10:25:52 PM Oct 20th 2016
the problem with Alex for me was always the fact that in him we had a young black male generally devoid of the classic stereotypes of black masculinity and a ripe opportunity to explore some different narrative themes and instead they fell on the trope of the idea that you canít trust an educated black man. Yes, eventually you get other examples of black men on the heroic side but Cloak and Dagger donít show up for a while and itís not their story. Alex as the mole was one way the story could go. It was not the ONLY way the story could go. His turn was also painful because it felt like a betrayal of the reader. For me, Alex was the first time I had a character I could overlay myself onto. I didnít need to insert myself into Runaways becauase Alex was already there. That was a new feeling for 16-17 year old me. There are a lot of narratives telling black boys theyíre destined to be criminals or villains already. It takes a lot of mental effort to rebuke those narratives and Alexís turn to the darkside carries more problematic baggage because of it. Couple that with his parents being drug dealers of the most stereotypical sort, it strikes me as a somewhat pathologizing. Especially because we never get a really good explanation of why Alex sided with his parents that I remember. He just knew about them earlier and the series decided to use that old anti-intellectual idea of ďSmart people let their smarts make them amoral/evilĒ that we see in a lot of fiction. Itís not at all surprising that none of the other runaways are much above average intelligence (Miko is clever and the little girl is occasionally wise in the way pre-teens can sometimes be but intelligence isnít a strong suit among the runaways) As for the redemption aspect of thisÖ well that plays into the idea of the black man needing redemption and saving from his inherent evil nature doesnít it. *sigh.*
09:56:26 PM May 10th 2016
10:26:44 PM May 23rd 2016
I suppose that could be added to the Unfortunate Implications section of the YMMV tab...