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Old 11-17-2012, 01:48 PM   #226
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...justifying the Whitewashing of the Mandarin
Mandarin is played by Ben Kingsley as far as I know.

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...R'as Al Ghul would have been given a non-Arabic name and an origin that does not show the character and his family to be natives of the Middle East.
Ras' headquarters were set in Tibet and his men looked more like ninjas then Arabic warriors.

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Old 11-17-2012, 04:28 PM   #227
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Mandarin is played by Ben Kingsley as far as I know.

Ras' headquarters were set in Tibet and his men looked more like ninjas then Arabic warriors.
1) Ben Kingsley is partially Indian, but ethnically English and of Russian and German descent. In either case, he is not Han Chinese and largely identifies as English (White). I am a firm believer that multi-racial people are entitled to choose their identity and Ben Kingsley identifies as English.

2) R'as having a base of operations in another region means nothing about his ethnic heritage. Does immigration not exist in the Nolanverse?

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Old 11-17-2012, 05:02 PM   #228
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1) I am a firm believer that multi-racial people are entitled to choose their identity and Ben Kingsley identifies as English.
Entitled but not obligated. He is just as Indian as he's white. So I agree that the race was changed but definitely not ''whitewashed"

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2) R'as having a base of operations in another region means nothing about his ethnic heritage. Does immigration not exist in the Nolanverse?
Like you said "origin that does not show the character and his family to be natives of the Middle East" there is nothing Middle Easty about him, they changed that.

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Old 11-17-2012, 08:10 PM   #229
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I am not stating that Hardy gave a poor performance in the role. I am saying that Hardy's casting allows for the erasure of ethnic identity. To add insult to injury, not only were Bane's Hispanic roots wiped away, but the film portrays Bane as being some sort of Arabian, just as R'as Al Ghul was. Despite the clear portrayal of Bane as being from the Middle East, he is still played by a White British male. That's like a Wonder Woman movie where Wonder Woman is rewritten as a Chinese woman, but a White actress is still cast in the role.
My point is...I think this is a case where you have to weigh how important it is that Bane has this "ethnic identity" to begin with, and what that "ethnic identity" is really worth. Simply speaking in a spanish accent and wearing a luchador mask and being Spanish isn't exactly culturally interesting or particularly relevant, it's just part of who Bane has been in the comics and animated series. So what's the "ethnic identity" that is being erased, exactly? An accent and a luchador mask and the fact that he's Spanish? Well, these are arguably important, but how important, in the grand scheme of the character?

Bane wasn't portrayed as being from the middle East or as some kind of Arabian in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. All we really know is that he spent time there as a mercenary/soldier/prisoner. The movie never went into Bane's ethnicity at all, really. He certainly wasn't clearly portrayed as being from anywhere in particular. It didn't appear to be all that important to the filmmakers.

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And for the record, nothing about Hardy's mask invokes images of the luchador. He looks more like Darth Vader than a professional wrestler.
No he doesn't. He looks hardly anything like Darth Vader. Darth Vader had a full helmet and his face was fully encased in a mask, including his eyes, which are hidden behind tinted lenses. Much of Bane's upper head is exposed and the mask design is more or less entirely different.

Seeing as how there actually was a professional wrestler with a mask very similar to the one Bane wears in the film in the late 80's or somewhere around then, I'd say he does invoke images of a wrestler or that kind of a figure, certainly more than he does Darth Vader. It was quite obvious that they went to some lengths to show Bane as a brute-force/wrestler-type in his movements in the film.

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He wears military pants and boots with a rather bizzare armored vest.
Whereas in the comics he wore pants (military, I guess...they're pants) and boots, and a "spandex" vest instead of a heavier tactical one...what's your point? He was never, even in the comics, supposed to look exactly like a luchador...that was just one of the things that informed his design.

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He is effectively Bane-In-Name-Only. His origin, ethnicity and characterization bear little to no semblance to the character upon which he is based.
That's arguable.

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Also, asking if the Luchador element is an aspect of culture that "...Hispanics want spotlighted" is a question aimed at derailment. It is fair to assume that ethnic erasure is not preferable to "highlighting" a cultural identifier that you are implying is some how negative despite being prominent and respected in various Hispanic cultures.
I didn't imply that it was negative in the least. You said that the things that conveyed his culture were wiped away. I'm questioning which "culture" they conveyed, exactly, and why Hispanics would be so desperate to keep that culture inherent in the character. Is having the visual aspects of a luchador in any way, shape or form truly culturally relevant and ultimately also important to Bane himself in terms of his basics, especially if its a concept that is never explored beyond being visually present?

