There’s been some suspicion about white redheads becoming black. This also shocked me (though to be fair, at least when it came to racebending Starfire as well as Lightning Lass and Light Lass they left their red hair alone and redheaded blacks do exist). As for Jimmy Olsen, a racebent version done right (in the sense of leaving his personality and role alone) already exists in the real world. Same with Iris West where you’d be better off familiarising yourself with actual black journalists and even young ones too.

Though I also think the other problem with racebending’s that it risks patronising certain demographics. Some black people don’t like racebent characters (as I know from personal experience). It’s not necessarily wrong to want to make a black version of an existing character or whatever, I even considered racebending some. But if you really want to racebend a character the right way, you should at least keep them grounded in real life. As in they give a better idea of what that character could be like.

That goes for changing any character outside of ethnicity. This is however really complicated, in the case with prose characters sometimes they should get away with being racebent that’s if/when their ethnicity or appearance’s not always specified. (So much so that they could easily get away with being albino blacks or something.) It’s like how Hermione’s mostly described as having merely bushy hair, she could easily be whatever ethnicity including black or at least mixed-race. Even some Asian people can have curly or wavy hair (I saw one bloke with an Afro).

In visual media, however this is much more shocking as people are given an idea of what they look like without trying or describing much. This also gets even more complicated in real life as some mixed race people can be white-passing. Wentworth Miller might have a black relative somewhere if he’s said to be mixed race. Likewise Pete from Fall-Out Boy’s also mixed-race but this shocked me as I used to think he’s white all along.

(That he has a Jamaican relative somewhere kind of surprised me.)

I could go on saying Tim Drake’s probably of Mexican descent and if it sounds odd, not all Mexicans and Latinx are necessarily brown (or mixed race). Some of them are white/white passing. Both Shakira, Cameron Diaz and Sofia Vergara are blond, the latter two naturally so. AJ McLean’s both Scottish and Cuban American. There shouldn’t be any issue with making Tim Latino (though he might if he were to show up on Titans at all).

Actually there shouldn’t be any issue with racebending black-haired characters because Africans and Asians are the very demographics most likely to be black-haired anyways. So it seems racebending’s going to be tricky anyways not just because it clashes with prior depictions (moreso in visual media). But also that real life’s complicated and surprising. Especially when you realise that both Miller and Pete Wentz are part-black.

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