In all of comics when it comes to racism the X men are noted to be the group of superheroes that are specifically designed to educate the world on the proper moral standards and illustrate the consequences of racism.
Much like Captain planet and the Planeteers who have their stories and adventures aimed at environmental preservation, the stories of the x men throughout their publication history has been to combat racism among many other social issues.
However unlike the planeteers I believe the X men have failed and not just them but a host of other heroes who have seemingly made similar efforts.
Ever since the golden age of Superheroes Blacks among many others have been poorly represented in the comic book industry. The few times we have been represented the black guy usually ends up as some kind of side character (eg: Nick Fury, Storm , Cyborg) or if we are lucky we get shallow versions of already existing greats (John Stewart, Miles Morales , Riri Williams ). Black Panther is one of the few they miraculously got right but then again he is one in a million….if not a trillion!
That said it does not surprise me at all. After all the industry is not one you can label as a “black industry” in fact similar can be said for manga where of course Japanese take the spotlight, so yes in the end people it should not come as a surprise that superheroes have failed blacks and continue to in this modern era!
In X-men the mutants are suppose to represent to maltreated minority but you have to ask yourself how many of them actually resemble the minority they are suppose to represent. From wolverine to the blob it is pretty much the same old white guys who in the real world are actually the culprit. All they did was slap them in spandex , make them look cool and then make us feel sorry for them because they had superpowers and it worked because the victimized minority actually related with them and knew their plight but in the end the simple fact is mutants ain’t blacks!
That said I find it aggravating that a lot of us keep looking to them for hope when all they have done is tell us we are second best!
The fact is Peter Parker will always tower over Miles Morales the same goes for Hal Jordan and John Stewart ,Tony Stark and Riri Williams, Batman and Batwing, it does not matter if it is marvel or an African startup creating these heroes, the cold hard truth is that African superheroes personify the insecurities of blacks and openly state that for a black guy to do anything great or worthwhile he has got to think, look , act , smile and frown like some white dude and that is simply false!
So for the startups here it is time you smelled the aroma and take a hint, every new African Superhero you create is no different from Miles Morales or John Stewart and in all honesty they are never going to be greater than that! The African creative industry is a chance for Africans to showcase what they’ve truly got and who they truly are and the moment you defile our culture with elements of a sub culture you are basically just saying that blacks really can’t be cool and awesome without resembling some white dudes in spandex!
Enough blabber about hindering the creative flow of the story and been myopic, it is time we realized this is a battle for our very identity!!! If we cannot accept our culture and work on enhancing it without the aid of some foreign sub culture then all hope is lost!
at this point I would like to apologize to those who have agreed with my philosophy because yes at some point I have also compromised but no more!!!
Yes the world is now global and that is why Africans have a responsibility to contribute their own varying culture and philosophy …..get rid of the African superheroes they are an insult to everything African!
written by:Kevin A Sampong