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Thursday, June 03, 2010 

IO9 writer thinks Spider-Man's whiteness should be changed

I found the following article from IO9 on Big Hollywood's list of external recommendations at their homepage top, where the author seems to think that for the reboot of the Spider-Man movie franchise should be black or Latino. In other words, race is being made an issue here. And I thought it was absurd enough when DC was forcibly trying this. Why all of a sudden are some people going out of their way to suggest that classic superheroes, major and minor, have their race changed, even in movies?

A decade ago, Kurt Busiek and George Perez wrote a storyline in The Avengers where a shady cult called the Triune Understanding was pressuring the Earth's Mightiest Heroes to include minorities on their team based more on skin color than on talent (eventually, it was agreed that Triathlon would be their representative). One of the last really good runs on the Avengers, and it made a pretty good point about how it's ridiculous to make such an issue of race. The writer of the IO9 article might want to take a good look at that story before arguing that the race of the guy under the mask should be changed.

In any case, the writer loses me when he brings up The Truth: Red, White and Black:
I remember the hue and cry that was raised when the rumor floated that Will Smith was offered the role of Captain America, despite the fact that the very military drug experiments that turned Steve Rogers into a superman would've most definitely been tested on black WWII soldiers first (as Kyle Baker so expertly theorized in Truth: Red, White and Black)
Oops, I'm afraid he's stumbled big time there, by citing a ghastly miniseries with alarmingly stereotypical artwork of its black protagonists by Baker that didn't have any concrete proof the US army actually exploited blacks within the framework of WW2 for chemical experiments. You'd think the horrid artwork alone ought to tell him the whole miniseries was worthless, but alas, he apparently cannot see that.

Sometimes it's just not a good idea to make race an issue, as the IO9 article suggests.

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I remember race being an issue for The Falcon for a while when he was teamed up with Captain America back in the late '70s. It seemed to just always be a difficult moral to approach in comic books when it adds no other value to the general storylines.


Steven G. Willis

There was a time that having someone in blackface was considered a disgrace. I guess not so much these days?

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