Author Topic: Black Panther 23 -- Politics, Race and Insight  (Read 9422 times)

michaelintp

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Black Panther 23 -- Politics, Race and Insight
« on: January 10, 2007, 06:59:31 pm »
Black Panther #23 – Civil War

Honestly, I don’t understand how Reginald’s storylines in BP could spark “racial controversy” on the bad boy sites that you all have mentioned.  As a general rule the issues he addresses that steam me up are NOT the ones that deal with race at all (er … well, except the very early interchange between the general and Secretary of State  “Dondi” which just seemed way over the top to me).  Usually it is his treatment of political and geopolitical matters that gets my goat, haha.  Reginald has addressed a number of issues in his writing, with racial issues being only one category (though a significant one).  Maybe some of the “haters” on the other sites are simply too obtuse to even pick up on those other issues?  Maybe they don’t care because they are racists themselves, and can only see Reginald Hudlin and his writing through that single biased lense, eh?  But of course they would deny that.  (See related comment below addressing this issue of denied racism).  I hope that these critics represent an insignificant (albeit loud mouthed) minority – because from what you say about them, their comments appear very troubling.

Anyway, as to BP #23:  Again we see the “contrast” of news coverage – this time the more liberal (network? PBS? BET?) coverage of the funeral of the anti-registration Bill Foster, a.k.a. Goliath and then later a conservative commentator’s coverage (in his “The Spin Zone” show … who could that be referring tooooo?) of T’Challa’s and Storm’s attitudes surrounding registration.  The selection of sound bites used by each show is revealing.  Funny thing is I thought the viewpoints expressed by all the folks in the sound-bites came across as plausible and not unreasonable – and I’m glad Reginald did it this way, instead of just presenting two-dimensional stereotypes.  Yet it also showed how the “news” can be spinned even with valid material.  I found this interesting and pretty amusing.

The meeting of the “conservative” political operatives (including, I believe, the Colonel Sanders look-alike Senator) was pretty amusing too … and did address racial issues though it also addressed politics with the group’s efforts to find some way to assassinate Bill Foster’s character (after he had been killed by pro-Registration forces) followed up by their discussion of Iron Man’s confrontation with the Black Panther.  The reference to Emmett Till was very clever and shows that Reginald also has an educational purpose to his writing – since I bet a lotta readers (like the conservative politician in the comic book) have never heard of Emmett Till.  Interesting that it was the Southern Senator who made reference to Till – as he understood the profound impact Till’s murder had on galvanizing the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s – just like Goliath’s murder might today. I liked the fact that all the “players” in this meeting were white and yet the younger more astute operative rolled his eyes when the old fart leading the meeting revealed that he knew nothing about Till.  So much for people saying Hudlin is a “racist” – it was a white guy rolling his eyes in response to the ignorance of another white guy.  And of course the comment by the old fart, in a denial of racism exhibiting racism, was dang clever.  First the old guy blows off the black vote and later says:

Old Politico:  “Why didn’t Stark just finish the job?” [i.e. kill the Black Panther]
More astute young operative responds, “His friend Jim Rhodes called for a truce, and considering the recent death of Goliath, it was probably a good idea not to engage in a probably fatal showdown with a popular African king.”
Old fart snorts and retorts, “Point taken.  In this PC-Crazy world, we’d end up looking like the Klan, not patriots.  In the meantime, I want the Panther to learn he’s not in the jungle anymore.” [emphasis added]
 
Reginald’s addition of that last comment was astute on a couple of levels.  First, were the world NOT “PC-Crazy” then it would be OK to “look like the Klan”?  Second, while the guy seems to be saying he does not want to come across like the Klan, he follows up this sentiment with a remark about “the jungle” with clear racial overtones. (Notwithstanding that T’Challa is in fact from Africa … though that fact might allow the speaker to later deny that his comment had any racial overtones … itself an interesting contextual spin since in the real world we often do see denials of racist intent following offensive comments).  Reginald’s point is a fair one – that some folks deny they are racists (even to themselves) and yet display racial bias.  As to his “PC-Crazy” comment … well, I do think we are too PC-Crazy nowadays (in some respects, not in others), so I don’t entirely share Reginald’s view of this issue – BUT I do think in a couple of frames Mr. Hudlin presented his viewpoint in a very sharp fashion. 

How Reginald Hudlin puts so much content in just a few comic book lines and pictures continues to amaze me.

On other fronts: 

The suggestion that we may have a new Goliath in the making is interesting and exciting.

The suggestion that domestic Wakandan problems will contront T’Challa in the future, in response to his international efforts, is intriguing.

