Who should play Black Panther? Does Race swapping work?

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Who should play Black Panther?

Race has become such a sensitive topic in America lately that I feel like a bigot whenever I separate the lights from the darks while doing laundry. In a somewhat silly attempt to prove race isn’t an issue anymore, there has been a trend in the entertainment industry to have well known white characters be portrayed by black actors. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the comic book industry.

Nick Fury, Jimmy Olsen, Iris West, The Kingpin, Electro, The Human Torch, just to name a few, have been swapped out to newer colored versions. Hell, even Perry White was played by a black guy in Man of Steel.

The X-Men was the first to address race by having members of all nationalities on their team. Not only did they have a member from almost every nation on the planet, they also had a fair balance of women, people with handicaps, as well as various religious, ethnic and sexual minorities I think one member was even a rock. Because of this, The X-Men have the honor of having many ‘first’ characters in history such as the first openly gay character, the first gay marriage, and several first superheroes from various countries.

When Spiderman was re-acquired by Marvel and the character would inevitably be facing yet another film reboot, the first question fans started asking was whether it would be the white Peter Parker version or the colored Miles Morales version.

While I understand the motivation behind these racial changes, they can feel a bit silly. This hyper-sensitivity to ignore our differences only makes things worse. In Marine sniper school, we were taught that the eye differentiates objects based on movement, color, and shape. Color is one of the ways out eyes identify and categorize objects, and place meaning upon them. A non-racial based example of this could be our knowing the person on Star Trek wearing a red shirt will surely die on whatever mission they’re on simply because they are wearing a red shirt. We’re not prejudice against the person in the red shirt. We just know how the show works.

Have these Caucasian characters have become outdated? There are already black superheroes in existence, so why not use them? Or better yet, create more instead of rebooting everything? Are we out of fresh ideas?

Marvel is about to release a movie based on their character Black Panther. The Black Panther was the first black superhero followed closely by The Falcon. This should be a no brainer that a colored actor should have this role. But if we’re going to do this race swapping thing, shouldn’t it go both ways to be truly fair? Why are the changes solely black and white? If we’re going to do it then lets really do it because changing a character from David Hasselhoff to Samuel L Jackson (both played Nick Fury), isn’t a huge leap.

Let’s break down all the superhero stereotypes while at the same time, having an actor who can carry the part, and do it justice. Here are some of the things we would need

The actor cannot be black for the reasons stated above.

The actor cannot be male since most superheroes are male. Also because females often get screwed in the casting game even worse than black people, and there are even fewer female superheroes.

The actor cannot be ripped and buff since most superheroes are ripped and buff

It should be a well-respected actor with amazing talent, who can carry the part with grace and dignity. Preferably an award winner.

By adhering to these four guidelines, our choice to play Black Panther will appease all of our racial fears, and establish our film as truly neutral.

My choice to play Black Panther in the new Marvel superhero movie is Melissa McCarthy.


  1. Dustin

    Remember: It’s not truly fair unless the privileged can get a step up, too.

    Wait. That won’t work. Let’s handicap the character back again.

    Most super heroes have grace and dignity. Let’s give the role to Sarah Silverman.

    1. Darren Lamb

      I would see that movie Dustin.

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