FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

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FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:43 am

So I'm psyched... and I have witnessed some other people are not so psyched. This bums me out, so before I prattle on about all of that here is the Newsarama link that both confirms the cast (incase you hadn't heard) and aptly describes the 10 things that should (and better) show up in the new F4 Reboot.

Now, insert diatribe:


I can’t possibly understand why anyone would want to pick on Michael B. Jordan who just wants an opportunity to be one of his favorite superheroes of all time, Johnny Storm/The Human Torch of the Fantastic Four. It seems pretty surreal that so many people would be in an outcry over such a simple change as the complexion of a character’s skin color -- as if this is some how going to change the very fabric of his character and how he is in Marvel’s First Family. But me not understanding has not stopped these racially charged (intended or not) comments from being thrown around at Twitter and other social media outlets, in outrage over this recent casting decision. Some of the other criticisms are the lack of experience in the four members as a whole. This too is a complete and total phoney-bologna argument being, Kate Mara of “House of Cards” is completely capable of winning academy awards. Miles Teller was rather successful in the films “Rabbit Hole,” “21 and Over” and “Project X.” His upcoming role in “Divergent” (yet another young adult book series adaptation) is promising to rake in some numbers then you have Jaime Bell being cast as Ben Grimm/The Thing and if you know Bell’s name, I need not say more. If you don’t, Google him.

Point is, there’s actually a whole lot of experience in this cast that is really being disacknowledged here and the reason people are ignoring the talent and years of great film making under the belts of these four young actors is because of the color of Jordan’s skin. For me, the criticisms towards Jordan as Johnny overwhelm all other possible arguments against the cast that whether they are valid or not, they are immediately overshadowed by the fact that most likely the “fan” is uncomfortable with seeing an african-american version of the Human Torch flying around.

But why should they be uncomfortable? Johnny is one cool dude. He’s a slick, show-boating, hot-head (pun intended) who is notoriously the comedic relief. Like the other three, he is deeply committed to the family and the world-saving missions as a whole. He may charm the ladies and say he does it for the camera, but he truly wants to keep Earth safe and he wants to explore the scientific realms of reality with Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic just as mucha s the rest of them. What part of that explanation of his character is dependant on him being white? The answer is none. None of it means he has to be white.

Some fans want to sound like they’re okay with casting a black member of a predominantly white team by saying they think Bell’s casting of the Thing was a mistake and that it is Ben Grimm who should be the african-american character. I have two problems with this. One, this seems like a cheap way to not have the blackness (or should I say, non-whiteness) of the character thrown in your face the whole movie, being that within the first 30 minutes of the film Grimm should have his rocky exterior he’s known for. Two, are you saying that Johnny and Susan Storm can’t be siblings if they have different skin color?

Yes, incase you were unaware, that is a factor here. Johnny Storm is the brother, by blood not adoption according to continuity in the comics, of Susan Storm/The Invisible Woman. But how anyone can possibly think that you can’t have a character be raised in a multi-cultural family? This is a film adaptation, the very meaning of the word implies you have to adapt the story to modern audiences and why shouldn’t there be a family like that in Marvel’s history books? It is perfectly in character too! Susan and Richard, after having two of their own children, later adopt a cluster-fuck of kids and the story about these young sprouts running amock and causing mischief is one of Marvel’s go-to solutions for quick-and-easy kids stories! Between H.E.R.B.I.E. the nanny bot, Dragon Man, and dozens of others, the family is as unconventional and quintesentially mutli-cultural as it gets. Why shouldn’t the Storm family be the catalyst of that decision? It makes perfect sense my friends.

And any true believer will tell you that the spirit of the comic has never been about the same things as X-Men (which is civil rights and equality) nor has it ever been about growing up that awkward kid who suddenly has more responsibility than he has power (lookin’ at you web-head)! No; the story of the Fantastic Four is about four space-adventures (or sometimes alternate-reality adventurers, pick your canon) who were caught in a terrible accident that gave them each unique and strange abilities. But because of their dedication to one another and their love for one another, they chose to do the right thing with their powers and utilize them for the greater good and the exploration of scientific discovery. Anything you can imagine that would happen in speculative of science fiction can happen in their books, it’s the Doctor Who of Marvel comics. The Fantastic Four, when created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, was a testimony to how a team can work together and cooperate to solve a problem. The brains, the brawn, the beauty (and brains), and the jack-ass… They each play a role, a vital role, and if the movie gets that right, who the hell cares what color their skin is? Seriously, get over yourselves.

Note, a hetero-white-man, I feel it my place to align myself with the african american community and point out that this needs to happen, but it is difficult for me because I am not their voice, nor should I be. This community can speak for itself just fine. I am simply speaking my mind and I really feel there are not enough black role models in comics, both on screen and off. I often call the black characters in comics the bla-bla-bla's. Blade, Black Panther, and Black Lightning. Of course there's also Falcon, who is finally getting his dues in the upcoming Captain America: Winter Soldier, and there's even Bishop and Luke Cage. But only one, and that one is Blade, the vampire killer, has been given the screen time and push from Marvel that any white character has. It’s about time a black character who has the ability to be as popular and recognizable as Captain America, Thor, Wolverine, or Spider-Man is put on the screen and pushed with this same momentum. I hope other black bloggers see this and can identify with that sentiment and see the point I’m making. If not, that’s perfectly fine.

I will say a seriously under talked about dilemma with this casting is that an opportunity to have TWO people of color in this film, namely a female, african-american role model in Sue Storm, was missed here. And while I think that’s a shame beyond shame, it’s not the heart of the issue. I would rather throw my support behind the decision that is and leave a cool reminder for more female black characters in the future. Misty Knight perhaps?

Bman out. :thing :fantastic :susan :torch :doom
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby steyn » Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:37 am

I think the main boohoo that fans are going on about isn't the fact that he's black, it's the fact that they're changing the canon history of the characters that they grew up on. For example, ever noticed how much more people loved the more canon like movies based on comics, compared to the ones where the production companies are allowed to change the character histories to "be cool" and fit with a new target audience? Look at the Marvel Studio movies, sure they're well written, but they're cast to be the comic book characters, not just by personality, like Tony Stark / RDJ, but also by look, like Thor / Chris Hemsworth. However a good script helps a crapload.

Don't get me wrong, I think they can go wild on the lesser known / liked characters, which they then can twist to be more liked and loved, for example Nick Fury / Samuel L Jackson, who was so well received that Black Fury got placed into the comics universe as well.

However I do agree with you that Marvel really should be focusing on more african american / black (I'm allowed to use black, I'm from africa) superheros for their movies, like Black Panther. Side note, I got a feeling we will be seeing him in Avengers 3, seeing that the movie had a few scenes here in Johannesburg, and the only reason for the Avengers to come to south africa is to get to Wakanda for some vibranium. Also, Luke Cage will appear in his own series I heard.

But back to the topic at hand, what worries me the most is that... all the actors look like they're going to be college kids. Heck, Reed Richards looks like he's still in high school, and canonically speaking he should be the older father figure of the group.

