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  1. #1
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    Default Discussions of discrimination in superhero tv and film

    The last few years have been interesting to say the least when it comes to discussions around discrimination in the media.

    Society (particularly the US) had largely been spared explicit discussions about racism and discrimination in superhero media. Movies like Blade, Spawn and Steel (despite featuring black leads) didn't address the race of the main characters. The X-men movies "kind" of addressed this but there weren't really any deep real world discussions about actual discrimination in the movies. Those movies basically used the mutant condition as a catch-all-metaphor for all forms of discrimination but they were pretty vapid discussions. In addition, all of these were led by a fictional minority group thus "watering" down the impact of said discussions.

    Series like Watchmen (the actual direct sequel to the comics) and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier went straight into discussions about real world historical and current racism in the US. Although, it must be pointed out the original Watchmen series pretty much treated anyone right leaning like a complete nut (but that's pretty much in line with Alan Moore's philosophy). In addition, Black Panther went into discussions about African and African-American issues in a way that hadn't been before and The Boys series dived head first into addressing the current rise and mainstreaming of white supremacy in the United States.

    Obviously, there's been the general expected pushback against these sort of stories because of how uncomfortable these discussions can be. Although it must be pointed that some of this pushback completely miss the point like the criticisms of the Watchmen tv series being too "political" (this sort of criticism isn't valid though considering the original work is an explicitly political work of fiction). However, the world has changed and we are likely going to see more of these with a possibly black Superman written by Ta-Nehisi Coates coming soon.

    It's an interesting discussion and so far said series and movies aren't too preachy, I think these discussions are necessary to have. Let's be honest, if there was a real world Captain America, a good chunk of the US won't accept a black man taking that mantle. To simply have a series of movies that ignores this is kind of ridiculous. How will the world react to a black man having the power of a god like Superman, what does it actually mean to be a minority superhero in the US...in a country where a large part of the population actually hate and fear you. This isn't stuff that can just be ignored anymore.
    Black Lives Matter.

  2. #2

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    It's always tough to talk about current issues that trouble you. I'm not even sure Marvel and DC are equipped to deal with them but it's a process you live and learn from.

    My writing teacher made the argument that superheroes and big franchise films are the best place for social commentary because they reached the widest amount of people.

    "You could sneak in some medicine with a bit of sugar".

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    Quote Originally Posted by the illustrious mr. kenway View Post
    It's always tough to talk about current issues that trouble you. I'm not even sure Marvel and DC are equipped to deal with them but it's a process you live and learn from.

    My writing teacher made the argument that superheroes and big franchise films are the best place for social commentary because they reached the widest amount of people.

    "You could sneak in some medicine with a bit of sugar".
    A very wise suggestion.
    Black Lives Matter.

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    A lot of the time I've noticed when people say something is too "preachy" about social justice, I find it isn't actually true, but simply people don't like being confronted with uncomfortable truths. Doesn't mean it's always done well, but whether it is or not, some people will just complain about any efforts

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    Quote Originally Posted by the illustrious mr. kenway View Post
    "You could sneak in some medicine with a bit of sugar".
    Horrible message. It just ruins the taste of both.

    Either have medicine or sugar; never both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PCN24454 View Post
    Horrible message. It just ruins the taste of both.

    Either have medicine or sugar; never both.
    Uh, are you being sarcastic?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PCN24454 View Post
    Horrible message. It just ruins the taste of both.

    Either have medicine or sugar; never both.
    Mary Poppins would disagree with you.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Castle's Avatar
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    Interesting, This thread could amount to what could be a brilliant debate that I am hoping for, it is already based to much on many false stuff for me though. the best we have ever seen on discimmantion in a comic series would be the xmen series, tied between their movies and tv shows. Honestly I cannot even see any other challengers, but I will be happy to discuss and debate anyone who disagrees respectfully without people calling me a troll as I once already called and asking others to ignore me because they could not handle what I was saying.

    To say X-Men never went that deep, is categorially false for me by a long mile, because I remember correctly majority of the xmen films , the ones considered good had the main issue of discrimination, racism and prejudice as the main plot of the films. A thing I felt Black Panther should have done also. which till now, no comic series has ever done. ....done in a way that was tackled so complex and deeply that regardless of what happens in the future, Critics and comic fans would be always correct to still call X-Men the deepest and most mature marvel comics films ever done but their 1990s X-Men TAS was already ahead.

    In fact I remember saying , the first villain in that film was a David duke villain and most of his story arc factually played out like Blackklansman, who used the real David Duke, even down to the fact that he had no clue he was talking and revealing his plans to be people he considered enemies because of their race or difference. the first act of that film had about 4-5 scenes that dealt with discrimination, which I would factually list.