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As for R'as Al Ghul, what does Liam Neeson's acting skill have to do with the fact that the film casts a White male to portray an olive complected Arabian man?
Nothing. I'm pointing out they didn't just go out and cast any old "white male". They cast a fantastic actor who was suited to the role as written.

For another thing, Ra's Al Ghul has rarely been depicted as an "olive skinned Arabian man" in the comics. He is generally portrayed as a more or less caucausian man of somewhat vague/mixed ethnicity...maybe with slightly darker skin or a tan. Certainly not the type of visual that only a particular ethnicity could play or reflect.

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Deflection does not change the nature of the complaint, as if acting skill justifies the fact that White people have no problem with taking ethnic roles from minorities, but will say anything to explain why doing the reverse to White characters is so detrimental.
I don't see it as "taking roles from minorities" anymore than I see any actor getting any role as "taking roles from better actors/choices for the roles". There are elements of casting in Hollywood that often involve casting someone who may not be the most well suited person in the world for a particular role in a perfect world.

And I have said nothing about doing the reverse to white characters.

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If a White character is made an ethnic minority, then White people feel it is for political correctness or "for the sake of change" as you so "eloquently" stated.
I have no idea why you think this holds true. Off the top of my head, the casting of the Kingpin in DAREDEVIL clearly had nothing to do with political correctness or "change for the sake of it", and whites (and others) seemed to recognize this. Ditto the apparent casting of Jamie Foxx as Electro.

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However, when ethnic minority characters are made White, then White people argue that the best actor was chosen or that the producers wanted to avoid portraying a negative stereotype associated with the character (an argument you make for Bane and R'as and an argument recently made by the producers of Iron Man 3, justifying the Whitewashing of the Mandarin).
And there's a reason that people argue this...it's often true. You don't think there's some truth to this?

The reasons for The Mandarin not being an Chinese actor have become pretty clear for anyone who has followed the project. For whatever reason (Hint: China doesn't allow certain things to be filmed in its country), IRON MAN 3 was not going to be able to film in China with a major motion picture depicting a Chinese actor as a supervillain/terrorist. That, and the fact that IRON MAN set up The Ten Rings as a Middle Eastern organization, not a Chinese one.

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Furthermore, if Nolan and co were "concerned" about perpetuating the Arab terrorist stigma, then R'as Al Ghul would have been given a non-Arabic name and an origin that does not show the character and his family to be natives of the Middle East.
Ra's Al Ghul wasn't given an origin that shows him and his family to be natives of the Middle East in the film.

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Keeping everything Arabic about the character EXCEPT his casting does not downplay the fact that the character is a terrorist that happens to be Arab. Making him appear White does not make it more acceptable that R'as is a terrorist. Your argument is remarkably flawed and once again highlights the White privilege mindset.
There's nothing remarkably flawed about my argument, because any Arabic aspects to Ra's Al Ghul were clearly downplayed in the movie and then some.

He doesn't happen to be Arab in the film...he's never remotely portrayed as Arab in the film. Pretty much nothing except his name could even be considered Arab in BATMAN BEGINS. And the name "Ra's Al Ghul", Arabic or not, isn't even dealt with in the movie.

And you're just being ridiculous at this point with the "White priviledge" nonsense and your assumptions therein.

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Old 11-17-2012, 09:07 PM   #230
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In either case, he is not Han Chinese and largely identifies as English (White).
Niether is the Mandarin. He's half british, half ethnic Mongol.

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Old 11-17-2012, 09:45 PM   #231
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Ironically, I do think some of the changes are made for the sake of political correctness.

Like in the original TMNT show, black Baxter Stockman was made white, because they didn't want the only black character on the show to be a villain.

The Mandarin being Asian would probably result in a number of complaints as well.

I've also heard they did the same with Magneto (making him not Jewish). But now nobody cares. Because Magneto is awesome.

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Old 11-17-2012, 10:30 PM   #232
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Default Re: Does Race Really Matter?

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@TheHeatKitchen

If you read my posts completely, you would have seen that I already recognized that there are characters where ethnicity is actually a defining aspect of their character. Storm, Wonder Woman, Red Skull, Dust etc. None of them could be inherently the same if not for their ethnic background. There are plenty of characters whose ethnic background is a part of their superhero/villain persona or simply relevant to their characterization. However, there are even more characters where ethnicity is irrelevant, Superman included.

