In its 75 years, Marvel Comics has always been a company that has made headlines for reflecting and responding to present developments in the real world.
From the 1941 issue of “Captain America #1” which depicted the First Avenger delivering a knockout punch to the then real-life leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler. To the 2012 issue of “Astonishing X-Men #51” which featured the same-sex marriage of Candian X-Man, Northstar and his fictional partner Kyle.
Whether its controversial or not, Marvel has always done their best to express real-world social problems within their Universe, which is why it came as to surprise to any real Marvel fan when they announced the long-awaited, live-action adaptation of the Black Panther in the Marvel cinematic Universe.
With the recent success of their phase two films, especially “Guardians of the Galaxy”, a seemingly unfamiliar and complicated comic series, it was only a matter of time before they introduced the King of the Dead. T’Challa, also known as the Black Panther, being played by Chadwick Bozeman (42, Get On Up) is an absolutely brilliant character to bring into the Avengers team. His orgin and background will provide a more than compelling plot and his fictional homeland Wakanda will allow Marvel to further connect their universe while capitalizing on their progressive and diverse style by portraying an African nation that isn’t as stereotypical as many of the depictions in previous films. Wakanda is technology superior to most developed nations and rich in natural resources such as vibranium, the rare metal of which Captain America’s shield is made of.
Included in the reveal of the Phase Three line-up was the cinematic debut of the superheroine Captain Marvel. Formally known as Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers is unarguably Marvel’s biggest female hero right now and fans were stoked with the announcement of the July 2018 release of her own movie. Particularly because we have been desperately awaiting for Marvel Studios to introduce a female lead and with Warner Bros. announcement of a 2017 Wonder Woman film starring Gal Gadot, it was only a matter of time before the Captain was called to duty.
When most of their female heroes were sold during the bankruptcy, Marvel Studios struggled with finding a lead female role to bring into films. Many fans wished that Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow would have gotten her own film, but she was sidelined for the Captain America sequel. Other original female Avengers posed problems due to the characters being owned by other studios. Marvel is attempting to cut the tape a bit with Avengers 3 by including the Scarlet Witch, a known mutant and X-Men character. And without the addition of Hank Pym or Ant-Man it would be hard for them to have introduced fellow Avenger, Wasp.
Captain Marvel will give them a chance to use a high-profile female character who is not only one of the strongest Avengers, but is also a total badass. Carol Danvers was originally a love interest for the first Captain Marvel and now holds the title after she inherited his abilities. She also gives Marvel a golden opportunity to connect further into their cosmic universe and explore the orgins of her powers.
Even on television Marvel has been pushing its progressive agenda with many strong and popular female characters in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and the upcoming show Agent Carter starring Captain America’s Hayley Atwell.
As a minority and comic book fan, I am excited for the future of Comics in films, especially with the Black Panther and Captain Marvel both in slate for production.