I'm all for it. Except the 'it' I'm talking about ain't happening. Far be it from me to be a champion of diversity, but where it actually matter, ie genuine heroics, it seems to me that Marvel and others have got it all wrong.
Now I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not a big comic fan, but I have seen enough to know that of all the creative media in the world, comics are unleashed in an extraordinary way. It almost seems to be a lost art, a kind of storytelling (if and when I find the literary gold) that goes beyond text towards a realm just visual enough to spark the imagination in ways that TV and movies just cannot. But I'm certain this has been much better said by others with some dog years in the critical game. I'm a newb. But I do know something about your standard American superheroes. I wasn't born yesterday.
So when I hear that the next Captain America is going to be a black man, the new Green Lantern is gay and the next Thor is a woman.. Well I wasn't born yesterday. I've got emotional baggage with those old supers and I don't like seeing them flipped. Now I can't say with definition that there are not righteous in-situ ways of explaining the changes, even though I thought Thor was immortal. It makes sense that old caped crusaders die off and new ones don the mask. But isn't that nothing at all but cliche?
Granted, there's an important tradition of emergent minorities, and don't get me wrong, there's something very appealing about the right black man becoming the new Captain America. But it would be nice if he had a choice - that is to say, if your intent is to diversify heroism, why not diversify it? Why not build a new house instead of just having a new different person move into the old house? Wait, stop. I know the answer - it's about a black man becoming President of the United States of America, as contrasted with HNIC. Yes I get that. Still, why not have a new kind of hero with a new kind of power in a new situation?
Now I'm at the end of my rope. I can't say much more because I can't tell from experience how this may or may not have worked before. Obviously the old Justice League is in desparate need of a shakeup. And OMG, if Bruce Banner was a black scientist who got wrongly fired from NASA by a false claim from a white woman on sexual harrassment, that kind of rage would make the Incredible Hulk really frightening. But I'm still kind of freaking out over my discovery this week of Ravenhammer.com. An independent black comic is really giving me images that I never saw before, and probably you too. I think I'd like to see some of these alternative supers a chance to script outside the box. And so this is my invitation to see for myself as well.