Race changes that wouldn't bother you

Discussion in 'Marvel Films' started by Steve Holt, May 23, 2013.

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  1. Iron_Stark

    Iron_Stark That's a one-off

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    I'm sorry, I keep seeing Luke Cage's name pop up on character's who's race shouldn't change, but how is his race specific to his character? How would his back story be altered if he were white or Hispanic?

    There aren't any people other than black living in Harlem?
     
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  2. weezerspider

    weezerspider Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. You can't just say "Well Luke Cage is well-known as a prominent black hero". I say to that "Spiderman is well-known as a prominent white dude".


    Personally, I think all races should stay how they are in the books as much as possible. I find it kind of lazy of Marvel to change a well known character's race to appeal to minority readers. JUST MAKE SOME NEW COOL MINORITY CHARACTERS!
     
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  3. Human Torch

    Human Torch Well-Known Member

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    I think the thing is,Marvel in particular already has a lot of black heroes/characters in their roster-most of which have been in films or soon will be.The problem only seems to come back to FF where there's no real black character in that series.So it seems they're determined to somehow alter any character in the series to cast a black actor.

    The same thing is the case with Perry White in Superman.There's no real memorable black character in Supes history,so they have to resort to race changing to make a prominent role for a black character. That's the race changing that is the most offensive to me.

    There's no race changing usually when a series has a prominent black character involved (Batman has Fox for example.)
     
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  4. Endeavor

    Endeavor Que bolá con el timbeque?

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    Yes, but I was paraphrasing his words to talk about that last point he made.
    How does your question contribute to the conversation?
     
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  5. Endeavor

    Endeavor Que bolá con el timbeque?

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    The only thing that is perhaps a 'racist caricature' about the comics Mandarin is his physical appearance from when he was first conceived.
    That appearance can be changed without changing his race.

    If we're talking about changing characters races to appeal to the modern audience and to level the playing field for actors and give those struggling minority actors a chance at getting good roles then I don't see how this particular example is not a bigger deal. Hero roles aren't the only coveted parts for actors. Villain roles can sometimes be more successful in launching someone's career to the next level. Look at what playing a serial killer did to Anthony Hopkins and Charlize Theron's careers.
    Why wasn't an asian actor given the opportunity of playing a great character with so much history? Because it's "racist"? It only would've been racist if Mandarin had been written as a joke of a character.
    Replace the part played by Pierce in IM3, exactly as it was written, with an Asian actor and then tell me that would've been racist.
     
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    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  6. Zarex

    Zarex Well-Known Member

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    White comic book heroes outnumber their black counterparts by an enormous degree. It is, in my opinion, profoundly stupid to change the race of the few who do exist.
     
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  7. weezerspider

    weezerspider Well-Known Member

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    Its profoundly stupid to the change the race of any character.
     
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  8. pr0xyt0xin

    pr0xyt0xin Shaper Savant

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    I agree with the above. I mean... "profoundly stupid" is a little harsh. I think Kingpin was fine, because Michael Clarke Duncan was probably the only great actor in Hollywood that matched Wilson Fisk's size requirements at the time.

    But I do agree. Heimdall and Sif should be born of the same parentage. [BLACKOUT]Khan should have been Indian.[/BLACKOUT] Black Panther should be African (and not African American).

    And a short list of other characters who due to their culture, upbringing, and/or time period should focus on aesthetic accuracy to be adapted properly:

    Magneto (can't be African)
    Captain America (can't be Japanese)
    Dr. Doom (can't be Australian)
    Thor (can't be Mexican)
    Black Panther (can't be Russian)

    Of course there are many more examples. But you get the picture.
     
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  9. Hypestyle

    Hypestyle Well-Known Member

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    hopefully more Marvel characters will become diverse, however it happens; especially in the comics.

    The Inhumans is a good choice-- they were created by Celestials, "Pre-Civilization", in the ancient world, so there's no reason why they should ALL have to be perfectly Western-European in looks.
     