There is no rational argument capable of moving beyond the facile that justifies why Superman has to be White, even though he is not White because he is not even human. Superman could have appeared East Asian, South-East Asian, Aztec, Arabian, African or any other earthly pheneotype and still have grown up with a heart and mind to love people despite the hateful ways of others. Does Martin Luther King Jr. ring any bells? If he could endure that hate and still love, then why couldn't a 'Black' Clark do the same?

Ultimately you are proposing only one possibility and not a demand of the story.
There is no rule that states that "if Superman were 'Black' and created in the 1930s, everyone in the story has to hate him." Furthermore, the caveat to your argument is that it applies just as much to a "White" Clark Kent. If a "Black" Clark Kent would be subject to being the victim of racism, then a "White" Clark Kent would be subject to the indoctrination of racist ideology. Clearly, the Kents are better than that based on the values and sense of justice that Clark possesses. However, if racism were such an issue for the character based on the epoch in which he was created, then by your logic, Clark Kent should be remarkably racist as an ostensibly "White" male from the mid-west.
First of all, I dont even remember reading your post to begin with. I was just answering the simple question in a general manner. Not directed at you specifically.

As for the Superman thing, all I'm saying is that in that time period, if he was a different race, based on the progress (or lack of progress) America had made socially, the character within the story would have been different. the point, as someone else mentioned, was that he was found by an "American everyman." That persona then was essentially Jonathan Kent.

If he was black, or any other race, and found by the same people, he would have likely been ridiculed by his peers in school for being a different race than his parents (similar to the kids now being ridiculed for having "two daddies" or inter-racial dating/marriage in the 50's and 60's).

He was supposed to just be another guy. He wasn't supposed to stand out as Clark Kent. If he was a black child that was "adopted" by white parents, he would have stood out and garnered way too much attention, especially given the time period.

Now, if we were in the more PC world we have now when Superman was created, sure, it would likely be a little different. Maybe you could mix it up a little bit. But a typical couple in Kansas suddenly adopted a child of a different race in that time period garners WAY too much attention in that area for that time.

Again remember I'm talking about the characters IN THE STORY ridiculing him and the family, NOT our society.

As for OUR world seeing the character as a different race... I think we're past the point of no return. Superman is too iconic to change. At this point, it's not the fact that he's white that matters as much as the character so many people have come to know and love being changed. Would you want Charlie Brown to be Asian? What about Luke or Anakin Skywalker? Homer Simpson? Fred Flinstone? Fat Albert? Betty Boop? Would you change Snoopy's breed? James Bond? All I'm saying is there are some characters that are so iconic and important to America's societal history that you just do not change. Period. This isn't Green Lantern we're talking about. It's Superman for crying out loud.

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Old 11-18-2012, 03:19 PM   #233
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Arach Knight,

You are on fire! Keep it up.

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Old 11-18-2012, 11:44 PM   #234
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I can deal with ethnic/racial changes as long as they get a great fit of an actor to fill the role, and people fitting and convincing as his/her family, right build, right manner of speech

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Old 11-19-2012, 03:31 AM   #235
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does race matter? from what i have seen and read, the real truth is it only matters if they change from an ethnic character to a white character. if they change from a white character to another race then people try to argue it doesn't matter. sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. rather than changing a character, how about creating new characters who aren't white.

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Old 11-19-2012, 08:48 AM   #236
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I think it's subjective depending on the character. For instance I cannot imagine an African American Bruce Wayne. To me it just would not feel like Batman.

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Old 11-19-2012, 09:30 AM   #237
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Default Re: Does Race Really Matter?

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I am not stating that Hardy gave a poor performance in the role. I am saying that Hardy's casting allows for the erasure of ethnic identity. To add insult to injury, not only were Bane's Hispanic roots wiped away, but the film portrays Bane as being some sort of Arabian, just as R'as Al Ghul was. Despite the clear portrayal of Bane as being from the Middle East, he is still played by a White British male. That's like a Wonder Woman movie where Wonder Woman is rewritten as a Chinese woman, but a White actress is still cast in the role.
Liam Neeson was perfect for Ra's.

- Arabs are "white people".
- Ra's isn't even supposed to specifically look like an Arab since he wasn't created to be tied towards a certain ethnicity. He's even supposed to look a little bit East Asian.
- Liam Neeson might be a little bit too pale but it's not like Ra's Al Ghul has looked significantly darker than, for example, Batman in many stories.
- With his beaky nose Neeson doesn't even look that un-Arabic He could be an Arab in the Nolan movies.

Liam Neeson is probably the best fit I can think of. Seriously. They could have added some more "ethnic" stuff like a tan (but hey, he lives in the snow without sun) or exotic clothing. Well, some people might have called THAT racist, too.


