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STAN SHINEE - A MASTERPOST

HELLO! i’ve met some people who have wanted to stan shinee, and asked for information on them, so i decided to make this huge post for anyone who wants to know more about shinee and/or potentially stan!!! all are welcome!!!

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Woowee! Ok real talk, this drawing was so last minute, I’m surprised I finished it in time for the con. I was trying to figure out the angle of the piece for so long! That’s brainstorming for ya! Think it came out pretty swell tho!

What If Only Black People Had Superpowers? Real Issues of Race Ground New Series

Some people say that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby patterned the plight and persecution of the X-Men and mutantkind to the struggles African-Americans have – and continue – to face in America. But what if someone cut through the metaphor?

A new series titled Black explores the science fiction superhero paradigm and delves headlong into issues of race and also simply being an everyday person. Created by former DC editor Kwanza Osajyefo and artist/designer Tim Smith III, Black will be a six-issue series beginning later this year illustrated by Jamal Igle with covers by Khary Randolph.

The quartet of comic pros are currently raising capital to produce Black on Kickstarter, and with two weeks still remaining they’ve already surpassed their $29,999 goal – and in fact, have almost doubled it.

Newsarama spoke with all four individuals about this series, going from the high concept to the core characters of Kareem, Juncture and the mysterious O.

Nrama: Guys, what can you tell us about Black?

Kwanza Osajyefo: I think the logline on our Kickstarter sums it up — what if only Black people had superpowers?

I asked myself that question over 10 years ago, but in pursuing my editorial career, I had to put that idea aside.  

It is a question has a lot of implications. I think that’s why Black has had such an overwhelming response. The sci-fi superheroics are there and outcast trope is there, but everything is grounded in the very real issue of race that humanity struggles with.

Nrama: So in this world, only black people are superheroes – is that in terms of superpowers, or even broader in terms of non-powered superheroes like Batman not being permitted to exist?

Osajyefo: See, implications! You’re already working to grasp in your mind how the concept would play out.

I consider Black sci-fi before superhero. The capes and tights are done to death in comics. That isn’t to say such characters are off the table, but I think this story is grounded in a reality where someone swinging around on a wire might seem odd.

But it is fiction, so anything is possible.

Khary Randolph: These are the questions that ultimately drove me to jump on board. A good premise asks the question, and we’re here to provide (hopefully) entertaining answers. It’s part of the fun. How black does someone have to be to have superpowers? What if you’re mixed? Does it matter if it comes from your father or your mother’s side? We’ve all worked in other people’s universes for most of our careers, so the opportunity to create a brand new fiction and new set of rules is an intriguing prospect.

Nrama: In this I feel like it could be akin to some of the resistance by a segment of sports fans who are white who expressed anger, in the past and some today, of how African American athletes dominate many major sports. Sports stars and superheroes aren’t too far apart – but what are your real life touchstones you’re looking to as influence for creating Black?

Osajyefo: That’s an interesting perspective, but I don’t know that it parallels. It’s easy to imagine Black as something one-dimensional – an us versus them idea. I mean that is a symptom of sports – tribalism, politics, etc. right?

The influence behind Black is that in real life Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and hundreds of other people are not free to walk, stand, or live as they please without fear of persecution, persecution, violence, and death because of the color of their skin.

That is real.

Meanwhile, we read comics about characters lamenting their fringe status yet can take off their masks, not use their powers and walk around unassailed.

No one is pulling Wolverine over because he drives a nice car.

Randolph: I think like many people, I can identify with being an outsider. I’m a black man from Boston who grew up liking comic books, science fiction, and anime. I was born and raised in the inner city yet I was bussed to the suburbs every day from 3rd grade through high school. I know what it feels like to be different. It’s a familiar thing to a lot of people, which is why so many people gravitate to the concept of the X-Men in general. Our project just takes that to the next level, the 2016 version. The best comic books to me were always the ones that were fantastical, but still grounded in reality. And if they make you stop and think or question things, they are that much better for it.

Jamal Igle: For myself, I grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn during the 1980s and early 1990s. I grew up around gang violence, police actions, the Korean grocery store boycotts, and the Tawana Brawley case. I’ve been pulled aside by the police on a few occasions for “fitting the profile” and subjected to pat downs. I lost my best childhood friend to gun violence, a retribution killing that was solved quickly but left a gaping hole in my life. So there are a lot of elements that, from my own life, will shape my approach to Black.

