Yesterday, I came across this article in Racialicious. TL;DR version: the author (Cheryl Lynn Eaton, from Digital Femme) talks about the reality of being an African American female comics reader. Eaton discussed having to choose between books that portrayed characters of color versus books that portray women when buying her monthly reads, due to the fact that most of the people that make comics just don’t know how to accurately represent women or POC (separately or in tandem). Well, let me rephrase…most of the guys at DC don’t know what to do with these groups. Marvel’s made at least three black female superheroes randomly reappear, and I’m really enjoying Misty Knight right now, even though Heroes for Hire was cancelled.
However, even Marvel drops the ball, and this issue resonates more with me now than it would have a few years ago. It speaks to a great failing in the comics industry and is proof that there needs to be more diversity amongst mainstream comics creators. In the article, Eaton brings up a point that picks up a ball that I dropped when I encountered the situation that she outlines (emphasis mine):
But Idie. Oh, how I love Idie. Each snippet from Scans Daily I read featuring this character makes me want to crawl into a comic for the sole purpose of buying her toys and ice cream. The awkward and uneasy interaction between Wolverine and Oya is wonderful. (Wolverine buys the child her first doll ever and it’s white with long, straight hair? How lovably stupid…
Schism is an event that rocked the X-Universe earlier this year, a well written story arc that brought to the fore Wolverine’s and Cyclops clashing ideologies, and resulted in the mutants splitting into two teams. At the beginning of the mini-series, Wolverine, always the father figure, takes temperature controlling mutant Oya (real name Idie Okonkwo) under his wing. As Oya opens up and their relationship deepens, Wolverine gives Oya a doll, a small token of his affection. Check out that doll, the scene’s in the title photo.