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CSBG Archive

Things That Turned Out Bad – The Racially Segregated Superhero of the Future!

In this column, I will spotlight plotlines by writers that probably weren’t a good idea at the time and have only become more problematic in retrospect. I’ll try to stick with stuff that’s more ill-conceived than flat-out offensive (like racist stereotypes of characters during the 1940s).

Today we look at the introduction of the first black member of the Legion of Super-Heroes…

As I detailed in an old Comic Book Legends Revealed, the introduction of Tyroc in Superboy #216 (by Cary Bates and Mike Grell) at the end of 1975 came after some behind-the-scenes debate. Legion artist Mike Grell thought it was weird that there never seemed to be any black people in the future, so he tried to make a one-off character black. The editor of the book, though, Murray Boltinoff, told him not to do it, as Boltinoff was already planning on introducing a black character to the book as well as addressing the absence of black people in the title. So Boltinoff literally had Grell’s pencils “whitewashed,” as a character Grell drew as a black man was colored white.

When Grell learned who Boltinoff had settled on for the new black character in the title, Grell was angered. As quoted in Glen Cadigan’s The Legion Companion, Grell noted “I kept getting stalled off…and finally comes Tyroc. They might as well have named him Tyrone. Their explanation for why there were no black people [in the Legion] was that all the black people had gone to live on an island. It’s possibly the most racist concept I’ve ever heard in my life…I mean, it’s a segregationist’s dream, right? So they named him Tyroc, and gave him the world’s stupidest super-power.”

As a protest, Grell decided to give him an intentionally goofy costume…

“I gave him a silly costume. It was somewhere between Elvis’ Las Vegas costume and something you would imagine a pimp on the street corner wearing.”

Here is the costume on the cover…

tyroc1

The issue revolves around some jewels stolen years earlier and stashed in a satellite crashing down on to Manzal, the aforementioned “black” island. The Legion head to the island to get to the jewels before criminals find them…

tyroc2

We then meet the hero of Marzal, Tyroc…

tyroc3

tyroc4

tyroc5

Those are some pretty bold charges against the Legion, no?

In the end, they stop the bad guys and save Tyroc (who had gone undercover among the bad guys)…

tyroc6

It is weird how they never really address his complaints, right?

Tyroc appeared a few times over the next couple of years but he was eventually written out of the title roughly 50 issues later, as Marzal fades out of this dimension and Tyroc decides to go with his people.

Clearly, Boltinoff didn’t mean anything negative by the idea behind Tyroc and assuredly just thought that he was coming up with a good explanation for why we never saw any black people in the Legion’s comics (in fact, another DC Comics series used almost the exact same explanation for why another title didn’t have black people in it – I’ll likely get to that one in the future, so don’t write into the comments about it. Rest assured that I know that you know it) but it reads really oddly. Jim Shooter also hated the idea, noting to Cadigan, “.instead of just incidentally having a character who happens to be black…they made a big fuss about it. He’s a racial separatist….I just found it pathetic and appalling”

Keith Giffen, who also did not like the character (but more for visual reasons – he thought it was hard to draw a guy whose powers were based on sounds), eventually redeemed Tyroc a bit when he made him a prominent member of the Earth rebellion against the Dominators (and later the President of New Earth) during Giffen’s Five Year Later Legion. Giffen and Paul Levitz, by the way, introduced a prominent black member of the Legion during their run on the book, the second Invisible Kid.

If you can think of a good example for this column, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com.

58 Comments

Holy cats. That was even worse than I expected.

Incidentally, this appeared deep into the Black Power era, well after the start of Civil Rights Movement. Did it never occur to anyone prior to 1975 that the complete absence of black characters, aside from ugly stereotypes, was kind of weird?

It is bizarre considering that Marvel already had Black Panther, Falcon, Power Man, Storm, etc. by this point.

Marvel also had Black Goliath. Whose costume may have been even worse….and whose name even THEN was offensive. I mean, you couldn’t just call him Goliath?

The thing is, this story doesn’t ever say that all black people live on the island. What it does is set up an opportunity to address the issue of whether the Legion are racist and very clearly shows that they’re not. It’s also specifically the Legion that Tyroc has a problem with — he talks about how they’ve never come to Marzal’s aid, but also says that racial prejudice died out centuries ago. It’s never even implied that all black people have been segregated on Marzal but readers made such a big deal about it that it was later explained that the island was founded over a thousand years earlier by escaped slaves — and yeah, that went over just as well but people really do need to find things to be outraged about.

