Comic Book films-Black Heroes,White Wealth(Part 1 of 2)

MOTHERLAND_EW_Spread.40.fin.JPG

There’s been a lot of hype about the upcoming Black Panther film. The film is set to be released worldwide on February 16,2018. Which is convenient since February is Black History Month right?  Anyone who follows my blog knows I have mentioned I grew up reading comic books as a child.  I read a lot of DC and Marvel comic books.  I used to read Spider Man,Batman,Superman,The Hulk,X Men and The Fantastic Four. Over the years I have collected hundreds of comic books.  But I was always fascinated by the black comic book characters.  Some of my favorites were Storm,Black Lightning,Steel,Misty Knight and Luke Cage.  But my favorite was probably Black Panther. Panther first appeared in Fantastic Four issue #52 back in 1966.  That issue of Fantastic Four is selling for $400-$800 on the internet.  Although after the Panther film comes out I’m sure the price will skyrocket.  I always thought Black Panther was a cool character.  Panther’s birth name is T’Challa. T’Challa’s senses and physical attributes have been enhanced to superhuman levels by the heart-shaped herb.  T’Challa is a brilliant tactician, strategist, scientist, tracker and a master of all forms of unarmed combat whose unique hybrid fighting style incorporates acrobatics and aspects of animal mimicry. T’Challa being a royal descendent of a warrior race is also a master of armed combat, able to use a variety of weapons but prefers unarmed combat. He is a master planner who always thinks several steps ahead and will go to extreme measures to achieve his goals and protect the fictional kingdom of Wakanda.  Wakanda is not a real African country.  But it could just as well be Kenya,Nigeria,Tanzania or Ghana.  And this is one of my conerns about the film.  I have covered great African civilizations on this blog many times. Most of us know about The Mali empire as well as ancient Kemet(Egypt),Ghana and Kingdom of Kush. So why is Hollywood making films about fictional African empires when real ones exist?  Of course you know why right?

 

I will admit that the trailer looks really good.  The visuals are nice and it looks to be action packed.  I have watched the reaction from many black film goers on the internet.  I would say that 85% of the reaction has been positive.  And I can see why.  Talented actor Chadwick Boseman  plays the title character.  The cast has some pretty big names. The cast includes Angela Bassett,Forest Whitaker,Danai Gurira,Michael B. Jordan,Lupita Nyongo(my favorite),Daniel Kaluuya and Letitia Wright. It’s a majority black cast.  Even the director Ryan Coogler is a black man.  So is this a black film? It seems like it.  But of course the film is being made by Marvel Studios.  Marvel Studios was bought by the Walt Disney Company back in 2009 for 4.24 billion dollars. I did a post in the past about the wicked and racist Disney company.  The Disney president and CEO is a white man named Robert Iger.  So the Black Panther film is basically a Disney film with a black cast.

Black Superheroes..

Black Panther1...

I have done many posts on racist Hollywood and their negative stereotypes. Many black people are excited about this film.  And it’s because we want to see ourselves in a positive light.  We want to see ourselves looking glorious and majestic.  We want to see black people as kings and queens on the big screen. Hollywood has given the masses films about Roman empires for years.  Films like Ben Hur,Julius Caesar,Spartacus and Gladiator.  Not to mention fictional films/tv shows like Lord of The Rings and Game of Thrones.  They give us hundreds of films showing them as powerful kings and queens.  Then when they want to show African royalty…we get a fictional country??  That is white supremacy at it’s best.  The film looks good but I know how Hollywood operates.  I will be looking for any type of anti-blackness in this film.  And I’m sure there will be some type of black degradation in it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some interracial love going on . Maybe they’ll slip in some lesbian/homosexual scene.  Or possibly showing African traitors in which to instill black people to not trust each other.  I could be wrong…but I doubt it.

Kingdom Kush...

Wakanda is fictional but the Kingdom of Kush was real. Don’t get me wrong,I have nothing against fictional stories.  I grew up enjoying films and television shows like Star Trek and Star Wars.  I think they can be fun and entertaining.  I just think we have to be mindful who is getting our money when we pay for these films.  Black Panther looks like it will be a big blockbuster.  And I’m glad the mostly black cast is getting paid.  But the white owned Disney/Marvel company will be getting the majority of the money. We will be giving our money right back  to racist Hollywood.  They are just doing this film to throw black people a bone! But there are many black comic book artists and writers that could use our support.  That’s what I’ll address in part two.

