So, the word is that a comics writer who shall remain nameless (hint: he likes Kenickie) is going to make Kate Bishop be Irish in an upcoming issue of Young Avengers! He tweeted about it, and everything!
I can’t even! It’s a terrifying and ridiculous idea. Firstly, has Kate ever shown any indication that she is Irish before? I do not recall any instances where she has been shown drinking Guinness, consorting with leprechauns, or dancing a jig to U2.
Neither does she look like I would expect an Irish person to look. Where is the red hair and the freckles? Sure, maybe not every Irish person looks like this but what is the point of having an Irish character if they aren’t visually distinctive? Isn’t that what diversity is supposed to be about?
And anyway, doesn’t Marvel already have enough Irish characters? I can name literally several. Obviously he’s planning to do a story which needs one of the team to be Irish, otherwise there would be no reason to do this. But surely he could have used Sean Cassidy or Moira MacTaggert, or their daughter, Theresa Rourke.
If he really didn’t think those would have worked (perhaps they’re being used in other storylines at the moment), then he should have made up a new character! Young Avengers already has a European character anyway, in Loki.
Please understand, it’s not that I think there’s anything wrong with being Irish - I, like many people, am of partial Irish ancestry myself (indeed, my surname is even of Irish origin), and like to keep the ancient traditions like wearing green things on St Patty’s Day (March 18, if you’re wondering) and eating various forms of potatoes. I went to Dublin once. But nonetheless, I still feel that suddenly revealing that a character in who we had invested so much to be Irish is different.
In this day and age there would have been no reason for Kate to be so quiet about being Irish. I realise that when she was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (for their original run of Teen Avengers backup stripes in the 1960s, fact fans!), Irish people were still treated badly, but the events of that classic run - particularly the origin story in issue #2, page 3 (panel 4) is simply not compatible with this later revelation that she is Irish.
In conclusion, I would beg the writer to keep Kate as the character we know and love - a kind of vaguely-defined White American of no particular background, as Stan and Jack intended.