Superman is a White Boy Response

I really enjoyed this article because of the way it worked around an idea to come to a conclusion. When it started with saying that the superhero paradigm is an inherently white male one, I was a little worried about the attitude it would take. However, Lamb’s comments rang true to me, especially that the notion of heroism that superheroes depend on is not a thing that can translate across race and gender because of the fact that it is entrenched so wholly and consciously positioned in white-man-ness. One thing that I think could have been a little more clearly stated, and that I think was one of the writers main points, was that to simply race bend or gender bend, or even to create a non-white non-male superhero, does not do justice to the character or to the people the character is striving to represent because of the paradigm that superheroes adhere to. This becomes difficult, because the goal in creating non-white non-male characters within super hero comics is to do justice to representation. 

While I understand what this writer is saying, and can see the reverberations within media, the notion of an inherently white boy superhero is leaving me with a fair amount of questions. With the success of movies like Black Panther, a superhero which has done incredibly well, how do we classify this type of representation? I feel as though it can only be construed in a positive light, but are there ways in which it fits into the “white-superhero” paradigm? If the superhero paradigm does not do justice to non-male non-white characters, how do we create something with a comparable weight that does justice to these character and unique situations? Perhaps this contributes to the prevalence of nonfiction work, or autobiographical work, by people who do not fit into this box?

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