That said, I'm still psyched like you, Bman, for this movie, and will be waiting in line to get my tickets to get a nice seat right in the middle of the theatre to get the full on experience of Fantastic Four, and I'll be watching it as a movie on its own, not to be compared to the comic it is based on. And with the way superhero movies seems to go as of late, I'm sure I'll be enjoying it from the first Marvel Productions page flipping, until the very last credit has rolled by. :D
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:48 am

for example Nick Fury / Samuel L Jackson, who was so well received that Black Fury got placed into the comics universe as well.


"Black Fury" came first. He was a design Bagley made based on Bendis' decision early on in the Ultimate Spider-man series. And Luke Cage is supposed to get his own netflix thing... along with Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, & Daredevil...

But yeah, I don't like that Black Panther couldn't get a movie but the talking raccoon and the giant tree that only says " I am Groot" got a movie... don't get me wrong I'm stoked for Guardians of the Galaxy but... come on.
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby steyn » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:49 am

Ha, didnt know that about black fury, cool. Did he intend for the character to look like Sam L Jackson, or was that just pure coincidence? Because i know sometimes artists actually have famous people in mind when designing characters... anyway that's off topic.

Edit: nevermind, just read up, he was originally completely different. He was redesigned to look like Jackson after he became Movie Fury.
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:22 am

I'm pretty sure I've read an interview with Bagley and Bendis saying they wanted it to be Samuel L. Jackson without actually making it Samuel L. Jackson...

It might've been the Superior Spider-Talk podcast... I'll research it for ya...
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby Wahnsinn » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:52 pm

Yeah, from what I heard, Ultimate Fury was to take after Samuel L. Jackson before the movies were ever signed. As a half-black woman, I'll say that bringing a black Fury into the 616 universe through a convoluted mess of a retcon was a bit of pandering I could have done without. I'm perfectly fine with Nick Fury being his grumpy white self, but that's just me. :P

Isn't the FF movie supposed to be based off the Ultimate universe? I haven't read UFF, but I've heard they start a fair bit younger in that. It'll probably confuse the mess out of anyone who doesn't know that there is such a version, such as people who only read older comics or saw the FF in cartoons, but that's the route they've chosen. They need to give an explanation for Sue and Johnny being differently complected, though, if they are to remain siblings. They could be biracial full siblings, half-siblings, step-siblings, or adopted siblings. It doesn't need a whole scene, just a line tossed in somewhere.

I agree that it'd be nice to see more black characters prominently featured, but having it done via race-switch makes me twitch a little. So, what, it takes browning a prominent white character to raise the diversity profile?
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:25 am

So, what, it takes browning a prominent white character to raise the diversity profile?


It would be nice if we could get Misty Knight or Black Panther on the big screen. It's a little confusing how they and Wonder Woman were snubbed movies but the fresh-mouthed Raccoon and the anthropamorphic tree got a movie deal.
But I don't think creating a normally white character for a film and "browning him", as you said, is the worst idea, no. In fact I wouldn't say it raises diversity profiles, (whatever that means) but I think it immediately incorporates diversity into a team that has none (at first).

And as for Ultimate -- Amazing Spider-Man, Iron Man, and even Avengers didn't have a hard time adapting mostly off the Ultimate storylines, I'd be surprised if F4 had a difficult time. I think most readers would accept by now that Ultimate is the more modern, caught-up, and relevant series with the least amount of backhistory for new readers. It's the obvious go-to choice for film adaptation. Non-readers would appreciate a film better targeted for their lack of cononical knowledge, so it's a win/win.

As for the sibling thing? I think that's a lame-duck argument. As I said before, a precedent for the most non-traditional family in all of Marvel comics (am referring to the Richards' of course) should be the Storm family. It's good storytelling, a nice background piece of information for Sue and Johnny. Actually, if the comics had been written 50 years later, I bet that could've very well been the case.

Also, and more importantly, I'm less concerned with why I think it's a good idea and more concerned with why other people don't. It is not so much that I need to justify the decision, I have no real hand in this pie. I am a fan, my ticket was sold the day I saw a confirmed cast. I'm a genre fan it's what I do (as are most of the critics of this cast -- note that).

I am constantly bothered at the amount of slang, hatred, confusion, and villifying going on with this cast. I am convinced that the world is trying to embrace something, I want to call it a scope... or a world view, that is a little more liberal than some of the people in the actual fanbase are ready for.
But you know what, I say to older F4 fans who can't get over this the same thing I tell old DC fans or enemies of Dan Slott's Spider-stories, ... there's always reprints. There's always back issues. Your generation isn't lost, but if you're going to be a stick in the mud and not embrace change, progressive and fundamentally critical change, within the industry to change characters and keep things fresh (be it in film or in comics), then go away and get out of the way. And pipe down.
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby Wahnsinn » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:39 pm

Ult_Sm86 wrote:It would be nice if we could get Misty Knight or Black Panther on the big screen. It's a little confusing how they and Wonder Woman were snubbed movies but the fresh-mouthed Raccoon and the anthropamorphic tree got a movie deal.

It would be nice, but I totally get why: Hollywood caters to the guaranteed big US audience, and that's white males. Sad but true. Wonder Woman has mostly suffered from her project being in development hell for years, but there's still skepticism over whether a female can carry a movie. Misty Knight is triply doomed by being a low-profile black female character. Storm would be a safer bet, if they can find somebody who can play her well. Halle Berry is a fine actress, but she sucks as Storm. She lacks the presence needed for the role. If they can find a black male Will Smith could and would play, they'd be fairly golden in that area.

But I don't think creating a normally white character for a film and "browning him", as you said, is the worst idea, no. In fact I wouldn't say it raises diversity profiles, (whatever that means) but I think it immediately incorporates diversity into a team that has none (at first).

You just stated exactly what it means. The problem, for me, is that it's diversity for diversity's sake. To be clear, I don't generally have a problem with the race-switching of random characters. Casting a black guy as Heimdall? Fine, whatever. It doesn't make a lot of sense because that whole world is supposed to be the one from Norse mythology, but I can roll with that. He's not that important. Browning up Thor would be straight pandering, and that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Mind you, I also don't like whitewashing. All the main characters in an adaptation of a Japanese series set in Japan about Japanese characters are--gasp!--Japanese? Good, they should be. I'm not going to freak out if characters being how they were originally written creates a bit of a racial imbalance. I'd be much more comfortable if they simply chose to add some guest stars and/or new characters to balance things out, and that's especially doable in comic book movies. Too many white men in Avengers? Let them call Misty Knight for help, or Hawkeye can have a South American love interest. They shouldn't just turn Captain America into a Chinese woman and pat themselves on the back for being "diverse."

And as for Ultimate -- Amazing Spider-Man, Iron Man, and even Avengers didn't have a hard time adapting mostly off the Ultimate storylines, I'd be surprised if F4 had a difficult time.

You kinda missed my point. The movieverse isn't going to be drenched in continuity no matter where it pulls from because they want to appeal to the movie-going audience, and most of those people will probably only have a passing familiarity with the characters. They'll know that the FF they watched in the cartoons and saw in the previous movies don't match the FF in this new movie, and that could cause some confusion. None of the other adaptations you've mentioned are significantly different from the original versions, aside from Nick Fury's race, in a way that an audience unfamiliar with the UU would notice. The Ultimate FF are younger and more equal in age, which will be an obvious physical difference, and they're piling that on top of switching Johnny's race when he's the brother of Sue. That makes the movie quite a bit different from what little knowledge most people watching can be expected to have.

