Column by Steve Bennett
Posted by Jeffrey Dohm-Sanchez on November 4, 2020 @ 4:40 pm CT
I wasn’t looking forward to DC Future State (see “DC Comics Drops ‘DC Future State’ Announcement”), which thanks to the nonstop malapropism machine in my head I’ve been calling "Future Slate." Maybe because it was originally supposed to be DC’s new slate of titles after yet another DC Universe revamp with new “legacy” versions of their heroes, but instead it got truncated into a "two-month" event. It seemed like something I’ve already seen, but the more I learned about it, the more actively interested in it I became.
For instance, take Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman by L. L. McKinney, also the author of the upcoming young adult original graphic novel Nubia: Real One, which will feature Princess Diana’s twin black sister Nubia. It is a character that I’m on record as saying (see “Confessions Of A Comic Book Guy -- The Breakout Character Of 2021”) that could potentially make a lot of money, for both DC (just for starters, why isn’t Nubia part of the DC Super Hero Girls line?) and retailers, from the merchandise alone.
character designs Jean Bartel posted on Twitter of “The Last Amazons”, who come in a variety of shapes and colors. DC’s Amazons have never been particularly interesting, due to the fact they’re basically the same generic warrior woman with different hair colors, cut and pasted repeatedly.
Someone at DC has finally figured out that’s both a problem as well as an opportunity to populate Themiskyra the way Metropolis and Gotham City have been populated, with a regular but memorable supporting cast. Give the Amazons distinctive looks and personalities, and suddenly you have actual characters, ones who can generate all sorts of new plots and story directions.
This appears to be only the beginning as, a couple of days ago, it was announced that in Future State: Justice League The Flash will be Jess Chambers, a member of the Teen Justice from Earth-11 (a place where the majority of DC heroes are genderflipped) who is genderfluid and non-binary as well as uses they/them pronouns. Of course, all of these developments are supposed to be only temporary. But if they know what’s good for them and us, hopefully DC won’t be foolish enough to hand wave away all of the potentially profitable innovations DC Future State will be giving us.
Those of you who have missed Steven Universe as much as I will be happy to know that the characters from the show are back in a series of four anti-racism PSA's. The first one, "Don’t Deny It, Defy It" has Crystal Gems leader Garnet filming a pretty standard PSA, then cuts to a behind the scenes scene between her and some kids which is when we hear a more nuanced message on the subject.
They definitely work better than the Saturday Morning cartoons of the early 70s which had an open pro-social agenda. This sincere, but deeply misguided approach to children’s entertainment gave us such classic moments of animation as Yogi’s Gang, a series where Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound and the rest of the Hanna-Barbera B-list characters faced various antisocial themed villains.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
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