Anyone can be a Hero
Hey guys, it’s me here with another sort of coherent thought piece. This week, I want to bring to your attention a recent report from JoBlo. According to sources that the popular site has with Warner Brothers, the company is having serious discussion (Though nothing is set in stone.) about making one of the major characters in their upcoming superhero film universe gay.
Now, as I’m sure you can imagine, idiotic fans weighed in with predictable replies about forced diversification and unnecessary changes to decades old characters in spite of the fact that the report clearly said nothing was set in stone and that no major characters were going to be altered.
I have news for them and everyone else who chafes at the idea of an LGBTQ superhero or any other heroic character being a member of a visible minority or one that has been harassed prior. A superhero or supervillain for that matter can be anyone and can possess any character trait.
There is not a litmus test for helping others and being an inspiring symbol. A Muslim is just as worthy to be written into the Batman mythos as a Catholic and a Conservative person should be more than welcome in the world inhabited by Peter Parker and Miles Morales in Marvel’s copy.
Despite the fears of network and studio executives about what Middle America and the rest of the world would think, I don’t believe that these characters would hurt their bottom lines. In the pages that are published every month, minority characters have often shined above their peers.
John Constantine’s bisexuality was removed for his television series on NBC, but in Hellblazer, the character was routinely written as being interested in women and men. In my own view, I found it added to his depth. It did not make him a weak individual. If anything, he was stronger for it. I would rather watch a character who dabbles in many facets of life than one who doesn’t.
On the Marvel side of things, Miles Morales serves as a tremendous and positive role model for kids of color. Initially introduced during the beginning of the Obama administration, I at first dismissed the character as a one note gimmick. I couldn’t have been more wrong. If anything, he’s just as good a Spiderman as Peter Parker. Perhaps even a better one. Heresy I know.
Bottom line is this. As I’ve said previously, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with characters appearing on film having their race changed as long as there’s nothing inherently white or black about that character to begin with. Swapping color is fine and making minority figures into role models is just as welcome. To be a Super Hero, you need nothing more than a desire to occasionally help people and a willingness to confront bad individuals on occasion. Batman has shown you don’t need powers, Wolverine has shown you don’t need to be non-violent and Constantine has shown that no matter who you go home with at the end of the day, you can always be that person who will step into the darkness to help those stuck there waiting for it.