"Black Knights" A Focus On Marvel's Mutants Of Colour ***************************** An Essay By: Caliph a.k.a. "Lightning Strikez!" August 29th, 2005 As we get press forward into the 21st Century, it is interesting to note the many changes that are happening in Hollywood. Break-throughs are slowly, but surely being accomplished. Opportunities are being awarded that 20 years ago were considered taboo. And with A-listers like Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx and Halle Berry finally getting recognition with prestigous awards perhaps greater things are to come. Considering that the hottest cinematic genre at the moment is the comic book film industry, it could be only a matter of time before Hollywood turns its attention to black comic characters. To say that Black audiences are not major comic readers would be sheer naivety, and yet, several of Marvel's black characters appeal to audiences comprised of all colors and backgrounds. Is A Storm Really Coming? For example, consider The Weather Goddess AKA Storm. She is arguably Marvel's most iconic and well-loved black heroine. Yet, according to the general consensus, the character has not been given the same kind of focus and development as her counterparts. Many feel that a lack of respect has been shown towards Marvel's premier black heroine: from bad wigs, bad lines, bad directing...and perhaps even miscasting, the Halle Berry/Storm fiasco is the only X-Men related hot-button that continues to garner controversial attention from critics and fanboys alike. In both X-Men films, the vast majority of the character development was chopped and left on the cutting room floor--even a reported African origin scene was dropped. Aware of what Storm means to people worldwide, Halle Berry (the actress who plays the role) has fought for improvements, but she has consistently been slammed with criticism for speaking out. Does such poor treatment bode well for future cinematic treatment of other mutants of colour? It's not like we have a lot to pick from you know. Is this how it's going to be? Already, there have been rumblings about possible film developments, but currently they remain in development hell while millions of dollars are spent on other B and C-list comic characters (i.e. Elektra and Swamp Thing). What Does The Future Hold? Storm. Cecilia Reyes. Luke Cage. Bishop. Black Panther. All are mutated and/or specially powered heroes that offer compelling stories--each of which could easily sustain a strong film and audience. Will Hollywood take a step backward by ignoring these rich stories in favor of characters that garner little interest? A glimmer of hope was shown with the Blade series, but considering its subject matter and rating, only limited audiences could benefit from that. Could something more mainstream be created? Do you believe that they may be afraid to "go there" with developing a true, full blown urban superhero story? In this thread, let us discuss what the future may hold for Marvel's mutants of color. Some Topics For Discussion *The rumored Storm movie Spin-off: Marvel's answer to a DC Wonder Woman film? *What realistic obstacles lie in the way of these productions? *The rumored X3 relationship between Storm & Wolverine: Opening doors or closing them? *Do you believe that Halle Berry and Wesley Snipes are unfairly singled out by fanboys for their complaints for better treatment by Hollywood? *Are current black actors/superheroes overshadowed by their co-stars? *What do you think the future holds for these characters in comics, video games, toys, film and other franchises? ***************************** A NOTE TO MY FELLOW HYPESTERS: This is meant to be a sophisticated, cerebral discussion--a place where people of like mind can discuss these kinds of issues freely. Keep in mind that this thread is not exclusive per se, and that all Hypesters have a right to speak on these matters.