ByAlexander Sly Shaddix, writer at
A huge geek with a passion about Superheroes, yet still find time for Fantasy and Sci-Fi. DC specialist.
Alexander Sly Shaddix

Comics are a product of their time, and people - more often than not - discriminated and hated each other. One such way of expressing the backwards views of their generation was through comics, and while comics always tried to be a beacon of tolerance and change, they have their own fair share of racism, sexism and all around discrimination.

So let's dive right in into the 5 Times DC comics were racist:

Disclaimer: This is not a direct attack, nor in any way implies, that DC comics are racist. These comics are a product of their time and expressed the views of their writers. The only reason, why this is DC exclusive, is because I know DC comics better than I do Marvel, or other publishers.

5. That Time, Lois Lane Became Black

Everybody knows that Lois Lane is a reporter. On one of her stories, she wanted to write about a ghetto in Metropolis, called Little Africa. To do so Lois decided that she needed to come closer to the community, which was hard for her to do as the black community seemed to hate any white people. So she was left with one option... become a black woman. So she wore her most offensively stereotypical African inspired clothes, and used a Kryptonian machine that turned her black. Well if that is not racist enough, her comments and "observations" about the community could make a Trump supporter sigh. In the end she used her blood to save a community activist, who accepted her blood "even though she was white".

4. The "Black" Lantern

You know John Stewart right? The Lantern in the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoon? Yea that guy. Well that guy first appeared in comics a little too close the time of the black civil rights movement, so he had to be involved with that. This comic, in comparison to some others on this list, actually tried to be politically correct and show respect to Afro-Americans, but even with all its best efforts, it still had some very racist undertones. Hal Jordan was frequently accused of being a bigot towards John and some of the dialogs were insanely racist. To give you a good example there was a conservative council member running for President, who openly said to John that black people have smaller brains and cannot understand luxury.

In any case most of the comic is inappropriate for this article; you can check it out for yourselves in Green Lantern Vol.2 #87.

3. That Time Superboy Became a Woman

In a similar fashion to the comic where Lois became black, Superboy became a girl.
It also must be noted that, similarly to the John Steward comic, this one was originally designed as woman friendly and even empowering. Yet, as it happens, it comes off, sexist to a fault. From Superboy's comments, that “women are incapable of doing certain tasks” (saving people including), to him developing "woman intuition", a sixth sense that his mother considered a women's superpower. He even made the age old joke of how women are bad drivers. In the end this comic had good intentions, that didn't translate well to the comic book.

2. An Island Full of Black people

If you ever watched the Legion of Super Heroes cartoon, you might have noticed one curious fact, they were all white. Well, DC noticed that too, only 40 years earlier and in the comics. You see, whenever DC tries to be politically correct or to support a minority or a group, it doesn't go too well and this is no exception. To make the comic more politically correct, and a little less discriminatory, they decided to create an Afro-American character. That character was Tyroc also known as Troy Steward. Fun fact, it's the character that is offensive, it's his homeland. To explain why there are no people of colour anywhere in the Universe, they opted to write that all black people managed to escape to a remote Island in the pacific that exited our reality every 200 years only to return for a short period of time. But that is not all, black people are also shown to be primitive and suspicious of any outsider, to the point of refusing to be saved by the Legion.
Both the character and his backstory were so bad, his own creators admitted that he was a pathetic and racist creation.

1. Every Comic During WWII

Now let's be clear, this is during World War II, a time when hatred and racial discrimination was vital for the successful outcome of the war. While boosting morale for soldiers is a good thing, some comics went extremely racist. From calling Japanese people yellow faces, dogs etc. to making it seem like all Germans supported Hitler, a lot of the comics were really dark. Batman and Superman killed Japanese soldiers, the Justice Society attacked and hunted Japanese people and Wonder Woman had an Egg with a Fu Manchu mustache as an arch-enemy.

So next time you complain for a racial change of a character, remember there were cases of way worse behaviour towards characters.


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