Recently, Chadwick Boseman stated the Marvel team was looking at winning the “Best Picture” Oscar for Black Panther. Honestly, I’m not surprised. Black Panther was a triumph with audiences and critics alike. Its success not only goes to its amazing acting and directing, but also demonstrates the growing demand for minority leads in superhero films. Where before non-white actors were pushed into sidekick roles, Marvel Studios is now recognizing the power in giving voices (or, more accurately, capes) to minority actors and actresses. So, the real question is who will be the next minority superhero to make the big screen? Here are some heroes who are confirmed or rumored to be joining the MCU.
Kamala Khan a.k.a Ms. Marvel
Kamala Khan is a Muslim American girl who lives in Jersey City. After driving through an alien mist (you read correctly), she gains limitless shapeshifting abilities. In addition to fighting a genetically engineered, highly intelligent bird (again, you read correctly), she also struggles to stay true to her Pakistani heritage while living in America: something every child of immigrants can relate to.
Ms. Marvel is an easy addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as her mentor, Captain Marvel, has a movie coming out early next year. Marvel Studio’s president Kevin Fiege has stated that there are plans for a Ms. Marvel movie, though, when the movie will come out or if Ms. Marvel will make an appearance in Captain Marvel remains unclear.
Riri Williams a.k.a Ironheart
Riri Williams could be Iron Man’s successor. Robert Downey Jr.’s contract with Marvel ended with the upcoming Avengers 4 movie, leaving many fans wondering what will happen with the Iron Man franchise. Riri Williams could be the answer. Like her predecessor, Riri is highly intelligent and witty. Unlike her predecessor, she is a young, black woman, who comes from a background completely different from Tony Stark. Roberty Downey Jr. has even voiced support of Riri in a tweet.
There are already rumors that an Ironheart movie is in production. A script for the film has already made it onto a list of most popular, not-produced screenplays (though if the script was commissioned by Marvel is not confirmed). A movie starring a black female superhero is long overdue, and Riri’s intellect and spunk would make her a perfect Ironman followup.
Miles Morales a.k.a Spiderman
Miles Morales, an Afro-Latino teenager, was also bitten by a spider and gained similar powers to Peter Parker. After witnessing Peter Parker’s death as Spiderman, he takes up the mantle to try to help his community.
Miles Morales was already introduced in Spiderman: Homecoming. When Peter Parker asks Aaron Davis for information about illegal weapons, Aaron Davis responds that he has a nephew and will tell Spiderman to keep the weapons off the streets. Aaron Davis is actually Miles Morales’s uncle. In a deleted scene, we see Aaron call Miles, saying he won’t make it dinner. Click here to watch the scene, posted by IGN.
Although no plans for Miles have been confirmed, the fact that he already exists in the MCU is promising.
From small screen shows featuring the blind Daredevil and Harlem’s Luke Cage to Black Panther’s cinematic breakthrough, Marvel has diversified over the past years, and young characters have already become fan favorites, like Peter Parker and Shuri. Disney has still not announced all the films for Phase 4 (which will start after Avengers 4) so hopefully we will see some more strides towards a diverse Marvel Universe. Hopefully, the young heroes listed above will join the MCU and add more minority voices to Marvel.
Photo via Escapist Magazine