I wrote about Tyoc and the arc of the other black superhero characters for Apex Magazine: http://www.apex-magazine.com/black-communities-of-the-30th-century-racial-assimilation-and-ahistoricity-in-superhero-comics/

And have written about other Bronze Age Black Superheroes like: Black Goliath and Black Lightning on my own blog

“Keith Giffen, who also did not like the character (but more for visual reasons – he thought it was hard to draw a guy whose powers were based on sounds)”

And yet Black Canary was a huge part of his run on the BWAH-ha-ha! Justice League.

Just saying…

Wait, why is Karate Kid being trotted out as an example of “yellow skin”? He had always been depicted as a white guy with light brown hair, both in Legion and in his own comic. Did they suddenly make him Asian just to counter Tyroc’s accusation?

The One and Only

August 17, 2014 at 8:43 am

I thought the name Black Goliath was rather cool. Still do, Especially when you say it out loud sounding like the voice over guy doing the trailer for MACHETE.

Christopher Swaby

August 17, 2014 at 8:48 am

I have always been a big fan of the Legion and as a Black man born in the early 60s, I was very excited to have a Black man join the team. Of course, that excitement was turned to disappointment as he rarely appeared and then disappeared. I keep hoping with every new iteration of the Legion that he will be revived.

Was Black Goliath considered an offensive name back then?

Talk about things that turned out badly, Legion Five Years Later. Ugh.

Kenozoic – To be fair, he never drew Black Canary. That was Kevin MacGuire. He had to draw Tyroc in the LSH title.

Curious. The story’s end, with the well-intended “blue skin, yellow skin, green skin” rationale, is kind of a fake-out, as with the exception of Karate Kid, the other colors don’t exist in Earth humanity. You could make the argument that the Legion found every reason to bring in folks with green, blue, red, purple skin, etc., but brown-skinned humanoid folks just didn’t make the cut. Oh well.

That costume is truly one only Clayton Bigsby could love.

Tyroc’s power set didn’t make a lot of sense–it looks like conventional sonics in the pages here, but in his occasional later stories, he could just scream and cause apparently anything to happen. That was what annoyed me most when he showed up–it was only later that I understood the issues with the separatist angle.
And unless we assume every black person in the 30th century is on Marzal it doesn’t explain their absence at all.
Grell began drawing Karate Kid as part-Asian during his tenure, and it became canon his father was Japanese in S&LSH 210. However I don’t believe he was colored that way.

Buttler: regarding the change in Karate Kid, during his Legion run Mike Grell decided that he’d “honor” Bruce Lee as the greatest martial artist of all time by drawing Karate Kid to look like Mr. Lee, continuity be damned. It’s toned down here – earlier in his run he drew Karate Kid as a virtual Lee clone.

Wait, why is Karate Kid being trotted out as an example of “yellow skin”? He had always been depicted as a white guy with light brown hair, both in Legion and in his own comic. Did they suddenly make him Asian just to counter Tyroc’s accusation?

No, actually they made him Asian to catch on to the Kung Fu fad in the mid 70s. Mike Grell drew him that way early in his run, circa 1974-ish.

Michael G: the depiction of Karate Kid as having East Asia heritage began before Grell —> Dave Cockrum.

“Wait, why is Karate Kid being trotted out as an example of “yellow skin”? He had always been depicted as a white guy with light brown hair, both in Legion and in his own comic.
Did they suddenly make him Asian just to counter Tyroc’s accusation?”

At this point, Karate Kid received his own title, where he was trapped in the present-day (1970s).
Oddly, though he had been illustrated as a Caucasian with brown, wavy hair who had been raised by Japanese step-parents (though he was, in fact, Eurasian), upon receiving a new costume, he suddenly became a dead-ringer for Bruce Lee, who had just died!
When the Karate Kid book was cancelled, he kept the costume, but reverted to being Caucasian with wavy brown hair.
I don’t think they ever bothered to explain how or why it happened.

I’m fairly certain that Jacques Foccart (the second Invisible Kid) was President of Earth during the wreck that was the Five Year Gap legion as well.

In fact, I just checked and Tyroc was his VP, and ascended when Jacques stepped down.

Right, they were both president, but technically Jacques was president of Earth and Tyroc was president of New Earth, because the hand-off coincided with the destruction of Earth.

