1) I'm hearing a lot of people saying it's fine to keep doctor strange white because it means they won't have Asian stereotypes. What do you think of this? I still think an Asian-american doctor strange returning to the country he's descended from
2) and learning the magic and skills would have been much better but I also see their point because the whole magical Asian trope is yikes. Same for iron fist with the martial arts expert Asian character trope. I’m really uncertain.
Here’s the thing: it’s not racist to portray an Asian martial artist. It’s not racist to portray Asians with religious beliefs or Asians who can use magic. What /is/ racist is when a lazy writer takes one of these things and reduces it down to an old, tired trope. Most often this is when there’s an Asian sidekick, and if an Asian character was given the care of a good writer and the time of a lead role, then it could still be amazing representation.
And honestly? An Asian-American Doctor Strange would be FUCKING AMAZING. The one argument that people seem terribly devoted to when defending Benadryl Crumplebuns is that the character of Doctor Strange must be an “outsider.” But to that I say: you try being Chinese, not speaking Mandarin or Cantonese, and going to China for two weeks. I did that. I felt alien as FUCK, let me tell you.
Anyways, this is all slightly beside the point, because if the solution that people have to not writing Asian stereotypes is to write horrible White Savior/Mightey Whitey stories, then they are just unimaginative, bad writers.
Dedication to telling truthful, diverse, and non-harmful stories doesn’t close the door on good stories, it closes the door on bad stories and opens up doors to far better, more interesting, more complex ones.
I wholeheartedly believe that Doctor Strange should have been played by an Asian or Asian-American actor. And additionally, I believe that it should have at least acknowledged the fact that Doctor Strange owes a lot to Tibet and Tibetan culture. And if the writers couldn’t do that, then damn it, they should have given us an Asian Kate Bishop or a Cindy Moon movie instead.
There are more white men with the first name of Chris who have helmed a Marvel movie than women or people of color. Even when you count Captain Marvel and Black Panther, which aren’t even released yet.
Pet peeve: People who quote Clint Barton’s line about Kate Bishop, “
She is without a doubt the finest and most gifted bowman I’ve ever met but she’s like nine years old and spoiled rotten” without including the next line, “She’s pretty great.”
They fight like brother and sister, but Clint thinks the fucking world of Kate Bishop.
So, I’m doing a little thing for March (MARCH IS LADY TIMES DONTCHAKNOW?) showing off 10 Favorite/Best covers for some of my favorite superheroines.
I was going to do one everyday for March, but I’ve been super busy and OhHeyLook! it’s already the 20th. But 11 days of ladies is better than none, so here we go.
Anyway, this is one of those projects that is just supposed to be silly fun but then really made me think, because while we’ve seen A LOT of great progress especially in the last few years on gorgeous covers featuring incredible female heroes, it’s kind of shocking when you go through DECADES of comic history how few there are for some of these women.
Case in point, Kate Bishop. Now, Kate is, in fairness, a pretty new character. She has also had the benefit of one of the greatest comic book artists ever doing many of her covers (David Aja) so what she actually has is GREAT but it’s kind of shocking how few there really are. I had trouble even filling out a top 10. :(
Still, what’s here is amazing, and I believe Kate is just getting started. Here’s to dozens more Kate covers… hopefully soon!
Here’s the “criteria” I used for these very unofficial lists.
1. Cover must feature the lady in question, but it doesn’t have to be HER book.
2. The lady must be a “co-star” on the cover or better. So a Team shot is okay if she’s CLEARLY at the head of it/leading it/front and center.
3. Also worth noting that I take into account the ENTIRE cover including how it handles title block and things like that. Sometimes covers with crappy title block will still make it through, but it’s maybe worth knowing that I consider all that stuff.
I think that’s it. Not super scientific. I also make no argument that these are objectively the “best covers ever!” they’re just my favorites, MY bests. Lists are, as always, incredibly subjective.
Here we go. Oh yeah, KATE BISHOP FOREVER.
10. Young Avengers 10. Artist: Jim Cheung
09. Young Avengers Presents Hawkeye. Artist: Jim Cheung
08. Battleworld: Secret Wars Journal. Artist: Kevin Wada (this one’s a bit of a cheat since it’s not out yet, but like I said, tough to even fill out a top 10 for Kate!)
