DC Comics: Run the Numbers
No, it really isn’t. The point of diversity is to reflect reality. If you’re bringing up imaginary people when talking about actual people… you probably should just stop talking. A real life example: you’re making a cartoon for kids. Your boss asks why there aren’t any kids in your show. You respond that there are several kids, like this dwarf, this baby dragon, this baby goblin, those are like kids, right? No.
This applies to many fictional universes: Marvel Comics, Star Trek, Star Wars, etc. Whether the characters are human or alien, Caucasians seem to dominate. A universe dominated by people who look black or Asian seems to be beyond America's comprehension.
What about Native superheroes?
This clash of views applies to Native superheroes too. Other than the insignificant Manitou Dawn, DC basically has no Native superheroes in its present-day comics. It should have a dozen or so, as Marvel does, but it doesn't.
To make Native or minority superheroes popular, DC has to make a concerted effort. It has to do something like what Marvel did with Wolverine. First, have minority writers and artists create complex characters they care about. Guest-star them in a high-profile comic like INCREDIBLE HULK. Make them supporting characters in a team book like UNCANNY X-MEN. If the characters "break out" in terms of popularity, showcase them in a mini-series or two. Then give them their own series.
And make them important to the DC Universe--the way Wolverine has become to the Marvel Universe. If there's another Crisis, let a minority hero resolve it rather than Superman or Batman. If the Greek gods or New Gods tackle a world-destroying foe, throw an African, Asian, or indigenous pantheon into the mix.
In short, if you're committed to diversity, then truly commit to it. That means fewer storylines that depend on the big three (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) for their resolution. It means more sharing of the spotlight with a wider range of characters.
It means taking a successful experiment like the 52 series and making it the norm. 52 proves people will read something other than Superman or Batman comics if they're central to the DC experience. The trick is to turn that one-time event into a permanent way of thinking.
For more on the DC debate, see Race + Comics Notes: Black Panther & DC Comics Update and Sunday Brunch: 6/20/10.
For more on minority superheroes, see Do Superheroes Reflect Society? and Some Thoughts on Minority Comics.
Below: Manitou Dawn.