Affirmative Action Legacy
Minute Man: I'm black?So, the Big Two comic publishers have a couple of issues. The first: brand new characters not heavily tied to already existing characters and continuity have a hard time becoming popular and long-lasting. The second, the eras when characters could stick (the Golden and Silver Ages) produced heterosexual white males almost exclusively. The solution to both? Take a preexisting character, and pass their superhero identity to a female or minority character! Trouble is, the legacy characters often don't stick very well either; in 2009-2010, DC Comics depowered, marginalized, or outright killed almost all of the Legacy Characters established in the Post-Crisis era and replaced them with their Silver Age counterparts. It also doesn't help that sometimes, these new characters don't catch on and fall out of a regular role, occasionally resulting in another trope entirely. On the other hand, several of these characters have gone on to be popular and enduring heroes in their own right; it's worth noting that the aforementioned DC Comics purge was met with a storm of angry criticism from many fans, and the decision had more to do with a desire to bring back the Silver Age lineup than a rejection of the minority characters. The move was so unpopular that DC partially reversed it by restoring the legacy versions of Blue Beetle and Firestorm in their controversial 2011 New 52 relaunch. See also Gender Flip, Race Lift, She's a Man in Japan.
Cosgro Toys Exec: We decided to take a multi-cultural approach.
Minute Man: But, I'm not black.
Cosgro Toys Exec: I think you have vaguely African features...
Cosgro Toys Exec: We decided to take a multi-cultural approach.
Minute Man: But, I'm not black.
Cosgro Toys Exec: I think you have vaguely African features...
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- Batgirl: Barbara Gordon (white) replaced with Cassandra Cain (half-Chinese half-white) who was replaced with Stephanie Brown (white, lower-class), replaced with Barbara Gordon (formerly disabled).
- The final issue of the pre-New 52 Batgirl volume showed an alternate future where the Batgirl identity had been taken up by an African American teenager named Nell.
- In the Batman Beyond universe, the new Batgirl is a black teenager named Nissa.
- Future's End introduced a future team known as the League of Batgirls. In addition to the aforementioned Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, the team's third Batgirl was a 12-year old African-American girl named Tiffany Fox.
- A retcon story established that prior to becoming Batman, Bruce Wayne operated as part of a team of Chinese superheroes under the name Darknight. Years later, a new, Chinese Darknight appeared as a member of the JSA.
- The Question: Vic Sage (white male) replaced with Renee Montoya (Hispanic gay female, a Threefer), a Canon Immigrant from Batman: The Animated Series who had previously starred in Gotham Central. She assumed the title in 52 upon Vic's death from lung cancer. The New 52 version is back to being a white male - though thanks to having a radical new origin involving being UnPersoned, we don't know if it's Vic in some form or a new guy altogether.
- Green Lantern: Guy Gardner (white) replaced with John Stewart (black) and later Hal Jordan (white) with Kyle Rayner (originally white, later retconned to be half-Hispanic), followed by Simon Baz (Arab). However, the fact that the Green Lanterns are a police organization with 7200 members makes this more believable. Currently all four serve as equal members of the Corps, except Guy Gardner, who's joined the Red Lanterns.
- The Green Lantern Corps members also include squirrels, a robot, a planet, alien smallpox, a living math equation, and are (or were) led by blue space midgets. Having a black guy and a white guy is downright boring by comparison (a point which a black man even uses to call Jordan out on his racism back in the 70's).
- Kyle's Hispanic ethnicity is a retcon introduced when he found his father Gabriel Vasquez (who was undercover as Aaron Rayner when Kyle was born.) Outside of Judd Winick, no writer has so much as mentioned this retcon ever since.
- His dad did actually reappear in one of the Halloween anthologies DC puts out every year, and he was indeed Latino.
- The Ame-Comi Girls universe has a Chinese girl named Jade Yifei as the Green Lantern of Earth. She's a Race Lift of Jennifer-Lynn Hayden, Alan Scott's daughter in the main universe.
- The New 52 reboot did something similar to Alan Scott, the Alternate Universe Green Lantern. The original Golden Age version was your average white dude; in the New 52 he's still white but now a gay man. Notably, this trope wasn't the main purpose of the change; he had a gay son who was Retgone'd in the reboot, so they made him gay instead.
- As mentioned above, the New 52 has since introduced a fifth Earth Lantern. The new Green Lantern is an Arab American man named Simon Baz, who became a member of the most recent iteration of the Justice League of America.
- Geoff Johns' final GL issue showed a possible future where Simon acts as a mentor to Jessica Cruz, a female, Latina Green Lantern. She appeared in the aftermath of Forever Evil, where it turns out she's not a Green Lantern, but the new host to the Power Ring of Earth-3. So she's an affirmative action legacy villain.
- Justice League and Justice League Unlimited were criticized by some fans for using John Stewart (black) rather than Kyle Rayner (white), the current GL at the time, and the one already established in the DCAU. Other fans were pleased to see John finally get some recognition, though.
