Some people can’t take “Yes” for an answer. In an article for Fusion, author Charles Pulliam-Moore tried to throw a wet blanket on the excitement surrounding Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther solo film. Pulliam-Moore quoted DC Comics editor Joseph P Illidge on the subject. Illidge had this to say:
“Marvel does not have that many black characters, [but they] are naturally more diverse than DC. Black Panther may not open the gates to a Falcon solo film, but I’m hopeful to see Monica Rambeau in Captain Marvel.”
My first reaction is to wonder why Pulliam-Moore didn’t talk to someone at Marvel since he was writing an article about Marvel. My second reaction is to point out that even the Distinguished Competition admits that Marvel is winning the diversity wars. Thus far DC has put one African-American superhero on the big screen…for about 30 seconds. And all he did was howl in pain and terror. Well done.
Marvel has already featured African-Americans prominently in nearly all of their films. Black Panther will have a mostly black cast featuring African and African-American actors as well as African-American writers and an African-American Director. If people on Twitter want to get excited about that, let them. Shit, stop being such a killjoy.
I was serious, though, when I called it a Diversity War. It really is. Marvel is winning it hands down in print medium and on the big screen. Especially when it comes to filling the screen with people of color and with badass women. On TV, however, DC is winning major battles. Granted, Marvel had a woman lead on Agent Carter and Marvel’s cast on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is wildly diverse. But DC has multiple shows scoring multiple big victories.
DC’s shows, under the guidance of Greg Berlanti, have fearlessly switched the race of well established comic book characters multiple times, most notably with The Flash‘s Iris West/Candice Patton (Iris Allen in the books). The Flash, Arrow and Supergirl, all helmed by Berlanti all feature racially diverse casts. Additionally, The Flash and Arrow both feature prominent gay and lesbian romances and even same-sex weddings. The shows also feature some very openly gay actors including mega-gay* icon John Barrowman
So, yeah, diversity is going on. The rainbow won’t happen overnight but it’s happening. If, for no other reason, than that it makes good business sense for Disney and for Warner Bros. Inclusion means bigger audiences. Bigger audiences mean more revenue. Profit is what guides business. Diversity is profitable so diversity is here to stay. Let’s stop wringing our hands and pretending it isn’t happening. The money is behind it now and that makes it unstoppable. So, let people pretend something pure is happening. Let them enjoy the moment. Let’s turn a blind eye to the money machine and just be glad that Black Panther is going to be what it is. Make no mistake, Black Panther is going to be a big deal. Just like he was the first time around.
*I’m not sure what mega-gay is but it has something to do with attitude, dimples, great hair and really good teeth.
He also sings for the Supra-70s band, RIFLE.