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  1.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #1
    Crabby Admin Term's Avatar

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    More Changes Coming Marvel's Way.

    So previously a couple of years ago there was a big shakeup when Marvel's big wigs decided that in their Ultimate line of comics that they were going to be replacing that series' Peter Parker with Miles Morales, a mixed-race kid who would take up the mantle of Spider-Man after the apparent death of his predecessor. There was some talk about what this would mean for other comics and the effect it would have on other comics, specifically due to the speculation that Marvel was trying desperately to diversify its roster of heroes who were predominantly white males.

    Over the past week or so, Marvel has announced new changes in an expanded run of its Marvel NOW! campaign which was a series of re-booted comics with fresh jumping off points to help engage new readers. The first change was announced several days ago when it was revealed that there was going to be a new female Thor, taking over for the prince of Asgard. Last night on the Colbert Report, Marvel head Joe Quesada revealed that Steve Rogers would also be handing the reigns of Captain America off to someone else, namely Sam Wilson, AKA The Falcon.

    I've had a couple of people come up to me in the past couple of days complaining about the changes, namely because I was previously against the idea of Miles Morales becoming a new Spider-Man. At the time I wasn't a fan of the idea of just killing off characters to replace them with more diversified versions of themselves, namely because I felt it was a cheap way to try and garner new readers, and Miles over time has shown to pretty much be almost exactly like Peter Parker, except now his skin tone is different.

    Over time though I've mellowed on it though. Frankly it was a different line of comics that didn't matter to the continuity I followed, AKA the main Marvel continuity. As such, Peter Parker was still alive (and then briefly died and was replaced by Doc Oc via mind-swap for several months before returning) and was still going around doing his thing. Miles would eventually find his way jumping universes when the Ultimate line would run its course, but Peter was still there.

    I feel like Marvel learned from Spider-Man that killing off characters to replace others probably wasn't the best idea, especially not characters that were so very loved by others, save for the few "events" that they clearly attempted to gain readers ala Steve Rogers' assassination a few years back.

    So now we have a female Thor, who from what Marvel has said is going to be someone that the Thor we know rescues. The male Thor will then somehow become "unworthy" to wield his hammer which will be taken up by his female counterpart. Now for fans of Thor we'll know this isn't the first time this has happened. Indeed others have held onto his iconic hammer for brief periods of time, the most obvious to me being Beta Ray Bill who would eventually get his own personal hammer crafted for him. Thor is not dying or being sent away, instead he is going to be still working with the Avengers, now wielding a hunting ax he apparently used in his younger days. So to me, the whole craze about the Thor we know going away is a bit extreme, especially since that character isn't really going anywhere, he's just not going to be wearing the helmet and cape and running around using lightening. That character being pissed off and wielding an axe though sounds awesome to me.

    Captain America is kind of in the same boat as Thor. Steve Rogers is apparently going to lose the powers granted to him by the super soldier serum and will be forced to leave active duty because of it, leaving the mantle of Captain America vacant. This isn't the first time someone else has been Captain America. When he was assassinated, Steve Rogers' old friend Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier, became Captain America for a few months before Steve Rogers returned, originally just as an agent of SHIELD and then officially as Captain America again. This time it happens to be going to another of Rogers' friends, The Falcon. Now long-time continuity nuts like myself will know that this isn't the first time there's been a black Captain America. The first was Isiah Bradley, a test subject of the US' efforts to recreate the super soldier serum that gave Steve Rogers his abilities, but in a program that specifically targeted African Americans. Isiah was the only one to survive the experiments and donned the mantle of Captain America to destroy Nazi super soldier efforts in Europe. Isiah unfortunately would be subject to mental and physical deterioration in his later years suffering from symptoms similar to those of long steroid abuse, which Steve never deals with.

    Above all else though, as we all should be very aware of at this point, none of these changes are likely to stay in the long run. Things like death or changing of the guard rarely stick around in comics forever. Superman and Batman being prime examples of how death or someone else becoming a superhero when they are physically incapable are almost never permanent changes. Now whether or not you'd like to view Marvel's changes as something that's just being done as a cash grab to diversify its hero lineup to appeal to minorities is up for debate. I personally just view this as another classic shakeup routine that companies like Marvel and DC always tend to fall back to in order to keep their comics fresh so it's not the same old thing over and over. And honestly, in a few months things will be back to "normal" anyway with the possibility of maybe the female Thor sticking around for a bit.

  2. #2
    When I heard people say "I hear they're making Captain America be a different race", I thought they were talking about an alien of some kind.

    Turns out he's still the same ol' human.

  3. #3
    Eh, Cap was already a black guy (see "Captain America: Truth").
    Sega does what Nintendon't.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueJaySF View Post
    Eh, Cap was already a black guy (see "Captain America: Truth").
    Wait... he was black? o.O; I didn't notice...

  5. #5
    It was a retcon introduced back in 2000 or thereabouts, I think. Black Army volunteers were given the serum to make sure it was safe to use on the Pretty White Poster Boy (alias Steve Rogers).

    So yeah, the original in-universe Cap was black.
    Sega does what Nintendon't.

  6. #6
    No I saw it.

    I just didn't think that kind of stuff like his skin tone was important.

  7. #7
    Only important whenever the fact that Marvel had a lineup of predominately-male whites as its heroes, and a handful of white women in their rosters (really just Sue Storm and Janet Van Dyne), enters your mind. Cap is a product of WWII propaganda, after all.

    Cap's lost his "job" before, when he became "Nomad, the Man Without a Country" and all that crap. I don't see why he should be replaced because he "loses his powers," as Sam Wilson doesn't have the Super-Soldier Serum in his veins.

    I can get the need to diversify a cast, but I don't get the need to kill, depower, or otherwise get rid of the previous hero. Peter Parker did not need to die in the Ultimate comics to have Miles Morales become another Spider-Man, for example.
    Sega does what Nintendon't.

  8. #8
    Junior Username3's Avatar
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    I don't read comics, so I'm having a hard time understanding why don't they just make a new character? Have this badass-woman-thunder-thingy but with her own title?
    Last edited by Username3; 07-25-2014 at 08:49 AM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Username3 View Post
    I don't read comics, so I'm having a hard time understanding why don't they just make a new character? Have this badass-woman-thunder-thingy but with her own title?
    Brand Name recognition.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueJaySF View Post
    Only important whenever the fact that Marvel had a lineup of predominately-male whites as its heroes, and a handful of white women in their rosters (really just Sue Storm and Janet Van Dyne), enters your mind. Cap is a product of WWII propaganda, after all.

    Never entered my mind at all. I thought they were just human.

  10. #10
    So, I'm not an expert in any way on Marvel Comics, (though I'd like to get more into their series in general), but this is what I've gathered:

    a) Thor's powers were once in the possession of Beta Ray Bill, a talking, bipedal space horse.
    b) Thor was once turned into a talking frog.
    c) Cap's mantle has been taken over by an African-American once before now.
    d) Spider-Man's mantle was taken over by an African-American/Latino.
    e) Captain Marvel's mantle was taken over by a woman. Miss Marvel is now another woman, a Muslim girl from New Jersey.
    f) This probably won't affect the films at all, as they take place in a separate continuity.

    So this does not seem weird or out of place for Marvel. Presumably they can have two Caps and two Thors, and it'll make the workload for all of the heroes a lot easier. I'm all for it.

 

 

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