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  1. #1
    Kingdom Come Board Original Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Default Do you have a problem with retroactive diversity for DC's heroes?

    For years, DC made an effort to introduce legacy characters that were not simply more straight white American men. Mr. Terrific and Blue Beetle are two of the more successful additions. The Dr. Fate established during the New 52 was an Egyptian-American medical student named Khalid Nassour.
    However, DC has also retroactively changed the ethnicity of older characters to give them more diverse backgrounds.

    Kyle Rayner was originally a black haired white guy of Irish decent. His surname, Rayner, means "warrior" in some old Irish dialect if I am remembering right. After Ron Marz had moved on and Judd Winnick came on board, he finally resolved the dangling plotline of Kyle's long lost father, who Marz had established as a spy. Winnick, who had always assumed Kyle was latino because of his black hair, established that Kyle's father was a Mexican-American CIA agent named Gabriel Vasquez and that "Aaron Rayner" was merely an alias. More recently, it had been established that Hal Jordan's mother is Jewish, which makes Hal a Jew because it is passed down on the mother's side. I, on the other hand, am not Jewish because my father is a Jew, but my mother is not. The Nazis would have tried to kill us all regardless, but I digress.

    Do any fans have a problem with this kind of retroactive ethnic diversification or do you find it pandering? Would you be upset if Iris West was now depicted as being of mixed ethnicity like she is in TV & movies? Or if Lois Lane's mother were to be revealed as being Vietnamese? Or Aquaman's father was revealed to be of Polynesian decent?

    Personally, I don't necessarily have a problem with any of this. It doesn't fundamentally change who the characters are, but opens them up to new storytelling possibilities and audiences that previously might not have been interested.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Fantastic Member Gorblax's Avatar
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    Nope. No problem at all. Having everybody be white people is a boring choice, anyway.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member WebLurker's Avatar
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    Having more diverse casts is better than homogeneous ones. I don't see how its a problem, esp. if its an adaptation.

    I would prefer if any retcons make sense within the character's original backstory and design. For example, having a white character suddenly be a black one within the same continuity would be extremely confusing. Taking a white character and adding a Latin American background would be a way to make it work, as a for example (or the white to black within a reboot or adaptation in a separate continuity).
    Last edited by WebLurker; 10-03-2017 at 12:19 AM.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member batnbreakfast's Avatar
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    No problem as long as the story is there and its no gimmick

  5. #5
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    It's a case-by-case basis for me. I was fine with Helena Bertinelli's racebend but New 52 Wally was not handled well.

  6. #6
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    For most characters, I welcome it. I especially like what I've seen of the DCEU's take on Aquaman, with Polynesian descent.

    Superman? Yeah, I think I prefer they stick to Kansas for the main continuity.

    But everyone else? No problem. It does annoy me how everyone is from the US. The GLs especially.
    Last edited by SmokeMonster; 10-03-2017 at 12:47 AM.

  7. #7
    Mighty Member TheFerg714's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeMonster View Post
    For most characters I don't care.

    Superman? Yeah, I think I prefer Kansas.
    Agreed. As long as the race-swap doesn't effect the character that much, I'm down.

    I mean, it would be possible for Clark to have fell in a black farmer's backyard, but it's really not statistically likely, especially in rural small-town Kansas.

    Batman, on the other hand, could be a different race and still be the same character I think, as long as he doesn't turn into Nighthawk and only fight white racists.
    Last edited by TheFerg714; 10-03-2017 at 12:50 AM.
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  8. #8
    Ultimate Member Robotman's Avatar
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    I remember being a kid and reading the Green Lantern issue where itís revealed that Kyle Rayner was half Mexican. It was one of the happiest days of my young comic book reading life. I had never experienced reading about a comic book character that shared my ethnicity. It meant so much to me. So many people take that experience for granted. But there are a lot of kids out there desperate to see positive representations of their ethnicity in popular culture.
    It didnít change his personality or the overall story. They didnít have to make Kyle speak with an accent or suddenly love tacos. It was just something that made him a bit more unique. I still love that change made to his character.

    Iím fine with adding diversity to a characterís background as long as it doesnít become the focus of their personality and story. What Iím still not a fan of is completely changing a race and basically making them a new character. Just create a new character or a legacy!
    Last edited by Robotman; 10-03-2017 at 01:02 AM.

  9. #9
    Mighty Member failo.legendkiller's Avatar
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    Yes, I don't like changes so radical, anyway I don't have any problem with the introduction of new characters from different races and places.
    If you born Irish you can't die Latino, it's only a matter of continuity. To me continuity is the most important part in Comics. Retcon and Reboot should be used cautiously and only when truly needed. That's why I'm really struggling with DC in the last 10 years.