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  10. Iron_Stark

    Iron_Stark That's a one-off

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    What's profoundly stupid is to change the race of a character just to diversify the cast. Especially characters who have been written and draw for decades a certain way. If people feel there aren't enough minorities in comics, go make some up.
     
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  11. Iron_Stark

    Iron_Stark That's a one-off

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    Double post
     
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    Last edited: May 25, 2013
  12. cherokeesam

    cherokeesam SHIELD Director Coulson

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    I agree that Killian didn't have to be white. They could've made him "Dr. Qi Lin" instead of Killian, made him a brilliant Chinese scientist and otherwise told Killian's story word for word, and making "Dr. Qi Lin" the actual Mandarin wouldn't have been racist, imho. But with Disney/Marvel walking on eggshells around their supposed Chinese benefactors, such a portrayal could've been seen as a lot more problematic to the Hollywood bigwigs.
     
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  13. MichaelChen

    MichaelChen Well-Known Member

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    Even in the comics Mandarin isn't racially Chinese. He's half british, half mongol.

    Realistically he'd look something like this: [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #38
  14. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt STEVE HOLT!

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    except less *****ey looking
     
    #39
  15. MessiahDecoy123

    MessiahDecoy123 Psychological Anarchist

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    I wouldn't mind an Asian or Latino:

    Ant Man
    Flash
    Blackbolt
    Green Lantern
    Deadpool

    and countless others.

    Latinos and Asians are terribly underrepresented in the comic book movie genre.
     
    #40
  16. MessiahDecoy123

    MessiahDecoy123 Psychological Anarchist

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    Changing a non-white character's race to white is bad because non-white characters are underrepresented.


    It's damn near impossible to create a popular character on the fly. It takes genius and a lot of luck for a character to become a cultural icon or even have any staying power.

    How many cultural icons have been invented from comics in the last ten years?
     
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  17. weezerspider

    weezerspider Well-Known Member

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    Regarding your first comment, if race IS a big deal, you can't change any races. If race ISN'T a big deal, than why worry about race to begin with? Its meaningless political correctness. Its asinine to say one character's race is more important than anothers'. Race either matters or it doesn't. You can't have both.

    Regarding your second comment, is anyone really trying? How often in the last ten years has Marvel or DC said 'Hey, we've got a new hero that we're releasing, check out __man issue 1!" If Marvel put the time and effort in creating a new character instead of killing off Peter Parker in the Ultimate Universe, maybe they would have had something. I'm sorry, but Spiderman IS Peter Parker. He's not a legacy character. And Peter Parker IS white. Just like Falcon IS black. Or everyone in Big Hero 6 IS Japanese.
     
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  18. Endeavor

    Endeavor Que bolá con el timbeque?

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    Most of us know Mandarin is half british, but physically he looks Asian.

    Momoa is Polynesian, he does not look Asian.
     
    #43
  19. metaphysician

    metaphysician Not a Side-Kick

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    [​IMG]
     
    #44
  20. DrCosmic

    DrCosmic Professor of Power

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    ^LOL!!!!

    People are trying, we've had Batwing, Blue Beetle and more from DC. Marvel is more content to keep their black heroes as group leads rather than solo heroes.

    On one hand, changing race is like changing the types of cars and buildings you see in the background. If you're updating a property to the modern era instead of the 60s, that includes removing the whitewash. On the other hand... adding diversity just makes things better overall in general. People who don't appreciate diversity or like things the way they were in the 60s tend to say anyone who feels differently is just doing it for PC reasons. The fact that your argument necessitates telepathy on people out in California shows the speciousness of the argument.

    Changing black/asian/latino characters to white doesn't add diversity, it actually takes away diversity from the comics universe, neither does it update the property. The only reason to do so is to 'punish' others for taking away our white character from us.... or to do the tired "ethnic supervillain played by white guy is really a lackey for the white business-type" twist we keep getting nowadays. Those are both pretty sad reasons to be against diversity. Do you value diversity? Or do you prefer it be somewhere else?
     
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  21. Spider - Man

    Spider - Man Well-Known Member

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    Maybe that's because no major black character can sustain their own series, much less a minor one.

