Summer is a great time to explore the vast cultural experiences Chicago has to offer–especially the newest and most-talked about…
Marvel, popular movie maker and soft drink marketer, has decided to try its hand at comic magazines. If you’re interested in books with pictures, might I recommend the new title Champions by Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos? The book introduces a young team of diverse heroes fighting crime while Snapchatting Tinders, or whatever it is teens do.
Here’s a breakdown of the roster for people who are new to comics—or fanboys who believe superhero team diversity means having a white guy who can fly and a white guy who can read minds.
New Fans: In an alternate reality, Peter Parker was killed and Miles Morales filled his booties as Spider-Man. After Marvel’s annual reality-shattering event, Miles is now on the same earth as Peter and shares the Spider-Man title.
Angry fans: This new Spider-Man is black and Hispanic! Proving that all people can do whatever a spider can. Some are confused by how two heroes can have the same name, but just picture a nightmarish world where we only have one flavor of Mountain Dew. Miles’ original powers include camouflage, electrical venom strikes and traveling back in time to ruin the childhoods of white fans, apparently.
New Fans: Amadeus Cho is 15, Korean, and one of the smartest people in the Marvel Universe. He’s also the new Hulk, after using nanites to remove and absorb Bruce Banner’s Gamma infliction to save a lot of lives.
Angry fans: Yet another form of white appropriation. This time, it’s our ability to turn tantrums into a super power. With the Hulk, our ability to go into a murderous rage every time there’s a slight change to the status quo is a feature, not a bug.
Ms. Marvel/Kamala Kahn
New fans: Kamala is an American Muslim girl from New Jersey and also an Inhuman (like the X-Men’s mutants, but without the film copyright problems). A longtime fan of superheroes, she uses her shapeshifting powers and Captain Marvel’s inspiration to become Ms. Marvel.
Angry fans: This one pretty much goes out to the Fox News subscribers. Just because one Muslim has to ability to stretch her limbs 50 feet long and shrink to the size of Trump’s polling numbers doesn’t mean they all do. Also, Kamala’s role as a positive representation of immigration and a female comic fan gives her the power to be completely invisible to some audiences.
New fans: Sam Alexander is half-Latino/half-cosmic space cop. He inherited the Nova uniform and powers from his father. He can fly at supersonic speeds, absorb and project energy, and survive even the most vicious of “America First” tirades.
Angry fans: Two Latino characters on one super team! That’s a number most corporate board rooms, network sitcoms, and college brochures have failed to reach. Is there anything more unrealistic than an intergalactic peace organization that has better representation than we do?
New fans: While Vision doesn’t have an ethnicity (although in the Avengers movies he’s played by a man who was whiter than Tom Hanks in his last franchise), this new character, Viv, is the daughter of the popular robot. She has his density, flight, and energy projection powers,
Angry fans: Yes, she is a female robot. No, she doesn’t want to have sex with you. I realize there aren’t many popular films/vodka ads where a machine is given a female shape for any other reason than to delight male audiences…but come on, man! She’s underage! In that she looks 16 and she was built like 6 months ago.
New fans: Due to time travel shenanigans, the original five X-Men traveled forward to the present day. Young Scott has the same problem controlling his optic blast as his older counterpart, but looks more like Tye Sheridan than James Marsden.
Angry fans: Hey look! A white guy! Sure, his mutant power could be a metaphor for people who feel ostracized because they’re differently abled, but it’s okay because he’s been around forever, AKA you started to like him when you were young enough to be open-minded and less entitled.
C.J. Tuor performs with the improvised drinking thriller “Hitch*Cocktails” every Friday night at The Annoyance Theatre in Chicago.