CASTING CALL: Brotherman
A word used to describe an extremely “down to earth” individual. Brotherman can be used simultaneously with the first name of a person in an effort to show they share a strong mutual bond. A group of cool people can be deemed brothers as they share a strong brotherly bond.
A term of endearment used within my community. Seemingly timeless and always relevant. I often heard my uncles bring it up as far back as my childhood. So little surprise that a black indie comic book would go by that name to foster brotherhood and camaraderie. This “all-new, all-different” series came out set way back in 1990! So yeah, definitely at the height of my childhood.
Nowadays, you can’t walk without tripping over the latest Kickstarter campaign, but imagine 31 years ago a comic book company, Big City Entertainment, who was NOT Marvel or DC breaking out on the scene. Imagine not having the deep pockets and marketing visibility the “Big Two” have. Imagine having to promote your brand without the convenient plethora of social media platforms. Imagine doing all that and STILL leaving a mark in the comic industry, a lasting legacy. Can you see it? Good. That’s what Brotherman has done.
The synergetic creative talents of Dawud Anyabwile, Jason E. Sims, David J. A. Sims, and Guy Sims came together to create this trailblazing comic book series. Personally, I was here for the heady sense of nostalgia. I loved seeing the high-top fades, the chunky jewelry, the vintage hip hop fashion, and so on. Phrases like “toooo hype” brought me back which made me chuckle. “Bet”, on the other hand, is still used. Well, I guess depending on where you live. Brotherman transported me back to a more innocent time. At least for me. The language particularly shown in the captions was eloquent and seemed at home in Big City, the gritty metropolis of which our tale takes place. The caption in issue #3 resonated with me:
“There is a place like this in every large city…a place where hopelessness is the block captain and despair is the mayor…”
And to know that this comic was going on while I was first getting acquainted with Spider-Man and Batman just boggles the mind. I wish I had known about this book back then. This was a well crafted, authentic, and perfect commentary of the times then. Big City is a place of crime and despair, but there are characters who wish to change things for the better. And some who are quite comfortable with keeping it the way it is for selfish reasons. Which leads us to who I would cast:
Jordan Calloway as Antonio/Tony Valor aka Brotherman:
Straight and narrow. “By the Book” lawyer. Broad-shouldered and as American as apple pie. But with a high-top fade that would make Kid n’ Play proud. As Brother Man, Valor is exactly what Big City desperately needs to better itself. If they were to do a movie set in the ’90s as a period or keep it contemporary and modern, I’m pretty certain that Calloway could bring life to Brotherman’s character. We have seen him in Black Lightning playing both the villain and hero. He has it in him. He definitely has the square-jawed broad-shouldered build to pull off Brother Man when he is suited up. And his acting ain’t half bad! “Destiny is born of who secures a purpose,” indeed.
Regina Hall as Melody Rich:
A personal fave, Hall was the first actress I thought of. She is beautiful, hilarious, and has a versatile range as a performer. We have seen her in the “Scary Movie” and “Girls Trip” to know that she is funny as hell. We have seen her in more serious movies such as “The Hate U Give”. This blend of unique qualities was mirrored in Melody Rich, Valor’s fellow lawyer and coworker. I am positive that Regina could pull off this role with ease and grace. Plus, if they did set the movie in 1990, she has already dressed the part as seen in the role of Dawn Darcy from “Black Monday” series on Showtime.
Leslie David Baker as Duke Denim:
Now granted I don’t know much about Leslie’s Stanley Hudson character’s critically-acclaimed show “The Office”, but something tells me this sarcastic and no-nonsense type of individual would be right at home portraying Valor’s chauvinistic, hard as nails grizzled employer.
Meagan Good as the Seductress:
There is an alluring quality to this actress. The eyes. The voice. Even the way she dresses and carries herself. Despite being the wife of a preacher, Meaghan is a siren. Couldn’t you see her as the tantalizing bank robber? She saunters into a bank, fragrant with her unique perfume that controls men, and literally tells the bank teller to empty the safe. See? You almost gave her money you don’t have. I am here for this!
In closing, I am glad I am now acquainted with the cast of Brotherman. I’m going to continue reading the series because now I am thoroughly intrigued. And who knows, maybe Hollywood will turn the eyes to cast this movie or at least develop it into a TV series. Innovative and timeless, Brotherman speaks for the people. Representation is needed more than ever now. So, I am thankful this pioneering series has paved the way for the black indie comics that have blossomed in the garden planted over 30 years ago. Who would you cast? Tell me. Tell Malachi.