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  1. #871
    Extraordinary Member WebLurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    I mean, there is backlash towards the MCU supposedly whitewashing Captain Marvel (even though they didn't), but there's no backlash to the MCU essentially whitewashing Miles. There was even a push by a loud-but-vocal minority of people on the internet to get the Feige to use Miles instead of Peter back when the second reboot was announced. Their reasoning was diversity-based, so they would have definitely taken issue with what we got. But as early as Homecoming, those people seemed to dissapear or not care anymore.
    Maybe the realization that the casting was set kinda got people to just move onto other stuff? The success of the Spider-Verse move may also have been seen as answering the demand, so to speak?
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  2. #872
    Astonishing Member Lukmendes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    I noticed a lot less anger recently. It probably has to do with the novelty factor wearing off. It happens with every new version, good or bad. Once enough time passes and people aren't as hyped up by something, they will be more open to critiques of it.
    Maybe? I think the twitter one happened like an year after Homecoming was out though... But it's been a while, and I'm terrible with dates.

    I'm honestly more surprised by the lack of backlash to MCU Peter borrowing so much from Miles. If we think about it, MCU Spider-Man is technically the least inclusive version of Spider-Man to ever exist. By stealing so much from Miles, you are either making it impossible or harder-than-usual for MCU Miles to be included. That is worse than just doing classic Peter Parker and making him white, because at least that makes room for Miles.

    I mean, there is backlash towards the MCU supposedly whitewashing Captain Marvel (even though they didn't), but there's no backlash to the MCU essentially whitewashing Miles. There was even a push by a loud-but-vocal minority of people on the internet to get the Feige to use Miles instead of Peter back when the second reboot was announced. Their reasoning was diversity-based, so they would have definitely taken issue with what we got. But as early as Homecoming, those people seemed to dissapear or not care anymore.
    The Captain Marvel thing, those people probably heard about Monica being Captain Marvel and thought she was the original one, or current one or whatever, an understandable mistake at best.

    Miles thing, it might be what I mentioned earlier, that Miles is known to exist, but people don't really know who he is, hell, I admitedly was included in this at first, since I knew about Miles, and didn't notice how much MCU Peter stole from him (I did notice Ned Ganke, but that one was too obvious lol), only after I learned more about Miles I saw how much was stolen.

    616 Peter will probably always be white for continuity reasons. But no future version of Peter technically has to be. If they ever launch another alternate continuity like Ultimate, or a new TV show, or a new film reboot or video game...I think those versions can be white, black, Asian, Hispanic, you name it.
    I'm not saying it can't happen, just wondering how long that'd last, because maybe we could get an adaptation with Hispanic Peter, but what happens once that one ends? Will others follow suit? Or he'll be white again? Spidey is an A-lister who has been white for 58 years after all, so maybe a "Diversity Peter" wouldn't last outside of some weird interpretation, specially now.

    Will it happen? I don't know. I noticed less of a demand for diversity through Peter Parker than there was 10 years ago. It's likely a by-product of the success of other minority characters. I'm not just talking about Miles Morales, but also characters like Kamala Khan who are very similar to Peter. The success of those characters has led to even liberal fans envisioning Peter Parker as "always white", or "the white Spider-Man", even though that's not what he was originally envisioned as. It's kinda ironic but the push for diversity might have culturally cemented Peter as Caucasian.
    What something is originally envisioned matters little anyways, and Spider-Man itself is an example of how that can be beneficial, since MJ was supposed to be seen as some irresponsible woman that Peter shouldn't waste his time with (At least, that's the impression I got with how Peter got annoyed at MJ not caring as much when he changed plans back in Romita era), look how that turned out.

    It's honestly lazy whenever a character's race is changed for the sake of pleasing some group of people anyways, instead of making a new character who stands out by himself (Like Jaime as the third Blue Beetle, who's pretty different from Ted), they just pick this character and change his race? Meh...