Tim Smith III: “Black,” for me, is a way to answer some questions I have wondered about from my childhood reading comics, and then walking out my front door to come face-to-face with the reality of my identity. I lived in an all-black “hood.” I saw stuff kids should not see. But it was the norm, it was life as I knew it. But reading comics seemed to be this outlet where anything could happen, yet… I still did not see a trace of what I thought was the norm compared to the norm in the books. A book like Black can give me, as a creator, the freedom to express another aspect of a world with another possibility to what could be the norm in a non-normal setting.

Nrama: In the Kickstarter description, Black’s primary character is Kareem Jenkins. So who is Kareem, and what is his story?

Osajyefo: Kareem is an average Black kid growing up in a poor area of New York City. He’s not a bad kid, but growing up in his environment has exposed him to certain things that have significant impact on his character.

When he survives being gunned down by police, his life very much changes. The knowledge that only Blacks have superpowers and why it’s been suppressed from public knowledge weighs heavily on him.

He and other characters make choices that might not be black or white.

Nrama: There’s other characters listed on the Kickstarter – Juncture, Theodore Mann, Agent Adams, Agent Washington, and O. Can you tell us about the other major characters in this series?

Smith: I am going to let Kwanza speak on this one. But I’ll say that I love drawing and creating all the characters in Black! Each have such a unique feel and play their own role in the pages you will read.

Osajyefo: Juncture is head of a global organization that acts as a sort of underground railroad for Blacks with superpowers. Governments of the world all keep an eye out for any expression of powers so they can secure the individual(s) before anyone knows. Some governments experiment on them, others use them for covert ops, others just kill them. Juncture saves them, trains them, and tries to keep the peace because only a small fraction of Black people have powers. Yet the fear of only one group of people expressing powers would likely spark conflict across the planet.

Adams and Washington work for the U.S. government to capture empowered Blacks and as liaisons to Theodore Mann, head of a billion dollar mega-company on contract with the FBI, U.S. military, and CIA. His company is a family business that has benefitted from empowered Blacks for centuries – trying to understand, dissect, and replicate the phenomenon.

O is a mystery. He’s a terrorist operating deep in the shadows, toppling governments and taking a far more extreme approach than Juncture’s operation.

Nrama: Several of you have worked, or are working at comic book publishers, and have done creator-owned work in the past. What led you to pursue this as a Kickstarter project?

Osajyefo: I felt it was time and reached out to some talented colleagues I made over my years at Marvel and DC.

Randolph: I believed in Kwanza’s vision, to put it plainly. He’s a smart dude and knows how to sell an idea. [Laughs]

Plus, with age comes an increasing need to do things that matter. This isn’t the kind of story you could tell at a major publisher. So instead of complaining about the status quo, I’ve always believed that actions speak louder than words. This book won’t change the world but the idea of being a part of something bigger than yourself was powerful and important. In hip-hop terms, “we do this for the culture.”

Igle: Kickstarters allow you to retain control over the project and make it easier from a financial standpoint to do a level of work that you feel comfortable with.

Smith: Kickstarter is a dream come true for a creator. I can work freely and directly with my audience. This will allow us to bring something that is from the heart, something we will stand behind 100%.

Nrama: Have you begun work on the actual book itself? If so, how far along are you?

Osajyefo: The characters are designed, the story is plotted – I would say, in the “Marvel way” in scripts. Very loose so I can collaborate with Jamal on pacing and plot points.

Nrama: How did the four of you connect first, and then come together for this project specifically?

Randolph: All black people comics know each other. [Laughs] I’m joking. Sort of.

But naw, these are people I’ve known for years and have tremendous respect for. And at the end of the day you want to do good work with good people. Kwanza and I have specifically talked about working together for years. Now seemed as good a time as any.

Igle: Khary and I have known each other for years, his studio is about a block from my house. I met Tim years ago at a convention and Kwanza and I worked together when he was my editor on Smallville for DC Digital.

Smith: I met Khary at a comic convention. I stopped and looked at his work as it caught my eye instantly. I don’t even think we introduced ourselves. Just me looking on as a fan. As time went by we would get to know each other more from the comic cons. I met Jamal at a show years ago. I loved his work and knew it from buying it in the stores! When I saw him at a table drawing, I was so excited to put a face to the art I had admired for so long. I even showed him my portfolio. He was so nice and professional. I made sure to talk to him as much as I could every chance I got. I have known Kwanza for years also! Doing work in the comic industry together made us grow as friends and professionals.

