- Booster Gold
Friday, June 12, 2015
It cannot be denied that the original cast of Booster Gold was pale. Michael Carter was white. Trixie Collins was white. Dirk Davis was white. About the only characters in the first six issues who weren't white were Booster's orange cats, Jack and Jill. (Hey, it's not Booster's fault that Metropolis was settled almost exclusively by Western Europeans and Kryptonians.)
The eventual introduction of supporting cast member Dr. Jack Soo in Booster Gold #7 finally provided an injection of some much needed color.
Soo was the best young inventor at Scientific and Technological Advanced Research Laboratories (aka S.T.A.R. Labs) when he was hired to create a new female super suit for Goldstar, Inc. He delivered on his reputation and earned his place in Booster Gold's supporting cast.
While Soo's specific heritage is never addressed, his tan skin, dark hair, and narrow eyes indicate Asian ethnicity. "Soo" also happens to be a Westernization of the fairly common Chinese surname "Su."
Of course, it's hard not to notice the sudden appearance of an ethnic minority in a comic full of white characters. But was Asian the right race for Booster Gold's first new supporting character? I mean, isn't "Asian scientist" a little cliched?
As always, I turned to creator Dan Jurgens for the answer.
Yes, we realized that we need to have a more diverse cast.
I would also add that "Asian scientist" might seem a bit stereotypical now, but it certainly wasn't 30 years ago.
Jurgens has a point there. While ethnic Asians make up almost 15% of all modern science, technology, engineering, and technology jobs in America today (second in percentage only to — you guessed it — whites), that number was closer to 5% in 1980 according to census.gov.
Thanks to Dan Jurgens for being both culturally sensitive and historically accurate.
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