Fantastic

Comic fans pick some weird shit to un-suspend their disbelief over, is all I’m sayin’.

Edit: Also on the subject of comics, why don’t you check out the Transitions Kickstarter? It’s a comic anthology being created by a SCAD alum, with a couple of my peeps’ work in it. And my peeps are some talented peeps. They’ve got about 11 days left and only $1500 to go, so think about pledging maybe possibly yes?

  • Kunnaki

    You wanna know what’s really unrealistic? Superman. The guy who has almost every kind of power you can think of, but loses his strength at the sight of a freakin’ space rock. That’s something I’ve never understood. And what’s more, it seems every villain he comes into contact with, somehow manages to get their hands on said rock, with no effort at all. Like I said, mind boggling.

    • Eric Meissner

      It’s a special type of radiation (at one point he was said to be weak against all “radiation” (popular knowledge of radiation was poor at that point), but they soon restricted it to kryptonite). It is the standard vampire balance setup, LOTS of powers, and a short list of semi-exotic big weaknesses.

      I always figured that the villains put a fair bit of off-screen effort into obtaining kryptonite. I mean if you can’t get superman insurance, it’s pretty stupid to go super-villain-ing anywhere near metropolis. Also, Lex might use his connections to obtain kryponite and discretely make it available to other villains to make Superman’s job harder.

      • Ben Grismer

        Fair enough, but explain this one to me, in cannon it’s originally stated that his powers come from a reaction with our yellow sun right? But then in later interpretations we see Kryptonians flying around on their home planet and shit?! So if these people on Krypton have powers, and Kryptonite is from their home planet, HOW THE FUCK DID ANY OF THEM EXIST?! Idk, I’ve never been big on Superman (I’m more of a Green Lantern, Batman kinda guy), so I might have my facts muddled, but that always seemed like an issue in continuity to me.

        • Eric Meissner

          From what I skimmed on wikipedia, kryptonite (or at least most kryptonite) was created in the cataclysm that destroyed the planet Krypton. They didn’t have kryptonite everywhere, though I’m sure there is probably some writer who didn’t get that memo and threw kryptonite somewhere in a flash-back because comic continuity is inconsistent, but you could argue that pre-cataclysm there was a limited amount of kryptonite and people avoided it like we avoid the various toxic substances found on Earth.

          • Ben Grismer

            Okay, I can totally accept that. lol

  • Ga_Tor

    Well yeah it is a bit of a dichotomous world/comic view but it is also basic human nature. The various comic universes set the rules and characters of their worlds, some of which date back over 70 years. People grew up with these characters and invested a tiny bit of emotional involvement in them as they grew up. It’s what they are used to and what they identify with. Now just to be PC, enlightened and above all to appeal to the black community and their money, they decide to change the race of a major character. The people who object to this are not racist, bigoted and are certainly not hateful (although on some blogs/comment sections I have seen the ‘hateful’ card played) they seem to be more annoyed than anything else as well a bit contemptuous of the industry that they would pander to whatever group for whatever reason. Hey “Nick Fury and his Howling Commandoes” was one of my favorite comics when I was growing up. Now, I think Sam Jackson is a great actor and I appreciate his work, but I was a bit annoyed because he was cast as Fury. It makes a shambles of the entire Nick Fury history in the Marvel universe.

    • KCGarza

      See, I don’t get this argument because mainstream superhero characters have gone through so many drastic reinterpretations and reinventions over the years that few of them really resemble their original versions. Characters die and come back to life, get married and then get retconned so that the marriage never happened, and lose or gain certain personality traits as however the current writer sees fit. Between that and the multiple universes/dimensions aspect of the Big Two, I really don’t see why this is such a big deal.

      “It’s what they are used to and what they identify with.” This strikes me as really weird, because it seems like you’re implying that white fans can’t identify with a character unless they are also white. I know that’s probably not what you’re saying, but that’s how it sounds.

      “to appeal to the black community and their money”, “contemptuous of the industry that they would pander to whatever group for whatever reason.” I find it odd that you fault them for pandering to a particular demographic in an attempt to make more money, when the whole reason why so many superhero characters are so bland and homogenous in the first place is to pander to their predominant demographic….in an attempt to make more money. In other words, they’re pandering to somebody either way. It’s a corporate superhero movie, man. Money is the whole reason for making these things.

