My “Top 10 Characters Ruined by the New 52 ” Is a Bad Post

ello interweb, Nate here!  After running this blog for a couple of years, I’ve found it quite funny what posts on here get lots of views and which posts gets very little views.  There are several articles I’ve written in the past that I was quite proud of making and yet nobody read them.  On the other hand, while some of my cringier articles seem to have been forgotten by most, there are some that consistently seem quite popular that haunts me whenever is appears as a “TOP POSTS & PAGES”.  Now I realize that that’s just how a blog works and I’m not here complaining that I have a stupid audience and you people are reading the wrong articles, not at all.  Luckily I do this blog in my spare time for fun and none of my writing actually gets me money (I’d probably pay closer attention to grammar mistakes and typos if this was a funded blog with sponsors).  However, I do want to make the record straight: my “Top 10 Characters Ruined by the New 52 ” is a bad post!

 

Now do I disagree with everything I said in this post?  No.  I agree with quite a lot of what I said here and stand by it, although some things here a tad dated now since I don’t really care about New 52 Wally West anymore and some things are just grasping for straws.  I frankly don’t think Harley Quinn should be on this list at all since she was only really done poorly in Suicide Squad and if anything her solo title improved her as a character rather than ruined her.  Black Canary, Beast Boy, and Raven were just grasping at straws and/or just butthurt over stupid redesigns that really didn’t ruin the character so much as it just made them differently than how I prefer.  Superman and Teen Titans I agree to an extent but I focused on all the wrong things.  Like there are tons of stuff that I could’ve ranted about the New 52 Teen Titans but I instead wrote a little bit about their bad costumes.  Everything else I more or less agree with to a certain extent but I just find it poorly done.

The biggest thing I’m wondering is why everybody seems to be drawn to this specific article?  I think it has to do with several reasons.  First off, “ruined” is quite a strong term and I think the idea of “ruining” characters may have caught people’s eye.  I’m not sure whether or not this would be considered “clickbait” but that was never the intention (least I don’t remember it being the intention).

While I think the title did a lot to drag people in, I also think that what I had to say about Wally West was quite controversial as a lot of people commented calling me racist or at the very least strongly disagreed with my stance on turning a white character black.  Now I do kind of want to defend myself here since I still stand by what I said.  I’ve tackled diversity on this blog before and it is something that I have debated personally with myself and I think the conclusion that you’ll make on the importance of diversity depends on whether you find the story more important or it’s impact on the real world more important.  From a story perspective, diversity doesn’t matter and writers should feel free to write their characters however they want freely without being pressured to add a gay character or maybe a black or Asian character to the mix if they don’t want to.    Turning Hermione Granger from Harry Potter black or making a all females Ghostbusters doesn’t improve the story.  In Hermione’s case, it just makes continuity more confusing.  However, from a social perspective, I can see why some people may want more diversity in stories since they may want to see a character like them in a story.  When 2016 Ghostbusters reboot was coming out, I saw a lot of people online saying that they’re glad that girls can finally feel like they can be a Ghostbuster!  The problem here is kind of like the same problem I saw when I tackled that Buzzfeed video a while back.  You can’t force a writer to add characters that look or act like you simply because you’re insecure about yourself.  I mean I get where you’re coming from since I like seeing stories involving gay characters and I get kind of excited when I see things like that.  But even if I think a character should be gay, I don’t think it’s my place to tell a writer to make that character gay if the writer doesn’t feel like it would improve the story.  I want to tackle more of this in a future post but I think you guys got my general ideas here.

Now swinging back to Wally West, considering the circumstances I still stand by what I said in the original article.  Now I disliked Wally coming out for two reasons.  First are for slightly selfish reasons that I didn’t bring up in the original article and that’s just that I like redheads and I liked Wally’s design.  So changing him to a black character kind of bummed me out since I don’t like black Wally’s design as much as I liked redheaded wally.  But on a more important reason is simply because it was forced diversity and that’s one thing I never liked.  I am against changing a character’s race and gender for the sake of forced diversity because it is pandering, patronizing, and insulting to the fans and to the minority groups that they are trying to pander to.