As for Tyroc, the Legion was supposed to reveal that Ferro Lad was black. Ferro Lad wore a mask over his face and they were going to eventually reveal that he was a black man. This is sort of elaborated on in the comics title “The American Way.” The gist of it is that they didn’t want to lose distribution in the south, so the idea of Ferro Lad being black was nixed.

I liked the Five Year Legion. Or a lot of it.
The new costume for Val Armorr predated his own book by about a year. Grell was quite open about redesigning him to look like Bruce Lee (there’s an earlier appearance, Superboy 205, where he looks like David Carradine quite a bit).

@Buttler: Why does a black guy have to be president whenever the Earth gets destroyed/nearly destroyed? Deep Impact, anyone!?!?

I forgive Black Goliath’s existence because it led to the wonderful “Big Brother” joke in Damage Control.

I’d would have made race a thing of the past in the Legion’s era, thru centuries of miscegenation. Of course, the coloring of all humans remained too white for full mixing. And a can of worms would be opened when the Legion’s leader would be the whitest kid on earth, a time displaced Superboy.

@Raggedt: it might be an artifact of repressed guilt. “We messed it beyond recovery, the least we can do is get out of the way and give you the chance to fix our damage”.

Or, by a more cynical reading, it may be a “I don’t want to be bothered now” thing.

om what was murray smoking when he came up with the reason there were no african americas even in the legion time was because not only were they on their own island by themselfs like the legion time went back to the fifties and sixties. but also denied grell a chance to finaly add a black character to the legion and came up with Tyroc who came off as a angry black sterotype even in legion time. at least the writters of five year later tried to make Tyroc work better. still what was dc thinking.

I remember reading this story as a kid, but I don’t believe it was meant as an explanation for why there were no black people in the Legion. According to LSH #265, “The Brigadoon Syndrome”, Marzal was populated by Africans who were being transported to America on a slave ship, but rebeled and took control of the ship — back before America’s Civil War. The island they landed on vanishes into another dimension periodically, only appearing on Earth once every 200 years.

So… Marzal’s residents were a small number of black people who had been isolated and missing for over a century before Superboy’s time. That doesn’t in any way explain the absence of black people on the rest of 30th-century Earth. Nothing like that is mentioned in either story, and I never realized anyone thought that was implied until I read this article.

Forget Tyroc. I’m way more interested in the private lives of Bouncing Boy and Dou Damsel revealed in 1 + 1 = 3. Just look at those smiles …

So when did black people show up in, say, Gotham City? No one ever asked why Gotham was all Caucasian back in the day. Or Metropolis. Or, or, or…

I don’t see this as much different than any of the other wacky silver/bronze age explanations of things that really didn’t need explaining (and always made less sense than if they had been left alone).

At the time I read it (late 70s) I saw it as a cheap pandering attempt to draw in black readers with a stereotypical “hip” & “angry” black character – typical of the time. An ill thought out story was consistent with that and didn’t raise additional eyebrows.

I remember reading this story as a kid, but I don’t believe it was meant as an explanation for why there were no black people in the Legion. According to LSH #265, “The Brigadoon Syndrome”, Marzal was populated by Africans who were being transported to America on a slave ship, but rebeled and took control of the ship — back before America’s Civil War. The island they landed on vanishes into another dimension periodically, only appearing on Earth once every 200 years.

#265 was three years after Boltinoff left the book as editor. So whatever explanation they came up with then was unlikely what they were thinking five years earlier.

Obviously, based on what he says on page 7, Tyroc is a descendant of that dude in the GL/GA comic that asked Hal Jordan what he was doing for the brown skins and Hal couldn’t answer him.

Jenos Idanian #13

August 18, 2014 at 5:02 am

OK, most of the Tyroc trivia I know has already been mentioned, except one point: Grell modeled his actual appearance on blaxploitation actor (and former NFL player) Fred Williamson. Google up images of Williamson in the early 70s, and you can definitely see it.

I had that issue, and as far as the “1+1=3″ story, it was more action than romance… but there was a subtle promise of sexytimes, and Duo Damsel sported a stripperiffic Grell suit.

As far as falling precisely into the category of “plotlines by writers that probably weren’t a good idea at the time and have only become more problematic in retrospect” at least one person, namely artist Mike Grell, immediately recognized how horribly misconstrued & offensive this was right from the instant it was proposed. But, yeah, since even after Grell pointed this out Cary Bates and Murray Boltinoff STILL inisisted on going through with it, well, that makes it even more ridiculous that this saw print.

