Comic book fans have had a lot to talk about this week. The latest news from Marvel is we’re going to be getting a new Captain America. Sam Wilson, aka The Falcon, will become Captain America come October. The Falcon is a black character; he was portrayed by Anthony Mackie in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He’s the second black character to portray Captain America and one of the few black characters ever in the comics.
The news comes hot on the heels of the announcement that Thor will be a goddess. Taken together with the recent introduction of a Pakistani Muslim Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, and the ongoing success of Miles Morales in the Spider-Man comics, you have a diverse cast of characters that reflects a trend we’re also seeing in television entertainment.
On TV, we’ve seen more diverse casts pop up across shows and networks. ABC’s hit shows Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, ABC’s Mistresses, AMC’s The Walking Dead and a number of other shows have featured casts that are as varied as the themes and topics they cover.
But more than that, the diversity there is seamless. We’re not bombarded with racial references on those shows. The characters simply are what they are, and in the process they’re reflecting what’s happening in the audience. The lives of viewers have become more diverse and more often it’s happening without a ton of fanfare or controversy.
Marvel CCO Joe Quesada, who made this announcement on The Colbert Report, says that the new Captain America “will be strictly in the comics.” Hmm… We’ll predict that Marvel is leaving the door open.