ByRaymond Stover, writer at
Raymond Stover

Within the last 15 years, the superhero film genre has experience a giant boom, and I've enjoyed watching it grow. Seeing my favorite heroes on the big screen is always exciting. However, the representation of ethnic backgrounds and women in these films are underwhelming. The racism and sexism not only lives in Hollywood, but also within ourselves.

When it was announced that Michael B. Jordan would be playing the Human Torch in the new Fantastic Four reboot, there was a negative response. Mainly because the actor playing the Human Torch is black, and the Human Torch is white. I Understood the negative response at first, especially for those of you who grew up reading the fantastic 4 comics. But I felt it went a little overboard when people began threatening to boycott. The Amazing Spider Man 2 also played the "race switch game" with one of it's characters, but it didnt receive the same negative response as the Fantastic 4 reboot. In the Amazing Spider Man 2, one of the main protagonists is Electro. He is normally white in the comics, but on film he was played by a black actor, Jamie Foxx. No one seemed to blink an eye at this casting choice. Could it be that we are okay with a black person portraying the villain, but not OK with them being the hero?

My opinion is, the Human Torch and the Fantastic Four are not huge American icons like Superman or Captain America or even Mickey Mouse. Plus, there's nothing in their character backgrounds that causes need for them to be a certain race. For example, Storm's history is tied throughout Africa. She was born in Kenya, she grew up on the streets of Cairo as a thief, she met her soulmate Black Panther in the Sahara, and she was worshipped as an African goddess. So it makes sense that she's black. I honestly feel that if the new FF reboot has excellent writing, great actors, and exceptional CGI, it will certainly be FANTASTIC!

Now let's talk about the women!

Storm is arguably the most famous female superhero around, and those of you who know her history, knows that she's a badass. She has led the X Men on and off for the past 35 years, she defeated Cyclops in a one on one combat (without her powers) to determine who should lead the X Men, she's a highly skilled fighter (trained by Wolverine), and an extremely powerful mutant. But on film she is reduced to a background character who can barely conjure up a lightning bolt without passing out and barely speaks 2 sentences. Even Rogue is a shadow of her true self. She's the bombshell who defeated the Avengers single handedly, and that's without the flight and super human strength. But on film she's a timid, boy driven, teen who just wants to feel normal. If they wanted someone relatable to young teen girls, why not use Shadowcat or Jubilee. It seems like Mystique is the only woman who gets some real action. Yet, she hasn't gotten a solo film like Wolverine. Btw I think Wolverine needs to have a seat so we can begin exploring the other X Men.

Now let's look at the Avengers. Iron Man has three films, Thor has two, Captain America has two, and the Hulk also has two. Black Widow has 0. Why is that? Why is Marvel making more films centred around characters who are white men before doing a film centered around a woman. I mean there's Ant Man, Dr. Strange, Guardians of the galaxy, Justice League, Superman vs Batman, Venom, Sinister Six, Gambit, & a third sequal to Wolverine. Sadly none of those films feature a woman as the lead. I would love to see a Ms. Marvel film or even She-hulk. Do the Marvel & DC execs know that women can also score big at the box office. I mean look at Angelina Jolie with "Salt" or even "Charlie's Angels".

I think it's about time for a female solo film.
Who's with me!?


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