Osajyefo: I reached out to Tim a long time ago and we sat on this. Once I put my mind to actually producing this, I approached Jamal. Working with him at DC, he blew me away with his speed, detail, and storytelling skills. Jamal’s thumbnails are better than a lot of people’s finished pencils.

Khary… I’ve just always been a huge fan. His work has so much kinetic energy that I had to have him do covers. Thankfully he liked the concept and jumped right on. The result is that first piece we’ve been circulating around.

It speaks volumes.

Little Rant

“Another white dude for Spiderman”

Racebending isn’t the answer. Peter Parker has been white for decades, so he hadn’t ever dealt with racism. He is part of the white priviledge. You want change it? It would be a lie, and all we know it. It isn’t real representation. As Stan Lee expresed, don’t change characters, promote the ones you likes.

“We wanted Miles”

As much as we like Miles, Spiderman as Peter was said since the first day. Why? Because the reason of why we have this crossover isn’t Spidey, It’s Peter. the one who mainstream people has been waiting since Iron Man. Because they wanted to see him as an Avenger, with Tony and the Cap. It’s Peter the one who has a huge connection with the Avengers, not any other. 

There wasn’t any chance to be Miles since the beggining, specially because Peter is a huge part in Miles’s backstory. It’s like having Kamala without Carol. But I don’t know how this announcement stop in any way the chance of Miles in the MCU, because he can perfectly come in the future. But of course, boycott the movie, that will high up the chances of Miles in MCU.

“Another origin story of Peter Parker”

How many times has Feige to say we won’t have more origin stories? Peter will be included as Spiderman, so we won’t have Ben’s dying scene again (at least they use a flashback). You better be use to it, not only of Spidey, because almost all next Marvel movies will follow this kind of narrative.

“It’s nothing new”

Spiderman has more than 30 years of history, and you really think they can’t bring anything new? 

Let’s start with the dinamics. 

First one: Peter won’t be alone for first time. He won’t be the only one who has the destiny of NY over his head, he will have a lot of iteractions with different superheroes, who are the double of his age and with he will share his responsability. He will have people who can understand him, so he will be allowed to be more ligthearted. That is something we didn’t watch in any of the past movies.

Second one : Mentor dinamic

After Ben’s death, he felt alone and isolated, but this Peter will have a huge list of characters who can guide him, and help him. Just Tony and the Cap as his mentors. It’s look like the decisive point to choose Tom as Spidey was his great chemestry with both, so Steve and Tony will have a huge importance in Tom’s developing as character. He can even, since he is in a multiverse and he is already a superhero, be the one who become a mentor for a young gerenation, like Miles or Kamala. That is something we didn’t watch in any of the past movies.  Because  maybe with 3 movies, Tom could perfectly be around 28 and stop to play the character as a regular, just doing cameos, to search for different roles.  

Third one: Teams.

You don’t understand. This is my favourite. For all this time Spidey was the only spider-related character, but since he is in a multiverse, there is a huge chance to have the Morlun story arc, specially after how succesfull was Spiderverse.

Do you know what that means? A SPIDER- RELATED TEAM. A fucking team wich could be composed by Jessica Drew (Spiderwoman), Miles Morales, Anya Corazon (Spidergirl-Araña), Cindy Moon(Silk), Paaviitr Prabakhar and Miguel O’Hara, between others. Don’t you see it? This new Spiderman franchise  which you are giving up now, could become the most diverse of all of MCU. 5 POC (1 Afro-Latino, 2 Latinos. 2 Asian) and 3 females. And since they are going to make The Sinister Six, Peter will need a lot of help.

And those are only the spider-related ones. White Tiger for example? Or what about the anti-heroes Black Cat or Puma (hellow, Native American, still not represented in MCU since there isn’t any hint of Snowbird, Echo or any other character in MCU)

Plus that since that characters would be played by less know actors (specially in comparation with the main Avengers line up) they can travel between shows and movies, Jessica in Captain Marvel, Cindy in the rumored Ms Marvel TV Show, everyone in any of the spin off created for TV. Of course, Sony could reject this, but it would be very stupid for them xD

Fourth One : Villains

Since we will have The Sinister Six movie, they can introduce some of the less know villains from that group (or outside) in the main franchises. Mysterio, Krevan, Carnage, Morlun.

And my favorite one:

“Still not Black Widow movie”

WHEN PEOPLE WILL UNDERSTAND YOU CAN WANT TWO O MORE THINGS AT THE SAME FUCKING TIME? I CAN WANT FEMALE REPRESENTATION AND LIKE MALE CHARACTERS, GOSH