You Superpeeps know I’m always looking out for cool geek stuff, and ThinkGeek (my awesome partner) has t-shirt sales every now and then that showcase the popularity of diverse superheroes. You know that’s right up my alley: people argue that Black and female leads don’t sell, and these popular franchises prove them so wrong! How do you show your geeky #representationmatters spirit?
- With Black Panther
#BlackPantherSoLit tore up Twitter over two years in advance of the film. With each announcement of a new Black actor lined up to dominate the screen, we got excited! And for good reason: you should DEFINITELY check out Gene Yang’s speech about why Black Panther, even in his cringe-worthy “Jungle Action” iterations, really mattered to the development of Black comic writers like Dwayne McDuffie. ‘Cuz here’s the thing, as McDuffie pointed out: Black Panther’s not an angry thug, and he’s no one’s sidekick. He’s his own complete, collected man. That’s huge! So here’s to the love, in faded retro style. This shirt’s 60% off right now.
- With Jessica Jones
During our recent Indiegogo campaign, one of our supporters asked for a pic of herself and Jessica. Why? As a vocal survivor herself, she identified deeply with Jessica’s struggle and felt that maybe for the first time in superhero series history someone got it. See, it’s all about how you depict a survivor’s story, not whether or not they bounce back–you’ll notice Lara Croft’s #gamergate-esque fiasco got quite a different response from the feminist community.
Jessica Jones is a unique franchise in that the comics decision not to go down the sexual assault road was just as feminist as the series’ decision to actually tackle it: you should definitely check out Michael Bendis’ take on why as a man he didn’t usurp that female story, and how comic mediums tend to glorify assault, even accidentally, just by nature of depiction. Having female writers changed the conversation.
- With Luke Cage
Like Jessica Jones, Luke Cage totally outperformed DC’s lighter CW fare because it dealt with real issues through an authentic lens. The majority (or, as far as my google-fu can tell, all) of the show’s writers were Black themselves, and that definitely helped. This is one of those important series that you feel pretty embarrassed for not having seen just because it’s so frikkin’ important. This tee’s like $6, which is crazy cheap.
Here’s another traditional-style tribute tee, also $6:
- With the Random Shirt if you’re feeling random!
- With You in Shield
Shield changed in a very subtle way, right off in the first Avengers movie with the decision to make a Black man and a woman the focus of leadership that we associate with the undercover govt. power. I haven’t heard anything groundbreaking about the Agents of Shield series, but I can say I like this shirt: there’s always power in taking the emblem of something and making yourself the character wearing it. You’re not cosplaying someone else; you’re cosplaying YOU.
And when you do that, what stories will you tell? What kind of hero will you become? One of my favorite lines in the Guardian Anthology is when Robot-man talks about visualizing success, about playing pretend to become what you want to be. Click on the forums above and role-play your own self as a hero in the Becoming Hero world, too. -_^