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Thursday, April 20, 2017 

Larry Hama's serious mistake, which he's hopefully apologized for

Several weeks ago, when Roy Thomas lamented the SJW blabber about Iron Fist not being Asian, Larry Hama went overboard in attacking the famous writer/editor on Facebook. The official post by The Outhousers was erased, but I discovered that as of this writing, it still exists on their message boards, and here's the screencaps available too. For starters:
Much as I admire Hama's past writing on GI Joe, I'm very unhappy he had to lower himself to this level. Supposedly, it's over a personal grudge:
Umm, in that case, why didn't you scan and post it online for everybody to see, Hama? This is a telling weakness in his rant; he never backed himself up, and atop that, he has the gall to be incredibly nasty to a veteran. Nicieza, surprisingly, comes off the better here.
So he's parroting the absurdity of "cultural appropriation" when Danny Rand had been white from the very start. In that case, Bob Kane and Bill Finger must've been some of the biggest cultural appropriators of all, because as creators of Batman, they conceived a guy who studied busloads of formidable combat skills, many of which came from Asian countries. And if the two of them were alive today, he'd probably be cursing them to hell and back for complaining when SJWs whine that Bruce Wayne and Robin/Dick Grayson should've both been Asian the moment a TV adaptation comes along. If he doesn't agree with changing the race of the lead, then why was he speaking with a forked tongue?

Now if some TV execs decided to change the race of Hama's co-creation Colleen Wing (Doug Moench was the other half of the creative team), he'd have a much more valid beef. And Thomas never said anybody should do something like that, one more reason Hama was overreacting badly.
Alas, Hama was being a Thought Policeman, and judging very poorly. He was basically damning Thomas for trying to address the issue in as respectable a manner as possible. And, it would seem Gerry Conway was too.
Man, does he ever. Like, why it doesn't pay to stick with a liberal ideology that teaches how to take white guilt trips, and act as though it was criminal to conceive a white martial artist over 40 years ago.
In that case, he shouldn't have bothered ranting. However, it appears he later came to his senses, as the following screenshot was posted on the Outhousers message board:
Well I'm glad he woke up and smelled the coffee, and hope he's as sorry as he said he was. He has no idea what a poor example he was setting there, and what he did was fully avoidable. Since this was written, it appears he erased all of the original discussion from his Facebook listings. Let's be clear. Thomas' choice of making Danny Rand white was no different from Bob Kane and Bill Finger doing the same with Batman. And he conveyed his argument in the most respectable way possible. That told, I'm disappointed if Hama thinks SJWs are just, because they're not, and if Rand had his race changed to Asian, they'd still be complaining, this time that the portrayal is racially stereotypical, and Hama would probably join them. In which case, what's the use of criticizing an old timer who just wanted to entertain people if Hama has no intention of supporting even something that does star a performer of Asian background? He only made a fool of himself, and this was somebody who had no issue with writing GI Joe for 12 years, a series co-starring a white guy named Snake Eyes, and an Asian-American villain in a ninja outfit, Storm Shadow, whose real name was Thomas Arashikage. So maybe he should consider that he was no different in some ways from what he accused Thomas of.

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Having grown up on Hama's work (G.I. Joe, Bucky O'Hare), this has been rather disconcerting, I won't lie. Glad you documented this, Avi, but it doesn't soften the disappointment when this was first reported. As for Gerry Conway's display of white guilt, what else is new?

One slight correction:

"He only made a fool of himself, and this was somebody who had no issue with writing GI Joe for 12 years, a series co-starring a white guy named Snake Eyes, and an Asian-American villain in a ninja outfit, Storm Shadow, whose real name was Thomas Arashikage."

Apparently, he did have an issue about early Storm Shadow, or "[Storm Shadow] was the very first Asian character that the toy line had introduced, and Hama was disappointed that their very first Asian character also happened to be a villain." Which explains why Storm Shadow shifted away from villainy, until more outright heroic Asian G.I. Joe members were introduced, so Storm Shadow could shift back to Cobra.


This wasn't posted until after the Hama Facebook lulz, but it makes for an interesting coda. I'll comment more at length, later, but I wanted to get this link posted.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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