Let’s be very clear about this from the jump – I am a Marvel fanboy. There, I said it. I grew up on Marvel Comics. I love the Marvel movies (more than the DC movies). And I know that it’s completely ridiculous to pit the big two (Marvel & DC) against each other, but a tiny part of me was so glad when Civil War crushed Batman v Superman. I’m extremely happy about the casting decisions that Marvel has been making for it’s MCU films and the Netflix series. My biggest professional goal is to get cool enough to be on the red carpet for Black Panther in 2018. That’s the level of Marvel supporter I am. I just wanted to get that out of the way.

Last week, Marvel announced that the mantle of Iron Man would be handed down to a 15-year-old black girl named Riri. She’s a genius, attending MIT, full of #BlackGirlMagic. And that’s great.

But Marvel Comics has a diversity problem, and it’s not a secret. 

The push for more multicultural characters of all different gender types is 100 percent a laudable thing. But without creatives that look like those characters, it’s only skin deep. How can someone who doesn’t identify authentically represent a group of people? There’s only one answer to that question. I love Brian Michael Bendis as much as the next blerd. He’s one of my favorite comic book writers/creators. I love that he brought Miles Morales to the Marvel Comic book multiverse. I love David F. Walker, as I’ve said many times. I love Ta-Nehisi Coates, and his run of Black Panther. But there is literally no good reason why there aren’t black women writers at Marvel that I could say the same things about.

And about the argument that you can’t find them.

The community has the solution.

I love talking about comics in the column every week. And I would’ve loved to share my hot take/think piece, hubris-filled rhetoric about why I don’t like Pokémon Go. But we can do that next week. The most important part of this platform, to me, is that I get to signal boost for the community that makes it possible to do what I love. Because you clicked on this, or shared it, I get to keep writing it. And because I care about this community, there’s no way I could not share this message on our behalf.

So dear Marvel Comics decision makers,

If any of you at the office just so happens to stumble across this on the internet – share it with your coworkers. Hire some black women to write comic book series, please?


The resident blerd at Blavity aka biggest Marvel fanboy ever.

write comics
Photo: Giphy

Thanks for reading Strictly 4 My Blerds. This is an issue that can never get enough attention. Until it’s fixed, we need to talk about it. Leave comments, I read and reply to all of them. Hit the share button (so we can spread the message) and tag a friend who needs to see this. 

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