The Internet Is Having a Mixed Reaction to New Warriors Characters Snowflake and Safespace
Creating new characters in comics is hard, especially when you are trying to add diversity to the medium. There is a segment of the population that will always have some sort of hateration about “forced diversity.” However, that doesn’t mean there can’t be constructive feedback when it comes to how new marginalized characters are designed. When it comes Snowflake and Safespace, which are the names of two heroes for the upcoming New Warriors comic series, there is a lot to unpack there.
The characters were designed by Luciano Vecchio and created by Daniel Kibblesmith, a writer for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Kibblesmith is behind Loki, Black Panther Vs. Deadpool, and the children’s book Santa’s Husband. He is, by all accounts, an ally and someone who has created really thoughtful LGBTQ content. However, this was just a really poor choice. When first saw the tweet from a friend of mine, which shared that Snowflake is non-binary, I truly thought this was gonna be akin to a Frank Miller “take that libs” comic.
I personally love to see two white cis men at Marvel create a black nonbinary character named “Snowflake” in the year of our lord 2020
— Kate Leth (@kateleth) March 18, 2020
Within the demographic of nonbinary comic fans, it does not to be hitting the mark because of the names and the implications of the color choices given to them.
Not to pile on & not to speak for the nb community, but gender norms- like blue & pink for example *even if you are wink wink flipping them* are exactly the thing non-binary folks want nothing to do with. This feels like it was created w/out any input or research.
— Jack Foster (@Jackfoster74) March 18, 2020
Luciano Vecchio is a queer man, and as I said before, Kibblesmith has a history of being an ally, but that doesn’t automatically mean you have the full range of language to create every kind of character. If people within the community are saying that this feels off and insulting in good faith, then I think that should be listened to. I’m not enby (a nonbinary person), but just by naming a Black nonbinary character Snowflake and partnering them up with a Black male character named Safespace … sounds weird. There should have just been more people taking a look at this within that community.
You can’t please everyone and not every criticism is valid, but I have yet to see a lot of responses from within the enby community that are in praise of these choices. Representation matters, but it needs to be a lot more thought put into it than this. Even the idea of reclaiming these terms is something that feels very three years ago. Plus, reclaiming has to come from within the community, not from the minds of two cis white male creators.
Again, I say this with respect to the creators of these characters because I’m sure they were done with love and with the intent to be inclusive. It does matter to have Black enby characters in comics, to have fat indigenous women, and other marginalized characters, so they can know they have a space in this industry. However, it doesn’t mean that mistakes don’t get made. I do feel like these names are an error that will be held against this comic despite the good intentions that are clearly built into it.
What do you guys think, and if you are nonbinary, what do you think of the design and names?
(via: Marvel Comics)
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