07. Hawkeye 3. Artist: David Aja
06. Young Avengers 4. Artist: Jamie McKelvie
05. Hawkeye 20. Artist: David Aja
04. Hawkeye 14. Artist: David Aja
03. Hawkeye 16. Artist: David Aja
02. All-New Hawkeye 1. Artist: Sho Murase
01. Hawkeye 9. Artist: David Aja
Alright! That’s it for Kate. Keep your eyes peeled for another 10 tomorrow! WHO WILL IT BE???
Imagine in the MCU Laura's maiden name is Bishop and she has a snarky little sister named Kate who likes to hang around her brother-in-law and he teaches her all he knows about archery.
“I can’t believe you brought the Avengers here and then let them leave before I got back.” Kate scowls at him and nocks an arrow. She draws it back to her jaw in a smooth, fluid motion that shows none of her agitation.
“Aww, Katie-Kate,” Clint says. “We had to save the world! Raise your elbow a bit higher.”
Kate sniffs. “My form’s better than yours and you know it,” she mutters. She releases the arrow. It flies straight toward the target and lands a hair’s breadth away from the center with a resounding thud to emphasize her point. “I could have helped,” she says, louder.
Clint doesn’t say the obvious: That Kate’s too young to be following her brother-in-law around the world fighting killer robots. That Laura would kill him for getting her baby sister killed. That he’d watched a young man not much older than her bleed out in front of him barely a week ago, riddled with bullets that had been meant for Clint.
Kate’s young, headstrong. Reminds him of a younger version of himself in a lot of ways, and that’s a terrifying thought. Telling her ‘no’ is just more incentive for her to run off with those friends of hers and find more minor crimes to foil. (Yes, girly, he knows about that. Young Avengers his ass.)
“Form’s not all of it,” he says instead. He grins at her and fires a rapid shot off without even glancing at the target. It nudges in next to her arrow, dead center. “You don’t get to meet the Avengers until you can outshoot me, girly.”
Kate huffs and props one fist on her hip, opening her mouth to argue. Clint shakes his head and nudges her shoulder. “C’mon,” he says. “Laura’s making pot roast for dinner.”
She thinks about it, then grins ruefully. “This isn’t over, Barton,” she says, jabbing him in the chest with one purple fingernail. Then she strides across the practice field to gather their arrows.
“I know it isn’t,” he murmurs, and tries not to think of Pietro Maximoff’s blood on his hands. He knows he can’t change the subject on her forever, though. Maybe it’s time to talk to Cap about what they can do to get younger heroes involved in ways that won’t get them killed. He’d much rather see Kate and her friends get proper training than let them get in over their head like he’d done at her age.
A Game of Give and Take (Hawkeye Squared AOU Fix-It)
Summary: When Nathaniel Pietro is born, Clint and Kate receive a call from the current Hawkeye requesting them to come visit their grandson.
Notes: All countlessuntruths‘ fault. Contains reference to canonical sexual assault, and random cameos from the Young Avengers who do not owe their existence to Wanda Maximoff. If you don’t know that the title comes from “Can’t Hurry Love,” you break my heart.
The rain wakes him up.
He has a memory, increasingly distant, of what rain used to actually sound like. He remembers Iowa thunderstorms and the way the claps used to frighten him, until Barney took it upon himself to take Clint out to collect frogs in the middle of a thunderstorm.
“If you’re looking for frogs, you’ll forget about the storm,” Barney had said, and he’d been right, because hunched over the pond, two miles away from their house, all Clint had wanted to focus on was catching the frog before his brother did. There, at that pond, Clint was able to first ignore, and then relish, the roll of the thunder that was much more quiet than the roar at home.
But it’s been almost fifteen years since Barney’s death, and even longer since Clint’s been able to hear a storm announce its presence.
The rain still wakes him up, though.
It wakes him because their bedroom window is open. They both chill too easily these days for the damn air conditioner, but it’s too hot in early June to go without a little air at night.
(Too hot for him; Katie still sleeps with four blankets pulled around her, the top layer having been a gift from Ellie’s oldest daughter two Christmases ago.)
