WHAT'S NEXT AFTER BLADE BROKE BARRIERS?..........AFFIRMATIVE (SUPERHERO) ACTION!!
This article is not about race or creed, it's about superheroes that need the same treatment as any other being made into a movie. It’s been almost eight years since Blade: Trinity hit theaters, and Wesley Snipes is famously indisposed at the moment.
Marvel Studios first flipped the race card in 2003’s Daredevil, unfortunately under FOX Studios. Casting actor Michael Clarke Duncan as the crime-lord nemesis, the Kingpin. (Duncan’s Black; in the comic Kingpin’s white.) So will Tinseltown highlight comics’ darker spectrum anytime soon?
Two years later, sexpot Kerry Washington portrayed blind sculptress Alicia Masters, girlfriend of the ever-loving’ blue-eyed Thing, in Fantastic Four, unfortunately under FOX Studios.
FANTASTIC FOUR - $154,696,080 Worldwide
FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER - $131,921,738 Worldwide
DAREDEVIL - $102,543,518 Worldwide
Then came Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury in Iron Man / Thor / Captain America and upcoming Avengers 2012.Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk in 2008, Iron Man 2 in 2010, and Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011. An additional three planned films are in various stages of production as of October 2011: The Avengers is in post-production and Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 are in development.
IRON MAN - $585,174,222 Worldwide
THE INCREDIBLE HULK - $263,427,551 Worldwide
IRON MAN 2 - $622,056,974 Worldwide
THOR - $448,512,824 Worldwide
CAPTAIN AMERICA - $365,960,451 Worldwide
But the final straw for comic-book fan boys has been Black British actor Idris Elba playing the Norse god Heimdall in Thor. This time around, purists may have had a right to be uptight. What was the purpose of Thor creators tinting the Norse mythology of Scandinavia with Black Vikings?
Hollywood pigmenting is understandable given the historically lily-white world of comics, but things have changed substantially since the mid 60’s. Marvel and DC Comics were both as Caucasian as the cast of Mad Men until the African chief T’Challa - a.k.a. the Black Panther debuted in the summer of ’66. “In this business, they’re always trying to think of something new to come up with,” says Marvel emeritus Stan Lee, “and it occurred to me that there weren’t any Black heroes. I thought that would be new and it would be fun to do, so we did it.”
The Falcon succeeded the Black Panther in ’69 as comics’ next African-American superhero. Marvel also introduced both Luke Cage and the X-Men’s Storm before DC Comics finally birthed Black Lightning to the world in 1977. A multitude of browner superheroes have been saving the world ever since: Cyborg , Green Lantern, Spawn, Cloak, Vixen, Firestorm, War Machine, Deathlok…on and on.
Marvel has stated the Black Panther and Luke Cage are the front runners for soon to be made movies that are long overdue. Marvel Studios has been very successful as of late, they should not be worried and take that chance on a superhero of color.
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