Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A marriage of convenience?

The pending Storm/Black Panther nuptials get play in today's Houston Chronicle: "On the groom's side will be producer/director Reginald Hudlin, who resurrected the Black Panther series in 2005, to describe the action. Giving away the bride will be best-selling novelist Eric Jerome Dickey, who is penning his first comic book."
Maggie Thompson, editor of the monthly Comic Buyer's Guide, says bringing in Hudlin and Dickey to write the series was a smart move.

"They grew up reading these characters and obviously enjoyed these characters, and it's kind of a natural to put them together," Thompson said.

Thompson expects more excitement after the happy couple exchanges vows.

"Hudlin has said, 'My goal is to make people (say) I can't believe you did that,' " Thompson said. "Obviously, that's more than they just get married. In terms of surprise you already know that, so that's not going to be the big pow moment."

Mind you, not everyone is buying the idea that Storm and the Black Panther are a perfect couple. As Paul O'Brien writes:
Indeed, the whole thing seems to be premised on the idea that a marriage between Storm and the Black Panther is inherently plausible simply because... well, they're both African, aren't they? And they must have so much in common, what with Africa being a continent of 840 million people spread across almost twelve million square miles. It's an attitude that suggests a very American way of looking at Africa - not a real place, so much as a source of ethnic identity for Americans. To an extent that sort of attitude isn't a commercial problem, because it's shared by many of the readers they're targeting. But when the characters are slung together as suddenly as this, it can't help but feel like an arbitrary exercise in pairing up the black people.

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