Marvel Are Turning Comics Upside Down With Gender And Race Swaps
THERE’S no two-ways about it – comics have been a bit white, male and hetero. Of course, that isn’t entirely the case, but chances are, your favourite superhero is a straight white guy.
However, everything is turning on its head. Iron Man is getting a new silver suit for a kick off. Okay, that’s not interesting. How about this – Thor is now a woman. It isn’t Thorette or Thorita. Thor is now a woman. About time there was another female leading role in comicsville.
And now, Captain America is red, white and blue… and black.
Marvel announced that Captain America’s mantle will be taken over by his long-time pal, the Falcon, the soaring superdude from Harlem (who is normally called Sam Wilson).
“It’s about time,” says Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort of the change. “In 2014, this should be a thing that we shrug off, it shouldn’t be seen as revolutionary, but it still feels exciting.”
Brevoort says the Falcon becomes the new Captain America as Steve Rogers has been turned into a 90-year-old fossil in the most recent storyline.
And things are about to get exciting too.
“This is the fireworks factory we’re arriving at, and now everything’s going to blow up and be very pretty and exciting to look at,” said Rick Remender, the author of the forthcoming series. “I’ve been having a lot of fun writing Sam. It’s a completely different attitude. The fact that he’s not a soldier shifts things up a bit. Sam’s not going to be Steve. Steve can be very rigid. That can be kind of joyless at times, whereas Sam is absolutely not that.
“He’s a modern day man in touch with the problems of the 21st century. For most of his professional life, Sam has worked as a social worker, so he’s seen the worst of urban society up close, and how crime, poverty, lack of social structure and opportunity can affect the community. So he’s got perhaps a greater focus on the plight of the common man, and perhaps a greater empathy for the underprivileged than maybe even Steve himself.”
“We have more of a global audience than ever,” says Brevoort.
“And that just makes us more aware that we have more readers of different backgrounds who are hungry for characters who come from circumstances like their own. Our creators take that seriously.”
No, will the Geek Universe have the stones to make a leading and loved character come out as gay? If anyone’s going to do it, Marvel will.