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Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

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Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

Postby LOLtron » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:35 am

Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

The blogger provided some quantitative analysis to one of the industry's most contentious topics.



Source: Comic Book Hoedown

Joe Bass of the Comic Book Hoedown blog decided to quantitatively examine character diversity in the Big Two and came up with a few interesting (albeit unsurprising) results.  After examining gender, race and sexual preference, Bass determined that both Marvel and DC's superhero lines consisted of 20% minority characters, with Marvel beating DC on race, DC better on GLBT representation and both companies even on gender.  However, here's why he gives Marvel the edge:

So that's the quantitative analysis, which seems to be pretty even on first glance: Marvel is better on race, DC is better on GLBT, they're even on gender. But then you get into the qualitative analysis, and the whole thing goes pear-shaped for DC. Let's be clear here: DC does do a lot of things right here. As noted before, it has Batwoman and Shining Knight, and it has Batwing, a black man, on a solo book. It has Birds of Prey, which, for a while, was the only all-female cast in comics, and it has Power Girl and Huntress on Worlds' Finest.

But then you look at the broader picture. DC does have Batwoman and Batwing, but it only feels safe putting the characters under the larger aegis of the Bat-family; it's uncomfortable making new IP that doesn't have Bat or Super as a prefix, and that includes diverse characters. The Justice League, its flagship team, has one woman and one black man and no GLBT characters. The GLBT characters that it does have, Batwoman and Shining Knight aside, mostly have that as part of their backstory or stories from back when they were on Vertigo titles; Constantine and Madame Xanadu both have same sex relationships in their past, but that's kind of the key word there: past. Removing those two characters from the list put DC and Marvel on a pretty close par with each other.

DC's sticking to the Batman and Superman franchises, you say?  We're absolutely shocked.

While he's missed a few characteristics here and there (for instance, he counts Kitty Pryde as a racial minority due to her Jewish heritage, but doesn't do the same for Batwoman), it's a pretty simple and telling analysis, and one that provides a solid argument for where the industry needs to improve in the future.  It's well worth the read. 



Written or Contributed by ThanosCopter




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Re: Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

Postby GHERU » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:42 am

To play devil's advocate here for a minute;

is 20% all that bad when compared to other entertainment?
when compared to historical numbers in comics?
and, especially, when compared to the demographics of the product?
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Re: Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

Postby TimH » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:01 am

if Kitty Pryde gets credit for being Jewish, Valkyrie should get credit for being Swedish. Valkyrie dresses in traditional Swedish ethnic attire.

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Re: Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

Postby Jack Burton » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:09 am

Being Swedish tall and blonde is not that really diverse.

Besides she's Asgardian which is basically an alien so he's discount her.

I checked the spreadsheet and saw Fearless Defenders has a gay member. Who is it?

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Re: Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

Postby The Old Doctor » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:21 am

I wonder how this place shapes up?
"Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that? They're scientific instruments, not water pistols."
"Oh, the pointing again! They're screwdrivers! What are you going to do? Assemble a cabinet at them?"
"Are you capable of speaking without flapping your hands about?"
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Re: Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

Postby e_galston » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:23 am

Jack Burton wrote:Being Swedish tall and blonde is not that really diverse.

Besides she's Asgardian which is basically an alien so he's discount her.

I checked the spreadsheet and saw Fearless Defenders has a gay member. Who is it?


its the archeologist character Bunn created...
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Re: Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

Postby LobsterJ » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:27 am

I'd be interested to see The Bass' analysis, dunno about this Joe Bass character.

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Re: Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

Postby e_galston » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:30 am

i don't understand some of the rankings.. why does Wiccan have 2 of 3??
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RE: Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

Postby Joe Bass » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:42 am

Wiccan is both Jewish and gay.

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Re: RE: Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

Postby Punchy » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:03 pm

FBtron wrote:Wiccan is both Jewish and gay.


And annoying.

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Re: RE: Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

Postby habitual » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:20 pm

Punchy wrote:
And annoying.


If that were actually a religion you'd be Solomon.

Hab

:P

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Re: RE: Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

Postby nattygreene » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:23 pm

Punchy wrote:
And annoying.

and suffers from pinocchio syndrome http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PinocchioSyndrome.

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Re: RE: Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

Postby Punchy » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:18 pm

habitual wrote:
If that were actually a religion you'd be Solomon.

Hab

:P


Annoying-Americans are a very large and powerful demographic!

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Re: Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

Postby mrorangesoda » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:57 pm

He should redo his numbers in a couple months- isn't Marvel canceling a few of their "diverse" titles in the next couple months?

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RE: Joe Bass Breaks Down Diversity at the Big Two

Postby Joe Bass » Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:23 pm

They may be, I'm not certain. However, they're also adding Mighty Avengers, which is majority black and Hispanic. Also, I'll probably re-do these every few months just to see what happens.

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