Superheroes! How ‘Bout a Little . . . Variety?

I'm going to write about something today that I know nothing about. I know. It's a shock. Do you want to sit down? Can I get you a drink? No? Okay.

Pardon my ignorance, but I have a question: This year the megaplex has been saved by the likes of Thor (God of Thunder and Pecs), Captain America (Heroic Soldier of Fortunate Abs), The Green Lantern (Hal Jordan and his Electric Physique [which really belongs to Ryan Reynolds]), The Green Hornet (Who . . . um. . . . I don't know what he is. Except he's green. And a . . . hornet? And he has a cool car and a sidekick who has more talent and is less stupid. Never saw the flick. Just the trailer), and probably some more that I'm forgetting.

In recent years we've also had: Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Iron Man, Mr. Incredible, The Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four, and Wolverine (and the rest of Professor X's Xes)–plus like a billion more I've never heard of before and whose movies didn't really resonate with the masses. But they were there.

Superheroes are great. For me they represent all the power I wish I had over uncontrollable circumstances in life. Plus a lot of really buff male chestal regions that I don't notice since I am happily married.

For just a moment the heroes in these movies let me imagine that someone exists–someday maybe me, in the back of my wishful thinking psyche–who can never be bested. Who can overcome everything. Who can leverage the Good to wholly defeat the Bad and make everything safe and happy.

So, here's my question (Remember that? I had a question. Waaaay up there at the top): Why are all these superheroes white? Pretty much? Mostly? The big blockbuster superhero movies usually feature caucasian characters, with other ethnicities punching things out around the edges. 

Now, I've got nothing against white people. I am one: a delightfully freckled Irish/Scottish/English/Welsh/Danish/French/German/Basque mutt, through and through. I am a pot-pourri, if you will. Shouldn't my superheroes be too?

I mean, PEOPLE! this is the country that voted into office the first president of African descent we've ever had! Shouldn't the movie industry–of all people–be branching out a little bit? We've got some seriously kick-villainous-butt actors of all ethnicities and genders out there. (Yeah, I could go off on the lack of female superheroes too. And maybe I will. Later.) Don't you think it's about time to feature more fully the brilliant abs pecs acting of a few of these people?

Don Cheadle. He plays James "War Machine" Rhoades in the Iron Man series, and does a great job. He deserves his own movie–which the comic book story line could provide. Mr. Cheadle was amazing in "Ocean's 11", and he was amazing in "Hotel Rwanda." Dude could totally kick Iron-Butt in his own feature.

Chiwetel EjioforAhhhhyeah. This guy rocks. He was creepy in "Serenity," touching (and real) in "Kinky Boots," and perfect in "Salt." He's another of my all-time favorites.

(Hmmm. I have a few of those. One of whom is William H. Macy, who is not of African, or any other non-Scotch/Irish descent, but who played a superhero –The Shoveler — in "Mystery Men." Given his range, he could probably count as an underused superhero as well.)

Angela Bassett. Honey. This über-woman could play anyone. Including Iron Man, if she wanted to. I love her simmering power. She is versatile, and she rocks her deltoids. She'd be a wicked awesome Pulsar, and I think she'd carry that flick. Go check her out in "The Green Lantern."

There are other actors, too, that I think we haven't seen enough of. *cough* Antonio Banderas *cough* Hello. Only two Zorro movies? Please. They weren't nearly enough.

Okay, okay. He's already a super hero, with all of his Wuxia flicks and Ninja moves. But where's Mr. Jet Li been lately? If he's getting too old to bust a Kung Fu fight, then special effects him into a new superhero role. That stare alone would scare evil villains away.

I don't think Benjamin Bratt has ever played a superhero. But he could do it, right?

Storm was seriously underwritten in the "X-Men" series. Halle Berry should have been perfect for the part. She has the look, and should have the chops, if her Oscar is any indicator. It would have been nice to see her do more than stand in the background with angsty expressions and pale eyes.

Samuel L. Jackson. The Samster! The Sam-Man! All he has to do is stand there and stare straight at you from the screen and he's got you. Who else could you picture sporting an eye-patch and a name like "Nick Fury," other than Samuel L. Jackson? The dude personifies cool.

Also, according to IMDb, he's getting his own superhero movie. As Nick Fury.

Now that is cool

So maybe we're getting there.

I'm already warming up the popcorn popper in anticipation.

Keep 'em coming, Hollywood. We want to see ALL of them.

Maybe one of them can get this country upgraded again.

About Janiel 433 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.


  1. I saw the Green Hornet. On dvd, free from the library. Don’t spend money to see it. Your summary was perfect. The sidekick was the glue that held the story together. Good laughs, but basically Dumb and Dumber do superheros.

    I love Halle Berry. And I thought Samuel L Jackson, the man himself, was a superhero. To have him play another one is sort of redundant.

  2. I was bumbed when I heard they’d cast Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in the next Dark Knight movie. She’s beautiful and all, but I think that part would be much better served by an ethnic actress. Hark back to the days of the amazing Eartha Kitt. Zoe Saldana, the Avatar/next generation Uhuru chick, would have been awesome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.