For the last eight years, my president was Black. More than that, he was a Black Nerd, a Nerd of Color, the Head Nerd in Charge. After today, we aren’t going to see the likes of someone sit in the Oval Office as intelligent or intellectually curious as Barack Obama. His record in office speaks for itself. Because of President Obama’s leadership, 20 million more Americans have health insurance, marriage equality is the law of the land, and nerds of color were finally represented in the White House.
Ms. Marvel! Shang Chi! Silk! Amadeus Cho! Has there ever been such an awesome assemblage of Asian American superheroes under the banner of Marvel Comics? Possibly probably not… until now.
Writer Greg Pak recently teased the upcoming cover of Totally Awesome Hulk #15, suggesting that this is the most significant grouping of Asian American superheroes that has ever starred in a mainstream comic book.
In Totally Awesome Hulk #15, kid genius Amadeus Cho — aka The Hulk — is slowly learning how to become a team player, but has to learn fast when Ms. Marvel, Shang Chi, Silk and a host of other heroes come to town.
Today is Election Day in the United States. And the choice couldn’t be clearer for the millions of voters heading out to the polls. We’re either going to wake up tomorrow playing R.E.M. or Beyoncé. Later this month, Marvel Comics will be releasing Ms. Marvel #13 in which the book’s titular hero will be urging the citizens of the Marvel Universe to similarly exercise their inalienable rights to vote.
[Note: minor spoilers throughout.]
Let me be upfront and get this out of the way, I love Marvel and Netflix’s Luke Cage. I love it for the way it is shot. I love it for the unparalleled beauty of the soundtrack. I love it for its color palette. I love it for its hesitancy and awkwardness. I love it for some of the struggle-performances. But what I love the most about it is how black it is.
On the heels of Marvel’s first Mosaic story recently released at Barnes & Noble stores, here’s our exclusive conversation with writer Geoffrey Thorne from the (second) floor of San Diego Comic-Con 2016!
So recently Marvel released Captain America: Steve Rogers. At the conclusion of the comic, Rogers reveals he’s a double agent and utters two magic words that would become the shots fired around the world:
Last week, we had the opportunity to be a part of CrossLines, a pop-up culture lab on intersectionality presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. In addition to hosting a Reading Lounge/Book Swap and live mural by artist Matt Huyhn, The Nerds of Color was invited to conduct live recordings of Hard NOC Life. The first of these live podcasts featured comic book artist Shawn Martinbrough.
Captain America has been revealed to be a HYDRA agent all along and doesn’t this emphasize everything wrong with superhero comics today?
When The Outhousers released the spoilers for Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 the night before its release last week, fans clamored to discredit the website citing it as “unreliable,” “the comic version of The Onion,” and “satire” in an effort to brush aside the original spoiler panel of Steve in full Captain American uniform saying, “Hail HYDRA.” Understandable, this is a huge retcon of Steve Roger’s overall character and the name of Captain America. A legacy of a name built up over 75 years — in fact, Captain America just celebrated his 75th anniversary recently — and fans feel rightly protective.
The Doctor Strange controversy — combined with the push to cast an Asian American actor as the title character Danny Rand aka Iron Fist — has been buzzing for the last couple months. With the release of the first official trailer for Doctor Strange, Marvel’s next would-be blockbuster movie after Captain America: Civil War, the controversy has reached an all time high. So much so that a Marvel spokesperson gave this statement to Mashable regarding the casting of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in Doctor Strange:
Marvel has a very strong record of diversity in its casting of films and regularly departs from stereotypes and source material to bring its MCU to life. The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by any one character, but rather a moniker passed down through time, and in this particular film the embodiment is Celtic. We are very proud to have the enormously talented Tilda Swinton portray this unique and complex character alongside our richly diverse cast.
Is this statement true though? Has Marvel Studios really pushed diversity in their movies? Have they increased the visibility of marginalized peoples in their film franchise or television properties? Has Marvel Studios subverted stereotypes? Enough to supposedly excuse recent controversies surrounding Doctor Strange and Iron Fist?