Throughout its history, Marvel has tried to be progressive. The company made headlines with its decisions to address issues like alcoholism and domestic violence well before comics regularly dealt with topical issues. Marvel's titles have also features characters with different genders, ethnicities, and abilities, including some of comics' first LGBTQ+ heroes. Despite its track record, however, Marvel hasn't always gotten it right.
This article discusses racism and inappropriate sexualization in comics.
The Young Allies comics from the 1940s followed the adventures of some of Marvel's sidekicks, including Bucky Barnes and the Human Torch's pal Toro. The young protagonists often faced dangerous situations, and Young Allies #8 is no exception. However, the number of elements from the cover that aged incredibly badly since its publication is exceptional.
The cover artwork, drawn by Alex Schomburg features offensive stereotypes of Japanese people common in propaganda at the time. This cover takes it a step further, though, by portraying a Black hero in an incredibly offensive style as well. Both renditions dehumanized the people they depicted in ways that are, fortunately, no longer welcome.