The suggestion that the Black Panther will provide technology to the anti-Registration forces, and assist in efforts to break into the Negative Zone to break out the prisoners, is globally explosive.   

The fight between the dora milaje and the Black Widow was pretty cool (with an amusing aftermath) – though I do have to admit that a couple of times in the comic book I had to look at the illustrations more than once to try to figure out what was happening.  Overall the art is OK but I do lose my patience when I’ve gotta sit and stare at a drawing for awhile to figure out precisely how X is hitting Y or who is hitting who, etc … 

Also I was a little puzzled when T’Challa confronted Steve Rogers (in disguise) – that somehow T’Challa’s face mask appeared in a microsecond between one panel and the next, and that Cap’s shield appeared out of what was initially drawn to look like a regular-shaped duffle bag.  Small points about the art and artistic transitions.

But back to the substance …

Finally, Tony Stark … has the extremis virus really affected his mind?  He says to the Black Widow, “Of course, if Rhodey hadn’t jumped in, I would have solved the whole problem right then …” [paralleling the old politico’s sentiments, above, regarding his fight against the Black Panther and what Iron Man could have done to him].  Hmmmmm.   And so … Stark is pissed and will bring out the Big Guns …. In the form of the Thor Clone [killer of Bill Foster] in Issue #24 ,,,

Promises to be a great confrontation.

P.S.  I just looked over what I wrote above.  Oh my goodness.  Have my many conversations with some of the folk on this forum and my immersion in Hudlin’s Black Panther actually affected my thinking to some extent?  My h-h-h-hands are s-s-s-shaking at the keyboard as I type these words … (HaHaHaHa!).  Well … don’t get too excited … I’m not ready to register as a Democrat yet!   ;)

[size=08pt][Note:  I corrected the above post to accurately describe the contrasting "news coverage" portrayed in the comiic book, which Yaw points out immediately below was not a "black reporter" and then a "white commentator" but rather sound bites from Foster's family and then later sound bites from "The Spin Zone."][/size]
« Last Edit: January 14, 2007, 09:22:36 am by michaelintp »

Offline Yaw

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The News
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2007, 07:32:28 pm »
This issue didn't have a Black reporter but I can see what you are implying.

I thought the Spin Zone was funny as hell.  I felt it was funny because the soundbites sounded EXACTLy like the ones made by Hudlin detractors.  Not too long ago I remember someone commenting on how come Storm didn't save New Orleans folk and stop Katrina from happening.  Then I remmber someone commenting on how they don't like Black PAnther because he's not even a hero and his time in Avengers was marked by deception cuz he was just spying on them.

Offline bluezulu

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Re: Black Panther 23 -- Politics, Race and Insight
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2007, 07:53:23 pm »
thanks mike for your feedback. you are so needed over here as a role model as to how to speak on issues that you might not agree with but at the same time can speak your mind civilly. i think it is a skill lost on this generation. i am so amazed at this generation's apparent lack of "getting it" when it comes to political and social satire. the three headed monsters always point to reg's politics as being outdated. no the politics stay the same it's just that the tricks get more complicated and the denial of the overt racist/sexist/homophobic behavior is in vouge now.

the genius of satire is that in it's simplicity it paints a complex picture of the bigger problem. yea arafat, sadaam and bin laden are long gone and deceased, but their spirit and what they represent still lives on. reg and the artist could have had the current leaders of these group in that issue of black panther but would the message be the same? satire is an entertainment piece that reg generation created and mine grew up on. those who remember the in living color and saturday night live craze when they were hot remember when this was the most popular way of not only making political statements but entertainment as well.

mike is there such a thing as old politics? imo since the tower of babel we have dealt with different forms of the same argument. the three headed monsters might think there is a more sophisticated way to convey the message but so what, the goal is to make sure the statement is delivered. And even though some might disagree with the message the artist (reg) delivered it and managed to entertain at the same time.

michaelintp

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Re: The News
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2007, 08:58:38 pm »
This issue didn't have a Black reporter but I can see what you are implying.

Oh ... for some reason I thought the first guy in that series was a reporter ... don't have the comic with me right now so I can't check ... maybe he was someone being interviewed like the other people on the page.  Whatever ... though now I'm curious.  I'll have to check it out tomorrow.  Anywayzzz ... the point still holds, in terms of comparing news coverage by selectively quoting who you want to quote.  [Note Added Following Day:  Yes, you are right, all the people interviewed on the TV report were family members attending the funeral of Bill Foster ... which that particular network chose to broadcast].

