Monday, 22 March 2010

So Should He Call You 'Wart?

Last week's issue of Green Lantern Corps contained a conversation between Lanterns Kilowog and John Stewart which contained a line that made me wince and remember something from years gone by.

In the midst of the battle with the Black Lanterns, Stewart and Kilowog discuss the approaching planet of Xanshi which Stewart has a history with and is determined to stop. And then this crops up:

Now I don't know where you're reading this from (probably America as most of my hits come from the States) but here in dear old Britain, the word "wog" has something of a history and nothing about it is good. From the Wikipedia article on the word:
"Wog in the UK is usually regarded as a racially offensive slang word referring to dark skinned, non-white people from Africa or Asia. It can be applied to any darker-skinned people, but is particularly applied to Afro-Caribbeans, as well as immigrants from the Indian subcontinent. Use of the word is discouraged in Britain, and most dictionaries refer to the word with the caution that it is derogatory and offensive."
Now I'm not for one second suggesting that either John Stewart or through him the writer Pete Tomasi is referring to Kilowog in a derogatory or offensive matter; in all likelihood it's a simple mistake: Tomasi simply contracted Kilowog's name without realising the implications.

It's a shame, though, as it certainly jarred with me.

Twenty years ago (dear god, have I been reading comics that long?!) the same situation cropped up in Justice League America #45 when Blue Beetle approached Kilowog with a crazy idea (they did that a lot back then) which Kilowog was initially reluctant to go through with. The whole thing started with this:

Back then, writers Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis used the same contraction and made it clear Kilowog wasn't in favour of it.

Shame Pete Tomasi hadn't read that issue.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for wanting to leave a comment, but this blog is no longer maintained. Feel free to visit my new site/blog over at

Look forward to seeing you there. :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails