Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I liked the Black Panther

Ramblings Post #222
The comic book world is funny about black superheroes. Let's just say that the National Assoc. of Superpowered Colored People could, in my youth, hold their meetings in a living room. You had Falcon, Luke Cage, Storm of the X-Men and um...well, the Black Panther. Technically, you could have had that meeting at the kitchen table. Maybe even in the breakfast nook. There are more now, but much like when the only TV was the basic three and today there is cable...you have no idea. 

The Marvel character the Black Panther is a problem. He is his country's version of Captain America, but with a genius level intellect and the resources of Tony Stark's Iron Man. He's Batman from Africa. He is the strong intelligent black superhero.

And Marvel just snapped his neck like he was a character called Paste Pot Pete.

No wait, Paste Pot Pete got upgraded in one of those Spiderman titles to the Trapster, so in fact they killed the Black Panther like he was faceless character number #147. In the back of a second rate villain's title.

Really Marvel?

I don't read comics like I used to, they had gotten to formuliac and rusty in many ways. And it seemed like the artists I liked enjoyed doing work on stories I didn't care to read. But I actually started reading the Black Panther series when it came out.  The Africans were depicted like, i dunno how to describe it...like "people". There was no use of dated slang or the accompanying paper thin one dimensional characterizations that so often seem to plague non-white characters. And the people of his country weren't living in huts on the African savannah, but in modern cities and with technology that looked just like that in every other comic book. It was on some levels nice to see that maybe when kids picked up a comic they'd get a better version of Africa.

But no.

Okay, it's a comic. People come back from the dead all the time. So maybe it's not the end of the world. Still, that a major character...who worked with the Avengers, defeated the Fantastic Four and served as one Captain America's pallbearers when they killed him off...well, you see my point. Death in comics isn't forever. Usually. Still, dying behind a villain like Ultron? Ugh.

Black people dress up like Superheroes too, if you give them a good reason.

 Barkeep, a fine African Red wine to soothe my troubled spirit, for the possible loss of one of my heroes.

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