Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wizard Magazine "Alien" Jokes and Other Matters Stereotypical and Offensive

Regular Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog malcontent Profe Marc García-Martínez writes in with a recent finding he stumbled across and had to tag with his incisive critical microscope:

Hola Inspector Nericcio—

Some more intriguing evidence to stumble upon in your inexhaustible investigation of the ubiquitous hallucinations of Mexicans in our popular media.

This one comes across as noteworthy for its allusive, rhetorical edge, among others.

Point your expert eye to the bottom left of this page from May 2008 Wizard Magazine.

There you will find a quiz-question (#8) on the heritage of the alien Reep Daggle of Durla—a.k.a “Chameleon Boy” from DC Comics’ Legion of Superheroes.

I’m thinking a probing letter to Wizard Magazine in straightforward response to this, uh…well—attempt at humor and cleverness—is in order. Perhaps you will want to help inscribe it?

Maybe the correspondence we should send to the friendly and misguided editors could ask if the fact that Chameleon Boy did not know who is father was for many years; if the fact that he was sentenced to a prison term; if the fact that he takes the form of many visages and must deal with many chores; if the fact that he did not speak the universal language of the 30th century, Interlac, and initially needed a translator; or if the fact that he is from a secretive and widely feared and loathed people had anything to do with classifying him under the possible alien race of “Mexicans” as they did on this page.

All of these facts about Chameleon Boy’s history in the DC Comics Universe are genuine, so I’m sure you will wonder along with me as to just how accidental the “Mexican” inclusion was. Perhaps the fine folks at Wizard Magazine knew what they were doing. Maybe not.

Either way, this is some curious caca here, Inspector. What’s your take?

Abrazo maestro,


Marc García-Martínez
Assistant Professor of English
Allan Hancock College
Santa Barbara County, Califas

Dearest Marcito!

Nericcio here with his take--Mexican Aliens are an easy go-to line for the gringo jokester set; the joke writes itself. My deconstructive move would be to say that yes, Chameleon Boy, is obviously Mexican and Alien, and that, naturally, it was from these marginal subject positions that he derives his strengths... like the chrysalis humans in Cuban theorist Severo Sarduy's writings, Mexican shapeshift like trannies on holiday. If there is a reason Mexicans will be present for the next-wave future of the southwest, it is this penchant for transformation, metamorphosos, and evolution that marks their development and our futures.

1 comment:

  1. An astute observation I must say. However more intriguing is the fact that the faculty at Allan Hancock college is so diverse, wow.
    Back in the day it was old white guys only, of course I was a young Latina so anyone over the age of 35looked ancient.
    I've changed my opinion about 35 year olds.
    The quiz was obviously a crude attempt at a joke and not very funny because the reality is we "Latinos" (Mexicans)are not held in high regard these days. However, no matter, what matters is what we think.