Over the past 5+ years Marvel has been changing it’s dynamic of it’s characters by giving all of the classic marvel characters legacy and mantle to newer & younger heroes therefore creating new and fresh stories out of these characters in order to expand the comic book audience and it has indeed been somewhat of a success with bringing in more people to the comic book industry. When Marvel introduced Kamala Khan as Miss Marvel who is the first Muslim-American female super-hero to headline her own comic, i immediately started reading her books because i can automatically relate to her and her stories. Her comic book got awarded with the Hugo Award for best graphic story.
Marvel most recently this summer introduced Riri Williams (Ironheart), an African-American teen to be the next Iron-Man taking over for Tony Stark in the ‘Invincible Iron Man’ book It has received both bad and good reviews due to some older fans not accepting change. It’s incredibly special that little black girls of the next generation have a hero figure to look up to and dress up as. It’s also awesome that she was created because black women are arguably the most under-represented group in comics.
Now that we know that Marvel Comics are influencing the MCU ( Marvel Cinematic Universe) we should expect that these legacy characters will be in movies in the next 5+ years or so. Miles Morales (Afro-Latino) spider-man will be reportedly be the lead role in all new animated spider-man film by Sony! It’s exciting to see Miles get his big-screen debut after so many iterations of Peter Parker spider-man.
For over 50+ years Marvel’s character line-up has been dominated with white-cis men like Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and many more. It’s gotten to the point where basically the same stories were being told repetitively and needed a fresh change, by introducing new characters will provide newer and fresh quality stories for this generation and boost sales. Research done by Helena Wu at Duke University suggests diversity does make a difference in sales.
In conclusion, I believe that diversity is strictly needed in fiction in general, I want characters that i can relate and look up to, I want POC to see a part of themselves at a particular character. I also love the concept of the hero passing the mantle to their successor type of stories too. It’s satisfying to know that the next generation of little kids have a representation of themselves in different characters.