So I watched Power Rangers last night.
And yeah, it was good and nerdy and full of little references and nods, but you know what I really loved?
I got to see an autistic superhero.
Not just a character I could headcanon as autistic, no, I got a superhero who looks people dead in the eyes and says “I’m on the spectrum”.
I got a superhero who info dumps, stims, and has special interests.
I got to see a superhero ask someone to stop touching them, not laugh at that epic joke.
I got to see a little bit of myself.
And true, it could have been better.
We could have gotten better writing, better representation but I got to see an autistic superhero. I got to see a black, male, autistic superhero, and that’s something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime.
I don’t know if other people will realize how important this is, but his autism wasn’t the butt of a joke.
It wasn’t some feel-good moment about overcoming his “disability”. He wasn’t there to be comic relief or anything else.
He is a superhero. With autism.
I just sat and stared at a screen the size of my house, with hundreds of other people, and got to see myself, my community displayed in a positive way in mainstream, really epic media.
A superhero. With autism.
Power Rangers made headlines this week with news that Becky G’s Yellow Ranger is gay (or possibly bisexual).
But the representation doesn’t stop there. The reboot includes an autistic character in the Blue Ranger Billy, played by RJ Cyler.
In an interview with Mic, Cyler said he knew his character would be on the spectrum when he signed onto the film.
“I got excited,” he explained, when asked how he reacted to the news. “It was good to be able to see life through a different viewpoint, because we see life through our eyes and so we feel like we have everything understood, but that’s just through our imagination. Being able to just bring that type of aspect to Billy, man, it was just exciting, and it was such an honor to be able to represent such an amazing group of people.” Read more (3/21/17 3:12 PM)