Superman’s Planet Is Racially Diverse—Finally

Matt Brady, Newsarama, January 7, 2009

For those keeping their eyes open, there was a welcome return in last week’s Superman #683 comic book (featuring 100,000 Kryptonians like Superman coming to earth)—non-white Kryptonians were clearly shown.

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{snip} By and large, superheroes are still the domain of the idealized white man (and woman). For the character’s first 30 years, Superman’s homeworld of Krypton was all-white. It was only in 1971—33 years after Superman’s debut in 1938—that the first non-white Kryptonian was seen. A few months later, the idea of non-white Kryptonians was expanded upon.

“In issue #239, a two-page map showed that Kryptonians of color had an island all to themselves, which is pretty embarrassing,” says Mark Waid, Boom! Studios Editor-in-Chief, occasional DC Comics writer, and pretty much expert in all things Superman.

“I cringe to tell you this, but the Kryptonians of Color were all on ‘Vathlo Island, Home of a Highly Advanced Black Race.’ It wasn’t until the mid-70s, when more ‘World of Krypton’ back-up stories ran more regularly, that we really saw any ethnicity whatsoever on the planet.”

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