As for the sibling thing? I think that's a lame-duck argument.

Having grown up as a mixed kid, I'll tell you that it isn't. I am not easily identifiable as black and have been asked if my mom is my real mom. My cousin, who is black, and I used to hang out like siblings, and we got plenty of confused looks and questions. If you think this kind of thing magically stopped happening in recent years, it hasn't. I've got friends I've made in the last 5 years who were surprised to find out I'm half black. Sue and Johnny should be used to explaining themselves (assuming they're kept as full siblings who were raised together), and they should do it automatically. It doesn't have to be anything more than a single line from one of them to cover it, but it needs to happen to settle the question for the audience and to preserve some realism.

I am constantly bothered at the amount of slang, hatred, confusion, and villifying going on with this cast.

As am I. I have nothing against the cast, and I'm sure they'll do their best with whatever script they've been given. I just don't like that the studio's attitude seems to be this: "Look, look! We turned a character black just for you! Aren't we progressive?" :rolleyes
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:14 am

Casting a black guy as Heimdall? Fine, whatever. It doesn't make a lot of sense because that whole world is supposed to be the one from Norse mythology, but I can roll with that. He's not that important. Browning up Thor would be straight pandering, and that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.


They're aliens, so no not really. The norse were the first to make contact, thus they interpreted them as gods and imitated their likenesses. Those in Asgard who came to Midgard saw they were worshiped as Gods and thought that was pretty swell. Not so hard to explain.


It would be nice, but I totally get why: Hollywood caters to the guaranteed big US audience, and that's white males.

Well, I don't get it. And I think it's totally unacceptable.

All the main characters in an adaptation of a Japanese series set in Japan about Japanese characters are--gasp!--Japanese? Good, they should be. I'm not going to freak out if characters being how they were originally written creates a bit of a racial imbalance. I'd be much more comfortable if they simply chose to add some guest stars and/or new characters to balance things out, and that's especially doable in comic book movies. Too many white men in Avengers? Let them call Misty Knight for help, or Hawkeye can have a South American love interest. They shouldn't just turn Captain America into a Chinese woman and pat themselves on the back for being "diverse."


Actually, it looks like Storm will be Captain America in the Ultimate Comics coming up. How's that for a twist?

Personally, I think the mythos of comics beckons them to be equal and I think that to make sales, they need to have more equality in their comics.
More like this guy right here:
Image He's pretty great. Miles is by far the best embodiment of what makes Spider-Man the hero he is in the last decade or so. And that's more than all the versions of all the Peter Parkers in that time frame. Bar none. Granted that's an opinion but yeah. I think it's a broad assumption to state that audiences can't deal with characters not being white on film. And I am talking about white, the inarguable, western-norm of white-male-hetero, that's the type of character I'm discussing, not Asian people. I'm pointing out that when you replace their skin color but nothing else about them, their character and definition should still stay in tact -supposing you have a talented writer who can juxtapose social backgrounds with character development of course. And yes there absolutely could be a black Captain America and I would pay money to see someone like Luke Cage take that shield up in a series. That's the American Spirit, I would love that.


And let me also propose this:
If this here
Image
is how we want our kids to feel, that no matter what their complexion or body shape or condition is, they can be brave and strong like their heroes,

... then why the fuck can't we let our non-white actors or actresses play these characters? What lesson is there in that? I mean really.

The Ultimate FF are younger and more equal in age, which will be an obvious physical difference, and they're piling that on top of switching Johnny's race when he's the brother of Sue. That makes the movie quite a bit different from what little knowledge most people watching can be expected to have.

I think none of that matters and that's pre-game fan jitters. No one who doesn't read F4 actively is going to go into that movie with that mindset. They're going to walk out either blown away or bored, depending on how the movie goes. If they're blown away, they might go find a comic and wonder about this stuff, but best case scenario?

They went and found a comic because of it. Yes, movies are made to sell tickets and comics, but why not have fun with the story and make it interesting while you're doing it? Really try to "art" that shit up.

Sue and Johnny should be used to explaining themselves (assuming they're kept as full siblings who were raised together), and they should do it automatically. It doesn't have to be anything more than a single line from one of them to cover it, but it needs to happen to settle the question for the audience and to preserve some realism.

I think I addressed this comment in my original post about this subject, so I'm not going to repeat myself much more than this: Diverse non-traditional family inspired another diverse non-traditional family. It's sort of obvious.
And if they don't go with it? That has potential to be more lame than trying to explain them as full-blood siblings.

: "Look, look! We turned a character black just for you! Aren't we progressive?" :rolleyes

I don't think I've seen anyone out of FOX or Marvel say those words or even imply them.
In fact, I think Michael B. Jordan summarized the whole debacle best himself:
They’re still going to go see it anyway”.
He knows what this movie is. But if he doesn't take an opportunity like this to show people it doesn't matter? Especially as a fan? I don't think he'd be too happy with himself. I am proud of him for sticking to his guns and I am even a little proud of Fox for not changing. Then they would absolutely look like they did it for the wrong reasons and changed for even worse reasons. That would be unacceptably stupid.

I also look to article writer for Crushable e-magazine, Alexis Rhiannon:
But guys that cannot be because I don’t know if you know this, but Michael B. Jordan is black and Kate Mara is white. And they could never be siblings in a world where ACTUAL SUPERPOWERS EXIST. - Alexis R.

She's being ironic of course. The idea that people are going to let that hang up make them :thumbsdown the movie? Well if they let that spoil the movie for them, that's bad and they should feel bad.

And in all honesty, though I usually try to deter from repeating myself too much; the problem I have with the people freaking out about the casting are not the people who are taking comics too seriously or asking how biological siblings can share biological parents and not skin tone (though the thought of that is irritating, like any good writer can't write themselves out of that box? Come on.) but what truly bothers me are the people throwing around the comments that he's too "jive" or too "black" to play someone as "white" as Johnny.

Johnny is awesome. So is Michael B. Jordan... I think this is a match made in heaven. But I'll wait for the movie to really make my assertions clear. For now, I'm just hoping that people leave the movie alone, let them film it, and see what it's like after. I mean... shit I'd rather have that cast than the previous one.
Jessica Alba, really? Please. It can't be worse than that.

.... Can it?
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby Wahnsinn » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:06 am

Ult_Sm86 wrote:They're aliens, so no not really. The norse were the first to make contact, thus they interpreted them as gods and imitated their likenesses. Those in Asgard who came to Midgard saw they were worshiped as Gods and thought that was pretty swell. Not so hard to explain.

*facepalm* You're missing the point again. Everybody in the flaming world knows that Marvel used Norse mythology, which has a decided lack of brown folk, for those characters.

Well, I don't get it. And I think it's totally unacceptable.

It's not so hard to get. The US still has a white majority, which is in power. Hollywood is mostly run by white folk as well. People like to see themselves on the screen because the human brain is still wired up for tribal recognition. Hollywood is in the business of making money, so they make movies that they know will sell. What they know will sell action movies is a white male lead, with Will Smith being the notable exception. That's the reality of the situation. It's the same reason Bollywood movies are full of Indians: India is full of Indians.

