By Thad Komorowski and E.J. Stewart
The surplus of superhero movies is giving audiences more variety in lead characters. The new Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman movies in the works suggest Marvel and DC are serious about bringing diversity to the screen. Or, are they just appeasing critics who say superheroes are too male and white?
Get yourself ready for the upcoming flicks by familiarizing yourself with the characters’ history.
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966)
Creator(s): Jack Kirby, Stan Lee
Movie Due: November 2017
Starring: Chadwick Boseman
Bio: Hailing as the king of the fictional African country Wakanda, T’Challa uses a heart-shaped herb to harness the superhuman abilities and heightened senses of the Panther-god, Bast. When he’s not acting as the king and protector of Marvel’s richest country, T’Challa has fought alongside the Fantastic Four and joined the Avengers to protect the earth from Marvel’s greatest threats.
First Appearance: All Star Comics #8 (December 1941)
Creator: William Moulton Marston
Movie Due: June 2017
Starring: Gal Gadot
Bio: In DC’s relaunched universe “New 52”, Princess Diana of the Amazon island of Themyscira is the demigoddess daughter of Zeus and Queen Hippolyta. The only female founding-member of the Justice League, Diana possess superhuman strength and speed that rivals only Superman. Diana is one of the fiercest warriors in the DC Universe with elite skills in armed and unarmed combat while wielding her magical sword and “lasso of truth”
Captain Marvel/Ms. Marvel/Carol Danvers
First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (March 1968)
Creator(s): Roy Thomas, Gene Colan
Movie Due: July 2018
Bio: NASA pilot Carol Danvers becomes “Ms. Marvel” after surviving an explosion on her ship with Kree alien Mar-vell; the original Captain Marvel. Her DNA now melded with Mar-vell’s, Carol’s perfectly aligned Human/Kree physiology gives her superhuman strength, flight, and the ability to create energy blasts from her hands. Fighting as Ms. Marvel, Carol has helped save the Marvel Universe countless times as a member of the Avengers decades before recently taking over the mantle as Captain Marvel.
DC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980)
Creators: Marv Wolfman, George Pérez
Movie Due: 2020
Starring: Ray Fisher
Bio: Former high school football star Victor Stone’s life changed forever when an attack at S.T.A.R. Labs left his body severely mutilated. Victor’s father, a scientist at S.T.A.R., rebuilds his son through a series of prosthetics that not only saves Victor’s life but turns him into a half-man/half machine weapon. Victor, cybernetic enhancements gives him superhuman strength and endurance, interface with computers, and shapeshift his body parts into a wide variety of weapons. In DC’s “New 52,” Cyborg is founding member of the Justice League.