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Heroes, Villains, and Me: What Does That Character Look Like?

“Heroes, Villains, and Me” is a periodic article on Geeky KOOL by Larry Litle about the world of comic books and my reaction to it. “Heroes, Villains, and Me” is not a comic book review article. I will write about current events, speculation and rumors, or my own wacky thoughts about the world of comic books and related stuff.

Yesterday, Entertainment Weekly revealed their cover for Thor: Ragnarok (see below)  This cover shows Thor with a haircut and without Mjolnir. It revealed Cate Blanchett as the Asgardian goddess of death, Hela.  It also showed Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie.

I don’t want to come across as a jerk. I was bothered by Tessa portraying Valkyrie.  Not because Tessa is a bad actress. She is a wonderful actress in Selma and Creed.  It had nothing to do with her at all. It had to do with casting her in the role of Valkyrie. I would have loved Tessa in a different role in Thor: Ragnarok.

I realized I was bothered because she looks nothing like Valkyrie from the comics.  Valkyrie from Marvel Comics (see Image below) is a tall powerful lady with flowing blonde hair (usually in braids) and blue eyes.  She is a force to be reckoned.

Why was I upset about this casting of Valkyrie?  It has nothing to do with racism.  I wasn’t bothered by Laurence Fishburne playing Perry White in Man of Steel.  It doesn’t really bother me that James (Jimmy) Olson is a 30 year old African American on CW’s Supergirl instead of the young redhead freckled white kid.  No it isn’t about replacing white characters with black actors.  It is something else.

It isn’t like I have to have all of my comic characters look just like the comics. There are a ton of characters that don’t look like the comics.  But there are certain characters I need to look like their comic book persona.

Image via Marvel

When the first Spider-Man movie (2002) came out, I was excited because some of the characters looked exactly like I expected. I wanted my J. Jonah Jameson to look like the comic and J.K. Simmons looked and acted just like him. I needed Willem Dafoe reminded me of Norman Osborn and he did but the mask wasn’t right.

Aunt May needed to look like Rosemary Harris. Harris was the perfect Aunt May.  In fact,  I really didn’t like Sally Fields as Aunt May. I am not liking Marisa Tomei as Aunt May in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Tobey Maguire was not a prefect fit Peter Parker.  He was able to act himself like Peter so I accepted it.  I loved Andrew Garfield when he had the mask on as Spidey but couldn’t stand his skateboarding Preppy look as Peter. I never believed he was the nerdy Peter Parker.  Tom Holland is a wonderful Peter and looks like what Peter should look.

Emma Stone was the perfect Gwen Stacy. She looked the part. She had the attitude and the swagger.  Emma Stone made both of those movies so fun.

When Laura Harrier was announced for Spider-Man: Homecoming, it was rumored she would be Mary Jane.  I was not happy with this choice.  MJ has to be the red hot ginger haired girl from the comics.  A party girl at first would be awesome.  Harrier didn’t fit my mindset. Since then, Harrier has been revealed to be Liz Allan.  This made me excited.  Harrier will be a great Liz Allan. I hope she is the love interest or at least the flirting interest for Peter in this movie.

When it comes down to it, I think it matters to me when I have an investment in the character.  I am a huge Spider-Man/ Peter Parker fan. I am not a huge Superman fan. I care less about how the characters look for the Superman related movies.  Now, I care deeply how Superman and his cast of friends act and that are true to their characters.

Why is Valkyrie important to me?  I loved the quirky and crazy 1970s Defenders comics.  Valkyrie was a huge part of these comics. They were crazy and fun story. They were a great escape from my childhood. I loved how Valkyrie was drawn.  When I heard Valkyrie would be in Thor: Ragnarok, I expected her to not only act like Valkyrie from the comics but also to look like her.  I know this is a part of my bias for comic book characters.  I will enjoy Valkyrie  in Thor: Ragnarok but would have enjoyed it more if she looked like the blond bombshell from the comics.

Stay Geeky My Friends!

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