Wednesday, September 1, 2010

An Amazing Story About Race By Jim Owsley

Comics, these days, are mostly imbued with progressive liberal subtext.  Gone are the days of WWII era writers.  With Hollywood making constant super-hero movies based from Marvel super-heroes, it's helpful to have an unapologetic liberal as Editor In Cheif at the helm at Marvel.

Power Man & Iron Fist #123
However, if one were to look carefully, one can sometimes find a gem that goes against the grain of the current political climate of liberalism at Marvel especially.

Pottersan who owns a comic shop at CCL is onto something in his review of a May 1986 issue of Power Man & Iron Fist:

"Getting Ugly" is one of the most moving stories I have read..ever.

Detective Sergeant Tyrone King is called in on a case where a mysterious superpowered bad guy has destroyed an apartment complex and has singled out and killed 3 black police officers.

The media and activists begin to speak of the police dragging their feet as the killer was only going after black cops.

Protests grow and Luke is called out for not being a real "black" man as he crosses a picket line in front of the police station where the investigation is being headed.

The suspicions of a racist kiler are confirmed as information about suspect reveals a male caucasion (William Blake) who was a former marine who volunteered for an experiment gone wrong which was to recreate the super soldier serum used on Captain America.

The Falcon gets involved when Blake appears outside Sam's office attacking two college students. Actually, he is only concerned with killing the young black man and ignores the white one.

Blake is finally apprehended by King, only to be released by an administrative oversight.

This leads to more outrage and more cries of a cover-up as the so called "race-killer" is seen to be given preferential treatment because of his race.

As the protests grow even louder, Army reservists are needed to hold back the growing mob who are demanding justice.

The story climaxes as the "race-killer" attempts to escape and is only stopped after an extended fight with Power Man.

As Luke defeats the killer, he discover the shocking truth. The so called "race-killer" is actually black.

Luke confronts the worker at the police precinct who revealed the original info about the suspect and demands to know what the mix-up was.

It turns out that a computer glitch was the reason for the mix up and the worker matter of factly states;

"A bug in the system. So the guy's black. So sue me.

After all...what difference does it make?"

After the public became aware of the true race of Blake, the outcry quickly subsided and the terms of "psychotic race-killer" and "super-bigot" were replaced with "victim of society" and "misunderstood young soldier".

King, Cage and Wilson sit silently on a couch as Luke leans forward to turn of the television after the final newscast about the situation.

"After all...what difference does it make?" is a question that I feel we all need to be asking ourselves.
  It's a good read, 'nuff said.

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