Yes, but I feel he would've been a more well-rounded (and more endearing) character if we had more to go on his personality than "move over, white guy with years of training. Here comes...RANDOM BLACK GUY!"
Yes, I'm sure there was more to Orpheus than that...too bad it didn't come up. I swear, I read Orpheus Rising twice in the years I owned it, and I never got as good a bead on the character as I have others. (Sold that mini and over 190 other comics in a lot on eBay a while back). A page or two of flashbacks would've helped.
Ask, and ye shall receive:
That was from issue 4 of Batman: Orpheus Rising.
Good counterpoint. However, if THAT'S all we get from his first impression to readers, in four (or six?) issues
instead of where he came from or what his youth was like...it's understandable that he didn't make it. We could say that despite being summed up in a short sentence, his motives could be altruistic, but that's not what I remember being given in the narrative.
Before even the flashback I showed, in issue 3, we also got hints about where he comes from. In it, Orpheus talks via computer to an Oracle-like partner, who converses with him in a friendly manner and feeds him information. This informant even mentions that he was part of a team (leading to the question of what might have happened to them). When his ex-girlfriend shows up, we learn that he's a producer in a dance group, and he got her a job there as a dancer.
For a creator wanting to make a relatable character, that's great. It's what led the late Dwayne McDuffie to create Static (I wasn't a big fan of the cartoon, but it was serviceable). For a character's motivations...it feels vague, and a little weak. The clearly introduced Orpheus in a mini-series with Batman in the title in order to assure sales (a good marketing tactic) because an out-of-nowhere new character wouldn't last in his own ongoing from the get-go. But they failed to make much mention of what this character was about beyond "black guy". It felt like tokenism, even if unintentional.
But, as we've seen, they made more mention of the character. You (and others; I've had a similar discussion before, on the DC Comics boards) simply missed it.
I think context matters. If the discussion is civil, then I don't see the problem. But if it's some overzealous debate, where an Al Sharpton-type is telling the white folk of today they need to apologize for actions taken two hundred years ago, then...well, yeah that's going to lead to some discomfort.
Even a civil discussion can result in some discomfort. I saw one discussion last week on... I believe it was CBS This Morning... in which the very first question
was to the white people on a panel about how nervous the idea of talking about race was to them. They were indeed nervous... and the discussion was just beginning
, with no foreknowledge of how it would turn out!
But I'm not so much insisting on a race discussion. What I'm saying is, don't make a "strong, black" character. Make a strong character, that's black. There is a world of difference.
Ah, but what if they did, and you simply failed to see that they did??
SporkBot wrote:A conscious issue, yes. But not an insurmountable one. And part of doing so may mean simply letting go of some of that oh-so-comfortable animosity (not that I'm one to talk...A THOUSAND CURSES ON PRINCESS RALPH!).
I wouldn't call it animosity; it's really a well-earned skepticism. As I said, even today, blacks are disproportionately stopped-and-frisked under New York's controversial law. And, as President Obama acknowledged after the Trayvon Martin verdict, practically any black man knows the feeling of being followed in a store because of the perception that "black guy = potential criminal!" Even Oprah Winfrey can't go to a high-class store in Switzerland and buy an expensive purse without being told by the store clerk that it's far too expensive for her, when the only reason the lady had to doubt her ability to pay was her skin color.
Black people can't just "let go" of the issue of race when it's being shoved in their faces all the time, even to this day. It's a persistent perception issue that white people are rarely confronted with in such a harsh manner.
Oh, I get that. I don't see myself in every superhero, what with them being, y'know...attractive. I'm Catholic, but the only character I can think of that was not only Catholic but faithful to his beliefs was Nightcrawler, and he's dead (to say nothing of Chuck Austen's tampering). I'd love to see a Catholic character that wasn't a man-slut or a jerk or a straw-character created by a jackass writer to express how much he hates Catholics
Yeah, the only Catholics I can think of are Huntress Helena Bertinelli (who, despite wearing her cross on her late '90s costume like a good Catholic girl, killed people regularly like a BAD Catholic girl) and Cardinal Sin (who, as the name suggests, went evil).
(heck, I'd like to see any male character that didn't devolve into man-slut at some point).
Have you met my favorite Robin, Tim Drake?? He's an expert at telling the girls who proposition him, "Let's Wait A While.
" Even in the DiDio era, they managed to get that part of him right, when he turned down "Ravager".