For a while now, comic book companies have been desperately trying to shock readers into spending more money by turning every classic character into a gritty, foul-mouthed, murderous bastard, which is why every current issue of Superman ends with him telling Lex Luthor to "eat a dick."
Well, old-time comics may be less violent and explicit than current ones, but that doesn't mean the heroes weren't sometimes colossal dicks while they saved the universe. If you don't believe us, let us tell you about the time ...
7Green Lantern Was Racist Toward His Sidekick
Hal "Green Lantern" Jordan is part of an intergalactic peacekeeping organization where each member is armed with the single most powerful weapon in the universe. In his early comics, his only weakness was the color yellow ... which, incidentally (and offensively), was also the color of the skin of his Asian sidekick, whom he seriously called "Pieface." This is like giving Superman a sidekick made of kryptonite.
Green Lantern #4 (1961)
Out of necessity, Pieface was the first Asian in comics who could pronounce the letter L.
Pieface was actually an Eskimo, a fact later writers clumsily tried to use to explain away his horribly racist nickname. This, of course, only made things worse:
Secret Origins #36 (1989)
"White, huh? The only white people I've met have been insensitive and hurtful. I'll call you ... 'Sir,' I guess. This sucks."
The only thing the "Eskimo pie" explanation accomplished was establishing that Hal was definitely the one who came up with the nickname, and also that he was a shithead.
Anyway, Pieface was Hal's mechanic in his secret identity as a test pilot. After Pieface finds out his boss is also Green Lantern, Hal asks him to become his sidekick ... despite Pie being a teenager with no superpowers and no combat training. The poor kid was probably too scared to lose his job if he said no -- the same issue establishes that he's responsible for supporting his entire village in Alaska.
Green Lantern #2 (1960)
Alaska: Primary exports include fishhooks, pies and whimsy.
This exposed Pieface to a host of dangerous situations he was clearly not prepared to deal with, like that time someone turned him into a chimp dressed in a Green Lantern costume:
Green Lantern #5 (1961)
You can tell it's him because he referenced fishhooks, you see.
Or the time Green Lantern turned him into a seagull in his sleep because Hal was having a bizarre dream where Pieface wanted to be a bird:
This panel alone held back civil rights for at least five extra years.
"And then -- Oh, I am a bird? Well, sure, my life wasn't already horrible. Sure."