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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
In Reply To
little kon-el

Subj: Re: So what about Wally West makes him inherently white?
Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 at 11:46:36 am EST (Viewed 362 times)
Reply Subj: So what about Wally West makes him inherently white?
Posted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 at 11:07:45 pm EST (Viewed 7 times)

    I mean, Black Panther, I can understand as an African King. Luke Cage is a Black Man because a huge part of his identity is that he's a take-off of Blacksploitation cinema in the 1970s.

    But what about Wally West is "white?"

Two things:

1. The original source material.

2. Does there actually need to be an in universe reason for Wally West or any character to be white? Answer: No. I could ask the same thing about Black Lightning or John Henry Irons: What about them makes them black? It's also asking the wrong question.

    I always liked Tanaka Rei/Flash from Marv Wolfman's Legends of the DCU issue because it was such a weird fit that worked for a character. Being someone who was Asian, I could identify with Tanaka Rei in a way that I know I didn't with Barry Allen.

That a pre-crisis character?

    Being Asian wasn't his defining characteristic. It was just a part of the character that made him seem more relatable because I knew Japanese-Americans like Tanaka Rei.

And if he hadn't been Asian, you wouldn't have been able to relate to him as well, would you?

    I don't mind blind ethicity casting when ethnicity is irrelevant to the character. It would make any sense to make Abraham Lincoln Black or Black Panther white because race and ethnicity define both characters in specific ways. I don't know why, but while I know Wally is a white guy, his "whiteness" is not definitive to his character.

How does race define who Abraham Lincoln and Black Panther are and not Wally West? History says Abe was white and that can be counted as "the original source material" when it comes to historic people. Black Panther wouldn't work as a white man for a multitude of reasons, but when it boils right down to it, it's, again, the "original source material" that is part of what defines them. Can you imagine Superman being black? Supergirl? How about Batman? I can't. It IS part of what defines them.

    To each his or her own, but I believe you lock yourself out of some great stuff if you only see it as a "white" or "ethnic other" part. In these long-running TV Shows, you end up losing out on great actors if you adhere strictly to the original intent of the comic book.

Your only partially right. Even though I don't agree with Iris West being black, I'm still enjoying her character even if I disagree with the casting choice. And even though I hated the casting choice for Pete Ross in Smallville, I stilled liked the character.

Wally West on the other hand is my favorite Flash and thus he is different from the others because I grew up with him. I made the journey with him as he grew out of being an immature jerk to a level headed hero. Nearly 30 years of history of character growth and I grew to really appreciate not only what DC did with him but what Wally West eventually became. To me, Wally will always be white and if I'm locking myself out from enjoying an actor who is playing him, I can live with that because in my mind, changing a white character into a black one when he's been white for several decades is wrong. It violates the original source material.

It's interesting that a hero/villain performs one amazing feat, or use a power they haven't used for 20+ years, and that automatically propels them to a high status despite scans and evidence to the contrary. I don't know what is worse, selective feat picking that has only been done once or twice 20, or more, years ago or ignoring evidence from scans or the lack thereof. We need to stop putting our favorite heroes/villains on pedestals and start putting them where they really belong. But it's evident that people never will because they would rather accuse others of cherry picking feats, when they don't, and being 'morally superior' when they aren't. I guess being honest and as fair as possible only opens one up to being the target of childish accusations and fault finding by those who insist on acting petty and childish. What happened to a good debate between two civil, mature, adults?
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