What was it that T. wrote in the Comments a few days ago regarding Steve Englehart’s retcon of the Falcon’s origin, revealing he was once a street hustler named “Snap” Wilson? I think it was something about how in the 1960s and 70s you had white middle class writers who had no real first hand knowledge of the African American experience, and who did not do any sort of research, who were attemptingto do socially relevant stories that they honestly felt were presenting realistic black characters, but which in fact fell flat on their face and failed miserably. Tyroc by Cary Bates seems to fall smack dab into that category, with perhaps the best of intentions unfortunately resulting in a cringeworthy stereotyle.

Okay after looking at Tyroc’s costume, suddenly Luke Cage’s 1970s Power Man costume doesn’t seem quite so bad.

By the mid-1970s I think the Civil Rights Movements had evolved into Black Power. And that is why we have lots of (white) writers and editors trying to be hip and current with “angry” black characters setting out to prove they were no Uncle Toms.

Besides “Snap” Wilson and Tyroc, you also had a better executed version of this trope with Blade in TOMB OF DRACULA. Blade had a lot of attitude, argued a lot, and balked at cooperating with the white heroes, though he usually ended up doing it anyway.

And Mike Grell was being a bit too hard on Murray Boltinoff, IMO. The Tyroc storyline may seem like it’s hinting at the racial segregation in the South in the 1950s, but it’s more likely that Boltinoff was trying to reference the real life views of the radical elements inside the Black Power movement, who actually advocated Black Separatism.

The Bouncing Boy / Duo Damsel back up story was actually pretty decent.

Oddly enough, Tyroc’s second appearance in Superboy and the Legion #218 was also the debut of Absorbancy Boy, who many years later would be plucked from obscurity by Geoff Johns and revamped to become the fascist, human-supremecist Earth-Man.

Oh, Tyroc. Shouty, shouty Tyroc. He is actually a really good example of three persistent themes.

First, comic writers need to be careful when they blend tropes. Conceptually, Manzal is not that far away from Wakanda. Both are all black, semi-utopian societies. As noted above, Tyroc is not wildly different in tone and attitude from contemporary Marvel characters. His powers and look are kind of silly, but not totally out of step with the Disco-era Legion. Still, when you put those ingredients together, it is laughably offensive.

Second, the Legion is really handicapped by its setting. Superheroes in a distant, idealized future is not an easy premise. It manages to combine the most challenging aspects of Star Trek and the Uncanny X-Men.

Third, rather than fixing the problems, DC swept the whole business under the rug.

Huh, what a weird circle of stories about this character….

This story

http://www.cracked.com/article_18502_the-5-most-unintentionally-offensive-comic-book-characters.html

That likely took info from the original Legends article linked above was just mentioned in this thread by David

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2014/08/13/remember-to-forget-falcons-past-as-a-street-hustler/

and then this column comes out today. A lot of mileage is gotten out of this gone, but not forgotten, character.

@Gary- while he didn’t regularly draw Black Canary in JLI, he was plotting the stories for them, thus making another artist have to draw her power.

Re: Black Goliath’s name.

I don’t recall much hue and cry, but the book only lasted 5 issues, so it might have materialized later, had the title continued. However, it was right in step with titles of Blaxploitation films, which were more often the inspiration for black characters of the era. You have movies like Black Samson, Black Ceasar, Coffy, etc…. Comics have tended to follow pop culture trends. At first, it was trends in comic strips, movie serials (and feature films), radio shows, pulps, and more. By the 50s, you could add tv to the list. By this point, you have a generation that drew more inspiration from visual mediums than literary (though not all writers). So, as is tradition, they follow the latest trend: Blaxploitation films, kung-fu films, Star Wars, etc, etc…

Mark Gruenwald and Ralph Macchio did go on to address the name issue, with Bill Foster, in the pages of the memorable Project Pegasus storyline, in Marvel Two-in-One. George Perez gave him a new costume and the writers had thing address the name with Foster. He said that, ” Everyone know’s you’re black and that Goliath was the name of a bad guy, in the bible. Why not call yourself Giant-Man?” (or words to that effect).

