Marvel, the entertainment company that recently released the hits The Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, just announced their movie titles for the next four years, or the third phase of their cinematic universe.
Two of the most exciting titles are Black Panther, to be released November 3, 2017, and Captain Marvel, which has a release date of July 6, 2018. Both of these movies will offer groundbreaking content for the Marvel entertainment industry, and will hopefully usher in a new wave of superhero movies for the large scale entertainment company.
In the Marvel comic books, the Black Panther is a diplomatic symbol of the African nation Wakanda. The King of Wakanda, T’Challa, acts as the head of the tribes and people of the nation and protects Wakanda from outside threats. Many comic book news outlets have placed Black Panther on the top 100 list of Marvel superheroes due to his resources and will power that makes him such a powerful adversary.
Black Panther will be the first Marvel movie that has an African American playing the main protagonist. While this movie will not be the first African-American superhero movie to be made, it does offer some significant representation to the franchise. Black Panther is a smart and worthy adversary in the comic books and should only prove to be more so on the silver screen.
Likewise, Captain Marvel is an incredibly important title to the company. The title, Captain Marvel, has been passed down through many different characters in the Marvel world, but the iteration Marvel is planning on creating is the current run with Carol Danvers. This means that Marvel will finally be releasing their first female led movie, an announcement that fans of the comic books and movies have been waiting on for years.
Marvel has been working on peppering in diversity within their projects including Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in numerous movies, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and a diverse cast of characters in their TV property Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., not to mention the incredible Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in many of their properties. The comic book side of Marvel has done a wonderful job of embracing the diversity of everyday life. They have numerous books with women and people of color as the sole figures, including, one of my favorites, a book with a female, Islamic teenager as the main superhero.
While there are still significant strides needed in the entertainment industry to gain representation of women and people of color, Marvel just made a big step in the right direction toward better representation within the superhero franchise. Now it’s up to them to continue moving in that direction and give their audiences more compelling stories and characters of all races, creeds and genders. They are out there, and they exist in the comic books, it’s time for them to start coming forward.