Saturday, February 22, 2014

"The Human Torch" Did Not Burn Crisp

Flame On
If you are a comic book fan, what is the first thing that you want to see when watching a movie tie-in?

Many will probably answer that it’s the character profile. Why? Because these long time followers are more concerned that the movie version will not protect the integrity and authenticity of the entire epic story while it tries to project diversity instead of uniformity.

This is the main reason why Fox’s new version of the famous superhero quartet, The Fantastic Four,” will fail even before it got started. Maybe in an effort to continue to keep the movie rights at the expense staying true to the original, Fox changed the ethnicity of characters without any regards to what history is telling us.

Actor Michael B. Jordan ("Fruitvale Station" and "Friday Night Lights") will become Johnny Storm, "The Human Torch" for the film, re-teaming with his "Chronicle" director Josh Trank for the project. Kate Mara ("House of Cards") joins the fold as Johnny's sister Sue Storm, aka the Invisible Woman. No details have yet emerged as to how that relationship will be presented in the reboot, though many suspect adoption or half-parentage will come into play.

Meanwhile, Miles Teller — who recently starred with Jordan in the bromantic comedy "That Awkward Moment" — comes in as Reid "Mr. Fantastic" Richards. Finally, Ben Grimm, aka The Thing, reportedly will be portrayed by Jamie Bell ("Billy Elliot").

No offense to Jordan, but can anybody tell me in what issue of various Fantastic Four comics did "The Human Torch" became a black guy? Did too much 'supernova' explosion toasted his skin crispy black?

Since 1961, the comic books, animated series and even the video games were pretty much consistent and are telling us that Sue and Johnny Storm have only one mother and father. There were no adoptions involved nor any step-parents or secret half-siblings hiding in the closet. So how come the new version of “The Fantastic Four” included a flaming, freaking black guy?

As I wrote in my previous article lambasting Marvel for replacing Ms. Marvel with a 16-year old daughter of Pakistani immigrants, in the spirit of "transcending racial divide through mainstream via internationally recognizable figures of comic lore", Fox wants us to ignore all about the character and redefine our experience with "The Human Torch."

"If Fox is truly going to make a character that represent and help identify with the African-American culture, why not develop a basketball-jersey-clad hero that emerges from the American ghetto and pound drug dealers, human traffickers and wife beaters until they learn their place." Leave our favorite original heroes alone and develop a new one to satisfy your lust for African-American who looked at life from the fringe.

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