Actually, it looks like Storm will be Captain America in the Ultimate Comics coming up. How's that for a twist?

You're talking about something completely different now. It's one thing for a character to put on a new costume, but it's quite another for the same character to suddenly be a new race or gender. Ororo Monroe is not and never was Steve Rogers, and having her don the costume as his successor is not the same thing as turning Steve Rogers into Stef Rogers and trying to pass it off as the same character.

Personally, I think the mythos of comics beckons them to be equal and I think that to make sales, they need to have more equality in their comics.

Actual sales tell us otherwise. Black Panther has not been able to sustain a monthly title in over a decade. Captain Marvel isn't selling for squat. Fearless Defenders sold terribly. Batwing has been sitting in cancellation territory for several months. Frankly, and I hate to say it, I have my worries about Mighty Avengers because they've pretty much made that the ethnic team.

... then why the fuck can't we let our non-white actors or actresses play these characters? What lesson is there in that? I mean really.

Still not the point. (Great image, though.) It's fine if they let a person of color take up the mantle of Spider-Man, Batman, Captain America, etc. Pretending, however, that no one will bat an eye when a Korean kid is given the name and background of Peter Parker is madness. Let him be his own character, perhaps the son of Korean immigrants who had to overcome associated prejudices. Simply turning Bruce Wayne black is stupid because life as a black kid is not the same as life as a white kid. It would be utterly ridiculous to expect the US government to give superpowers to anyone but a white man during WWII. Give us heroes to whom we can truly relate, not lazy knock-offs meant to placate us.

I think none of that matters and that's pre-game fan jitters. No one who doesn't read F4 actively is going to go into that movie with that mindset.

I'm not a Fantastic Four fan, but I have more knowledge than most moviegoers are likely to have because I do read Marvel comics. When I first saw the cast announcement, I was confused. If it hadn't been for the labeling under the pictures, the only character I would have been able to identify was Sue because she's the only female. With the first movie, it was very easy to identify who was playing which character, right down to Michael Chiklis. The new movie has a recognition problem right now, and I really hope they're able to address that through makeup. Comic adaptations are one of those areas where you really do want the cast to look like the most recognizable versions of the characters, even if that means you end up with a white sausage fest.

They're going to walk out either blown away or bored, depending on how the movie goes. If they're blown away, they might go find a comic and wonder about this stuff, but best case scenario?

They have to get beyond the recognition problem first. If the audience is constantly distracted by the characters looking nothing like the characters they know, there will be a problem. It could even keep some from going to see the movie. If they do go see the movie and feel driven to pick up the comic, they won't be able to find a book that matches what they just watched. At least with Avengers, it's easy enough to find the corresponding versions of the characters in the UU comics. (The retcon that brought us a matching Fury in the MU is still stupid.)

I think I addressed this comment in my original post about this subject, so I'm not going to repeat myself much more than this: Diverse non-traditional family inspired another diverse non-traditional family. It's sort of obvious.
And if they don't go with it? That has potential to be more lame than trying to explain them as full-blood siblings.

And you're still missing that the continuity you're referencing is completely irrelevant. Most moviegoers will not know that the modern FF in mainstream comics have had a kid of their own through Sue and Reed, much less that they've adopted kids of various kinds. In the movie, the FF will be starting from scratch and living in a world where many still ask stupid questions when faced with biracial people. Johnny and Sue would have had a completely different experience growing up as biracial children, and that should be reflected on screen.

: "Look, look! We turned a character black just for you! Aren't we progressive?" :rolleyes

I don't think I've seen anyone out of FOX or Marvel say those words or even imply them.

Well, I should hope not because that would be career suicide. I was giving voice to the attitude implied by their actions.

I am proud of him for sticking to his guns and I am even a little proud of Fox for not changing. Then they would absolutely look like they did it for the wrong reasons and changed for even worse reasons. That would be unacceptably stupid.

It's not the actor's fault that the studio execs are going about incorporating diversity in all the wrong ways. He should do his job and do it well. And yes, it is too late for the studio to turn back now. I can only hope they learn to do better in the future. This trend of browning has been building over time, and this is the first time they've done it with a lead character. It's a crappy way to insert diversity, and they shouldn't be proud of it.

And in all honesty, though I usually try to deter from repeating myself too much; the problem I have with the people freaking out about the casting are not the people who are taking comics too seriously or asking how biological siblings can share biological parents and not skin tone (though the thought of that is irritating, like any good writer can't write themselves out of that box? Come on.) but what truly bothers me are the people throwing around the comments that he's too "jive" or too "black" to play someone as "white" as Johnny.

The skin color question is flaming stupid, and I don't understand how those people passed biology class. Fraternal twins can be two different colors if their parents are two different colors. There is no box with that. It's basic genetics. People who think color has an inherent attitude are also flaming stupid. "You don't act black." I can't stand that nonsensical stereotyping.

The trouble here from a character perspective is that, as I've mentioned before, it necessitates changing the background of the Storm siblings. That needs to be addressed, or what the studio has engaged in is some lazy pandering.

Jessica Alba, really? Please. It can't be worse than that.

My main problem with her was the fact that blond hair does not work on her at all. It was distracting.

.... Can it?

Yes. :evil
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:26 pm

*facepalm* You're missing the point again. Everybody in the flaming world knows that Marvel used Norse mythology, which has a decided lack of brown folk, for those characters.


Thankfully I'm not part of the "flaming world", or better yet (and Brevoort among others has cited this particular example) I'm not of the "Aryan Race" like-minded people who take offense to something as stupid as Aliens being the trend setters for all of Norse mythology. Original (and most definitely retconned) origins aside, this is the now. Marvel Now, in fact. And the point is, as the people who create the comics they dictate what the world view is, not us the fans. And if they say "the Asgardians are of other dimensions" then I'm perfectly fine with a black Heimdall. That's just gravy by my standards.

The trouble here from a character perspective is that, as I've mentioned before, it necessitates changing the background of the Storm siblings. That needs to be addressed, or what the studio has engaged in is some lazy pandering.

we agree on half of this. I think you're letting the naysayers dictate what's important in the story, as if we have to soothe their (intentionally or otherwise) racist thoughts. okay, fine, Stereotypical instead of racist, -- when there's no difference in this matter but whatever.

Point is, who cares what they think? It's not the studio lazy pandering, they can address it or not, that's their perogative. Honestly, I think Marvel/Fox benefit from using them as siblings as trendsetter for the Future Foundations/Fantastic Family that is inevitably going to come out of one of their sequels. To ignore it would be problematic, to address it too long would be redundant and pandering. If anything, they need to ignore the haters and stick to their guns, write a solid story with solid character development. There is character development and story in this casting. I can see it, I think you can too.

It's a crappy way to insert diversity, and they shouldn't be proud of it.

