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  1. #1
    Amazing Member Futbol's Avatar
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    Default Why doesn’t DC have any successful minority superheroes?

    A very simple question that I think warrants a discussion. In terms of comics, why doesn’t DC have any long lasting minority superheroes capable of holding a title? Their competition makes it look easy and can boast having 3 superheroes with over 100+ issues to their name, with two more on the verge of crossing that milestone soon. They say numbers don’t lie... Well in DC’s case they reveal a hard truth!

    1) Cassandra Cain~ 79
    2) Blue Beetle~ 72
    3) Jason Rusch~ 56
    4) Steel~ 53
    5) Jessica Cruz~ 46+
    6) Simon Baz~ 46+
    7) John Stewart~ 36
    8) Black Lightning~ 36
    9) Cyborg~ 33+
    10) Ryan Choi~ 25

    Just to make things a little better for DC, here’s the Milestone heroes:

    Static~ 57
    Icon~ 42
    Xombi~ 28

    PS: A character like Moon Girl is on the verge of surpassing Cyborg, Black Lightning, and John Stewart and already surpassed Ryan Choi. Damn!

  2. #2
    Mighty Member Thor2014's Avatar
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    When DC gives a minority character a 'push' they usually tend to feature them prominently in the Justice League book more often than not. During the 2000s Vixen was a mainstay of the league, Black Lightning had a solid run in the roster around the same time. That's why Cyborg was promoted to the League in the N52 and John even replaced Kyle as the League's lantern back in the day.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futbol View Post
    A very simple question that I think warrants a discussion. In terms of comics, why doesn’t DC have any long lasting minority superheroes capable of holding a title? Their competition makes it look easy and can boast having 3 superheroes with over 100+ issues to their name, with two more on the verge of crossing that milestone soon. They say numbers don’t lie... Well in DC’s case they reveal a hard truth!

    1) Cassandra Cain~ 79
    2) Blue Beetle~ 72
    3) Jason Rusch~ 56
    4) Steel~ 53
    5) Jessica Cruz~ 46+
    6) Simon Baz~ 46+
    7) John Stewart~ 36
    8) Black Lightning~ 36
    9) Cyborg~ 33+
    10) Ryan Choi~ 25

    Just to make things a little better for DC, here’s the Milestone heroes:

    Static~ 57
    Icon~ 42
    Xombi~ 28

    PS: A character like Moon Girl is on the verge of surpassing Cyborg, Black Lightning, and John Stewart and already surpassed Ryan Choi. Damn!
    One company STANDS behind their guys even in the face of racist backlash mainly lead by those who never read the books.

    One believes that they can do as little as they can and expect success.

    For all those calls that DC does diversity better than Marvel-the SUPPORT was never there. Despite a book like New Superman was 100 TIMES better than America Chavez. Shade the Changling Girl is way better than America Chavez.

    Moon Girl does well in trades as does Ms Marvel, Miles, Cho and for a time Sam Wilson as Cap America.

    Also look at your roster.

    Excluding Steel, Jaime, Jessica & Simon- SOMEBODY at DC had an issue with those guys-be it an editor or even the head of the company.

    How does Cassandra Cain become pitch toxic after being the most successful minority female at BOTH companies with a solo? How does she at one point get edited out of books when you had MANY writers wanted to use her.

    This is not a case of fans hating characters-it's a case of the folks in charge not wanting to be bothered.

    We look at Black Panther and the push for him. That should have been John Stewart, Static, Vixen and heck even Cyborg.

    Miles Morales has done more in 7 years than Cyborg since New 52.

  4. #4
    Super Spy Carabas's Avatar
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    Does DC have many particularily long-lasting white male straight characters? Other than Bats and Supes.
    "One may be intelligent, and a Nazi. Then one is not decent. One may be decent and a Nazi. Then one is not intelligent. And one may be intelligent and decent. Then one is not a Nazi"
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  5. #5
    Mighty Member Thor2014's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carabas View Post
    Does DC have many particularily long-lasting white male straight characters? Other than Bats and Supes.
    Not really and the most of the ones who do are members of the Bat-Family.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member El_Gato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carabas View Post
    Does DC have many particularily long-lasting white male straight characters? Other than Bats and Supes.
    Off the top of my head, Aquaman, Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, Wally West, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Nightwing, Tim Drake, Superboy and probably Kyle Rayner. Technically Swamp Thing too...
    NOT REMOVING UNTIL
    -Blue Beetle joins the Teen Titans
    -Static joins the Teen Titans
    -We get Young Justice Rebirth

  7. #7
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    You give Marvel way too much credit. It’s really not successful efforts over there except for a few.

  8. #8
    Mighty Member Thor2014's Avatar
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    I think it's time for both Black Lightning and Vixen to have in-continuity books. Both characters have been strongly pushed since the 2000's, that push has led to both characters appearing on television. The Black Lightning show is getting all sorts of buzz and both characters have greater brand recognition than ever before.

  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member Ascended's Avatar
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    DC struggles to market anyone that isn't Batman. That's been a problem for years. They barely understand the appeal of anyone who isn't from Gotham.

    And DC has an even bigger problem pushing anyone who hasn't been around since 1960. That's been a problem since 1961.

    Is racism a factor? I dont know. I dont know the people who work at DC. Im not going to accuse people of racism just because they make decisions I dont like. And when you look at the sales figures for a lot of those minority titles over the years, they often don't look very good even when quality people are behind them. There could very well be a perfectly valid business reason behind DC not pushing minority characters as much as we feel they should. And for all their failings in this regard, they've also done good stuff too and seen some success.

