25 white comic book characters race swapped in movies and TV

Looking back at comic books from DC and Marvel Comics’ formative years in the 60s and 70s, the lack of diversity is startling. Aliens were more common to see headlining comics than blacks, Latinos, Asians, etc.

Hollywood has been a lot more conscious of having a more diverse cinematic universe reflective of all comic book fans. Those progressive moves have met with some amount of backlash from the more small-brain community online who cry the ‘radical’ changes are simply to be more PC and decry the ‘blackwashing’ of comic characters. Yeah, I couldn’t believe it’s a thing either.

Those folks won’t ever get it, but Michelle Rodriguez also missed the point when she spoke about minorities ‘stealing’ comic book roles.


Sure, new minority characters would be great, but they’re not gonna headline their own movie anytime soon and in no instance has a minority playing a comic book character drastically ruined the core elements of the character. That’s actually far more common with ‘traditional casting.’

Alright enough set-up, let’s go to the list!

Number 1 is the king of the sea

  • 49erfan

    This was interesting. I never knew there were so many swaps. I think diversity is great. It’s good to see that the comic book movies have seen the importance of this. Thanks for writing about this Jeffrey. Great job.

  • Thank you! I got curious and then couldn’t stop looking for more!

  • Jace

    Have you heard of backlash about Wally West being a black actor? I think it’s a good thing since they basically killed him off in the comics and can reintroduce him to make him distinct from Barry’s Flash.

  • Don’t think so. He’s black in the new 52.

  • keith

    Good job jeff, but I fail to see how manu bennett is a race swap.. It may be a more of a nationality thing unless you know something i dont know. Anyway he play the hell out of death stroke. I know some countries race/nationality means the same thing, but over it doesnt. Just my two cents. im glad you took on something with more bite in this geek like. Represents for the blerds lol

  • Bennet has Polynesian heritage, definitely not standard white male they could have used for Slade.
    I’d love to do more of these projects, but I have to fit them in when I can. These one man operations take time! ?

  • Thank you for such an interesting read. I really had no clue on most of the minor characters. I am glad that the furor over this sort of thing has been lessening as of late, except for over MBJ as Johnny Storm, of course. Great work!!!

  • Thanks for the kind words Wendell. Really appreciate it!

  • keith

    I just laugh when a holes say we’ll the black panther should be white.. see that ish pissed me off. No offense to j storm. But an African king doest not compare to corky American kid who loves cars and women . No where in the description of storm does it state being white is essential to portray that. You kind of need a black person for African king… unless u are Hollywood f ing Egypt yet again

  • Yeah, they really don’t get it. Those swaps don’t change the essence of the character, but their race largely is a major characteristic of the minority characters.

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  • G.L. Ric Kage

    Ethnicity and Race are interchangeable in their usage despite etymological differences. I’ve studied this extensively as I find it interesting that we humans have to segregate ourselves in accord to so simple a difference as phenotypes.
    You’re right a person’s nationality can also be their race classification e.g. Asian;Korean,Thai,Japanese or African;Kenyan,Egyptian,Ethiopian.
    The confusion occurs when the aspect of an individual’s race isn’t one of the established natives,but resides in said country from birth. Regardless of race a person born in Japan is Japanese.
    A person born in Germany is German.
    A person born in England is English.
    A person born in America is American.
    Etc,etc…nationalism vs racial identity.
    Race is distinctive aesthetic differences.
    Elba is British and also black.
    I’ve had countless discussions with a mentor of mine on this topic. She’s Jamaican-American or “Jamerican” if you will.☺ a woman with light brown skin,so she is black. Not all Jamaicans are black,just as not all Latinos and Hispanics are of brown skin. Just look at Charlie Sheen. Point being I get what Jeff meant about DeathStroke. Australia has a racial diversity it almost to that of America,but more closer in kind to the Caribbean islands.
    The original DC comic villain has a lilly white palor and mane in comparison to the olive skinned rather swarthy “Arrow” actor.

  • G.L. Ric Kage

    Indeed. I agree. I agree absolutely.
    Then there is of course an alternative.
    An alternative that is just too terrifying for the intolerant. An alternate reality.
    The Multi-Worlds Theory is my favorite story device and quantum physics motif. When I’m told Black Panther should be white,I agree with them under the caveat that in such a reality ALL the other characters are people of dark skin ethnicity. ?Shalom

  • G.L. Ric Kage

    Magnificent topic,Mr.Lyles!

  • Thanks Ric! Glad you enjoyed it. Always trying to come up with some new ones here and thanks for following!

  • LOL. Nice counter 🙂