Sunday, July 20, 2014

Random Musings: Why Changing a Character's Ethnicity Isn't a Bad Thing

The New Sentinel of Liberty!
While on The Colbert Report last week, Marvel's CCO Joe Quesada revealed that Sam Wilson (a.k.a "The Falcon") will be taking on the title of Captain America this fall. When Marvel teased that Steve Rogers would be passing on the iconic shield, many people speculated that Wilson would be the one to receive it due to his longtime partnership with Rogers. Although many fans are happy with the announcement and excited to see this new take on the Sentinel of Liberty, a very vocal minority of fans have cried foul.

These "fans" labelled the decision as disrespectful to Captain America's legacy, believing the move is just an obvious ploy to pander African American fans and nothing more. These people are most likely the same people who criticized the decision the introduction of Miles Morales as the Ultimate Spider-Man or the casting of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm in the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot. They see this decision as a slight against their favorite character, believing this change in ethnicity is is going against the true nature of the character due to the character almost always being depicted as a white guy.

Of course, this belief is total bullshit.

Yes, Captain America has almost always been depicted as a Caucasian male. However, there is nothing about the character that requires him to be that ethnicity. Captain America's core concept is a hero that truly believes that a person should always do what's right, no matter what the cost is. As long as the character remains true to that concept, their ethnicity (or gender, for that matter) shouldn't matter in the slightest.

Captain America is Captain America, whether its Steve Rogers or Sam Wilson behind the mask.

Also, I find it weird that some fans find it hard to accept an African American as Captain America, but will easily buy a world where a teenager can be bitten by a radioactive spider and gain superpowers or a scientist can accidentally combine the DNA of Tomas Edison with his pet cockatiel, creating an anthropomorphic bird genius. They can accept that, but find Captain America being black too much. I can't be the only one who sees the problem here, can I?

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