Ya know something interesting about the Marvel/DC ‘rivalry’ on tumblr?
Everyone acts like DC is this super regressive company compared to Marvel when DC really did more progressive stuff first and is still doing so.
Women as heroes?
DC’s had Wonder Woman as one of their three major heroes forever, but everyone ignores that because “But she doesn’t have a movie yet” (more on that later)
While Marvel can claim the first black hero in comics with Black Panther, DC actually had heroes talking explicitly about race with John Stewart and Hal Jordan, and did a lot of issues with progressiveism and liberalism vs convsativism in the Green Arrow/Green Lantern series (including a black person calling out Hal on how little he did to fight oppression on earth as he did the rest of the universe), and Green Arrow and Hawkeye arguing politics was a common thread of their time on the JLA together.
Black Lightning was the first African-American superhero with no criminal record (Luke Cage did get his powers in prison, it’s kinda stereotypical)
DC itself actually funded and published Milestone comics, a comics company entirely devoted to more diverse comics. If you’ve ever heard of Static you owe DC comics.
Marvel has never had anything even remotely equivalent.
When it comes to LGBT stuff, DC comics had a lesbian Batwoman and a lesbian woman taking over from a male hero in The Question.
While not a hero explicitly DC has a transwoman supporting character in Batgirl. (And I’m not even counting the trans characters in Vertigo books.)
It has Alan Scott being gay inthe Nu52 continuity,
I know Grace Choi was bisexual pre-reboot (I don’t know the current status)
Had a gay black teen hero in the Superboy & the Ravers comic in the 90s, as well as the character of Obsidian who was a major supporting character in the JSA.
The idea of characters of color or a different gender taking the place of legacy characters is nothing new for DC.
Like I mentioned, a lesbian Latin@ became the Question, there was an asian woman hero Doctor Light, a black woman Doctor Midnight, a Latina became the new Wildcat.
Now I mentioned I’d get back to movies later on and, let’s look at DC & Marvels movies in terms of ethnicity here, most notably the recent casting rumors.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson basically said he’d be playing Shazam.
Shazam, a previously white hero, played by a Black & Samoan man.
Aquaman, if rumors are to be believed, will be played by Jason Momoa.
Aquaman, a white blonde haired, blue eyed hero, played by a Samoan man.
Meanwhile over at Marvel….Well Falcon and Rhodey get to exist, but they’re up to this point still just little more than sidekicks to the white heroes in the movies.
Marvel makes a movie about a superhero team and goes “Yeah, everyone is still white as they were in the 1960s.”
DC looks at their superhero team and says “We need to make the team more diverse, even if it means changing the race of the heroes” and people act like they’re some super regressive company.
I’m fine with folks preferring one company over the other.
I’m fine with folks being excited Marvel is having legacy characters change race and/or gender with who gets to pick up the legacy.
But as a lifelong comic fan it’s kinda annoying to see people praising Marvel as super progressive for doing shit DC did in the 80s and still does to this day.
Especially when with Marvel it’s coming across far more as a blatant publicity grabs.
There’s a psychological term for this, where basically people react to change rather than the status quo. Somebody who made $35000/Year and just got a $5000/Year raise is going to be happier than somebody who makes $60000/Yr.
DC had a stronger status quo, but Marvel is making more of an effort to CHANGE that status quo right now.
The current lionization of Marvel and hatred of DC is just that , current. Right now, Marvel seems more committed to creating comic books that appeal to a diverse audience (Young Avengers, an all-female team getting the unmodified X-Men Title, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk), and yes, creating Female Thor and making Sam Wilson take up the shield of Captain America (And with it the role of “Guy in the Marvel Universe who is always right).
Wonder Woman has been around for seventy years at this point, but that didn’t stop the creation of a comic book culture that is decidedly focused on men, and hostile to women.
What’s more, Marvel is MAKING NOISE about what they are doing. Yes, it’s to drum up publicity and pat themselves on the back for being progressive, but it’s ALSO serving to send a clear message about the future of comic books. Having a parapalegic transwoman pacific islander superhero is great, but it’s not going to change very much if you don’t tell anybody about her. It’s not going to tell the dudebros who feel they need to protect the sanctity of the hobby by quizzing any girl in a green lantern shirt that they don’t get to put a No Girls Allowed sign outside the clubhouse, and it’s not going to make women and people of color feel more welcome in comic book stores. It’s going to be a curiosity on the shelves that only the Dudebros patrol, and that will run for six issues and get canceled.
