I was wondering if you could explain why people are mad about the Iron Fist casting? From what I understand, Iron Fist is a white guy in the comics, too.
this is actually a really great question and i’m glad you’re asking it. for what it’s worth, i’m white too. i’m going to speak for why i’m angry, because other people might have different answers.
i’m angry because marvel, at this point in time, does not have any heroes that aren’t white who have their own, prestige productions. black panther is in the pipeline, and so is luke cage, but as of right now, the only black characters we’ve seen have been heroes that are cast as a kind of “support staff” heroes- heimdall (as played by idris elba in thor), nick fury, falcon (sam), war machine (rhodey), and luke cage have all had really major, important roles in the media they’ve been in, but their character arcs and behaviors have largely existed as bounded by narratives that are about white people and their problems. as for representation of asians, they have either been minor background characters (such as helen cho, the blink-and-you’ll-miss-her geneticist from age of ultron) or villains (such as nobu and gao). there’s actually been a lot of really great criticism of how daredevil specifically represents and dehumanizes asian people- i think the best thing i read talked about how after matt murdock literally murders nobu, he has an extended ethical crisis about the morality of murdering fisk. nobu is not given such contemplation, even after his killing. i really, really recommend reading this article for more on daredevil’s specific anti-asian racism.
so what we’ve got here is a stable of media and heroes that’s unsettlingly white (and male and straight but we’re gonna talk about one problem at a time here) and they announce that they’re going to make a piece based on “immortal iron fist,” a c-list, kung-fu based hero, who, in the comics is millionaire danny rand, who is granted access to a legendary, mystic chinese space through a combination of luck and heritage. danny is white, but has a kind of hereditary access to this space because his white dad found it years ago and saved the ruler, who was kind of his adopted dad for a while. danny trains and learns kung-fu and turns out to be really, really good at it, like, the best student kind of good at it, and through some other whacky bullshit, is granted a magical “iron fist.”
i genuinely encourage you to re-read that origin.
this, obviously, has some problems, but some stuff has been happening in recent years in which writers are using it as a space to talk about danny’s privilege and his whiteness, which i think is a commendable approach to a regrettable situation.
the thing is: this is a space in which modifying a hero’s origin some could genuinely be a really cool thing- it could be a story about the son of immigrants brushing up against his culture for the first time, it could be an opportunity to cast an asian american and add a non-white hero to the stable in a meaningful way, it could be a way of rectifying some of the rampant and uncomfortable anti-asian racism by presenting a foil. it would be uncomfortable, yes, if marvel’s first asian hero was kung-fu based, and absolutely, that would need to be addressed, and i think that’s the most powerful argument against writing this character as asian-american rather than just white. however: in american media, how many asian men are presented as rich, funny, desirable, powerful, and heroic?
marvel is a deeply, deeply white media system at this point. consider that the captain marvel movie (about a woman) and the black panther movie (about a black, african king) were both pushed back to make another spiderman movie, about peter parker again, despite the fact that there is a canonically black spiderman who has never been the star of any media franchise and in the past fifteen years, there have been five spiderman movies about the same white guy. i’m not surprised that marvel didn’t take the opportunity here to shake up their pattern thus far- white star, non-white support (are there any people in the entire MCU who are of latin-american descent who aren’t claire, the nurse in daredevil???)- but i am disappointed and angry.
I am 100% in love with the idea of Daniel Rand being Asian-American or at least half-half. :) I really hope they go this route if he gets his Netflix series, I would totally watch it.
Can’t decide if I want him to have partially-dyed hair or not though. But have some samples from my sketchbook! :D
On another note I’m going on vacation to Hawaii! :D I’ll be back in a few weeks, while I’m there I’ll be working on tutorials and getting some of my confidence back (I’ve been in an art slump lately and it really sucks)