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Old 06-18-2019, 09:23 AM
MrAtoz is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,596
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Bulletproof flying alien with laser eyes looks like a black guy = fine.

Guy who looks like a black guy blends in seamlessly with and is respected by 1930s America = You've got some explaining to do.

And yeah, maybe you can explain it. Maybe your version of 1930s Metropolis has some other group being marginalized instead of blacks. Maybe it's a utopian vision of what Metropolis should have looked like, where everyone is accepted. Maybe in your story, Clark Kent wasn't respected, because of his race, and you can use that to explore how his character developed differently. Maybe Kal-El's ship didn't crash in Smallville until about 1990, and the Kents were sufficiently enlightened that they didn't care about the baby's color. But if you want your character to be Superman, there's more than just the superpowers you need to deal with.
When is the last time you saw an adaptation of Superman that was set in the 1930s?

With a handful of exceptions, like Wonder Woman or the first Captain America film, that are deliberate period pieces, superhero stories take place in the present day. Superman debuting in 1930s America hasn't been a thing in literally decades. Whatever year it is now, Superman arrived on earth roughly thirty years ago. Whatever attitudes 1930s people might have had toward a black superhero are immaterial to a story being told today.

How many people remember that Peter Parker's high school nemesis, Flash Thompson, enlisted in the army and fought in Vietnam after graduation? That was comic book canon for quite awhile. Now it isn't anymore. Likewise, the injury that prompted Tony Stark to become Iron Man no longer happened in Vietnam, and Reed Richards and Ben Grimm are no longer World War II veterans. Comics take place in a sort of nebulous "Now and the recent past," and any references to specific dates eventually have to be abandoned.

A black Superman would certainly face racial prejudice, even today. But talking about what it would be like for him during the 1930s doesn't seem relevant unless the hypothetical story we're talking about is set on Earth-2.

And come to think of it, I don't think Earth-2 is actually a thing anymore, either.