I'm of the mind that there's no such thing as a crappy way to "insert" (or utilize) diversity. Honestly, unless you're trying to be diverse but instead coming off racist (and I'm not going to give an example but you can probably come up with thousands of examples relying off stereotypes of different cultures and people), there's no way that is wrong to implement diversity. The more of it, the better. I would read a black Batman just as fast as I'd read a black Flash, Superman, Captain America, or Wolverine. Those characters are pretty iconic though and it's hard to change them. You bring up Batwing.
I agree, books with p.o.c. sell worse, it's an awful trend. But I don't think it's just the purchasers and fans who are to blame. First off, the book sucked. I got the first couple issues and I should've gone back to the reboot when they introduced a new Batwing, but honestly I was so done with DC at that point I could've cared less.
There's the fact that these books aren't advertised enough. Brevoort's had some criticism on his tumblr about not advertising to the right audiences with Fearless Defenders. I disagree with some of it, but I don't think they pressed it as hard as other books and toying with it while AvsX was going on, and not including them in the fray for the most part -- was sorta stupid. And then DC hardly ever pushes Batwing. Ever. I think I've seen maybe one Newsarama interview on it. How many more articles can we take on Constantine? Jeez.

As for Mighty Avengers -- I agree, but I think the team is fantastic and one of Marvel's best. The only Avenger book I even bother with besides A.I. and both suffer from the same two problems -- not enough press, awful art. Greg Land is atrocious, he traces and worse than tracing, all his women are super models not super heroes. You mention the diversity of the team of Mighty Avengers? It doesn't help that all the women have dump-truck booties and boobs that should be knocking them in the face when they jump -- whenever Land draws. The new artist, Schiti? Awesome stuff. I am disappointed they are bringing Land back and I hope he gets hung up to dry before they cancel the title and take the advice from hundreds of voices shouting for Land's head. I bought the trade of NIGHTCRAWLER from comixology the other day, artwork by Greg Land.

Every woman looks like a porn star. And why the hell is everyone always getting half naked? I mean some of that is story writer, but for god sakes why can't I read a story, why does it need to be driven by sex or just the female body in general? If your story is going to be so sexualized, make it a sexualized story like SAGA or SEX CRIMINALS or SEX or X-FORCE SEX AND VIOLENCE... like at least admit it and go with it, don't just trace porn stars into your pictures.

ANYWAYS -- Greg Land, to me, is the true reason that book has suffering sales. Not the diversity of the team. You can easily make another argument --

The team is composed of lesser-known characters. Majority of these lesser known characters are minorities in a white-male dominated society. So maybe we need to get some more minority characters built up to that level? Blade is suspected to be Ronin, that could be interesting. He has a big following, one fanbase for Ronin and one for Blade! Then there's Falcon who is going to get a lot of press after the movie, so good thing he's there. And then Luke Cage and Jessica Jones are getting their miniseries' on Netflix. It sounds like Marvel is doing everything they should (not everything they can) to put these characters in the forefront. It has to be slowgoing, you can't just knock Captain America and Wolverine out of top slots and replace them with Luke Cage and Blade... but it can happen. And I'm pretty sure a black Johnny Storm is going to further this, and I hope the internet banter proves false and the true voice of reason begins to show in sales. I think the people who have anonymity sound louder when they're on the internet and like-minded people congregate and hate together. I truly believe there's a solid portion of this fan base, growing every year at convention season, with a thirst for a diverse list of characters.

Fantastic Four is just the first to challenge the norm at this level and I truly hope they're not the last.
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby Wahnsinn » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:04 pm

Ult_Sm86 wrote:Thankfully I'm not part of the "flaming world", or better yet (and Brevoort among others has cited this particular example) I'm not of the "Aryan Race" like-minded people who take offense to something as stupid as Aliens being the trend setters for all of Norse mythology. Original (and most definitely retconned) origins aside, this is the now. Marvel Now, in fact. And the point is, as the people who create the comics they dictate what the world view is, not us the fans. And if they say "the Asgardians are of other dimensions" then I'm perfectly fine with a black Heimdall. That's just gravy by my standards.

Yeah, you still aren't understanding what I was saying, and I don't know how to explain make it any clearer. :/

we agree on half of this. I think you're letting the naysayers dictate what's important in the story, as if we have to soothe their (intentionally or otherwise) racist thoughts. okay, fine, Stereotypical instead of racist, -- when there's no difference in this matter but whatever.

I don't give a raging snot about the naysayers. I care about the story actually making sense and not feeling like studios think pandering to people like me by browning lead characters is an acceptable way to create diversity. Is one line "too long and redundant"? That's all it would take to establish exactly what the status is with Sue and Johnny, and including it is far more realistic than ignoring it because that's how the world is for biracial people.

I'm of the mind that there's no such thing as a crappy way to "insert" (or utilize) diversity. Honestly, unless you're trying to be diverse but instead coming off racist (and I'm not going to give an example but you can probably come up with thousands of examples relying off stereotypes of different cultures and people), there's no way that is wrong to implement diversity. The more of it, the better.

Here's the fundamental problem we're having: you do not understand because you have not lived it. That's not your fault. That's just life. You can't be who you aren't.

I agree, books with p.o.c. sell worse, it's an awful trend. But I don't think it's just the purchasers and fans who are to blame. First off, the book sucked. I got the first couple issues and I should've gone back to the reboot when they introduced a new Batwing, but honestly I was so done with DC at that point I could've cared less.

Lucas Fox, son of Lucius, is now Batwing. It still doesn't sell. :P

There's the fact that these books aren't advertised enough. Brevoort's had some criticism on his tumblr about not advertising to the right audiences with Fearless Defenders. I disagree with some of it, but I don't think they pressed it as hard as other books and toying with it while AvsX was going on, and not including them in the fray for the most part -- was sorta stupid. And then DC hardly ever pushes Batwing. Ever. I think I've seen maybe one Newsarama interview on it. How many more articles can we take on Constantine? Jeez.

For the record, Constantine also doesn't sell all that well, but it sells better than its previous incarnation and twice as well as Batwing.

Advertising on Newsarama won't get them anywhere anyway. It's preaching to the choir. The people reading those sites are people already deep into reading comics, and they already know what they want to buy. All the companies are really doing with the current style of advertizing is poaching their own audience. "Gee, if I want to try that book, I'll have to drop something." They need to advertise outside of the comics community if they want to have any hope of drawing in a bigger, broader audience.

As for Mighty Avengers -- I agree, but I think the team is fantastic and one of Marvel's best. The only Avenger book I even bother with besides A.I. and both suffer from the same two problems -- not enough press, awful art. <snip>

ANYWAYS -- Greg Land, to me, is the true reason that book has suffering sales. Not the diversity of the team. You can easily make another argument --

I said MA is the ethnic team, and it is. It's about as diverse as the regular team but with the races flipped. It'd be nice to see the pendulum settle somewhere in the middle.

Do you know why they'll never get rid of Land? The books he's on usually sell. They'll probably see MA's dramatic drop as a fluke for him and attributable to the fact that non-white characters almost always struggle to maintain sales.

