Roy Harper, Superman, Wonder Woman

via Willow’s coverage of the cover and Racialicious, and Girls Read Comics


Sanctuary Cover


Vixen and Roy. The third person in the Sanctuary shot ain’t Vixen. Looked more like Roy to my first pass glance.
I’m going to attribute this to four things

1. Systemic failure to recognise ethnicity and preservation of the racial characteristics of a non-white character. aka “Not us, don’t care”. Consider it a decision to regard Vixen as a character not worth the same sort of duty of care you’d see applied to Batman or Superman.

2. Colour blindness at DC. The type of “We don’t see colour, we see everyone as white people” editing that means you wouldn’t notice Vixen’s radical change because Vixen’s basically coloured white here and isn’t the world white really? Which is a big problematic cluster of racial denial and racism and not a positive thing.
3. Racially motivated re-imaging of a black character into a white character (intentionally/unintentionally) largely in the same vein as the sexually motivated reimaging of WonderWoman’s costume into the wedgie inflicting WonderThong, and the masculinity motivated Superman’s discrete yet viably deniable crotch bulge (Kryptonians dress to the right?) alongside all of his lovingly detailed muscle structure.  The artist made deliberate decisions in the art, and so did the colourist, so did the editor who cleared it for publishing and didn’t send it back for repair because the colourist got the colouring on Vixen totally wrong.

4. Appallingly low quality editorial standards that permit options 1 and 3 to make it into print, and the willingness to willfully disregard the audience’s investment in Vixen as a character, which includes Vixen’s heritage and skin colour.

DC is intentionally or unintentionally sanctioning white washing a character. Either way, it’s wrong, and DC needs to fix that problem by examining how it happened, and taking steps to stop it happening again and again.

For those looking for a positive way of spinning this – DC is a poor quality publishing house with low levels of quality assurance who can’t guarantee the colour work on a character will be consistent.

Or in other words, there are problems at DC that need fixing.


I maintain whoever the third character in the shot is, they bear a greater resemblance to Roy Harper than they do to Vixen.

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