Okay, Marvel, I have been patient, but it is time for more diversity in your movies. No more blonde actors named Chris starring in everything. Yes, I know there is some diversity in the MCU, but really, it’s only good in comparison to DC Comics, who aren’t as strong at diversity. But Civil War is a perfect opportunity for the MCU to become just as diverse as its comics.
We have already seen that Marvel has stepped up their diversity in Civil War, making an effort to include more of War Machine and Falcon, and, most notably, they’ve introduced Black Panther. While War Machine and Falcon, sadly, often play the sidekick to Iron Man or Captain America, Black Panther is a superhero in his own right and the ruler of his own country. He is a heavy hitter who is known to many comic book fans, but not as well known by the general population. Though Civil War is focusing on Bucky, Steve, and Tony, there is a part of me that wants a large majority of the movie to focus on Black Panther. Black Panther is slated for a movie after this, so it’s important that he gets a lot of screen time so that audiences can familiarize themselves with him.
I think it’s also important that Black Panther not be portrayed as a rookie. We saw at the end of Age of Ultron that several of the superheroes were still too green and needed training; that is not Black Panther. He is a character that should be immediately accepted by the other more seasoned heroes and seen as just as much of a leader.The title and even costume of Black Panther is the ceremonial title given to the chief of the African nation of Wakanda. Black Panther is the ruler of the country; the costume and title is a symbol of his office and is used during diplomatic missions. Black Panther is and always has been an experienced leader. It’s great to have Black Panther in this role, because despite War Machine and Falcon being amazing, they are, in a lot of ways, still playing second fiddle to white male heroes. It would be nice to see them break out from under the shadow of the white heroes, but Black Panther being introduced outside of any white heroes is very important.
Of course there is another major way that Civil War can add more diversity to the MCU, but I think everyone is a little afraid to talk about it. Anyone who saw the Civil War trailer recently who isn’t even a little worried about Cap’s future is living in blissful ignorance. Other than maybe Quicksilver, there hasn’t been a major MCU superhero death, and we are definitely due one. Civil War is the perfect opportunity to off one of our favorite heroes. I know this idea that Captain America might die and that Chris Evans might be gone from the MCU for a while (because no one actually stays dead) is upsetting. I love Cap, and I love Evans’s portrayal of him, but it might be time for him to move on, especially because his death could make more room for actors not named Chris in the MCU.
When Captain America dies in the comics, there are historically two people who usually take over for him, and those people are Bucky or Falcon. Usually it’s Bucky, and it would fit pretty perfectly into canon and the storyline for Bucky that the MCU has built up for him to take over. But, as always, I want to take the option that has more diversity and that would be in line with the current comics. In the current Marvel Comics, Sam Wilson takes over as Captain America for Steve Rogers. I’ll be honest, it gets frustrating at times for me to see such great diversity in Marvel’s comics but not in the movies. It’s time for the movies to catch up and make Sam Wilson Captain America. Bucky, at this point, is still too new and too traumatized from his experiences as the Winter Solider. If the writers are planning on killing Steve in Civil War, I don’t think it would be realistic for Bucky to be in the state of mind that would allow him to be Captain America. That makes Sam Wilson the best option and would give us a Black leader of the Avengers.
The MCU really ought to take every available opportunity to add more diversity, especially since they already had so many missed opportunities. As far as gender representation, Ant-Man was recently added to the Avengers, but the Wasp (one of the original Avengers) was killed off screen. Then there is Spider-Man, who is joining the MCU and once again is being played by a white guy. So we are going to see Peter Parker for the millionth time, instead of Miles Morales, Gwen Stacey, Spider-Woman, or Silk, any one of whom would add some much need diversity to the MCU. Especially someone like Silk, since there are still no women of color.
I’m extremely excited for Captain America: Civil War because representation-wise, it could really kick things into gear for Marvel. While Marvel Comics has made big moves to be more diverse, the movies have only been doing… okay. It’s time for the movies to live up to the comics and portray a world where anyone can be a superhero.