      • Ga_Tor

        Sure, I agree with a lot of what your saying and I think we’re both trying to put things into a proper perspective. I’m a long time comic aficionado and at one time even owned my own comic shop which did very well (long story that). As far as identifying with a character, for me the race didn’t matter. When “Luke Cage: Power Man” came out I was immediately taken with the character and it was originally written in a way that one could identify/empathize with him regardless of race. Sadly the writing changed over time and it lost it’s following. Same thing with T’Challa the Black Panther. T’Challa was always and interesting character. Ororo Munroe, Storm ditto but for different reasons (can you tell I’m a mainline Marvelite?) But expanding your logic, why not change the race of real mainline Superheroes, Tony Stark, Peter Parker, all the FF, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Super Girl etc. You get my drift? Oh sure there have been several ‘alternate timeline/universe” treatments along those lines but rarely anything affecting the mainline stories.
        There was a hint of a black James Bond which got a dramatic pushback not because of bigotry, but because it just didn’t work with fans of the genre.

        • KCGarza

          It seems like kind of a slippery slope argument to me. (As in, “well if you’re going to change the race of ONE character, why not change ALL of them?”) And even if that were to happen, I honestly wouldn’t see a huge problem with it, mainly because there are so many different interpretations of these characters already and it doesn’t change the core of what these characters represent. A black/Hispanic/Asian Superman, who still upholds the ethics and positive characteristics that are the reason people love the character, is no less valid than a white Superman. (Actually the fact that he’s an alien kind of makes that even more true) And the existence of one different interpretation doesn’t make the other interpretations just magically vanish. I guess the reason why I’m not bothered by this new movie coming out is because it’s not THE Fantastic Four, it’s just another in a long line of different explorations of their story.

          And as a side note, I think a black James Bond could totally work. Idris Elba, anyone?

          • Wyrmlaf

            Maybe to take this out of the comic world but keep it fictional stories I have one where it does matter. The recent Mary poopins stage production that started up a couple (or more) years ago came to my town two years ago and we went to see it. Now I expected a lot of changes because of being on stage and you just can’t do some of the things they did in the movie on a live stage. The sequences in th epark were chagned from jumping into a chalk drawing of a fair to some sequence where they meet the Queen of England who for some odd reason they had cast a black woman to play Queen Victoria. In fact the whole court was black. why would late 1800’s English children imagine the Queen of England and her court to be modelled after 1920’s southern blacks? That does ruin the suspension of disbelief because you are dealing with historical figures at that point. In the case of changing the Human torch from white to black with out changing Susan Storm’s race is like arbitrarily changing historical figures. Maybe the first step would be do one where the Human torch and the invisible girl./woman aren’t related to begin with and then do anothe rone where he is a black man. It is most likely because of all the “canon” that has to change at one time regarding not just him but Susan Storm/Richards as well.

            Tha being said I think it gives them a chance to come up with a better reason as to why he is there. the original story is becasue he’s susan’s younger brother. which really isn’t all that good of a reason.

          • KCGarza

            Er…no. It’s not at all like arbitrarily changing historical figures. Because Johnny Storm is a fictional character with an inconsistent history, and Queen Victoria is an actual real historical figure. It would be out of place to change the races of people who actually lived, but this isn’t the same thing. I really don’t see what’s so complicated about this.

          • Steel

            I Know I am going to say this wrong and such but here goes. What is complicated about this situation is that from his first appearance to his latest in comic is Johnny Storm has been a white guy (Blond haired and Blue eyed so yeah just a little Aryan). His history while scattered, tangled and gnarled through like 70 plus years of Marvel cont has always settled on him being a white guy. When he was a Android with the fire ability (ok the first Hero to have the name Human Torch) White dude, Some kid who got on a ill fated rocket, white guy, From Main verse, to Ultimate’s, to Manga, to at least 3 cartoons, to walk on parts for at least 3 more cartoons, to toys, to most media to date involving the Fantastic 4 he has been a white guy. I think what really annoys folks is that there are other Black heroes that can be put in the movie if they really feel that they need a black main lead.

