Kevin Feige plans on bringing more diversity to Marvel Cinematic Universe

The Ultimates Dodson Captain Marvel Black Panther

Stan Lee has helped with bringing diversity into the world of comic books. He co-created Black Panther, the first black superhero in the medium. Additionally, he co-created the X-Men, which later featured Storm, the first female black superhero. The comic book icon even discussed racial and social issues in his column called “Stan’s Soapbox” in the pages of Marvel Comics. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige wants to follow in Lee’s footsteps by bringing more diversity into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Stan Lee championed a black superhero during the civil rights movement, a time when blacks were fighting for their rights to be treated as equals in the United States. One example of Stan’s Soapbox had him talking about the problems of bigotry and racism.

“Let’s lay it right on the line,” Lee wrote in the 1968 column. “Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today.”

Kevin Feige wants to capture the spirit of those columns and thinks of himself and Marvel Studios as the current stewards to do so.

“We’re just the stewards, the current stewards, of these characters, that [Lee] and his co-creators brought together — and all of them were created in that spirit of those Soapboxes,” Feige said. “That was very much what Stan’s worldview was, and that’s what those movies represent.”

“Because that is — how do I put this — it’s the right way to be,” Feige added. “It is the way the world should be. And one the great things about the movies is you get to showcase the world that you want to reflect and the way you want the world to be. And that’s what [Lee] did with these characters.”

Marvel Studios already started with bringing more diversity in superhero films like Black Panther and Captain Marvel with plans to be more inclusive in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There’s the upcoming Shang-Chi, the first Marvel Studios movie to star an Asian superhero as the lead. The Eternals will also bring in a variety of heroes with reports that it’s looking to cast a gay actor to play a gay superhero. (There’s already a petition created that demands Marvel Studios exclude the gay superhero.)

And with that, here’s the full 1968 column written by Stan Lee.

“Let’s lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed super-villains, they can’t be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them — to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot is an unreasoning hater — one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately. If his hang-up is black men, he hates ALL black men. If a redhead once offended him, he hates ALL redheads. If some foreigner beat him to a job, he’s down on ALL foreigners. He hates people he’s never seen — people he’s never known — with equal intensity — with equal venom.

Now, we’re not trying to say it’s unreasonable for one human being to bug another. But, although anyone has the right to dislike another individual, it’s totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race — to despise an entire nation — to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill out hearts with tolerance. For then, and only then, will we be truly worthy of the concept that man was created in the image of God – a God who calls us ALL — His children.

Pax et Justitia, Stan.”

Source: LA Times

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