The Same Old Same Old: Rogue and Representations of the South

Chris Claremont and Michael Golden created Rogue in 1981, and she made her debut in Avengers Annual #10. What makes Rogue interesting to me is her place of origin, the fictional Caldecott County in Mississippi. Speaking with the Clarion Ledger in 2016, Claremont told Jacob Threadgill, “I felt, why should Louisiana get all the fun? … (Mississippi) was a place where the racial divisions and relationships were viewed in perhaps more stark terms than in and around New Orleans.” This is a really interesting quote, specifically the juxtaposition of “fun” and “racial divisions.” Rogue could be a character that addresses issues of racism in the US South; however, those issues become subsumed within the nostalgic moonlight and magnolia myth, dashed with a pinch of Faulknearian Southern Gothic.

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David Walker’s “Cyborg” and Identity: Part II

Last post, I started looking at David Walker’s Cyborg, and I noted that his arc, “Unplugged,” is not an origin story about how Victor Stone became Cyborg. Instead, it is an arc chronicling how Victor Stone, as Cyborg, becomes Victor Stone. It’s an arc tracing how Victor Stone becomes visible to his family and society. It’s an arc that, at its core, encapsulates the social construction of race and how that social construction dehumanizes individuals, affecting both the victims and perpetrators of racism. Today, I want to look at some more of Walker’s arc with this discussion in mind.

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David F. Walker’s “Cyborg” and Identity

Last January, I posted a syllabus for a “Comics and Race” course that I constructed. At that time, I had not read any of David F. Walker’s work. A few months later, I read Nighthawk, and I was blown away. Nighthawk led me to other series by Walker such as Shaft, Luke Cage, Power Man and Iron Fist, and his recent work Bitter Root. When I posted the #lukecagesyllabus, I knew I had to have Walker’s work on it. The more I read, the more I think about constructing a syllabus centered around Walker’s work. As I continued to read Walker’s work, I became more and more engaged, seeing countless similarities between him and Dwayne McDuffie, specifically in his Cyborg run and McDuffie’s Deathlok. Today, I want to look at some aspects of Walker’s Cyborg: Unplugged (2016).

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