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New Marvel Game Blasted After X-Men Superhero Storm Basically Looks Like Charlize Theron With A Tan

Toni Anne Barson/WireImage/Getty Images

It's bad enough that in recent years we've had Emma Stone and Scarlett Johansson playing Asian women in films like Aloha and Ghost in the Shell, respectively--to widespread outcry.

But now, it seems, the people who make our entertainment can't even properly cast characters of color even when they're animated.

Case in point: the upcoming version of the role-playing game Marvel Future Fight, in which the Black African superhero Storm looks not so much Black as, well... an extremely tan version of White South African actress Charlize Theron.

Storm, or Ororo Munroe as she is also known in the Marvel Universe, is an African mutant who, as her name suggests, has the power to control the weather.

Throughout the various iterations of the X-Men stories from which she comes, Storm is described as an explicitly Black character, like in this X-Men Fandom summary:

"Storm is the descendant of an ancient line of African priestesses all of whom have white hair, blue eyes, and the potential to wield magic. Her mother, N'Dare, was the princess of a tribe in Kenya. She married the American photojournalist David Munroe and moved with him to Manhattan, where Ororo was born."

Mutated blue eyes aside, a woman born of a Kenyan princess and a Black photojournalist doesn't exactly scream "Charlize Theron," does it?

Storm has served as Queen of Wakanda, for heaven's sake!

So what exactly is going on here? Nobody knows as yet, but the image released by Marvel drew plenty of ire from fans, especially given previous portrayals of Storm in film by light-complected Black actresses like Halle Berry and Alexandra Shipp, which some Black fans have seen as efforts by film studios to make the Black character more palatable for White audiences.

As The Root's Tonja Renée Stidhum explains:

"...I am a huge fan of Halle Berry, but color (heh) me surprised when I realized she was cast as the powerful princess. That same light-skinned energy carried over into the film franchise's prequel series when Alexandria Shipp was cast."

Stidhum goes on to explain that within much of Marvel's Black fandom, the desire for a dark-complected portrayal of Storm is at an all-time high.

"Now more than ever, the desire for a dark-skinned Storm (finally!) in a major film or live-action television series is brolic. Names such as Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You), Dominique Jackson (Pose), Teyonah Parris (Candyman) and Yetide Badaki (American Gods) have entered the fan cast conversation..."

So perhaps unsurprisingly, the Twitter reception of this new iteration was about as icy as Storm's snow-white mohawk--so much so that Charlize Theron's name began to trend.










Neither Marvel nor the makers of the video game have commented on the controversy as of this writing.