The team is composed of lesser-known characters. Majority of these lesser known characters are minorities in a white-male dominated society. So maybe we need to get some more minority characters built up to that level? Blade is suspected to be Ronin, that could be interesting. He has a big following, one fanbase for Ronin and one for Blade! Then there's Falcon who is going to get a lot of press after the movie, so good thing he's there. And then Luke Cage and Jessica Jones are getting their miniseries' on Netflix. It sounds like Marvel is doing everything they should (not everything they can) to put these characters in the forefront. It has to be slowgoing, you can't just knock Captain America and Wolverine out of top slots and replace them with Luke Cage and Blade... but it can happen. And I'm pretty sure a black Johnny Storm is going to further this, and I hope the internet banter proves false and the true voice of reason begins to show in sales. I think the people who have anonymity sound louder when they're on the internet and like-minded people congregate and hate together. I truly believe there's a solid portion of this fan base, growing every year at convention season, with a thirst for a diverse list of characters.

Blade does not have that big of a following. His last solo title tanked, and that was after the movies. His presence didn't exactly help the last team book he starred in survive either. (I liked that book. *pout*) I've yet to see movie press have a positive impact on comic sales for any character, including the most popular ones. The lone case of the screen-to-comics boost seems to be The Walking Dead. The sales on that book have skyrocketed, but it's hard to tell if that's new buyers or regulars picking up an additional title for the single issues. The trade sales probably can largely be attributed to outsiders drawn solely by the TV show.

I really don't think a black Johnny Storm will help, especially when there's not one to be found in the books. I'd say a good portion of the rare never-readers who do show up in stores to make that discovery will be turned off by it. Some of them, especially black people, may even be offended. "Wait, do you mean to tell me that this character is and always has been white in the comics? So, they changed his race to draw me into the theater. Oh, hell no!"

Fantastic Four is just the first to challenge the norm at this level and I truly hope they're not the last.

It isn't challenging a norm any more than casting a white dude as Goku challenges a norm: http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2013 ... itewashed/
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:56 pm

Do you know why they'll never get rid of Land? The books he's on usually sell. They'll probably see MA's dramatic drop as a fluke for him and attributable to the fact that non-white characters almost always struggle to maintain sales.

except everything he's on has been canceled at some point or he was pulled off --... Nightcrawler?

Blade does not have that big of a following. His last solo title tanked, and that was after the movies.
That doesn't mean his following isn't strong, it just means the book might've sucked. Which, to be fair, it did. I read it. It was awful. It also hasn't been a very "ethnic" book for quite some time. A strong writer who is willing to pen a story about Blade being Blade, not just a vampire hunter -- might see a better series run than the last fartbox that they put out.

Advertising on Newsarama won't get them anywhere anyway. It's preaching to the choir.
look some books won't sell well because of who is in them. But sometimes advertising them, building hype, and getting good creators can make the book, not break it. I know for a lot of people, ALL-NEW DOOP seems like a waste of ink and paper, but I'm going to read that story. I'm reading it for many reasons, one is DOOP, two is DOOP, and three --... because the CBR and Newsarama and tumblr posts by the creators have me completely jazzed. I know for a fact this has directly effected the sales of HAWKEYE (which have dropped as the series lost its glossy, new, novelty) and helped carry a character who would normally have never sold. Ever.
I think you'll notice if Hawkeye can get accolades and acknowledgment and so can Bendis' Spider-Woman and other solo runs, you'll catch that this doesn't mean they'll stick around and sell. But the character gets exposure and that's what counts.

Marvel isn't always best at solo books, they're better with teams. But when they push a solo book, they push it (unlike DC who stick to their big names, Batman/girl, Superman/girl/boy, Flash, GL, Aquabro and then put for sale oodles of multiple titles of single solo characters). Marvel likes teams. Avengers, X-Men, Defenders (Fearless or otherwise) and they love making multiple books of these characters. They loooove crossover books (which I do too actually) and they know how to sell more than one character. If it's not Spider-Man or Wolverine... Thor or Captain America, the comics as solo books don't usually sell.

Especially if it's a minority.
Especially especially if it's a woman.
But I hold the Blue Ring of Hope for a reason, and I strongly believe it's because the audiences need refreshers, buffers, and they will always come back for that book. Captain Marvel? Ms. Marvel? Carol Danvers has been on fire (for her type of character) in the last couple of years. That's a great sign. Now a movie is in the talks? Epic.

You bring up an interesting idea and you cite TV. You don't think Netflix's Luke Cage & Jessica Jones (and incidentally, Iron Fist) series would result in sales of Mighty Avengers?

"Wait, do you mean to tell me that this character is and always has been white in the comics? So, they changed his race to draw me into the theater. Oh, hell no!"


I have many friends. A few are black. All of them have expressed pure joy at this announcement. I have some people I follow on twitter and even some of the black ones have expressed disinterest in this cast --

But not one of them have said it's because of the black Johnny Storm. Every single one says Reed doesn't look sophisticated enough and Jaime Bell is too "twinkie" to play Thing.

Now I'm not the biggest F4 fan in the world, but when I consider myself a Marvel fan, I try to stay read up on everyone and one of those groups of everyones is the First Family and as such, I want to point out one thing.
I am a fan. I am not turned off by this.
You are a fan. You are not turned off by this.

... Why are you so sure others will be? Why are you so sure this is offensive? Because I would love to go to the comics and read about Johnny, white or black. Is this a problem for you?
Here's the fundamental problem we're having: you do not understand because you have not lived it. That's not your fault. That's just life. You can't be who you aren't.

This is an area of arguing that is both detremental to the wonderful debate we're having and understandably accusatory. I will say this on the matter, ...

I am not black. But I am a human, and I agree with Brian Michael Bendis. You don't have to be the same nationality as someone to relate to them... in fact if you do, you suck as a person. Real writers get that. It shouldn't matter if your character is black, female, palestinian, or whatever... the character should be relatable.
I find Johnny relatable, I find Michael B. Jordan to be an actor who gives great, relatable performances.
What part of this casting decision is wrong?

And I may be white... but I still want diversity in my comics. And I think no matter my skin color I should be allowed to ask for it and I should be proud and happy to get it.
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby Wahnsinn » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:52 am

Ult_Sm86 wrote:except everything he's on has been canceled at some point or he was pulled off --... Nightcrawler?

He was only the cover artist on that book. I can't think of a book he's been interior artist on at Marvel that got the axe while he was on it. He's done minis, which obviously don't count, and straddled the relaunch of Uncanny X-Men. He'd moved on before the next relaunch.

That doesn't mean his following isn't strong, it just means the book might've sucked. Which, to be fair, it did. I read it. It was awful. It also hasn't been a very "ethnic" book for quite some time. A strong writer who is willing to pen a story about Blade being Blade, not just a vampire hunter -- might see a better series run than the last fartbox that they put out.

UXM was crapulent for years and still sold enough to keep going. Blade does not have the kind of dedicated following that will sustain a book, and that's probably why he hasn't had another solo title in a long time. Like I said, the last team title he was on also did not sell. His guest appearance in X-Men did absolutely nothing for sales. I think you're overestimating his current appeal.

I think you'll notice if Hawkeye can get accolades and acknowledgment and so can Bendis' Spider-Woman and other solo runs, you'll catch that this doesn't mean they'll stick around and sell. But the character gets exposure and that's what counts.

