What if…?

The pervasive influence of white bias is felt in all corners of society. From musicians to actors, politicians to police officers, firefighters to lawyers, CEO’s to teachers, there is no area of society free from the bias in favor of white people (and, more specifically, heterosexual, cisgender, white men). As a long-time comic book reader, I was long ignorant of this bias in the comic book industry. Growing up as a teen, and later as a young adult, race was never on my radar. It wasn’t until I began to pay attention to matters of race that I began to see the comic book industry through more enlightened eyes. Once I began to view the world with greater clarity and understanding, I began to see that the comic book industry has long been dominated by white men. And that explains why, for the vast majority of the history of USAmerican comic books, white men have been the primary protagonists, villains, and supporting cast members. The same holds true of the film industry. But what if things were different? What if white men were not the sole (or primary) guiding forces behind movies and comic books all these decades? What if people of color were involved as well? What might the result be?

Alijah Villian is an artist who has tried to imagine just such a world. Using African-American celebrities, he re-imagines protagonists and antagonists from comic books and movies. Take a look:

Villian has posted several more pieces on his Twitter page (including one of a black Thor and another of a black Iron Man). It’s shame we don’t live in a world where Angela Bassett, Sanaa Lathan, and Michael Jai White stood a chance of being cast as Wonder Woman, Black Widow, and Wolverine.  Perhaps one day Hollywood will embrace diversity and become more inclusive. Until then, these awesome images will have to do.

Incidentally, a black man-David Oyelowo-is playing James Bond. Sort of. He’ll be the voice of James Bond in Trigger Mortis, an upcoming audio book by writer Anthony Horowitz. Oh, and the whiny racists of the Internet are probably having a fit over this. Too bad, because Oyelowo was specifically asked to be the voice of Bond by the estate of Ian Fleming (the creator of James Bond).

What if…?

7 thoughts on “What if…?

  1. YOB

    They would all be awesome (except, maybe Lebron. Ving Rhames though? 🙂 )

    Jamie Foxx Punisher and Idris Elba 007 would be AMAZING!

  2. 2

    My favorite of the bunch is the pic of Sanaa Lathan as Black Widow. A very close runner-up is Angela Bassett as Wonder Woman. Both women visually fit the roles so damn well. I’m not familiar with Lathan, but I’m sure Bassett would do a great job as WW, as she is a great actress.

  3. YOB

    I’m not familiar with Lathan, either, but totally agree regarding Bassett. She is superb.

    as far as the posters themselves, I confess that really don’t like the Michael Jai White/Wolverine poster. Not because of White, but those katanas? (And this applies to the Jackman Wolverine posters too.)

    a. Why would post-adamantium Wolverine even have those?

    b. Why would you carry TWO sharpened swords on your back WITH NO SCABBARDS?!


  4. 4

    Back in the 80’s, writer Chris Claremont established Wolverine as a guy striving to live by the samurai code of honor, bushido (or a comic book version of it).One of Logan’s fears is that he’s really nothing more than a murderous animal, to be pointed and fired (which has happened to him several times). I think the samurai angle was introduced so that Logan could fight against his inner demons and strive to become a better man.
    Perhaps that’s why the katanas are there. It’s something of a stretch. I don’t know if Villian is familiar with Logan’s comic book history, and the samurai honor code has-to the best of my knowledge-not be mentioned much since the 80s.

    As for the scabbard-less katanas, my snarky response is “he has a healing factor”. 🙂
    Of course he still feels pain (as evidenced every time he pops his claws), so that doesn’t really hold. He might be able to heal from a lot of injury, but I’m reasonably certain he’d rather avoid being injured where possible.

  5. 5

    Angela Bassett would make an excellent WW.  She is badass.

    You know, this might “ruin” the new Wonder Woman for me.  That she isn’t Angela Bassett.


  6. 7

    My Wolverine is still part samurai.  Much as I like other depictions, I’m gonna pretend he still spent time on Madripoor.  I like the visual in the poster, but everything I’ve seen Michael Jai White in he speaks too… cleanly?  Not enough growl.  Not saying he couldn’t do it, and I haven’t seen him in a lot of things.

    And yes, Elba needs to be Bond.

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