All the fan and critical about Asian erasure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is being heard. When Captain America: Civil War stopped in Singapore last week, the topic inevitably came up. Of course, this was before Doctor Strange writer C. Robert Cargill admitted the Chinese market is why the Ancient One isn”t an Asian man. Unlike Cargill, Marvel Vice President of Asia Brand Management and Development, C.B. Cebulski, had a much more positive outlook on the future of diversity in the Marvel universe. When asked if there were any plans for bringing an Asian superhero to the big screen, Cebulski was optimistic Marvel's on that path within the next few years.
“Things have to happen naturally, that's what Marvel is about you know, it's about finding to right character at the right time and we knew it was the right time for Black Panther and we know it's the right time for Captain Marvel, hopefully in the next couple of years it will, be the right time for the proper Asian superhero, you know be it Miss Marvel or Sunfire or someone to really pop and take centre stage in one of the films.”
Who would Cebulski personally want to see on the big screen? Spider-Man”s break-out character from the Spider-Verse arc, Cindy Moon. While Spider-Man”s movie rights are owned by Sony and lent out to Marvel, Moon”s and her superhero alter ego of Silk may not be tied to that deal as she was created long after Peter Parker.
Marvel is also taking steps to make sure any new Asian characters have a “level of authenticity,” according to Cebulski. He travels throughout Asia looking for undiscovered talent; everywhere from Malaysia and Indonesia, to the Philippines and Singapore. One of the most successful collaborations to date is South Korean-created superhero, White Fox. Produced by Young hoon Ko as part of Marvel”s webtoon experiment, Avengers: Electric Rain, White Fox became so popular in South Korea that she made the jump to the main Marvel continuity in 2014. Her comic book counterpart was co-created by Al Ewing and Paco Medina.
Other than Sunfire, Miss Marvel, or Silk, who else could Marvel pull from the page to the screen?
#1: Amadeus Cho – The most obvious choice. Marvel could go two ways with Cho. Either a hyper-intelligence Prince of Power, whose brain capacity rivals that of both supercomputers and Tony Stark and BFF with Hercules. OR, they could have him step into his Hulk role, taking over for Mark Ruffalo and/or standing with Bruce Banner as the world adapts to TWO Hulks.
#2: Omega Sentinel – A personal favorite. Karima Shapandar is a survivor of the Operation: Zero Tolerance program. Instead of giant robots, Bastion turned humans into cyborgs as next generation cyborgs. Once freed from her mutant-killing programming, Shapandar took on the superhero identity of Omega Sentinel and joined the X-Men. And there”s the problem. Unless 20th Century Fox decides to play ball with Marvel, Karima probably isn”t coming to the MCU. Unless she was modified to destroy Inhumans instead of mutants?
#3: Surge – Part of the New Mutants, Noriko Ashida ran away from home in Tokyo to seek help from Professor Xavier and the X-Men. Living on the streets and on drugs to control her electrical powers, Noriko took on the alter-ego of Surge and quickly climbed the ranks to become a break-out leader of the new generation of X-Men. Again, Marvel”s hands are tied here unless they go the Inhuman route, but regardless of how someone needs to put this gal on the big screen.
#4: Karma – Xi'an Coy Manh is yet ANOTHER mutant who could easily make the jump to the big screen (I”m sensing a trend here). Another member of the New Mutants, Karma is both telepathic and has the power to possess the minds of others. She also has a cybernetic leg AND is one of the few openly lesbians characters in the Marvel Universe. Again, just make her an Inhuman, and you”re golden.
#5: Nico Minoru – Look, we need a Runaways movie, we need more diversity on the big screen, and we need a resurgence of goth fashion. So Nico is a win/win/win. She is literally a witch, so she”d dovetail nicely into the new corner of the MCU. And her power set is unique. Wielding the Staff of One, Nico can cast powers spells. But there”s a catch. There”s always a catch. Each spell can only be used once. Say Nico needs to stop someone in their tracks. She can say “Freeze!” But now that spell will never work again. It causes some fun language learning. Oh, and of course she has to use her own blood to manifest her staff.
That just a handful of Asian characters Marvel could utilize! Did I mention your favorite? If not, leave them in the comments below.
[Via GMA Network]