Tag Archives: #1

Yes, Spider-man is Black… and Puerto Rican

Superman dies and people cry.  Rightfully so.  Writers develop a resurrection of sorts months later and the world is back to normal.

Aquaman dies and no one cares.  Nor should they.  Writes relaunch and still no one reads.

Captain America is gunned down.  The news actually covers the event.  Marvel brings him back because comic films are making a fortune.

Johnny Storm dies and there is a rumbling for weeks because they know a death is coming and just not who.  The F4 are still in Limbo but I am sure it will relaunch soon.

Batman dies and barely anyone notices. Mostly because everyone assumes he will be back like everyone before him.  He is.

Spider-man dies and it is relatively quiet, see above.  Like the others he is “re-born,”  Only this time he comes out Black and Latino.  Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs among others are having a stroke over their outrage.  Oh no a hero now has a darker pigment in their penciling! Sorry guys, but Spider-man may be darker on the inside of his suit, but he is all the same on the outside, RED.

I would probably consider Peter Parker my favorite alter ego because of his nerdy exterior and commonplace for being picked on at school it creates a great contrast to the hero that saves the city one night, but gets picked on the next morning at school.  Every geeks escape, we can all relate.

That said, I am all about this decision and think Marvel made the right move.  At first I was sort of wishing they would have just rebooted Peter Parker with an African-American heritage, but then I thought about it and actually reconsidered because Spidey is Spidey regardless of who wears the Web.  Miles Morales will grow on me, after all it is an alliterative name.

Lots of critics are bringing this up and “blaming” the “Obamaizing” of America.  Sorry, Obama has screwed up a lot in this Country but Spider-man is not one of them.  But guess what?  This is not the first time Marvel put a minority in the suit and it won’t be the last.

One of the few comics that has ever really touched me on a personal level was Spiderman: Peter Parker #35 (“Heroes Don’t Cry”) a story of a young boy growing up in a very tough neighborhood with little hope for a happy life with drugs, violence and hatred at every corner of his life.  It is never clear but I believe the young boy imagines visits from Spidey instructing him on how to do the right thing when everyone around you is doing the wrong.  The story climaxes when the young man walks in on his mother being assaulted and later killed by her drug dealer.  When the young boy returns with his aunt to get his possessions he sees Spidey one last time and tells him he can no longer be his sidekick because he needs to grow up to care for his aunt.  Spidey takes off his mask to shake his hand and reveals a black man under the hood.  Is this symbolism that he, the boy, was Spidey under it all or that heroes are what we see them as… who knows, they never say.  But it really made you think about symbolism.

When people can connect with something if gives a stronger bond and something to be proud of.  When Superman, Batman, Captain America, Iron Man, and Spider-man are all represented by white men it makes you wonder what message we are sending to kids.  (I chose those characters because they represent the current crop of film adaptations.)  I have never been one for PC, I think society is society and we don’t need to shove equality down people’s throat, it doesn’t work… people need to accept it on their own.  But lets consider that this was the creator’s choice, not something Big Brother forced upon with Affirmative Action in Comics.

A character that a young African-American boy or girl can identify with is not a bad thing, and if it offends you so much that Spidey is now black consider that Batwoman is now gay and Jewish and you might just want to give up comics and move to a new town.

Now back to the first point, Beck and Dobbs were offended and angered by this change, do they even read comics?  This would be like me caring that PGA players are being required to hear stripped pants over plaid, it does not affect you, you should not care.  And if you are a comic reader and you can’t take it then go out in the real world, minorities are all around you.  Besides running America they work at your bank, they cook at your favorite restaurant, they hit homeruns for your favorite baseball team… it’s time they save the world!

It’s very fitting reference, Maria Cristina Mena wrote a book called the Spiders Web and in it she writes, “The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.”

I very much assure you, a Black and Puerto Rican Spider-man can save New York just as efficiently as his white predecessor,

Batman #1 (2011)

So if the first issue of Detective Batman was a perfect 10 than judging against greatness, Batman Comics was a 7, and the only thing holding it back from also getting a 10 was it’s somewhat confusing nature.

Detective was a bit irritating only in the sense that you are unsure where batman is and what his history contains, but it is very early that much was clear.  But Batman One was all over the place, Dick was Nightwing, Damien was Robin, Drake was Red Robin.  Reference was made to the Teen Titans and we can almost assume Todd was killed.  But what history is there intact?  If it is all there then why reboot?  DC you are killing me with your games.

A questionable reboot aside let’s just look at it as a book.  It was solid and it ended with some great questions that I won’t spill.

The art was not as good as Detective, but the story (confusing nature aside) was a great introduction to a coming story arch that seems to be a fairly recent rehash with some new names attached, but always interesting none the less.

It is nice to see that what ever happened in the DCU that Batman’s dark humor is still intact in the new writer’s head.  Batman sends Nightwing undercover to Arkham as an inmate and he comments when questioned why he left him captive longer than planned that he felt he had been working to hard and needed a vacation.

Now if you are not finding the humor in that I would ask, “Honey, why are you reading my blog posts about Batman?”  And yes I had time to finish this because the laundry is folded and put away.  (Married humor, ignore it.)

In the future my DC updates will just be consolidated by a months worth of books and not individual stories.

Happy reading!

