I'm writing this Friday night around 11pm; the house is quiet, the kids are asleep, the wife's out of town. I plan on putting on a little Netflix (Jessica Jones) and catching an episode or two, but I wanted to blog a couple things while I'm thinking about it...even though I don't plan on posting this for a couple days.
I received a notification from Netflix that the new season of Daredevil is coming out March 18th. Readers of this blog know how much I dig the man in the red suit. The main question, of course, is will the second season be as good as the first? Well, it's going to introduce Elektra, and the first episode (per IMDB) has Daredevil facing off against Frank Castle (AKA the Punisher) so comic fans should be prepared to totally geek out. For me, I have to say that the highlight of watching the trailer was actually seeing Murdoch and Foggy interact...as I blogged before, Elden Henson is a breath of fresh air; I forgot how good the chemistry between these actors is, and I found myself (emotionally) moved in just a few second clip. Rosario Dawson again makes an appearance, based on the series trailer, and Deborah Woll (Karen Page) gets 2nd billing in every episode, so I assume she remains prominent, despite the introduction of ex-flame Elektra.
Or am I? There's been quite a brouhaha over the casting of Finn Jones to play Danny Rand in the upcoming Iron Fist series...appears more than a few people were hoping that Marvel and Netflix would take a step outside comic book cannon and cast an Asian-American in the role (you can do your own Google search for "Iron Fist controversy"...you'll find several articles). I mean, he IS a martial arts master, right?
Come to think of it, in all the years I practiced martial arts (about a decade of tae kwon do and hwa rang do plus a single, abbreviated foray into chung moo do) all the practitioners I knew were caucasian. Hell, I only ever met one instructor that was Korean, and she'd only started practicing because she was married to her (caucasian) husband who was an instructor and had met her in Korea.
[I did work with a man of mixed Hawaiian and Japanese ancestry who taught aikido, but all the folks I knew who studied aikido...four guys and a girl...were white]
But that's the Seattle experience, and we have a legacy left from Bruce Lee who lived there and ran a school for a number of years before going to Hong Kong to make movies.
|Not even American.|
For me, the problem isn't that Iron Fist is a white dude. The problem is there's an under-representation of Asian and Asian-American superheroes. Well, male ones anyway...there've been several prominent females, and even some re-skins (if you'll pardon the pun), like the Wasp in Marvel's Ultimate imprint. But male heroes? In Marvel (with which I'm more familiar) you've got Sunfire and Shang-Chi and in DC you've got...what? Samurai from the Super-Friends?
As far as I know, Shang-Chi is the only one who ever had his own title: Master of Kung-Fu. Now there's a walking Asian stereotype for you! Shang-Chi was first published in 1973 (before Iron Fist) and his series ran into the mid-1980s. I mean, if folks really want to see an Asian martial artist superhero, that's the guy you want to bring to the screen...but no one wants to see that. We've got plenty of Hong Kong action films with Asian actors doing martial arts already.
[haha. Just joking...I know they've already cast Chadwick Boseman who was great as Jackie Robinson in 42]
The point is, there are a lot of better options for re-imagining characters as non-white heroes than the guy with the dragon tattoo on his chest. Dr. Strange would have been a fine choice (a third generation Asian-American who travels to Tibet and faces culture shock?). Daniel Dae Kim would have made a great Hawkeye (leader of the West Coast Avengers). Probably not Tony Stark (looking at his origin story), but certainly Rhodey/War Machine. Ghost Rider. Any of the X-Men when you think about it (maybe not Thunder Bird). Ant-Man (though I really did enjoy Paul Rudd as Scott Lang). Any of the Fantastic Four could have been east Asian (though having orange rocky skin kind of renders the whole ethnicity thing moot). Spider-Man (isn't he due for a new reboot anyway?).
Yes, I know I'm irritating people on both sides. The point is, it ain't the 1960s. Filmmakers aren't making real CANNON stories anyway...people are driving Teslas and using cell phones and the internet. You don't need to go with "cannon" for race if the rest of the story is getting a facelift. But Iron Fist is a poor choice for a re-skin, in my not-so-humble opinion. Have him get his ass kicked by Asian martial artists if the cultural appropriation thing is too galling for you, and then have his bacon saved by Luke and Misty and Colleen. Heck, that's always been the real strength of his character: his friends and teammates.
[by the way, why does Wolverine get a pass on the cultural appropriation thing?]
Yeah, Jessica Jones really needs its own post.
|Alcoholics really shouldn't date bar owners.|
Turns out pretty well. Her official stats have her listed as 5'7", 124# which isn't all that far off from the measurements of the actor who plays the character (5'9", 127#). By my calcs, a super-strong character of 124# with "good" (13-15) physical strength has a Carry/Throw of 3.2 tons. Marvel doesn't list an official limit to Jessica's strength, though it notes that she is able to throw a two-ton police car with ease. Looks about right to me.
[plus, her full strength punch is enough to kill a normal human (oops! spoiler!). That's the same whether you can bench six tons or sixty, folks]
Okay, that's enough superhero talk for one night. Later, folks.