Superstar artist and member of DC's Master Class, John Romita Jr., has a new book in stores next week: The Silencer #1, written by Dan Abnett, and part of DC's New Age of DC Heroes initiative. Romita gave an interview to Vaneta Rogers at Newsarama talking about the book, and one theme kept coming up repeatedly: Romita's desire for readers to not view the book's titular Silencer as a "PC" character.
"She's not a white person. She's not an African-American. She's a person of color from the South Pacific, of Polynesian descent," Romita explained in the interview. "I adore Tahiti — I went there on many vacations — so I threw in the tattoos and I threw in the look. Anything to be different. And I was scrambling to do different stuff, and the editors and Dan liked the idea."
"We didn't do the standard fare and fill all the diversity and PC gaps," Romita Jr. insisted. "We just tried to do something slightly different."
Here's the description for issue #1 of The Silencer, in stores on January 31 (unless you bought it on iTunes last week):
"CODE OF HONOR" part one! She's one of the DC Universe's deadliest assassins…and you've never heard of her. Super-strong, highly trained, armed with devastating and stealthy meta-human abilities, the Silencer is virtually invincible. Or at least she was. After decades as Leviathan's chief assassin, Honor Guest put in her time and managed to get out with her skin intact. Now she lives a normal life with a normal family in a normal house on a normal street. But the past has come back to haunt her in the form of her old employer and a deadly new mission…and Talia Al Ghul won't take no for an answer.
Romita believes that The Silencer could be a first for comics. "I don't know how many character of South Pacific descent are in comics, but I'd like to think she's the first one," he said.
But in the interview, Romita continued to hammer home the point that just because he's co-created a character who happens to be a woman of color, he would definitely not like to be considered "PC."
"The thought is that this woman is strong after what she's been through, and she becomes a mother and a wife. She's a bad-ass, but now she wants to concentrate on her family," Romita explained. "I admire that for the idea, because that's how you empower people — that's how you empower a female character — is doing the thing that people think is not strong. Well, wait a minute! What's wrong with being a mother and a wife? What's wrong with being a father and a husband?"
"So doing things converse to PC, I find fascinating," Romita continued, before revealing his true aspirations. "As a matter of fact, I want to be the most un-PC person in all of comics. Let's piss everybody off."