I believe Extrano was mentioned in the comments of the last column. There’s a character ripe for analysis. Or for that matter Madame Fatal. James Robinson put the character into a panel of The Golden Age, as a little in-joke that passed over a large part of the audience, but then refers to the character’s funeral in the start of the then-new JSA comic, noting that only the travelling company of La Cage aux Folles attended. Granted, it’s a throwaway reference, but a pretty stereotyped one. For the unitiated, Madame Fatal was a Quality Comics character who was a male actor who disguised himself as an old woman to track down his missing niece, while fighting criminals he encountered. It’s bizarre, to be sure; but, within the original stories, it’s no more bizarre than the original Red Tornado, Ma Hunkel, who is also, essentially, in drag. It’s just a disguise used to throw the criminals off balance. However, in Robinson’s words, the character turns into a stereotypical joke about crossdressers and drag performers. Not exactly an enlightened idea, given that this is the same writer who depicted a fairly sensitive portrayal of a gay couple in Starman.

Yep. Extrano. I was the one who mentioned him in the other thread.

But in the meantime I remembered one little thing that might excuse Steve Englehart just a little bit. I think DC Comics wouldn’t allow Englehart to directly say Extrano was sexually attracted to males. He couldn’t depict Extrano with a boyfriend, so maybe he thought the only way to clearly indicate the character was gay was to make him into an obnoxious caricature.

I barely remember the reference to Madame Fatal in JSA. But I don’t know if it’s transphobic or just James Robinson indicating how obscure the character was, since almost no one attended the funeral?

Jeff: I think the Madam Fatale thing would be appropriate. He’s actually pretty decent to the character. He first introduced Madam Fatale in Golden Age, where he had the Fiddler and the Gambler trying to court Madam Fatale in a way that appropriate for the character. Then he gave the mention in the JSA, where the only people in Madam Fatal’s funeral was a touring group of La Caux a Faux, which I thought was appropriate in that in the DCU, she would’ve been considered a hero to people who were actors that were also cross-dressers, because she was literally cross dressing, acting superhero. Madame Fatal’s only powers was the ability to convincingly pass as an older woman through acting. Why wouldn’t a troupe of actors make a pilgrimage to celebrate one of their own?

Finally, Robinson brings Madame Fatal into the DCU as the ONLY golden age superhero in the nuDCU AND resolves the issue of whatever happened to his daughter in SHADE #4. He isn’t being transphobic. He’s actually being pretty nice to the golden age character by giving a resolution and sticking him as the First Golden Age Superhero.

When I was growing up in the 1970s I remember thinking how weird it was that so many black super-heroes were required to point out that they were black in their names: Black Lightning, Black Goliath, Black Panther, Black Racer, Black Vulcan. Where was White Batman, or the White Captain America? Of course it was a lesson of the times that being white was the default skin color so no need to point it out. Just like in the pre 1962 box of crayolas where “flesh” was a peachy tone whereas there are lots of flesh colours in fact.

I remember Robinson gave the blue Starman a boyfriend, then killed him off in that JLA series because then he would be Important as Starman’s Inspiration to be all heroic.

Gary: Well, there’s context for you. If you save that until much later, you kind of set yourself up for criticism. Or, perhaps Robinson got some grief and decided to fix things. I don’t know. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Meanwhile, I doubt mainstream comics would ever explore the idea of a crossdressing hero, in any seriousness, these days. The idea popped in my head after one of Peter David’s “But I Digress,” columns, in CBG. He wrote about a recent convention he attended, where a costumed fan ran afoul of people at DC. The fan in question was dressed as Catwoman, ala the Michelle Pfeiffer costume. The costume was spot on and convention goers loved it, and even the people at the DC booth thought it was great. That is, until they discovered that the person wearing the costume was a man, who also happened to be a drag performer. Then they got squeamish. Pressure was put on the con organizers to ask the person to leave, despite no objections from any other attendee. The person was a con volunteer and co-operated with their wishes. David mused what would have happened if the person turned around and bought a ticket. Given other fans in costumes, DC couldn’t rightly say it was trademark infringement and the con couldn’t exactly deny a ticket to a costumed fan, with the price of admission, without a potential lawsuit. David included a photo and it was an amazing transformation as there was no blatant indication that this was a male in female disguise. So, after reading the article, I wondered if anyone had ever thought of such an idea and remembered Madame Fatal.

The idea is intriguing. Suppose you had a drag performer, or just an average crossdresser who stopped a crime, while en femme? What if the person, in the grand tradition of superheroes, continued to fight crime this way? What if criminals discovered the truth? What if journalists did? Some intriguing possibilities; but, no mainstream publisher would touch the idea, anymore than the idea that Wonder Woman, growing up in an all-female society, would probably have some romantic experiences with other women. The closest I ever saw anyone exploring that was as a plot point in Robert Rodi’s novel, What They Did to Princess Paragon, published back in the 90s.