- Despite the initial outrage, John's appearances on the cartoon led to a greatly increased level of prominence for the character within the comics and in people's minds, enough that some thought the Green Lantern featured in the movie appearing afterwards should have been black.
- Kyle Rayner did eventually appear as a background Lantern, having previously been featured in Superman: The Animated Series. Hal Jordan was relegated to a Shout-Out - his name painted on a fighter jet at an airbase - and a five minute cameo when some Time Travel shenanigans caused him to spontaneously take Stewart's place. Alan and several other Golden Age characters were used as the basis for an alternate world in one storyline.
- The usual seventh, Aquaman, was recovering from a laughable legacy, so they needed a seventh and decided to add a second woman. Furthermore, they chose the more Hispanic-seeming (and voiced by Maria Canals Barrera) Hawkgirlnote , as opposed to the more traditional, and white, Black Canary or Zatanna. Zatanna, Black Canary and Hawkman were introduced later, and the early introduction of Hawkgirl was used to set up and clear up the Hawk-Snarl.
- Happens at least three times over to Doctor Fate in the New 52. The Earth-20 version is a black man called Kent Nelson, the Earth 2 version is a young Egyptian man called Khalid Ben-Hassin, and the main DCU version is a young Egyptian-American man called Khalid Nassour. (Fitting in these last two cases, since Doctor Fate's mythology is strongly tied to Egypt.)
- Also, there were two female Doctor Fates who succeeded the original Kent Nelson after he died, one of them being his widow Inza.
- Kent actually wasn't dead while Inza was Doctor Fate. It's... well, let's just say that A Wizard Did It and leave it at that.
- Also, there were two female Doctor Fates who succeeded the original Kent Nelson after he died, one of them being his widow Inza.
- Firestorm: Ronnie Raymond (white) replaced with Jason Rusch (black). Ronnie was eventually resurrected, and now they both share control over the composite Firestorm entity.
- Judomaster: Rip Jagger (white male) replaced with Sonia Sato (Asian female).
- There was a previous Asian Judomaster in the 90's. He appeared in one issue and was never seen again.
- Holly Robinson, who briefly replaced Selina Kyle as Catwoman, is a lesbian.
- The new Catwoman in Batman Beyond is also a dark-skinned woman of mostly-unrevealed lineage.
- Genevieve Valentine's run introduces Eiko Hasigawa, a Japanese Yakuza Princess who becomes the new Catwoman after Selina retires to run the Calabrese crime family. Recent events suggest that she may be bisexual as well.
- Katherine "Kate" Kane, the current Batwoman, is a Jewish lesbian. Interestingly, she is not a legacy within the comics themselves, as her predecessor (The original Batwoman) was retconed out of existence in Crisis on Infinite Earths, and she is a reimagining of the same character instead of an inheritor of the title.
- Retcon! Batman Incorporated has established that Kathy Kane was the first Batwoman, for about a year early in Batman's career. Their relationship is that Kathy is Kate's aunt.
- In addition, Kate Kane passed on the Batwoman mantle to the above-mentioned Cassandra Cain in the alternate future Titans Tomorrow....Today! storyline.
- The Atom: Ray Palmer (white male) replaced by Ryan Choi (Asian male). Choi's run in The All-New Atom ended in a thudding tonal shift around the time Ray Palmer returned from a self-imposed extradimensional exile.
- And now un-replaced with the return of Palmer and the death of Choi, which sparked a sizable outrage, and was even covered on some non-comic websites.
- Choi was later restored to life in the New 52 due to the controversy.
- And now there's Rhonda Pineda, a Latina college student and the newest Atom. Just kidding! She's the evil Atomica from Earth 3, and a mole for the Crime Syndicate of America.
- Blue Beetle: Ted Kord (white male) replaced by Jaime Reyes (Hispanic male).
- In the New 52, Jaime is the first Blue Beetle, though there's a young Ted around.
- Ryan, Jason, and Jaime also appear in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. All of their predecessors have also appeared in some capacity as well.
- Starman: Ted Knight (white male) replaced by Mikaal Thomas (bisexual blue alien).
- To an extent... Mikaal wasn't bisexual in the seventies stories where he was the Starman; that was a later retcon by James Robinson. And while Robinson later wrote Mikaal as a Justice League member, the Starman name belonged to Thom Kallor (straight white male alien) at first, so he was simply referred to as Mikaal. Once Thom left to return to the future, Mikaal began to be referred to as Starman again.
- Mr Terrific: Terry Sloane (white male) replaced by Michael Holt (black atheist male). Though Terry had been gone for a long time when Michael came along which probably helped produce the especially positive response Holt has gotten from readers. He got his own series in 2011's New 52 launch, something his predecessor never managed, though it didn't last long.
- Stargirl: Female legacy of both Star-Spangled Kid and Starman.
