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‘The Boys’ Fans Want Mother’s Milk To Take on Mantle of Famous Batman Villian

Laz Alonzo in The Boys. Image: Amazon Studios.

From John Krasinski as Mr. Fantastic to Giancarlo Esposito for any composed villain, fan casts have been boring for a minute. So, I was very surprised to see Laz Alonso of The Boys (and a bunch of other roles over the past decades) included in some DC fan casts over the past few days. Some want him to play John Stewart (Green Lantern) or Black Lightning, but a recent post by a fan account on Twitter blew them all away when they proposed Alonso play the formidable Bane.

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While I’m sure this is mostly because he’s ripped (do people still say that?), this casting idea was surely inspired by his performance as Mother’s Milk (“M.M”) in The Boys season three—a season that really pushed this character. Another big reason is that he is now one of the most high-profile Afro-Latinos in Hollywood, and Bane is the most high-profile Latinx character in comics outside of America Chavez and Miles Morales. Raised in Washington DC, Alonso is a racialized Black man and the child of two Cuban immigrant parents.

In a 2020 TIME Magazine roundtable alongside other Black American actors in Latinidad like Dascha Polanco, Amara La Negra, Sarunas Jackson, and the timeless Gina Torres, he spoke about struggling to book roles that incorporate his full identity.

I was auditioning for primarily African American roles, but I would push my agents and my managers to also have me audition for Latino roles. Of course, the feedback I would get was ‘well, he did a good job, but he doesn’t look Latin.’

Some of the initial replies and quote tweets with the fan cast were racist, ignorant and anti-Black, but over the past few days, a growing murmur of excitement has come from this post, too.

Latin American Bane is Bane

DC Comics
(DC Comics)

Despite Bane’s costume resembling a luchador aesthetic, his origins are murky and are vaguely Latin America. (As what happens with a lot of characters of color in much of comics.) Bane was born and raised in the fictional Santa Prisca prison located in the northeastern region of the Caribbean. While a few times what’s implied to be this prison has been in Cuba (such as Batman: The Animated Series), most don’t focus on his ethnic background at all except special one-offs like Batman ’66 where he’s a Mexican dictator.

A lot of people’s understanding of Bane comes from Batman & Robin and The Dark Knight Rises. Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is more prominent because he’s a fully developed character and not a hulky science experiment. While I love the most recent adaptation of Bane (in Harley Quinn: The Animated Series), James Adomian is playing off of Tom Hardy’s Bane voice from Nolan’s film. When depicting the bat-breaker, Hardy replicated a stereotypical Romani voice, which was a choiceThe Dark Knight Trilogy‘s influence goes beyond Bane, as even Christian Bale’s choice to push the limits in how Batman’s voice sounds has shown up in too many screen adaptations since.

Because most of the people who’ve played Bane (especially those like Henry Silva who portrayed him over an extended period of time) have been white, it would be too easy for studios to cast another non-Latinx white person to take this role when Alonso is right there. The devaluing of Latinx stories at Warner Bros. Discovery (where two Afro-Latina-led stories, Gordita Chronicles and Batgirl, were canceled) and eagerness to mirror a Fox News approach to “news news” signals to me that this is very unlikely, and leadership would go out of their way to override casting decisions, but we can dream.

CORRECTION 8/25: Previously stated, “Bane is the most high-profile Afro-Latinx character” when there’s no indication he’s Black, unlike America Chavez and Miles Morales. It’s only confirmed that he’s ethnically Latin American, meaning he could be any race.

(via Twitter, image: Amazon Studios)

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Author

Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.

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