Diversity in Superhero Land.

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author: ethan butterfield | a&c editor


One amazing Spider-Man. / ColombiaSonyPictures

Opening the door for all kinds of stories.

Can we all just move on? Pretty please!? I’m really asking, because good lord, the hate behind some of the films that are coming out soon is just so childish. Hey, folks, Captain Marvel is a fantastic hero, just let Brie Larson do her thing, she’ll be great in the role, enough with the “smile more” bullshit. As well, who cares if she’s the one that ends up saving everyone in Infinity War Part 2: Electric Boogaloo. I can assure you it’ll be just as, if not more entertaining to watch then if any other hero saved the… universe? Galaxy? Half the universe? Something like that, I‘ve honestly forgotten what Thanos did in the last one so that shows you how invested in the story I am. 
Plots aside, the reason for my tangent at the beginning was because after seeing the emergence of films like Black PantherWonder Woman, the (aforementioned) upcoming Captain Marvel, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, I’m down for more films with more diverse casts of characters. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will be the film that I use as my prime example on the subject today, however, due to the fact that it’s amazing! This film is literally amazing, it’s heartfelt, it’s charming, it makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you question the existence of pig-like spider-people. 
Reactions and jokes aside, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is one of the best examples of inclusivity in an animated hero film to date (maybe Big Hero 6, but we’ll discuss that later). Miles Morales is one of the best protagonists I’ve ever seen and the hype for him appearing in a live-action film is only going to grow at this point. As well, Spider-Gwen is a wondrous character that really comes into her own through this film and, also, doesn’t take shit from anyone! 
Also, also, old man (or middle-aged in this case) Spider-Man is utilized wonderfully as a loser. I wish there was more to say, but that’s it, he’s a loser. He can still kick butt, which doesn’t undermine his character any, but he’s a sad-sack and I love it. Why? Because that’s a naturally development for an older Spider-Man. Someone who’s still stuck in the glory years and refuses to move, this being where Miles Morales comes in as the new hottest to Peter Parker’s old busted.  
Moving away from Parker to Morales, Miles Morales greatness in the lead role doesn’t just come from his ability to be a good Spider-person, but also from his relationship with his family and who he wants to be. He wants to be unique, he wants to stand out, overall (emotionally), he just wants to be himself. That’s why, regardless of whom he is, he’s a great character. Miles speaks to that little voice inside all of us that says “Regardless of who you are, you can do great things!” You can’t top that in terms of character folks, not easily. 
With that mind, I will say this. I’m not trying to pick fights or start arguments when I say that the diverse spectrum of superhero films should be broadened. I’m just saying there are numerous stories to tell and that we’ve really only scratched the surface when it’s come to storytelling.  Don’t you like good, well done, branchedout storytelling? Same here. I guess what I’m really trying to say is, give it a chance, just give it a chance. 
So with all that taken in account, I think the idea of more diversity in superhero films is one that shouldn’t be taken with a heated tone. Rather, it should be taken as a challenge to our best to tell these stories so that we do the characters justice. Also, while not a film that would fall into the ranks of the ‘diverse film category’, I have to ask: “When are you getting a fucking Howard the Duck reboot?!” Come on! It’s been too long! Just make it a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s no way it could fail!

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