Tuesday, May 6, 2014

'Blackwashing' Will Not Erase Johnny Storm's Whiteness

Johnny Storm
It is no secret that comic purist and super hero followers are distress to learn that Fox is trying to change the identity of one of the most interesting original character of Marvel universe – Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch.

The grumblings grew after fans learned that the producer of the new "Fantastic Four" movie tried to stir up a controversy by casting a black man Michael B. Jordan as the flying ball of fire. The reason for the race choice is not clear. Maybe it was just a penchant to try and advocate for more diversity of the industry or there is something screwy in the functioning of an imagination that can stretch totally off the scale and ignore the original material.

There are things that can’t be denied though even if the depictions of the character have varied across media and over the years. Johnny Storm is young. Johnny Storm can be somewhat impulsive. Johnny is, in keeping with his super-power, a bit of a hot-head. Johnny Storm is the brother of Susan Storm and son of Franklin Storm. Johnny Storm is as straight as the arrow of Arsenal. Johnny Storm has blond hair, blue eyes and 5’10 in height.

According to Marvel. Com universe:
Johnny Storm grew up in suburban Glenville, Long Island, New York. He was drawn to automobiles despite his mother's death in a car accident, and became quite a mechanic at a young age. While still a teenager he selflessly rescued two of his friends from a burning building.

No stranger to adventure, Johnny - son of famous doctor and infamous criminal Franklin Storm - was nearly chosen as the human host of the demonic Zarathos, the Ghost Rider, and was attacked by the legendary St. Germaine, who sought the power for himself. Johnny escaped the lure of Zarathos with the help of archeologist Max Parrish, the uncle of Cammy Brandeis, on whom Johnny had a bit of a crush.

Following his sister, Sue, Johnny joined Reed Richards' crew in a space flight. Riddled with cosmic radiation, Johnny transformed into a flaming monster when the flight crashed back to earth. Calling himself Human Torch in tribute to the World War II era hero of the same name, the youthful Johnny found new adventure as part of the Fantastic Four, proving to be an invaluable if somewhat volatile member of the team.
The rest of his adventure was fully and clearly documented and there is nowhere in those thick and voluminous document that says his skin was burn black.

There is no reason whatsoever to 'blackwash' Johnny Storm. There is no reason to change just because of times have change. The biological relationship between Susan and Johnny are integral part of their character. How the brother and sister experienced life growing up with their their biological father Franklin shaped their characters. By making one black and the other one white, affects this relationship significantly since their experiences in their early lives are different from what it could have been.

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