Strip Talk #08: Equal representation in comic books

When it comes to race and comic books, there should be equal representation for the readership

Lyndsey Mosley, editor-in-chief

When I was growing up, I was told to be mindful of the content of folks’ character, not the color of their skin. It’s a paraphrase of the late and great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and as I moved out and about in the world around me, I learned to expect things of people not because of what they looked like, but by how they acted.
At the same time, I taught myself that while race isn’t always important, there should be equal representation. And one place I wasn’t getting that was in my comics.
OK, so in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles there were green people who practiced the ways of the Far East. That may not be the best example, but I often thought about the fact that there were no black superheroes in whatever else I was reading. That was so until I got to the X-Men. What I loved about Marvel and Stan Lee and Jack Kirby at the time was that they didn’t ignore their surroundings when they created different characters.
Instead of shying away from the issues at the time, Lee and Kirby adapted them and made them easy for anyone to relate to.
So, there was discussion about race in my comics but Marvel really had the only discussion. I often wondered why there weren’t more mutants who were considered minorities. I mean, you have Storm, Forge, Black Panther, Sunspot and Silver Samurai right off the top, but where are the rest, especially in DC?
Things have gotten better over the years, actually. I can now expect to see more minorities in the core stories and there are better roles for them than just background or sidekicks. I’m not one to harp on race matters, but I feel like my comics should look like me and draw me in. I am part of the comic readership base and deserve to have a superhero who accomplishes just as much as others.

Lyndsey Mosley is editor-in-chief of Gaming Insurrection. She keeps an eye on equal representation at

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