I have quite possibly never seen so much hand-wringing and vile human verbal bile than when it comes to the casting and costuming of theatrical comic book characters. I’m willing to admit I was a desk chair critic for a while and still have thoughts and feelings when it comes to who is cast in certain roles. What I realized recently though is I haven’t seen nearly as people with their hair on fire about Marvel characters. Robert Downey, Jr. is Tony Stark. Chris Evans is wholesome and American-y. Scarlett Johannsen is convincingly convincing as a spy.
The real issue seems to be mostly, in the arena of public opinion, with DC Comics:
• Can Ben Affleck be the Batman?
• They cast Jared Leto as who?
• How can Superman be English?
• WHO DESIGNED THIS WONDER WOMAN COSTUME?
What is there a stronger feeling of certainty about how members of the Justice League and their villains should dress, behave, and appear? I think it has to do with these characters being viewed psychologically as paragons in our mind. Superman is a Boy Scout, “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” paragon of virtue. Batman is an archetypal anti-hero. Wonder Woman is a warrior princess. The Joker is the model of criminal insanity, Lex Luthor is the corruption of power and wealth and ego, etc. That’s what lures us into these characters: we have our version of who and what constitutes these characters based on their presentation because we feel we own that virtue, and likewise that virtue is a resemblance of us.