And Blue, thanks.  I guess it is better be a "role model" than a "poster child" hahaha!  Yep, I love Reginald's satire.  His sense of humor, sometimes pretty biting, sometimes just knee slapping, really cracks me up.

Old politics?  I don't think politics change.  Look at the early 1950s and the partisan division, hatred and name calling (going in both directions) at that time (Joe McCarthy was not the only bad boy back then ... there were plenty of smearing name-callers on both sides of the aisle).  Smearing the enemy -- sure, an old tradition.  So yep, I agree with you Blue.  Though I do think there are times when the nation has been better served when politicians and pundits are "more" united.  As in times of war when the nation is threatened.  But those times of national unity have been exceptional.

I really don't even know what "new politics" means.  All I'm seein' is the same ol' crap (most of it mindless).  The only thing that is amusing at this time is some of the satire.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2007, 08:30:20 pm by michaelintp »

Offline Open palm

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Re: Storm and Katrina
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2007, 09:30:23 pm »
Not too long ago I remember someone commenting on how come Storm didn't save New Orleans folk and stop Katrina from happening.  Then I remmber someone commenting on how they don't like Black PAnther because he's not even a hero and his time in Avengers was marked by deception cuz he was just spying on them.

So the time he helped fight Ymir and Surtr (Fathers of the Ice and Fire Giants) was not a heroic deed? They must have tougher standards than the pro-registration fans.

The argument with Storm and Hurricane Katrina is weak. It's not about continuity or her powers, but what the book's writer is willing to address about the real world. Gambit is from New Orleans, just like Monica Rambeau. But he wasn't seen doing squat that crisis and nobody asked why not. (I believe Katrina happened before Gambit turned into a Horseman.)
Do you prefer a hero who will confirm your deepest fears? Or a hero who will inspire faith in humanity and goodness?

michaelintp

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Re: Black Panther 23 -- Politics, Race and Insight
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2007, 10:55:50 pm »
But Open Palm, it is an intriguing concept -- how to mesh real-world natural catastrophes with imaginary super heroes who could have stopped them.  I guess one approach is to ignore the catastrophe ... but that would force the author to ignore real-world issues surrounding an event like Katrina and the way it was handled (or mishandled). The other is to try to layer in reference to the catastrophe into the storyline (as Reginald has in his BP story on Katrina and his reference to it in this issue) ... and here Reginald really put the dilemma in our face.  I found the comment interesting.  But certainly a person in the real world should NOT use this dilemma to justify "hating" a comic book character for NOT stopping a real world tragedy.  That is just dopey (and suggests there might be "something else" motivating the person's bias against the character).  It is more interesting when the sentiment is expressed by someone in the comic book universe -- as we saw in the BP comic referenced here.  Because for those "living" in the comic book universe there would be some reason for that sentiment. 

Offline Open palm

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Re: Black Panther 23 -- Politics, Race and Insight
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2007, 03:10:19 am »
But Open Palm, it is an intriguing concept -- how to mesh real-world natural catastrophes with imaginary super heroes who could have stopped them.  I guess one approach is to ignore the catastrophe ... but that would force the author to ignore real-world issues surrounding an event like Katrina and the way it was handled (or mishandled). The other is to try to layer in reference to the catastrophe into the storyline (as Reginald has in his BP story on Katrina and his reference to it in this issue) ... and here Reginald really put the dilemma in our face.  I found the comment interesting.  But certainly a person in the real world should NOT use this dilemma to justify "hating" a comic book character for NOT stopping a real world tragedy.  That is just dopey (and suggests there might be "something else" motivating the person's bias against the character).  It is more interesting when the sentiment is expressed by someone in the comic book universe -- as we saw in the BP comic referenced here.  Because for those "living" in the comic book universe there would be some reason for that sentiment. 

Yes, Michael. We can come up with many excuses as to why none of the X-Men or Avengers got involved. For example, we just say it wasn't in New York City (poor excuse when you ask about 9-11). Or point out that Storm was busy in Africa. Why didn't she sense the hurricane from there? I could ask the same question when the people in South and Southeast Asia have suffered - for the past few years - from monsoons. And where was Storm during the terrible Hurricane Andrew? But nobody in Marvel points that out, correct?

This is why I don't buy the B.S. of Superman patrolling the entire planet. They wrote how he helped out after an earthquake struck China. But that hasn't happened in recent years. What countries did suffer when they wrote that were Pakistan,Turkey, Japan, & Indonesia. So DC's claims end up being hollow and SUPERficial.

