By Vance Astro 36 Comments
Point 1. Mass Appeal
Both Black and Hispanic readers often feel like the are under-represented in comics and at this point I think it's more than a "feeling", it's more like reality. I understand that Marvel is a really old company and there was a time where minorities and women were second class citizens but once Marvel began adding characters of those types in their publications, I felt like it was fine to take baby steps in integrating them in the universe but from what i've seen in the time i've been reading comics, it's like they are taking baby steps but also backpedaling. They try to build a character up and they drop the ball when they see an opening. I feel that what always set Marvel apart from other publishers is that people view their characters as more relatable than others. I feel that Miles Morales\Spider-Man and Power Man would be alot more relatable than the black heroes that Marvel had been previously pushing like War Machine, Black Panther, & Blade. First of all they are still young, they are getting used to their powers. I feel that older readers (18-35) which is the usual demographic will read about these characters because they will find their stories and abilities interesting and that younger readers will like them because they are also young and those characters have personalities and go through things away from being a superhero that will resonate with them. Younger readers will also, kind of grow up with these characters. When I was a kid characters like Jubilee,The New Warriors,The New Mutants, they were teenagers, now that i'm an adult I don't think they are but I am starting notice a transition between their maturity both physically and storywise..which is interesting.
What's also good about Spider-Man & Power Man is they are regular street levelers who happen to be of both black and hispanic origin. They aren't of a character type that would alienate them from different types of readers or stories or characters. For instance if you take Blade for instance..he's a Vampire Hunter; because of the type of character he is..it limits what types of things he can do without derailing the character and making him do something OOC. He doesn't belong among superheroes, and we know anti-heroes are never the focal point of any fictional universe..that automatically sits him in the back. Spider-Man or Power Man could be placed among just about any superhero team and not appear out of place.
Point 2. Powers
Spider-Man & Power Man aren't the most unique heroes around but they have an interesting set of abilities that set them apart from the characters they take their names from. The reason this is important is, this is probably why a character like the Falcon can't keep a position on the Avengers because all he can do is fly. He brings nothing to the team that other more popular characters aren't capable of. A character like Cage probably has a problem holding his own book because his powerset is so generic that it's hard to make villains for him. Usually when a villain is created they have their own abilities that counter those that the heroes have, how many powers can you use to try and counter super-strength before is becomes repetitive or you run out of idea? You may not know that Luke Cage even has his villains..but if you were to look them up you won't be surprised by how pathetic most of them are.
Point 3. Newcomers
I feel that Marvel made their beds with previous black character as far as how they've written them for years and how they've tried to push them to make sales. With two new heroes, they have a chance to do something different. They aren't as big on retcons as DC so something like what DC did for characters like Aquaman will happen. I think Marvel has had previous openings to sell certain characters and they didn't take them, and now it's too late. To use Blade as an example again, he had 3 successful films and his last ongoing ended 2 years after the release of the final film in the trilogy completely with subpar writing and art, which gives the impression Marvel didn't even try.
Point 4.The United States of the Marvel Universe
The United States and especially New York is the focal point of the Marvel Universe. That's where most of the heroes reside, that's where the most superhero related activity happens. A character like Black Panther may have trouble surviving because where he resides seems disconnected from the rest of the Marvel Universe. When he was involved in events like Civil War it allowed to be apart of something bigger and that's where writers saw success.
If Power Man were to get his own series, and Miles can keep his book going...I think these two characters have the best chance of breaking that mold of minority characters that don't sell, what do you think?