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  1. #1
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    Default White characters whose race is/was essential to them

    The re-imagining of white characters as non-white ones, like Johnny Storm in the upcoming FF movie, left me wondering. Just like the thread title asks, which white characters wouldn't make sense as non-white ones?

    I realize some won't be able to help but say nearly, if not all of them. One alright argument I've read once for keeping Batman white is because he belongs to old money,though that part could easily be ignored if you wanted a non-white Batman imo.

    I don't really have a problem turning white characters into minorities, for the most part. We have an abundance of white protagonists as it is, and the vast majority were designed to be white mostly because of racial bias and the predominently white mainstream crowd's need for "relatable" characters (not that other races aren't also guilty of that). Turning iconic minorities into white ones, on the other hand, is problematic, because we get too few minorities, especially female ones, in non-stereotypical roles. Making Nilin from the Remember Me game white would just help maintain (or should I say restore) the status quo. Though making her Asian, Arab, or any other non-white ethnicity could be okay, but I'm fond of her design, so I'd keep her as she is.

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    Captain Nazi.


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    Casper the friendly ghost

    Last edited by ExcelsiorPrime; 05-11-2014 at 07:48 AM.

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    Dead Duck Donald M.'s Avatar
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    Batman, I guess. Him being a rich white boy punching minority criminals is kind of the point. That's about it. Spider-Man, if anything, would make even more sense as a black kid. Orphan raised by his aunt realizes he has extraordinary abilities and tries to become famous, falls back on a life of crime (as a vigilante) when that doesn't work out.

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    Ceiling Belkar stabs you GozertheGozarian's Avatar
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    Nazi loyalists don't work as any other color than white.
    "I rhyme with tyre
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    "And that's the essential problem with 'Planetary' right there. When Elijah Snow says, 'The world is a strange place'... he gets Dracula, Doc Savage and Godzilla... When we say it, we get The Captain Fire-Cock Rock 'n' Roll Spectacular."
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    Ultimate Member MindofShadow's Avatar
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    Captain America

    I really couldn't by America choosing a black kid with a heart of gold to be there first/only super soldier. And then for that person to become a symbol of hope in the US... It really woudln't make sense for that person to be white considering the time period the story takes place.

    Thor- he's a viking God.

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    Ultimate Member t hedge coke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindofShadow View Post
    Captain America

    I really couldn't by America choosing a black kid with a heart of gold to be there first/only super soldier. And then for that person to become a symbol of hope in the US... It really woudln't make sense for that person to be white considering the time period the story takes place.
    The Truth did it quite well, I thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindofShadow View Post
    Thor- he's a viking God.
    Yes, but not a viking. Besides, Jesus is long-haired anglo or Italian in most famous adaptations.

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    bye thx fish yet another's Avatar
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    Superman. He's from Krypton.

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    Superman, but not because he's alien. Rather, I feel part of the reason the Clark Kent disguise works so well is that Clark looks really generic in-universe. He has few distinctive qualities. Skin color is part of that, White being the Generic option

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindofShadow View Post
    Captain America

    I really couldn't by America choosing a black kid with a heart of gold to be there first/only super soldier. And then for that person to become a symbol of hope in the US... It really woudln't make sense for that person to be white considering the time period the story takes place.

    Thor- he's a viking God.
    On Captain America, I can agree that it'd make sense for him to be white, given that racism was much worse back then. Even then, that doesn't mean that a non-white soldier couldn't have been chosen, just a lot less likely.

    On Thor though, I disagree. Because gods are fictional concepts, and are generally thought by the people who cooked them up to be of the same race as them (big surprise there). Thor being non-white could be explained in two ways. The first being that he was mistakenly thought of as white, or that Thor can take whichever form he pleases. The latter could also explain his whiteness, or it (his whiteness) can be explained as him taking the appearance he thinks humans (a specific culture of them, to be precise) are gonna be more confortable with. The most important things about Thor to me are the hammer, him being a thunder god, and his asgardian dialogue. What I'm saying is that we don't need to be too faithful to the way a god was designed, at least not aesthetically. Besides, Heimdall is supposed to be a Norse god too, yet look who played him in the Thor movies (I know there are many who didn't like that casting decision).

    I wonder why they couldn't cast a black woman as Sue Storm in the upcoming FF movie. Not because I think it's illogical for a white woman and a black man to be siblings, hell it has nothing to do with Johnny Storm's casting at all. I just think it would have been a more daring change. You know what we get with a black Johnny Storm? A black comic relief.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DS1 View Post
    On Captain America, I can agree that it'd make sense for him to be white, given that racism was much worse back then. Even then, that doesn't mean that a non-white soldier couldn't have been chosen, just a lot less likely.

