.mattfraction

Dear Matt - About Miss Thing; I appreciate the gender inversion of the original team with this new FF but I can't help but feel this was a missed opportunity to create a prominent female character of color of which comics and the media in general are sorely lacking. I remember when you kept Psylocke Asian in X-Men you said it was because you saw no value in adding yet another white person to the cast. Hickman added Onome but she's hardly a main character and she only appeared like a month ago...

Asked by
agenthoneytoast

… I ask because, featuring a white family, the Fantastic Four seems to be the hardest of franchises to diversify naturally. Do you think making Miss Thing Black or Latina or Asian would have looked like tokenism? I know that you might say something about being in service of the story but basically I’m asking: Do you think FF would work with an African-American Miss Thing and why aren’t you writing that book? Also more Onome please also I cried at the end of Defenders #12 you asshole

y’know, i was gonna start this off with “i know how you feel,” or, ‘i can appreciate your frustration,’ or some such but that’s a lie, isn’t it? I’m a white cisgendered male. The fuck do I know about not seeing my race represented somewhere?  Dear Editors of JET I can’t help but notice we yet AGAIN have an african-american ‘beauty of the week’ WHEN will a bit of anglo-saxon beauty grace your periodical’s pages…?

ha ha! nothing like a little humor to take the sting out of hundreds of years of systemic ignoring by mass-media.

Look, every time I’ve put a character of color in a book I get accused of tokenism by someone somewhere. Hell, I was once branded a racist and Asian-fetishist by some total stranger convinced I would — because i was a white boy — break up Danny Rand and Misty Knight and make Danny shack up with an Asian woman. Nevermind that it never happened, and was never even, like, in my thoughts — or that ed was writing the book with me, somehow it was all my fault — but shit like that just happens.

These characters are powerful, no doubt, and those of us lucky enough to get to carry the baton in the relay race that is their creation get to carry all the baggage that comes with it. My point is — you live in the big house, you mow the big yard. That part of it you don’t get to control. It’s fine.

Could it have worked? Yeah, absolutely, but I suppose that I supposed the ethnic, gender, and biological diversity of the cast was pretty pronounced as it was— even though some of those ethnic and biological classifications are wholly fictional. I could say until blue in the face that our central leading lady’s skin is green but I suspect that poor comfort to, say, the Latina wanting HER heroic image reflected in ranks of the Marvel U’s foremost family.

i was going to ignore this, at first, because it made my ears sting when i read it, and it made me mad, and embarrassed. because you’re right. i should’ve considered it more than I did. even if i came to the same conclusion, i can’t tell you with a clear conscience that i gave it all the thought i should’ve. i’ll do better next time.

And onome’s not going anywhere. i have big plans for that little girl, i promise.

(edit to add, in case i wasn’t clear: thank you for asking. thank you for your honesty.)

Notes

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