          • KCGarza

            Okay. Whatever, guy. If his Aryan-ness is really so important to you that you feel like something is being taken away from you when they cast him as black, then I don’t know what to tell you.

          • Steel

            I don’t think anything is taken away per, I just don’t think anything will be added by the change. Honestly on consideration I feel that there could be a lot of potential for stories here touching on everything from societal injustices to the power of family to all kinds of things that I can’t even think of. Its just…well…… on review of the prior movies of this franchise I feel that they will not make use of ANY of the new story potential presented by making this kind of change and it will leave us with “Hey this guy who has been one race for 70+ years is now another for less then apparent reasons” and you kinda have to ask why.
            so to sum up: black Human Torch = lots of cool story ideas
            Sony Pictures = Won’t make use of them

          • Ben Grismer

            And lets not forget that certain mainline superheroes already HAVE undergone racial changes. Or am I the only one who remembers Hal Jordan’s black replacement as the new green lantern in the Justice League? John Stewart anyone?

          • Ben Grismer

            Seriously, lets get real, how many hundreds of times have these stories been told and re-told? In most cases these characters are more detached from their origins than ACTUAL legendary figures who have been around for centuries. They change, change back, fall into obscurity, resurface, and do it all over again. Its really not a big deal. And good point about superman, he’s Kryptonian, not white, to begin with.

            And thanks for making me the voice of racial reason in this comic btw. ;)

  • CatalystJynx

    I think the push, largely, comes from comics being an inherently visual medium. In Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, there wasn’t a big push (that I remember) about Ford Prefect being cast black (or Trillian being cast white) because the description of the characters was utterly secondary to their actual character. In comics, the imagery is as iconic as the personality, and thus the suspension of disbelief kind of gets a refresh for some people when you, in essence, are changing the iconography completely.
    To me, it’d amount to them putting Superman in a completely different costume than fans recognize. It’s doable, and might even be better, but it’s going to take hanging a lampshade on it to get people to sign on to the change.
    For my part, I’m not thrilled about the casting, but that’s more out of distrust of how this studio has treated the property in the past couple of movies. It really isn’t about “color blind” casting, it’s about respect for the source material, really. This is the studio that transformed Doctor Doom, a foreign Dictator with a hate hard-on for Reed Richards (a deserved one, in my opinion, given their original backstory), into an evil corporate executive who spent his life trying to one-up Richards. One who was born and raised in an Eastern European country, but had no trace or sign of accent.
    So yeah. My two cents. The change in the character’s iconography (yes, they’ve changed here and there, but to be fair, Johnny Storm has always been a little aryan-looking for better or worse), coupled with the studio’s history with the franchise, is what I think is damaging a lot of people’s ability to suspend disbelief. That’s not to say there aren’t a few (maybe a lot) of dyed-in-the-wool racists among the detractors, but for my part, it’s more I don’t think they’re going to do anything good with it. I’ll know for certain when it comes out on DVD, and I can borrow it from somebody.

  • Guesticus

    The point is, Johnny and Sue Storm are full siblings, and for the last 50 years have been white. Changing just one of them to another race is total hose-blowing. At least with Sammie Jackson being cast as Nick Fury has been explained as being a different Universe to the ‘David Hasslehoff’ Nick Fury

    • Jonathan Wint

      I would of been good with both black honestly a mixed race family is ok but it would mean that the family history changed a lot.

      A non cliche would be nice like Sue being the adopted one..
      Or them both being a forth black and him just showing it ,Its not common but not as uncommon as you think. But just doing it for demographics is insulting to every one. I Have black heroes just Like many Blacks have white. We the public are not as stupid as Hollywood thinks.

  • Hollow Shel

    New reader archive-diving, I couldn’t resist commenting on this one cause (a) made me laugh (though so did the Valentine’s Day one, cause it’s my birthday) and (b) while I feel the Johnny casting is a bit silly/unwise, it’s cause I think the casting wasn’t bold enough. REED being black would’ve made things more interesting!