Think about the most famous superhero. The one you can’t help but see plastered on huge billboards, advertising the latest movie. The one little children clutch tightly in their chubby hands. The one on coffee cups, t-shirts, posters and backpacks. You name it, they’re on it, somewhere.
So you’ve got this picture in your head right? Of this perfect superhero? I’ll bet you a tenner he’s male, fifty quid, they’re white and one hundred quid that they’re straight. And I’m confident I’ll lose very little of my money.
But why is this? Why are the biggest superheroes straight, white men? Is it because any else is incapable of saving the world? That’s absurd and certainly not true. Comic books paint pictures of superheroes of every race, colour, sexuality and gender but for some reason these people don’t end up on our big screens.
You might think I’m exaggerating. Trust me, I’m not. I googled a list of Marvel films and every single one which is based around a single superhero is about a straight white male, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and so on. I’m not trying to devalue these superheroes because I love them to bits. I just think we need a change.
Women only appear in superhero movies as a sidekick or the less famous part of a team, I’m talking about women like Pepper Potts and Natasha Romanoff. The same is true with people of colour like Sam Wilson and James Rhodes. They don’t get their own movie but they’re used by Hollwood to prove they’re diverse.
We’re definitely getting better. Think about the difference between the cast of the first Avengers film and the cast of Captain America: Civil War. There has been an improvement, but these steps are being taken too slowly and too cautiously. Hollywood needs to take a leap of faith away from what we’re all used to in superhero films and towards what our world really looks like.
What do you think? What’s your take on this issue? Let me know!