|Michael B. Jordan, The Human Torch; Source: Schmoes Know|
New cast of #FantasticFour reboot sucks! Human Torch is now black for some PC reason. Stick to the source material and stop the nonsense!
The new cast of Fantastic Four. Not sure if im ok with it. Not to be racist buutt Human Torch isn't black. from what i know at least.
Seriously, you cast a black dude to play the human torch in the reboot. That's so not right!! (Not being racist, no offense)So I thought this time, it would helpful to take a step back, and deal with the phenomenon as a whole. Let's look at all the reasons why some geeks freak out over race changing, how they make their argument, and why they're wrong.
1. Respect the Source Material - This is usually the first card played, which boils down to, "he/she is supposed to be white. Don't change the comic!" The argument is framed simply as being about being true to the character.
|Steve Rogers: What Chris Evans|
Doesn't Look Like
2. Political Correctness - This old buzzword always gets dragged out when discussing race-bending. "It's political correctness gone wild! The PC crowd needs to leave our comics alone! They're only making this change to pander to the liberals!"
Why It's Wrong: To this argument, I say, "So what?" First of all, in order for comics to survive, we need to broaden the audience. If a black Human Torch or Spiderman can bring in more people, that just gives comics a better chance to survive and increase profits. Second, I think it's time to acknowledge the fact that mainly white men created most of our beloved comic characters, and they made mainly white characters. There are very, very few major minority superheroes. If we get the chance to take an existing popular character and make them a minority, I say it's long overdue.
3. This Stuff is Out of Control - You know what they say. Once you go black...there's an undeniable sense of panic whenever a character gets race bent, and someone invariably says something along the lines of "This is getting out of control!" I think there's a genuine fear that the trend will increase and accelerate, and eventually all the white characters will become minorities.
Why It's Wrong: Frankly, if all comic books flipped and became a flood of minority superheroes with white characters in the margins, I would be thrilled. See how you like it. But let's be honest...it won't. We're talking one out of four superheroes in FF, not even half. It would actually make sense to make Sue Storm black as well, since Johnny and Sue were brother and sister in the comics. But whites still make up a majority of comic fans, and the companies know what side their bread is buttered on. For every minority superhero, there are a thousand white superheroes, and that's how it will be for a long time to come. At best, a black Human Torch is a drop in a very large ocean.
4. This Will Ruin the Character - The other argument that's made is that the change will destroy their favorite character. "Why make a perfectly good white character into a black character? It will ruin him/her! The character is supposed to be white! Its an integral part of the character!"
Why It's Wrong: For the vast majority of comic book characters, their Caucasian status has nothing to do with their character. White is just the default. I can understand concerns that making a superhero black will force other changes, like making the character poor, from a ghetto, talking jive, stealing things, eating watermelon...
Wait, here's a thought. What if we didn't make a black character into a black stereotype? What if we changed nothing but the race and left everything else alone? What if we made Peter Parker black and he was still a middle-class teen with genius intelligence? What if we made Johnny Storm black and he was still a hotshot pilot with a quick temper? Then maybe we can broaden the view of minorities in general.
Besides, sometimes a black character is just better. Can anyone really argue that Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury wasn't an improvement over David Hasselhoff?
5. Racism - Of course, for all these arguments, this whole uproar always boils down to racism. After all of the above has been said, eventually the whispers boil down to, "I don't want to see black or minority characters. I want to see white characters."
Why It's Wrong: You know, it's fine if you don't want to see minorities. Seriously. You go on back to your cave, and go read your comics from the 1960's where there was nary a minority in sight, and the ones who did exist were embarrassing stereotypes. The rest of us will remain in the year 2014, where minorities are alive, thriving, and bursting into flame on the big screen. Ciao.
Thanks to MsMariah for the tip!
What do you think of the debate over race and comic books?
Please use the buttons below to tell your friends about this post. Click on the links to follow us for free by Email, RSS and follow us on Twitter @thegeektwins and like us on Facebook