Earlier this week, we received a tip following up on our Has DC Done Something Stupid Today counter reset for the company publishing the fourth and final issue of their First Contact crossover before the delayed third issue. The tip was about the whitewashing of another character, Kaizen Gamorra, a villain from Wildstorm's The Authority. I'll let the tipster, who asked to remain anonymous, tell you all about it:
Frequent reader here. I love The Outhouse. I noticed today that one of your writers covered the First Contact screw up regarding the issues getting published out of order. Well, that crossover’s antagonist is Kaizen Gamorra, originally villain of The Authority. At the time, he looked like this:
However, near the end of Wildstorm’s existence, one panel makes him not look like a racist Yellow Peril caricature. I have attached a screenshot to this e-mail. Trim down the ears and it shows the potential of having an Asian villain without the 1940s paranoia.
But, of course, this is DC we’re talking about. The second screenshot I have attached shows Kaizen Gamorra as he looks in the New 52. Unless DC thinks Asians have red hair, green eyes, and pasty skin, it looks like they completely whitewashed him. So glad to see as the years progress that they are getting increasingly sensitive towards the diversity in their properties.
Look, I’m a Wildstorm fan—especially a The Authority fan—so these last 2 1/2 years have not been kind to me. But I understand how bringing back a yellow peril-esque character can be a concern to DC's editorial. However, as the editor of a site that has in the past repeatedly shown its concerns about DC’s lack of diversity, I think you may be able to see my argument that they have removed the race when they should have just removed the caricature. It’s gone unnoticed by every comic news site, but this step is yet another of DC trying to uphold their little status quo, purposeful or not, of powerful white men with a few spaces ready for black men. Where are their Asian characters? Do they even have any other Asian characters besides Ryan Choi? Gamorra’s minions are still Asian, oddly, but that doesn’t exactly count since they’re just props for the plot.
I hope this story is of interest to you. I look forward to reading your site in the future and cheering at your whistleblowing.
So yeah, that happened. And it's certainly not the first offense, even in recent memory. We reset the counter in February when DC celebrated Black History Month by whitewashing characters, that time both Connor Hawke and Onyx.
Are you noticing a pattern here? There was a rumor in 2013 that Josh Fialkov left Green Lantern during one of DC's "really stupid weeks" because they wanted to kill off Green Lantern John Stewart. And though they ended up not doing that, that doesn't mean they didn't intend to. Whatever the case, it's clear that DC has a problem, and those are only a few examples of it.
Still, we try to keep this job fun, and the last thing we want is for our lives to revolve around waiting for DC to screw up and jumping all over them for it. The reason the counter exists is that DC does stupid things too much, not that they do stupid things (as everyone does once in a while). They had been kind of quiet on the stupid front for a while. We thought that was a good thing. The Onyx issue turned out to be a "coloring error," and hey, people (and corporations) make mistakes.
But then today, DC Women Kicking Ass (images from there too) reported on ANOTHER whitewashing! This time, it's Solstice of the Teen Titans, who we're pretty sure from the storylines, is actually still supposed to be from India. From Wikipedia:
Following the events of Flashpoint, history is rewritten so that the incarnation of the Teen Titans Kiran joined never existed. However, Red Robin is shown watching a new report from India showing Kiran using her powers. In the following issue, Kiran is shown to be incarcerated in the same facility as Kid Flash. Her powers appear to have been altered by N.O.W.H.E.R.E, giving her body a black, smokey appearance with light shining through various cracks and openings. Despite the changes and abuse she suffered however, she seems to retain her good and hopeful nature. She will be joining the new incarnation of Teen Titans.
And yet, in Teen Titans #29...
Just to be clear, we go from this:
Another coloring error? Could be. Then again, it might be on purpose too. This is DC, after all. They are exceptionally stupid. But even if it is a coloring error, isn't that something an editor should catch, especially in light of the bad publicity DC gets for this over and over again?
And so, we have no choice but to reset the counter. Honestly though, we'd rather DC just got it right for once, fer chrissakes. No need to keep being stupid about this on our account. We'll find other ways to make fun of you. So go ahead and, you know, stop doing this.
We're here to help, DC. Let us know what we can do.
In the meantime, it has been 0 days (well, as of tomorrow - we're not gonna let them get away with having the 0 day start at 10PM).
UPDATE: Scott Lobdell replied to DCWKA's article with the following tweet:
To be fair to readers, everyone dropped Lobdell's Titans run long before issue #14. So "coloring error" it is, we guess? Though continuity hasn't been the strong suit of the Nu52, so Solstice being changed to a blue-eyed white girl isn't entirely out of the question. Outhouse Evan Meadow also points out that Kaizen Gamorra appeared "differently" in an issue of Team 7. Again, "coloring errors" really aren't excuses when they happen this often. This shouldn't be that hard to get right.