I am a bit of a political junkie. I watch the news a lot, read all the online news sites and keep tabs on Facebook and Twitter about what’s being said in this year’s election. That being said, I have been ready to take a long walk off a steep cliff since June. If you don’t know who you’re voting for by now, you’re either too stupid, not paying attention or don’t care one way or the other.
I have to say that I don’t want to hear movie stars or other celebrities gloss over about who they think we should vote for. It turns me off, especially if my views are different from theirs. I think back to the whole Dixie Chicks debacle during the Bush Administration. I loved their music and when they decided to put their politics in the forefront, it made them unappealing to listen to. By the fact that they are no longer a group demonstrates my point exactly.
So where am I going with all this? I don’t want to see political correctness in my favorite comic book characters. I don’t want to see them changed or updated for the purpose of political correctness. I want to see the ’70s “Blaxploitation” version of Luke Cage, the X-Men that stand up the bigotry and bias of humanity, and the dark, brooding Batman that strikes fear into the hearts of criminals. Why can’t we have comic book characters be comic book characters?
We are losing our grip on what it means to be a comic book character. Everyone is trying to be edgier, darker, more shocking than the next one and it’s getting out of hand. We have a new generation being introduced to comic books through great series being put out on Netflix and the CW, and yet, they’re getting skewed. Luke Cage is being panned for being “too black” and people are criticizing the casting of a “white guy” as Iron Fist? These are people who clearly don’t know who these characters truly are.
At the same time, some of the producers are going “over dramatic” on some series. Arrow and The Flash have both gotten poor ratings for relying on too much drama and not enough action. Agents of Shield has also been guilty of this. Yes, we want to see character development but at the same time, the thing that brings them to life for fans like me is the action and adventure that goes with it.
Maybe it is this “politically correct” environment we live in that tries to make these shows something for more than just the average comic book fan. I understand that but if you change the essence of the character to fit a narrative that meets the criteria of PC, it dilutes the story into a mess.
This is something we, as writers, deal with all the time. Times change and, yes, people need to change with them. Captain America went from World War II hero to fighting the Cold War to fighting terrorism today, and through all that, he never changed who he was. The essence of Steve Rogers was always there, except when they made him a double agent for Hydra but we won’t open that can of worms.
I know that most of the people who write the storylines for TV are themselves fans, but even they have to change things to make them fit into an hour show. Stories yes, but not the characters themselves. Let’s be true to how they were originally written.