If I had a large amount of money I should found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily.
The biggest controversy on the face of it is the casting of black actor Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, a character depicted as white in the comics. There are fans who can’t see why this sort of casting is desirable, or how it’s different from the reverse; casting a white actor in a previously black role. So let’s break this down.
Superhero comics are overwhelmingly white because most of the major characters were created in the U.S. before the Civil Rights movement reached its peak. The decision to marginalize black people in our media to the point of invisibility is not a value that we should seek to perpetuate.
If filmmakers and comic book creators do nothing about this, their inaction does perpetuate those 1950s values. If filmmakers and comic book creators look for ways to introduce more black characters — sometimes at the expense of the surfeit of white characters — they will offer some degree of correction to those 1950s values. If filmmakers and comic book creators do the reverse, and eliminate black characters in favor of white characters, they don’t just perpetuate 1950s values; they embrace them anew.
Let’s be clear; by “1950s values,” I mean 1950s racism.
I think the main issue is that we allow nerd culture to dictate what is and is not acceptable. That it is allowed to have sacred cows. That something some human being created is somehow off-limits for other human beings to improve or expurgate. That people honestly give a FF who shot first.
I’m not very much into comic books, though I like to read a series once in a while. But when I look at a rack of bound series and pick one out that looks good to me, I hate that feeling that I might not be reading the right author or artist or plot line because real nerds know better.
So Fantastic Four purists, I say to you: your life is sad and you should be more concerned that the entire new cast looks like a spin-off WB show than that one historical wrong was in a tiny way improved to the detriment of nothing.
So raise a glass proudly, and do us all a favor: paste a shit ton of
’s into your next pull request, just to fuck with your team a little bit.
Imagine adults being trusted to manage their time and productivity. The nerve!