    But of course, the kept Berganza around for years and put him in charge of a global icon rather than fire his lousy stank ass like they should have.

    It looks damning. And odds are it is. At least a little bit, from some corners. But without actual evidence I'm hesitant to cry "racism!"
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  10. #10
    Mighty Member ayanestar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El_Gato View Post
    Off the top of my head, Aquaman, Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, Wally West, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Nightwing, Tim Drake, Superboy and probably Kyle Rayner. Technically Swamp Thing too...
    Two out of these examples are part of the Batman franchise also I'm not sure if I would go so far to call Red Robin "long-lasting" except we are counting his Robin run. We should probably also define what we understand under "long-lasting" because if we only count the recent years I would only name Superman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow and Flash. I'm not counting Batman related titles.

    Anyway Marvel might be putting out more titles with diversity but nothing I've read in recent years was any good especially America must have been the worst thing I've ever spend my money on and I used to love her in Young Avengers. I give them A+ for effort but the writing wasn't my cup of tea. I personally don't even care about long-lasting just give me good stories. The Midnighter solo and the Midnighter/Apollo mini series? One of my favorite DC books in recent years. The new Green Lanterns? Excellent. P.S. I would like a well written Blue Beetle book in the near future. No wonder it gets cancelled every time.
    Last edited by ayanestar; 02-07-2018 at 05:31 PM.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member El_Gato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ayanestar View Post
    Two out of these examples are part of the Batman franchise also I'm not sure if I would go so far to call Red Robin "long-lasting" except we are counting his Robin run. We should probably also define what we understand under "long-lasting" because if we only count the recent years I would only name Superman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow and Flash. I'm not counting Batman related titles.

    Anyway Marvel might be putting out more titles with diversity but nothing I've read in recent years was any good especially America must have been the worst thing I've ever spend my money on and I used to love her in Young Avengers. I give them A+ for effort but the writing wasn't my cup of tea. I personally don't even care about long-lasting just give me good stories. The Midnighter solo and the Midnighter/Apollo mini series? One of my favorite DC books in recent years. The new Green Lanterns? Excellent. P.S. I would like a well written Blue Beetle book in the near future. No wonder it gets cancelled every time.
    I was merely going by the characters with over 100 solo issues, which was the criteria the OP specified. Of course I could be wrong since it was all off the top of my head. Anyway I second that "good Blue Beetle" book... Let's get him to 100+. Cass also deserves another book since her first book wasn't cancelled because of low sales but because TPTB didn't want multiple Bat female books.

    To answer the OP, DC seems to have a problem with selling titles outside The Trinity and Flash. Heck the GL titles, Aquaman, and Green Arrow are currently struggling in the sales department.
    NOT REMOVING UNTIL
    -Blue Beetle joins the Teen Titans
    -Static joins the Teen Titans
    -We get Young Justice Rebirth

  12. #12

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    Its not racism's its geographic's, most ethnicities don't even have white people in their literature/mythology/religion/stories/art/media due to target audience and isolation etc.

  13. #13
    Extraordinary Member Robotman's Avatar
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    i think you could trace this back to the Golden and Silver Ages of comics. DC was far more successfully than Timely/Marvel in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. so a lot of the same guys stuck around into the Silver Age. that meant they were older and quite frankly out of touch. there are many instances of DC writers in the 60s and 70s trying to pitch stories with black or other minority characters and getting turned down. Marvel on the other hand had a lot of new blood in the 60s and 70s, not to mention the creative genius of Jack Kirby, so the editors were more open to new ideas. obviously Black Panther in 1966, The Falcon in 1969, and Luke Cage in 1972. DC would have a black superhero in his own book until Black Lightning in 1977 and he was originally slated to be The Black Bomber who would have been one of the most offensive characters ever.

    i was at a Comic Con panel years and Denny O'Neil was one of the panelists. he was discussing how out of touch the DC ptb were in the late 60s. they still didn't see Marvel as an equal and figured that nothing could outsell Superman and Batman. Meanwhile, Marvel was trouncing them in sales and creating one hit after another.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Badou's Avatar
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    Even a character as big as Black Panther can barely hold on ongoing book. There are just a few characters across both Marvel and DC that can hold on going through multiple creative teams. It is just how it is. That doesn't give DC or Marvel a pass in trying to use their minority characters and I think it is very important to look at characters like Vixen, Mr Terrific, Black Lightning, Jaime Reyes and so on and give them a place in the DCU where it feels like they are being used and used consistently.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    And DC has an even bigger problem pushing anyone who hasn't been around since 1960. That's been a problem since 1961.

    Is racism a factor? I dont know. I dont know the people who work at DC...
    You don't have to be racist to make decisions that perpetuate racism. You're right, DC depends heavily on - and supports, in all sorts of ways - "iconic" characters that have been around since the 1960's and before. And those characters were created in a time permeated with racism, sexism, and homophobia. If you start with that, and then build your business model on familiarity and nostalgia, the racial demographics of your featured characters don't change very much.

    You have to put concerted, specific effort into breaking up that hegemony. Now some people will say that's not DC's job*, that they should just "publish what sells." But "what sells" is not a constant, and it depends on what characters you put out there, what talent you put on their books, how you promote them, and so on. And in the long run mixing it up a little - rather than coasting on your best-known names - could be good for business.

    (* Personally I think it's everybody's job. But that's just me. )
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