Erika Hardison on which superhero character would be perfect for Denzel Washington…
As one of the most recognizable and accomplished actors in Hollywood, it’s no surprise that Denzel Washington is now open to superhero roles. With the success of Marvel’s Black Panther, and Washington’s positive reviews with the Equalizer 2, the first sequel of his career, it’s not hard to fathom the critically acclaimed actor as a full-fledged superhero. We’ve seen Black Panther, Black Lightning, and Luke Cage receive positive feedback from new and old fans as they continue to gain mainstream popularity so the question is, what superhero could Washington play?
Here’s what we don’t want — we don’t want Washington to be Superman or Batman. Washington needs to be able to bring life to an almost unknown black superhero character where he can set the tone as both the individual and hero. Washington needs to be able to combine his action-packed skills with his profound drama techniques. He needs a character that is complex, methodological, powerful and entertaining enough for the masses to consume. With all the superheroes available for Washington to play, only a few embody the characteristics that can truly fit his acting abilities and reflect his actual age to give a more realistic feel.
By now, everyone has created their laundry list of superheroes which I’ve seen include Blue Marvel and Steel and while those are decent (and obvious) choices, there is one superhero that stands out from all the rest that hasn’t been previously listed. Let me introduce you to Icon of DC Comics/Milestone Media. The superhero was created by Dwayne McDuffie in the early 1990s as an alien named Augustus Freeman IV from another planet who lived his life as an upper-class, right-leaning attorney. The layers associated with Icon would give Washington the room to portray a superhero with not just superpowers but one with strong convictions.
“Icon, a Republican, was part of my contribution to Milestone. Not that I’m a Republican myself but I wanted that represented. That character resonated with Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who called me and I went into the Supreme Court chambers because he connected to a the character who was a Republican, when at the time, there wasn’t an open political affiliation with many characters,” Derek Dingle, co-founder of Milestone told Comicbook.com. Washington has the ability to take a not so popular political identity especially amongst Black Americans and create a convincing storyline in a time where your political identity can cause you to get swiped left on a dating app.
Washington as Icon would be a great visual on the intersections of political identities as it related to race, class, and gender in America. It will also give an opportunity to introduce a younger, black female hero that could play Rocket, his young sidekick. He would be just as strong as Superman; smart, noble, while being competent in the legal system and laws of America and like Clark Kent, he would battle internal conflicts daily . It would be exciting to see Washington navigate the justice system as a black lawyer while trying to maintain his composure as laws have a tendency to be unjust to marginalized groups in America. Fighting villains would be more than just bad guys who stumbled across material from his planet to destroy the city, but his everyday life where he has to fight the obstacles of being labeled a villain by his own constituents and community that need the representation they feel he fails to provide. If that doesn’t convince you he should play Icon, maybe seeing him a luxurious, beautiful cape would change your mind.
So what do you think? Would you like to see Denzel Washington as Icon? Or are there other heroes you think he could play? Let us know in the comments below…