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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Diverse cast of superheroes coming to comics



batwing.jpgIt was fascinating to read this article by our colleague Eric Deggans on the new array of black, brown and gay superheroes that will be arriving to newsstands while DC Comics simultaneously reboots 52 different titles in its catalog.  The project is called the New 52, and it's an ambitious effort by DC Comics to reimagine some of its best-known comic books in an effort to draw in new fans, starting or restarting 52 different series at once with Number One issues publishing this month.

While most attention goes to marquee names such as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, a cadre of writers and artists are developing characters of color and a gay woman as superhero stars in six new books — some for the very first time. Among them, Deggans reports, are:

  • Static Shock, a black kid with powers over electricity who once had a popular TV cartoon
  • The new Blue Beetle (now a Latino man)
  • Batwing, right, (the Batman of Africa)
  • Green Lantern Corps (co-led by John Stewart, a lantern who is black)
  • Firestorm (a black teenager with nuclear powers)
  • Batwoman (who is a lesbian)
  • Mister Terrific (a black man who happens to be the world's third-smartest person).

xmen.jpgComic book fans have long been stereotyped as middled aged white men. Worried that there aren't a lot of 7 year olds taking up the lifelong comic obsession, the industry is changing.  The change follows America's own demographic shifts. According to analyses of the 2010 U.S. Census, more than half the children under age 2 in America are now from racial and ethnic minority groups. Such groups are also more than 50 percent of people under age 18 in 10 states, a trend expected to reach across all 50 states in a dozen years.

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 11:18am]


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