For the past few weeks, Marvel has been making headlines among the comic book community with the news of Ava DuVernay being hired to direct the upcoming Black Panther film. When I heard the news of Ava possibly directing the upcoming Black Panther film, I was through the roof; not because she’s a black film director but because she is a very talented film director as seen in the film ‘Selma’ starring Oprah.
But as thrilled as I am that Marvel is reaching out to black women in Hollywood, I’m not so thrilled of the backlash the news has been receiving, or the lack of racial diversity shown within the Marvel Comic Universe. I don’t feel there are enough racially diverse characters with Marvel Comics that aren’t shown within a stupid racial stereotype the media often shows every day of our lives.
I’ve been an avid comic book reader since I was six years old, many of them being Marvel comics. In these comics, the dominant characters are usually white, or Caucasian,. If there were characters of other races in the comics, they follow a very specific media stereotype (such as Blade being a cocky bastard who hunts his enemies , Storm who is a beautiful, worshipped African Goddess who left her homeland to come to the United States and Misty Knight who is an black woman with an afro and an ‘attitude’.) Knowing that there is a diverse audience reading Marvel comics, why isn’t there a racially diverse cast of characters that young children (and adults) of all races that aren’t the typical versions of what we see on the television?
I decided to share my thoughts on the subject via Twitter and I was surprised to see the amount of positive feedback I’d gotten:
I only hope that Marvel will see what other comic book publications are doing with their characters and take a similar approach. No one is the same on this Earth, so why not make the characters in the Marvel Universe the same way? Not only that, why not show more characters of other races that aren’t of the norm, and that other children can learn from and grow with?
If this is shown to the new readers of this new generation, then there will be more readers, way more content for movies and a much broader and smoother casting for movies. Not to mention it’ll show young children it’s okay to be different, to be themselves and they are not alone. There’s someone out there just like them, even that person is in a comic book.
Read the article stating Ava will direct the Black Panther movie here.