I have recently finished reading the entirety of the LSH Archives to my kids, and reading the Tyroc stories was a miserable experience just because the sound effects of his powers were so wacky and hard to speak out loud.

“OYUUU” was one of the tamer ones, in fact.

The first time you name the island you call it “Manzal.”

@Dean Hacker- I think the difference between Wakanda and Marzal is that Wakanda is in Africa, so it makes sense that the population is all-black- that’s no more segregationist than Poland being full of Poles. Marzal is described as being in the Mediterranean, making it sound like the black people moved there to found a separate society.

I was in my mid-teens when Tyroc debuted, and I hated the costume and found his powers uninteresting. Still, I wanted to see him appear more. I was pleased when he turned up in the All-New Collectors Edition. I had many strong opinions about artists back then but I didn’t read the stories critically. So Tyroc shows up, the LSH decides its strategy, and then a big deal is made about one member needing to stay at the HQ. With more fanfare than the situation warranted, it’s announced that Tyroc has supposedly been chosen randomly. There’s even a platitude about how ‘they also serve who only sit and wait.’ My immediate reaction was that the sequence was painful excuse-making.

Jeff –

Of course, all superhero fiction is already loaded with crossdressing subtext, almost as much or more as the gay subtext. I remember one review of Batman Returns that was all about how Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are essentialy fetishist transvestites in the movie. So, how appropriate that a drag performer dresses up as Catwoman in the con.

But I understand how that little step from subtext to text could get 1990s conservative businessmen nervous. In their worldview, their product go from “innocent and fun” to transgressive.

Well, and that’s the thing. Comics are filled with fetishism; just with the costumes, the masks, the totems, secret identities, and the like. Alan Moore was about the only writer to call attention to it, via Watchmen. Well, apart from Howard Chaykin, though he took a more satirical route. Make it overt and the powers-that-be get extremely antsy, probably because they have their own quirks thrown into their face. These are the same people who kept publishing those bizarre 1940s Wonder Woman stories and then reprinted them years later, after they toned down the regular title. I guess it’s part of that wanting their books to be taken seriously, but not jeopardizing their youth market to do it.

@ Michael:

Marzal is described as being in the Mediterranean, making it sound like the black people moved there to found a separate society.

I have never read SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPERHEROES #216, but I always thought that Marzal was off the coast of Africa. (Legends Revealed, anyone?)

Anyway, I am not sure that it really changes my point. An isolated, self-sustaining and technologically advanced society of black folks is a very progressive idea … in the 1930s. When Jim Crow is in force in the South, white people arguing for black nationalism is probably ok. Once racial integration starts during WW2, that position becomes progressively less tenable. Diversity has become more normative everywhere. The appearance of opposition to that norm from someone in a historically privileged group has become an increasingly bad look.

So, Wakanda was a cool idea in 1966. Advocating the same thing as being desirable for the world of 2966 is horrifying.

David Spofforth

August 20, 2014 at 1:31 am

I’m wondering why DC liked to give vague, I’ll-defined sound powers to their “angry black men” characters in the 1970s. Look at Mal “hornblower” Duncan over in Teen Titans at much the same time.

Dean –

But one of the quirks of futuristic science fiction is that it’s always really a reflection of present day. It’s not a coincidence that a lot of gender segregated female societies also were created in the 1970s. Thundra’s future, for instance. It was the height of radical feminism.

Otherwise, I agree with you. Also, one key difference between Wakanda and Manzal is that the Black Panther and his people didn’t come across as angry at white folks. Even though the Black Panther had to first “test” himself against the FF by devising traps and such, he was pretty cordial afterwards.

Wakanda in 2014 still makes perfect sense. It is an African nation that was successful in repelling efforts by various outsiders to invade it and, free from the interferance of forces who wanted to exploit it, was able to achieve a remarkable level of scientific progress. It is logical for Wakanda to want to continue to stay isolationist because its people have witnessed how so much of the rest of the continent of Africa remains unstable, plagued by rampant violence, corruption, disease and starvation due to the still-lingering tragic legacies of European colonialism.

“The thing is, this story doesn’t ever say that all black people live on the island.”
It’s the explanation for why no black people were ever seen before. So yes that says that all black people live on the island.

If you wondered why there were no dogs on future earth and I explained “the reason there are no dogs is because of this plague” then you can argue that I didn’t specifically say that the plague killed ALL the dogs, but if it IS THE REASON WHY there are no dogs…….

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