Author Topic: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?  (Read 26553 times)

Offline voodoochild

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2007, 03:27:57 pm »
You know one thing I always thought was kind of funny about Priest was that he always wanted to be known as a good comic book writer instead of a good black comic book writer. Yet, he kept bringing up how he was wronged in that the comic book industry would not recognize him as the first black comic book editor. This reminds me of how African American actors and comedians (i.e. Bernie Mack, Nia Long, etc.) will say similar statements of how they want to be recognized for just being entertainers, not black entertainers. Yet they will be happy to get those BET awards and NAACP recognition.

BTW, I do dig some Preist's work (Black Panther, of course) but I have to point out somethings I don't particularly like that he has done.

I hate it when Black people pull out that "I dont want to be known as a Black...".  As if transcending race is the ultimate goal, or the holy grail.  Being successful.  Nope.  Not good enough.  I want to rise above the hindrance of color.  As if.  There has never been a Black person in the history of this country that has transcended race.   Priest and 'nem need to get off that sh*t and just do what they do.

Offline The Evasive 1

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2007, 04:11:37 pm »
You know one thing I always thought was kind of funny about Priest was that he always wanted to be known as a good comic book writer instead of a good black comic book writer. Yet, he kept bringing up how he was wronged in that the comic book industry would not recognize him as the first black comic book editor. This reminds me of how African American actors and comedians (i.e. Bernie Mack, Nia Long, etc.) will say similar statements of how they want to be recognized for just being entertainers, not black entertainers. Yet they will be happy to get those BET awards and NAACP recognition.

BTW, I do dig some Preist's work (Black Panther, of course) but I have to point out somethings I don't particularly like that he has done.

I hate it when Black people pull out that "I dont want to be known as a Black...".  As if transcending race is the ultimate goal, or the holy grail.  Being successful.  Nope.  Not good enough.  I want to rise above the hindrance of color.  As if.  There has never been a Black person in the history of this country that has transcended race.   Priest and 'nem need to get off that sh*t and just do what they do.

I agree. But I kind of see what they a probably trying to do. Priest is considered a black comic book writer (whether he wants to transcend color or not) so he probably believes that if he is considered just  a comic book writer, then any title he writes for won't be considered a "black" book. Same goes for other black entertainers. I think they feel that if the word "black" isn't considered in their professional description then it allows them to crossover to the "larger demographic" popularity. I'm not sure if this is true or not considering Samuel Jackson, Janet Jackson, Oprah and others.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2007, 04:13:15 pm by Evasive1 »

Offline Loren

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2007, 06:04:07 pm »
Speaking of which, did any of you read "Steel" after Priest took it over (before it too got canceled)? The writers before hand were not that great and Priest DID up the level of quality somewhat. However, I soon realized he was trying to put that "Ross" element in his stories as he made up this white kid who apparently sweeps Steel's niece, Natasha, off her feet within a period of two issues. This kid, to me, had the same qualities as Ross. In fact, it pretty much WAS Ross as a sixteen year old. It seemed like Priest was once again throwing in a white character who went around telling "black" themed jokes, which is what Ross did on occasion and attempting to provide comic relief for the story.


You've got your timeline backwards.  Priest started writing Steel two years before his BP series began.  In fact, Steel was cancelled before BP #1 hit stands.  So it's impossible for Boris to have been a Ross pastiche.

Quote
Priest also makes  the resident black girl wave off all potential suitors in the 'hood who approach her except a scraggly dress white kid, with holes in his jeans and long hair, who shows up on her door step and offers to buy ice cream which she immediately jumps on after dissin' everyone else (including brothas if I remember right). This romantic hook up happens in the FIRST ISSUE.


You mean this scene:



There are no suitors, there are no brothas, she doesn't jump on him, and unless you count Boris saying "So I thought we'd go out sometime" while they're eating ice cream a few pages later, they don't romantically hook up.

Quote
Why does Priest come in and cut these black heroes and their stories down to the knees? I understand the idea of drama and making more challenges for the hero but why take a character and make him weaker still than he already is in the comic book universe?


He also moved him to a better home, gave him a much better job, started calling him "Dr. Irons," and put the 'S' back on his chest.  And as for making him "weaker," no one put Steel on *any* DCU teams before Priest, but afterwards he joined the JLA.  Granted, it was after the series was cancelled, but Priest wrote the story that had him join.

Quote from: Vic Vega
Wasn't Prest also responsible for turning Steel's family, the Irons clan from a slightly poorer version of the Huxtables into a mass of abuse and disfucntion? It's almost like he thought that his happy family was too good to be true.


Well, there's the stuff Evasive described from Priest's Christmas issue, but Louise Simonson had already put the family through the wringer.  Jemahl was in a street gang at the beginning, Tyke was paralyzed and later betrayed the family, and the grandmother was killed by Dr. Polaris.  And then Simonson put the whole family into Witness Protection, removing them all from the series.

Quote
Note that Steel lasted nearly FOUR YEARS at DC before Priest came on the book. This may be another case where his attempts to mainstream the book drove off its target audience.


Priest took over with #34.  And while sales didn't improve, the series was already one of DC's lowest sellers before he came onboard, neck-in-neck with Aztek and Takion (both of which were cancelled very soon thereafter).

