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Wednesday, November 07, 2018 

CBR thinks Batman's race should be changed

Look at this, CBR's running the gauntlet of race-baiting again, with a column that seems to be trying to promote the idea Batman/Bruce Wayne should have his race changed away from white, this despite the failure of DC's prior attempts in the 2000s to do it with 3rd tiers, and Marvel's with nearly every superhero you can think of in much quicker succession:
With rumours appearing recently that Lewis Tan was cast as Batman on DC Universe's Titans, debate began to stir online over whether or not a non-white person could play Bruce Wayne/Batman. It was a very similar discussion to the one that occurred when it was rumored that Michael B. Jordan was being courted for the role of Superman after Henry Cavill was reported to be departing the DC cinematic universe.
Why is such a big deal whether a non-white can play any classic creation that is white, and not whether today's writers can take the challenge of creating new, non-white crimefighters? This is already pretty trivial stuff.
As expected, this new argument has brought forth vocal fans who don't want DC to tinker with the traditional depiction of Bruce being a white philanthropist, the same character we've known since 1939's Detective Comics #27, and in the plethora of comics, cartoons, animated films, video games and live-action movies since.

There are actually many solid reasons why Titans, at very least, could have been a fertile testing ground for such a change to a major superhero. After all, ethnicity doesn't really matter as long as the character is done justice, does it?
Maybe not, but when it's done with such increasing frequency as was seen over the past few years when Marvel took it to extremes, that practically disproves the notion story merit is the driving factor, and proves more that diversity pandering is instead. Which does not a good story make in any medium. The writer then goes on to confirm where he stands:
Seriously, why not? Bruce Wayne has been a white crimefighter in most Batman comics, using his millions of dollars as a vigilante to safeguard the world. So too has Tony Stark, not to mention Danny Rand (Iron Fist) and tons of other characters from both Marvel and DC.

It's about time we get someone under the cowl who reflects another perspective into the world we live in today -- a multiracial, melting pot where rich dudes aren't only white. While we're on the topic, one could make the same case for Superman. There are, after all, black farmers in Kansas.
Well as a matter of fact, Vic Stone/Cyborg's father was a wealthy scientist, so there's a guy with a certain inheritance to back him up who could take the role of a non-white protagonist rolling in riches for starters. Which is clearly all meaningless to the phony who penned this snoozer, who thinks it's such a big deal established creations be non-white, an argument he'd never make about Power Man and Black Lightning. How about a story where Jeff Pierce scores big time in the lottery, invests in a business venture or three, and then, you'd have the wealthy crimefighter you allegedly are so desperate for, who could continue to use his newfound riches to finance the Outsiders? Alas, it means nothing to people who claw for the bottom of the barrel so desperately.
To integrate race in such a way to iconic mainstream superheroes is a great way of getting more buzz around the topic of representation. People of color often don't get considered for big superhero casting because when the characters were created, the industry was run by white people making white characters, and the drive to change hasn't typically been strong.
Well gee, that's because hack journalists like these aren't really trying, no matter how much they may claim otherwise. If they were smart, they'd be promoting the best of the original Bronze Age stories with Luke Cage, for example, and calling for better story merit and marketing based on said merit. But no, they just have to go for the cheapest economy, which is replacement in the costumes, and then, when it becomes apparent it's all been done far more for diversity pandering than for entertainment, everyone sees through the act and lose interest long before. The reason Jim Rhoades' substituting for Tony Stark as Iron Man in the 80s worked was because Marvel knew how to make clear it wasn't a wholesale replacement (Tony was still around and active), and Jim later went on to take up the role of War Machine. For Green Lantern's black co-stars John Stewart, it was even easier, as they practically had the GL Corps to be part of. The way everything's been done of recent, as with Steve Rogers replaced by Sam Wilson as Captain America, soon followed by a story where Steve became a Hydra/nazi, only drives a wedge between fans and publisher, and ensures no confidence at all.
Luckily, though, that has been changing. In comics, we have seen many different Superman of many different races, like the recent New Super-Man of China. We have also had a black Captain America. In films, everyone from Valkyrie and Electro at Marvel to Catwoman at DC have been recast with actors of color. as seen most recently with Warner Bros. casting Native Hawaiian actor Jason Momoa as Aquaman.
On the topic of Catwoman's movie from 2004 with Halle Berry: it's already long established it was a fiasco, and curious there's no mention of the political content in Sam Wilson's failed run as Cap. Which only proves ever further this dopey op-ed at CBR isn't emphasizing story merit.
While an exploration of "The Other" might be more ingrained in the Aquaman mythos, a similar casting into the Batman role wouldn't just be a bold experiment, it would also afford the character new avenues of narrative exploration. If nothing else, the potential for fresh storytelling with that new perspective would be enticing for many fans of the character.
Most of these "experiments" are so superficial, they went stale pretty quick, so new perspective fast became old. At this point, it's clear far less fans would care enough to finance such a move, and it'd lose buyers even faster.
At the same time, there is precedent for Batmen of color within DC Comics continuity. Take Luke Fox, aka Batwing, for example. He is the rich, scientific genius son of Lucius Fox, armed with a cutting-edge suit of armor. There is also the French-Algerian Bilal Asselah, also known as Nightrunner, the Batman of France, and Jiro Osamu, aka Mr. Unknown, the Batman of Japan.

