As we’ve noted in the past, Marvel Comics has quietly been getting really progressive on race and gender issues lately (even though Marvel Entertainment’s superhero movies remain locked in a mostly white, dude-dominated mode). A big milestone in that evolution was announced today: Marvel is rebooting one of its main super-teams, the Ultimates, as a group of heroes including zero white men!
The Ultimates are the flagship evil-fighting force in Marvel’s so-called Ultimate Universe, an interconnected set of comics series that take place in a parallel universe (ugh, comics remain dauntingly confusing to the uninitiated). The initial Ultimates series, launched in 2002, is widely known as the biggest creative influence on Marvel’s Avengers movie franchise. Along those lines, it’s traditionally been staffed by Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, and other Caucasian gents. But after an apocalyptic event this spring, the team will re-form in All-New Ultimates, a series that will star four female superheroes and two men of color (including the Ultimate Universe’s half-black, half-Latino Spider-Man). The series will still be written by a white dude, Michel Fiffe, but c’mon, this is still a big step in the right direction.