Offline The Evasive 1

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2007, 08:05:28 pm »
Speaking of which, did any of you read "Steel" after Priest took it over (before it too got canceled)? The writers before hand were not that great and Priest DID up the level of quality somewhat. However, I soon realized he was trying to put that "Ross" element in his stories as he made up this white kid who apparently sweeps Steel's niece, Natasha, off her feet within a period of two issues. This kid, to me, had the same qualities as Ross. In fact, it pretty much WAS Ross as a sixteen year old. It seemed like Priest was once again throwing in a white character who went around telling "black" themed jokes, which is what Ross did on occasion and attempting to provide comic relief for the story.


You've got your timeline backwards.  Priest started writing Steel two years before his BP series began.  In fact, Steel was canceled before BP #1 hit stands.  So it's impossible for Boris to have been a Ross pastiche.


Okay, if that's the case, the it's Ross  who is a continuing play on the Boris character albeit more animated and some changes to the characters identity. I had believed it was Steel who came after, after reading some of Priest's notes. However, whether Steel came first or not, the point I am trying to make is to show a pattern involving Priest writing style.

Priest also makes  the resident black girl wave off all potential suitors in the 'hood who approach her except a scraggly dress white kid, with holes in his jeans and long hair, who shows up on her door step and offers to buy ice cream which she immediately jumps on after dissin' everyone else (including brothas if I remember right). This romantic hook up happens in the FIRST ISSUE.


You mean this scene:



There are no suitors, there are no brothas, she doesn't jump on him, and unless you count Boris saying "So I thought we'd go out sometime" while they're eating ice cream a few pages later, they don't romantically hook up.


The point of brothas getting turned way is based off of what had occurred in the title as a a whole. I should have pointed that out so that it would have been more clear. My bad. When writing my comments I was thinking of that scene as well as other situations within the series (i.e. the ice cream parlor guy). The third panel of the example you posted is, what I took to be, a Hispanic suitor. So I don't understand how you say there are no suitors here. A guy rolls up on a girl to see "what's up", that is called suitor. Maybe not the most romantic way to approach a woman but it would still fall in that category.

As far as Boris and Natasha are concerned, they do have a somewhat romantic hook up. Their entire interaction form the moment they meet and into the rest of the series is along that premise as Boris is continually courting Natasha. Though Natasha keeps saying he "won't get none" she still accepts his attentions and even gives in to kissing him early on in their romance courtship.

Why does Priest come in and cut these black heroes and their stories down to the knees? I understand the idea of drama and making more challenges for the hero but why take a character and make him weaker still than he already is in the comic book universe?


He also moved him to a better home, gave him a much better job, started calling him "Dr. Irons," and put the 'S' back on his chest.  And as for making him "weaker," no one put Steel on *any* DCU teams before Priest, but afterwards he joined the JLA.  Granted, it was after the series was cancelled, but Priest wrote the story that had him join.


I'm not criticizing that Steel was living in a nicer house/lab nor his appointment at the hospital.. What I was concerned about was with the part that made him a super hero. His "super" powers if you will. His armor was de-powered in that he no longer had super strength and almost every other issue his armor kept getting "turned off". His previous armor (that had become a sentient creature) kept attacking which, I thought was getting kind of tired. With that going on along with other villains coming after him and he helping with city wide emergencies. So what he got the "S' back on his chest. I never could buy that this "genius" engineer could not make another suit of armor that was an advance of what he lost.  When you upgrade something, you increase it's potential you don't down grade it. You know, kind of like what Tony Stark does with the Iron Man armor.

As far as Steel being added to JLA, I don't think that necessarily had anything to do with Priest. For all we know, DC was planning to move the Steel character over to that title as the Steel solo title wasn't selling. This way the character wouldn't fall off in to obscurity.

Quote from: Vic Vega
Wasn't Prest also responsible for turning Steel's family, the Irons clan from a slightly poorer version of the Huxtables into a mass of abuse and disfucntion? It's almost like he thought that his happy family was too good to be true.


Well, there's the stuff Evasive described from Priest's Christmas issue, but Louise Simonson had already put the family through the wringer.  Jemahl was in a street gang at the beginning, Tyke was paralyzed and later betrayed the family, and the grandmother was killed by Dr. Polaris.  And then Simonson put the whole family into Witness Protection, removing them all from the series.


Yes, Jemahl was in a gang, Tyke was paralyzed and the grandmother died. However, that were not in that extreme distressing state that Priest wrote them as when he took on the title. The mother wasn't 300+ lbs looking like the stereotypical "mammy" character. Jemahl wasn't walking around disrespecting, abusive and drinking 40's. Grandpa wasn't running around completely lost from reality. Preist took those characters to that,oh so stereotypical, extreme of an under privileged black family. It wouldn't have been so bad if the family had stayed out of the book after they went into the Witness Protection program.

Quote
Note that Steel lasted nearly FOUR YEARS at DC before Priest came on the book. This may be another case where his attempts to mainstream the book drove off its target audience.


Priest took over with #34.  And while sales didn't improve, the series was already one of DC's lowest sellers before he came onboard, neck-in-neck with Aztek and Takion (both of which were cancelled very soon thereafter).


