World Comic Book Review

A Deep Six’d Publication

29th June 2022

The Totally Awesome Hulk #4: A Korean-American Hulk

“The Totally Awesome Hulk” #4 (review)
(Marvel Comics, May 2016)
Writer: Greg Pak

There is a principle in modern comedy whereby a joke which is racist, sexist, or slights homosexual people is only appropriate when the comedian shares the same ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation as the individual or group which is the target of the joke. In that event, the offensiveness of joke is essentially diluted by being self-deprecating. If, say, a female comedian makes a joke about female bathroom habits, then the audience will laugh rather than heckle in outrage because the comedian by her gender cannot be engaging in sexual discrimination: the comedian is instead engaging in gender self-deprecation. Even female audience members cannot feel insulted, as, so long as the joke is delivered by a member of their gender, it is shorn of its malice. The joke becomes inclusive – “join me in considering our foibles” – rather than exclusionary and vicious.

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