    Nice scientific method, there. Merely changing cars and buildings does not necessarily equal an improvement. Updating a property is not always the best way to go. And 'updating' does not automatically call for every group of 100 people to include 70 white, 11 black, 13 Latino, 4 Asians and so on. That's just trying to impose your view of how the world should be.

    Exactly how does simply making a white character black make anything better? Does it increase sales? Does it decrease sales? Does it help black people 'stick it to the man'? I really want to know in what way you imagine that that one change makes anything better.

    The problem I have with your view is that you only want 'diversity' to mean black. If you really want diversity, as I've said in other threads, let's really be inclusive. I'd say that overweight people, as a ratio of society outnumber black people as a ratio of society so let's change a drastic number of traditionally lean heroes and make them obese. That should go a long way towards stopping alienating overweight people who want to feel included in the comics they read. And sexual orientation. We need to change that for a LOT of heroes to put it at status quo. And one out of every, what, 10 heroes needs to be physically damaged (missing leg/arm, being cognitively challenged, suffer from depression) - hey, this is a huge segment of society being excluded. My point is you want to try and belittle those who you view as less progressive than yourself because they want to keep white characters white while your preference is just as narrow-sighted. Let's make every group of characters a perfect cross section of society. Every group has to be 70% white, 13% Hispanic, 11% black, 4% Asian, 1% Native American, 1% other races. 35% of them have to be obese per the CDC. We have to make sure we get the blonde, brunette, redhead ratio right as well because, Lord knows, we wouldn't want anyone to feel underrepresented. So much more status quo to add to the mix but you get the point. Ah, diversity...the perfect formula for success in comics!

    Not for diversity's sake, not at all. As I and many others have said repeatedly, if anyone wants diversity, create more characters. Don't take the route of expecting that in the absence of being able to successfully create popular black characters that the companies should feel obligated to change their more popular white characters black.

    As I said, your argument might sound more righteous if 'diversity' to you wasn't merely about skin color.
     
    #46
  22. Endeavor

    Endeavor Que bolá con el timbeque?

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    Good arguments Spidey.
     
    #47
  23. DrCosmic

    DrCosmic Professor of Power

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    Seeing as how they have and do, there may be more to it than that. You sound uninformed on this subject, first you ask who's trying, then you say they don't sustain series. Are you sure you know what you're talking about here?

    I didn't say anything about improvement. Some things work better as period pieces, like Indiana Jones. But if modernizing is the route you choose to go, then on some level, you'd want to represent other races as parts of your story, assuming you are updating it to modern America.

    The same way that simply making a white piece of clothing black makes something better, the same way that making one of the members of the group 'edgy' or 'vegan' or anything different makes the thing better. It's art, more textures tell a richer story. Sometimes this increases sales, sometimes, not, but it always makes it a better story in the long run - unless the story is specifically about a certain set of textures or attributes.

    My first problem with your viewpoint is that it requires creating a viewpoint for someone else whom you don't know. This Dr. Cosmic character, if I didn't know him, I could review his posts in this thread where he refers to Asian characters as diversity, and see that what you're saying is just plain wrong. Not only that, I would not see any basis for you making this statement about Dr. Cosmic's perception of Diversity, other than the fact he was talking about black people like everyone else in the thread. I would also be able to read this post where he shares his philosophy of how diversity impacts art as inclusive of any and all differences. Even without going to other threads, or directly asking the guy, I would recognize the fallacy of ad hominem and begin to suspect that you don't actually have a point, since your argument rests on you positively knowing, without question or basis, what someone else is thinking.

    Now, it just so happens, that I actually *am* Dr. Cosmic, and so not only do I know what my sense of diversity is, but I can be quite sure that your entire problem with my viewpoint is entirely of your own design with no relation to reality whatsoever. And no matter how strongly you may personally believe it to be true, it is, in fact, baseless, as your lack of ability to back up that I "only want diversity to mean black" attests to.