I think the point is that he might have been able to increase readership so that the title may have had another four years. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to do that.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2007, 08:11:15 pm by Evasive1 »

Offline supreme illuminati

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #34 on: January 21, 2007, 08:20:21 pm »
Speaking of which, did any of you read "Steel" after Priest took it over (before it too got canceled)? The writers before hand were not that great and Priest DID up the level of quality somewhat. However, I soon realized he was trying to put that "Ross" element in his stories as he made up this white kid who apparently sweeps Steel's niece, Natasha, off her feet within a period of two issues. This kid, to me, had the same qualities as Ross. In fact, it pretty much WAS Ross as a sixteen year old. It seemed like Priest was once again throwing in a white character who went around telling "black" themed jokes, which is what Ross did on occasion and attempting to provide comic relief for the story.


You've got your timeline backwards.  Priest started writing Steel two years before his BP series began.  In fact, Steel was cancelled before BP #1 hit stands.  So it's impossible for Boris to have been a Ross pastiche.

Quote
Priest also makes  the resident black girl wave off all potential suitors in the 'hood who approach her except a scraggly dress white kid, with holes in his jeans and long hair, who shows up on her door step and offers to buy ice cream which she immediately jumps on after dissin' everyone else (including brothas if I remember right). This romantic hook up happens in the FIRST ISSUE.


You mean this scene:



There are no suitors, there are no brothas, she doesn't jump on him, and unless you count Boris saying "So I thought we'd go out sometime" while they're eating ice cream a few pages later, they don't romantically hook up.

Quote
Why does Priest come in and cut these black heroes and their stories down to the knees? I understand the idea of drama and making more challenges for the hero but why take a character and make him weaker still than he already is in the comic book universe?


He also moved him to a better home, gave him a much better job, started calling him "Dr. Irons," and put the 'S' back on his chest.  And as for making him "weaker," no one put Steel on *any* DCU teams before Priest, but afterwards he joined the JLA.  Granted, it was after the series was cancelled, but Priest wrote the story that had him join.

Quote from: Vic Vega
Wasn't Prest also responsible for turning Steel's family, the Irons clan from a slightly poorer version of the Huxtables into a mass of abuse and disfucntion? It's almost like he thought that his happy family was too good to be true.


Well, there's the stuff Evasive described from Priest's Christmas issue, but Louise Simonson had already put the family through the wringer.  Jemahl was in a street gang at the beginning, Tyke was paralyzed and later betrayed the family, and the grandmother was killed by Dr. Polaris.  And then Simonson put the whole family into Witness Protection, removing them all from the series.

Quote
Note that Steel lasted nearly FOUR YEARS at DC before Priest came on the book. This may be another case where his attempts to mainstream the book drove off its target audience.


Priest took over with #34.  And while sales didn't improve, the series was already one of DC's lowest sellers before he came onboard, neck-in-neck with Aztek and Takion (both of which were cancelled very soon thereafter).


SUPREME ILLUMINATION:

I'm glad I got the chance to actually read the scene in question.I don't look at this issue of Priest having a White person like ROSS in his series as flaws in his writing approach or style...I actually see it as more than a little realistic.Not too many places in America--MARVEL or DCU--where you can have a pretty realistic series without any White folks,or White folks in significant positions of authority.Furthermore,I for one enjoyed the rapier wit and comedy of NATASHA and I didn't once get the sense of negativity that some of the posters here ascribed to both PRIEST and the scene in question.

Priest is an excellent writer.It's the politics and the readership which has changed,and in many instances they are able to trump the thing that is dearest to a writer's heart: writing a good story.A good story should be the number one concern of any writer.I don't care if Sgt. Tork or ROSS are around.I care that the story and the characters are good.I don't care that Priest--who knows from being in the editor's chair that "minority" characters don't become hits in the current market,and has stridently called for much more sincere attempts by MARVEL and DC to expand the readership by actively wooing the hiphop generation and people of color,and whom has been roundly ignored on that issue until AFTER he stopped penning comics--doesn't have an all-Black cast in his books.You know what I care about? He wrote the dopest damn BP of anybody in the world not named RH...and RH is able to do what he does because past masters like PRIEST and D-MAC puts it down with thunder.Period.No PIREST=NO RH.I'm trying to have all three--D-MAC,PRIEST,RH--doin the damn thang together at the same time.Our own real life comic author THREE THE HARD WAY.Miss me with everything except this dominant,salient fact:

A FALCON/BP/FF CROSS-OVER WOULD BE BANANNAS.

Endeth ILLUMINATION
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Offline The Evasive 1

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2007, 08:48:25 pm »
Speaking of which, did any of you read "Steel" after Priest took it over (before it too got canceled)? The writers before hand were not that great and Priest DID up the level of quality somewhat. However, I soon realized he was trying to put that "Ross" element in his stories as he made up this white kid who apparently sweeps Steel's niece, Natasha, off her feet within a period of two issues. This kid, to me, had the same qualities as Ross. In fact, it pretty much WAS Ross as a sixteen year old. It seemed like Priest was once again throwing in a white character who went around telling "black" themed jokes, which is what Ross did on occasion and attempting to provide comic relief for the story.


You've got your timeline backwards.  Priest started writing Steel two years before his BP series began.  In fact, Steel was cancelled before BP #1 hit stands.  So it's impossible for Boris to have been a Ross pastiche.

Quote
Priest also makes  the resident black girl wave off all potential suitors in the 'hood who approach her except a scraggly dress white kid, with holes in his jeans and long hair, who shows up on her door step and offers to buy ice cream which she immediately jumps on after dissin' everyone else (including brothas if I remember right). This romantic hook up happens in the FIRST ISSUE.


