Marvels+diversity+problem

Marvel’s diversity “problem”

May 23, 2017

With the recent release of Marvel’s Iron Fist everyone is upset.  A majority of that controversy is coming from the fact that Finn Jones, who plays the Iron Fist, is white.  If you are unaware of the Iron Fist before the Netflix series his backstory is that he’s some rich white guy whose parents die, so he goes to become the living weapon, the Iron Fist.  Now, while in the comics there have been multiple different Iron Fists of different races and genders, Rand has always been white.  Yet, people are upset that the lead is a white man doing martial arts.

While that doesn’t make much sense it does make a nice segway into some of Marvel’s other diversity “problems.”  That being that many Marvel comics fans thing there is too much diversity in the comics right now.  In recent years with the growing popularity of Marvel’s cinematic universe there have been  changes in the comics.  In 2011 in Marvel’s ultimate universe, an alternate universe with different versions of beloved Marvel characters, Peter Parker died.  Taking his place however, was Miles Morales, a half African-American, half Hispanic high schooler who becomes the new Spider-Man.  While Peter Parker was still alive and well in the main Marvel universe Morales was swinging around the streets of New York in his own comic.

For the most part Morales was well received , however there were some “hardcore Marvel fans,” and by that I mean racists, who said that Spider-man should only be white.  Even with Peter Parker still in his own comic,  Miles could not win with “hardcore Marvel fans.”  In recent years however most people have mellowed out to Miles.  Uproar was also caused among many when Marvel Comics canceled one of its only female led superhero books at the time, Mockingbird, back in 2016 after only eight issues.

Yet, Miles has led to a sloe of other, more diverse takes other Marvel characters, including but certainly not limited to, a African-American female Iron Man, a female Thor, a Korean-American Hulk, an African-American Captain America, another Captain America who is the half-black time-traveling daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, a female Wolverine, a Pakistani-American Muslim Ms. Marvel, a Mexican-American Ghost Rider, an Asian female Iron patriot, Gwen Stacy if she were Deadpool, for some reason, and many more.  While some of these characters were hits, such as the new Ms. Marvel and Ghost Rider, most have been met with less than positive responses.  Yet Marvel was still diversifying

The problem with Perlmutter

The problem with Perlmutter

However, the comics aren’t the only thing that’s diversifying, so are Marvel studios.  Coming in 2018 is “Black Panther,” the studios first film about a black superhero, and it only took ten years, while 2019 marks their first female led film with Captain Marvel.”  While on the Netflix side they already have “Marvel’s Luke Cage, a show following an African-American hero on his journey to save Harlem from mob boss, Cotton Mouth.  Along with their upcoming series “Cloak & Dagger,” about two young heroes one being black and the other is female, and “Runaways,” about  a team of young, diverse heroes who team up to fight their supervillain parents.

But who is responsible for keeping Marvel comics so far behind the times?  Well most attribute most of this to Isaac Perlmutter, CEO of Marvel comics and man former head of Marvel Studios until Disney but Kevin Feige in charge.  Perlmutter isn’t quite seen as the nicest guy as he has had many Marvel writers, editors, letterers, inkers, colorists, and everyone in between complain about his disrespect for people who work at Marvel and his racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks.  This is the guy who Terrance Howard replaced with Don Cheadle in “Iron Man 2” because according to him all black people “look the same.”   Yes, he’s one of those people.

Yet diversifying classic characters is not Marvel’s problem.  Marvel is Marvel’s problem.  In recent years Marvel comics has been going through some changes in more recent years, in large part because of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  You see while characters like Steve Rogers and Tony Stark can stay young forever in the comics, actors like Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. just cannot.  Downey Jr. alone is already in his fifties and Evans has stated he wants to focus more on directing and that is leaving Marvel with two choices.  Retire the character of Iron Man in the movies for good, or find a new actor or actress to play the role.  So the comics have become more of a test ground for characters and stories to do in the movies.

Recently Marvel announced their newest event Marvel Legacy, promising to bring back “hope, wonder, enjoyment and fun,” to the pages of Marvel comics.  Which basically means that they will be focusing more on characters that have been killed off or that have been out of the spotlight in recent years.  Heroes like, Hulk, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and Thor.  However, they stated they would also be focusing on their more profitable diversified characters such as Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel, and Miles Morales.  Though it is uncertain is Perlmutter learned from recent events, Marvel comics is on its way to progress, very, very slowly.

 

Marvels+diversity+problem

Marvel’s diversity “problem”

With the recent release of Marvel’s Iron Fist everyone is upset.  A majority of that controversy is coming from the fact that Finn Jones, who plays the Iron Fist, is white.  If you are unaware of the Iron Fist before the Netflix series his backstory is that he’s some rich white guy whose parents die, so he goes to become the living weapon, the Iron Fist.  Now, while in the comics there have been multiple different Iron Fists of different races and genders, Rand has always been white.  Yet, people are upset that the lead is a white man doing martial arts.

While that doesn’t make much sense it does make a nice segway into some of Marvel’s other diversity “problems.”  That being that many Marvel comics fans thing there is too much diversity in the comics right now.  In recent years with the growing popularity of Marvel’s cinematic universe there have been  changes in the comics.  In 2011 in Marvel’s ultimate universe, an alternate universe with different versions of beloved Marvel characters, Peter Parker died.  Taking his place however, was Miles Morales, a half African-American, half Hispanic high schooler who becomes the new Spider-Man.  While Peter Parker was still alive and well in the main Marvel universe Morales was swinging around the streets of New York in his own comic.

For the most part Morales was well received , however there were some “hardcore Marvel fans,” and by that I mean racists, who said that Spider-man should only be white.  Even with Peter Parker still in his own comic,  Miles could not win with “hardcore Marvel fans.”  In recent years however most people have mellowed out to Miles.  Uproar was also caused among many when Marvel Comics canceled one of its only female led superhero books at the time, Mockingbird, back in 2016 after only eight issues.

Yet, Miles has led to a sloe of other, more diverse takes other Marvel characters, including but certainly not limited to, a African-American female Iron Man, a female Thor, a Korean-American Hulk, an African-American Captain America, another Captain America who is the half-black time-traveling daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, a female Wolverine, a Pakistani-American Muslim Ms. Marvel, a Mexican-American Ghost Rider, an Asian female Iron patriot, Gwen Stacy if she were Deadpool, for some reason, and many more.  While some of these characters were hits, such as the new Ms. Marvel and Ghost Rider, most have been met with less than positive responses.  Yet Marvel was still diversifying

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