Now as for the people who called me a racist in the comments for saying I didn’t like black Wally.  I am one of the least judgmental and prejudiced people you’ll probably ever meet.  I see people not by their race but by their actions and their personality.  Race is nothing more than skin color and in a perfect world, we’d treat skin color the same as we treat hair color or eye color.  Besides, I have a black friend!  Yes that was a joke, although I never understood why having a black friend doesn’t mean you’re not a racist.  I mean if you were a racist then wouldn’t you not have a black friend?

Anyways, here are some of the comments I got on that post and I won’t screenshot or say who said them.  If you really want to know then just check out the comment section of that post but I’m not going to highlight them here.  Also just to clarify, most of these are all different people.

“You are super racist to black people there should be more black characters you should be ashamed!!😡😡😡😡😡 disgusting”

I can’t really tell whether or not this comment is a serious one or not.  Although while I don’t really care whether or not we get more black characters in comic books, why can’t we just create new ones instead of replacing old ones?  Besides, I love Static Shock, Cyborg, Miles Morales, and other black characters!

“Your reasoning is somewhat racist. As a POC, I have issues with black Wally too. My issue is how stereotypical he his. His father left him (abandoned black father) and gets taken on by a white mentor for no reason (white savior). The race of a character can add a whole new element to the story so race ending done right can enhance the character as a whole. Race bending should be done right or not at all.”

I believe I brought up stereotyping in the original post so I’m not sure why I’m racist for giving that reason and this person isn’t.  Yes, a huge part to my reason is the forced diversity it brings by race-bending unecessarily rather than making new characters.  But I did bring up how he was a black stereotype and that just made the situation worse.

“I agree with the Wally West stuff. As a black person I’m happy to see a lot more diversity going on in the comic book world, but as a big fan of Wally West, I don’t want him to be black. It’s a hard conversation for me because the only Wally I new and the only Wally I like is the green eyed, freckled, red headed boy. And even if I do get use to this new flash I’m pissed that he was introduced as a criminal!”

See!  This person gets what I’m saying 😛

“You were born in 1999? Should you even be allowed to have an opinion? I liked Starfire, if you havent read Red Hood & the Outlaws you are missing out I dont know why you would even include her. You literally broke the “don’t judge a book by its cover rule” lol. The comic is amazing. The Superman is actually pretty good & Wally West being black is a good thing with the new Iris, etc. You’re 17 I’m guessing because 1999 to 2016 so your subtle racism is a product of environment. These are fictional characters. The only character I don’t think could be black or Asian are like Batman because it makes no sense to do so. Wally West is his own hero separate from Barry you already have Barry. Outside of this I agree with the others Static story kinda boring, as are some of the others.”

And I’m just going to post my response to this person since I said all I needed to say then (fixing typos though):

“Um…I can have an opinion at 17. I mean this whole blog is built upon all the opinions I have on the medium so people are interested in what I have to say. Albiet not many but still.

If you liked Starfire and Red Hood and the Outlaws than that’s fine but I didn’t like her portrayal in the comics and it just degraded her as a character in my eyes.

How can someone be “subtly racist”? That just seemed weird to me. And I don’t know what you mean that my “subtle racism” is a product of my enviroment since I don’t believe I know anyone personally who is racist. However if I am “racist” because I’m against a traditionally White character being made Black than I disagree. I’m against changing established characters for the sake of diversity. That’s also why I’m against female Thor, Black Captain America, and gay Iceman. I’m fine with comics attempting to create a more diverse universe since I do realize that representation matters but if it’s going to change a character I love to do it than I am against it. Make new characters or give your minor characters more spotlight.”

