Representation in comic books Scott Baskin

Superhero-focused comic books have been part of pop culture for nearly 100 years. The 'Big Two' publishers, DC and Marvel, have provided us with some of the most iconic fictional characters of all time.

Lately, comic book films have been dominating the box office and are constantly being released, making DC and Marvel's characters even more popular.

One of the biggest discussions in media discourse is representation of women and minorities

With comic book characters being at the forefront of many aspects of pop culture, it is clear to see that the majority of characters are straight white males.

Conducting research on fans of the books and of the films (as well as TV shows) based on the comic books, I have set out to learn how they feel about representation of women and minorities in comic books and the associated media.

Research Methods

Step 1: Conduct a survey
The survey was shared with relevant communities online as well as on my personal social media pages
Survey-takers were asked for an email should they agree to be contacted for an interview, 5 of said participants were contacted an interviewed
The interviews/discussions were based around these questions


The demographics were skewed towards men and non-minorities, therefore female and/or minority participants were selected for the interviews

Interview quotes:

"I cried after watching Wonder Woman... I finally knew what little boys felt like when they saw men like them playing superheroes in movies."

"The movies have a long way to go before they reach the amount of representation in the comics... they both have a long way to go before this representation is accurate."

"Comics have always been at the forefront of progress with lots strong female and black characters. It's too bad that many of the women are hypersexualized and different races and ethnicities are relegated to stereotypes."

"Sometimes I feel like there are more green and blue-skinned aliens than black characters"

Scott Baskin is a 24-year-old Ryerson University Professional Communications graduate from Montreal, Quebec. His interests lie in arts & pop culture, especially music, TV, film, and comic books. Scott hopes to build a career in the entertainment industry where he can explore his passions for social media and writing. When Scott isn't reading comic books, he can be found playing guitar or singing his heart out at a local karaoke night.

Image sources


Aurajo, L. F. (2019). Captain America Classic [Illustration]. Retrieved from https://www.artstation.com/artwork/6a8mVr

Reis, I., Prado J., & Sinclair, A. (2018). Superman #1 cover [Illustration]. Retrieved from https://bleedingcool.com/comics/superman-1-review-a-downplayed-start/

Finch, D. (2019). Wonder Woman #69 textless variant cover [Illustration]. Retrieved from https://www.reddit.com/r/WonderWoman/comments/aj9mei/wonder_woman_69_tex tless_variant_cover_by_david/

Anka, K. n.d. Nico Minoru (Earth-616) and Karolina Dean (Earth-616) from Runaways Vol 5 12 001.jpg [Illustration]. Retrieved from https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Nico_Minoru_(Earth-616)

[Black Panther and Storm] (2019). Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/Are-the-Black- Panther-and-Storm-the-right-match-for-one-another

[Marvel characters] n.d. Retrieved from https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Earth-616

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[Avengers film poster] (2012). Retrieved from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0848228/

[Birds of Prey film poster] (2020). Retrieved from https://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/e8a0my/new_poster_for_birds_of_prey_ 2020/

[Black Panther film poster] (2018). Retrieved from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1825683/

[Captain Marvel film poster] (2019). Retrieved from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4154664/

[Marvel and DC characters fighting] n.d. Retrieved from https://picserio.com/marvel-and-dc- wallpaper/5911087.html

[African-American superheroes] n.d. Retrieved from https://static1.srcdn.com/wordpress/wp- content/uploads/2018/02/Black-Panther-African-American-Superhero-Movies.jpg

[Female heroes] (2019). Retrieved from https://www.cnet.com/news/in-the-wake-of-avengers- endgame-2020-is-the-year-of-female-superhero-movies/

[Justice League Lineup] n.d. Retrieved from https://www.entertainart.com/dc/justice-league- lineup/

[Avengers Lineup] (2017). Retrieved from https://screenrant.com/marvel-comics-avengers- best-teams-versions-mcu/

Lim, R. & Rubenstein J. (1991). Infinity Gauntlet #6 Race For The Gauntlet [Illustration]. Retrieved from https://www.retrozap.com/the-infinity-gauntlet-6-review/


[Wonder Woman] n.d. Retrieved from https://wonder- woman.fandom.com/wiki/Wonder_Woman

[Luke Cage] n.d. Retrieved from https://www.pngarts.com/explore/32459