that depicts him as a young boy, and I gotta say he looks black.



So this seems pretty definitive right?  Killer Croc is a black man that was afflicted with a disease, and through the hate and ridicule he suffered because of it, he eventually turned to a life of crime to get what he felt he deserved.  Now in a Universe that seems greatly deprived of any people of color, whether they be hero or villain, you'd think that DC would want to keep this origin they just put out a few months ago.  But then I read the beginning of the Gothtopia story arc in Detective Comics #27.  In that story Gotham is a utopia, where all your dreams come true.  Well that's odd.



In a world where everyone's dreams come true, and Gotham's a utopia, Killer Croc is a white dude with blond hair?  What the hell is that?  Now I don't know the specifics on how this Scarecrow toxin works, if it's what Batman see's to be true, or if it's what everyone sees, but it's kind of fucked up right?  This whole scenario is so reminiscent to Hooper's rant in the beginning of Chasing Amy that it's ridiculous.


Now maybe I'm wrong about all this, and it's all just a big mistake by the colorist, and if that's so I apologize.  But reading about a world where it's non-white heroes don't seem to have any play is frustrating.  Static Shock: Cancelled, Mister Terrific: Cancelled, Cyborg: Token member of the Justice League and only member without his own book, Vibe: Cancelled, Blue Beetle: Cancelled.  It just seems to be pattern, and I can understand if the book isn't selling well, but before you cancel it, turn it over to a writer that understands the character, or have some tie-ins to get people excited.  Now I know I'm leaving Batwing out, but the numbers aren't really good on that book either, which is a shame.  Batwing has the potential to be DC's Spider-Man, kind of like Kyle Rayner was in the 90's.  The biggest problem, is you have this whole Forever Evil event going on and Batwing is completely left out.  Why not show Luke Fox dealing with a villain infested Gotham where Batman is gone, and have the character step up?  I just don't understand how a world of heroes can predominately be white, and nobody has a problem with it.  That's all, I've ranted, and I was curious to see if anybody else noticed the change of Killer Croc.

3 comments:

Fellman said...

I always thought Croc was a white guy. He was supposed to be an alligator wrestler in the circus, wasn't he? I never knew he was black. And I can easily understand cancelling Blue Beetle and Static Shock. I mean, who cares? Right? And what about Jon Stewart? Prolific Green Lantern. I just don't know if it's a big conspiracy like you're making it out to be.

Eric Shea said...

I didn't say conspiracy, I simply said that these characters don't seem to be getting the care they deserve. I care about characters that have great potential, and are casually dismissed because there names aren't Superman or Batman. Oh and John Stewart has a title that he has to share with a white counterpart. Guy Gardner, and now Hal Jordan.

Unknown said...

Many characters have potential thats why Eric is saying we should have more if these heroes!They should do a more Mighty Avengers adaptatation where all the characters are Black, Asian, and Spanish!!
Secret Justice League, Mr. Terrific, Batwing, John Stewart, Katana, Zatana and Static Shock!!