Film studios have made it a habit of race swapping red headed comic book characters and we are going to list all of them out for you today.
So let’s get into it.
The upcoming Black Adam film featuring The Rock recently announced that Maxine Hunkel aka Cyclone, who first appeared in Geoff Johns and Dale Eaglesham’s Justice Society of America #1, will be played by Quintessa Swindel.
Maxine Hunkel is the granddaughter of the original Red Tornado Ma Hunkel and would be recruited into the new Justice Society by Power Girl and and Mr. Terrific.
She’s extremely intelligent with an IQ of 145. She’s also a book worm having a GPA of 4.0 at Harvard.
When she was a child she was kidnapped by the villain T.O. Morrow and injected with Red Tornado nanobyte technology. While the technology did not affect Maxine right away it would manifest by the time she was in college and give her significant wind powers.
In fact, just one of her sneezes destroyed her grandmother’s garage and she also was able to summon a tornado five hundred feet tall.
The CW race-swapped Hawkgirl on both Arrow and The Legends of Tomorrow. The character was played by actress Ciara Renée.
Hawkgirl’s alter ego Shiera Sanders was first introduced back in Flash Comics #1 by Gardner Fox and Dennis Neville. At the time of her introduction she originally had black hair.
A new Hawkgirl from the planet of Thanagar would be introduced in the Brave and the Bold #34. This new Hawkgirl was named Shayera Hol and was a Thanagarian police officer like her husband Katar Hol, the new Hawkman.
She would have red hair as seen below.
3. Iris West
The CW race-swapped Iris West in their Flash series and the character routinely crosses over throughout their Arrowverse shows. In The CW’s version, the character is portrayed by Candice Patton.
The character was also expected to get race-swapped in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but in the theatrical version the character was cut. She is expected to show up again in the upcoming Snyder Cut of Justice League. In that version she will be portrayed by Kiersey Clemons.
While Iris West is typically portrayed as a brunette, in her debut appearance in Showcase #4, her hair has an auburn appearance.
This auburn hue would be showcased throughout much of the DC Animated Movie Universe films and can be seen in the screenshot below from Flashpoint: Paradox.
4. Jimmy Olsen
CBS race-swapped Superman’s pal Jimmy Olsen when they cast actor Mehcad Brooks to play the role in Supergirl.
Interestingly, in Olsen’s first appearance in Superman #13, he’s shown with blonde hair.
However, by the debut issue of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, the character had his now iconic red hair.
5. Wally West
Like Iris West, The CW also race swapped Wally West in the Flash and its Arrowverse universe. The character was portrayed by Keiynan Lonsdale.
When Wally West was first introduced all the way back in The Flash #110, he had his trademark red hair.
Starfire was race swapped in DC Universe’s and now HBO Max’s Titans series. The character is currently portrayed by actress Anna Diop.
Starfire first appeared in DC Comics Presents #26 and was created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez in 1980 as part of the New Titans.
In her first appearance she has orange skin and flaming red hair.
Batwoman was most recently race swapped in The CW’s Batwoman series. Actress Javicia Leslie will take on the moniker Batwoman as she plays a brand new character named Ryan Wilder.
In her first appearance in 52 #11 she has her iconic red hair both as Batwoman and as Kate Kane.
It wouldn’t be until Detective Comics #854 where they retconned her long red hair into a wig. Although even in that issue her hair is still red underneath the wig.
8. April O’Neil
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles character April O’Neil would be race swapped in the 2018 animated series Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She was voiced by Kat Graham.
The character originally appeared in the second issue of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s black and white Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.
When the comic was reprinted with colors it showed that April was a white woman with brown hair.
While April originally had brown hair, the character has also been depicted with red hair as seen in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series as well as comic book series like the TMNT Presents April O’Neil series.
Electro would be race-swapped in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The character would be played by Jamie Foxx. Foxx also claimed he would be playing Electro again in the upcoming Spider-Man 3.
In Electro’s first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #9 he’s shown having dark red hair.
10. Commissioner James Gordon
Commissioner James Gordon is getting the race-swap treatment in the upcoming Batman film from director Matt Reeves. The character will be played by Jeffrey Wright.
Gordon was introduced in the same issue as Batman in Detective Comics #27. In that issue he’s older and his hair has greyed.
However, when Gordon was a young beat cop and even as his early days as Commissioner he’s been shown to have red hair.
Heimdall was race swapped in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he was portrayed by actor Idris Elba.
In Heimdall’s original appearance in Marvel Comics’ Journey Into Mystery, his facial hair and eyebrows were most definitely black as seen below.
However, by Thor #156 when he confronts The Recorder, his facial hair had most definitely been changed to a red hue.