    Wolverine got thrown out of a bar once he revelated he was ''different''
    Jean Grey fails to stop congress from discimmantion against mutants who did not want to reveal their identity for a society that was meant to be ''race blind''
    Rogues runs away from home and goes into hiding
    Xavier and Magneto clash on the issue of discrimination and Magneto tells Charles, one race is going to die out any way, ironic, this coming from a Jew.
    Mystique adducts Kelly and tells him , she could not go to school as a kid, because of people like her


    So this was just 5 scenes from the first act of xmen 1 alone, that tackled, discrimination, to say it was not deep is laughable because this defines the word. You have to remember this film started in nazi camps of jews and ended with Magneto giving a partial Malcom X iconic quote ,by saying ...I would fight this battle by any means necessary.

    Also you see how this issue takes a deeper turn in the film by the 2nd act of the film when Kelly himself is now ''different'' and cannot go the the hospital to get help and Xavier tells him, you would now be discriminated against and treated as a mutant. Something that for those who maybe only watches comic films for the fun and the action would have missed because for Kelly, who was the oppressor, he now became the oppressed and knew what it was like to be discriminated against. this is how you write a deep story with characters, especially villains where you see some of POVs to be good. Because Kelly was not 100% wrong to discriminate against mutants.

    Let me just post the David Duke Kelly clips of Kelly


    This is so far the deepest style of racism and hatred displayed in a comic film in the most realistic of ways.
    And this is just X-Men 1, not even X-Men first Class, that I consider, the deepest live action that dealt with the issue of discimmantion the most in ways we would never see again with a marvel film.

    So if people want to find out more and maybe get into these themes handled in way, that felt authentic and more real, where it does not matter if you are liberal, conservative, black, white, LGBT, Christian, republican, democrat, independent, moderate, atheist, I would advise many to read some xmen comics , the classic ones. watch X-Men TAS and X-Men evolution, mostly season 3 and 4 and rewatch some of their movies like X-Men 1, First Class and DOFP only this time, watch those movies more as dramas than comic book action films, which I know seems hard now because comic films now are just fast paced action fun with saving the world.

    What is great and unique about X-Men is that is challenges people in external POV to see the factual right and factual wrongs of discrimination with no questions, this sort of story telling seems to be lacking though in todays time, as I read the reception of Falcon and winter solider and watchmen, where some people called it more superficial, badly preached, hijacked by one sided politics, and ''woke'' if you read all the reviews of the good, bad and ugly of those series, from those that liked it to others that did not. X-Men themes tended to be more unifying because it approaches those themes first in the most humans of ways Like the scene in X2 where Bobby reveals he is a mutant. even if you are conservative Christian who says been gay is a sin, no real Christian would still want their parents to disowned their child because their child says they are gay. that will be a factual wrong. the themes of xmen are extremely authentic.

    How xmen was written made people avoid any of this accusation of the series, that it was one sided or preachy or woke because X-Men was more intellectually on point and covered all sides of the issues, which is why I now see Senator Kelly as one of the best villains in comic films now I am much older and my brain has developed more from villains who are just there to punch people. X-Men was not completely one sided as political piece and also it covered many grey areas. But again, it was written and made in movies at a different era, where the world does not feel too extreme on both sides like we see now where you must love all cops, or all hate cops, or support all whiteness, or try to erase every minority. X-Men stories were more balanced where everyone regardless of race, color or creed would compromise what should be an objective evil, and this is how you win the battle against prejudice and discrimination.
    Last edited by Castle; 05-08-2021 at 02:55 PM.

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    The point is X-Men never went that deep because the whole metaphor thing made them feel "this is enough, let's not alienate too many White people"

  10. #10
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    X-Men is a very surface level exploration of racism. It's good if you're trying to explain it to a child or white people but less so when your goal is to actually address the issue with those that actually suffer from it.

    Something like Black Panther, FatWS or even Black Lightning do a much better job with the subject from a minority point of view.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Username taken View Post
    The last few years have been interesting to say the least when it comes to discussions around discrimination in the media.

    Society (particularly the US) had largely been spared explicit discussions about racism and discrimination in superhero media. Movies like Blade, Spawn and Steel (despite featuring black leads) didn't address the race of the main characters. The X-men movies "kind" of addressed this but there weren't really any deep real world discussions about actual discrimination in the movies. Those movies basically used the mutant condition as a catch-all-metaphor for all forms of discrimination but they were pretty vapid discussions. In addition, all of these were led by a fictional minority group thus "watering" down the impact of said discussions.

    Series like Watchmen (the actual direct sequel to the comics) and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier went straight into discussions about real world historical and current racism in the US. Although, it must be pointed out the original Watchmen series pretty much treated anyone right leaning like a complete nut (but that's pretty much in line with Alan Moore's philosophy). In addition, Black Panther went into discussions about African and African-American issues in a way that hadn't been before and The Boys series dived head first into addressing the current rise and mainstreaming of white supremacy in the United States.

    Obviously, there's been the general expected pushback against these sort of stories because of how uncomfortable these discussions can be. Although it must be pointed that some of this pushback completely miss the point like the criticisms of the Watchmen tv series being too "political" (this sort of criticism isn't valid though considering the original work is an explicitly political work of fiction). However, the world has changed and we are likely going to see more of these with a possibly black Superman written by Ta-Nehisi Coates coming soon.

