MY PROBLEM WITH JAMIE FOXX’S ELECTRO
Take a look at the first two pictures I have used in this set. Looks like a great page to screen adaptation, doesn’t it? Except the first picture is Jamie Foxx as supervillain Electro in the newest big screen Spider-man flick. The second, is a recent comic depiction of Black Lightning, himself a decades old DC superhero.
Many jokes have been made around Tumblr about black comic superheroes and their powers of electricity. (See Jakeem Thunder, Static and the rest above.) A unique issue to have I guess, if the larger one wasn’t so LARGE.
Why, aside from the Blade trilogy debatably, can’t Hollywood take a black superhero seriously? There are several powerful ones out there, and there’s certainly a market for it. Shall we discuss all of the viewers out there who hunger to see themselves represented in all the areas our Caucasian heroes are?
Sure this can be applied across the board (Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Bella Swan, Katniss Everdeen, the Mortal Instruments chick - all white “heroes”), but it can be argued that there are no black characters of the same ilk with such a strong following. That can’t be said of the superhero kingdom. Despite disputes between DC and the creator of the character, Black Lightning is so popular the replacement characters have been used on various animated series that are essentially knockoffs (see SuperFriends with “Black Vulcan,” Static Shock with “Soul Power,” and Justice League Unlimited with “Juice” above). Black Lightning has inspired an SNL skit and spawned two popular black superhero daughters of his own, Thunder and Lightning.
Storm, John Stewart, and Black Panther all have passionate followings, and are relatively recognizable to mainstream fans. Storm has at least had a strong showing screentime-wise in the X-Men series, and John Stewart almost had his big-screen debut when Common was cast as the Green Lantern in George Miller’s non-Nolan-approved Justice League: Mortal film, yet we’re still getting big screen Hal Jordans and Daredevils before a big screen Luke Cage.
To be fair, there was Steel. There was Spawn.
But is that really being fair? Hee hee. Heroes of color have been represented on Power Rangers since the beginning. And Wonder Woman continuously gets shat on by Hollywood in ways that no hero of her ilk should be, so there is that. And maybe with this post I’m touching on things that others can say more intelligently and eloquently than I. My main thought is this: I don’t wanna see a black Electro on a big screen when I still don’t have my big screen Black Lightning.
For every Aqualad in Young Justice and War Machine supporting player in a Marvel flick, there’s M. Night Shamylan casting all of the protagonists with white actors in The Last Airbender . When we get closest, well… they kill him, fittingly, with lightning.
Little black children wanna see heroes that look like us. We see villains that look like us enough in both film and news. I want this upcoming generation to see themselves changing the world beyond the White House. We can be the president. And, dammit, Michael Jordan isn’t the only one who can fly.