Green Lantern has been out for a while, and reviews are starting to fill the geekosphere. I’m tempted to go and have my own opinion, it’s the only DC film of the summer, but something’s holding me back.
It may have to do with some interviews highlighting Amanda Waller, portrayed by Angela Bassett:
Now Angela Bassett is a great actress, I have nothing against her as a person or her acting talent. But the conversation can’t end there either.
Amanda Waller is one kickass lady in comics. She’s the head of Cadmus, a leading genetics agency designed to defeat superheroes should they ever turn on the government; she’s a patriot who takes no bullshit, who shoots to kill (often) and makes good on her threats. One of the most intelligent characters in DC, Amanda’s one of few who deduced Batman’s real identity all on her own.
And in the comics and animated shows, she looks like this:
Amanda Waller is also plus-sized. It doesn’t define her, but it’s an important part of her, especially when there’s very few plus-sized women in comics. (Two others: Etta Candy and Arsenic.)
And now, when the first is shown on film, DC slims her down. In an age where women are pressured more than ever to be thin, the superheroes community is saying something powerful, something wrong, about the real range of body types out there and how acceptable it is.
No offense to Bassett, but you know who else could have played Amanda Waller?
Queen Latifah and CCH Pounder, neither of whom need any explanation. Pounder gets extra points as she gave her voice to Amanda Waller in the Justice League show.
Seriously. There was SO much pressure for January Jones to look super-sexy for her role as Emma Frost in those ridiculous costumes. And for this kind of casting, no one seems to bat an eye.