For a while now I’ve seen the discussion on why it’s a great idea to change characters who were depicted as one thing, to another thing in order to fit a specific agenda. With diversity been more and more prominent and important than ever before, people want to see themselves depicted heroically or villainy. I understand where these idea comes from and, I see their point of view and why many would want that, but in my opinion I simply can’t agree with that notion.
You see, for me I’ve always said this “I’d rather have an original character, with his/her own background story and a well written plot“. I’ve never been too keen of characters that been changed, just fill a slot for diversity. This is what caused Marvel comics to fall in terms of quality. These characters weren’t written with heart and soul, and because of that they’re just there to fill an agenda. To cash in on the demand for diversity. They’re not written to start a legacy, but to only leech off another hero’s legacy.
Now comics are no strangers when it comes to completely changing a character in order to fit the narrative when it’s needed but for the most part the identity of these characters remain the same. The have been different version of Peter Parker in the past, but it’s still Peter Parker at the end of the day.
I’ve always advocated to the creation of original characters that can stand on their own two feet without piggy-backing of the well-established comics legends. To me, it comes off as this: “A person of [Fill in blank] can’t be popular or interesting unless they use an existing, well-established hero’s name“.
I mean it’s great for the young readers who are growing up wanting heroes or villains who look like them and can relate with them on a core bases but the overall picture is that, those characters in my opinion, they will always be seen as “blank-version of that white character”. It will always give that message of, white is the default and any variation of that is an alternative. That’s how I feel with most of these new Marvel/DC heroes and villains sometimes.
It all comes down to hiring writers, story-tellers, artist and creators of different backgrounds who are passionate about telling stories while casually creating characters of diversity without making it feel like they are there just to fill an agenda. With Black Panther and Black Lightning been received in such a positive light, it shows to me that it can be done, we just need to get the right people for the job.
Let me know what you guys think? I’m curious to see how everyone feels about this topic.