You mean this scene:



There are no suitors, there are no brothas, she doesn't jump on him, and unless you count Boris saying "So I thought we'd go out sometime" while they're eating ice cream a few pages later, they don't romantically hook up.

Quote
Why does Priest come in and cut these black heroes and their stories down to the knees? I understand the idea of drama and making more challenges for the hero but why take a character and make him weaker still than he already is in the comic book universe?


He also moved him to a better home, gave him a much better job, started calling him "Dr. Irons," and put the 'S' back on his chest.  And as for making him "weaker," no one put Steel on *any* DCU teams before Priest, but afterwards he joined the JLA.  Granted, it was after the series was cancelled, but Priest wrote the story that had him join.

Quote from: Vic Vega
Wasn't Prest also responsible for turning Steel's family, the Irons clan from a slightly poorer version of the Huxtables into a mass of abuse and disfucntion? It's almost like he thought that his happy family was too good to be true.


Well, there's the stuff Evasive described from Priest's Christmas issue, but Louise Simonson had already put the family through the wringer.  Jemahl was in a street gang at the beginning, Tyke was paralyzed and later betrayed the family, and the grandmother was killed by Dr. Polaris.  And then Simonson put the whole family into Witness Protection, removing them all from the series.

Quote
Note that Steel lasted nearly FOUR YEARS at DC before Priest came on the book. This may be another case where his attempts to mainstream the book drove off its target audience.


Priest took over with #34.  And while sales didn't improve, the series was already one of DC's lowest sellers before he came onboard, neck-in-neck with Aztek and Takion (both of which were cancelled very soon thereafter).


SUPREME ILLUMINATION:

I'm glad I got the chance to actually read the scene in question.I don't look at this issue of Priest having a White person like ROSS in his series as flaws in his writing approach or style...I actually see it as more than a little realistic.Not too many places in America--MARVEL or DCU--where you can have a pretty realistic series without any White folks,or White folks in significant positions of authority.Furthermore,I for one enjoyed the rapier wit and comedy of NATASHA and I didn't once get the sense of negativity that some of the posters here ascribed to both PRIEST and the scene in question.

Priest is an excellent writer.It's the politics and the readership which has changed,and in many instances they are able to trump the thing that is dearest to a writer's heart: writing a good story.A good story should be the number one concern of any writer.I don't care if Sgt. Tork or ROSS are around.I care that the story and the characters are good.I don't care that Priest--who knows from being in the editor's chair that "minority" characters don't become hits in the current market,and has stridently called for much more sincere attempts by MARVEL and DC to expand the readership by actively wooing the hiphop generation and people of color,and whom has been roundly ignored on that issue until AFTER he stopped penning comics--doesn't have an all-Black cast in his books.You know what I care about? He wrote the dopest damn BP of anybody in the world not named RH...and RH is able to do what he does because past masters like PRIEST and D-MAC puts it down with thunder.Period.No PIREST=NO RH.I'm trying to have all three--D-MAC,PRIEST,RH--doin the damn thang together at the same time.Our own real life comic author THREE THE HARD WAY.Miss me with everything except this dominant,salient fact:

A FALCON/BP/FF CROSS-OVER WOULD BE BANANNAS.

Endeth ILLUMINATION


I respect your opinion SI, but I'm not sure if anyone was saying that the comic should have only black casts. At least I wasn't. I am also not saying I hate Priest or Hudlin's run of BP. In fact, I'm sure you know that based on prior posts I've made. Also I don't hate the Ross character though after awhile, in my  opinion, his appearance at times was annoying. My point of this discussion was pointing out trends that Priest used in his writing that I,from time to time, was less than enthusiastic about.

Also note that the panel that Loren has provided and they you are referencing is but one panel in one book in an entire series that still doesn't reflect all that happened in the Steel series and to what I was making my criticisms about. Mind you, I liked Steel and though I had some issues with it, I collected the entire run. I loved Priest's BP run.  I just had some reservations about them and I just happened to discover this was a pattern or style, of Priest's.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2007, 08:50:04 pm by Evasive1 »

Offline supreme illuminati

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2007, 09:41:55 pm »
Speaking of which, did any of you read "Steel" after Priest took it over (before it too got canceled)? The writers before hand were not that great and Priest DID up the level of quality somewhat. However, I soon realized he was trying to put that "Ross" element in his stories as he made up this white kid who apparently sweeps Steel's niece, Natasha, off her feet within a period of two issues. This kid, to me, had the same qualities as Ross. In fact, it pretty much WAS Ross as a sixteen year old. It seemed like Priest was once again throwing in a white character who went around telling "black" themed jokes, which is what Ross did on occasion and attempting to provide comic relief for the story.


You've got your timeline backwards.  Priest started writing Steel two years before his BP series began.  In fact, Steel was canceled before BP #1 hit stands.  So it's impossible for Boris to have been a Ross pastiche.


somehow,I missed the whole second half of this post...good post,dawg.I flat out don't like the family situation either,if it's as you describe it.I am going to have to see what PREIST himself wrote about the issues and what he wrote on his site,and I will consider that to be the final word about his interpretations of the characters,his intent,and what directions he would take them.