Action Comics #1 (2011)

So Superman in jeans, hmmm.  Well you know what I can accept costume change.  Batman has had numerous redesigns, Superman has been more minor tweaks for the most part.  But if you look back you will see several times where they deviated drastically, think the “Death of…” or the electric look.  Very different changes, but easy enough to comeback, even a dramatic entrance, sort of like Jordan coming back with the 23 jersey from halftime.  They can try a new outfit and work the traditional in with little effect on “history.”

I love Superman, I grew up with Superman.  I have watched him change over the years, I watched him die, I saw him wed, I even followed the electric blue and red line with pretty solid interest.

This smells like your roommates dirty Nikes after football in the rain and left in the hallway on a hot August afternoon to really ripen the atmosphere of a 2-bedroom brick building in college.

Imagine the Superman Returns team deciding to take over the comic… yep that is what we have.  No, I take that back, it’s worse.

I think DC sat down to brainstorm Superman and agreed he IS DC.  Batman is big, but Supes they feel needs to be the flagship.  They talked about Batman’s popularity and discussed what makes him successful and said, let’s make that the next Superman. What?!?! Yep.

Superman is an asshole.  There it took only 2 full blogs, but I swore, I tried to hold back and make this one a bit more family friendly but how else do you describe it.  Superman taunts, he terrorizes confessions out of criminals and he actually beats them until they say they did it.  Wow, when did Brainiac pull the whole Bruce Wayne/Clark Kent brain switcheroo?

I don’t know what is going on but this is really reminiscent of the “bad” Superman of Superman III.  I found that entertaining because they set the Golden Boy image and you knew that was an effect of the chemical kryptonite Gus gave him at the Key ceremony for Smallville.  This, this is the honest to goodness Jerk Superman in denim.

There is not much I can say about the book, you really need to read it for yourself.  I subscribed to this one back in the summer when I heard about the relaunch, this will likely be my first subscribe.  I am going to give the book a few issues to iron out, but I don’t see this relationship going much past 2nd base.

I see a Pa Kent conversation coming soon very much like you would expect, but Ma and Pa would have never raised Clack to be an arrogant jerk.  Bad move DC.

NEXT: Detective

Nightwing #1 (2011)

So what has it been, 2 and a half almost 3 years since Nightwing had a solo title? I am still amazed DC cancelled the title, but I guess it needed to go in their storyline of Batman dying and Grayson becoming the Bat. But let’s get off the transgression of the past and just say what needs to be said:

Thank you DC.

Nightwing is not my favorite character, but he is my favorite book title with Ultimate Spiderman & Detective a very close second. (FTR: Batman is the favorite character)

Why not Batman then you ask?

Batman is large and all-encompassing, sort of like the Olive Garden of DC Comics, while Nightwing is simple and raw like a small mom and pop Italian whole-in-the-wall on Mott St… not tell me where you would rather eat?

Dick Grayson started out as the annoying and always ridiculed Robin, I think he might have hated Robin as much as we do. Do mistake, he loves what it made him, but he never loved the second bill, he hated the orders but he always puts current Robin’s with gripes right in their place. So he respects his roots, and the road it took him… sounds like most of our views on how we were raised through discipline and school. But again, off topic.

As Dick, without the suit he seems to separate superhero and personal life apart the best. He has fun, dates, lives like a slob and has an actual job that contributes to society as much as his costume as a police officer. Though it is unclear if he continues to wear blue on the day shift in the new line.

So onto the review.

The artwork is stellar and to the point. Eddy Barrows draws Nightwing just like it should be drawn, gloomy, grimy and dangerous. Metropolis is far to clean and safe for a superhero.

The debut opens well after Nightwing is trained, he never comments on Robin, but does reference living in the Mansion. He also mentions spending a year covering for Batman and glad to be back in his own threads. So it questions if the “Broken Bat,” Fugitive,” or “Death” could be a past story still inherited in the timeline. It will probably be explained as a sabbatical for Bruce Wayne in the end I am guessing. But it is hard to tell where it falls and what did or did not happen in only one issue and DC is being about as helpful as a politician in a non-election year.

In Detective, Batman references a timeline that seems to put Bruce fairly early on, maybe  even pre-Robin.  In Batman Comics Wayne is much old and has Damian as Robin and is referenced as his son.  So that makes it off the Detective timeline.  I am assuming this is falling somewhere in the middle, but who knows with DC.

Playing with a continuity of a decade difference I am going with the assumption of multi-Earths because a single-Earth story playing on different ends of the spectrum who create chaos that each story is inversely effecting the others history or future.  I am fine with that because a single universe create much more chaos and required reading.

And yet again I am way off course.

The first issue is pretty straight forward, Nightwing fights a few nobody thugs, a couple of punks try to rob Grayson and get put in their place until his showdown with what will obviously be the supervillan… or at least for one more issue. My early guess, the guy in the circus who he just met with his old flame.

Nightwing #1 gives little story-meat and more action, again just fine with that.  Dick mayor may not work for the P.D. and in fact there was no reference to Bludhaven so again the question of his youth/experience is unresolved.

All in all I really genuinely liked the book, not just as a fan that wanted the title back. But I like the art, the story was straight and simple and they duo worked well together. I do like the occasional crossover of characters into a title for an issue or two, but I really hope DC lets Nightwing be Nightwing and keep the visitors to the occasional treat, not the permanent fixture.

NEXT: The Superman Disaster! Action Comics #1

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