  10. #10
    Fantastic Member The Learner's Avatar
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    Story is what matters the most as far as I am concerned. So, no, I don't have any problems at all.

  11. #11
    Mighty Member Fergus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    For years, DC made an effort to introduce legacy characters that were not simply more straight white American men. Mr. Terrific and Blue Beetle are two of the more successful additions. The Dr. Fate established during the New 52 was an Egyptian-American medical student named Khalid Nassour.
    However, DC has also retroactively changed the ethnicity of older characters to give them more diverse backgrounds.

    Kyle Rayner was originally a black haired white guy of Irish decent. His surname, Rayner, means "warrior" in some old Irish dialect if I am remembering right. After Ron Marz had moved on and Judd Winnick came on board, he finally resolved the dangling plotline of Kyle's long lost father, who Marz had established as a spy. Winnick, who had always assumed Kyle was latino because of his black hair, established that Kyle's father was a Mexican-American CIA agent named Gabriel Vasquez and that "Aaron Rayner" was merely an alias. More recently, it had been established that Hal Jordan's mother is Jewish, which makes Hal a Jew because it is passed down on the mother's side. I, on the other hand, am not Jewish because my father is a Jew, but my mother is not. The Nazis would have tried to kill us all regardless, but I digress.

    Do any fans have a problem with this kind of retroactive ethnic diversification or do you find it pandering? Would you be upset if Iris West was now depicted as being of mixed ethnicity like she is in TV & movies? Or if Lois Lane's mother were to be revealed as being Vietnamese? Or Aquaman's father was revealed to be of Polynesian decent?

    Personally, I don't necessarily have a problem with any of this. It doesn't fundamentally change who the characters are, but opens them up to new storytelling possibilities and audiences that previously might not have been interested.

    What do you think?
    no problem at all TV Iris is the best and not just because she's hot.
    Like you said It doesn't fundamentally change who the characters are, but opens them up to new storytelling possibilities and audiences that previously might not have been interested.

    As a straight white man I can't ever imagine what it feels like to not look everywhere and see yourself represented. It's a privilege that i take for granted and while some say things like well if you want diversity just create original characters of colour but you and I know it's not as easy as that.

  12. #12
    Mighty Member Fergus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robotman View Post
    I remember being a kid and reading the Green Lantern issue where it’s revealed that Kyle Rayner was half Mexican. It was one of the happiest days of my young comic book reading life. I had never experienced reading about a comic book character that shared my ethnicity. It meant so much to me. So many people take that experience for granted. But there are a lot of kids out there desperate to see positive representations of their ethnicity in popular culture.
    It didn’t change his personality or the overall story. They didn’t have to make Kyle speak with an accent or suddenly love tacos. It was just something that made him a bit more unique. I still love that change made to his character.

    I’m fine with adding diversity to a character’s background as long as it doesn’t become the focus of their personality and story. What I’m still not a fan of is completely changing a race and basically making them a new character. Just create a new character or a legacy!
    My kids are biracial African and Irish and i remember their excitement when they spied an issue that had Damian drawn than. "Robin is Brown" my daughter shouted excited "I'm Brown" she then followed. Even though Damian isn't African/Irish [her type of brown] or always drawn like that it made a strong impact and that is a good thing.

    I have never had that kind of reaction because I'm always represented so it made me very sad that such a nothing was a big deal to my kid

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebLurker View Post
    Having more diverse casts is better than homogeneous ones. I don't see how its a problem, esp. if its an adaptation.

    I would prefer if any retcons make sense within the character's original backstory and design. For example, having a white character suddenly be a black one within the same continuity would be extremely confusing. Taking a white character and adding a Latin American background would be a way to make it work, as a for example (or the white to black within a reboot or adaptation in a separate continuity).
    Quoted in agreement.

  14. #14
    Mighty Member BatmanJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorblax View Post
    Nope. No problem at all. Having everybody be white people is a boring choice, anyway.
    My feelings exactly. It's embarrassing too.

    And as far as LGBTQ it doesn't even have to be a retcon. It would be rare for a gay superhero to have been comfortable coming out of the closet before the 1980s or around then so it would make sense, and be a wonderful surprise, to learn that some Golden Age or Silver Age characters were LGBTQ.

  15. #15
    Mighty Member BatmanJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    It's a case-by-case basis for me. I was fine with Helena Bertinelli's racebend but New 52 Wally was not handled well.
    I'd have to agree there though I have no problem with the change for the TV show. They stumbled in the comics there for sure though.

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