Why is it the internet audience always vastly overestimates the size and impact of the internet audience? Word of mouth helps more than anything. I didn't always read articles on the internet, and have largely stopped recently, but having somebody whose opinion I value tell me that I might like a book has always been the best way to get me curious enough to check out that book. Yes, creator names also help for the segment that cares about them. Yes, making the book visible helps. What I'm saying is the last needs to be done via more avenues than Newsarama and similar sites, which cater to the most hardcore readers.

Marvel isn't always best at solo books, they're better with teams. But when they push a solo book, they push it (unlike DC who stick to their big names, Batman/girl, Superman/girl/boy, Flash, GL, Aquabro and then put for sale oodles of multiple titles of single solo characters). Marvel likes teams. Avengers, X-Men, Defenders (Fearless or otherwise) and they love making multiple books of these characters. They loooove crossover books (which I do too actually) and they know how to sell more than one character. If it's not Spider-Man or Wolverine... Thor or Captain America, the comics as solo books don't usually sell.

Actually, the Avengers and X-Men are the only teams that do very well. The sales on the last Fantastic Four volume were not pretty. Spider-Man and Wolverine, who appear all over both of the strong team lines, do well enough; although Wolverine's sales are weaker than they were. Deadpool, oddly, has gotten some new life with his latest relaunch. Cap, Thor, Iron Man, and Wolverine (previous volume) sell in the mediocre mid-30k range. I think the biggest thing damning solo titles is the glut of key team books. Shave off a couple X-Men and Avengers books, and maybe people will have enough cash to spend on solos from team members.

But I hold the Blue Ring of Hope for a reason, and I strongly believe it's because the audiences need refreshers, buffers, and they will always come back for that book. Captain Marvel? Ms. Marvel? Carol Danvers has been on fire (for her type of character) in the last couple of years. That's a great sign. Now a movie is in the talks? Epic.

Did you see the sales on Captain Marvel? Under 20k by issue #8. A character not having particularly good sales (or even having no sales, as I believe the case was for Blade) has never stopped them from looking at doing movies. The GotG comic started after the movie was announced, and they hadn't had a title in a long time. Will it help? Debatable. It might get some current readers to pick up the title, if they have the cash to spare, for a while. Maybe.

You bring up an interesting idea and you cite TV. You don't think Netflix's Luke Cage & Jessica Jones (and incidentally, Iron Fist) series would result in sales of Mighty Avengers?

Honestly, probably not. This isn't a B/W title from an independent publisher getting exposure on a cable network. This is a title that started off selling at just under 102k and had dropped to 30k with #5 in January. Only the relaunched Batman has managed to sustain over 100k in sales. That's about as big of an audience as a comic can hope to have these days. More than likely, everybody who wants to read MA already is, and plenty have obviously checked it out and dropped it.

I have many friends. A few are black. All of them have expressed pure joy at this announcement. I have some people I follow on twitter and even some of the black ones have expressed disinterest in this cast --

But not one of them have said it's because of the black Johnny Storm. Every single one says Reed doesn't look sophisticated enough and Jaime Bell is too "twinkie" to play Thing.

You do understand that my issue is with the precedent the studios are setting and the message it sends, right? I didn't think much about it when it was done with Kingpin, especially since Michael Clark Duncan was probably one of the few people with the right physique who could actually act. Being flexible with that character made sense. Flipping Heimdall was odd but not worth more than an eye-roll. Perry White was fairly well-known, and makes for naming amusement, but still not so central that it made any significant difference to anything. It's obviously a trend now, and an unnecessary and potentially offensive one. Now, it's the very prominent and central Johnny Storm, who suddenly no longer resembles his sister. For him, it should make a difference that would affect who he is as a person. Hollywood has shown such a gross unawareness over the course of its existence that it probably won't make any difference at all, and that would be insulting. That would tell me that they're pandering, and I do so loathe pandering.

... Why are you so sure others will be? Why are you so sure this is offensive? Because I would love to go to the comics and read about Johnny, white or black. Is this a problem for you?

I said that some may be, not all. It would be offensive if it's diversity for diversity's sake, for all the reasons I've already mentioned. At the end of the day, I don't care what color he is as long as the story makes sense.

Here's the fundamental problem we're having: you do not understand because you have not lived it. That's not your fault. That's just life. You can't be who you aren't.

This is an area of arguing that is both detremental to the wonderful debate we're having and understandably accusatory. I will say this on the matter, ...

It's not an accusation of anything. It's a statement of fact. I can't fully understand the struggles unique to Vietnamese immigrants because I'm not one. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just the way it is. We agree that diversity is a wonderful thing, but you don't think there's a wrong way to create diversity. I'm trying to make you understand that there really, truly is. Certain approaches range from groan-inducing to offensive. It is almost impossible to have a full understanding of that when you have not grown up as a minority.

I find Johnny relatable, I find Michael B. Jordan to be an actor who gives great, relatable performances.
What part of this casting decision is wrong?

And addressing the biracial nature of the Storm siblings on screen would be part of what would make them relatable to biracial people like myself. If they act like it had absolutely no impact on their upbringing, that would be unrealistic. If Johnny acts like having dark skin has had no impact on his life, that would be unrealistic. They are meant to have grown up in our world, not some colorblind paradise.

And I may be white... but I still want diversity in my comics. And I think no matter my skin color I should be allowed to ask for it and I should be proud and happy to get it.

I never said you shouldn't. But you must understand that all ways of creating diversity are not equal.
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:34 am

Word of mouth helps more than anything.

Word of mouth IS the internet. Tell Tumblr they're not spreading the good word of Hawkeye, they'll give you a gif. about how you're wrong.

They are meant to have grown up in our world, not some colorblind paradise.


The same one where they get super powers and fight Moleman?
I'm sorry, I think our debate has come to a fruitful end. I can't concede any more points on the siblings story. I think mixed-race family perspective or not any capable screen writer can handle an explanation of this, and as you offered, make it no more than a minor flippant matter that is dealt with momentarily or possibly (as I would hope) a precedent setter for their Future Family.

I make no apologies for this belief and I stand by initial comments. More diversity is needed in comics, more minority characters, and more and better representation of these characters is needed at the higher level, the level of Wolverine/Spidey/Cap/Thor/Etc... And I do think Greg Land is a piece of shit, and I see your numbers and all your points and raise you this:

Cosplay.

Cosplay alone has helped to diversify and enlighten the minds of others. Conventions are the mead halls of great ideas and new ways to appreciate characters for a fan. Costuming up as your favorite character, regardless of your skin, is an incredible sensation. I saw a quote, (and I can't find it now as it would be some time ago) that a young cosplayer was very excited that he could finally be Spider-Man with the mask off and on at conventions. He was excited about Miles Morales.
Cosplay and conventions get the actual word-of-mouth you mentioned. They get that, they spread it. You see the hype build up online, you see the pictures pour in, people interacting and connecting. That's where titles can live or die. You could get a bristly creator catch a bad fan who runs a blog and see a sale plummet (the comic creator who mouthed off about the 99% at the wrong time), you could catch a creator off guard with a dumb question and have them respond like a total jack ass and as a result watch the sales go straight into the toilet (not that he needed help with this one, TT sucks.)
What I'm saying is, there's hundreds of factors here besides race in characters, I agree, but I will never discredit Marvel for trying. They can't just keep pumping Blade comics out after each cancellation until they get it right, they have to give it time too. Massage the audience back into appreciating the character again (a lot of what I'm assuming Blade as Ronin is about -- if that turns out to be true). There's no reason why the sales of these characters can't be as high and you mention sales but I'm talking trades, toys, tv shows, and everything. Luke Cage is finally getting his dues, maybe we can see Black Panther get a little more than a re-occuring spot on a couple Avengers animated series.
I think this type of behavior to create more diversity in comics (and encourage it in the fans in forms such as cosplay) and those who make said decisions are helping to invigorate progress and change within the industry. I will never knock a decision like this down.

