GenZed

GenZed is a new cartoon series that has diverse representation. Wait a minute the red-haired transsexual character isn’t anything new for some odd reason. There was a red-haired transwoman in the webcomic Questionable Content, only to be predated by the titular protagonist Ranma 1/2 and arguably Mystique from Marvel Comics. She was going to be the father of Nightcrawler, given that she’s a shapeshifter and would practically be genderfluid when you think about it.

These weren’t a stated influence on the cartoon but they set a precedent for it. Not to mention that it has poorly thought out POC characters. Not that there’s anything wrong with a nonstereotypical black person and East Asian. The cartoon could flesh them out any further but not when their defining traits make them ‘quirky’.

If they were white, it wouldn’t be a narratively big deal because there isn’t much to them at this point. Even the psychopathic white bloke is just another quirky character like the rest of the cast. It’s as if ‘quirky’ is a shorthand for making them unusual in a cynically nonthreatening way. That’s my problem with ‘adorkable’ and ‘quirky’ characters. They do have flaws but they’re poorly thought out and well-done to make them genuinely flawed.

Or that they’re trying too hard to make a flawed character that they end up creating a jerk Mary Sue. I think that’s the curse of making quirky characters if stuff like GenZed, Flash and Arrow are any indication. Their personalities are so poorly thought out that only obsessive nerds can project their ideas onto them. GenZed might change for the better but who knows if the writers are going to give them actual personalities without making them either too shallow or too cliched (no more angry gingers this time, I hope).

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