Marvel has (debatably) always striven for inclusiveness in their universe. Just look at the international X-Men squad that was debuted in Giant Size X-Men. Then look in that very same issue at Thunderbird. Yeah, Marvel tends to miss the mark. Sometimes it all comes out OK, as Luke Cage went from blaxploitation caricature to Avenger. But some heroes never quite make the recovery. Here are some of the most stereotypical heroes, villains and otherwise, with all the fun criteria of discrimination … race, sex, religion, sexual orientation …
1. El Aguila
You’re a Spanish mutant who can generate electricity. Logically, you’d want to live up to your cultural heritage. Being from Spain, the one that’s in Europe and not in imaginary land, you decide that your course is to imitate Spain’s greatest hero: Mexican-American swordfighter Zorro. Your tiny, donkey filled village of Madrid (population 3 million) can barely contain your zest for adventure, so you go abroad for your superheroic adventures. Sadly, his days drew to a close in the post-House of M period, losing his mutant powers. But he retained that zest for life, incorrectly applied non-Castilian Spanish and (assumedly, at least) awful mustache.
2. American Eagle
You don’t have to speak the Español to be a caricature with Eagle in your name. Sometimes you just have to have a head dress, a bow and a loosely defined tribal affiliation to soar. Thunderbird had arrogance and anger against white people. American Eagle had a really long head dress. Oh, and his name was Jason Strongbow. Guess he had a real strong bow, eh? Anyway, he was eventually declared a Navajo, who, despite souvenir shop claims, didn’t typically wear such head gear. Thank god they never gave him an alcohol problem.
Little known fact: Distant relative of Cleveland Indians mascot Chief Wahoo. < -
As a college student, I knew better than to take classes in feminism. I mean, they might as well have called it Castration 101, am I right brah?
No, I’m not, and I took women’s studies classes. None of the images in Women in Pop Culture could have prepared me for Man-Killer. Katrina Luisa Van Horn was an Olympic skier feminazi type who, in a heated competition with a CHAUVINIST MAN was nearly paralyzed in a horrific accident. She donned a suit of armor and declared war against MEN. This butch stereotype and Daredevil / Spider-Man / Iron-Man villain has a distinction that the first two do not: her character only got MORE ridiculous. She went from Gloria Steinem parody to full fledged, out-and-proud man-hating lesbian. What better illustrates “I violently hate men” than a button of peace-loving folky lesbian duo the Indigo Girls? Nothing if you ask me.
Also, her name is MAN-KILLER.
He’s an exaggerated monkey man who keeps a harem of women. He was born to white parents with black skin and patches of fur. After being abandoned by his horrified parents in his childhood, his true mutant powers took shape … he had pheromones that caused women to be infinitely attracted to him. Also, he was mutated to have black skin and the features of the eponymous animal. He used this to his advantage to get a bunch of white bit … women to do his bidding, whether it was going to war with his enemy of the moment, or rubbing lotion on his multi-colored ass.
God, I feel a little bit racist writing these horrible things. I can’t imagine how Marvel feels having these guys still in their books. Still? Oh yes. Mandrill retained his mutant powers after Decimation. So he’s free to live up to horrible stereotypes in the Marvel Universe abroad.
Fresh out of the Marines, Italian-American mutant Paulie Provenzano did what all young Sicillians by way of Brooklyn want to do … rise up the mob ladder. Now, apparently, the prejudiced Sopranos castaways think a mutie would be no good at that job, so being a calm, rational young man, Paulie talks out their differences. Just kidding. He strong-arms the hell out of them after they pull guns on him. The invulnerable would-be Kingpin was stopped by Jean Grey, who was scraping the bottom of the barrel for whatever mutants she could find after the dissolution of the X-Men and a worldwide threat of Magneto and an island full of mutants. She found Paulie here, who proceeded to exceed many Italian stereotypes, making constant passes at Jean and coming to blows with Northstar over having teh gay. He (thankfully) did not stay with the team, and was eventually killed in Weapon X to the protests of no one.
Honorary Mention: These guys (who form into one guy, the Collective Man)
Others? We have a comments field.