Worldwide, Marvel Comics is well known for always trying to promote inclusive values in their stories, in which they fight intolerance and prejudice with high doses of superheroic adventures. In recent years, this trend has gone even further and the entertainment company has begun to introduce individuals that belong to a minority racial group or female leaders as the secret identities of the characters of their most popular franchises.
Riri Williams is a young African-American with a great ability for science, who, with only 15 years, joins the prestigious school of MIT where many of the techie geniuses of the 21st century have studied. In an interview with the TIME magazine, writer Brian Michael Bendis explained that he thinks that the most real plot of a superhero would be the story of someone growing up in a troubled neighborhood, surrounded by violence, but still succeeding to go to college.
Kudos to Marvel because with this new version of Iron Man, debuted in 2016, they not only have replaced one of its most iconic characters with an African-American woman, but also promoted the value of a good education.
In 2014 the comic book company announced that Thor, one of its most popular characters, would hand over his magic hammer to a woman. Jane Foster, the romantic interest of the personage during several stages, was the chosen one. In this story arc, she’s suffering from breast cancer when she is a plain human, but it reverts when she becomes the mythological god of thunder.
Once again, the editors from the House of Ideas proved their maturity as they not only thought of a woman to replace one of their most famous and media heroes, but also addressed a subject as delicate as cancer.
Marvel has been keeping the bet on diversity and among its most controversial decisions – although applauded by most of their readers, who are really the ones that matter at the end – there’s the idea of giving the shield of Captain America to an African-American man, introducing the new alter ego of Ms. Marvel as a teenager of Pakistani heritage who professes the religion of Islam, or publishing a comic set in an alternate universe, in which Spiderman is a latino teenager.