Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Reinventing white superheroes as nonwhite

In 2005, I wrote what is, so far, my only magazine cover story.

The Weekly Reader publication Know Your World Extra ran it.

Hard-hitting, it was not. But it did have a good angle. 

The article addressed the trend (still in effect) of comic book companies (particularly the one with which I’m most familiar, DC Comics) taking the name of an established white superhero and creating a new, nonwhite version.

Firestorm became black.

Blue Beetle became Hispanic.

The Atom became Asian.

The Crimson Avenger became (no, not crimson) black…and female. Now female in the New 52: the Atom (Hispanic, too), Shadow-Thief, Wotan...

Numerous other examples exist.

The Justice League of All of America.


hobbyfan said...

Marvel's done it too, Marc. If you've followed their line of movies leading up to last year's Avengers, they recast Nick Fury as an African-American, which was first done in their Ultimate line 13 years ago. In a happy coincidence, they cast the actor on whom the Ultimate Fury was modeled---Samuel L. Jackson.

It's all being done in the name of cultural diversity, which gets in the way of comics tradition, don't you think?

Marc Tyler Nobleman said...

In the article, I do mention how Kingpin (white in comics) was played by a black actor in the DAREDEVIL movie. I may have mentioned Nick Fury, too.