    I suppose for someone who really believes they can read minds, this would seem to be me belittling those who disagree with me, but in reality, you cannot read minds, and your conclusion of my perception of diversity and this PC motivation of all those Hollywood types is fallacy, and that type of illogic has been and will continue to be belittled in every credible debate. The reason for this is simply that, if you examine it closely, it is not only not logic, but intellectually dishonest. I would be doing you and those reading a disservice if I did not highlight such illogic for what it is.

    That said, my second problem with what is actually your point is that it imagines some statement about representation percentage-wise. I don't think anyone's said that, neither do any of these films have 100 characters, so what are you talking about? What is 11% of a cast of six people? Further, it assumes that representation is an issue of population number. The reason no one has said that is because it's not about the population number. Representation, a separate issue from the diversity issue I'm speaking of, is more about how and how much a culture or people influence society than how may of them there are just around. Showing that all these different types of people are part of the fabric of a given fictional universe - based on a reality that all these people are part of the fabric of. To do otherwise is to base a film not on reality, but some bizzarro whites-only world, or on a section of reality that is not impacted meaningfully by non-white people. Very few such sections of reality exist, so the more epic the story, the more glaring this lack of representation becomes.

    Now, I'm not as familiar with the slippery slope fallacy that you seem to be using for these percentages, so I won't wring you over that one right now. What I will say is that stories about physically superior people would naturally exclude obese and handicapped, just as a painting of the ocean should naturally exclude the color yellow, or the story of Augustus Ceasar would naturally exclude other races. Diversity is a function of the story. This is a principle of storytelling that we all enjoy. It's what makes stories great, the differences, the tension, the subtext, the conflict. It's not based on race, it just applies to race like everything else.

    Take Iron Man for example, physically damaged with a prosthesis, and PTSD to boot. That angle brings diversity to the superhero stable, and not only is it critically praised, but the filmmakers got thank you letters from sufferers. Have we seen a gay superhero yet? No, but when we do... I hope people don't make a big muck about it like they have the very idea of black Johnny or they did with gay Colossus in the ultimate universe.

    See how much of your point relies on assuming other people's motivations?

    No filmmaker is obligated to make these changes, but if they choose to, as several filmmakers have before, and more will in the future, what's wrong with that? Why is that inferior to creating new heroes? What makes one route 'right' and one route 'wrong?' Why should the filmmakers feel obligated to not change the race while they're changing so many other things about the characters?

    I think I've addressed that well enough. So, no, Endeavor, these are not good arguments, by any means.
     
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    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  24. Spider - Man

    Spider - Man Well-Known Member

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    This is priceless. I was gonna ask you to show me where I ever said 'who's trying' but then I got to the end of your post. You actually think I'm Endeavor? I live in Durham, NC. He apparently lives in Florida! Man, talk about trying to be telepathic! I wish a mod could verify IP addresses just to show how foolish you are. I've never even seen a post by endeavor until today in this thread! Oddly enough however, I have a strong suspicion that you and metaphysician are one and the same.

    But to address what I did say - 'sustain' is subjective. Black panther could run 3 issues and you could say 'it sustained a 3-issue series.' Rather than argue semantics, just read Marvel Comics: The Untold Story for why the Panther series were cancelled. Just like Luke Cage it didn't bring in enough money each month. When I say sustain, I mean for hundreds and hundreds of issues like Spider-Man, Daredevil, FF, Avengers.

    And tell me one black Marvel (I don't read DC) superhero series being published besides Ultimate Spider-Man (which has hardly proven a track record itself).


    "adding diversity just makes things better": your words - I guess you can enlighten us all on the difference between 'improvement' and 'making things better'.

    Yes, those cool black wedding dresses are all the women can talk about! :whatever: You certainly think a lot of your opinion trying to throw it around like it's fact.

    You know, I actually want some clarification on this because I believe this points out just how twisted you opinion is: you are actually saying you believe as fact that if you have a white dress and dye it black - BAM! - it is better? You have a black dress beside a white dress - the black dress is better? Just because it's black? I think the bias is showing thru.

    Or how about this: Man, this series just isn't selling. I guess we can cancel it or...no! Let's make one of the characters vegan! Instant best-seller!