- The Spectre: Hal Jordan (white male) replaced by Crispus Allen (black male). Though Crispus is really more of a successor to Jim Corrigan (also white male.) Not to be confused with the Jim Corrigan who killed Crispus Allen. That was a totally different white male also named Jim Corrigan.
- The New 52 reset this so the original Jim Corrigan became the Spectre again.
- Wildcat: Ted Grant (white male) was replaced for a while by Yolanda Montez (Hispanic female.) She died and he's back as a Retired Badass.
- The original Son of Vulcan from Charlton Comics was a white guy. He showed up in a 2005 DC mini-series just long enough to die and pass the mantle to a Latino kid named Miguel.
- A villainous example for DC: The replacement Rogues featured an African-American Captain Cold. The original white one took back the identity pretty quickly though.
- Another rare villain example can be found in the Batman foe Tally Man. The first was a white guy, while the second one introduced during the One Year Later event was a black guy. What happened to the original is never stated, though the No Man's Land novelization mentions that he was killed by Two-Face.
- The half-white, half-Latina Kendra Saunders was introduced as the new Hawkgirl in the 90's, but like many of the others on this list was eventually killed off to make way for the return of her white predecessor. It seems she has gotten the last laugh though, as she is now the Hawkgirl in the New 52.
- Mark Richards was the third villain to call himself Tattooed Man, and was the first African-American to hold the mantle (the original two were white guys).
- Mister Miracle, Scott Free (Human Alien resembling a white male) and his protege Shilo Norman (black male teen). As a bonus, Shilo Norman is Ambiguously Jewish.
- The criminal Toyman, Winslow Schott, and the heroic Japanese Toyman, Hiro Okamura, who was later revealed to be a robot constructed by Winslow. As of the New 52, Hiro was back to being the sole Toyman and an actual person again.
- In the pages of Animal Man Bwana Beast (a Mighty Whitey) was replaced by a black man from Africa who renamed the hero Freedom Beast.
- The final issue of Justice League of America vol. 2 had one of the heroes returning to Africa to find a successor for the Freedom Beast mantle much later in the time line.
- The original Ranger from the Batmen of All Nations was a white Australian. After his death, the mantle was passed onto Johnny Riley, an Aboriginal teen who joined Batman Incorporated under the moniker of "Dark Ranger".
- The first Azrael (best known for temporarily becoming the new Batman during Knightfall) was a blonde named Jean-Paul Valley, while his successor is a black guy named Michael Lane.
- Green Arrow II Connor Hawke is the son of the White Green Arrow Oliver Queen and a half Black, half Korean woman. For a while his skin seemed to go back and forth from issue to issue.
- It looks like he's gotten more white over time, and that he was darker at birth, canonically. A lot of colorists have messed it up over the years, though. It definitely does not help that his hair is dyed blonde.
- In the New 52, he's now the new Red Arrow, while Roy Harper calls himself Arsenal.
- Doctor Mid-Nite was originally Charles McNider, a white man. He was replaced by Beth Chapel, a black woman, who was later replaced by Pieter Cross, another white man.
- Superman: John Henry Irons, one of the four would-be Supermen in Reign of the Supermen before adopting the code name "Steel". He was probably an invocation of this trope as much as the other Supermen invoked other trends in superheroicsnote at the time.
- Steel's niece, Natasha, also took over the mantle for a short time and uses it in the Ame-Comi Girls series.
- Lee Walter Travis, the white male Crimson Avenger, was followed by Jill Carlyle, a black female Crimson Avenger.
- Speedy: Green Arrow's white male sidekick Roy Harper changed his code name to Arsenal and later Red Arrow, and Mia Dearden, an HIV-positive, female, former teen prostitute became the new Speedy.
- Greg Weisman has created a new, black Aqualad named Kaldur'ahm for his Young Justice animated series, and the character was recently brought over into the comics as well (where he is Black Manta's estranged son). However unlike most characters who exemplify this trope, Kaldur's predecessor had not gone by "Aqualad" in well over a decade.
- It's also worth noting that in the show's continuity Garth was never Aqualad, presumably making Kaldur the first.
- In the alternate future depicted in JLA: Rock of Ages, the white male Aztek had been killed off by Darkseid, and his costume and codename had been passed on to a black woman known as Azteka.
- The alternate future depicted in the final issue of Manhunter had two major examples. Jade, a whitenote female superhero from the current timeline had been replaced by her brother Todd's adopted Asian daughter, while Kate Spencer's gay son Ramsey had succeeded her as the new Manhunter. As a woman, Kate herself qualifies since each of the previous bearers of the Manhunter mantle were white males.
- Two examples in the Milestone Forever series. Curtis Metcalf passed on the Hardware identity to the female Tiffany Evans, and it was implied that Raquel Erving (Rocket) had succeeded Augustus Freeman as the new Icon.