Okay, if that's the case, the it's Ross  who is a continuing play on the Boris character albeit more animated and some changes to the characters identity. I had believed it was Steel who came after, after reading some of Priest's notes. However, whether Steel came first or not, the point I am trying to make is to show a pattern involving Priest writing style.

Priest also makes  the resident black girl wave off all potential suitors in the 'hood who approach her except a scraggly dress white kid, with holes in his jeans and long hair, who shows up on her door step and offers to buy ice cream which she immediately jumps on after dissin' everyone else (including brothas if I remember right). This romantic hook up happens in the FIRST ISSUE.


You mean this scene:



There are no suitors, there are no brothas, she doesn't jump on him, and unless you count Boris saying "So I thought we'd go out sometime" while they're eating ice cream a few pages later, they don't romantically hook up.


The point of brothas getting turned way is based off of what had occurred in the title as a a whole. I should have pointed that out so that it would have been more clear. My bad. When writing my comments I was thinking of that scene as well as other situations within the series (i.e. the ice cream parlor guy). The third panel of the example you posted is, what I took to be, a Hispanic suitor. So I don't understand how you say there are no suitors here. A guy rolls up on a girl to see "what's up", that is called suitor. Maybe not the most romantic way to approach a woman but it would still fall in that category.

As far as Boris and Natasha are concerned, they do have a somewhat romantic hook up. Their entire interaction form the moment they meet and into the rest of the series is along that premise as Boris is continually courting Natasha. Though Natasha keeps saying he "won't get none" she still accepts his attentions and even gives in to kissing him early on in their romance courtship.

Why does Priest come in and cut these black heroes and their stories down to the knees? I understand the idea of drama and making more challenges for the hero but why take a character and make him weaker still than he already is in the comic book universe?


He also moved him to a better home, gave him a much better job, started calling him "Dr. Irons," and put the 'S' back on his chest.  And as for making him "weaker," no one put Steel on *any* DCU teams before Priest, but afterwards he joined the JLA.  Granted, it was after the series was cancelled, but Priest wrote the story that had him join.


I'm not criticizing that Steel was living in a nicer house/lab nor his appointment at the hospital.. What I was concerned about was with the part that made him a super hero. His "super" powers if you will. His armor was de-powered in that he no longer had super strength and almost every other issue his armor kept getting "turned off". His previous armor (that had become a sentient creature) kept attacking which, I thought was getting kind of tired. With that going on along with other villains coming after him and he helping with city wide emergencies. So what he got the "S' back on his chest. I never could buy that this "genius" engineer could not make another suit of armor that was an advance of what he lost.  When you upgrade something, you increase it's potential you don't down grade it. You know, kind of like what Tony Stark does with the Iron Man armor.

As far as Steel being added to JLA, I don't think that necessarily had anything to do with Priest. For all we know, DC was planning to move the Steel character over to that title as the Steel solo title wasn't selling. This way the character wouldn't fall off in to obscurity.

Quote from: Vic Vega
Wasn't Prest also responsible for turning Steel's family, the Irons clan from a slightly poorer version of the Huxtables into a mass of abuse and disfucntion? It's almost like he thought that his happy family was too good to be true.


Well, there's the stuff Evasive described from Priest's Christmas issue, but Louise Simonson had already put the family through the wringer.  Jemahl was in a street gang at the beginning, Tyke was paralyzed and later betrayed the family, and the grandmother was killed by Dr. Polaris.  And then Simonson put the whole family into Witness Protection, removing them all from the series.


Yes, Jemahl was in a gang, Tyke was paralyzed and the grandmother died. However, that were not in that extreme distressing state that Priest wrote them as when he took on the title. The mother wasn't 300+ lbs looking like the stereotypical "mammy" character. Jemahl wasn't walking around disrespecting, abusive and drinking 40's. Grandpa wasn't running around completely lost from reality. Preist took those characters to that,oh so stereotypical, extreme of an under privileged black family. It wouldn't have been so bad if the family had stayed out of the book after they went into the Witness Protection program.

Quote
Note that Steel lasted nearly FOUR YEARS at DC before Priest came on the book. This may be another case where his attempts to mainstream the book drove off its target audience.


Priest took over with #34.  And while sales didn't improve, the series was already one of DC's lowest sellers before he came onboard, neck-in-neck with Aztek and Takion (both of which were cancelled very soon thereafter).


I think the point is that he might have been able to increase readership so that the title may have had another four years. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to do that.


because my PC was trippin,I missed significant segments of the second portion of this post...
« Last Edit: January 22, 2007, 08:11:03 pm by supreme illuminati »
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Offline Loren

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2007, 10:01:26 pm »
Okay, if that's the case, the it's Ross  who is a continuing play on the Boris character albeit more animated and some changes to the characters identity. I had believed it was Steel who came after, after reading some of Priest's notes. However, whether Steel came first or not, the point I am trying to make is to show a pattern involving Priest writing style.

I take your point, but I'm not seeing the similarities between Boris and Ross.  Ross served as narrator, and as the POV character for T'Challa.  Boris was an ordinary supporting character, whose main purpose was to be a friend for Natasha, and didn't have an awful lot of direct interaction with Steel.  He disappeared entirely for a couple of several-issue stints.  The most significant thing I can recall him contributing to a plot was when it turned out he had HIV.  Even character-wise, there's not an awful lot of similarity.

