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Saturday, June 27, 2015 

University notions of diversity invade mainstream

Hube wrote a topic on The College Fix about Marvel's huge lurch into PC diversity - and only their idea of what diversity should be - with books like Spider-Man and the Avengers, and points to Brian Bendis' claim that when he grew up, children of different skin color were being told they couldn't play as Superman and Batman, but could play as Spidey simply because he wears a full mask. I myself was skeptical of Bendis' claim, which, like various other statements writers are making these days, sounds contrived for self-justification.

And how is it that white readers can get into characters of black/Latino/Asian background, but according to Bendis, not the other way around? Some of the comics I most enjoyed reading in past years had black and Asian stars, including the original Power Man and Iron Fist series, where Luke Cage teamed with Danny Rand in 1977-86, with Misty Knight and Colleen Wing as co-stars. I also own a good deal of New Teen Titans, where Cyborg/Vic Stone was a prominent co-star for many years, a paperback copy of the first 10 issues of Tomb of Dracula, featuring the debut of Blade, some X-Men Masterworks paperbacks featuring Storm, a couple back issues of Iron Man with Jim Rhodes, a few Suicide Squad issues with appearances by Vixen, and several issues of Marvel Comics Presents anthology from the late 80s, featuring a story with Black Panther called Panther's Quest, illustrated by Gene Colan. I've also got a sizable Avengers collection, with some of the 80s issues featuring the 2nd Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau (later named Photon). And, I have a big appreciation for the creation of co-stars like Robbie Robertson and Glory Grant in Spider-Man. I'd also love to see Master of Kung Fu get collected in trades today, but because the Sax Rohmer estate may still maintain rights to some of the characters seen in the original series, and Marvel makes no attempt to deal with them, that's why it's bound to take years before we see MOKF in archives.

And if I, as a white man, can dig tales with heroes and co-stars of different racial background, how is it, in Bendis' view, that people of different racial background can't enjoy white cast members? I don't buy a word he's saying. IMHO, all Bendis has done is put words in the mouths of the communities he claims to be representing, and he's insulting their intellect by acting like scriptwriting merits have no importance whatsoever to them.

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So how good were Bendis' stories before he was hired by Marvel again?

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