Greatest American Hero(ine)

I loved THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO. It came out when I was a little kid obsessed with comic books and superheroes–as opposed to being an adult who is obsessed with comic books and superheroes, but nowadays I’m a little more picky about my entertainment choices. Not that I wouldn’t love, or have loved, I guess I should say, THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO if it had first come out today. It’s hard to say for sure. So much of the charm of the series was its 80s aesthetic. (As a little bit of trivia, the name of the lead character was changed from “Hinckley” to “Hanley” after John Hinckley shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981.) I’ve wondered how long it would be before somebody decided to remake the series. Personally I’d hoped for a theatrical movie. Instead there’s going to be a new television series. I’d be more excited about this news than I am if I hadn’t also learned that the new series will feature a female lead character, of Indian descent. In other words, it’s going to be another case of PC anti-whitewashing.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t give a rip about the gender or the ethnicity of any given character. It’s continuity I care about. The GAH is a white male. That’s established continuity. Now if this series were to take place in the same universe as the original and constituted not a “reimagining” but a continuation, I’d be fine with it. A new hero taking over for the original. They could even get William Katt, star of the original series, to appear. I’d be down with that. As it is, the changing of the gender and race of the lead character smacks of tokenism, and that’s a shame.

I’m probably more concerned about this than I should be, as I doubt this news series will fly, anyway. But it wrecks the chances for a THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO movie. Not that, if a movie were to be made, it would possibly bear any resemblance to the show I loved as a kid, anyway.