Now, I know that race is a touchy subject for everyone including me but this is a question I've had trouble answering myself. Are Superheroes rebooted as African Americans a good thing or a Bad thing?
We all remember the announcement back in February of 2014 that Michael B Jordan will be playing Johnny Storm (A.K.A) "The human torch" in the new 2015 Reboot of "The Fantastic Four", right? This small announcement became so controversial in so little time. The main reason being because he is black while in the comics the character has always been depicted as a caucasian. TMZ even asked him "What does he think about the cynics who are upset that Johnny Storm is going to be black?" In which he replied, "They’re still going to go see it anyway."
That comment was the most controversial thing about this whole black human torch argument in my opinion, but i'll cut the guy some slackfor the moment
I actually remember the day a black/hispanic spiderman was announced. Unlike most comic book geeks, I found out about it all on the radio.
Miles Morales (A.K.A) Spiderman was created by Brian Michael Bendis back in August of 2011 to replace Peter Parker, The original spiderman, in Marvel comics' "Ultimate" series. Although Miles Morales is half Black and half hispanic, the amount of time it took for the controversy to spread was overwhelming. The argument was very similar to that of Michael B. Jordan's in the fact that the original character was Caucasian whereas the new one is black.
Finally, Wally West of Prime Earth. This is a comic book race change scenario I personally hadn't heard about until recently so I don't really have much to tell about him other than that he was once white and turned black. See a pattern?
Now i'm going to talk about the biggest changes that could possibly happen in these topics and the problems some people might have.
- A new story
With a new character it usually means a new story line as well. Alot of people don't like to change the classics but some do as well. Usually younger readers or watchers that don't see a difference in the change.Take "The New 52" for example. Alot of comic book readers originally didn't like the fact that the DC comics would change forever, but as the years went by we saw the bad slowly turn to good. I mean, Comics didn't just start out good. They just started out and when superheroes were introduced it was something new to look at. So, of course people were intrigued. Nowadays nothing seems to keep peoples interest for very long leaving us to expect the worst before seeing the final product.
Alot of people might not understand that although everyone is equal we are all very different. Whether it be Race, Religion, sexual orientation, or cultural background we are all different. In this case cultural background and race would play a big role in the apparent change in the three previous topics. You're probably thinking "Yeah, I get it he's black so he's gonna do black things." Although you are correct, take in mind the challenges an african american might face vs any other race for that matter. People will act differently to people who seem different. Hell, even the Government was a little suspicious of Superman in the "Man Of Steel" Movie.
- Changing Main character instead of introducing a new one
When I say that, i mean that the creators are changing the characters secret identity but not the superhero itself. This pisses me off the most because all of this Race-change controversy could have been easily avoided if the creators at Marvel Comics or DC comics would have just introduced a new character entirely. Miles Morales' name is different but he wears the costume and people still call him spiderman. Now, if he was given a new name there would be little to no controversy regarding his character. It's a little lazy now that i think about it. You come up with a character that has similar abilities to an already active superhero and give him the same name and a similar outfit. No wonder people were outraged. Dwayne Mcduffie, the creator of Static and Icon, was smart with his creation of characters. Static is a young man with the ability to crontrol elecricity. Pretty original for DC. Icon is a middle aged lawyer with similar abilities to Superman but you don't see an "S" on his chest do you? He was given a different name for his character as both a human being and a superhero. You're probably thinking right about now that the whole "Introducing a new character" thing wouldn't really apply to "Wally West" or to "Johnny Storm" since they hadn't changed their names or their Superhero identities just their race.You're right but I just had to get the whole Miles Morales thing out of my head.
To tell you the truth, I don't really care about the race changes for any of these characters. I think that they are all Just fine but i'm not completely sure if it's because i'm a fan or because i'm black. Tell me what you think in the comments below.