Stan Lee helped create "The Fantastic Four" for Marvel, and Lee just weighed in on the casting of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch, in the new movie coming out August 7. The character was originally written as blond-haired and blue-eyed, and some fans objected to casting a black actor. In May, Jordan wrote an essay on the subject for Entertainment Weekly, addressing his critics and saying Lee had given his OK. Lee updated in a new chat with EW to say he was "more than OK" with the plan: "I thought it was a great idea!"

However, the Marvel legend can see both sides of this, and doesn't view the criticism as a race issue as much as a knee-jerk reaction from fans who want to see a faithful adaptation of the characters they've embraced. As he told Entertainment Weekly:

They're outraged not because of any personal prejudice. They're outraged because they hate to see any change made on a series and characters they had gotten familiar with. In Spider-Man, when they got a new actor, that bothered them, even though it was a white actor. I don't think it had to do with racial prejudice as much as they don't like things changed."

It's true, fans get upset at the slightest physical or personality change when characters are adapted from the page -- and it's not like they don't have a right to be upset. It's not a bad thing to want faithful adaptations that stick to canon. But it's also not a bad thing to have some imagination, an open mind, and faith in the people adapting the story. It's not like they're erasing the comics from existence, it's just a new take on the same idea. Lee has faith. He told EW fans are going to love Jordan's Human Torch, so he's not worried about the initial backlash.

The "Fantastic Four" reboot opens next week. Will you be watching to see Johnny and all the other characters in action?

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categories Movies