Finally, main protagonists that aren’t white men
By Mike Ruiz
For a long period of time there has been a problem with diversity in graphic novels. Just recently, DC Comics rebooted all of their franchises and erased many of the capable female characters that had been included in their roster beforehand.
Comic books have rarely been known to encourage diversity, and this trend continues into attempts at comic book films. 2004’s Catwoman was a flop, and seemed to only objectify the titular character.
Movies based on Marvel properties have been better about this, with the success of the Blade franchise. However, with the new Marvel Cinematic Universe they have largely fallen short.
The only main character of color featured in The Avengers was Nick Fury. There were only two female main characters, those being Maria Hill and the Black Widow. Yet in the final pivotal action scene in the streets of New York City, Maria Hill and Nick Fury are absent, pushed off to the side.
However, despite these past transgressions, Marvel has made a turnaround with phase three of their film plan in which they announced Black Panther and Captain Marvel.
In the graphic novels, the Black Panther is the king of a fictional and reclusive African kingdom called Wakanda. Wakanda is a country that has become affluent and technologically advanced by mining a fictionalized metal called vibranium.
The Black Panther, with the titular character being played by Chadwick Boseman, will be making his first appearance in the third Captain America movie. He will then star in his own solo film, to be released on November 3, 2017.
Captain Marvel is the name of an alien from a race called the Kree, who in the movie extends his powers to the earthling Carol Danvers, the woman who would become Miss Marvel.
It was a pleasant surprise to find out that Captain Marvel would not be about the forgettable alien, but Carol Danvers herself. Hopefully Carol Danvers will take up the Captain Marvel title, and shed her degrading title of “Miss” Marvel. Someone at Marvel Studios deserves a big pat on the back for deciding to make her the main focus of her own movie.
Captain Marvel will be released in theaters on July 6, 2018.
This is a significant step for Disney and Marvel Studios as they show that they can be the full package. To show that they won’t sacrifice their narrative, their acting talents or their action beats in order to provide some more diversity to the backdrop of original comic book characters in the cinematic universe. This is an especially impressive feat from a studio that’s already put out four films headlined by blond white males named Chris.
Only time will tell whether or not the films are actually quality, but an attempt to bring a more vibrant and varied cast to these blockbusters will always be welcome.