§ Vince Moore at Comics Waiting Room asked: Why are there no great black supervillains?
Where are all the “cool” black supervillains? Where is the black Lex Luthor? Or the black Dr. Doom? Where are those black bad guys that comics readers can love to hate? Those black bad guys made from the same stuff of myth and legend as the Joker and the Green Goblin. The brilliant yet disturbed mind. That one obsession which drives the need to conquer or create mayhem. The hero’s opposite number. The capacity to make the hero suffer, to even defeat the hero if not for that one fatal flaw that thwarts all the mad schemes. Where are those black bad guys?
§ Steven Grant responds with a sharp description of “otherness”:
The difference between white characters and other characters in American comics is that non-white characters of any story magnitude are almost always defined by their race. A white supervillain, well, he’s just an evil bastard, or wants money, or whatever. A black supervillain? His motivation has to at some level be racial; he suffered the indignity of racism in the ghetto as a child, or went to an otherwise all-white rich kids’ school where he was never allowed to forget he was different, or whatever other rubbish backstory someone comes up with. Otherwise why make him black, right? Same with Asian, Native American, etc. If they’re motivationally indistinguishable from white male supervillains, why risk offending an entire race? The difference being that white supervillains enhance the middle class white American viewpoint of a Caucasian status quo. Even female characters are often seen to require “special” motivation that almost no one would think to look for in a white male supervillain. Or superhero. (In the ’70s-early ’80s, rape or some variant of sexual abuse was a way too common motivation for both heroines and villainesses, and I’m glad that one pretty much subsided.)
§ Sometimes Splash Page gets a little TOO immersed in its own universe for its own good, such as this look at Mickey Rourke as Whiplash, that ventures the hypothesis that comic book movies that mash-up two characters into one are a dangerous sign a movie will suck.
§ A new author reenters the comics shop after some time away and finds it a strange landscape, especially where comics for her kids are concerned. Go help her out with some suggestions.
§ Valerie D’Orazio and her respondents discuss where comics news ends and gossip ends and what is appropriate.
§ With TRINITY wrapped up, Tom Bondurant interviews author Kurt Busiek.