EDITORIAL: The Human Torch Fantastic Four Controversy

EDITORIAL: The Human Torch Fantastic Four Controversy

Well I believe everyone knows what this is about, the time has come for me to say my real thoughts on the Human Torch stuff that's been happening.

I know I am probably going to get lots of heat regarding this article, but please just read on for what I have to say before you comment or just go ahead and comment telling me how wrong I am over this. Also in advance this is not in my usual style of writing.

Yes I know many changes regarding race has been made through comic book films, and many that have been accepted over time. Although I will have to say there is a reason being for most of them and why sometimes it makes sense. I will also have to speak out on why racism shouldn't always be regarded in most of these matters.

The 2003 film Daredevil where we were introduced to an "African-American" version of The Kingpin played by Michael Clarke Duncan. The Kingpin did have a role before in the TV movie The Trial of The Incredible of Hulk but that was long ago enough not many people noticed. Now in the 2003 version of Daredevil it's the first time Kingpin has ever been portrayed in an actual feature film. Yes the fans may know and recognize the Kingpin's appearance regarding the comic books but most of the general audience who would go see the movie would not. 2013 Man of Steel witnessed a change where Perry White was being played by Laurence Fishburne. Yes the fans may have truly recognized the change but to most of the general audience no. Perry White has served a minor role within the Superman films as such not directly as a main character. Idris Elba as Heimdall in Thor. The first appearance of Heimdall in a Marvel film. Yes yet again the fans recognize the change. Although this is Heimdall's first appearance in a Marvel film medium meaning the rest of the general audience hasn't had a chance to be introduced to the character.

This is where I am talking about The Human Torch/Johnny Storm now. He has already been introduced in two feature films with the last movie recently in 2007 portrayed by Chris Evans. He is already a recognizable main character and lead. Not only that but in cartoons and the upcoming video game Lego Marvel Super Heroes for example. The question is, why suddenly change the appearance of a main character that is already recognizable to the main general audience. He is about a common name as Spider-Man can be. Which leads me to another point which is about the film The Amazing Spider-Man. With the Spider-Man reboot Sony had the opportunity to change Spider-Man's appearance as he was recently as Miles Morales in the new comic book series. They didn't make the leap to change for the film. Why, because the image of Peter Parker is still seen as Spider-Man through many people. I think everyone can definitely agree on that.

Maybe an "African-American" Human Torch would work in the future of a film medium and I don't believe now is the time. This has nothing to do that involves race as much as how the general audience already sees and knows the character now. In the end this is going to end up confusing a lot of people. Although I do know Michael B. Jordon is a great actor. I will say also regarding all the casting rumors/shortlist I have read I am not a fan of any of them. What I want the Fantastic Four to be is the older and wiser team. The seasoned superheroes that have faced battle and grief. I am not really with the idea of making a team like Fantastic Four younger. I don't know much about the director because I haven't seen Chronicles yet but from what I have heard it was good. There's always room for a director like Josh Trank to majorly improve directorial skills with going into a franchise as big as this can be. My next worry is Fox Studios which everyone seems to be forgetting they have a very thin record of getting things right regarding Marvel Comics properties so I won't get my hopes up yet for that but I'll still be on the lookout for this.

So thank you for reading and as always leave some kind of comment below.
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Member Since 1/28/2013
Filed Under "Fantastic Four" 10/19/2013
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Lhornbk - 10/19/2013, 7:50 PM
I actually completely agree with you.
PsychoManiacJacky - 10/19/2013, 8:03 PM

hench - 10/19/2013, 8:09 PM
Here's an idea, how about black actors play black comic book characters...
McNyagano - 10/19/2013, 8:12 PM

Just joking. I get where you're coming from but I think we should give Michael B Jordan a chance. The guy is a great actor. In Chronicle he basically played Johnny Storm with telekinesis. He was superb in Fruitvale station and I wouldnt be surprised if he didn't get an Oscar nomination. Just wait and see how everything plays out.
Zordan - 10/19/2013, 8:12 PM
who the hell cares
ManThing - 10/19/2013, 8:15 PM
To hell with this movie.

