If you don't know the history of the GENął comic book, here are some details from Wikipedia.
In the second issue of the ongoing series, the character of Sarah Rainmaker was revealed as being a lesbian. Criticism came from all sides over this issue. Many suggested that this was entirely conceived to titillate male readers while the following issue's letter pages were filled with letters protesting that lesbianism was not appropriate for comic books. Meanwhile, critics from the gay community criticized Rainmaker's portrayal as a flighty lesbian when, in the next few issues, she made out with her male teammate Burnout while drunk.
Sexual content was also depicted overtly in the script (usually written by Brandon Choi) including unintentional groping, intentional voyeurism, and drunken coupling.
The series also received some controversy from the fans when it was made known that a panel showing Sarah Rainmaker sharing an open mouth kiss with another woman was replaced with one of a tepid kiss on the forehead. However, J. Scott Campbell has commented on several occasions that the editorial move was a suggestion, not overt censorship, and he agreed with the editor that the original version of the kiss did not suit the story.
The character of Rainmaker highly resembled the X-Men's Storm in that both characters had weather controlling powers and little modesty which led them to frequent skinny dipping.
In other words, she was a classic example of the white man's dream of an Indian princess. An exotic creature, remote and untouchable but exuding sensuality. As a bisexual bombshell, she was arguably even more of a white-male fantasy.
I bring this up because Wildstorm (now a DC imprint) has just relaunched GENął. I picked up the first issue to check it out. On the plus side, it isn't pure sexual titillation like it was before. On the minus side, the storytelling is as weak and uninteresting as ever.
Rainmaker has the least page time of any of the characters. In her one big scene, she apparently makes eyes at a female clerk in a coffee shop. Which is good because you rarely see Indians portrayed as gays or bisexuals.
But two customers comment on her as she leaves:
CUSTOMER #1: There goes a pretty little squaw. Prolly on her way t'get plastered, maybe.
CUSTOMER #2: Maybe she's on her way ta buy a casino.
Which is bad because it's heavy-handed--people don't talk in such blatant stereotypes.
In short, fans of Indian comics can give the new GENął a pass just like they did the old GENął.
Comic books featuring Indians
. . .
All material © copyright its original owners, except where noted.
Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.
Copyrighted material is posted under the Fair Use provision of the Copyright Act,
which allows copying for nonprofit educational uses including criticism and commentary.
Comments sent to the publisher become the property of Blue Corn Comics
and may be used in other postings without permission.