Joe Corallo: Iron First – Lose / Lose

Joe Corallo

Joe Corallo is a queer cisgender white guy who tries to keep his privilege in check while residing in Queens, NY. He's been an active participant in life for three decades, has been reading comics for over two of those decades, and has dabbled in writing comics for over half a decade. He's self published four issues of a cyberpunk comic titled Electronic, has work published in Geeks OUT Presents: Power Anthology, Margins Publishing's Our Hearts Still Beat zine, and Grayhaven's The Gathering: Music anthology. He's currently back at self publishing with a new series, Saturn's Call, alongside co-creator and illustrator Robby Barrett with issue #2 ready for release later this year. A couple of other projects are going on currently that can't be announced yet. Joe also contributes at Geeks OUT and [insertgeekhere].

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14 Responses

  1. Ed Catto says:

    Interesting points and all well-said, Joe. But as an Iron Fist fan from the beginning, I’m just thrilled to see the character onscreen, and happy that they seem to be staying close to source the material. Maybe it is a #MarvelSoWhite /#OscarsSoWhite issue, I don’t know. But still…. the fish-out-of-water cultural elements were always an integral part of the character’s story.

  2. Jack says:

    At what point to we stop re writing the gender and race of characters in film, TV, literature and comics?

    If you want an Asian martial arts expert – create an Asian martial arts expert. Don’t re write Iron Fist. Why make Nick Fury African American in the MCU (although Nick Jr is black in the comics which I’m totally cool with). Why make Thor a woman? Why does Idris Elba need to be the next James Bond? Because writers today lack the imagination to create new characters that represent what they want. I believe there is some liberal slanting to make the characters in thier image- who wouldn’t want to. BUT I believe it is shear laziness on thier part and lack of creativity.

    Why can’t Sony kill James Bond and promote a man of color to replace him? Isn’t Elba a good enough actor to develop his own character to take over for a nacissitic, womanizing alcoholic killer? I will not pay to see Elba as James Bond- it was bad enough Craig was a blond. I will pay to see Elba as a black british assasin should he be given a role other than Bond. I think he is one of the finest actors and he deserves better.

    At the same time with Iron Fist- why is sticking with a second rate character’s race not ok. If nobody cares for the guy- kill him off and write a new character- just don’t recycle someone else’s work.

    • George Haberberger says:

      I agree with these points. And I would just add this:
      Joe Corallo said: The primary reason for me, and maybe a lot of you out there who also aren’t thrilled by the prospect of an Iron Fist show, is the lack of diversity casting. Not because Iron Fist should have been cast different, but because he we don’t need an Iron Fist show.
      We don’t need a column by Joe Corallo every week either, (especially since the theme is alway the same), but we get one anyway.

      • Joe Corallo says:

        Thanks for the comment, George! I appreciate you reading the article. And it’s true, nobody NEEDS my column, but I’m trying to do something positive with my time and energy and I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from people, including under represented groups which I also fall under, about how they appreciate someone talking about these issues. I apologize if my column isn’t helpful to you and what your interests are, and I hope that many of the other columns on this site are more to your interest.

    • Joe Corallo says:

      Thanks for the comment, Jack! I never said they shouldn’t have kept him white, but Marvel has plenty of characters to pick from and deciding on another straight cis white guy when they could be promote another kind of character would only benefit Marvel.

      • Jack says:

        Point taken Joe. I was addressing the broader conversation- not just your column.

        I do agree with your question- Why make an Iron First at all? I don’t agree with all of your points, but I do most of them.

        BTW- thank you for responding in the manner you did. To many bloggers and posters have no respect for other opinions- your approach goes against the grain.

        • Joe Corallo says:

          No problem! I don’t always get the notifications so something if I don’t respond it’s because of that.

  3. Patience, marvel hasnt mis-stepped yet

    • Joe Corallo says:

      Thanks for the comment, Dennis! I don’t know if I’d flat out say that Marvel hasn’t mis-stepped yet myself. Between a few public fall outs with Directors including Joss Whedon, multiple instances of characters like Black Widow not being represented in the toys (even scenes she’s in being replaced by other characters), movies like Ant-Man that while still being successful at the box office did under perform from previous Marvel outings. That being said, Marvel does tend to have a better handling of PR than DC in many of these instances, and Marvel has been leading the pack in term of record breaking films.

  4. Ben says:

    I’m Asian and living in Asia. Also a massive comicbook fan. As much as I would love to see an Asian superhero in the Netflix series, I don’t want to see Marvel cast an Asian just for the sake of casting an Asian. It cheapens us to be honest and its quite frankly an insult. I want to see an Asian cast because the character in the comics IS Asian and not because Marvel is crumbling under the pressure of SJW.

    Most of the people who are complaining about Iron Fist have ABSOLUTELY no idea who the character is. Danny is a rich, entitled white kid who goes on a journey to discover himself and earn his powers. Part of Danny’s identity is this sense that he doesn’t belong and has a need to belong. There’s the reason why Matt, Danny, Luke and Jessica in the comics gravitate to each other. Its because in a lot of ways they’re family. There are plenty of great Asian characters. I for one would be excited to see new Daredevil ally Samuel Chung aka Blindspot in the Netflix series.

    • Joe Corallo says:

      Thanks for the comment! And absolutely, I don’t necessarily think they should be pressured to change a character like that, but they’ve done it plenty of times already (Nick Fury, Jeri Hogarth, Johnny Storm) so it’s not as if it’s something they haven’t done in the past. There are great Asian characters that could be used so why not give them a shot?

  5. mike weber says:

    Joe, if you believe that casting an Asian or black actor as a character who has always been Caucasian, or making a character who has always been straight gay (regardless of the sexuality of the actor who portrays them(, or casting a character who as always been female as male (or vice-versa) is always (or even most often) a step forward for “diversity” – you are naive.

    You should know as well as i that such decisions are based almost exclusively on what will work most effectively in the marketplace to (as someone – Jerry Dela Femina? – said) sell us a load of clams.

    Casting Iron Fist as Asian would be the exact equivalent of killing Superman … except that it wouldn’t make as much money or get as much publicity.

    Hollywood/the entertainment industry in general does not exist to make polemical programming that uplifts the discourse and raises the consciousness of the Great Unwashed – it exists to sell us those clams.

    As soon as the studios perceive that there is an actual mass audience for “diversity” we won’t be able to escape having it crammed down our throats.

    Until then? Nope. And all your kicking against the pricks will not change one thing.

    a self-ordained professor’s tongue
    too serious to fool
    spouted out that liberty
    is just equality in school
    “equality,” i spoke the word
    as if a wedding vow
    ah, but i was so much older then
    i’m younger than that now.

  6. mike weber says:

    A further thing – it’s manymany years since i read Iron Fist’s origin, and almost as many as i read a story featuring the character – but wasn’t it a specific element of the character’s origin and a plot point that he was Caucasian?

    • Joe Corallo says:

      Thanks for the comments, Mike! That has been a specific element of the character’s origin and a plot point in the comics, yes. We all see how the TV and movie adaptations tend to wildly change elements of these characters, and if the audience that they’re garnering is one that is looking for more diversity, then Iron Fist is probably not the best choice for that is what I’m getting at.