Marvel Comics has some big changes in store for its readers. Thor will be a woman, and Falcon (an African-American man) will take over as Captain America. Some fans wish the creators had stuck to the originals, but others think there is nothing wrong with changing the appearances of the characters. Creators of the series have not really given a reason for the changes, but it is hard to be mad at the company’s attempts at diversity.
Lately, diversification of superheroes and classic characters has been a pretty hot topic — the possibility of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, rumors of Idris Elba as the new 007 — that raises questions about our changing comic and idol culture. The change in superheroes’ races and genders could signal boredom with the traditional portrayal of characters. It could also mean that comic creators realize the diversity of readers and are trying to make superheroes more relatable to their audiences. After all, how can our favorite superhero teach us important values and life lessons if we feel they have nothing to do with us?
Share these articles with young adults and start a conversation about changing superheroes’ appearances and the roles superheroes play in our lives:
- What is your favorite superhero and why do you like him/her so much?
- Which superhero (or super villain!) do you feel you can relate to most? Why?
- What are some values that superheroes teach us that might be hidden under all the action?
- What are some of your favorite superhero changes through the years? Are there any major character changes you would like to see in the future?