Changing the racial identity of characters has become a contentious issue amongst fans of superhero comics and their adaptations in other media. The awful practices of casting white actors to play people of color, or of turning previously non-white characters into white characters, is all too common in movie adaptations of books, cartoons, TV shows, or even real life stories -- but rather surprisingly, superhero comics and their adaptations have mostly avoided this problem.
In comics, the controversy takes a different direction. Several white characters have become non-white, mostly in movies, and sometimes in reboots. Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm in the new Fantastic Four; Helena Bertinelli aka the Huntress in the New 52; Nick Fury in the Ultimate Comics line and on screen. These are changes that agitate some readers -- but realistically, the changes don't go far enough. Superhero comics have a cultural bias towards white characters that has everything to do with their institutional history and nothing to do with what makes sense to the stories.
Here's the thing about making a movie about Conan the Barbarian: his creator, Robert E. Howard, is such a definitive creator in the sword & sorcery genre that he's influenced and been imitated in countless stories. As
Conan: The Barbarian has been a pretty easy movie to overlook this summer. It's not that Robert E. Howard's testament to manliness isn't awesome, it's just that compared to icons in the costumed crowd Conan can come across as more of an archetype than a character to the untrained novel/comic reader. It also hasn't helped th
Crom's devils! Conan the Barbarian has a full movie trailer at last over at Yahoo! Movies and it's looking pretty beefy. There's Jason Momoa slashing things with a huge sword, Lovecraftian monsters, ruthless bandits, a fantasy-looking army and a prin
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