Comic Books and Racism

// 22 February 2008

Vixen originalVixen nowThere is an excellent post over at Racialicious pointing out the whitewashing comic book character Vixen from black woman to white woman. The original Vixen is on the left, the new version on the right (right hand character). Apparently this has been done to justify casting Angelina Jolie in an upcoming film. The excising of black women and their invisibility in popular culture is a problem and whilst the original Vixen pictures aren’t perfect (note the bone necklace around her neck and probably use of hair relaxant etc) they do at least show a black woman.

Comments From You

Latoya Peterson // Posted 23 February 2008 at 3:47 pm

To clarify:

Angelina Jolie was assigned to play the Fox, a different character. (This character was black or possibly Puerto Rican. See the original post I linked to for details.)

Vixen looks like a white woman on this cover. If you follow the links that digital femme provided, you will see that she was back to somewhat normal inside the current comic.

As far as I know, there are no plans for Angelina Jolie to play Vixen in a film role. (That was a joke on our part in reference to A.Jo playing Marianne Pearl & Fox – we figured it was only a matter of time.)

Danielle // Posted 25 February 2008 at 2:15 am

One of the reasons I love this site is the sheer diversity of issues it covers! You certainly can’t accuse The F Word of being white, middle-class feminism, and the next time someone asks me “Isn’t feminism just about bra-burning and stuff?” (an actual experience of mine) I won’t reply, I’ll just write this web address on their forehead!

As for Vixen’s whiter shade of pale, regardless of whether or not she reverts to her original skin tone inside the comic, why the need to change it on the cover? Are the readers unable to stomach “female” and “black” similtaneously?

Louise Livesey // Posted 26 February 2008 at 10:32 am

I stand corrected – as only a part time geek and one who isn’t really into graphic novels(Marjane Sartrapi, Alison Bechdel and La Decalogue excepted) I don’t know the in-jokes. Sorry to have got confused!

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