I had a friend start a conversation on the Facebook about the recent trend of taking established fictional characters and changing their gender or race. This is done to either pander to political correctness or make a brave not at all contrived statement on society, depending on who you vote for in November. The discussion got pretty heated and passionate, just because Facebook.
My personal opinion for the most part is that I really don’t particularly care what private companies do with their intellectual property. There are always exceptions. I know people don’t like that they made Johnny Storm an African American in the upcoming “Fantastic Four” movie, but personally I think the casting of Michael B. Jordan (who I loved in “Friday Night Lights”) is the least offensive thing about it. Let’s start with making Doctor Doom a computer hacker and sending your actors out to brag about not reading the comic ever, and work down from there.
The area where I have an opinion, and where I do most of my eye rolling, is when people acting like any of these decisions are “brave” or that they are done for any other reason than collecting tweets of people celebrating how social justice warrior-y they’re being. Changing the ethnicity of one of the Fantastic Four isn’t a brave or exciting decision. It’s a “bunch of executives in a board room saying that there are too many white people and to make one of them urban” decision.
And as a comic book fan who is familiar with the wealth of characters available, it feels like if anyone was really that serious about appealing to other demographics and giving those demographics heroes that they could look up to, they’d elevate the characters they already have instead of pulling what seems to be nothing but cheap publicity stunts.
For example, it would seem that if you’re serious about appealing to young women, this picture should be your goal…
They’re all dressed up as Captain Marvel (the one on the left is Ms. Marvel). Captain Marvel is basically Marvel Comics’ Superman. She is one of the most powerful heroes in the entire Marvel Universe.
Captain Marvel is a BRILLIANTLY written comic written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, and it already has a huge female fanbase. I had read an article that a librarian loved the book so much she gave it to girls at her library, who themselves loved it so much they came back a week later in costume. And while I was searching for that photo (which was actually the picture that made me want to write this), I found a ton of other pictures like these…
— Kelly Sue DeConnick (@kellysue) December 19, 2014
Captain Marvel is also a comic that Marvel already had plans on making a movie of (there were Easter Eggs in “Captain America 2”), and just recently there have been rumors that Angelina Jolie is being considered as a director.
Marvel has a strong, brilliantly written comic heroine that not only can appeal to a younger female demographic and provide a heroine for them to look up to, it already is. You would think if the end goal was to appeal to more women, and that was seriously what you were looking to do, elevating Captain Marvel would be the way to do it.
You know, instead of making Thor a woman and announcing it on “The View,” just so Jenny McCarthy can talk about Thor’s boobies. Call it mansplanning, but that seems like a cheap publicity stunt at best.