magical superhero

Native Superheroes and Avoiding Stereotypical Roles

@wordsmithkg asked:

Sorry to bother you guys, this is a bit of a weird one, but if I’m writing something and part of it features a group of Native American (specifically Navajo) superheroes, are there powers I should avoid for cliché/stereotyping reasons, or that would feel disrespectful? For example, I can’t help but feel geokinesis would be too much of a literal manifestation of the “closer to earth” stereotype. I unfortunately don’t know any Navajo, but I did find an online community I plan to ask as well

Animal. Powers. If I see one more Native shapeshifter and/or animal speaker, I feel like I’m going to scream. Trackers, too. Plant manipulators. Spiritual mediums. Archers with superhuman aim.

Basically, look up Magical Native American and if it shows up on that list, avoid unless you manage to justify it in-universe with something other than “Natives have x”. 

Geokenisis sounds fun! The thing I like about it is it sounds modern. A lot of the icky part about Natives with powers is people assuming that the powers are “ancient” and therefore detached from modern society. They rely more than they would like to admit on Noble Savage, so if you break that with either modern sounding powers and/or non-nature based things, you’re good.

The main thing about Native powers I’ve found is they rely on sixth sense/otherworldly connection, instead of having anything that’s a pseudoscientific explanation. So if you had “felt the earth’s natural heat rising and falling”, that would be one thing, but if you had “telepathic abilities focusing on dense objects such as stone or metal”, that’s another. The former is flirting with Magical Native, the latter sounds like a superhero power.

Give it the same BS explanation that non-Native superheroes get. If you’re just going for “oh, they’re more ~*in tune*~” then I would have problems, but if you’re going with something that is at least trying to sound scientific, you’re much safer. Even something just like “genetic mutation allows for x” is cool.
The problems with tropes like Magical Native American or even Magical Nergo is the principle tends to stop at “because they are this ethnicity, they have these powers.” Meanwhile, if the reasoning is built into the character— ie- Black Panther has powers because he is king of Wakanda, and therefore has access to a plant that enhances ability to the point of a supersoldier— then you’re avoiding the heart of the trope which is that some skin colours just inherently have magic.

So, make it pseudoscientific, and try to avoid “spiritual” based stuff. Then, you’re good.

~ Mod Lesya

“...hallucination check, Ted.”

Ted the Animator: “No, no… I’m seein’ this, too.”

Carl the Animator: “Ok, good, ‘cause the storyboards seem very clear that KISS starts glowing neon colors.”

Ted the Animator: “…and then start flying, apparently.”

Carl the Animator: “This… this was not a turn I was expecting the movie to take, but one I’m totally on board for.”

Ted the Animator: “I like how they couldn’t think of a visual flying-power-effect-thingy for the green cat guy, so they just didn’t give him one.”

Carl the Animator: “He’s a magical cat person. He prolly just, like, jumps long distances.”

Ted the Animator: “The animation doesn’t show that. Come on, Carl, visual storytelling.’

Carl the Animator: “Well, ok, how would you show that a rock ‘n’ roll band member cat person with green cosmic superpowers had used them to jump incredibly far towards a spinning teacups carnival ride for the purpose of saving a talking dog?”

Ted the Animator: “I’d ha–… ok, that may be the greatest sentence I’ve ever heard.”

Carl the Animator: “You know it.”

Ted the Animator: “…let’s just move on before our brains start melting.”

Carl the Animator: “Speaking of which, this guy turns into a fire-breathing dinosaur person.”

Ted the Animator: “And the other guy becomes some kind of cat thing, as we previously established.”

Carl the Animator: “And don’t forget the coupla frames of closeup on his face when he jumps towards the camera.”

Ted the Animator: “…wow.”

Carl the Animator: “According to fans, this sequence is *identical* to some of the transformation scenes in Sailor Moon.” 

Ted the Animator: “Ah, cool, I didn’t kn–… wait, how exactly have fans seen this? We’re looking at production storyboards!”

Carl the Animator: "…”

Ted the Animator: “Carl….”

Carl the Animator: “Ok, fine, I might have tweeted a few things out.”

Ted the Animator: “You’re lucky no one cares enough to make us sign NDAs, y’know.”

Carl the Animator: “…so, moving along from shaky legal territory, KISS has a big fight with the bad guy, and Shaggy & Scooby almost puke after getting off the spinning teacups ride.”

Ted the Animator:All the best action scenes end with our heroes nearly barfing on top of their friend.”

Carl the Animator: “Then, there’s a fade transition to… uh….”

Carl the Animator: “…um…”

Ted the Animator: “…is that a hospital? Wait, are they DEAD?

Carl the Animator: “I doubt it, but if so, man that got dark in a hurry.”

Ted the Animator: “I guess the spinning teacups were too much for them.”

Carl the Animator: “This is what happens if you eat too many sweets before going on the rides, kids.”

2

Storm fan film RAIN will take your breath away….

Created by and starring Maya Glick @mayastormx - we finally have a superhero story told from the heart and POV of a woman of color. Dark and emotional, but ultimately uplifting and electrifyingly bad-ass… support this film and others like it to send the message that these kinds of characters and their stories matter.

Watch now:
https://youtu.be/D_W-PBfO57o

(*stay til after the credits!)

MATURE CONTENT.

Directed by Zane Rutledge and Jeff Stolhand
Produced by Matt Joyce
Score by Luqman Brown
Vfx by ZaneFX

4

BLACK PANTHER #9 and BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA #2 

Covers by  Brian Stelfreeze, Paolo Rivera, Alitha E. Martinez, Afua Richardson, Trevor Von Eeden and Marguerite Sauvage

It took me forever to finally watch this show, since I loved the PV release who knows how many years ago.

Though it has its flaws, it overall a really good show and absolutely adorable, and I know it will get better once second season comes out.