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And for the record, nothing about Hardy's mask invokes images of the luchador. He looks more like Darth Vader than a professional wrestler. He wears military pants and boots with a rather bizzare armored vest. He is effectively Bane-In-Name-Only. His origin, ethnicity and characterization bear little to no semblance to the character upon which he is based. Also, asking if the Luchador element is an aspect of culture that "...Hispanics want spotlighted" is a question aimed at derailment. It is fair to assume that ethnic erasure is not preferable to "highlighting" a cultural identifier that you are implying is some how negative despite being prominent and respected in various Hispanic cultures.
Well, Bane in the comics IS half-English. And blond.

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In general I'd say cast the character like they are written. Comics don't allow that much since we are actually shown how these guys are supposed to look like. In books it's often different.

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Old 11-19-2012, 12:09 PM   #238
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Well, Bane in the comics IS half-English. And blond.
In his first appearance he looks just as caucasian as anyone else (who is caucasian) in the comic, his hair are black or brown thought.

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Old 11-19-2012, 04:18 PM   #239
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In his first appearance he looks just as caucasian as anyone else (who is caucasian) in the comic, his hair are black or brown thought.
Funny, somehow I remembered his hair to be more yellow-ish.

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Old 11-20-2012, 04:15 PM   #240
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I think it's subjective depending on the character. For instance I cannot imagine an African American Bruce Wayne. To me it just would not feel like Batman.
It wouldn't just "not feel right," it just plain wouldn't work. A key part of Wayne's backstory is the Wayne family: the Princes of Gotham, going back many generations. You kind of blow credibility out of the water if you try to have an the Wayne's be African American super rich in 1850s pseudo-New York/Chicago.

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Old 11-20-2012, 04:56 PM   #241
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It wouldn't just "not feel right," it just plain wouldn't work. A key part of Wayne's backstory is the Wayne family: the Princes of Gotham, going back many generations. You kind of blow credibility out of the water if you try to have an the Wayne's be African American super rich in 1850s pseudo-New York/Chicago.
I was keeping diatance from this thread out of the wisdom to leave people to their thoughts once you have introduced the truth. However, I can not remain idle while untruths are spread. People allow ignorance to fall from their mouths as water from a tipped glass.

Are you aware of Black Wall Street? It was located in Greenwood, Tulsa, Oklahoma until a racist mob of Whites fire bombed it via airplane and riots. Greenwood was home to dozens of successful Black owned business and several Black multimillionaires.

Madam C.J. Walker was the first Black millionaire. She operated a successful haircare business in the early 20th century and has a legacy in place to this day as a pioneer in African American haircare.

The idea that a Black Bruce Wayne could not work because it "wouldn't feel right" already speaks well of the unspoken prejudices secreted in your heart, but the audacity to claim that it would not be plausible for Bruce Wayne to be Black because "credibility would be blown" if there were a rich Black man in the late 19th century is preposterous and highly ignorant.

Black Americans have been entrepreneurs, inventors and artists for some time, contributing both to wealth in the Black community and to the development of the American cultural landscape. There have been wealthy Blacks long before Whites ceased excluding Blacks from major league sports and long before there was rap music. Please seek out knowledge and empower yourself with an understanding of the world beyond your own immediate culture, history and experience.

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Old 11-21-2012, 06:51 PM   #242
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You know it's strange actually.

I took offense to Christopher Nolan's absolutely blatant disregard for accuracy in regards to Ra's al Ghul, Bane, and Talia. However, I think, from a practical standpoint, if he'd done the reverse for Bruce Wayne, it would be a little bit of a disservice for people of color. Ra's, Bane, and Talia needed to be who they are in the books because, as Im sure folks have noticed, characters like that are, and have always been, scarce in comics. Now, because of the movies, people don't and won't know that these brilliant characters are being portrayed in a way that, in my opinion, completely goes against the very reason they were created - diversifying an overly white world that beforehand was not being fair to it's real world audience. If you change Bruce Wayne, however, it makes it that much harder to buy into because historically there just havent been many Multi-Billionaires who are people of color. I think to change a Bruce Wayne, who comes from a wealthy family, dating back to who knows when, kind of undercuts the reality that these characters are based on.

Now, there are plenty of other heroes who are far more out of the realm of possibility that could see a change and have it be more than justifiable. Mainly a Captain America. The way black soldiers were treated during WWII w
ould suggest that if the military was going to do a top secret experiment that has any legit shot at falling apart at the cost of human life, you would think it would be a black soldier.

