Before the Calls Begin to “Suspend Belief”…

*stirs lemon juice*

“Because most superpowers break the laws of physics, explaining why they’re impossible is a pointless exercise. For the science of superheroes, it’s more fun to focus on what’s plausible. So while Superman’s powers probably require unrealistic amounts of energy to work, we can at least imagine how to maximize the energy he’d need.”

“Superman should be black.

By that I mean he should have dark skin, and not that he’s African-American or any other person of color. After all, the Man of Steel is from the planet Krypton, not Earth. That said, Superman could indeed be played by a black actor in future superhero movies.

My argument for why Superman should be black is based on science. Before I explain the reasoning, however, we need to address a sensitive subject: race. Many people use skin color as shorthand for ethnicity, but ‘race’ has little meaning in biology – it’s a social concept that describes recent ancestry.

Race matters for superheroes because it contributes to their identity. And over the past few decades, comic book publishers and movie studios have increasingly changed characters to reflect a society’s ethnic diversity.

While that should be applauded in principle, identity changes are often short-term publicity stunts. It might sound cynical, but if publishers and studios had pure intentions, changes would be permanent. As long-time comic fans know, major heroes almost inevitably revert back to their original identities.

Rather than promoting diversity just for diversity’s sake, I believe the case for changing a character’s identity is made stronger if the rationale makes sense based on origins and powers. The change is more likely to be welcomed – and become permanent – if it’s based on logic, not gimmick. And that brings us to Superman.”

– JV Chamary, “Science Says Superman Should Be Black

(H/T Son of Baldwin)


Son of Baldwin

Son of Baldwin Superman is born out of the Jewish immigrant experience. In his original incarnation, he focused on fighting against corporations, gangsters, the wealthy, and even, at one point, the KKK.

In the beginning, he was all about fighting for the underclasses.


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