  3. #873
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebLurker View Post
    Maybe the realization that the casting was set kinda got people to just move onto other stuff? The success of the Spider-Verse move may also have been seen as answering the demand, so to speak?
    Yes to the second, not so sure about the first. I would imagine more backlash over MCU Peter being a whitewashed Miles than over Monica Rambeau supposedly being unfairly sidelined in favor of Carol (I say "supposedly" because that argument has always been based on misconceptions about Monica and Carol's history). The first assertion has a lot more of a solid ground to stand on than the second.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukmendes View Post
    What something is originally envisioned matters little anyways, and Spider-Man itself is an example of how that can be beneficial, since MJ was supposed to be seen as some irresponsible woman that Peter shouldn't waste his time with (At least, that's the impression I got with how Peter got annoyed at MJ not caring as much when he changed plans back in Romita era), look how that turned out.

    It's honestly lazy whenever a character's race is changed for the sake of pleasing some group of people anyways, instead of making a new character who stands out by himself (Like Jaime as the third Blue Beetle, who's pretty different from Ted), they just pick this character and change his race? Meh...
    Regarding MJ...sort of. The Lee/Ditko comics kinda did hype up MJ as "the one". The idea of Gwen being Peter's Lois Lane and MJ being the "other girl" didn't become a thing until Lee/Romita.

    You frame it as "for the sake of pleasing some group of people" but I don't see it that way. All I'm saying is it would be a good idea to have inclusionary casting calls (meaning future searches for an actor for Peter aren't solely limited to just Caucasians) and free reign for writers of new continuities to interpret Peter's ethnicity however they want (that includes the option to make him white like in 616, if they so desire).

    Even then, I'm only saying it could work because in this case it would work. Obviously not any character can have a part of their identity changed and have it make sense. For example, Steve Rogers will always have to be white.
    Last edited by Kaitou D. Kid; 10-26-2020 at 04:38 PM.

  4. #874
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Talking about race and Peter is kind of funny when a few of his VA's have been POC. Robbie Daymond is half Native-American and isn't Josh Keaton Latino?

    Zoe Kravitz played a white Mary Jane in Spider-Verse.

  5. #875
    Astonishing Member Lukmendes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    Regarding MJ...sort of. The Lee/Ditko comics kinda did hype up MJ as "the one". The idea of Gwen being Peter's Lois Lane and MJ being the "other girl" didn't become a thing until Lee/Romita.
    I don't see how that's the case since Peter never even met MJ during Ditko era, she only showed up once, and in that we have Betty and Liz talking about how beautiful she is, but after that when he went to college, he had a major crush on Gwen for... Some reason, the only thing that was really hyping up MJ was aunt May, and even then Peter was rather dismissive of her, at least once it was rather clear he only agreed to meet MJ because he felt forced to (Even though he had a girlfriend, which Peter pointed out once as a reason he didn't want to meet MJ, aunt May was kind of a bitch).

    Romita era did briefly make MJ look like a big deal, but Peter chose Gwen over her rather fast, but not before we had the ridiculous situation with Lee and Romita making Gwen look more like MJ, yeah lol.

    You frame it as "for the sake of pleasing some group of people" but I don't see it that way. All I'm saying is it would be a good idea to have inclusionary casting calls (meaning future searches for an actor for Peter aren't solely limited to just Caucasians) and free reign for writers of new continuities to interpret Peter's ethnicity however they want (that includes the option to make him white like in 616, if they so desire).

    Even then, I'm only saying it could work because in this case it would work. Obviously not any character can have a part of their identity changed and have it make sense. For example, Steve Rogers will always have to be white.
    I mean, most times when a character is race lifted is for the sake of pleasing some group of people, hardly for a "Oh we just happened to pick this guy 'cause he's talented" reasoning, 'cause shitholes like Hollywood are hardly ever that reasonable, though it can happen I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    Talking about race and Peter is kind of funny when a few of his VA's have been POC. Robbie Daymond is half Native-American and isn't Josh Keaton Latino?