Now if you want to talk similarities between Woody (of "Quantum & Woody") and Ross, then I'm right there with you.

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The point of brothas getting turned way is based off of what had occurred in the title as a a whole. I should have pointed that out so that it would have been more clear. My bad. When writing my comments I was thinking of that scene as well as other situations within the series (i.e. the ice cream parlor guy). The third panel of the example you posted is, what I took to be, a Hispanic suitor. So I don't understand how you say there are no suitors here. A guy rolls up on a girl to see "what's up", that is called suitor. Maybe not the most romantic way to approach a woman but it would still fall in that category.

Judging by her reaction and his appearance, he would seem to be considerably older than she.  And a 30-year-old hitting on a 16-year-old isn't a "suitor."

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As far as Boris and Natasha are concerned, they do have a somewhat romantic hook up. Their entire interaction form the moment they meet and into the rest of the series is along that premise as Boris is continually courting Natasha. Though Natasha keeps saying he "won't get none" she still accepts his attentions and even gives in to kissing him early on in their romance courtship.

True, but that's a couple of issues later.  Nat certainly isn't having any romantic thoughts about Boris at this point.

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I'm not criticizing that Steel was living in a nicer house/lab nor his appointment at the hospital.. What I was concerned about was with the part that made him a super hero. His "super" powers if you will. His armor was de-powered in that he no longer had super strength and almost every other issue his armor kept getting "turned off". His previous armor (that had become a sentient creature) kept attacking which, I thought was getting kind of tired. With that going on along with other villains coming after him and he helping with city wide emergencies. So what he got the "S' back on his chest. I never could buy that this "genius" engineer could not make another suit of armor that was an advance of what he lost.  When you upgrade something, you increase it's potential you don't down grade it. You know, kind of like what Tony Stark does with the Iron Man armor.

Well, the suit wasn't as strong as the previous one, but he does describe it as sleeker and more maneuverable.  And he had easier access to it (without the silly 'White Zone').  So some pluses, some minuses.  Plus, Priest gave him that extra-portable black suit, and gave his hammer a serious high-tech upgrade.

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Yes, Jemahl was in a gang, Tyke was paralyzed and the grandmother died. However, that were not in that extreme distressing state that Priest wrote them as when he took on the title. The mother wasn't 300+ lbs looking like the stereotypical "mammy" character. Jemahl wasn't walking around disrespecting, abusive and drinking 40's. Grandpa wasn't running around completely lost from reality. Preist took those characters to that,oh so stereotypical, extreme of an under privileged black family. It wouldn't have been so bad if the family had stayed out of the book after they went into the Witness Protection program.

Yeah, I wish that Priest hadn't painted the family that way either.  Not the best decision of his run.  I was just trying to point out that they weren't the Huxtable-lite clan that Vic recalled.

Offline sinjection

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2007, 11:18:40 pm »

No.

Marvelous answer.....Marvelous.
 
I believe that Lee and Kirby were doing everything they possibly could to avoid any hint of racism where white comic book readers were concerned, possible condescension where black comic book readers were concerned and possibly being accused of something like copyright infringement when they initially outfitted T'Challa in a ridiculous yellow and black-striped tunic and were calling him the "Coal Tiger" although no tigers - except for sabre tooth variety and they were actually more closely related to lions than to tigers - existed on the African continent. At approximately the same time Lee and Kirby were creating the Black Panther, the Lowndes County Freedom Organization had chosen for their political activities, a powerful symbol that had all associated with or aware of the Organization indentifying them as the "Black Panther Party."
 
Eventually, Lee and Kirby created T'Challa as the Black Panther and the character appeared in the pages of the Fantastic Four and later as a member of the Avengers. For a time, the racial climate of the times may have prompted then-writer of the Avengers - Roy Thomas - to toy with changing the Panther's name to the Leopard. This from Avengers #105:

T'Challa: "Better let me lead the way in here. I'm well-trained for dealing with darkness, after all."
 
Iron Man: "Sure, Panth-- ah, for the record, what is your chosen name, T'Challa?"
 
Hawkeye: "Yeah, the Fantastic Four said you'd changed it."
 
T'Challa: "True, I did, when I first thought of returning to America. I did not want my personal goals and tribal heritage confused with political plans made by others. But in the final analysis, I decided that made as much sense as altering the Scarlet Witch's name----because witches are generally thought of as ugly. I am not a stereotype. I am myself. And I am--The Black Panther."

 
***********************************************
Reading this now, I'm wondering if Roy Thomas wasn't acting on the same impulse we have seen in some...no, many fanboys (and some fangals), of the caucasian persuasion who have expressed an opinion that Hudlin's BP had been portrayed as "ghetto". Those fanboys/gals seem to be discomforted when T'Challa or Ororo become what they might perceive as being too closely associated with black Americans and with black American culture.

Thomas had T'Challa actually consider changing centuries of "tribal heritage" of the Wakandan people simply because he didn't want to be associated with the political aspirations and activities of some black Americans who by that time were being called and were calling themselves, the Black Panthers. And, as I mentioned earlier, contrary to what Wikipedia might try to have us believe, the LCFO was likely using that name "Black Panther" before Lee and Kirby were finally compelled by common creative sense, to use for T'Challa. Art imitates life. Rarely, if ever, is it the other way around.
 