- Kingdom Come is chock full of this, as it takes place in a future where many classic white male superheroes are either dead or retired. Lian Harper (who has a white father and Asian mother) has become the new Red Hood (the original was a white male), the new Star Spangled Kid and Stripes are both black, Johnny Thunder's genie has been passed on to a black male, the new Judomaster is an Asian woman, Cyborg (a black male) has become the new Robotman, and Iris West (who has a white father and Asian mother, though with her blue eyes and light hair, apparently takes after her father) has become the new Kid Flash.
- Too bad Alex Ross failed to do his research and drew both Kid Flash and Red Hood as ginger white kids.
- Red Hood's mantle has since been taken by Jason Todd (White Male) though funny side note, with the New 52 reboot, he's now working alongside (as well as becoming good friends with) Roy Harper in a world where Lian doesn't exist...yet.
- It should be mentioned that a lot of the Kingdom Come legacy characters became Canon Immigrants.
- In the mainstream DC Comics continuity, Iris West (who as mentioned above, is half white and half Korean) became the new Impulse. Bart Allen, the original Impulse, was a white male. However, Iris West IS the daughter of Wally West, another holder of The Flash mantle.
- Johnny Quick, a white male hero, was replaced by Jesse Chambers, his daughter. She now fights crime while using his costume and the slightly modified moniker of Jesse Quick.
- She eventually changed her costumed identity to Liberty Belle, originally her mother's.
- The Flash in Justice League Beyond is a black woman named Danica Williams.
- Several examples pop up in Judd Winick's Justice League: Generation Lost series. The future iteration of the Justice League features Damian Wayne (Bruce Wayne's mixed Chinese/European/Arab son) as the new Batman, an unnamed African-American woman as the new Black Canary, and a Middle-Eastern woman named Sahar Shazeen as the new Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel would count as a Twofer, since the original Cap was a white male named Billy Batson.
- Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl had future versions of Black Canary and Captain Marvel, both of whom were black.
- The aforementioned Damian Wayne is the new Robin, a role which has traditionally been filled by white males. note Damian-as-Batman has also featured in a couple of Grant Morrison future tales - in one story he's the Retired Badass "Mr Wayne" who trains Terry McGinnis.
- In Futures End, the new Robin is a black teenager named Duke Thomas.
- The trend was parodied in the JLA Presents: Plastic Man one-shot, where two children claim that Plastic Man is lame because he was never replaced by a minority like many of the popular heroes of the 90's were.
- The original Element Girl was Caucasian, while her successor Element Woman is Korean American.
- Final Crisis does this briefly. Readers are shown a number of alternate universes, one of which features black versions of Superman and Wonder Woman. The black Wonder Woman is revealed to be Nubia, Wonder Woman's largely-forgotten "sister" from the 1970's. Meanwhile, the black Superman is the president of the United States. (The Multiversity reveals that their Earth is one where most of the major heroes are black, with Batman as the exception.)
- Lanford and Ray Terril, the first two holders of the Ray identity, were white. Stan Silver, the third Ray, was African-American while Lucien Gates, the current Ray, is Korean American.
- In the 1970s the Teen Titans member Mal Duncan/Herald (African-American) took the identity of the Guardian, a white Golden Age hero. Even when a clone of the original character was introduced in Jimmy Olsen as security for Project Cadmus, he called himself the Golden Guardian, letting Mal keep the original name. (Post-Crisis, none of this happened, and the clone was simply the Guardian.) In Seven Soldiers, Jake Jordan (also African-American) is given the title Manhattan Guardian by a newspaper which bought the rights to the name and costume from Cadmus.
- Happened by necessity in the Elseworlds comic JLA: Created Equal, where a Gendercide kills off every male on the planet. Barbara Gordon (the afforementioned Batgirl) becomes the new Green Lantern, and a black grad student named Jill Atherton becomes the new Atom after recreating Ray Palmer's size-changing technology from the notes he left behind.
- Earth 2 introduces a black Kryptonian named Val-Zod as the second Superman.
- The third volume of Ultimate Spider-Man introduced thirteen-year-old Miles Morales, of Latino and African-American heritage, who took up the mantle of Spider-Man. He is currently the page image.
- Because Ultimate Spider-Man was a popular franchise in and of itself, the change was highly controversial and Ultimate Marvel was occasionally accused of pandering. Following the actual release of the comics, reception has been mixed but largely positive, with the book usually receiving good reviews.
- Similar to the Iron Man example below, in Spider-Verse, Miles and the animated Ultimate Spider-Man Peter Parker go into the world of Spider-Man (1967) to recruit that Peter Parker. When Miles unmasks at the end, that world's Peter is shocked, making animated Ultimate Peter worried that they got the racist Peter. Then, it turns out that he was surprised that Miles was a high school student, not black, and he was quite proud that someone was continuing the legacy beyond him.