Stories about these heroes -- or any of the other international Batmen of color introduced in Batman Incorporated -- would be fantastic, but putting a person of color in the main Bruce Wayne/Batman role would be the most impactful, and it could be done easily.
But could it be economically successful? Not at this point. And they're not helping by bringing up one of DC's kowtowing-to-Islam steps, because that kind of sugarcoating only makes things worse, as Marvel's done with their Muslim Ms. Marvel propaganda. Most of that 2010 atrocity may have vanished since, but the damage has been done, and back at the time, I recall there was even a Power Girl story featuring Islamic apologia of the "misunderstood" variety.
Right or wrong, the decision to cast Batman as a person of color would be immense, especially on the big screen. Michael B. Jordan as a black Superman would be fantastic, as would having a female Captain America, but perhaps the best place to test such a move with an audience is on television.
So I guess neither story quality nor finance matters, huh? Just 15 minutes of fame, is all. No wonder CBR's become so irrelevant.
More than film, television audiences are already used to swaps of race, gender, creed and sexual orientation, as seen with characters like Jimmy Olsen on Supergirl or the West family on The Flash. So far, ethnicity changes haven't damned any of these shows, other than the usual conversations that always permeate these steps. Moving the markers up a character tier, from a Kid Flash to a Batman, seems to be the next logical step for exploring the possibilities of representation in on-screen superhero stories, and Titans would have been a prime testing ground.

The show is clearly an alternate universe take on the team, so the opportunity is there to buck tradition and start pushing Hollywood out of its tunnel vision. The fact this conversation still has to happen in 2018 is telling, but all it takes is just one big move to get the ball rolling. Once that happens, it's just a matter of time before the big screen follows suit.
I don't think even TV audiences are so enamored by series with big lefty agendas anymore, if this forum thread is any suggestion, and sooner or later, those DC-based adaptations will be canceled, unless they're trying to keep them on the air because they believe their agendas precede the bankability of the shows. Even the AV Club admits Supergirl's been derailing (and degenerating into gun control rhetoric), but then, it already did long ago. The fact clowns like the CBR writers still keep on with this "conversation" is telling. Race-swapping isn't going to guarantee better writing in any way, so it's best they let go of this lethargy and argue instead for better story quality. Some of the commenters recognized what a mess this article is, and one said:

I know CBR has their diversity boner fully engaged, but you guys don't seem to realize that this idea of "these are fictional characters, you can do whatever you want with them" is a fallacy that really needs to die. Characters are not blank slates that you can just impose what ever features you want on them, like it's a fucking video game avatar. When you start making changes, then everything starts to unravel and it stops being that character and becomes something entirely different.We've already seen that with Superman, and he's still a white guy.

And let's think about history for a minute. The way the Wayne family is written is that they came from Europe to Gotham in the 1630's. Back then if you were black you weren't a wealthy property owner, you were "property". So having a black Batman means you're going to have to rewrite a huge chunk of American history from the Civil War all the way through the sixties to today.

I know you're all well meaning, but trust me when I say this; leave creative decisions to CREATIVE people (which you are not), and not those who are trying to score points in some sort of open minded dick measuring contest. And this whole idea of "I want to see people who look like me", all I have to say is how narcissitic are you that you can only enjoy something unless you personally inject yourself into it?
It's just a pity the people in charge of the Big Two nowadays aren't creative, or else we wouldn't be seeing the disasters they sank into since the turn of the century. Another said:
It's pretty obvious from the flashbacks in Titans Batman is white, or at least not black. Also, yes, he needs to be white because there are plenty of black characters that already exist. Stop trying to change established characters races or genders or sexualities. Also, You should probably rename this site to CBLB: Comic Book Liberal Bullshit
And nobody need register for their now worthless message boards, or pay to advertise on their site. They've long lost whatever merit they had, and now they're just a dismal drainpipe for leftist rhetoric. If they closed down tomorrow, it'd be for the best. Rather than help comicdom, they've only precipitated its destruction.

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Maybe just change Alfred into a black guy. Give the Leftists something to grind their teeth over.

Not like its the first case of changing something about a comic book character from the written page to television screens. Case in point: Heimdall.

Other cases in point: Catwoman on the 1960s Batman show, played by a black actress in some episodes and a white actress in others; the Eurasian Modesty Blaise played by a white Italian actress on screen; Superman played by a Hawaian actor on Lois and Clark; a black Pete Ross and an Eurasian Lana Lang on Smallville....

All good choices for the parts, except maybe Monica Belluci. The nation still stands.

Once upon a time, film and television producers didn’t worry about being politically correct in their casting. The Italian Rudolph Valentino was a hit playing a sexy Arab character in The Sheikh back in 1921. Lionel Barrymore played a Jewish lawyer in Counsellor-At-Law in 1931. Amos and Andy were played by white actors on radio and, in blackface makeup, on tv. Gay actors like Rock Hudson and Dick Sargent never played anything other than straight roles. Most movie American Indians were Italian. No one protested that the Greek Wonder Woman was played by an Hispanic actress on the tv show. No one complained when Patrick Stewart played a French starship captain. It is only SJWism gone amok that has started insisting that trans-gendered characters be played only by trans-gendered actors, or that yoga can only be taught by East Indians, or that an Israeli cannot play Wonder Woman.

When did post-conservative right-wingers become so fastidiously politically correct as to say only white actors can play traditionally white roles? The thought police should ease up on who gets to play what parts. There is a reason it is called acting. Stop worrying about cultural appropriation and political correctness, and let actors act.

There has already been a black Batman in the comics. Stan Lee and Joe Kubert created him for Lee's Just Imagine... series.

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