Thomas would have appeased today's anti-Hudlin "lunatic legions" with his approach. T'Challa referred to politically-active black Americans as "others". He distanced himself from them. His analogy between the Scarlet Witch and "ugly" witches seemed to cast aspersions on the political and human/civil rights aspirations of black Americans as they related to the Black Panther of Wakanda, his "personal goals" and his "tribal heritage". Remember, Lee and Kirby likely lifted the name "Black Panther" from the Lowndes County Freedom Organization in the first place. T'Challa announces that he is not a "stereotype". This is exactly what the anti-Hudlin "lunatic legions" accuse Hudlin of doing everytime T'Challa and/or Ororo are associating with black American people or black American culture. They don't peep or quack when Ororo goes shopping with Mrs. Fantastic and Kitty Pryde. But when Ororo says, "I just didn't like the way he was trying to play you...", then the barnyard of ducks becomes very active.
Reginald Hudlin's Black Panther IS THE Black Panther

Offline Vic Vega

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2007, 06:46:31 am »
You know one thing I always thought was kind of funny about Priest was that he always wanted to be known as a good comic book writer instead of a good black comic book writer. Yet, he kept bringing up how he was wronged in that the comic book industry would not recognize him as the first black comic book editor. This reminds me of how African American actors and comedians (i.e. Bernie Mack, Nia Long, etc.) will say similar statements of how they want to be recognized for just being entertainers, not black entertainers. Yet they will be happy to get those BET awards and NAACP recognition.

BTW, I do dig some Preist's work (Black Panther, of course) but I have to point out somethings I don't particularly like that he has done.

I hate it when Black people pull out that "I dont want to be known as a Black...".  As if transcending race is the ultimate goal, or the holy grail.  Being successful.  Nope.  Not good enough.  I want to rise above the hindrance of color.  As if.  There has never been a Black person in the history of this country that has transcended race.   Priest and 'nem need to get off that sh*t and just do what they do.

When you know as a verifiable fact that minority comic book characters sell a fraction of their White counterparts, it becomes a vicious cycle: get put on a book bound for cancellation then it actually gets cancelled and you're known as the guy who keep getting books cancelled out from under you.

Priest never got a real shot at X-men or Iron Man (despite Enemy of the State), books that might have catpulted him from cult fave to the A-list. Instead he does Captain America and the Falcon. Cap's never been able substain 2 books at the same time. Mark Waid couldnt do it. There was no way Priest was gonna do it Falcon or no Falcon.

This is the kind of thing that his reluctance to do minority titles stems from, I think.

     

Offline The Evasive 1

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2007, 07:42:26 pm »
Okay, if that's the case, the it's Ross  who is a continuing play on the Boris character albeit more animated and some changes to the characters identity. I had believed it was Steel who came after, after reading some of Priest's notes. However, whether Steel came first or not, the point I am trying to make is to show a pattern involving Priest writing style.

I take your point, but I'm not seeing the similarities between Boris and Ross.  Ross served as narrator, and as the POV character for T'Challa.  Boris was an ordinary supporting character, whose main purpose was to be a friend for Natasha, and didn't have an awful lot of direct interaction with Steel.  He disappeared entirely for a couple of several-issue stints.  The most significant thing I can recall him contributing to a plot was when it turned out he had HIV.  Even character-wise, there's not an awful lot of similarity.

Now if you want to talk similarities between Woody (of "Quantum & Woody") and Ross, then I'm right there with you.

This is why I said, "it's Ross  who is a continuing play on the Boris character albeit more animated and some changes to the characters identity." However, the fact remains that both Boris and Ross were white male characters who were placed into the story and went around telling "black" themed jokes", which was an attempt, I assume, to provide comic relief for the story. These are the similarities I was talking about. As far as Quantum and Woody goes, I never read that series, but from what you are telling me and based of of Priest's account, again this shows a trend in Priest's writing.

The point of brothas getting turned way is based off of what had occurred in the title as a a whole. I should have pointed that out so that it would have been more clear. My bad. When writing my comments I was thinking of that scene as well as other situations within the series (i.e. the ice cream parlor guy). The third panel of the example you posted is, what I took to be, a Hispanic suitor. So I don't understand how you say there are no suitors here. A guy rolls up on a girl to see "what's up", that is called suitor. Maybe not the most romantic way to approach a woman but it would still fall in that category.

Judging by her reaction and his appearance, he would seem to be considerably older than she.  And a 30-year-old hitting on a 16-year-old isn't a "suitor."

Any male, regardless the age, trying to get a number or some tail from a woman,no matter the age, is a suitor. Modern day law may see it as illegal if one of the individuals is over 18 and the other is not, but prior to that, men and women who fell in the different age groups who were looking for romantic (or just sexual) engagements are suitors. And even today you still hear of the occasional pairing consensually regardless of law. I'm not sure why we are debating this point.

As far as Boris and Natasha are concerned, they do have a somewhat romantic hook up. Their entire interaction form the moment they meet and into the rest of the series is along that premise as Boris is continually courting Natasha. Though Natasha keeps saying he "won't get none" she still accepts his attentions and even gives in to kissing him early on in their romance courtship.

True, but that's a couple of issues later.  Nat certainly isn't having any romantic thoughts about Boris at this point.

