Loving and hating Helena Bertinelli

Helena Bertinelli’s often held up to be a good example of both Italian American representation in comics and Italian American stereotypes, if you believe the likes of Ragnell and some Tumblr blogger before in 2014. I remember him saying how stereotypical Bertinelli’s as her name should be spelt Elena (not that the Italian language’s devoid of h but it’s commonly either found in borrowed words, exceptions like hanno and in conjunction with other letters to form gh, dh, bh and ch).

That and bad stereotypes about Southern Italians with the Mafia being xenophobic enough to exclude black Africans. Ragnell eloquently remarked about the problems with Helena Bertinelli in being a hodgepodge of Italian American stereotypes. Mediterranean beauties (she’s from Sicily), gangster ties, Mediterranean tempers and Catholicism. Marvel’s Frank Castle’s also of Sicilian descent but while he’s got flaws himself, he’s not heavily defined by his ethnicity the way Bertinelli’s.

Go figure in a sense. There are other non-stereotypical Italian Americans in DC but the only well-known one’s Zatanna (Barry Allen strikes me as a weird Crypto-Italian if because the people in charge are also Italian like moths to flames). Whilst not always the case, Helena Bertinelli comes off as a stereotype especially to Italian Americans and Italo-Canadians who’ve been hit badly by stereotypes.

It’s like for every Frank Castle and Zatanna, there’s yet another stereotypical Italian character (Japanese anime’s not any better though sometimes an Italian character maybe an overall Westerner stereotype in general).

Cheating on furries

DC’s Cheetah’s got one hell of an interpretation over her intended appearance but lately she went from being a woman in cat costume to a half-felid though it varies from being merely body paint to outright furry (I suspect her DCAU appearance may’ve popularised this and successfully so as repeated in both DC Rebirth comics, DCAU comics and some subsequent animations).

Though Liam Sharp’s redesign may’ve simply been his take, it too could’ve been unconsciously influenced by DCAU’s take. I actually think DCAU’s successful and influential enough to not only pre-empt it own franchise and lead people to DC Comics proper but also bring out Harley Quinn (now an established fan favourite for years) and popularising the furry version of Cheetah.

It might even be the definitive version (I sort of wish Marvel’s Tigra would get a similar treatment). Even if more humanoid versions exist, the furry versions seem to have taken root ever since DCAU so.

Their real life counterparts

While some fictional characters like Roy Harper have real life counterparts who’re very much like them (Danny Bonadauce), there are those that are either charmingly mundane (Shari Lewis and her daughter Mallory being analogous to Jean Grey and Rachel Summers) or not quite as charming or bearable in real life (Dick Grayson’s real life counterpart being Jean Claude van Damme who took up ballet). Sometimes vice versa but still.

I guess it’s got to do with Fiifi Anaman being something of a pleasant surprise. Especially from research. For those who’ve got issues with how the Supergirl portrays Jimmy Olsen as, if there’s ever a man who resembles the character more right down to his fashion sense it’s Fiifi Anaman’s pretty much Supergirl’s Jimmy Olsen as he should be.

Logically Usain Bolt (sprinter turned footballer)’s black Wally West done right given he’s fast and acts more like the DCAU version (as memory ensures). Honestly, I think if Barry Allen’s real he’d be way more athletically inclined than expected but because my own relative runs a lot and I’m somewhat interested in football.

Proof that reality’s stranger than fiction.

Dick Grayson in real life

Though a fan favourite among several Batman fans, I’m not particularly fond of him and neither is Postmodern Barney’s Dorian (we can’t stand Kitty Pryde either). But he’s got a real life counterpart that I’m somewhat more intrigued by. His name’s Jean Claude van Damme. He’s somewhat like Dick Grayson in the sense of having nearly acrobatic moves, promiscuity and butt shots.

The biggest real differences are that whilst Grayson’s portrayed as an idealised ladies’ man, Damme’s a mess. He not only cheated on one of his wives by dating popstar Kylie Minogue on the set of the Street Fighter film (methinks the cartoon adaptation having Guile date Cammy’s inspired by this) but he’s got mental problems and did cocaine.

Not to mention he’s even hated for being cocky. Eventually his reputation withered away though he’s become more self-aware of this. (It could be him maturing.) While the similarities between Roy Harper and Danny Bonaduce are unmistakable, Van Damme deconstructs my problem with Grayson well. In that some aren’t always what their reputation ensures.

