Well, well. The Last Failbender
is coming to Indonesia on August 4th, and under my breath I’m cursing it to fail even more. It’s bewildering how some people could not see what a fail the film is – whitewashing the characters. And yes, I like using the word ‘fail’ in the same paragraph with ‘The Last Failbender’ again and again.
It reminded me to Judd Winick
’s preface to Brother’s Keeper
: it doesn’t seem too unreasonable that, in comics where there are heroes with various superpowers and aliens of every colour and shape, there are also more women, Latinos, Africans, Asians, Middle Easterners, immigrants, and other minorities – not merely white, male, heterosexual Americans.
That’s why in this post I’m turning to a series I’ve loved so much since my childhood - G.I. Joe
- to take a glimpse at how ‘minority’ groups are presented in a comic series that seems so
American. After all, G.I. Joe is claimed as ‘a real American hero’, and most of the members are those ‘white, male, heterosexual Americans’ (but then again, ‘don’t ask don’t tell’… who knows – actually it’ll be interesting if a writer would explore this idea of a gay trooper in the team…).
The movie adaptation, which I enjoyed although it had substantial differences with the original series, still put blond hunk Duke as the main character, like the latter comics and animations did. But the other blond trooper, Ripcord, was magicked to become an African-American (who won Scarlet’s heart, isn’t that awesome!) while originally ‘white’ Breaker was also turned into an Arab.
But since the beginning of the original series, there were already members from minority background: Stalker
, the African-American who continued to be one of the most important members throughout the series, and Zap
, of Hispanic background. Later on, there were also other popular African-American characters like Doc
, General Hollingsworth
and Heavy Duty
(who also appeared in the movie, as an African-British).( Asians. Women. Africans. And more.Collapse )
To finish this off, I want to show you what was perhaps one of the awesomest moment in G.I. Joe: in Declassified
we finally find out who the member who went with the name Shooter
was. Ever since the first volume of Classic G.I. Joe, we were shown a list of Joes, including one named Shooter, whose photograph was always covered by somebody’s hand.
We, and indeed the other members of G.I. Joe, never knew who this secret member was, until it was revealed in Declassified
Yes. Shooter was a woman, and an African-American.
Bonus: If G.I. Joe and Cobra members tweet...