Wednesday Comments – Is the DC Comics Relaunch’s New DCU Really That Diverse?

DC has been making a bit of a fuss about how diverse things will be with their upcoming September relaunch. And it looks pretty impressive when you consider that Firestorm, Mister Terrific, Batwing, Batwoman Static and Blue Beetle are getting their own books. Plus you’ve got Cyborg, John Stewart, Fire, August General in Iron, Vixen and probably Aqualad playing roles in the new DCU things look optimistic.

But there’s a flipside to the whole announcement; because it’s a relaunch there are characters that who are going to be leaving. Some characters are going to be retconned out of existence and some of them aren’t going to be white males.

Here are some characters that I’m guessing are going to leaving and making the DCU a bit less diverse than advertised.

Steel – Given that he’s was inspired by Superman’s death, you’ve sort of got to guess that Steel isn’t going to be around. All of the signs point to the DCU being a relatively new place and Superman being it’s first superhero. I really don’t know if he’ll have met Doomsday yet. So I’m betting John Henry Irons won’t be playing the superhero in the DCU.

Jakeem Thunder – Jakeem Thunder has two strikes against him. First he’s a legacy character and it’s difficult to have a legacy character in a pretty new universe. Secondly he’s a JSA legacy and the JSA seems to be MIA in the new DCU.

Natasha Irons – Given her relation to Steel, I think it’d be difficult for Natasha to pop up without her uncle being introduced.

Thunder – Thunder is sort of a double whammy in that she’s both Black and a lesbian. So the (assumed) loss of her is a pretty strong blow. I doubt she’s appear because I’m doubting that Black Lightning will be old enough to be a parent in the new DCU.

Lightning – Ditto, expect for the lesbian stuff.

Grace – While she hadn’t been seen lately, Grace, like her partner Thunder, is a double whammy; Asian and a lesbian. Now there’s a chance that Grace might show up, but I highly doubt it.

Impulse (Iris Allen) – I don’t know what the future holds for Wally West, but I’m guessing that it doesn’t hold parenthood. As a character who was half Korean, her absence will be felt.

Connor Hawke – This is another offspring character and a legacy character. There’s a shot that he’ll pop up, but I doubt Connor survive into the new DCU.

Vulcan – I was a huge fan of the Vulcan character. I even enjoyed the Titans East one-shot that involved his massacre. Unfortunately his origin involved a decent amount of continuity, which means that I don’t think he’ll make the cut.

El Diablo – An underused character, to be sure, but still a minority character and still a legacy character who’s unlikely to show up in the new DCU.

Xombi – David Kim was one of the first Milestone character to show up in the DCU and even though he was first to get their own title, there’s no indication that he’ll be in the new DCU. Xombi, who’s book is awesome, didn’t get announced with the various other DC Dark titles, so I don’t think he’s showing up.

Chronos – It would be awesome if Walker Gabriel were around, but again you’ve got a legacy character so the odds are against him.

Gangbuster – I’ll concede that Gangbuster could show up, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. He doesn’t really have that many creators who champion him, and he’s barely an afterthought. Still, his absence would undermine the “diversity” claim.

Arsenal – I’m going to include Arsenal, because as an amputee he’s representative for an underrepresented segment of the population. It doesn’t appear that the new DCU’s Arsenal is missing a limb.

Oracle – Everyone knows that Babs is going to walk again, so the loss of the paraplegic Oracle is a huge blow to the DCU.

I’m a fan of the DCU and I’m glad that they’re willing to try something new, but I still wish they’d try to be more inclusive and diverse in terms of their characters. They have access to the Wildstorm and Milestone characters so there’s really no reason why out of the three Justice League books there appear to be only two Black members, one Asian and one Latino.

Given that and the characters that I’m guessing won’t be appearing, I really don’t think DC should be so self-congratulatory, do you?

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,