I am a big fan of American comics, but never really addressed the racism involved in many of them. The first superheroes that Detective Comics (DC) found publicity in was Superman, first publicly viewed in 1938. The Bat-Man, supposed opposite of Superman, came out 1939. Both were white males. Marvel became the first people to create a black superhero, Falcon, in 1969. Even then, he was just a sidekick for Captain America, starred as a co-villain shortly after and even got rebooted in the recent Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Historically, comics are astonishingly racist. What really encourages me to write this is that the comic industry has done close to nothing in the modern world to disprove it, such as DC’s “New 52” series. In the 21th century, American comics still portray the vast majority of superheroes, sidekicks, and villains as white. However, Marvel seems to be getting its act together on this case, which may be in part to selling Marvel Studios to Disney. Soon afterwards (and not too surprising) Marvel started cranking out good movies that lent more room for less racism, and focusing much less on its comics, a positive step in the right direction for the big screen, but not the comics. It’s up to DC now, and all DC has to do is introduce more racially diverse superheroes.