    Zoe Kravitz played a white Mary Jane in Spider-Verse.
    Not race related, but he was voiced by Neil Patrick Harris too, a gay man.

    Voice acting is very often like that, the person who may have barely nothing in common with a character, and play said character lol.

    Reminds me that I once read that the English voice actor who voices Shinji from NGE is actually a black belt of some martial art, which makes it even funnier he's typecasted as helpless kids so much .

  6. #876
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukmendes View Post
    I don't see how that's the case since Peter never even met MJ during Ditko era, she only showed up once, and in that we have Betty and Liz talking about how beautiful she is, but after that when he went to college, he had a major crush on Gwen for... Some reason, the only thing that was really hyping up MJ was aunt May, and even then Peter was rather dismissive of her, at least once it was rather clear he only agreed to meet MJ because he felt forced to (Even though he had a girlfriend, which Peter pointed out once as a reason he didn't want to meet MJ, aunt May was kind of a bitch).

    Romita era did briefly make MJ look like a big deal, but Peter chose Gwen over her rather fast, but not before we had the ridiculous situation with Lee and Romita making Gwen look more like MJ, yeah lol.



    I mean, most times when a character is race lifted is for the sake of pleasing some group of people, hardly for a "Oh we just happened to pick this guy 'cause he's talented" reasoning, 'cause shitholes like Hollywood are hardly ever that reasonable, though it can happen I guess.
    MJ during the Lee/Ditko era showed up twice. The second time was in ASM #38 where she was talking with Aunt May about how she really wants to meet Peter and her face was hidden in the shadows. It wasn't just Aunt May hyping up MJ, the whole narrative was hyping her up (Ditko specifically since he had more creative control over the second half of the run than Lee did). Had Ditko stayed, MJ in the Lee/Romita part of the run would have probably been even more front-and-center (although she would be a bit different as a character).

    I can't think of many race lifts like the one you're talking about simply because I can't think of many race lifts in general. Usually when they happen, it has nothing to do with "pleasing a group of people" (Sam Jackson as Nick Fury, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin, Lakeith Stanfield as L, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman).
    Last edited by Kaitou D. Kid; 10-26-2020 at 06:38 PM.

  7. #877
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    I personally have no problem, in theory, with adaptations making Peter and his supporting cast people of different races. What matters is if the change in ethnicity, still allows the characters to be the same or feel the same way.

    -- Aunt May is Irish in the comics but in the MCU, she's Italian-American thanks to Marisa Tomei being cast but nobody makes an issue about that, for some reason as opposed to the casting of Zendaya as MJ. Nowadays people think Italian-Americans are "white" when that wasn't always the case historically, not with Italians or even with Irish. Later adaptations might make her part Hispanic. It doesn't matter if she's May Reilly, or presumably May Reggio (let's say), or May Rodriguez (hypothetically) in future...as long as she's married to Ben Parker and raises Peter. It doesn't matter. What matters is she represent a kind of unconditional love and support, and courage and self-lessness in being a mother to a kid who she isn't related to by blood. And in that case, any ethnicity or background May belongs to just adds to that rather than subtracts, imho.

    -- In the case of Peter himself...the entire story changes if he's African-American or Hispanic-American imo. The entire concept of "Parker luck" and the "hapless loser" idea of Peter as a screwup hero*, simply won't work if he's black because then the story becomes a kind of dunking on an African-American kid for being an underachiever, not working hard or pushing himself for success...which considering the words dished out by the First Son-In-Law today, is an impossible tack to take. The same applies if he's Hispanic. The concept of "Parker Luck" and so on works in a large sense as a metaphor for 'white guilt' and it's not something you can easily transport and export to characters by changing the ethnicity.

    -- In the case of Peter's girlfriends...like a lot of love interests in superhero stories, and for that matter genre entertainment on the whole, they were made to conform to white women standards of beauty. So Gwen Stacy is a kind of "Hitchcock blonde" type, a refined rich socialite who has an air of snobbishness to her (think Fox News anchors, or Ivanka), and the cult of mourning around the character among (largely male) comics fans is very much in the historical pattern of missing white woman syndrome, a problematic aspect that's not acknowledged often enough (imho). Mary Jane Watson is also similar, but less so than Gwen. Unlike Gwen, MJ can't be reduced to her looks the way Gwen is...she's a working-class runaway from a broken home who hides her true self under a mask in society, and she's warm and generous to a level that surprises everyone, including her. So there's an actual character with her, that you can work with regardless of ethnicity. So I am okay, with doing a race lift of MJ in adaptations and so on. Zendaya I though was a fine MJ...certainly more effective as MJ than Holland was as Peter. 616 Mary Jane would approve of Zendaya since she's an actress herself you know (and also an activist for a lot of leftist political causes including undocumented immigrants).

    Ultimately for me the problem is that you need to sell that these are the same characters as the comics despite the changes. In the MCU, okay they made Marisa Tomei Aunt May and despite being an Oscar winning actress who's appeared in a lot of interesting roles over the decades, the MCU movies basically go with self-congratulatory jokes about how they made Aunt May "hot" (with people desciribing her as a "hot Italian woman") rather than an actual character. A lot of fans prefer Rosemary Harris as Aunt May over her...and that's not them being traditional it's the MCU failing to sell Tomei as the same May of the comics (when Tomei could have sold Lee-Ditko's famous "gumption speech" well). If you are going to adapt Peter as African-American and so on, you need to think deep and sell that actor's version as being the same Peter as comics and not simply 1:1 it without thinking deeply. My major issue with Zendaya as MJ has to do with the fact that the character's name isn't Mary Jane Watson, it's Michelle...I think Sony-Disney should have gone and called her Mary Jane Watson outright...because by naming her Michelle, they half-ass things and they also connote a sense that she's not the same character and that's a disservice to Zendaya.


    * I will say that the concept of "Parker Luck" and screwup hero is also a misunderstanding of Spider-Man and also problematic in a class sense...i.e. working class Peter being judged for not fulfilling certain middle-class norms and expectations.

  8. #878
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Ultimately for me the problem is that you need to sell that these are the same characters as the comics despite the changes. In the MCU, okay they made Marisa Tomei Aunt May and despite being an Oscar winning actress who's appeared in a lot of interesting roles over the decades, the MCU movies basically go with self-congratulatory jokes about how they made Aunt May "hot" (with people desciribing her as a "hot Italian woman") rather than an actual character. A lot of fans prefer Rosemary Harris as Aunt May over her...and that's not them being traditional it's the MCU failing to sell Tomei as the same May of the comics (when Tomei could have sold Lee-Ditko's famous "gumption speech" well). If you are going to adapt Peter as African-American and so on, you need to think deep and sell that actor's version as being the same Peter as comics and not simply 1:1 it without thinking deeply. My major issue with Zendaya as MJ has to do with the fact that the character's name isn't Mary Jane Watson, it's Michelle...I think Sony-Disney should have gone and called her Mary Jane Watson outright...because by naming her Michelle, they half-ass things and they also connote a sense that she's not the same character and that's a disservice to Zendaya.
    I guess for me the silver lining is that, because of Michelle Jones, Mary Jane Watson is still seen as a green-eyed redhead in wider media that actually use Mary Jane Watson.