    So, you're saying I am wrong about your viewpoint? You think it would be a good idea to have a movie with a fat Reed Richards, a bilateral amputee Johnny, mentally handicapped Sue and a suicidally depressed Ben? Well, I mean as long as one of them is black and one is Asian, of course. Is that what you're saying? Because otherwise you're just being a hypocrite.

    Fine, race. That better? You have only mentioned diversity in the context of race. So again, you would be in favor of a film as I described above?

    Again, you're talking to the wrong person.

    Funny thing about art is it's all subjective. If you read back to one of my earlier posts, you'll see that I actually say that what this boils down to is a matter of opinion and what each person personally holds most important. Some think staying true to the comic is most important. Others like you think that changing the race and 'mixing it up' is more important. The problem is that, again, you think your preference is actually the 'truth' when the truth is that is delusional.

    Yeah a really hard Google search - 'breakdown of America by race'. Just one of the MANY sources of the 'slippery slope fallacy' you seem to have imagined I pulled out of a hat - http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0762156.html

    Wow. So obese or physically handicapped people are incapable of being 'superior'? Nice. Peel back another layer on this Dr. Cosmic person you speak of.

    You can have plenty of tension, differences, subtext and conflict without changing the race of an established character. The fact that Stan and Jack did all of that with a quartet of white people for years and years kinda implies it doesn't necessarily apply to race in fact.


    So one example of this demographic is sufficient to fill the quota for that excluded minority? So would one example of a black superhero satisfy you? One homosexual? I guess you really don't care about the numbers, do you?

    Again, I have nothing against diversity of any kind except when it takes established characters and changes them to realize some quota.

    My point lies on my opinion just like yours.

    And as I said before the choice is up to the filmmakers. The performance of the film will determine to many if the choices were good or bad. So let them do what they will and let the results speak for themselves.

    Again, if only you could see...
     
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    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  25. weezerspider

    weezerspider Well-Known Member

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    1. Spiderman 2099 is stupid. I've always hated it. So pointing to one stupid decision by Marvel to justify another one is...well stupid. It would be a nice comeback if I earlier had expressed my love for Spiderman 2099, but I didn't. Spiderman 2099 is just has stupid to me as the new Ultimate Spiderman and GASP! Spiderman 2099 is WHITE and I still don't like him!?!

    2. Regarding the bolded statement, you can't just claim something is better without giving any justifiable reasons why. Once again, turning an already established character's race does not make a character better. How can it?

    3. When the **** did I bring up California? Also, I find it completely asinine and narrow-minded that you claim I 'don't like diversity'. 'People don't like diversity' or 'people who like the way things were in the 60's' is the kind of narrow-minded name calling that causes this kind of discussion to be a hassle anyway. I know what that means. You're nicely calling me a racist. Good to know bro. I'm a racist. Thanks for pointing that out. Too bad the KKK wouldn't let me in because I'm Jewish. :whatever:

    4. If you were smart, which you apparently are not, you would know the reason I brought up changing black/hispanic characters to white was not because I want to do that, it was to make a point. The point was changing the race of any character is stupid and pointless. If race is part of what makes us then changing the race is changing the character. If race doesn't matter, than you shouldn't care one way or another. Its a catch 22. I want my characters to be how they originally intended to be. I'll fight just as hard to keep Black Panther black as I will Spiderman white.

    But yeah. Thanks for calling me a racist. You showed us how to have class in a simple discussion. When someone disagrees with you, just call them names!:whatever:

    Also, DC could easily sell Batwing, he's a pretty cool character, if they actually marketed the hell out of him and had him appear in other Batman comics and stuff. Again, the companies are lazy. I know creating a new popular character is hard work, but it can be done pretty easily if you actually do the hard work. Deadpool rose to fame when they started putting him in everything from Cable and Deadpool, to multiple titles ex. Marvel decided to market the hell out of him because he had sort of a following and now he's one of the most popular comic characters even outside of the comic community. He even has his own video game now. In the grand scheme of things, its easier to kill off a character so many people love like Peter Parker, and put a new face in an already established suit then to create a new unique one.
     
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    Last edited: May 28, 2013
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