Move over Netflix! You might have had an African Viking queen, but Marvel now has a black Viking god!
- Why is Asgard – again, the high heaven of the Nordic and Germanic religion – covered in graffiti and shoes hanging from power lines? Does Marvel associate urban decay with black people?
- Why is black Thor wearing Air Jordans? Is there a Footlocker in the realm of the gods?
- Why is the comic trying to rhyme like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song? Do you think black people aren't sophisticated enough to understand the lexicon and meter of the Poetic Edda?
I believe the term for this is "cultural appropriation," Marvel.
Don't get me wrong: I care diddly squat about comics or pagan gods. If Marvel wants to make Thor a black Asian Muslim trans woman who identifies as a unicorn, be my guest.
But don't you think it's a little hypocritical that Marvel would change everything deemed "white" or "European," but would never – and I mean never in a million years – ever feature a white "Black Panther" or a white "Luke Cage" or a white "Storm" from X-Men?
You may be thinking, "Well duh, it's Black Panther. You can't really make it White Panther."
But why not? Black Panther was made by a white dude who dreamt up a fictional African kingdom in 1966.
Some people noted that this is simply a "What If?" issue where Marvel is conducting a thought experiment around Miles Morales (AKA black Spiderman), looking at how he'd play different superheroes.
And again, comics are full of random reality-bending thought experiments like this, so have at it.
But making black Spiderman into black Thor is really only adding layers of confusion here. Why not create awesome new black characters instead of making them the "black" version of someone else?
And if reality is subjective and Marvel is trying to get us to think through a Marxist struggle session, then why not flip the script in other ways? If the underlying goal is to "decolonize" and "decenter" "whiteness" by portraying black characters in those roles, thereby helping people better identify with leftist black culture in urban America, then why not show white characters in Asian, black, and Hispanic roles to help everyone see characters outside of their own racial box?
Oh, I forgot. White people are uniquely evil to these people.
As for how the cultural capital stacks up, most Marvel characters are less than half a century old. Thor was literally worshipped as a god of the pale northern European raiders going back to the Roman era, when historians like Tacitus equated him with Hercules.
If you're gonna play the racial and sexual identity games of the Marxist hierarchy with ancient pagan gods and the mythology of an entire civilization, you should probably be willing to sacrifice your own modern sacred cows!
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