  9. #879
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I guess for me the silver lining is that, because of Michelle Jones, Mary Jane Watson is still seen as a green-eyed redhead in wider media that actually use Mary Jane Watson.
    The flipside to that is the live action movies don't go far in establishing her as Peter's true love...first we had Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane, then Emma Stone's Gwen, now Zendaya's MJ who is Michelle Jones but called by her initials in the second movie forward...but that gives a sense that Peter's love interest can be just anyone, and not one particular someone. I'd rather have Mary Jane featured in the movies under her name and with aspects of her story and importance in mythos acknowledged than for her to be frozen forever as Romita Sr's crush/ode to Ann Margret (who if people know today, if at all, it's for Kristen Wiig's spoof of her in SNL...let's be real).

    To reiterate what I said in my defense of PS4's Mary Jane, I am a "don't let perfection be the enemy of good" kinda guy. You aren't gonna get the perfect 1:1 version of Spider-Man and the characters in your mind, and if you get it it's not a given that the adaptation will give you the best and most fulfilling stories of it as well. Zenday's MJ flies the banner of the character well, as does the PS4 version, and both are faithful to aspects of the character. Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane was actually a pretty sound take on the character in terms of casting and performance but the writing (especially from the second movie onwards) wasn't there for her (but that's true of the Raimi movies in general, from SM-2 onwards).

    And characters change and have different senses over time. Take Lois Lane. Lois is nowadays drawn in comics as a very beautiful woman but originally she wasn't intended to be "most beautiful civilian in DC" and basically "Selina and Diana if they were civilians" which is how she's drawn these days and presented in comics. She was intended to be pretty but not some untouchable goddess type. She was supposed to look like a middle class working journalist who lives in a big city and in the '50s comics drew Lana Lang as more attractive than her. Then over time, they glammed up Lois more and more, and I think the Superman TAS was the one that really went all out in making her super-attractive (the way Timm draws all women in general). Then they cast Kate Bosworth and Amy Adams as her, both very pretty actresses. Ultimately the deeper aspect of the character remains in place right. That's more important ultimately. And that applies to Mary Jane albeit in inverse.
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 10-26-2020 at 09:43 PM.

  10. #880
    Extraordinary Member WebLurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    Yes to the second, not so sure about the first. I would imagine more backlash over MCU Peter being a whitewashed Miles than over Monica Rambeau supposedly being unfairly sidelined in favor of Carol (I say "supposedly" because that argument has always been based on misconceptions about Monica and Carol's history). The first assertion has a lot more of a solid ground to stand on than the second.
    Maybe MCU Peter still close enough to his character concept that he's seen as another version of himself instead of a whitewashed Miles? I mean, Ned-who's-really-Ganke is only real concrete Miles thing about MCU Peter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    In the MCU, okay they made Marisa Tomei Aunt May and despite being an Oscar winning actress who's appeared in a lot of interesting roles over the decades, the MCU movies basically go with self-congratulatory jokes about how they made Aunt May "hot" (with people desciribing her as a "hot Italian woman") rather than an actual character. A lot of fans prefer Rosemary Harris as Aunt May over her...and that's not them being traditional it's the MCU failing to sell Tomei as the same May of the comics (when Tomei could have sold Lee-Ditko's famous "gumption speech" well).
    I did like the mom/son dynamic MCU Peter and May had (reminiscent of the Ultimate comics), although I will concede that she was out of focus a lot. I think Rosemary Harris was 616 May done right (what the character should've been from day one instead of what she was way back in the '60s and '70s comics).
    Doctor Strange: "You are the right person to replace Logan."
    X-23: "I know there are people who disapprove... Guys on the Internet mainly."
    (All-New Wolverine #4)

  11. #881
    Astonishing Member Lukmendes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    MJ during the Lee/Ditko era showed up twice. The second time was in ASM #38 where she was talking with Aunt May about how she really wants to meet Peter and her face was hidden in the shadows. It wasn't just Aunt May hyping up MJ, the whole narrative was hyping her up (Ditko specifically since he had more creative control over the second half of the run than Lee did). Had Ditko stayed, MJ in the Lee/Romita part of the run would have probably been even more front-and-center (although she would be a bit different as a character).
    The narration wasn't hyping her up at all, it was all aunt May, Peter specifically never cared about meeting her, her presence was only briefly used for a few short moments and didn't mess with the plot much, nor did they get much focus, and the whole thing of her face not being shown was a joke they came up with.

