It’s been awhile since I’ve written in this blog. Many Wednesdays have come and gone, and still no article from me. That being said, I want go back a little bit and focus on one Wednesday in particular. The Wednesday when Uncanny Avengers #5, written by Rick Remender, came out. I’ve been enjoying this series so far. Sure, there aren’t any major leaps when it comes to Marvel’s use of Mutants. The civil rights metaphor is still firmly intact but now we see some other characters in the 616 universe giving a damn when previously they hadn’t (ie. Captain America, Thor, etc). It’s an interesting twist on a story that’s been told WAY too many times.
In Uncanny Avengers #5, which is a really good issue by the way, we see Havok finally take charge after much debate and address the press explaining to the world who and what the Uncanny Avengers are all about.
Which brings us to this little ditty:
I missed that, what was that again?
Oh. The “M” word. riiiiiiiight.
Ok X-men, I get it. The Civil Rights metaphor. Good for you. Fine. Some could argue the X-men’s story represents any group that’s struggled to overcome their societal marginalization, not just African American.
But really, an “N” word metaphor? Come on. The “N” word has history behind it and I’m not talking the Silver Age. More like the cotton age. (Yes I went there.)
Look, I’m not against Uncanny Avengers using that particular metaphor. In fact I think it’s kind of brilliant. Like the civil rights struggle, the mutants have found themselves at a different point in time. Where fighting just for mutant acceptance isn’t enough and are now fighting for mutant rights which includes the right to define themselves any way they choose. I get it. I’m hip. I understand the artistic and financial merit to creating comics with personal and deep stories, the kind of depth, that can only come from real world issues.
My problem with the whole “M” word thing is that despite all the metaphors and clever nods to the black struggle, there is not one person of color in the book. (Well maybe in the background but no one fully detailed) How can this be? How can you take the scars of a group of people but not the people? Don’t get it twisted, this was a very specific metaphor. Series writer Rick Remender isn’t talking about women, or gays or dwarfs when he used the “M” word. He made a direct connection to the struggle of black people.
There’s no Luke Cage. No Storm. The diversity Marvel has trotted out for us in this book ranges between Canadian to Norse God! (And no ones gets offended by the “G” word*.) Frankly, other then Sun fire (who has just been added) the Uncanny Avengers is whiter then a bowling team in Iceland.
If you think the use of an “N” word metaphor isn’t a big deal, go say the “N” word to the next black person you see… You won’t, because you understand the gravity of the word. At the very least you certainly understand the consequences of using it. The civil rights struggle is everyone’s struggle. To use it in your writing can be poetic and interesting. The “N” word is deeply personal and while I think there should be no censorship when it comes to any word or concept, there still needs to be some level of responsibility and acceptance of consequence.
*I’m sorry if I offended any one with my flagrant use of the “G” word.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!