- One of Miles' enemies is a new Latino version of the Scorpion. In the Ultimate universe, the first Scorpion was an actual clone of Peter Parker, making the new guy an example of this even if there doesn't appear to be any connection as of yet.
- In another villainous example, the second Ultimate Venom was Conrad Marcus, the African-American scientist who created the spiders that gave Peter and Miles their powers in the first place.
- Monica Chang, an Asian-American woman who was the holder of the Black Widow mantle before Natasha Romanoff and then retired only for the alias to be passed down to Natasha. In the Face-Heel Turn and subsequent death of Natasha Romanoff, Chang comes back at Fury's request and takes up the alias again. This is an inversion.
- After Monica Chang became the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Jessica Drew succeeded her as the third Black Widow. She's the first non-heterosexual woman (she's either a lesbian or bisexual and has a crush on Kitty Pryde) to use the Black Widow identity.
- Inverted with Tyrone Cash, the original Hulk. It's established that Cash was originally an Afro-British scientist who taught Bruce Banner (the iconic Hulk) everything he knew, and was around years before Banner became a Hulk in his own right.
- The newest Vision from The Ultimates is a young black man named Robert Mitchell.
- Phyla-Vell, the new (and now former) Quasar is a lesbian alien.
- In addition, the character started out in an AU where she shared the Captain Marvel identity with her brother Genis.
- Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes became the new Iron Man; eventually Stark became Iron Man again, and Rhodes became War Machine.
- During the Secret Wars, Reed Richards got to see the man under the armour while repairing it. Jim asked him if he was surprised that the man under the armour was black; Reed just said that he knew that 'there was a man in there', reacting more along the lines of 'what's race got to do with anything?', being as unconcerned about the race of who was in the armor as he's always been about everyone else.
- The Iron Man of 3030 is Rhodey Stark, Tony's African-American granddaughter.
- Psylocke: Started as white female but had a body swap making her an Asian female. The Asian body has since become her most famous iteration, and some adaptations in other media have just used it without the earlier backstory (though she is born and raised in Britain) in all adaptations. The exception was the '90s X-Men cartoon, which had her in original form. Her twin brother Captain Britain remains Caucasian even in the adaptations that have her of mixed decent.
- The original Wraith (an obscure Spider-Man villain) was a white male named Brian Dewolff. The second Wraith is Yuri Watanabe, a Japanese-American woman.
- The Golden Age hero Toro was a white kid named Thomas Raymond. The modern Toro is a Latino teenager named Benito Serrano.
- Though original Toro could turn his body into fire and fought during WWII, and the modern Toro has a Bull-like fighting form and is the legacy of a character from the Counter-Earth storylines. They're related in name only.
- Puck of Alpha Flight was revealed to be the father of Zuzha Yu, a half-Chinese daughter who took up her dad's identity. Zuzha was eventually killed off in the pages of New Avengers, and the original Puck has since returned to using the name.
- Playing with the trope: Ms. Marvel started off as a Distaff Counterpart of Captain Marvel but has since surpassed him in terms of screentime and popularity, and he was dead and she was a solo heroine for quite a long time. Basically, she started out as the Alternate Company Equivalent to Supergirl and developed into the Alternate Company Equivalent of Wonder Woman.
- Also done straight up with Carol as she becomes the second Captain America in the Marvel Mangaverse.
- Played straight with her becoming the newest Captain Marvel in 2012.
- And now with Carol as the new Captain Marvel, they've introduced a Pakistani-American teenager named Kamala Khan as the new Ms. Marvel. Also one of the few Muslim superheroes in all of comicdom.
- Averted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where she will be THE namesake Captain Marvel from the getgo.
- Marvel's second Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, was a black female. Like all the Marvel Captains Marvel since Mar-Vell, she has undergone several name changes, and now operates as part of the Mighty Avengers under the name Spectrum.
- The original Red Ronin was a Humongous Mecha, while the second Red Ronin, Namie, is a life-like android that resembles a teenage Japanese girl.
- Hawkeye: Clint Barton had his alias adopted by Kate Bishop.
- Barton has since returned to his old codename, but it doesn't appear that Bishop will be giving up her use of it anytime soon.
- Unique example with Thunderbird. The first two users of the name were Apaches from America. The most recent user is from India.
- Ronin: Inverted Trope. Originally held by Maya Lopez, a deaf Hispanic woman, then passed on to white male Clint Barton.
- It's since been established that the original Ronin was a Japanese man in the 1940's. The most recent Ronin was another white guy named Alexei Shostakov (who used to be the Red Guardian, a villainous Soviet version of Captain America).
- Played straight with the newest Ronin, who thanks to spoilers from Marvel, has been revealed to be Blade. He was even given Barton's old costume by Luke Cage and Jessica Jones.
- The character Bill Foster initially fought crime under the name Black Goliath, before eventually changing his Code Name to simply Goliath, and later, Giant-Man. Goliath and Giant-Man are two identities originated by Hank Pym.
