September 12, 2013

Minorities in cartoons: Bloodsport (Robert DuBois)

Minorities in cartoons: Bloodsport (Robert DuBois)

This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is Bloodsport, a minor post-Crisis Superman villain. The original Bloodsport was Robert DuBois, an African-American man.

Bloodsport/DuBois was created by John Byrne. He first appeared in “Superman” (volume 2) #4 in 1987.

Background

DuBois’ backstory states he’d fled to Canada to resist the Vietnam War draft. Robert’s brother Mickey went to fight in his place instead, and became a quadriplegic as a result. This knowledge sent Robert into insanity, landing him into several Canadian mental wards. Eventually, Luthor’s agents found DuBois, as part of Luthor’s latest plan to try to finish off Superman. To that end, Luthor’s men equipped DuBois with a device that’d let him teleport into his hands any weapon he wanted, including a gun that fired Green Kryptonite bullets.

Luthor intended to use guilt to (somehow) motivate Dubois to fight Superman. However, DuBois, now calling himself “Bloodsport,” decided instead to go on a violent rampage through Metropolis. DuBois succeeded in initially injuring Superman with the kryptonite bullets. Bloodsport was eventually stopped once his brother confronted him on his actions. DuBois was subsequently arrested and hauled off to prison.

A later story (“Adventures of Superman” #526, 1995) saw DuBois participate in a in-prison boxing match against one Alexander Trent. Trent was a White supremacist who’d assumed the “Bloodsport” name during DuBois’ imprisonment, complete with similar weapon-teleporting powers. The boxing match, refereed by Superman, was meant to quell racial tensions in the prison. Instead, Trent sparked a prison riot. DuBois was killed while trying to escape from prison, while Trent was also later killed by his fellow racists.

Other media

The original Bloodsport did manage to make a non-comics appearance. DuBois appeared in a few episodes of “Justice League Unlimited.”

(Updated 11/18/16)

Tags: African-AmericansBloodsportcomics triviaDC ComicsMediaminorities in cartoonsRobert DuBoisSupermantrivia