    The love triangle could've been played differently if Ditko remained, but nothing really indicates she would be seen as the main girl, since her lack of presence, and even how rarely she was mentioned, don't do much to hint what they were actually planning.

    I can't think of many race lifts like the one you're talking about simply because I can't think of many race lifts in general. Usually when they happen, it has nothing to do with "pleasing a group of people" (Sam Jackson as Nick Fury, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin, Lakeith Stanfield as L, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman).
    Hm, I remember being told that Michael Clarke Duncan was picked because his physique was closer to Kingpin's at least, so I guess I was overhating Hollywood a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by WebLurker View Post
    Maybe MCU Peter still close enough to his character concept that he's seen as another version of himself instead of a whitewashed Miles? I mean, Ned-who's-really-Ganke is only real concrete Miles thing about MCU Peter.
    There's also other shit like how Peter doesn't need to help with the money on the house as aunt May takes care of that, him looking up so much to other heroes and being mentored, using tech other people made for him, with his main costume being what someone else gave him... That's noticeably a lot of Miles.

    Ultimately it's more accurate to say he's a weird mix of both, though I see more Miles than Peter in this mix.

  12. #882
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The flipside to that is the live action movies don't go far in establishing her as Peter's true love...first we had Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane, then Emma Stone's Gwen, now Zendaya's MJ who is Michelle Jones but called by her initials in the second movie forward...but that gives a sense that Peter's love interest can be just anyone, and not one particular someone. I'd rather have Mary Jane featured in the movies under her name and with aspects of her story and importance in mythos acknowledged than for her to be frozen forever as Romita Sr's crush/ode to Ann Margret (who if people know today, if at all, it's for Kristen Wiig's spoof of her in SNL...let's be real).

    To reiterate what I said in my defense of PS4's Mary Jane, I am a "don't let perfection be the enemy of good" kinda guy. You aren't gonna get the perfect 1:1 version of Spider-Man and the characters in your mind, and if you get it it's not a given that the adaptation will give you the best and most fulfilling stories of it as well. Zenday's MJ flies the banner of the character well, as does the PS4 version, and both are faithful to aspects of the character. Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane was actually a pretty sound take on the character in terms of casting and performance but the writing (especially from the second movie onwards) wasn't there for her (but that's true of the Raimi movies in general, from SM-2 onwards).
    That was a good MJ, I think she was influenced by Ultimate MJ. Agreed on Dunst, but they didn't give her much to do - she's a shadow to her comic self.

    And characters change and have different senses over time. Take Lois Lane. Lois is nowadays drawn in comics as a very beautiful woman but originally she wasn't intended to be "most beautiful civilian in DC" and basically "Selina and Diana if they were civilians" which is how she's drawn these days and presented in comics. She was intended to be pretty but not some untouchable goddess type. She was supposed to look like a middle class working journalist who lives in a big city and in the '50s comics drew Lana Lang as more attractive than her. Then over time, they glammed up Lois more and more, and I think the Superman TAS was the one that really went all out in making her super-attractive (the way Timm draws all women in general). Then they cast Kate Bosworth and Amy Adams as her, both very pretty actresses. Ultimately the deeper aspect of the character remains in place right. That's more important ultimately. And that applies to Mary Jane albeit in inverse.
    Lois' looks was modelled after Siegel or Shuster's wife and even in the Golden Age she was stunning.



    She may not have been the most beautiful woman in the world in DC, the goes to Wonder Woman, but she's super model attractive most of the time because every woman in a super-hero comic book is a 10. This is what she looks like in the movies, the only one who appears "normal" was Kidder.