(Especially if you get to know them personally, let alone be stonewalled as I’ve been through before.)

But that if such behaviours are translated to reality, instead of coming off as impossibly cool they end up being annoying and detrimental (moreso if you know psychology). Maybe not always the case but it’s curious that if Dick Grayson ever existed, since van Damme’s any indication he too would be as maladjusted as Batman’s.

Bigger economies

I have a feeling that as early as 2020 China might become the world’s largest economy. It could already be on its way by now. I think Yilin Press could be one of the earliest companies I mentioned to buy Disney’s 73% stake in National Geographic Partners should China not allow the Disney-Fox merger to occur. (Then it’ll proceed to buying France’s Editions l’Harmattan and the Philippines’ Adarna House where it’ll use them to publish translations.)

Not just those. Wengtong Tianxia might buy Viva Psicom, Higher Education Press to buy all of New Day Publishing, Sino United Publishing to buy all of National Bookstore Inc (including Anvil Publishing) and Zhonghua Books to buy Lampara Books. All as part of their expansion into the Philippine/Southeast Asian as well as European and African markets. Maybe one day, both Tata Group and Shanghai Media Group might have a joint venture over Warner Media and DC Comics.

Should these ever occur, that’s how much power they have as their economies grow. It could be happening sooner than latter which might indicate a substantial sea change for better or worse.

Chinese and Indian companies in 2030

Like I said, I have a feeling that should the Chinese economy grow substantially there’s a chance that Chinese corporations might own their Philippine, African and European counterparts. Same goes for the Indian economy. The weirdest feeling I get’s that both Tata Group and Shanghai Media Group might have joint ventures over AT&T’s Warner (including DC). This’ll lead to Warner East (or Tata Warner) which specifically makes media for the Indo-Chinese market.

DC Comics could go down as the second Western comics publisher to be bought by Indians, the first being Virgin Comics. Also, I think Yilin Press might buy not only Disney’s 73% stake in National Geographic Partners but also all of Adarna House and Editions L’Harmattan. Expect it to use National Geographic to publish Anglophone translations of every L’Harmattan book and Adarna House to publish translations of Chinese children’s books for the Philippine market.

Sino United Publishing might merge with all of National Bookstore Inc (including Anvil Publishing), Zhonghua to buy Lampara Books, Higher Education Press to buy all of New Day Publishing and Wentong Tianxia to buy Viva Psicom. There’s a strong chance that with China and India becoming even bigger economies (China to be number 1 and India being number 2 or 3), they could easily buy American and European corporations.

India’ Aditya Birla Group already bought Peter England and Allen Solly from British manufacturers. Tata Group’s got a joint venture with Starbucks and Rastar’s got a big stake in a Spanish football club. In the near future, both Tata Group and Shanghai Media Group would have joint ventures over Warner Media, having bought it from AT&T together. All of these are inevitable developments should their economies grow even further.

China (and India) over all

I think this’ll happen should China’s economy grow substantially, I bet these are going to happen. Yilin Press will buy all of France’s L’Harmattan, Philippines’s Adarna Books and Disney/Fox’s stake in National Geographic Partners to expand itself internationally. Yilin Press will use National Geographic to distribute Anglophone translations of L’Harmattan books and Adarna Books to distribute National Geographic children’s books.

In other news, Sino United Publishing merged with all of National Bookstore Inc (including Anvil Publishing) and Higher Learning Press buys all of New Day Publishing. Shanghai United Media Group and Tata Group are all the more ambitious for both buying Warner Brothers and DC Comics from AT&T only to turn into a joint venture for the former two.

The regions most heavily affected by China and India’s growing economies aren’t just their immediate neighbours in Asia but also Africa as it’s got growing relations with China for better or worse (the rest of the Middle East and Turkey with India). As L’Harmattan often publishes books for the African market, should it ever got bought by Yilin Press along with Adarna House and National Geographic Partners, that’ll give it a lot of power.

Same thing would happen if many more Chinese companies bought African and Philippine ones, thus giving a lot of power over those markets. Same for India in Turkey and the Middle East. The same can be said of what’ll happen if Tata Group and Shanghai Media Group buy stakes in AT&T’s Warner and DC Comics and turn this into a joint venture.

That’s going to be how powerful India and China’ve come to the point of buying stakes in major American publishers and companies like National Geographic and DC Comics.