Julia Garner as Anna Sorokin/Anna Delvey in 'Inventing Anna.' She is a stylish young woman wearing glasses, seated in a leather chair

People Mad That the Silver Surfer Is a Woman Need To Read Some Comics

It is a day that ends in y, so you know there are cries of “Why go woke?” over the casting of Julia Garner in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Shalla-Bal, the Silver Surfer. What if they, instead, read some comics so they wouldn’t complain about things that already exist?

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As is always the case with casting announcements, you have a sea of people who have an opinion on it. With the news that Garner would be playing Shalla-Bal, a version of the Silver Surfer, the reaction and replies were all too predictable. For all the excitement, there was a group of people (mainly men) calling it a pandering choice and using the dreaded word “woke” to describe the casting.

So what exactly is “woke” about casting Garner as a female character who has been around for 56 years? Is it because Norrin Radd was created … 2 years before her? Oh no! How dare we not make the Silver Surfer happen again without Norrin’s casting announced first!

The reaction to Garner’s casting makes it abundantly clear that those angry over it because they perceive it as “woke” is simply down to the fact that they don’t actually know anything about the comics. Because if they knew anything about the Silver Surfer, they’d know that Shalla-Bal is his love interest and both Norrin Radd and Shalla-Bal were the Silver Surfer together.

Instead, you have people calling it woke or inclusive casting when, in fact, it is just a character who exists in the canon of Marvel comics and has for literal decades.

Others are angry that their childhood hero has been “ruined.” Weird that they seemingly don’t know an important part of Norrin Radd’s storyline if he is their hero.

And the funniest part about this all is the cries of how the Silver Surfer has been around for 50 years like … Shalla-Bal was not also around during that time.

Be less predictable. It’s getting boring.

It truly is like clockwork. Someone who is not a cisgender, straight white man is cast in something, and here they come in droves, screaming about the casting choice of a character that has existed in Marvel comics for decades. It just comes across as being uneducated in the thing they claim to love so completely.

Instead, they all just look like people with boring takes and opinions. They want to see the same Silver Surfer storyline again? We have done this already. Why not try something new and enjoy a different take on this universe? Instead they just want to rinse and repeat the same movie over and over again with no new comic characters getting their chance?

I just want one day without nonsense in this world, but every single time a casting announcement is not the most popular character but still part of the comics, we have to deal with this infuriating discourse.

(featured image: Netflix)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.