The smell of the rain hitting the rooftop garden that Simone still supervises on her more mobile days is what wakes him up. Once you’ve lived in Iowa and gone frog hunting, there are some terrible things you can’t shake, like the smell of wet dirt.
As terrible as wet dirt does smell - and the new fru fru organic shit the neighborhood garden is using smells even worse - it lets him wake up a fraction before Katie does.
The arthritis has to make it agonizing to sleep facing him - that busted knee from ‘91 hates the rain more than Clint’s busted hip hates the cold. But she’s curled up to face him, close enough to kiss, and he takes a moment to count the liver spots that have taken over for the freckles that used to be so noticeable when they were this close.
He’s still lying there, watching her breathe and thinking if the rain is going to interfere with their previous plans to stop by Barney’s grave before their regularly scheduled (more or less) Sunday catch-ups with the Alleyne-Altman brood when Katie wakes up. She looks exasperated when she wakes up, and that is Clint’s first clue that the phone is ringing.
It’s the cellphone she keeps by the bed, not the house phone that Clint will always insist on having, and she’s disconnecting the call by the time that Clint’s tired bones have allowed him to reach over and put his hearing aides in.
“Well, she finally had baby number three,” Katie tells him when he turns to her expectantly. “One too many if you ask me, but it’s not my uterus, I suppose.”
“Great. When are they coming to visit?” He means it. There’s literally no reason for the grandparents to travel half-way across the country, when the young and sprightly could do it just as well.
But Katie fixes him with a look. “I’ll book us a ticket,” she tells him. “You start packing.”
“I’m too old to have to go to Iowa, Katie,” he whines, a little petulantly, because if anything deserves it, it’s Iowa.
“We are going to visit our son’s son,” Kate informs him.
“Why? It’s not like it’s his first son. They already had one.”
“Because we flew to London last September, when Ellie had her fourth daughter,” Kate answers. “You’re just going to have to deal with it, Old Man.”
“Fine. What did they name him, anyway?”
“That’s the worst fucking name I’ve ever heard,” Clint complains. “The kid has been complaining about being named Clinton Francis Jr. for more than 40 years now, and he goes and names his son that?”
“I believe Laura had something to do with it, too,” Katie tells him.
Clint just sighs and goes to feed the dog who gives the kind of groan that can approximately be translated into “Ugh, Iowa.”
The Art of Reading Character Arcs, Vol. 1 - 3: America Chavez
I’m pretty much done ranting about America Chavez for the weekend. I have video games to play and novels to read and fresh air to experience. But in case any deliberately obtuse racists attempt to reduce her to a flattened sassy & violent Latina stereotype, here is a handy compilation of my posts about three of America’s fairly major character arcs, with useful screenshots and a lot of rambling.
Okay, you opinionated blogger, you, you don’t agree with the recommendations of panelists for where a new comics reader should start. That’s fine, but put your money where your mouth is! Where do you think a new comics reader should start?
First, a few provisos to this.
A. Older comics are filled with a pervasive and institutionalized racism and sexism. I repeat: OLDER COMICS ARE FILLED WITH RACISM AND SEXISM. This can be difficult to take. It can be depressing and frustrating and it can make you want to put your fist through the nearest wall. Be prepared for it, and walk away from a story or storyline if it begins to hurt you. Remember that these comics were a product of their times, and while there were a lot of women in editing, inking, coloring, ect, almost none of the creative teams (stories, writing, art) had any women or POC in positions of control. This shows. It is okay to like problematic things, and it is okay to be angry with something that is problematic. "It is a product of its times" is an explanation. Not an excuse. Not ever an excuse. Call problematic stuff on being problematic.
B. Not every title/every character/every writer/every artist will gel with every reader. Comics are very varied, and very personal to the reader. It doesn’t matter if everyone in the world says that “Watchmen” is the best COMMICKING BOOK EVR. If you read it and go, ‘wow, that was utter tripe,’ then good on you. Try something else.
That being said, I’m going to try to do a couple of these, with recs for a couple of different categories. First up, because I think it’s what most people are looking for: Modern Marvel Superhero comics!