It seems every year both Marvel and DC bring us a line-wide crossover that will “shake the foundations of the multiverse to its core and nothing will ever be the same.” Well this year Marvel looks to actually deliver on that promise.
Marvel is currently engaged in another crossover that influences every character and book that has been in the work for several years. Secret Wars is the culmination of Brian Michael Bendis work on Avengers and New Avengers that will conclude his tenure and immaculately, intricately woven web of a story. Once it is done, “All New All Different Marvel”, a line-wide re-approach, not a reboot, will take the place of the Marvel universe we currently know and will present us with a Marvel world far different than the one we’ve known for so many years. they are doing the one thing come fans hate most; changing. You should be excited and here’s why.
For years, Marvel has been considered itself and its approach to comics as what it would be like if superheroes existed in the real world. At least they believe its more like our world than Dc’s Earth. However, as much as they try, their world has always been more focused on white male superheroes in the center with other minority characters on the peripheral. Looking at the roster of the Marvel Comic’s film Avengers shows a strong similarity to the approach Marvel has inadvertently taken for years, with Black Widow on the side of the main casts and War Machine and Falcon as sidekicks. Captain America, Thor and Iron Man have been the consistent focus surrounded mostly by other white males. Even in the 60’s Stan Lee written X-Men, which was about fighting the oppression of a minority class in symbolism of the civil rights movement, was about 5 white people. It didn’t show true diversity for several years until the “All New All Different X-Men” rebranding with Giant Size X-Men #1 in 1974, that featured men and women of different nationalities and races. That branding sound familiar yet?
This fall Marvel is finally changing the game and their universe to more closely fit ours. All New All Different Marvel will present a world focused on a more diverse cast of characters with a stronger emphasis on non white characters. One needs to simply look at All New All Different Avengers #1 to see how different the world will be.
Within the last two years, Marvel has made some minor changes that fans thought would disappear and reset in time. However, these changes are obviously part of the larger whole of the new approach.
Steve Rogers, former Captain America, has lost his powers and aged up to his appropriate senior citizen body. Rogers has since stepped to the side and runs missions from behind the scenes. In his place, former Falcon Sam Wilson has adorned himself with the shield and familiar colors and taken the mantle from his friend to be a Captain America of a new era.
Thor was deemed unworthy to carry his hammer and the name Thor itself. He has decreased in power and taken the name Odinson. Over the last year, a female Thor has emerged to step in as the resident mainstay of all things Asgardian. Far more powerful than the Odinson, wielding his former hammer, and taking his place in the Avengers roster, this new female Thor is a new hero for the new direction. Just recently we found out that this Thor is actually Jane Foster, a woman battling breast cancer while not battling demigods, and an inspiration to people everywhere.
Years ago, Peter Parker was killed in the Ultimate Universe and a new Spider-man arose to take his place. Half latino, half black Miles Morales has become the Spider-man to many a fans. When confronted with the Peter Parker of our main universe, Parker actually gave Morales his approval and blessing to carry on in his stead in Morales universe. When there were rumors of a new Spider-man being cast or the MCU, many fans were clamoring for it to be Miles instead of Peter in the webs. If the cover of the Avengers #1 coming out is any clue and the announcement that Miles will be starring in a book simply titled Spider-man coming this fall, Miles Morales is going to be our main Spider-man from here out. Peter Parker is said to still be around, but is rumored to step aside into a more mentor role to Miles as Miles becomes the main web-slinger. After all, was in intrinsically white about Spider-man’s story?
There have been more changes along the way. Ms Marvel became Captain Marvel and has had a larger focus. There’s new Ms Marvel that’s a Pakistani American Muslim that is making huge waves in her own book with great reviews and solid sales numbers.
Wolverine, who had a great tenure as one of the most popular characters and maintained an absolutely epic character arc from contrary loner to selfless samurai to the most truste soldier to leader of the mutant race and headmaster of the Jean Grey School for Gifted Youngsters, finally completed his journey last year when he was finally allowed to die. This year, his female clone X-23 will be taking his place as Wolverine. So far we’ve only been given a glimpse of the new costume and have yet to see how she will be handled by the new creative direction. We know that the elder Logan of Wolverine from Old Man Logan will be around in some form as well, possibly as an advisory role to younger mutants or in a book in his own right.
There’s also a promise of a new hulk that will be “controversial” during the unveiling. A lot of fans are speculating it will be Jennifer Walters, the once She-Hulk.
All this to say, Marvel is giving us a world with more diversity and more opportunity for more interesting characters. The old cast has had its time to shine and will still be around in some form, but pushing them to the side to allow these new characters to step into the spotlight gives Marvel the opportunity to appeal to a larger fan base while approaching stories with more creative freedom. It’s a whole new world for Marvel to play in. It’s a world more like our own that will allow a greater variety of individuals reading the books to have characters with which they can identify. This is a big change for Marvel, but it’s a good change and fans should be excited.
Written by Zach Nichols