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Thursday, November 24, 2016 

She only cared about Marvel's products after they began to "change"?

The Sydney Morning Herald wrote about black "nerd culture", and quoted an actress from The Sapphires who doesn't seem to place much value on old classics:
Tapsell became interested in Marvel as an adult because the franchise was starting to change. "The new Spiderman is now an African-Latino boy, and Miss Marvel is a young Muslim teen from New Jersey who's got Pakistani parents," she says. "It's a great relief to see people who are disenfranchised get to be the hero of their own life."
So let me get this straight. She never cared about the old books written by Stan Lee and other veterans, and only after Joe Quesada, Axel Alonso and company made all these superficial alterations that aren't selling whopping big numbers did she suddenly care. In that case, she was never a fan at all. Anybody who can't give a damn about the older material and enjoy it for what it was in days when writing came with better taste than today's offerings was never a fan at all. As far as I can tell, these kind of presumed readers may not amount to many, if at all, but those that are, this is just the problem with them - they have no love or understanding for anything old, and only care for the books so long as they're tailored to suit their cheap vision, that doesn't place high value on creating new, separate protagonists.
Tapsell is now reading Brian K Vaughan's comic Saga, an intergalactic, interracial love story. She was introduced to it by her Sapphire's co-star Shari Sebbens​, who she says is "a bigger nerd than me".
Well at least she's putting some value in a book where the writer did conceive new characters. But that still doesn't excuse or explain why she's being so selective about classic creations. She even had the following to say about Harry Potter's leading girl student:
As with Gorrie, Hermione was a revelation to Tapsell growing up. "I was disappointed that Hermione was not black in the film because to me I identified with her so much," she says."I've got unruly hair like her … a character like her made me believe that it was OK to 'know' stuff. She loved having her head in books and she loved learning things."

Author Ambelin Kwaymullina​, who describes her Tribe series of young adult books as "Indigenous futurism", identifies as an "indiginerd" rather than a blerd. "There are a lot of harmful stereotypes about Indigenous cultures in speculative fiction," she says. "[They] are often presented as primitive populations to be exterminated, or in need of a white saviour." Cultural appropriation is also "fairly prevalent", says Kwaymullina: just think about Batman and his "batarang" weapon; or Captain Boomerang, who recently appeared on the big screen in Suicide Squad (played by a white person).
Now what is that supposed to mean? Maybe something's wrong with George Harkness exploiting boomerangs for bad intentions, but at least he's presented as a villain. If they think there's a problem there, why not create a good guy from an Aboriginal background who could make good use out of the weapons? As for Batman, if he's using boomerangs, the difference is that he's a good guy, and giving boomerangs a good name. So why the complaints? All I really see here is somebody looking for excuses to be selectively offended, and who's oblivious to how Black Panther didn't need white saviors that badly when he took up his role, and made Wakanda into a technologically profitable African country.

And I can identify with a black protagonist just as well as a white protagonist in a fictional adventure, so I don't think she should be complaining that J.K Rowling and others like her must be considerate of her rather petty demands. The actress has a big chance now to write some stories with black heroes and heroines of her very own, and prove she can conceive an exciting tale to boot. And I'd suggest she try and enjoy old stories from people like Stan Lee, and see how they worked so well in their time before saying she only cared when everything was changed to suit whatever PC vision she deems appropriate.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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