    On Thor though, I disagree. Because gods are fictional concepts, and are generally thought by the people who cooked them up to be of the same race as them (big surprise there). Thor being non-white could be explained in two ways. The first being that he was mistakenly thought of as white, or that Thor can take whichever form he pleases. The latter could also explain his whiteness, or it (his whiteness) can be explained as him taking the appearance he thinks humans (a specific culture of them, to be precise) are gonna be more confortable with. The most important things about Thor to me are the hammer, him being a thunder god, and his asgardian dialogue. What I'm saying is that we don't need to be too faithful to the way a god was designed, at least not aesthetically. Besides, Heimdall is supposed to be a Norse god too, yet look who played him in the Thor movies (I know there are many who didn't like that casting decision).

    I wonder why they couldn't cast a black woman as Sue Storm in the upcoming FF movie. Not because I think it's illogical for a white woman and a black man to be siblings, hell it has nothing to do with Johnny Storm's casting at all. I just think it would have been a more daring change. You know what we get with a black Johnny Storm? A black comic relief.
    The problem I had with Captain America was the notion that an experimental drug would be used on him. History has shown that type of scientific experimentation was exclusively done to minorities. Not until Nuclear testing in the mid to late 50's was that sort of thing done to whites. From Slavery to the 1940's it was mostly minorities.

    One of my abandoned fanfics had a Jewish woman in a Nazi Camp deportee experimented upon in which she gained superpowers and broke free, freeing those in the camp. I think that would follow some course of logic.
    Last edited by ExcelsiorPrime; 05-11-2014 at 10:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExcelsiorPrime View Post
    One of my abandoned fanfics had a Jewish woman in a Nazi Camp deportee experimented upon in which she gained superpowers and broke free, freeing those in the camp. I think that would follow some course of logic.
    I'm curious, was this fan-fic with an established character or was it with someone you created? If it was an original hero is it something you'd consider re-visiting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GozertheGozarian View Post
    Nazi loyalists don't work as any other color than white.
    There were a couple of colonial Brits in an SS unit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arundel Armor Hunter View Post
    There were a couple of colonial Brits in an SS unit.
    African, Indian and Korean Nazi's as well.

  15. #15
    Incredible Member Kees_L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DS1 View Post
    The re-imagining of white characters as non-white ones, like Johnny Storm in the upcoming FF movie, left me wondering. Just like the thread title asks, which white characters wouldn't make sense as non-white ones?
    Honestly, I'm not so sure whether any of your phrasings there would be equating to your thread title, or what topic you'd be trying to raise exactly.

    Because things could be to vary, regardless of just Batman being white or needing to be. Different versions or incarnations could vary or be conveying diversity, as not everything may get categorized or affirmed at one mere glance.

    Plus to an extent fans could be reading things how they want, eventhough any others could be either agreeing or disagreeing, depending.

    Same for publishers or creatives, different opinions could be existing side by side, just like all the different versions or installments or titles, even as ascribing to the same characters in name or apparition.

    I could think of no popularized comic book content as needing to be by / for or as containing only "minority" or "majority" stuff exclusively. I'd know of no purely "arian" reading material within the realm of mass media comics, nor comics for "lesbians only", or any such.

    I'd believe that superhero comics usually convey a sense of the times, yet not necessarily a realistic one. Often to some sense of seeming modern bóth as nostalgic bóth as being broad in any of its appeal.
    Which to me seems rather particular, like how comics creatives both as publishers couldn't likely claim their products wouldn't be significant in how societal things such as diversity or inclusiveness would seem portrayed in such.

    Comics do - to an extent - convey society and how demographical or ethnical both as gender-related topics could be weighing in, so likely popular comics would want to cater toward as many differing audiences as well as possible.
    Which would not necessarily be the same thing as making white characters into others per se.

    Although might there be reasons why "straight white" would have been the predominant option at least in the past up to now?
    Would any ethnically more varied or less default-gendered characters be having a tendency of not remaining around? Or would it simply be that default heroes would be seeming more known generally?

    I'm feeling very out of touch with most any Big Two superheroes, but when I think of any of the pre-Marvel and pre-DC characters, from The Flash, The Ray, The Shadow (from radioplays) or The Green Mask to Batman or Superman, I'd think none of those would actually or categorically be needing to be for only purely white as proving utterly against any familiarizing with minorities at all, since most Golden Age titles utilize the position of being both for innocent children as well as adults (also since the adults would have been doing a lot of the buying). By which I mean that any implied substance or double entendres would seem more rather the norm for comics moreso than not.

    More rather I'd think that comics would have been considered such a lowly throwaway medium, that predominantly idealistical or progressive types would be dabbling in such. Hippies, liberals.
    But also commercially or businesswise would inclusiveness and diversity for entertainment content be seeming more viable than not. Regardless of classic characters seeming mostly white straight and male, I'd feel up for other flavours or more diverse minority-related stuff rather much as a reader.

    Bring on the Black Vikings or multicolored Lesbian Hitlers, I'd eat such up!

    Or not. Maybe I could find fault with it and then my wrath would be unholy? Would fans be mostly forgiving or positive towards what'd be made for them, or wouldn't they be? Ah I know: it varies!
    Last edited by Kees_L; 05-11-2014 at 12:46 PM.
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