The Avengers Lacks Black Superheroes
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke is mad that there are no black superheroes in the movie The Avengers.
Over the weekend, I finally took my son to see The Avengers. It is definitely a blockbuster, but where the heck is the Black Panther? All the superheroes are white. You have Thor, the blond, blue-eyed Norse god; the Incredible Hulk, the smart white scientist turned raging monster; Iron Man, the handsome, slick alien-busting version of Bill Gates; and Captain America, the hillbilly supersoldier.
Samuel L. Jackson's character, Nick Fury, doesn't count. He's just playing the role of the figurehead — he doesn't have any superpowers — and in the comic books, Fury is white. Jackson is more like President Obama calling in SEAL Team Six to take out Osama bin Laden. He gives the orders, but he doesn't do the job.
Instead, the biggest blockbuster of the summer sends out a subliminal message that Hispanics and blacks can't be counted on to save the world. Heck, the producers couldn't even squeeze in a little screen time for Don Cheadle to play Iron Man's sidekick, War Machine. That makes me very upset.
The movie should have included the Black Panther, who became the first black hero in modern-day comic books when he made his debut fighting alongside the Fantastic Four in 1966. According to his origin tale, the Black Panther's real identity is T'Challa, the chief of the Panther tribe from the fictional African nation of Wakanda. He had to earn his title by fighting other champions from the tribe, and his job was to protect his country from exploitation. He has genius-level intellect, and his senses and physical attributes have been enhanced to near-superhuman levels. The Black Panther joined the Avengers in 1968. Eight years later, he starred in his own comic book, in which he took out the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia. And he could charm the ladies too. His girlfriend was Storm, the mutant leader of the X-Men.
So why can't Hollywood bring him to the big screen? The only black actor who gets to dress up in tights these days is Tyler Perry — and he is not making comic-book movies. I really hope the Black Panther makes it into the Avengers sequel, because my son deserves a superhero who looks like him.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.