Bow was race swapped in the recent Netflix animated series She-Ra and The Princesses of Power. The character was voiced by Marcus Scribner.
While Bow was originally introduced in the She-Ra animated series from Filmation, the character did appear in a She-Ra comic book series published in the UK.
Interestingly, while the character had red hair in the animated series, in the comic he has black hair.
Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid will be race swapped in the upcoming live action version of the film. The character will be played by Halle Bailey.
Now, you might be thinking why is Ariel on this list. Well, the character has appeared in a number of comics and even in the graphic novel Ariel and the Sea Wolf.
Dark Horse Comics even published a three issue adaptation of the original Disney film.
Josie from Josie and the Pussycats was race swapped in The CW’s Riverdale series. She was played by actress Ashleigh Murray.
The character first appeared in She’s Josie #1 from Archie Comics. She was created by Frank Doyle and Dan DeCarlo.
She had her fiery red hair on the front cover of the issue.
Isaac Laforeze was race swapped in Netflix’s Castlevania anime series where the character was voiced by Adetokumboh M’Cormack.
Isaac Laforeze was originally a video game character that appeared in Castlevania: Curse of Darkness.
He would make the jump to comics in the Castlevania: Curse of Darkness manga by Kou Sasakura.
16. Rip Cord
Rip Cord was first race swapped in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, where he was played by Marlon Wayans. Not only was he race swapped but his codename would be just one word, Ripcord.
The character would again be race swapped in the animated G.I. Joe: Renegades series.
Rip Cord first debuted in 1984 . He would go on to make his first comic debut in Marvel Comics’ G.I. Joe #32, where you can see he has red hair, although not as red as Lady Jaye.
17. Flash Thompson
Eugene “Flash” Thompson is race swapped in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in his multiple appearances in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home. The character is portrayed by Tony Revolori.
While Thompson has primarily been depicted as a blonde in more recent comics, the character noticeably had reddish orange hair in many of his early appearances including in his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15.
And here’s another look at his red locks from The Amazing Spider-Man #2.
18. Mary Jane Watson
Mary Jane Watson got the race swap treatment in the new Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man movies when they revealed that Zendaya’s Michelle Jones goes by MJ, a nickname previously used by Mary Jane Watson.
Mary Jane Watson had noticeably red hair when she made her debut in The Amazing Spider-Man #42.
19. Lana Lang
Lana Lang was race swapped when Kristen Kreuk portrayed the character in The WB’s Smallville series.
In Lana Lang’s first appearance in Superboy #10 she has auburn hair.
20. Alicia Masters
Alicia Masters was race swapped in The Fantastic Four film when Kerry Washington played the character.
She would also be race swapped in the animated series Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes. In the show, she was voiced by Sunita Prasad.
Masters was first introduced in The Fantastic Four #8 as the step-daughter of the Puppet Maker.
As you can see below she has strawberry blonde hair.
Her hair would be noticeably more red in What If? #6 when she gives birth to her son Jonathan Storm. However, still not as red as Rachel Summers.
21. Little Orphan Annie
Harold Gray’s classic Little Orphan Annie comic strip saw the main character Annie get the race swap treatment in the 2014 live-action adaptation that saw Quvenzhané Wallis play the main character.
Little Orphan Annie first debuted in the New York Daily News back in August 5, 1924.
The first comic strip shows Annie with her iconic red hair.
22. Cecile Horton
Cecile Horton was race swapped in The CW’s Arrowverse. The character primarily appears in The Flash although she has also appeared on Supergirl as well. Horton is portrayed by Danielle Nicolet.
Horton had a relatively short run in The Flash, although when she first appeared in The Flash #332 you can definitely tell she was a redhead as her hair almost blended into the orange background.
23. Alice Monaghan
Alice Monaghan got the race swap treatment in the most recent Hellboy film. The character was portrayed by Sasha Lane.
Alice first appeared alongside Hellboy as a child and she noticeably did not have any hair.
However, she would eventually show up as an adult in a number of other Hellboy stories. In Hellboy: The Wild Hunt, she very clearly has red hair.
24. Artemis of Bana-Mighdall
Artemis of Bana-Mighdall was race swapped in the live-action Wonder Woman film directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot. The character was portrayed by Ann Wolfe.
In her first appearance in Wonder Woman #90, Artemis most noticeably had red hair.
Even in more recent comic iterations such as Red Hood and the Outlaws, Artemis has kept her trademark red hair.
Firefist was race swapped in Deadpool 2, where the character was played by Julian Dennison.
The character first appeared in X-Factor #1 and most definitely has orange hair as you can see him juxtaposed with the blonde prostitute Emma La Porte.