    Dunst was very attractive in the Riami movies, but I think she's overswhadowed Zendaya - who is Zendaya. Liz was also played by Laura Harris, a model, in Homecoming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    I personally have no problem, in theory, with adaptations making Peter and his supporting cast people of different races. What matters is if the change in ethnicity, still allows the characters to be the same or feel the same way.

    -- Aunt May is Irish in the comics but in the MCU, she's Italian-American thanks to Marisa Tomei being cast but nobody makes an issue about that, for some reason as opposed to the casting of Zendaya as MJ. Nowadays people think Italian-Americans are "white" when that wasn't always the case historically, not with Italians or even with Irish. Later adaptations might make her part Hispanic. It doesn't matter if she's May Reilly, or presumably May Reggio (let's say), or May Rodriguez (hypothetically) in future...as long as she's married to Ben Parker and raises Peter. It doesn't matter. What matters is she represent a kind of unconditional love and support, and courage and self-lessness in being a mother to a kid who she isn't related to by blood. And in that case, any ethnicity or background May belongs to just adds to that rather than subtracts, imho.

    -- In the case of Peter himself...the entire story changes if he's African-American or Hispanic-American imo. The entire concept of "Parker luck" and the "hapless loser" idea of Peter as a screwup hero*, simply won't work if he's black because then the story becomes a kind of dunking on an African-American kid for being an underachiever, not working hard or pushing himself for success...which considering the words dished out by the First Son-In-Law today, is an impossible tack to take. The same applies if he's Hispanic. The concept of "Parker Luck" and so on works in a large sense as a metaphor for 'white guilt' and it's not something you can easily transport and export to characters by changing the ethnicity.

    -- In the case of Peter's girlfriends...like a lot of love interests in superhero stories, and for that matter genre entertainment on the whole, they were made to conform to white women standards of beauty. So Gwen Stacy is a kind of "Hitchcock blonde" type, a refined rich socialite who has an air of snobbishness to her (think Fox News anchors, or Ivanka), and the cult of mourning around the character among (largely male) comics fans is very much in the historical pattern of missing white woman syndrome, a problematic aspect that's not acknowledged often enough (imho). Mary Jane Watson is also similar, but less so than Gwen. Unlike Gwen, MJ can't be reduced to her looks the way Gwen is...she's a working-class runaway from a broken home who hides her true self under a mask in society, and she's warm and generous to a level that surprises everyone, including her. So there's an actual character with her, that you can work with regardless of ethnicity. So I am okay, with doing a race lift of MJ in adaptations and so on. Zendaya I though was a fine MJ...certainly more effective as MJ than Holland was as Peter. 616 Mary Jane would approve of Zendaya since she's an actress herself you know (and also an activist for a lot of leftist political causes including undocumented immigrants).

    Ultimately for me the problem is that you need to sell that these are the same characters as the comics despite the changes. In the MCU, okay they made Marisa Tomei Aunt May and despite being an Oscar winning actress who's appeared in a lot of interesting roles over the decades, the MCU movies basically go with self-congratulatory jokes about how they made Aunt May "hot" (with people desciribing her as a "hot Italian woman") rather than an actual character. A lot of fans prefer Rosemary Harris as Aunt May over her...and that's not them being traditional it's the MCU failing to sell Tomei as the same May of the comics (when Tomei could have sold Lee-Ditko's famous "gumption speech" well). If you are going to adapt Peter as African-American and so on, you need to think deep and sell that actor's version as being the same Peter as comics and not simply 1:1 it without thinking deeply. My major issue with Zendaya as MJ has to do with the fact that the character's name isn't Mary Jane Watson, it's Michelle...I think Sony-Disney should have gone and called her Mary Jane Watson outright...because by naming her Michelle, they half-ass things and they also connote a sense that she's not the same character and that's a disservice to Zendaya.