I'm going to stop pointing fingers now. Readers should be grateful. Reggie gave voice to the most disgraceful national response in 21st century America. The victims of Katrina needed heroes. They came, n'est-ce pas? That's a good thing and New Orleans would not be picky about it.
Do you prefer a hero who will confirm your deepest fears? Or a hero who will inspire faith in humanity and goodness?

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Re: Black Panther 23 -- Politics, Race and Insight
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2007, 03:43:29 am »
Great view of the issue, Mike, thanks  for your opinions, and I actually agree with most of them! :o
The suggestion that domestic Wakandan problems will contront T’Challa in the future, in response to his international efforts, is intriguing.
And something I've been hoping to see for a while. Also, anyone wonder if it seems like uncle T'Shaan is actually trying to cause trouble for T'Challa? Like maybe his actions have been a bit... Cannibalised? What's great is that T'Shaan's concerns seem perfectly authentic for the character, but could be  interpreted either way. Still, we need some more rampant speculation on just who the Cannibal jumped into.
P.S.  I just looked over what I wrote above.  Oh my goodness.  Have my many conversations with some of the folk on this forum and my immersion in Hudlin’s Black Panther actually affected my thinking to some extent?  My h-h-h-hands are s-s-s-shaking at the keyboard as I type these words … (HaHaHaHa!).  Well … don’t get too excited … I’m not ready to register as a Democrat yet!   ;)
Bwah hah hah! I fully expect to see Mike getting beat-down by police on the next big anti-G8 / anti-Globalisation demonstration.

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Re: Black Panther 23 -- Politics, Race and Insight
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2007, 06:28:15 am »
this thread is too big and good to just skim.
i'll be back.

kudos Mike.  this is a nice post.


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Right on to the real and death to the fakers!  Peace out!

michaelintp

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Re: The News
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2007, 08:44:12 am »
I thought the Spin Zone was funny as hell.  I felt it was funny because the soundbites sounded EXACTLy like the ones made by Hudlin detractors.  Not too long ago I remember someone commenting on how come Storm didn't save New Orleans folk and stop Katrina from happening.  Then I remmber someone commenting on how they don't like Black PAnther because he's not even a hero and his time in Avengers was marked by deception cuz he was just spying on them.

Ya know, I didn't realize it when I read the issue (since I've never gone to those anti-Hudlin message boards), but I bet Reginald was intentionally producing a little parody of the Black Panther and Storm haters (taken right outta those message boards).  Pretty funny.   :D

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Black Panther 23 -- Politics, Race and Insight
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2007, 10:08:19 am »
But Open Palm, it is an intriguing concept -- how to mesh real-world natural catastrophes with imaginary super heroes who could have stopped them.  ...  It is more interesting when the sentiment is expressed by someone in the comic book universe -- as we saw in the BP comic referenced here.  Because for those "living" in the comic book universe there would be some reason for that sentiment. 
I do find that interesting.  I expect Storm understands and recognizes the integrated nature of global weather systems.  Stopping a hurricane might have even greater consequences elsewhere.  Perhaps benign intervention on that scale isn't possible? 
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Re: Black Panther 23 -- Politics, Race and Insight
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2007, 10:32:39 am »
BUT STORM has already stated that herself... i dont know which issue of xmen it was in.
She stated that when she first learned of her powers that she made it rain on a piece of arrid land to bring it to life, but inadvertantly caused a drought in a different part of Africa.

from that point on, she has to be careful on how she uses her powers becuz there IS a balance in the laws of nature that she must abide by.


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Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Black Panther 23 -- Politics, Race and Insight
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2007, 11:29:56 am »
Well, there you go.  My post was just conjecture.  Good to be among knowledgeable folks.
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michaelintp

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Re: Black Panther 23 -- Politics, Race and Insight
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2007, 08:37:38 pm »
Bwah hah hah! I fully expect to see Mike getting beat-down by police on the next big anti-G8 / anti-Globalisation demonstration.

Yep, me and Donald Rumsfeld marching arm in arm with our fellow demonstrators to the tune of the International ...!   ;D

michaelintp

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Re: Black Panther 23 -- Politics, Race and Insight
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2007, 09:03:18 pm »
Also, anyone wonder if it seems like uncle T'Shaan is actually trying to cause trouble for T'Challa? Like maybe his actions have been a bit... Cannibalised? What's great is that T'Shaan's concerns seem perfectly authentic for the character, but could be  interpreted either way. Still, we need some more rampant speculation on just who the Cannibal jumped into.

Oh yeah!!!!  Great point.  With my feeble memory I had forgotten about Cannibal taking over other's bodies in Wakanda to manipulate the political scene there.  [Haha, why I like to read several months' worth at once ... the story fits together with no risk of forgetting key plot points].