Recently, both Marvel and DC have had major changes to their comic book universes. DC had the Rebirth event and Marvel literally ended their universe with Secret Wars and rebuilt it in the subsequent All-New All-Different Marvel event. This article will be containing spoilers for a lot of comics so here is a handy guide for what we will be talking about:
- Secret Wars
- Civil War 2
- Captain America: Steve Rogers
- DC Universe Rebirth
- New 52 Superman
- Batman Rebirth #1
- Justice League Rebirth #1
SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW:
So I have made no secret about my recent dislike of Marvel, from their treatment of the X-Men, to the decision to make Captain America an agent of HYDRA. Marvel seems to be caught in the cycle of doing the same things over and over again but a tiny bit different and hoping for more money. From doing Civil War again, doing Wolverine Enemy of the State again, doing Secret Wars again. You get the idea.
They also seem to be torn between doing things for shock value and obsessing over keeping things the same. They recently announced that Thor will be returning to the role of Thor, but Jane Foster who is also Thor will still be being Thor. Plus a black woman will be Iron Man. There is a black Captain America and a white Captain America. This feels pointless, it’s like they introduced diverse characters and then brought back the old ones just so that the people hating on their diversity have a comic they can read. There was nothing wrong with Sam Wilson as Captain America, it made sense to have him as that hero. He was Steve’s best friend, OF COURSE IT WOULD BE HIM!
So how can Marvel justify having two Captain Americas? One of them is a bad guy! That makes total sense. Have an iconic figure of freedom turn into a Nazi for his 75th anniversary. This is where DC wins, they don’t feel the need to go back and overwrite the history of existing characters for diversity. When they add a diverse character, it often tends to be a new and unique character! Marvel have re-written so many characters just to make them LGBTQ it becomes almost a parody of itself. Not that there is anything wrong with LGBTQ characters, but Marvel haven’t created a brand new LGBT character since Kyle Jinadu in 2009 when they had their first gay wedding.
Marvel have gone back and made Iceman gay recently, a decision that makes no sense at all. Iceman has had at least 8 girlfriends in the last 50 years of comics by my estimate, not one single male partner. The reason they did this was because they had a young Jean Grey look into the mind of a young Iceman and she found out he was gay, but his present-day counterpart may not be. Why though? Why did Marvel feel the need to shoehorn an LGBTQ character into X-Men? The series is literally one of the most diverse that Marvel has, it has more gay characters than most of the other Marvel titles combined! Not including Runaways, but we all know that Runaways is just full of gay folks.
Early on, Marvel was the champion of diversity. They took a stand against racism as early as the 1960s when they introduced the now iconic Black Panther in 1966’s Fantastic Four #52, then in Captain America #117 in 1969 they introduced Captain America’s partner Falcon, the first African-American superhero. In 1975 they re-introduced the world to the X-Men with one of the most diverse teams in comics including: Storm (Kenyan), Sunfire (Japanese), Colossus (Russian), Nightcrawler (German) and Thunderbird (Native American). DC only introduced a black member of the Justice League in 2011 when they re-wrote cannon and added Cyborg as a founding member.
DC beat Marvel every time when it comes to feminism. “BUT WONDER WOMAN WEARS SKIMPY OUTFITS” I hear you shout. Yes, she does. Like all the Amazons. By their own choice. Wonder Woman has been around for years and is an icon. Marvel doesn’t have something like that, you don’t see non-comic fans walking around wearing a Ms Marvel shirt. If Spider-Man is one of the most iconic superheroes ever, Wonder Woman is without fail the most iconic female character from comics. DC has a long history of not objectifying females in their comics, from Batgirl to Catwoman, every DC heroine is a strong and independent character that has a legion of fans. Batman has a long history of strong and evil villains, many of whom are women.
Harley Quinn is a fine example of a strong female character. That seems like an odd thing to say, but it’s true. She was one of a very short list of people the Joker trusted and she was his psychiatrist in Arkham before he corrupted her. She is a smart and strong-willed character with a history of standing up for what she believes in, despite being utterly crazy. Right now, DC is not doing diversity for the sake of diversity, they are just pushing already popular minority characters to the forefront. The Justice League currently has three POC members and two female members and this was not a big deal. I care more about the fact that we have two Green Lanterns on one team. Honestly, in an ideal world, we would have no Green Lanterns and bring back Martian Manhunter (#JusticeForMartians #StillSaltyAboutThat).
I know I went on one hell of a tangent here but I feel that it was important. Please comment down below with your thoughts on the issue and if you are Team Marvel or Team DC. For more content like this, keep it G33k.
Links to Buy Comics I Mentioned: