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Author Topic: Tyroc: A bad racist joke?  (Read 8768 times)
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Captain Kal
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« on: November 07, 2005, 08:05:02 PM »

While it's superficially admirable that they added Tyroc to the Legion to break the Causasion mold of the group, his costume and power does disturb me as being a tad racist.

I mean, his costume was white, what little there was of it, to contrast with his black skin to further emphasize how 'black' this super-hero was.  His own skin seemed to serve as half his costume which is wrong-headed in my eyes no matter what (I have the same problem with J'Onn J'Onzz's nothing costume).

His super-voice power seems to be a veiled perception of blacks wanting to change the world by just making a lot of noise.

Don't get me started about how the second Invisible Kid's power let's him stay out of sight so his race doesn't show or how John Henry Iron's armour completely covers his black skin.
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Captain Kal

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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2005, 08:55:44 PM »

I don't know, a stereotype to be sure, but I don't think they were trying to be racist on purpose.

Here is an African-American POV on Tyroc:

http://www.blacksuperhero.com/exhibithtml/detail.cfm?id=91
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2005, 09:05:35 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
I mean, his costume was white, what little there was of it, to contrast with his black skin to further emphasize how 'black' this super-hero was.  


Speaking of characters that show their skin in order to emphasize their ethnicity to offset the sinister overtones of an all white superteam, remember that period when Black Panther wore a Batman-style cowl that showed his jaw? Or when he was known as "Black Leopard," to avoid affiliation with the controversial political group, that probably made the limousine liberals over at the House of Ideas "very uncomfortable?"

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
His own skin seemed to serve as half his costume which is wrong-headed in my eyes no matter what (I have the same problem with J'Onn J'Onzz's nothing costume).


It works for Hawkman, I'm sure, at least when he's drawn by somebody like Carmine Infantino with a good grasp of anatomy.

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
His super-voice power seems to be a veiled perception of blacks wanting to change the world by just making a lot of noise.


You got that right. And look at his island: an alienated, isolated society of all blacks (wearing afros, naturally, whose every building looks like a disco) who shoo out the Legionnaires for "just trying to help." It's the ultimate showcase for the anxiety of shallow progressives, who like black people in theory, but say things like "why can't they all be like that nice Bill Cosby fellow?" These types are just as racist as the people actively keeping blacks down, because a desire for black power and black seperatism from society to develop their own neighborhoods (and owning guns to keep The Man out), they find annoying and anxiety-inducing, because it involves blacks having authority and command of their destiny in a means other than a federal uplifting imposed from the outside by northern whites.

That's the political overtones of Tyroc. The political overtones of the Duo Damsel/Bouncing Boy backup story in that issue, on the other hand...don't mess with fat people on a tennis court.  Cheesy

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Don't get me started about how the second Invisible Kid's power let's him stay out of sight so his race doesn't show or how John Henry Iron's armour completely covers his black skin.


Here's something to bake your noodle: the Fantastic Four. The only female member of the team...is invisible.
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DoctorZero
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2005, 03:37:29 AM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
Quote from: "Captain Kal"
I mean, his costume was white, what little there was of it, to contrast with his black skin to further emphasize how 'black' this super-hero was.  


Speaking of characters that show their skin in order to emphasize their ethnicity to offset the sinister overtones of an all white superteam, remember that period when Black Panther wore a Batman-style cowl that showed his jaw? Or when he was known as "Black Leopard," to avoid affiliation with the controversial political group, that probably made the limousine liberals over at the House of Ideas "very uncomfortable?"

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
His own skin seemed to serve as half his costume which is wrong-headed in my eyes no matter what (I have the same problem with J'Onn J'Onzz's nothing costume).


It works for Hawkman, I'm sure, at least when he's drawn by somebody like Carmine Infantino with a good grasp of anatomy.

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
His super-voice power seems to be a veiled perception of blacks wanting to change the world by just making a lot of noise.


You got that right. And look at his island: an alienated, isolated society of all blacks (wearing afros, naturally, whose every building looks like a disco) who shoo out the Legionnaires for "just trying to help." It's the ultimate showcase for the anxiety of shallow progressives, who like black people in theory, but say things like "why can't they all be like that nice Bill Cosby fellow?" These types are just as racist as the people actively keeping blacks down, because a desire for black power and black seperatism from society to develop their own neighborhoods (and owning guns to keep The Man out), they find annoying and anxiety-inducing, because it involves blacks having authority and command of their destiny in a means other than a federal uplifting imposed from the outside by northern whites.

That's the political overtones of Tyroc. The political overtones of the Duo Damsel/Bouncing Boy backup story in that issue, on the other hand...don't mess with fat people on a tennis court.  Cheesy

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Don't get me started about how the second Invisible Kid's power let's him stay out of sight so his race doesn't show or how John Henry Iron's armour completely covers his black skin.


Here's something to bake your noodle: the Fantastic Four. The only female member of the team...is invisible.


Interesting take on Invisible Woman/Girl.  I also agree concerning Tyroc's power.  As for the costume, I think that was more typical of Mike Grell's costume designs.  His redesigned Cosmic Boy and Colossal Boy costumes also bared more skins--especially Cosmic Boy's.  
Tyroc wasn't thought out all that much, and it wasn't a surprise that when Cary Bates left the Legion Tyroc was eliminated as well.  Kind of like how Julius Schwartz eliminated J'onn J'onzz from Justice League after his series in House of Mystery ended.
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2005, 01:17:22 PM »

While the MM has never been able to sustain his own book and his chief popularity and claim to fame is being associated with the JLA, IMHO his being dropped from the JLA back then had more to do with the harsh reality of Mars being discovered to be probably lifeless.

Krypton is/was possible since it's impossible to prove a Krypton couldn't have existed.

Mars is too easy to prove whether it sustained life -- or a civilization -- or not.
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Captain Kal

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DoctorZero
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2005, 07:23:32 PM »

Actually J'onzz's elimination from JLA was prior to the Mars probe landing on the Red Planet.  And even before that J'onzz hadn't appeared in Justice League for many months.
I believe his dropping was done as was done with many characters who had lost their strips.  DC's policy at that time was to almost act as if the characters didn't exist anymore.  J'onzz was placed in JLA because he had a current strip running at the time.  His strip wasn't a Schwartz edited book.  When it was dropped, I suspect Schwartz didn't care for the character and stopped using him.  It was only after getting a number of fan letters asking where J'onzz was that Schwartz got Denny O'Neil to write a story using him--a tale which eliminated J'onzz from the JLA.  Occasionally J'onzz reappeared but basically I think this was just to help maintain the companies copyright on him.  It wasn't until many, many years later that J'onzz returned to JLA and remained there.  True, Schwartz was very science oriented and possibly J'onzz existance bothered him and that may have led to his removal from JLA.  Much the same as how Schwartz eventually had a writer explain that all the "Atomic Knights" stories were just fantasies Gardner Grayle had in an advanced sensory deprivation tank because modern day science knows mankind couldn't survive a full scale atomic war.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2005, 11:17:22 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
While the MM has never been able to sustain his own book and his chief popularity and claim to fame is being associated with the JLA, IMHO his being dropped from the JLA back then had more to do with the harsh reality of Mars being discovered to be probably lifeless.

Krypton is/was possible since it's impossible to prove a Krypton couldn't have existed.

Mars is too easy to prove whether it sustained life -- or a civilization -- or not.


That may be PART of the reasoning; I suspect the major one is that the Martian Manhunter was a "demi-superhero" that was a mixture of science fiction and superheroism, and such characters did not outlast the decade they were created to be a part of. They were a fad that came and went with fins on cars and the hula hoop. I mean "fad" in the sense they had transitory relevance to pop culture. Captain Comet for instance, the Martian Manhunter's brother in arms, hasn't seen the light of day since Conway used him in SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS aaaaaall the way back in 1976 (his appearance in the recent RANN/THANAGAR WAR was very refreshing and welcome). Martian Manhunter's day came and went with Sputnik, which is why his HOUSE OF SECRETS backup story was a spy series instead of having John Jones doing his Superman-clone thing.

Quote from: "Doctor Zero"
Much the same as how Schwartz eventually had a writer explain that all the "Atomic Knights" stories were just fantasies Gardner Grayle had in an advanced sensory deprivation tank because modern day science knows mankind couldn't survive a full scale atomic war.


It's unfortunate that Schwartz made that decision. Atomic Knights was an interesting science fiction comic with tons of great creatures and battles - and who doesn't get enough of those neat Atomic Knight suits of armor? Me, I love these five or six person teams that consist of five guys and one girl that's secretly in love with the handsome, rugged leader. Some things work according to formula, and some things fail by formula, and Atomic Knights worked according to formula.

Though like many other series that go on for long enough, Atomic Knights "jumped the shark." For me, the exact moment was when it was discovered that a race of molemen had been the ones responsible for the atomic war that destroyed mankind. That eliminates the greatest part of the tragedy of the war: that mankind has very real culpability for its sorry state.
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"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
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DoctorZero
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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2005, 02:03:28 AM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
 
Though like many other series that go on for long enough, Atomic Knights "jumped the shark." For me, the exact moment was when it was discovered that a race of molemen had been the ones responsible for the atomic war that destroyed mankind. That eliminates the greatest part of the tragedy of the war: that mankind has very real culpability for its sorry state.


I agree totally.  That single story really ruined a lot of what the Atomic Knights was all about.  Originally it was mankind itself which started the Atomic War and brought about all the destruction.  The Knights stories were about mankind recovering and trying to build something better--and perhaps learning a lesson, too.  Instead, we were told it was all outsiders fault.  
Another stated reason for the demise of the Knights from continuity was that it was getting closer to the Knights time period, I believe was 1986.    I'm not exactly certain I buy all of this.  I think if Schwartz wanted to he could have easily allowed a writer to move ahead the date and change the method of destruction to Neutron weaponry rather than Atomic, with some conventional bombs thrown in the describe the building destruction.  I rather think that Schwartz got talked into the story by the writer of DC Comics Presents, who wanted to preach his own views on warfare and that the emphasis should be on preventing nuclear wars rather than surviving/recovering from them.
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