The success of Wonder Woman has been seen as not just as a grand reception for a great comic book movie, but a celebration of the arrival of a more diverse slate of super cinema heroes. To Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment go the credit for being the first to get a female hero onto the marquee of her own solo superhero film, a genre that to this point, with few exceptions, has seen women shoved to the side as love interests and supporting characters. But since everything in movies is a contest, the question must asked: Where does Marvel stand on creating diversity? (more…)
Sadly, this is not an April Fool’s joke. You may not know it, but comic book sales have been taking something of a dive lately, especially for Marvel. It’s an odd phenomenon considering the fact that so many comic-related products are all over film and television right now. More and more people are being exposed to the likes of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Preacher thanks to media development, but it seems this is not translating to an increase in sales and Marvel’s Vice President of Sales, David Gabriel has something to say about it.
As the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) continues to be the box-office powerhouse, we have to remind ourselves that it wouldn’t be where it is today without the success of the first film Iron Man. In order for that film to be made, director Jon Favreau had to convince studio executives that the beginning of what would eventually become a billion dollar franchise would rest on the shoulders of an actor who at the time was not a sure thing. Robert Downey Jr. may be Tony Stark, but there was once a time where his off-screen antics made him box office Kryptonite. Favreau had faith that Downey would deliver and we all would be well-off with him cast as the lead. Because of this risk that was taken and the success of Iron Man, the MCU was able to flourish. Marvel Studios has been taking risks throughout all of their films, and each time has paid off handsomely. At this point, you can say that risk has been a part of the Marvel method. Marvel has also championed their diversity for including superheroes of color such as War Machine, Falcon, and soon enough Black Panther. Marvel has also had great female superhero characters, such as Black Widow, Jessica Jones, and Agent 13. However, Marvel has yet to include much LGBT representation in their films. Is this the next risk they would like to tackle?
Marvel’s Phase Three is full of speculation. There have been rumors and reports of a Black Panther movie in the works, but they always get brushed aside. Fans screaming for a Ms. Marvel or Black Widow standalone project get placated with hems and haws. The Marvel Cinematic Universe was and is still dominated by white males kicking ass with magical hammers and high tech armor while the one girl hides behind wreckage, shooting at super aliens with bullets. Everyone saw that coming and accepted it when Phase Two expanded on that foundation. Phase Three was the hope for forward movement. Yet, with ‘Ant-Man’ beginning production just yesterday and ‘Doctor Strange’ being the new flavor of the month, the likelihood of any minority representation taking the lead gets slimmer every day. But these concerns don’t fall on deaf ears. They’re just being worked on with idle hands. (more…)