    It's an interesting discussion and so far said series and movies aren't too preachy, I think these discussions are necessary to have. Let's be honest, if there was a real world Captain America, a good chunk of the US won't accept a black man taking that mantle. To simply have a series of movies that ignores this is kind of ridiculous. How will the world react to a black man having the power of a god like Superman, what does it actually mean to be a minority superhero in the US...in a country where a large part of the population actually hate and fear you. This isn't stuff that can just be ignored anymore.
    I still think they should have just made an Icon movie, or a Val-Zod or Calvin Ellis Superman movie. A black Clark Kent Superman movie is kind of coming into the race discussion in a much more inflammatory way. It doesn't move the needle towards reconciliation and acceptance and change if you're just pissing off a huge group of people.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member Castle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 80sbaby View Post
    X-Men is a very surface level exploration of racism. It's good if you're trying to explain it to a child or white people but less so when your goal is to actually address the issue with those that actually suffer from it.

    Something like Black Panther, FatWS or even Black Lightning do a much better job with the subject from a minority point of view.
    I think we have had this conversation before, that I proved to be false. So false that it went down to absurd arguments such as chris clarmont is white and he does not matter but you also failed to mention kevin feige too was white so that wont matter too by your own rules.

    Something like Black Panther, FatWS or even Black Lightning do a much better job with the subject from a minority point of view.
    Sadly , this made my fair criticism of black panther, that the movie did not nothing to explore racism in a deep way, something that should be highly criticised because those were black fictional characters.

    I believe the issue with xmen was more about, trying to save face because everyone knows, MCU will not be able to tackle the issue of prejudice and racism in a way xmen has done, so some of their fans started saying xmen never did it all all to justify what is likely coming with MCU Xmen, which will be either ''woke'' like changing the title from X-Men to X-People or just editing the screenplay of black panther, when in reality, it is laughable to put that screen play in the same class as X-Men tackling prejudice.

    Black Panther was not even near this in overall story telling.

    This is an ending that built up from the first scene in nazi germany. it is not a plucked out scene like killmonger randomly mention slaves when the movie never mentioned it all for the first 2 hours or show people ben treated as slaves. that us what us surface level.

    remember, it was black panther that tried to be X-Men, and failed miserably, and it was because the story was just not there as proven when I asked why did black panther not have a David duke villain? instead they just made Killmonger into a one dimensional bad guy who had to fight all the time to be king of a rich country.

    that is not how you tackle deep racism beyond surface level, You do so by having people in the series that do act like Hitler and David Duke who are the worst and deepest examples of prejudice and hatred in human history, Something X1 and X2 covered and this is a fact not to be debated because

    Duke did call for segregation of black and white and the chance to preserved the white race. Something Kelly did in X-Men 1

    Hitler, did attempt to kill every Jew systematically and Stryker did in X2 with Mutants. Both Hitler and Styker using political power to do this.

    This is the facts of the films and also the facts of world war 2 and the jim crow era of USA. I am not making it up. sorry. Black Lightening sadly suffers from too much bad CW Writing. Did not finish watching the show, so cannot comment further but at least I saw Black Panther and I have read all the reviews of Falcon and WS and I know it is not close.
    Last edited by Castle; 05-08-2021 at 03:32 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 80sbaby View Post
    X-Men is a very surface level exploration of racism. It's good if you're trying to explain it to a child or white people but less so when your goal is to actually address the issue with those that actually suffer from it.

    Something like Black Panther, FatWS or even Black Lightning do a much better job with the subject from a minority point of view.
    Exactly. The thing is, X-men is so diverse, so they could theoretically do better than anyone else on this issue

  14. #14
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    Castle you didn't "prove" anything false. You gave your subjective opinion and I grew tired of arguing with a brick wall. Please don't bather responding to me in the future, thanks.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member Castle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vakanai View Post
    I still think they should have just made an Icon movie, or a Val-Zod or Calvin Ellis Superman movie. A black Clark Kent Superman movie is kind of coming into the race discussion in a much more inflammatory way. It doesn't move the needle towards reconciliation and acceptance and change if you're just pissing off a huge group of people.
    It has been confirmed that JJ Abrams movies would have a black superman, are we sure it will be Clark Kent? I won't fully trust JJ Abrams based on how he treated POC characters like Uhura in star trek into darkness, Finn and Rose Tico in Rise of Skywalker


    Overall, I think a Black Clark Kent movie is not necessary. what should be is to make a movie about a black character from Kyprton and sure, you can have a race discussion or race themes that does not have to be inflammatory.

    We need to ask ourselves how do people like JJ Abrams or Disney get it so wrong and are called woke or paint by numbers, but other people like Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino get it so right with their films.
    Last edited by Castle; 05-08-2021 at 03:42 PM.

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