No. As I said before, Boris was attempting to court Natasha from Day One. When you court someone, the moment they except your  invitation, whether it is to go to the movies, dinner or the ice cream parlor you are on a path to be romantic. Just because Natasha didn't kiss Boris or jump in bed with him immediately does not mean she was not flirting with him and him with her, which they were. Boris was courting Natasha. Natasha was accepting the attention. Natasha was considering being romantic with Boris while initially hanging out with Boris. It was romantic.

I'm not criticizing that Steel was living in a nicer house/lab nor his appointment at the hospital.. What I was concerned about was with the part that made him a super hero. His "super" powers if you will. His armor was de-powered in that he no longer had super strength and almost every other issue his armor kept getting "turned off". His previous armor (that had become a sentient creature) kept attacking which, I thought was getting kind of tired. With that going on along with other villains coming after him and he helping with city wide emergencies. So what he got the "S' back on his chest. I never could buy that this "genius" engineer could not make another suit of armor that was an advance of what he lost.  When you upgrade something, you increase it's potential you don't down grade it. You know, kind of like what Tony Stark does with the Iron Man armor.

Well, the suit wasn't as strong as the previous one, but he does describe it as sleeker and more maneuverable.  And he had easier access to it (without the silly 'White Zone').  So some pluses, some minuses.  Plus, Priest gave him that extra-portable black suit, and gave his hammer a serious high-tech upgrade.

Sleeker and maneuverable but he could be taken out by one good shot by almost any super powered enemy. The suit also deflated every time it got hit in the wrong place during a emergency and it hung on him like a wet suit. And THAT isn't as silly or worse as the White Zone? That is not an upgrade. It's weaker than his original suit. He could be harmed or killed much easier. It's a downgrade.

Yes, Jemahl was in a gang, Tyke was paralyzed and the grandmother died. However, that were not in that extreme distressing state that Priest wrote them as when he took on the title. The mother wasn't 300+ lbs looking like the stereotypical "mammy" character. Jemahl wasn't walking around disrespecting, abusive and drinking 40's. Grandpa wasn't running around completely lost from reality. Preist took those characters to that,oh so stereotypical, extreme of an under privileged black family. It wouldn't have been so bad if the family had stayed out of the book after they went into the Witness Protection program.

Yeah, I wish that Priest hadn't painted the family that way either.  Not the best decision of his run.  I was just trying to point out that they weren't the Huxtable-lite clan that Vic recalled.

I can see your point here. However, the characters had not fallen so far. Even Jemahl, though he had joined a gang, was at that point were he had not been completely lost in that life and still had a sense of family and respect. I kept waiting for Steel or someone within the family to convince him to leave that life alone. The potential for the anti-gang message was there but never fully explored in my opinion. Besides that the family was living in a decent home, the mother worked for all we know and they appeared to be a somewhat normal working class (maybe even middle class) family.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2007, 10:50:30 am by Evasive1 »

Offline SplitInfinity

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #41 on: October 16, 2007, 07:22:23 pm »
I'm curious about your thoughts on this. I remember when I was younger, I bought a Spidey with Black Panther in it. My mom saw it and said he was a horrible stereotype, and Marvel was racist for having such a character. Now I know Hudlin, and I think Priest before him, have tried very hard to show that BP is not just a stereotype, but a strong black role model.

So the question is, when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby originally created BP were they just reinforcing racial stereotypes, or were they trying to bring down racial barriers by making a strong black character? Could it be both? Can someone be good intentioned, and yet still racist? And if that's the case, is it okay?

Thoughts?

I think it was the opposite of reinforcing old stereotypes. Before the superhero genre really took off in the 60's and 70's, most comics were pulp magazines. These were typically mystery or adventure stories with little in the way of plot or depth(pulp didn't just refer to the quality of the paper!). One scenario that was fairly common back then was for the hero to met and battle "savages" in Africa, South America, in the past, etc. In a typically racist way, these "backwards" cultures often resorted to magic to combat the technological prowess(guns) of the heroes. I think Black Panther was a subversion of that trope. Instead of the natives using magic to fight the technology of outsiders, they instead used tech that was far superior(which also plays into Arther C. Clark's famous quote about any sufficiently advanced technology being analogous to magic)!
« Last Edit: October 16, 2007, 08:27:12 pm by SplitInfinity »

Offline Hypestyle

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #42 on: May 12, 2009, 08:22:00 am »
white wash jones was a sambo type charecer, big lips and in black face,  if marvel reintroduces that charecter, they will get to see the ***** in me >:(

there will be a Young Allies reprint coming out this spring, including a brand-new story based on those characters.. I wonder how he'll be interpreted..
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Offline FLEX HECTIC

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #43 on: May 12, 2009, 10:43:35 am »
Creating black super heroes is just like having black athletes, actors or politicians. Once they are in abundance and you have more to choose from then there is a better chance of a Michael Jordan, a Denzel Washington or a Barack Obama emerging from them.

A whole nations worth of black super heroes would make selection of the best of the best easier as opposed to a few carrying the whole genre at a time. Stan Lee and them were making up stuff based upon their own understanding as opposed to ours.

After we get passed this GANGSTA stage of entertainment I believe we will see better and better in the future to come. The racism in comics will slide to the right just as it did when brothas started dunking, scoring touchdowns and putting golf balls as Tiger Woods is doing.

When we start feeling more super heroic as a people then the super heroes will show up!