This particular tumblr account heightens just how great the comic culture is. Anyone can get into it, everyone can share it, and you don't need to be any sort of skin complexion to get a character. That's what it's about at the end of the day, not the siblings, not explaining their blood-relationship, not the companies that have the rights versus the companies who don't -- but did the story make characters you care about and would emulate? That's a super hero story. That's great power and it is a great responsibility.
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby Wahnsinn » Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:56 pm

You should be a PR man. ;)

Word of mouth IS the internet. Tell Tumblr they're not spreading the good word of Hawkeye, they'll give you a gif. about how you're wrong.

They're welcome to try, but I don't have a Tumblr account and usually only end up there when someone posts an amusing link that sends me there. The noise on the net is not that reflective of the outside world. If it were, Bendis' books wouldn't sell, and Greg Land would be out of a job.

They are meant to have grown up in our world, not some colorblind paradise.


The same one where they get super powers and fight Moleman?

Yes, and I think you know that. Aside from the fantasy element, people are meant to have faced the same struggles we face in our world.

I'm sorry, I think our debate has come to a fruitful end. I can't concede any more points on the siblings story. I think mixed-race family perspective or not any capable screen writer can handle an explanation of this, and as you offered, make it no more than a minor flippant matter that is dealt with momentarily or possibly (as I would hope) a precedent setter for their Future Family.

So, you've come to a point that you agree with me. Was that so hard? :P

I make no apologies for this belief and I stand by initial comments. More diversity is needed in comics, more minority characters, and more and better representation of these characters is needed at the higher level, the level of Wolverine/Spidey/Cap/Thor/Etc... And I do think Greg Land is a piece of shit, and I see your numbers and all your points and raise you this:

Methinks you didn't read what I said. I'm totally with you on the need for diversity. I simply happen to think that there are right and wrong ways to go about creating it, and that's been my position from the beginning.

Also, I never said I'm a fan of Greg Land. I said that the titles he's on sell, which is true. Big difference.

You could get a bristly creator catch a bad fan who runs a blog and see a sale plummet (the comic creator who mouthed off about the 99% at the wrong time), you could catch a creator off guard with a dumb question and have them respond like a total jack ass and as a result watch the sales go straight into the toilet (not that he needed help with this one, TT sucks.)

I hate to break it to you, but that didn't happen--or rather, it's impossible to tell yet. That incident happened in December, and comics are ordered months in advance. The sales for TT (which happens to be one of the only DCnU titles I almost like) have been on a steady downward slide for a year, and the dip in January was nothing unusual. It is far from the only title with that problem.

We're not really in disagreement about much. I'm not as positive as you are about the state of the industry, but I'm a rather pedantic realist. I'd like to see things get better, but I know that making that happen will be an immense challenge and don't see it happening if the companies continue on the way they are.
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:08 pm

I also want to point out Jamie Foxx as Electro was never brought up. Why is it when a black person plays a villain (as you noted, Kingpin) not too many people lose their minds... but when a black character plays one of our white heroes we (the comicbook fanbase/sub-culture) go bonkers all over the internet? And yes there was some backlash in the early 2000's w/ a black Kingpin, but I think with the social networks on the rise at the time rather than at their peak as they seem to be now -- like-minded idiots couldn't congregate as easily and thus their voices are more diminished than they are nowadays.
I think there's a very interesting case study here about comic fans and the such.

Axel Alonso had some thoughts [url=Axel Alonso: Speaking as someone who wasn't consulted, I think it's great. It gives the story an additional layer, another nuance, and puts forth another definition of "family." People of all shapes, sizes and colors go to the multiplex, and it's important that they see themselves projected on the big screen. That's why I'm a huge Danny Trejo fan! [Laughs]The Marvel Universe is everybody's story.

Oh -- and Michael B. Jordan rocks. Loved him since "The Wire." Great actor. He's definitely my second favorite Michael Jordan!]on the matter via CBR's Axel-In-Charge[/url]

And then atop of that he explained the further difficulties of trying to couple diversity in comics versus diversity in the films...

We face a very different challenge than the Studio does. Editors are the current caretakers of a mythology that dates back 50-60 years, and a large portion of our audience has been around for a decade or more. Our challenge is to be respectful of them while keeping the characters relevant to the times so we can bring in new readers. Characters like the new Ms. Marvel and the All-New Ghost Rider, Robbie Reyes, help. We can reshape the clay, pick off small pieces, but we can't just replace clay the way you can when you're making a movie.

In the first "Iron Man" film, no one blinked when Tony Stark's origin took place in an underground Iraqi bunker because the vast majority of the audience was being exposed to Iron Man for the first time. That's not true in comics; the core audience has been around for a while, and they notice all change. That's the lay of the land, and that's our challenge.



It seems pretty pointless to keep going back and forth, but I obviously disagree. I think your points hold some validity but I have faith in the market and the fanbase (as I mentioned by bringing up cosplay) and I think the creators are responsive to this -- as you would see on Tumblr should you get an account.

I would suggest reading Bendis' post here or anything from the Marvel group of editors/creators on Tumblr as well as Gail Simone's's posts. Honestly, the questions they get are sometimes ridiculous but the number of positive rebloggers/reposters, responsive replies to the OP, and the number of people in support of those fighting for diversity gives me hope that decisions like Michael B. Jordan (or Jamie Foxx) as a white-comics-character is both a good and productive decision.
And it's not diversity for diversity's sake. After all, that's all in perception anyways.
Last edited by Ult_Sm86 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FANTASTIC FOUR CAST ANNOUNCED!

Postby Wahnsinn » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:41 am

Ult_Sm86 wrote:I also want to point out Jamie Foxx as Electro was never brought up.

I've never read USM, so I know absolutely nothing about that version of the character. Isn't that the version being used for the movie? For all I know, that character is, or could plausibly be, black. Commenting on a character I probably couldn't recognize in a lineup ain't my style. ;)
If they did pull a race switch on him, I hope they do a decent job of making sense of the character as they present him. That's the same way I feel about Johnny Storm. I just think they've set themselves up for a more difficult job of it with the latter because both he and his sister need to be adjusted for that change. It's a bigger challenge, but it's not an insurmountable one. Hollywood's track record in this area does not leave me with a great deal of optimism, though.

It seems pretty pointless to keep going back and forth, but I obviously disagree.

I think you think we disagree more than we do.

And it's not diversity for diversity's sake.

We shall see. I'll be quite pleased if they don't muck it up.
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