    * I will say that the concept of "Parker Luck" and screwup hero is also a misunderstanding of Spider-Man and also problematic in a class sense...i.e. working class Peter being judged for not fulfilling certain middle-class norms and expectations.
    Wow, you really love MJ. Even when you admitted that most of her character came by accident rather than design.

  14. #884
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The flipside to that is the live action movies don't go far in establishing her as Peter's true love...first we had Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane, then Emma Stone's Gwen, now Zendaya's MJ who is Michelle Jones but called by her initials in the second movie forward...but that gives a sense that Peter's love interest can be just anyone, and not one particular someone. I'd rather have Mary Jane featured in the movies under her name and with aspects of her story and importance in mythos acknowledged than for her to be frozen forever as Romita Sr's crush/ode to Ann Margret (who if people know today, if at all, it's for Kristen Wiig's spoof of her in SNL...let's be real).
    Also on the flipside is we've gone through enough Spider-Man interpretations that none of them and their specific takes are seen as that definitive, particularly the MCU which keeps trying to reinvent the wheel.

    I don't think being based around Ann Margret should negate what are her defining physical features, especially given how much of her personality they represent in my opinion.
    To reiterate what I said in my defense of PS4's Mary Jane, I am a "don't let perfection be the enemy of good" kinda guy. You aren't gonna get the perfect 1:1 version of Spider-Man and the characters in your mind, and if you get it it's not a given that the adaptation will give you the best and most fulfilling stories of it as well. Zenday's MJ flies the banner of the character well, as does the PS4 version, and both are faithful to aspects of the character. Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane was actually a pretty sound take on the character in terms of casting and performance but the writing (especially from the second movie onwards) wasn't there for her (but that's true of the Raimi movies in general, from SM-2 onwards).
    This reminds me what I like so much about the Marvel's Spider-Man cartoon's take on MJ compared to some of the recent depictions of MJ in other media, as she's likeable, sassy, normal, with a dash of that vivaciousness and spontaneity that made the character popular, and she has a personality that isn't so defined by being a generic reporter.

    She may not be a party girl masking all her insecurities and doubts but she's actually fun.
    And characters change and have different senses over time. Take Lois Lane. Lois is nowadays drawn in comics as a very beautiful woman but originally she wasn't intended to be "most beautiful civilian in DC" and basically "Selina and Diana if they were civilians" which is how she's drawn these days and presented in comics. She was intended to be pretty but not some untouchable goddess type. She was supposed to look like a middle class working journalist who lives in a big city and in the '50s comics drew Lana Lang as more attractive than her. Then over time, they glammed up Lois more and more, and I think the Superman TAS was the one that really went all out in making her super-attractive (the way Timm draws all women in general). Then they cast Kate Bosworth and Amy Adams as her, both very pretty actresses. Ultimately the deeper aspect of the character remains in place right. That's more important ultimately. And that applies to Mary Jane albeit in inverse.
    Lois has always been meant to be a glamorous female reporter, even Dana Delany believed that when she took up the role in TAS.

  15. #885
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukmendes View Post
    There's also other shit like how Peter doesn't need to help with the money on the house as aunt May takes care of that...
    Guess I saw that as being left aside since the movies focused more on the superhero stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukmendes View Post
    ...him looking up so much to other heroes and being mentored...
    That's Ultimate Peter (esp. the Iron Man angle).

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukmendes View Post
    ...using tech other people made for him...
    Maybe...although he did invent the webbing and stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukmendes View Post
    ...with his main costume being what someone else gave him... That's noticeably a lot of Miles.
    Thought that was more "realism," since it's always been a degree of suspension of disbelief that Peter could get such a nice costume on his own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukmendes View Post
    Ultimately it's more accurate to say he's a weird mix of both, though I see more Miles than Peter in this mix.
    Fair enough if you do.
    Doctor Strange: "You are the right person to replace Logan."
    X-23: "I know there are people who disapprove... Guys on the Internet mainly."
    (All-New Wolverine #4)

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