Marvel Comics has spared no effort over the past few years to redefine its’ Avengers franchise as a cornerstone: even before Marvel Films launched the series of movies – Iron Man in 2008, and this year’s Captain America and Thor releases – to culminate in the team getting its’ own movie, the company has made sure the Avengers were at the center of crossover stories like Civil War, Secret Invasion, Siege, and this year, Fear Itself.
“They’re the varsity. They’re the A-list,” Senior Vice-President of Publishing Tom Breevort told Comic Book Resources in an interview. “They’re the Man. They’re not about being super heroes because of demographics or ethnicity. They stand for something specific and occupy a certain role. If you don’t have some degree of that, then it doesn’t feel like Avengers.”
Unfortunately, an ensuing discussion of the criteria needed for a story to bear the Avengers brand went to some depressingly familiar territory. Continue reading →
If Marvel Comics wanted attention for this teaser picture of the “American Panther,” who will allegedly be tied in to this year’s “Fear Itself” marketing line storyline, they certainly got it: the thread about the image at Comic Book Resources threatened to crack the 500-comment mark within 24 hours of it going live Monday.
Of course, many of those comments were along the lines of “What?” But go fig, there might be a twisted sort of logic behind this move – under a certain set of circumstances.
Okay, so it doesn’t address the issues stirred up by Marvel Comics’ “Women Of Marvel” covers. But this variant cover to FF#5 by Skottie Young for the company’s “I Am Captain America” marketing campaign still made me smile.
Now, what are the odds that a) a person of color will figure into the actual comic and b) a woman of color will be depicted on another cover for the campaign? Well … Uh, isn’t this drawn nicely?
There is a hardcore piece of the audience whose back goes up whenever you go into these issues, and they don’t even realize it. What kills me about it is, when they’re writing about it, they’re always hyper-rational: “Look, the fact is there are more white characters, and if you pick randomly, you would end up with all-white teams, and the fact that there are three black people on this team is statistically ridiculous. It’s obviously a quota.” And the quota arguments on fictional teams crack me up. I’m sorry, is somebody losing a job here? Which fictional character is losing a job? They’re not talking about what’s going on in the comic books – they’re talking about what they think is going on in their lives, and that’s not really going on, either.
- Dwayne McDuffie, in the video above (starts at 1:57)
The word “loss” encapsulates a lot of concepts, large and small. You lost that receipt with an idea on it — an irritation. You lost a job — financially crippling. You lost your mind at that club — not so shabby.
It is difficult to describe what it’s like to lose a person to the gaping chasm of death when you didn’t know them all that well. That’s some of my challenge with the passing of Dwayne McDuffie.
It’s hard to imagine a more egregious anime or manga “re-imagining” than the debacle that was The Last Airbender, but this might do it.
The long-fearedrumored live-action Akira remakes garnered attention over the weekend when rumors spread that the “lead role” in the two-film series would be offered to … Zac Efron.
Yes, that would be Zac Efron as Shotaro Kaneda, leader of a gang of motorcycle-riding funboys in a post-apocalyptic urban dystopia. But it looks this remake wouldn’t necessarily be a whitewash – it’d be a complete westernization of the story.
Good news from Racebending yesterday: Marvel Studios responded to questions over the casting of Nico Minoru in the best possible way.
As you’ll recall, the character is one of the core characters of Marvel’s Runaways comic-book series. But the original open call, while specifically asking for African-American actors to audition for Alex Wilder, left Nico’s description open, aside from the problematic description of “uniquely beautiful.”
But as posted on Racebending Thursday, the company sent them this statement:
Thank you for reaching out regarding your concerns over Marvel’s recent casting notice for THE RUNAWAYS. We appreciate your interest in our production and with Marvel Entertainment.
To address your concern over casting for the role of Nico, as we do with all of our films, we intend to stay true to the legacy and story of the comic when casting these parts. Thus, our goal is to cast an Asian American actress as depicted in the comic series and the casting notice will be adjusted accordingly.
We thank you again for your correspondence and the opportunity to clarify our process.
And it’s true: the film’s casting call website now specifies that the “Girl 1″ character is not only “uniquely beautiful” (whatever that means), but Asian-American. Also, the audition deadline has been pushed back to Sept. 15 to give applicants more prep time. So why does this matter? As we did in the case of The Last Airbender, we’ll let Racebending break it down:
The series follows Nico, a Japanese-American – that’s her in the black coat and pink shirt – and a group of teenagers who run away from home after discovering their parents are supervillains, and inherit their powers. Later in the series, Nico, a sorceress, assumes leadership over the group. But here’s the open call breakdown for “Girl 1,” who is presumably based on her character:
Uniquely beautiful, nurturing but guarded Female, must play 16-18 Must be at least 16 by January 2011
DC Comics went back to the racial well this week in an interview with Comic Book Resources, which featured this exchange between CBR News Editor Kiel Phiegly and DC co-publisher Dan Didio:
CBR: There’s been a lot of discussion – and a lot of angry discussion, I’d say – coming out of some of the recent DCU storylines, specifically the death of Ryan Choi in the “Titans” Brightest Day launch…
Didio: And if I could jump in here for a second, I’d ask “What past that?” There seems to be a concern about us pulling back in diversity, and we identify Ryan Choi, but we don’t identify what more than that. If you’re talking about a single character, we can’t run backwards from the way we act and behave with our characters because we’re afraid of addressing characters of different race or putting them in stories that are bigger or more exciting, I’m sorry to say. This is an interesting thing to me, because since I’ve been here, we’ve been extraordinarily aggressive in trying to bring racial diversity and diversifying our cast of characters as much as possible. That’s been part of our agenda for the last five to eight years since I’ve been here. We’re talking about a single character with Ryan Choi, but I’d love to know about examples past that, because at the same time that we’ve got Ryan Choi, we’ve got a Great Ten series running. If you look at every team book and everything we’re doing, we go to extraordinary lengths to diversify the casts and show our audience in our books.