The brain trust at DC Comics should just relax.
Their universe is fine as it is – it doesn’t need to be more “diverse.”
It’s already diverse in ways that our own world never has been or ever will be.
In fact, the very concept of diversity takes on a new meaning in a milieu populated by an infinite array of superpowered humans, aliens, mutants and monsters.
How diverse is the DC universe?
One of their most popular characters, Swamp Thing, is a green-hued sentient plant. He’s not even human. Talk about a unique minority.
DC’s universe can’t be more diverse. It’s already diverse beyond imagination.
But that hasn’t stopped the storied company from announcing a new initiative to better represent the social and cultural groups that make up the American melting pot.
“(DC’s upcoming relaunch) heralds in a new era for the DC universe which will allow us to publish something for everyone, be more expansive and modern in our approach and tell stories that better reflect the society around us,” co-publisher Dan DiDio said in a recent press release announcing the latest rebooting of DC continuity.
If you want examples of the types of varied characters who already populate DC’s comic line, there’s more than a few.
For starters, there’s the company’s marquee character, Superman.
As smarter people than me have pointed out, his story is the age-old tale of what happens when an immigrant outsider – he’s an alien refugee from the planet Krypton – moves to the U.S.
But Superman looks like the average straight, middle-class white guy, you say. True enough.
If your definition of diversity is limited to colour, then you should consider another green-skinned DC denizen, Martian Manhunter. Not convinced? How about Doctor Manhattan, a glowing blue presence who lives all the moments of his life simultaneously?
Ah, but what about women? Not only is Wonder Woman an example of what was once called the fairer sex, but she’s also a member of an all-female race of warriors.
Heck, even the undersea world is represented in DC Comics, by Aquaman.
Do you see that kind of diversity anywhere in your own, real-life surroundings? I know I don’t.
The list goes on. Deadman is a non-living ghost. Cyborg is half-robot. Bizarro is . . . well, bizarre.
And that’s only in a single universe. There are another 51 alternate universes in current DC continuity that also boast the same hyperdiverse selection of lifeforms.
If you’re wondering about the Marvel universe — it’s just as rich, with its purple aliens, blue mutants and orange heroes.
But what’s that? You say the DC universe may be filled with an unlimited number of racial, ethnic, social and cultural groups, but it’s also a product of a bunch of white males? That may be true. However, you can’t deny the situation is changing.
If a bunch of white guys could imagine such an awesome setting for stories, just think what it will look like in a few years, when more minorities and women gain access to the levers of power.
My bet: You ain’t seen nothing yet.