"Why Batman Can’t Be Black" - a great article dismantling many of the arguments people make against increasing diversity in superhero casting. I highly recommend reading it! Here’s an excerpt.
“But why do you have to force racial diversity on readers by changing an established hero’s race? Why can’t you just create a new character, and let them be their own thing?”
I don’t think efforts to create new heroes for readers should be minimized. They absolutely should be encouraged and championed. But I also think this question is slightly disingenuous. Because most readers know new heroes usually don’t gain much traction; new minority heroes even less. For a genre of fiction so chained to the past, introducing spandexed strongmen without any real legacy is a handicap. Unless your character is part of an existing crossover event, or is sidekicking for an already established superhero, any hypothetical Black Superguy or Black Batdude probably isn’t going to stick. So the question is really just a disguised statement:
“Look, just create a completely separate black superhero, and put them in their own book, because that way I can easily ignore them. You make Bruce Wayne black, now I have to pay attention to his black ass and I really don’t like that idea.”
When I did my Zelda pitch that cast her as the hero, I got a couple of “why don’t you make your own game” arguments. While it seems reasonable on the surface, it’s actually a coded way silence the person and not have to actually deal with non-white-dude protagonists. It’s another way of saying “if you make your own thing, I never have to see it again. Go away.” We can create new things and reinvent existing things, they’re not mutually exclusive, and both are beneficial.
These are fictional characters, and in most of these cases, they’re characters and settings that have been reinvented tons of times. In all the infinite possibilities of fantasy worlds, are we really going to draw the line at black hobbits, female Dr. Strange, or a Zelda game that actually stars Zelda?