- There have been numerous people who have borne the Ghost Rider title, most of them white males. Fear Itself introduced Alejandra Jones, a Nicaraguan woman, as the next Spirit of Vengeance.
- The original Black Panther (African male) was replaced briefly by his younger sister Shuri.
- Prior to that, he was briefly replaced by Kasper Cole, a young man of mixed African-American and Jewish heritage. Cole later became one of several people to use the White Tiger name.
- While not intended to replace the original Wolverine (who remained active), the original's son Daken operated with the Dark Avengers using the name Wolverine, and is half-Japanese and bisexual.
- The first two people to use the 3-D Man identity were two white brothers in the 1950's. The identity is currently used by Delroy Garrett, a black member of the Agents of Atlas and a former member of The Avengers.
- There have been numerous hosts for Captain Universe, with the one who joined the Marvel NOW! Avengers roster being a black woman.
- Amadeus Cho was initially introduced as a new version of the Golden Age hero Mastermind Excello, though he usually goes by his real name.
- The first version of Nightmask from The New Universe was a white guy named Keith Remsen. The new Nightmask introduced in the 2007 revival was a Japanese woman named Izanami Randall.
- The newest version of Nightmask, who is native to Earth 616, is an artificial human who resembles a black man.
- The New Mutants member Cypher was a white male, while his successor, Cipher, is a black teenage girl. The original has since come back from the dead, but there's no real issues thanks to the two heroes having entirely different abilities.
- The original Sprite was Kitty Pryde. After Avengers vs. X-Men, a Chinese girl named Jia Jing was introduced as the new Sprite. There's no conflict though, since Kitty hasn't used the name in decades.
- The original Angel was Warren Worthington III. During Grant Morrison's run, the title passed to Angel Salvadore, an Afro-Latina teenager. Since Warren had changed his name to Archangel at the time, there was little conflict. Warren is now back to calling himself Angel, while Angel Salvadore operates without a Code Name.
- In Battle of the Atom, the future version of Jubilee (Chinese-American) is now the new Wolverine. Also, Billy Kaplan (Wiccan, who as mentioned below is gay and Jewish) is the new Sorcerer Supreme.
- Marvel retroactively declared that there was a black Captain America, Isaiah Bradley, who, in a situation inspired by the unethical Tuskegee Experiments, was unwittingly dosed with a flawed recreation of the Super-Soldier serum used on Steve Rogers, the original, white Captain America. Bradley would eventually escape his captors with a Captain America Shield and costume, and, realizing his body and mind were breaking down from the flawed mixture, go on one final mission to destroy Germany's Super-Soldier program. Isaiah has his own modern day legacy: his grandson Eli Bradley operates as Patriot.
- Which is also a legacy name. The first Patriot Jeffrey Mace (white male) also substituted for the original Cap. Also retroactively.
- In an Alternate Universe seen in Children's Crusade, Eli has become the new Captain America. Meanwhile, The Falcon has been succeeded by his daughter Samantha, the new Bucky is an African American child named Steve (he's the son of Eli and Samantha), the new Captain Marvel is the openly-gay Teddy Altman (Hulkling, who is also half-Kree/half-Skrull, making him a rare example even outside human parameters), and the new Doctor Strange is Billy Kaplan (Wiccan), who is gay as well (incidentally, Billy and Teddy are dating).
- Kiyoshi Morales is Commander A, the Captain America of the 25th century. He's of mixed African American, Japanese, Latino and Native American ancestry, meant as a nod to theory that most races will blend together in the future. He's also implied to be a descendant of Luke Cage.
- During the Avengers NOW! initiative, Steve is replaced as Captain America by his former partner Sam Wilson.
- In the Ultron Forever crossover, one of the temporally-displaced Avengers is Danielle Cage, the daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. She serves as her timeline's version of Captain America, using an anti-gravity version of the iconic shield (based off the short-lived magnetic feature the shield had in the 60's Avengers comics).
- Rikki Barnes took on Steve Rogers' briefly used alias Nomad.
- The first two holders of the Miss America identity were white women. The current holder of the title is a Latina teenager named America Chavez.
- The first Golden Girl was a white woman named Elizabeth Ross, while her successor was a Japanese-American girl named Gwenny-Lou Sabuki. Sabuki's two granddaughters would later carry on her legacy as the heroines Goldfire and Radiance.
- Nova Sam Alexander is half-Latino.
- The original Golden Age Sun Girl was a white blonde woman. The new Sun Girl seen in the New Warriors is a biracial girl with an African-American mother.
- Doctor Strange was temporarily succeeded as "Sorcerer Supreme" by Haitian-born Jericho Drumm, aka Brother Voodoo. It seems that this was meant partially as a response to those who saw Strange as a Mighty Whitey. The name "Doctor Strange" did not pass on because that is his real name (Stephen Strange) and title (neurosurgeon). Brother Voodoo is also a doctor in his own right (psychologist).
