Race + Comics: A Racialicious Scorecard for the ‘New’ DC Universe

By Arturo R. García

With just over a quarter of the promised 52 new DC Comics titles announced as of Sunday night, the company continues vowing to deliver “more diverse” set of stories and characters. But it’s going to have to make up some ground if it wants to deliver more than the typical lip service.

So far, none of the POC characters revealed so far are brand-new; all but one are black; and none are women. A more detailed listing, as well as a look at notable missing names, is under the cut.

Title: Mister Terrific
What We Know So Far: The title character, billed as “the third-smartest person on Earth,” is the second person to use the Mr. Terrific name, is one of DC’s longest-running “legacy” heroes. Holt debuted as part of the Justice Society of America not long after the JSA was brought back in 1999. Holt was eventually written to become the team’s leader, while also holding the position of White King in DC’s resident spy group, Checkmate.

Title: The Fury Of Firestorm
What We Know So Far: Since 2004, Jason Rusch has been most closely tied to the Firestorm entity, which usually requires two people to merge before manifesting. But going by the cover, it appears Rusch will have powers of his own before summoning Firestorm, as will the other half of the equation, Ronnie Raymond. It’s also interesting to note that Raymond – one of the entity’s original hosts – has been de-aged to be a teenager, like Rusch.

Title: Justice League of America
What You Need To Know: As reported last week, the first image released for this “more diverse” universe only had one non-white character, that being Cyborg. But, DC has also announced that this is only half of the final roster – the League will actually have 14 members, which opens up some spots.

Title: Justice League International
What We Know So Far: Sort of like the team from the 1987 comic of the same name – remember, this is a “more modern” DCU, too – this League will be assembled through international channels, which might explain not only a Batman (there’s more than one now; more on that in a bit) being “drafted” onto the squad, as well as the presence of August General In Iron from China, depicted in The Great Ten as a career party member and operative. Vixen, who has been part of the “regular” Justice League both in the comics and the cartoon world, might be written to represent an African country. Well, hopefully a country, rather than the whole continent. It’s also unclear what this team’s relationship, if any, will be with the new JLA.

Meanwhile, the Green Lantern “family” of books will have John Stewart in a new Green Lantern Corps title and Kyle Rayner in another book, The New Lanterns. There has been no word on where Blue Beetle will land, but according to Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston, Jaime Reyes could be written into the latest Teen Titans series. Johnston had written that three of the new Titans will be POC.

Also unaccounted for: former Batgirl Cassandra Cain, who was recently re-introduced as Blackbat in Grant Morrison’s Batman Incorporated. If the Batmen in JLI and JLA are two separate people, then Morrison’s multicultural cast – Mr. Unknown, Nightrunner, and Batwing – might survive the reshuffling of the deck. Emphasis on might.

  • Rongeur

     They’re also bringing back Static Shock, I hear….

  • Flint

    What’s wrong with Judd Winick? I know almost nothing about him.