Yeah. I will say this – I’d like to start with the defense first. If you change Wonder Woman’s costume, the blog sites blow up. There are some individuals who look at graphic novels as “canon,” and they cannot change in any way, shape or form, and that’s what makes them in some ways good fans.
I think we have to come to understand that core fans – and God bless ‘em, because they are core fans – they’re not enough to be drivers, in every sense. These worlds are bigger than just that core of fans. And at some point, if you want to remain relevant, whether it’s just comic books or moving into the TV space or the film space, you have to be cognizant of the world around you.
You know, you see that in plenty of films – the filmmakers go, ‘We’re living in a multicultural society, and if we want to survive, we have to start acknowledging that.’ Certainly as a kid, I grew up with Batman, Superman, whoever – they didn’t need to be black for me to relate to them.
But when a character like Cyborg came along, I got excited, because he looked a little bit more like me, his experiences were a little bit more like mine.
I still have my first Black Lightning that I got way back in the day, and my first Steel. And I proudly display those comics, by the way. I have a lot of comics, but those are among the ones that mean the most to me.
I look at my kids, and how they respond to films, and yeah, if there’s a Michael B. Jordan in the film, they’re going to respond differently – not just in terms of whether or not they want to see the movie, but in terms of seeing someone like them being heroic, someone like them with powers and abilities.
All those things I said to you in that earlier question about wish fulfillment – why should that be limited to a certain space and time? With comic books, Batman has remained the same age forever, Superman has remained the same age – yeah, he gets rebooted and this and that, but if you are writing in a space that is magical, and it is at the whim of the creators, and these stories change as they need to change way back from the early days of the ‘30s and ‘40s all the way up to the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and today, my Batman is not the Batman I understood when I was a kid.
They change. Their stories change. And if they can change to the reality that they do change, why can’t they make that change (of race) as well? You know, there are people who are against people of color getting involved in politics, or there was a time when people were against their getting involved with sports.
The real world has changed and moved on. If we can make that change in the real world, we can make it in this fanciful world that exists beyond us.
And if people don’t like it – we’re not waiting for permission any longer to make these changes in real life, and we’re certainly not going to wait for them in storytelling. I never asked for permission.
So for those who are against it – I get it to a degree, but as a society, we’re moving on, and we’re not asking for permission.