But it really does come down to people's comfortability level. And I have to say, I've seen more fervent protest over Jamie Foxx being cast as Electro than I ever did for the casting choices for the characters I mentioned earlier. I mean for all we know, the Joker could be Puerto Rican. History suggests to me that that wouldn't go over so well with the majority.

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Old 11-21-2012, 06:53 PM   #243
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It wouldn't just "not feel right," it just plain wouldn't work. A key part of Wayne's backstory is the Wayne family: the Princes of Gotham, going back many generations. You kind of blow credibility out of the water if you try to have an the Wayne's be African American super rich in 1850s pseudo-New York/Chicago.
You literally beat me to it by TWO posts

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Old 11-24-2012, 09:48 AM   #244
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I was keeping diatance from this thread out of the wisdom to leave people to their thoughts once you have introduced the truth. However, I can not remain idle while untruths are spread. People allow ignorance to fall from their mouths as water from a tipped glass.

Are you aware of Black Wall Street? It was located in Greenwood, Tulsa, Oklahoma until a racist mob of Whites fire bombed it via airplane and riots. Greenwood was home to dozens of successful Black owned business and several Black multimillionaires.

Madam C.J. Walker was the first Black millionaire. She operated a successful haircare business in the early 20th century and has a legacy in place to this day as a pioneer in African American haircare.

The idea that a Black Bruce Wayne could not work because it "wouldn't feel right" already speaks well of the unspoken prejudices secreted in your heart, but the audacity to claim that it would not be plausible for Bruce Wayne to be Black because "credibility would be blown" if there were a rich Black man in the late 19th century is preposterous and highly ignorant.

Black Americans have been entrepreneurs, inventors and artists for some time, contributing both to wealth in the Black community and to the development of the American cultural landscape. There have been wealthy Blacks long before Whites ceased excluding Blacks from major league sports and long before there was rap music. Please seek out knowledge and empower yourself with an understanding of the world beyond your own immediate culture, history and experience.
You apparently missed the larger point of my post: the Waynes weren't merely rich, they were *respected by high society as the cream of the crop.* Not a small segment of high society, not black high society, high society in general. They *were* the high society.

Could you be rich as a black American in the pre-modern day? Sure. But there is no way you could achieve the kind of social status the Wayne family had.

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Old 11-24-2012, 03:08 PM   #245
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Default Re: Does Race Really Matter?

I think that this subject just goes for character that aren't the Big guys. No Black Superman, Batman, or Spider-man. These characters were just born that way. Race doesn't really matter, but almost no one will accept a permanent race change. If a writer came out and did his/her's different view of Batman as a different race and personality, I wouldn't mind.

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Old 11-30-2012, 08:45 PM   #246
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Well a permanent race change is hard to do for some of these guys without a full on reboot. You can't really make Superman black(though DC has been playing with this idea) while still remaining in the continuity where he's white. Usually they bring in a new character to replace the old and that's not always successful. I think though in those cases, you got writers who want to write the character they grew up with so you get someone like Hal Jordan and Barry Allen back.

But in terms of something like a movie or tv series. I think you have more room.

You shouldn't try to make a minority white(unless you have an excuse). I excuse Ra's because your supposed to think he's Ken and not Liam. It's actually a great guise because you expect this guy to not be white.

Race does factor into some characters. If you make Superman black then you really have to think hard about his origins. What is it like being a black farmer in Kansas. Can he even really be from Kansas. Of course why am I assuming Ma and Pa Kent need to be black as well. White parents with an adopted black child aint uncommon. Though out goes anything like him being remotely related to them. What about his school? How does he take to Lois Lane. Superman has never had a non white girlfriend. Being a minority in the US at least isn't just as simple as being like everyone else.

Though with the timeline sliding I think it's becoming less relevant. The Flashes could be black. Maybe Barry is black and Wally is asian.

Aquaman and Wonder Woman I feel should be a tad bit more ethnic.

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Old 11-30-2012, 09:11 PM   #247
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So in essence race does matter. When we feel something is being taken away.

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Who the **** makes a movie and while planning it is like, "you know what this needs...is some Greg Kinnear."
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:27 PM   #248
cronosred
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Default Re: Does Race Really Matter?

If race doesn't matter then there is no need to change it.

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Old 12-01-2012, 01:32 AM   #249
Human Torch
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Default Re: Does Race Really Matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cronosred View Post
If race doesn't matter then there is no need to change it.

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Old 12-01-2012, 04:33 AM   #250
Franny
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Default Re: Does Race Really Matter?

This thread is just pointless and silly in my opinion.

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