Now before I begin, I want something to be clear. I am NOT a racist, I'm not prejudiced, and don't cringe if I see a white person kissing a black person. "We hold hold these truths self-evident, that all men [and women, too] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Boom. This bold and fresh taste from the Declaration of Independence just summed up the reason America is the bastion of democracy and a standard for equality and justice around the world.
I also just bitch-slapped the members of the KKK. :D
But the reason you're here reading my fine article is not for a history lesson or some spectacular defeat of evil. You're here because you want to know if Michael B. Jordan is a good choice for the Human Torch in the upcoming Fantastic Four film.
Yes and No.
MICHAEL B. JORDAN IS BLACK! HUMAN TORCH IS SUPPOSED TO BE WHITE!
Whew (wipes sweat from forehead), I'm glad we got THAT elephant out of the room! Just don't sic Al Sharpton on me, I just couldn't take it.
Regardless of race, Mr. Jordan is one of the best young actors in Hollywood right now. He can portray any number of characters and appears quite mature to handle a role of such magnitude. He also has the body type needed for a comic book superhero. With the right training, he can bulk up a bit more to get the necessary size. This role could also be construed as a great step forward in terms of introducing minority actors and superheroes onto the silver screen. However that also leads me to the "no" part.
Yay, here come the allegations of racism and maybe a speech by Louis Farrakhan. Great.
Yes, there is a no and it's one I'm sure you guys have heard from reading on MoviePilot or on the internet.
Blah, blah, blah, Michael B. Jordan is black Human Torch is white. Well, does race really play a huge factor in portraying a character?
Again, yes and no. No, because we shouldn't judge people by their skin but by the content of their character. Plus Samuel L. Jackson has done a spectacular job as Nick Fury who was originally a white man (gasp)! Nope, I didn't forget Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin of Crime in "Daredevil." (ANOTHER black Michael playing a white character! Coincidence? Ha! I think not!)
Oh, but yes. Yes, race does play a huge factor in character portrayal. Why? Psychologists and Sociologists tell us we are the sum total of our total life experiences. Even if there are similar circumstances in life and privileges, a young black man will have vastly different experiences to draw on than his young white counterpart. Firstly, discrimination. Racial discrimination still exists in the United States and unfortunately always will because there are boneheaded people who just don't like other races. Thankfully it's not the major problem it was in the 20th century. Also laws have been enacted to combat discrimination and racism. Even if Sue and Johnny are step siblings as some writers contend could work for the movie, they would still experience racism for a variety of reasons. Think them out as you will. Imagine Luke Cage, Storm, or Black Panther white. Get my point?
Lastly, I am skeptical of comics and comic book movies changing origins for the sake of "diversity." I love diversity, but it is soured by the bleak taste of yep, you guessed it, political correctness. Look to recent examples of the original Green Lantern (not Hal Jordan) made gay or Johnny Storm made black to name just a few. Whether it is born out of political correctness or sincere belief makes no difference. I don't hate gays either, which is why I when I read a eulogy given by Kitty Pryde from an X-Men comic from the 70s or 80s, I was pleasantly surprised. Saddened of course, by the death of a character, we read implied that the deceased was gay. The character was gay from the start. Not an established character the writers decided to make gay. See what I mean? I don't mind if new characters created are black, gay, or white. Miles Morales as Spider-Man worked out well for Marvel as well as John Stewart as the new Green Lantern for DC. Just keep the established characters what they are. Steve Rogers Captain America: white. T'Challa Black Panther: black. Simple as that.
I'm really quite fascinated by this topic and encourage respectful and thought-provoking discussion in the comments below: