“How Can We Top Arana? The Santerians!”

This story on Joe Quesada’s impending Latino super team, The Santerians, deluged the news wires yesterday. To be honest, the origins of this story actually seem organic and well thought out, as opposed to a cobbled stunt to take advantage of an untapped market, like the character mentioned in the flippant headline.

Of course, this comic book won’t be see until at least 2008, so it’s indeed very early to judge. But you can go see Quesada’s art exhibit at the lengthy named Franklin H. Williams Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute.

I never read Daredevil: Father, but I do know that when Quesada was talking about it, and the story behind it, he broke into quite real tears in front of an awkwardly quiet audience at the New York Comic Con, back in February. That says that there’s some real emotion behind the story, which is always a good thing. Has anyone read it? Was it any good?

Also, because this is always on my radar, despite the lack of much real information for potential customers, this article was fairly well written, and had a very low amount of the condescension I’m used to in most mainstream articles. My favorite politically worded paragraph:

The idea of representing diversity has had a contentious history in comics. “Superhero fans are very conservative in their likes and dislikes,” said Matt Brady, editor-in-chief of Newsarama.com, a popular comic book Web site. He said attempts to bring greater diversity to comics have often been met with skepticism.

Comments

  1. If you have not read Dardevil: Father you need to go right now and buy it. Smith and Quesada did a great job I am not even a fan of daredevil and the guy at my comic book shop told me to check it out and i was blown away. check it out.

  2. I don’t think Smith had anything to do with it.

    So what was good about it? Why were you blown away by it?

    Justify people, justify!

  3. Yeah, it was written and drawn by Joe Quesada. No Kevin Smith on that one.

  4. I think Marvel lacks the vision for this kind of things…
    Isn’t it Obvious?? An all latin team written by Marvel should be called:
    THE QUESADILLAS!!!!!

  5. Imagine the marketing opportunities at TACO BELL KIDDIE MEALS!!!!

  6. Coincidentally, I just read the last issue of DD: Father last night. The ending was a very… interesting quasi-retcon of the DD origin, but I couldn’t quite figure out what was so deeply personal about it. (I imagine that’s just because #5 came out when I was in middle school.) I was definitely intrigued by the Santerians, though; I would love to see some new characters start to make an impact on the culture at large and shake out some of the stagnation.

  7. This could be interesting. When they popped up in Daredevil: Father, I figured they were another team from Marvel history that I hadn’t heard of. I’ll buy the first issue.

  8. I haven’t read DD: Father yet, but I’ve heard really good things about it. I plan to pick up the softcover when it drops on July 4. Most people say it’s very dark and harkens back to Miller’s runs on DD.

  9. Representing diversity? It seems to me that Quesada is only interested in diversity when it applies specifically to him. This is the same man that said any series starring a gay or lesbian character at Marvel Comics would be published only under the MAX imprint or have an “explicit content” label. Remember that RAWHIDE KID book SLAP LEATHER book? Talk about reinforcing negative stereotypes about gay people.

    Instead of pushing social agendas, I wish MARVEL was more concerned with putting out good comics on time.

  10. “This is the same man that said any series starring a gay or lesbian character at Marvel Comics would be published only under the MAX imprint or have an “explicit content” label.”

    I don’t know about that Quesada quote, but Northstar is gay and he’s been in X-Men a whole bunch this past year, with no warning labels. There’s also two characters in The Runaways, Hulkling and Wiccan, and Ultimate Colossus (which I have to admit, that one gives me the heebie jeebies).

  11. To be fair, the Marvel universe is pretty diverse, and aside from sensationalistic press releases, I think it’s usually handled pretty well. I would say that the Rawhide Kid debacle is a particular black mark in his history, but we’re all entitled to mistakes, aren’t we?

    Man that was a bad book though. In all possible ways.

  12. … and Ultimate Colossus (which I have to admit, that one gives me the heebie jeebies)

    Why does a gay character give you the heebie jeebies?

  13. I love a good social agenda. Ultimately, the market will always decide whether it will fly or not, and generally when it’s not germaine to the story, it does not fly.

  14. Quesada was speaking about a gay character getting their own book. The only way they would get one was if it was published under the MAX line. The quote came from a Wizard World appearance where Quesada was doing one of his Cup O Joes thingies.

  15. “Why does a gay character give you the heebie jeebies?”