- Marvel's relaunch of CrossGen's Sigil replaces future soldier Samandahl "Sam" Rey (white male) with Ordinary High-School Student Samantha "Sam" Rey (white female).
- Marvel's 2099 line had Miguel O'Hara as Spider-Man, half-Hispanic, half-Irish.
- Similarly, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions introduces a new version of Spidey's nemesis Doctor Octopus for the 2099 era. The new Doc Ock is Serena Patel, an Indian-American woman.
- The Spider-Girl seen in Old Man Logan is Ashley Barton, the half-African American daughter of Hawkeye and granddaughter of Peter Parker.
- Combining this with Canon Immigrant, the miniseries Battle Scars introduced Marcus Johnson, whose real name was revealed to be Nick Fury, Jr., an African-American man based on the Ultimate Marvel version of Fury and son of the original Nick Fury.
- A rare villain example would be the Iron Man foe Detroit Steel. The original was a white guy named Doug Johnson III, while the second is a mixed-race (half-white and half-Chinese) woman named Sasha Hammer. And that isn't the only legacy Sasha's a part of as her mother is the Thunderbolts enemy Justine Hammer (who herself is an example of this trope) and her father is Iron Man's archenemy, the Mandarin.
- Speaking of Justine Hammer, she herself is part of two: She took up the identity of the Crimson Cowl, which originated with Ultron (a robot, but usually presented in a male form) and later, after the death of her father, classic Iron Man foe Justin Hammer, took over his company.
- In a rare villain example, the original Beetle (Abe Jenkins), a member of the Spider-Man foe group the Sinister Six, ended up making a Heel-Face Turn, and a newer iteration of the team, The Superior Foes of Spider-Man has Janice Lincoln, biracial (half-African American, half-Dominican) daughter of Tombstone, as the new Beetle.
- After being depowered, Thor's title as God of Thunder was assumed by a woman in 2014.
- For a while, The Punisher was thought dead, so his Mission Control Microchip recruited Latino Navy SEAL Carlos Cruz to adopt his role. Cruz was later killed off and Frank Castle returned.
- Greg Rucka's run featured the Punisher recruiting a young woman named Rachel Cole-Alves as his Distaff Counterpart. The series ended with Frank in jail and Rachel taking his place as the new Punisher. Unfortunately, this was never followed up on, and Frank returned with no explanation as to what happened to Rachel.
- Astro City has Cleopatra, a Wonder Woman Expy who in the present day is a dark-skinned woman. Stories set earlier in the Astro City universe, however, show a previous Cleopatra who was a blonde Caucasian woman.
- Women have donned the mantle of The Phantom, though so far only temporarily (the oath made by the Phantoms specifies 'sons'). The 21st and current Phantom's children consists of twins, a boy and a girl, and should he ever kick the bucket (yeah, right) it has been implied that the two of them might end up sharing the duties of the Phantom.
- In Dynamite's King Features comics, Mandrake The Magician's ally Lothar takes up the mantle of the Phantom while seeking the Phantom family's heir, becoming the first black Phantom. (The last of the Phantom family died with his heir missing. Lothar's predecessor couldn't find the heir, so he took on the Phantom mantle, and before he died, he asked Lothar to find the heir. Believing the world still needed a Phantom while he searched, Lothar decided to take on the name.)
- The original Fighting Yank eventually died, and his daughter Carol decided to carry on his legacy as the Fighting Spirit. In addition to being a female (the original Fighting Yank was obviously male), Carol was eventually revealed to be a lesbian as well, making her a twofer.
- During a period where Mark Grayson was unable to fulfill his duties, he was replaced in the Invincible role by his buddy Zandale Randolph. As Invincible deconstructs a number of superhero elements, replacing Mark with a black dude was likely an intentional invocation of this trope.
- The Golden Age hero American Crusader was a white man. His modern-day successor in the Project Superpowers universe is a black man.
- In 2000 AD, the character of Sam Slade, Robo-Hunter, was suceeded by his granddaughter, Samantha Slade.
- The Witchblade franchise would count, since the main story revolves around an Italian-American cop named Sara Pezzini. According to Word of God, the Witchblade anime, the Witchblade Takeru manga, and the novel Witchblade: Ao no Shōjo are all considered canon in the Top Cow universe, making these an example since the three protagonists (Masane Amaha, Takeru Ibaraki, and Yuri Miyazono) are all Japanese.
- Sara was also briefly replaced by Danielle Baptiste, a young bisexual woman.
- Parodied in the above quote from The Specials. Especially funny considering James Gunn, who plays Minute Man, doesn't look even remotely like anything other than white.
- In Catwoman, African-American Patience Philips is established as the latest successor to the Catwoman name.
- M in the James Bond films was first played by a woman, Dame Judi Dench, in 1995's Golden Eye.