Invictor - 10/19/2013, 8:19 PM

Yep, you stick to your fan-casts while I write editorials that people actually read.
wyllembates - 10/19/2013, 8:22 PM
one more time do we Really want to see a black guy on fire can you smell the jokes
655321 - 10/19/2013, 8:22 PM
this is one of those things I keep saying to my friends. Im not upset or mad that they are making him black. I would feel these same if they make him a chinese guy or a spanish guy. I am a human torch fan and the guy I love to see in the cartoons and comics is the blonde hair blue eye guy. I remember seeing girls bitch when they heard Robert Patterson was gonna be edward in twilight. It had noting to do other than when they read those books, Robert is not what they had in mind as edward. And then the movies came out and Robert made the girls go insane. So when I read all these fan 4 books, see the cartoons, play the video games and seen the 3 movies (including the cheesy one)... I just dont see Johnny being black. Sam Jackson as Nick Fusy, I didn't even blink an eye. It was cool. Even the new Electro being played by Fox. I havent seen anything but pics and yet, I feel perfectly fine with him in the role. But I dont see this human touch thing. And I too feel the same about this young kid fan four. Do they go to space camp to get their powers? Its all just change to change for 0 reason other then to do so. So when Superman becomes black in a film or they make Spawn now a white guy....dont bitch you racist. Its dumb. Its not rasest to want to see someone take the 50 years of a hero and be able o give him/her a good two hour movie without f0ing the hell outta those 50 years.
REPOMAN - 10/19/2013, 8:26 PM

This is not a controversy. It's just stupid fans who have no influence.

Invictor - 10/19/2013, 8:26 PM

And you can assemble your "Travengers" and report what I said to.
thunderforce - 10/19/2013, 8:29 PM
It would work fine as long as the human torch and sue weren't related .
REPOMAN - 10/19/2013, 8:30 PM

No; people will not be confused, the same way they weren't confused by Andrew Garfield replacing Toby Maguire as Spider-Man. No one cares about the older films.

mittej - 10/19/2013, 8:31 PM
If Johnny is going to be black what about Sue?Are they going to change the whole family?
wyllembates - 10/19/2013, 8:31 PM
So wat you re saying lets mess up years of a storyline so a races is happy this is not a black or white issue its a storyline issue and if people get offended that it will not work deal with it
norseman79 - 10/19/2013, 8:31 PM
Follow the [frick]ing comics. It's that simple.

Don't make white characters black and don't make [frick]ing black characters white.
J619SD - 10/19/2013, 8:31 PM
I completely disagree with people/general audience not knowing Perry White was originally white. But just think it doesn't matter because he is a supporting character. I know The F4 are from New York but I just always got the Blonde Haired Blu Eyed All American Surfer/skater vibe from Johnny. MBJ, just doesn't give that same vibe to me. They are changing it, ONLY because they want some racial diversity. And I don't agree with changing the race of any character just for political correctness.
REPOMAN - 10/19/2013, 8:35 PM

Race is not a defining characteristic of the character so it doesn't matter what colour his skin is. It's not the same as a white man playing Black Panther.

wyllembates - 10/19/2013, 8:37 PM
@Badger BTW Andrew Garfield replacing Toby was what we call a big !@#$% mistake same as norton not being Hulk
bythepowercosmic - 10/19/2013, 8:37 PM
How'd you feel about Jessica Alba being cast as Sue Storm then?

It's because black characters like Luke Cage, Blade, and Black Panther are few and far between. Can you honestly see someone like Night Thrasher or Brother Voodoo getting their own movies? Characters like Luke Cage & Black Panther - their race is directly tied to their characters. Changing their race would change the characters completely.

I don't know why everyone feels so threatened when a POC nabs a lead role, yet doesn't bat an eye when someone like Tom Hardy gets cast as character who's always been depicted as a Latino, or Liam Neeson playing an Arabic character, or many other cases of whitewashing in Hollywood.

Finally seeing a superheroic POC on film I can relate to is awesome. Having to hear everyone cry out in outrage (despite their being TWO previous films with a Caucasian Human Torch) but isn't it.
wyllembates - 10/19/2013, 8:41 PM
@ bythepowercosmic

Like the fact that you pointed out those HUGE mistakes as well keep to the comic and if you need more types of races in comics create new characters
wyllembates - 10/19/2013, 8:46 PM
BTW im Black and I have a problem with him playing the role for all of you who are pondering if this a black white issue, Hate when the characters are messed with
Darth258 - 10/19/2013, 8:48 PM
No news about a carbon fiber Thing instead of the orange rock one yet?
sameoldthing - 10/19/2013, 8:53 PM
Johnny & Sue Storm should remain Caucasian.
Ben Grimm would work well as an African American character.
Ben is a street tough dude who went onto become a top athlete & ace pilot/astronaut.

If you must have a minority in the movie,that would make more sense.
Eventually he becomes a giant orange "thing"..so skin color would not matter.
Get the big black guy from Underworld or Keith David to do a CG Thing voice over..Perfect!

wyllembates - 10/19/2013, 8:55 PM
Really @sameoldthing


Humperdink - 10/19/2013, 9:07 PM


Here's an idea, how about black actors play black comic book characters...