    It’s not about the homosexuality per se, but that something that seemed integral to his character could be turned on its head. Piotr is someone I feel I’ve known for over 20 years. His relationship with Kitty was one of the first love stories I read in comics. To suddenly see him making out with Norhtstar is jarring. Even if this is the Ultimate universe.

    I’m not criticizing it, mind you. I think it was a genius move in many ways. Especially as I think about it more. But the closeness to the character does make it more impacting.

  16. The Runaways has 3 gay characters and a trans-gender. Unless lesbians and skrulls don’t count.

    Also, I really liked the Around Comics episode on this issue (Gay characters not Hispanic teams)which was #53 and worth a listen.

  17. I think Josh made a good point in regards to a move being germane to the story. More specifically, making a character Hispanic, for example, only works so long as you are not being diverse for diversity’s sake. In other words, you need a good story first an foremost otherwise the character won’t fly. If the character’s sole unique charactristic is the fact that they are one ethinicity or another, this won’t pull in a large audience or hold their attention for an extended period of time.

  18. I think that’s a good point. Call me crazy but my theory is that Quesada (or someone else very powerful at Marvel) wants to refocus on origin stories that are integral to characters, not randomly bestowed by a mutation. That may have been the reason for House of M trimming the mutants down to 198. Peter Parker’s powers are linked to his identity because of the choices he made when he first got them and what resulted. Steve Rogers character is linked to his origin story as well. But when you have millions of mutants running around with millions of powers it gets pretty mudled.

  19. Am I the only one thinking of Sublime right now?

    On a serious note, the new Blue Beetle has done decently, right? So then there’s precedent for a book featuring a latino lead that doesn’t tank. That probably also has to do with the fact that it’s a really fun book and Jaime is hilarious, but still.

  20. I don’t know too much about this book and haven’t really read too much into it, but I will admit that I’m already a little turned off from it. I get that “Carlos Mencia” vibe from it where you point out racial differences just to point them out.

    If the book has cool characters and a good story, I’m in. But I’m not buying this because I want to see Marvel’s vision of the Hispanic culture.

    In some way, it could be comparable to this hypothetical situation: Let’s say that when Vertigo first launched 100 Bullets they put a big sticker on the front of it that said, “Featuring Dizzy, a Latino!”

    I’m going to remain open minded and will definitely look into it when it comes out. I just hope it doesn’t turn into some gimmick.

  21. i grew up in a military community, and stayed in that enviroment so diversity is normal for me. Is it really that big a deal?

    So what they are all latino?

    I am reminded about the episode of South Park where they have the discussion about the flag…such a non-issue…

    z

  22. I think it’s cool that Quesada is brining Orishas to the mainstream comic audience with the Santerians.

  23. Y’know, I’ll probably buy this book, but for fuck’s sake, is it too much to ask to NOT put another goddamned superhero team in NYC??

    And a Latin team at that! C’mon Marvel; New York’s Latino population is miniscule compared to Florida, California, or Texas.

    *sigh*

  24. I don’t know which New York you’re talking about, because I’ve lived in both California and New York, and both have very prominent Latin populations. The specific cultural makeup might be different, but if we’re using the umbrella term of “Latino,” I would hardly say there’s an underrepresentation in NYC.

    I see what you’re saying about NYC books, but the Marvel Universe is based in NYC, and it always has been.

    I don’t know what the solution to that is, other than going and pitching your own book that takes place in Arkansas.

    I think it’s interesting that so many people are considering buying or not buying this book already, since we don’t know any details about it, like writer , artist, etc. It hints that Quesada will be the writer, but I’m not positive about that.

  25. Honestly, I’m not in the habit of pre-judging comics based on writers and artists. I consider a book based on its concept first. Hell, I would hardly pay attention to writers and artists at all if you guys didn’t keep mentioning them. 🙂

  26. It’s like we’re infecting you.

  27. If anyone is in NYC in June, I’d like to invite you to come down to the Santerians | The Art of Joe Quesada exhibit at the CCCADI gallery. Joe will be signing copies of Daredevil: Father and talking to visitors about the upcoming Santerian’s project.By the way, thanks for the forum on this topic. Either way the discussion goes, it’s always a healthy process to get everyone’s views across. Thanks for sharing
    – E

  28. oh lord, it totally is.

    28 iFanboys later!

    *shuffles*

    *moans*