- Like her comic counterpart above, the upcoming Captain Marvel film for the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be the female Carol Danvers version instead of the older, more familiar character of Captain Mar-Vell, a character who has had far more history with Thanos, the Big Bad of the film. Fans speculated that this decision was to cash-in on the Wonder Woman film also coming out that year.
- Doctor Who:
- Brigadier Winifred Bambera (an African woman) to Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart in the story "Battlefield".
- The revived series brought us the Brigadier's daughter, Kate, who now serves as the Doctor's contact within UNIT.
- Invoked in-universe by the Doctor in "The Doctor's Wife" and "Death of the Doctor", who confirms the long-held fan belief that Time Lords can indeed change genders and ethnicities during a regeneration, although his incarnations (thus far) have all been white males.
- In the former episode, the Doctor mentions a friend of his named the Corsair, who was famous for changing sex in his/her regenerations, being described as a good man and a very bad girl.
- In "Let's Kill Hitler" it's revealed that Mels, the black twenty-something childhood friend of Amy and Rory is actually the previous incarnation of the white, middle-aged, River Song. Mels in turn regenerated from the white, seven year old Melody and was forced to grow up again after her first regeneration left her as a toddler.
- The Master became a villainous example of this after regenerating into a female body.
- Bunker of Sentinels Of The Multiverse, like Captain America, gets both inverts and plays it straight. The current, main-timeline Bunker is white. A promo card depicts the World War II-era Bunker as a black man. And an alternate-future version of the character is also black.
- In Shortpacked!, Amber created the non-stripperiffic persona of AMAZI-GIRL in order to provide an actual female superhero rolemodel, both for herself and others. When Lucy (who is black) was hired to the store, she bonded with Amber over the lack of female rolemodels in comics. Later, after Amber has left the store, a thief is in the stockroom, and Robin unveils the Amazi-Girl outfit for Lucy.
Schtick-Shift: ...the hell do you think you are?
Lucy: I'm the new Amazi-Girl.
Robin: [from off-panel] psst, say it like it's a logo
Robin: like in comic books. say it like it's a logo
Lucy: Robin, this isn't a comic book. You can tell because I'm a woman with agency.
Robin: doooo eeeet
Lucy: ...I'm the new AMAZI-GIRL?
Robin: muy bueno
Lucy: I said it the same way.
- Less Than Three Comics' Brat Pack had mention of the future descendants of Uncle Sam (II). Sam married the daughter of black superheroine, Talon, and their children went on to become Uncle Sam III, and Miss Liberty II (after Uncle Sam II's mother (The original Uncle Sam was his grandfather, a WWII hero, and the <3-Verse's Captain America analog, a power which continued along the family line)).
- In the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, the original Stonewall (an invulnerable, super-strong superhero active in the 1970s and 80s) was a white man from suburbia. His successor, who has the same power set, is a black woman from the inner city.
- Parodied in this article from The Onion, which announces Marvel is making a new version of the Green Goblin...left-handed.
- Young Justice has a Black Aqualad named Kaldur'ahm, created for the show. In the show's continuity, Garth (the original Aqualad) refused the joint (with Kaldur) invitation to become Aqualad.
- Early press material for the series showed that Arrowette, one of Green Arrow's sidekicks, was part of the cast. Later the character's name was changed to Artemis Crock, who in the comics was a villain unrelated to Green Arrow. In the series proper, Artemis has her own background, and is half-white and Vietnamese. Her mother Huntress, a former villain, is a Vietnamese woman in the series, as well. Arrowette is shown in the series as a young girl, though.
- The series also has Mal Duncan take on the Guardian identity after the original abandoned it, like his original comic book incarnation (see above). In this version, Mal was never Herald and the original was a clone to begin with.
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold tends to use minority legacy heroes in favor of their predecessors, despite the show being primarily influenced by the Silver Age. The Jaime Reyes version of Blue Beetle, the Ryan Choi version of the Atom, and the Jason Rusch version of Firestorm are all used in major roles on the show. The only white legacy hero on the show is Dinah Lance, the second Black Canary, the two exceptions being the Vic Sage version of the Question rather than Renee Montoya, and B'wana Beast instead of Freedom Beast.
- Brave and the Bold is essentially Modern Age comics with a Silver Age flair. Note that the originals sometimes appear as well. For example, two entire Flashback episodes dealt specifically with Ted Kord (Blue Beetle II).
- The Justice League featured in Batman Beyond has several examples of this. The new Green Lantern is a Tibetan teenager named Kai-ro and the Atom's successor is a black man known as Micron.
- The Batman had an entirely new character as the first Clayface; a black police officer named Ethan Bennett. Something of an inverse as well since the show established Basil Karlo (who was the first Clayface in the comics) as Bennett's successor.
- In Ultimate Spider-Man, Peter briefly utilizes the Iron Spider armor and identity before ditching it. The Iron Spider identity reappears in Season 3, where it is taken up by the Korean-American prodigy Amadeus Cho.