 

Luke Cage: Hero for Black boys?

Luke Cage1....png

Last week I heard some co-workers talking about a new Netflix show,Luke Cage. It was two black co-workers going on about how it’s a show with a black superhero kicking ass.  I already knew about the character because I used to read the Luke cage comic book as a kid. I don’t have Netflix but I’ve seen the show advertised on television a few times. For those that don’t know,Luke Cage first appeared in Marvel Comics back in 1972. He was also known as Power Man. The basic story on him is he is a black man living in Harlem.  He was  wrongly convicted and unjustly imprisoned, was altered in a failed prison experiment that granted him unbreakable skin and superhuman strength. His skin can resist high-caliber bullets, puncture wounds, corrosives, biological attacks, and extreme temperatures and pressures without sustaining damage. With his street smarts, and unending determination to do right.  Luke was also a member of The Avengers and the Leader of Thunderbolts for a time.

cage

I’ve always said that white superheroes were an extension of white supremacy.  Which is why white Hollywood finds it important to give the masses heroes like Superman,Batman,Iron Man,Captain America and Thor.  They all represent white power and authority.  Which is why they always win in the end.  It’s also to show white dominance over other races.  So as teenager I liked reading comic books like the Black Panther and Luke Cage.  Most children like to see an image of themselves in a strong and powerful position.  But we have to be mindful of the image that Hollywood gives us of black people. There’s a few reasons why I don’t think this is a positive character for little black boys to admire.

The  show stars actor Mike Colter as Luke Cage.  As well as actors Alfre Woodard,Mahershala Ali,Rosario Dawson and Simone Missick.  The trailer looks pretty good.  It has some nice action scenes and a cool hip hop soundtrack. But one of the things that always disturbed me was Luke Cage was always fighting in the hood.  That’s nice that he was fighting all the drug dealers and gang leaders.  But he was using all that super strength and bullet proof melanin skin against other black people.  Why not use all that power against the racist power structure?  Why not expose the racist cops that kill black men,women and children?  I know that drug abuse and crime is a problem in many of our neighborhoods.  But it seems like they’re giving us an image of a powerful black man but he doesn’t really use it to free his people from racism and oppression.  It’s almost like he’s just doing the dirty work for the powers that be but doing nothing for his people in a poor community.

jessica-jones

And of course he must have a white girlfriend right?  I will admit they did keep it true to the comic book.  In the comic book his girlfriend is superhero Jessica Jones. They have a daughter together. She has her own show on Netflix as well. Jones is played by actress Krysten Ritter.  Many of the sex scenes between them  are quite graphic. But this theme goes in line with the Hollywood agenda I have covered many times before.  Hollywood is scared of black love. They don’t like to promote it at all.  They rather show a big strong dark skinned black man race mixing with a white woman and make biracial babies.  The thought of two black people procreating scares the hell out of the white power elite.  The want us to dilute our beautiful melanin and black genetics. It’s obvious with by all the rap music in the soundtrack they want to market this to young black boys.  But this is not a show for black children.   We want black superheroes that are proud of their African heritage and culture.  We want heroes that marry black women and use their powers to protect their communities.  What good is all that power if it’s not used for the good of your people? It would be better if Luke Cage went after  people like Donald Trump,Hillary Clinton or Bill Gates.  Or used his power to fight the European and Asian power groups.  Taking out small time drug dealers is not making a big impact.   A black superhero should represent Black Power.

mike-colter

But we shouldn’t be surprised after  looking at Mike Colter’s real life wife(above).  I guess that’s why he was perfect for the role.  It shows the type of mentality he already has. Black people are so desperate for a hero many will accept a hero in any form. It doesn’t matter if the image or message is not productive for our people. The bottom line is this show is giving us the same old big Black Buck stereotype.  Just a Buck for hire.  Nothing more…nothing less.  I would advise black boys to go read about real black heroes like Nat Turner,Marcus Garvey or Malcolm X.  This show has nothing to offer you.