10 months ago
I'm curious to know which character you're talking about. because I know--in these stories--Captain Hall, Cyborg, and the woman assassin with the knives don't have that problem. we can talk about Marv Wolfman's dialogue in an extended discussion if you want, but if he has an occasional failure I would say that sometimes he is off the mark, but not in a racist way--more in a "in quickly introducing six new characters for the heroes to fight, I'm taking short cuts in trying to emphasize (a) educational background, (b) nationality, (c) economic level of society character is from, and so things can be a little too clicheed" way. Marv Wolfman writes his creation, Cyborg--plus his scientist dad--as intelligent, well-spoken Black men, and over at Marvel, Blade the Vampire Slayer, as a very smart guy, though not like, say, a scientist or Harvard grad (of any ethnicity; monitor the speech patterns of any gunsel or thug or street criminal of ANY background or ethnicity, when Wolfman writes them, and I really feel that no matter the color of the skin, the less dialogue Wolfman gives them, the more likely they talk a bit like odd versions of what real people talk like, because Wolfman overdoes it, or, in trying to avoid creating a stereotype or hide his lack of real knowledge of people from certain backgrounds talk--but while still wanting to distinguish them and give them separate personalities--the dialogue comes up forced or weird.
the amount of African American characters he has written and created that are written well, and, to my mind, are not insulting in any way, on any level, make me feel that the problem is when he writes criminals, of ANY nationality or background (see if the White guys don't suffer the same problem), the adjustments he makes to dialogue to show this come off as forced or comic-booky at times. it's just the way I feel. his thugs don't always seem...quite right in dialogue, I grant you. but maybe I just don't see a problem where there is one, and I need to take another look with the blinders off. fair enough. I don't see it as a problem with this writer, when I look at the bulk of his Black character representation--or any representations, for that matter.
Grimlock ♥ Prince Robot IV
10 months ago
Spear. And you're right: Cyborg speaks well. And so does Spear by the end of the issue, but, he's also the only one in that issue that spoke like he was... not smart? Even his thugs put together a proper sentence.
I find it weird that the only one who spoke that way was a black dude, partly because of racism, but you're right: he mostly doesn't have that problem. I'm willing to call him out for the one time that he does, and mention it in my review - although I also have a narrative issue in that Spear speaks differently by the issue's end - but you also have a valid point. One time doesn't mean systemized racism. Not to mention, who knows, maybe it was a time thing and didn't get enough editing. One sec.
Okay, I've got screenshots now that I'm on Vin. It's much harder to use the images off tumblr on Viv, and I can speak more consistently about this. I do point out in a new post that you call me out for my shit, but I think you /should/ and you have some very good points. Historical context, etc, and going back I realize the Spear name and context - him using the spear, and appearing in what appears to be Africa (tribes using spears comes to mind) - makes me uncomfortable along with the speech. I was probably noting that too, but focusing on the speech patterns because speech patterns can drive me nuts. (I'll explain that, too.)