I still don’t know what “subtle racism” meant lol  Anyways, next comment!

“Saying there can’t be a black superhero followed by the statement that you love black people doesn’t make it an less racist. I like the new Wally. This guys is a racist joke. What’s wrong with a black superhero?”

If that straw man you created of me was true then I’d agree.  There can’t be black superheroes?  What?!?!  Unfortunately for you though that’s not at all what I said and you know it.  As I stated in my response to him: “That is not at all what I said and you know it. I never said there can’t be black superheroes, in fact I even suggested creating NEW black superheroes or give your current black superheroes like Static more spotlight. What I did say is I’m against changing established characters just for the sake of diversity and Wally is suppose to be a white dude with red hair. Heck, I even mentioned how they kinda stereotyped him black so he’s not even GOOD black representation to begin with.  If you disagree with me than fine state your own opinion. But taking what I said and twisting it into something I didn’t say and than using that to call me a racist is just intellectually dishonest.”

There were a few more but these are the ones that pissed me off the most.  I get upset when people call me a racist because I’m not one and I find racism deplorable.  Although unfortunately you can be called a racist over anything nowadays.  But I do want to end this post by repeating what I said earlier: I’m probably the least judgmental or prejudiced person you’ll ever meet.  I treat everyone equally and I don’t put put people above others.  So yeah, I’ll defend what I said about Wally West but in general that post is one of my least favorite posts I’ve ever done and yet is one of my most popular.

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13 comments

  1. Wow, I didn’t realize you got so many negative comments over that article. Random people calling you racist over that is also pretty ridiculous. There was nothing even suggesting that in your post and you’ve always seemed like a pretty fair guy. It’s a shame that people are so quick to throw that at you for things like that. I still don’t really like changes to any character, but that’s more because I just like everything to stay in the status quo. The one real exception to that which I can think of off the top of my head is Superman’s mullet from the 90s. I have a soft spot for that design, but the rest are rather iffy like the jeans look in the New 52 depowered era.

      1. Yeah, people just figure that if you don’t like the change you must be a racist. It’s just how extreme society’s gotten at this point. I can make an analogy to sports as in the NFL if you don’t agree with a penalty then you’re “obviously” lying because you’re bias for the other team. It’s everything or nothing in just about everything nowadays.

      2. When controversial changes in comics happen I try to give it a fair opinion. Like I don’t like the idea of Jane Foster as Thor or Amadeus Cho as the Hulk but within the context of the story these characters do make sense. But things like gay Iceman or black Wally West doesn’t make much since to me so those I’m not a fan of those changes.

      3. I also feel like the former isn’t as bad because it’s not the actual character changing, but just the status quo. Superman suddenly being a jerk or Batman not being a hero anymore is an unacceptable change while Bruce Wayne being Batman or Lois Lane becoming Wonder Woman is just annoying, but not completely terrible. I didn’t like the way they handled Captain America and Thor losing their mantles though because they were also disgraced in the process. I haven’t had time to read any of the modern comics in a while though so I haven’t gotten to fully experience these things yet.

      4. “Superman suddenly being a jerk or Batman not being a hero anymore is an unacceptable change while Bruce Wayne being Batman or Lois Lane becoming Wonder Woman is just annoying, but not completely terrible.”

        Batman’s not a hero? Do you mean when Gordan became Batman temporarily or are you talking about something current? Because I’m pretty sure Bruce Wayne is still Batman. And when was Lois Lane Wonder Woman?

      5. The Lois example was purely hypothetical, but the Batman run where Commissioner Gordon became Batman and Bruce lost his memories is the one I mean. Batman regained them, but decided that he didn’t want to be a hero anymore or something and wanted to live a normal life. It didn’t last of course and he became a hero again, but it took quite a while. Superman also just went through a radical personality shift at one point where he was eager to fight and wasn’t as polite as he used to be. I just don’t like when characters change like that and prefer them to stay as elseworld stories.

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