‘All New, All Different Avengers’ Are Here & They Are Marvel-ous!
It’s time to say goodbye to your favourite Marvel superheroes and welcome them in their newer ones.
All your favourite Marvel’s superheroes have changed... but for the better. It is time to say goodbye to Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, and Peter Parker and welcome the ‘All New, All Different Marvel’ superheroes.
In 2015, Marvel announced that it will establish a new universe, with many heroes handing over their mantle to new characters.
Marvel has not chosen these new characters randomly and a conscious effort has been made to make the Marvel Universe more inclusive as well as diverse in terms of gender and race. Apart from tackling racial and gender dominance in the comic world, Marvel’s move will provide us new storylines and exciting changes.
Recently, the makers of Captain America the movie announced that Steve Rogers will be putting down his Captain America shield. While in the cinematic universe of Marvel we still don’t know who will take over as Captain America, in the world of comics, the mantle has already been handed over.
Sam Wilson, who was previously the Falcon, was chosen as the next Captain America in 2015 under the All New All Different Marvel series. The comics have over 4,500 characters and a mere 3 percent of them are of colour. Marvel’s move to make an African-American Captain America is a significant decision in terms of racial and cultural representation in comics.
In 2015, Thor’s long term love interest Jane Foster picked up the Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer) and became the Goddess of Thunder. It is important to note that not only has this Avenger’s original team member turned into a woman but the creators claim that the female Thor comics have been more successful.
Jane Foster’s transformation to Thor is a step towards better representation of women in comics and possibly, less objectification. The new Thor’s costume doesn’t lack pants, which are somehow missing from almost every super heroine’s costume. While DC Comics has Wonder Woman, Marvel now has its own demi-goddess Avenger.
The ‘Incredible Hulk’ has become the ‘Totally Awesome Hulk’ with Korean-American Amadeus Cho taking over from Bruce Banner. The creators of Amadeus Cho wanted to break the stereotype of the sword wielding, martial arts-expert Asian character. The new Hulk is anything but that.
The Hulk was brought to life on the big screen for the first time in 2003 and has since become one of the most popular comic stars. Changing the racial identity of a popular comic character rather than a lesser known one has greater resonance, thus the new kick-ass Hulk is all for the better.
It is rather sad that we will have to say goodbye to the flamboyant Tony Stark but his replacement is a spunky teenager named Riri Williams. Williams is a 15-year-old MIT engineering student who replicates Iron Man’s suit in her dorm room. While it has been revealed that Riri’s character will be called the Ironheart, we still don’t know why Tony Stark hand over the baton.
Riri Williams is the complete antithesis of Tony Stark, on more than one level. While Tony Stark was a billionaire, Riri Williams made her living on account of her own merit and grit. On one hand, we have a rich, white male and on the other, an African-American young girl. This is perhaps cause enough to celebrate.
Miles Morales made his first appearance as Spider-Man in 2011, replacing Peter Parker in the comics. While a lot of people felt that introducing a Black-Hispanic character as Spider-Man was a publicity stunt, Marvel maintains that Miles Morales was inspired from US President Barack Obama.
Spider-Man has always been a favourite with kids and introducing a Black-Hispanic Spider-Man helps provide a role model to various kids of colour. Children will now have a Spidey they can identify with and who’s acts of self-sacrifice and bravery will hit closer home.
Marvel’s decision to change the identity of these characters were criticized by many. An argument was made that if Marvel wants to diversify its universe, then why don’t they bring in new characters instead of ‘changing’ already established ones?
While Marvel can always bring in new characters, they won’t have the same impact as transforming a superhero that commands a large fan base. Well, kudos to Marvel for their bold step towards a comic universe that transcends the barriers of sexuality, race, and colour.
Video Editor: Rahul Gupta
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