Diverse superheroes more relatable than Superman

As a superhero fan, I have long been excited for the upcoming ‘Batman v Superman’ and ‘Captain America: Civil War.’ Many superhero movies have come out the past few years, to the joy of thousands of comic book fans.

So why is it almost always the same superheroes just being reimagined in attitude, race, sexuality and more? Rather than give us the same heroes in new ways that displease fans, why not be diverse by having a range of characters?

Now, this does not happen as much with Marvel Studios, looking at all the characters they have incorporated into their stories and the positive reception they often had.

It does happen with Marvel characters, however.

The movie rights to some characters, like Spider-Man and Deadpool, are not owned by Disney/Marvel. Since 2002, Sony has given us two versions of Spider-Man, and now Disney and Sony have reached an agreement where we will see another in ‘Captain America: Civil War.’

Although Peter Parker is known as being a part of Marvel’s Civil War some people have suggested that Marvel use the character Miles Morales.

Morales is a black Hispanic youth who became Spider-Man after the death of Peter Parker, and has been seen as relatable by keeping with the Spider-Man feel but in a new interesting way.

Deadpool just got his movie, and it was a huge hit because of the action, humor and, of course, Ryan Reynolds.

This was not the first time Deadpool has been attempted. In ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine,’ Reynolds played Deadpool, and though his acting was well- received, the version of the character was negatively viewed.

Deadpool in this movie was drastically different, essentially changing the ‘Merc with a mouth’ to a ‘Merc without a mouth’ with the powers of multiple mutants, including Wolverine.

When Reynolds was first introduced to a Deadpool comic, it described Deadpool’s appearance as ‘Ryan Reynolds mixed with a shar-pei,’ and Reynolds became such a fan that he decided he wanted to play the character as comic-accurate as possible, helping the 2016 movie succeed.

DC is more responsible for multitudes of hero remakes, considering at this point a myriad of actors have played the iconic Batman, from the campy days of Adam West to ‘realistic and gritty’ with Christian Bale. Likewise, there have been many incarnations of Superman, including fan-favorite Christopher Reeve and the recent Henry Cavill films.

Complaints for some superhero movies have included “This is too dark. This is too goofy. That actor isn’t right for the part,” and just disliking director ‘interpretations’ of characters.

Despite this, Batman and Superman remain the two that get virtually all of DC’s attention in the cinematic world.

In my mind, there are movies DC could do that do not require Batman and Superman, but would be very relatable and enjoyed by fans.

Some might remember the show ‘Static Shock,’ about the DC character Virgil Hawkins, a young black male who juggles his student and family life with being a superhero.

Aside from the struggles of being a superhero, Static deals with his school life, drugs and gang wars in his neighborhood.

Another popular character is Martian Manhunter, an alien who became a superhero after being trapped on Earth.

Aside from Manhunter’s fanbase, a movie with him could symbolize what it is like for a person to go to a new country and learn about their customs and lives.

Perhaps to some people, Batman and Superman seem not relatable. This may be true to an extent, and though they can teach morals it can be better to have more relatable characters.

Though Martian Manhunter may not be extremely relatable on the surface, he, along with characters like Static and Miles Morales, could be one of many superheroes who expand the superhero movie genre.

This article originally appeared in the March 30, 2016 print edition of The Echo.

image via playbuzz.com


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