You know what?

I hesitate to join into this debate because I know I'll be reading comments that are selfishly ignorant (intentional or otherwise) to the fact that there are so few non-White superheros in mainstream comics that are popular enough to warrant a movie (or even a movie appearance) and the people saying 'that's too bad' are just comfortable with the fact that 98% of the Superheros we will see onscreen will inevitably be White.

It's easy to tell everyone else to 'get over it' when the odds are so heavily and racially stacked in one groups favor that they will...once again...be the only race on screen portrayed saving the entire world.

I know it's gleefully self-indulgent to always want to see yourself as the hero, but how about thinking outside of ones racially insular world, and letting a non-White actor play ONE SINGLE CHARACTER in a team of superheroes that will be 75% White?

75% of seeing 'you' isn't good enough.

If comic book companies create a non-White superhero (even in an alternate reality from the main one) people come out in force to complain about a PC agenda.

'A Black Spider-man?! No way, that's too much!'

If comic book companies hire a Black actor to play one of four superheros in a %75 White group people come out in force to complain about a PC agenda.

'A Black actor?! No way, that's too much!'

Marvel has only around 10 Black Superheroes that are popular enough to be recognized solo but don't seem to be getting a movie deal anytime soon, there's an even smaller number of popular Hispanic/Asian/Arabic/Non-White characters.

The rest of the popular characters are ALL White.

That said, I applaud him as Johnny Storm and all I can say to those upset that the team isn't 100% White is that neither is the world we live in! It's not the 50's and 60's anymore either.

That means it's not always going to be about and look like you anymore.

Sonicsnout - 10/19/2013, 9:09 PM


Because Movie Bob says it better than I ever could.
TheWolverine08 - 10/19/2013, 9:10 PM
Thank you Omega.
SuperCat - 10/19/2013, 9:11 PM
SuperCat - 10/19/2013, 9:12 PM
dkhager - 10/19/2013, 9:15 PM
i think human torch should be white..blonde hair blue eyes kinda thing..and have sue the same..cause theyre brother and sis..but heck maybe he'll rock as torch and the movie will be great..so im ok with it if it works out great..if not..then ill be upset
wyllembates - 10/19/2013, 9:18 PM
Come on Really both of you 0megaDaGod & Humperdink know why this is happening
all your info and data percentages don't mean anything i want a Korean Thor A spanish Superman a Jewish spiderman i also want to be able to stop a cab but stuff is stuff MAKE NEW CHARACTERS have hollywood come up with a good idea or a good movie that did not suck and i did not pay for then thought DAMMMMM i should have just Downloaded that Hence FREAKING SPAWN great movie why was he not white or asian or Blue straight up say what is really on your mine same for you all freedom of wait we live in AMERICA
wyllembates - 10/19/2013, 9:20 PM
Hope you can swim
Dusk - 10/19/2013, 9:20 PM
It's pretty sad that studios feel that they must cast a black actor in a white character's role just so they can be perceived as "politically correct". But God forbid that a white actor be cast in a black character's role, because that would be RACIST! Political correctness and these double standards is what's rotting this country to the core. Go ahead, call me a racist. I just call it like I see it. You don't like it? Go [frick] yourself.
NovaCorpsFan - 10/19/2013, 9:23 PM
Why are people taking this seriously? ... Jacky wrote this!
Humperdink - 10/19/2013, 9:23 PM
Comment made in 2013 about now not being the time for a Black actor to play Johnny Storm in a movie.

'Maybe an "African-American" Human Torch would work in the future of a film medium and I don't believe now is the time.'

Comment made in 1966 about now not being the time for a Black man to be a superhero on a comic book team.

When Jim Shooter created Ferro Lad he intended him to be black, but DC editor Mort Weisinger said no because of the fear that "we'll lose our distribution in the South" because the world wasn't ready and it wasn't the time.

Shooter killed the character out of spite.

Boy the more things change...the more they kind of sound EXACTLY the same.

Sorry Black poeple, you may hear this excuse INDEFINITELY.
DSAC294 - 10/19/2013, 9:27 PM
Everyone is missing the real issue here...studios pull gimmicks like this out of their @$$ when they know the screenplay sucks!!! The movie is going to suck and fail regardless of who plays johnny storm
Enphlieuwince - 10/19/2013, 9:28 PM
@wyllembates - 10/19/2013, 8:46 PM

"BTW im Black and I have a problem with him playing the role..."

If your son had just got this role would you tell him you had a problem with it?
Humperdink - 10/19/2013, 9:28 PM
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