Marvel Comics have made a conscious effort to diversify its titles in the past five years, and according to Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso it is something he made a priority at the company when he took over the comic book division in 2011.
“It’s a wave that we only somewhat control. A priority for us was that we would diversify our line, both in terms of the characters and the creators. But I don’t think anybody expected we would be able to move this quickly,” Alonso said in an interview with Fuse. “It started, I think the first—we can go back and look at the arrival of Miles Morales [and] the success of Kamala Khan as being examples where things just worked.”
Alonso points to those characters, as well as the induction of Jane Foster as Thor and Sam Wilson as Captain America, as unconnected events which became part of a groundswell change of diversity in the core Avengers line-up.
“There was a point at which both Jason Aaron, who was writing Thor, and Rick Remender, at about the same time, had ideas to put new characters in the uniforms, in the costumes—in Thor’s case a woman, Jane Foster, and in Captain America’s case, Sam Wilson. Those happened with two writers who weren’t even talking with one another, you understand?,” said Alonso. “They had a similar idea to play with an icon, they both came up with compelling reasons to do so and we went for it. And we suddenly realized that we had an Avengers landscape that didn’t look anything like the movies. Equally important, people were embracing it, people were loving it. Jason’s female Thor outsells his male Thor. She connected with people, same way Kamala Khan connected with people. So really it’s just been about that.”