So Marvel is putting on a show, they’re plastering the press with pictures of Kamala Khan and Sam Wilson and whoever the new Thor is.
DC meanwhile, is whitewashing previously mixed race characters, canceling series involving PoCs, and turning Amanda Waller into another male-gaze baiting supermodel.
Thinking about it, Amanda Waller is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Marvel, to the best of my knowledge, has never had a character like Amanda Waller. A woman of color, clearly not designed to appeal to the male gaze, who was respected and treated as a force to be reckoned with.
Props to DC for making Amanda Waller in the past, shame on them for what they’re doing with her now.
We love Marvel because of what Marvel is doing NOW, introducing diversity into comics, and then making a lot of noise about it in order to make non white-cis-male readers feel more welcome. We mock DC because we are looking at their current actions.
This isn’t a question of the company’s past, it’s a question of what the companies are doing right now, and right now DC is regressing to the white-male-dudebro demographic, while Marvel is loudly and publicly trying to change things.
Okay, no, hold up. Last response to this was good but, can we just address some more of the shit in the OP?
I am someone who will still say: I prefer DC. DC has all my fave characters that have lived in my heart since I was young. But Marvel is BLOWING THEM OUT OF THE WATER and I really only ever buy new Marvel stuff. If I’m buying DC, it’s old stuff from the old universe.
First off: the Falcon was the first African-American hero. He proceeded Luke Cage by three years. And he has no criminal history.
Sorry, that really bugged me. Okay, the Wonder Woman thing. DC /says/ a lot about the golden trinity. But Wondy gets the shit end of the stick. Please don’t pretend this is just about the movie she doesn’t have. It’s the merch she doesn’t have, the cartoon she’s never gotten. Batman’s had multiple cartoons. Superman’s had a cartoon. Wondy…. got to appear in group cartoons. Wow. Good job DC.
And with Milestone, it should probably be mentioned that DC and Milestone didn’t always have a great relationship, from what I understand. But yeah, thank god DC did support them, the things Milestone did were really important for comics.
You do NOT get to use Beth (Doctor Midnight) and Yolanda (Wildcat) as markers of DC’s ~progressiveness~. Where are they?? Where are their comics??? THEY DON’T HAVE ANY. I love Yolanda so much when I was reading my Dad’s old Infinity Inc comics! And then… I couldn’t find anything with her. Nada. (Who did I find though? Fucking Mr. Bones, stripped of all his hilarious rhyming and made into a boring skeleton character. Uuuuugh.)
Dude, in Marvel, Northstar came out as gay. The X-Men diversified like a series that deals with predjuice SHOULD. Captain Marvel (no, not Carol Danvers, Monica Rambeau, a black woman) actually LED the Avengers. The Runaways were diverse, like…. diversity was not only happening in DC. It might have been happening at a faster rate, but it happened in Marvel too. What really held them back, imo, was an unwillingness to let characters die/move on and leave their titles to someone else, to let that legacy be carried out. (And did you REALLY leave out Jaime Reyes from that list? SMH.)
You don’t get to use -RUMOURS- of casting against ACTUAL casting. In reality, in shit DC has actually, definitely done, DC has made Batman and Superman movies. No Wonder Woman. No POC Aquaman. No ‘The Rock’ as Captain Marvel (I am not calling him Shazam. God, that’s such a stupid name, all I see is the asshole wizard in my head. WHAT IS THE WIZARD’S NAME NOW ANYWAYS??) They’ve done movies with white dudes as heroes (maybe one white heroine if we’re counting Catwoman??). Marvel has had POC heroes. Marvel has had female heroes. Marvel could do better but it still wins. You can argue this when DC has actually in reality done something. Or at least confirmed the casting.
A bunch of the people you mentioned are AWOL in the nu52! And the previous reply mentioned my ADORED Amanda Waller, and that NEEDS to be addressed. A middle-aged fat woman was changed to be titillating for the straight dudes. A woman that went through hell and then hardened to the point she could put ANYONE ELSE through hell. A woman that fired a machine gun at Granny Goodness. A woman that ran the Suicide Squad with an iron fist. And she just had to be sexified.
DC ruins it’s own good things.
Marvel lets me be happy with the good things it gives me. And if it restarts everything? It still KEEPS THE OLD UNIVERSE AROUND. And the new one ~~~~makes sense~~~~~! It’s a magical world.