“All-New, All-Different Avengers” Cover is Comic Evolution in Action

So there are people on the internet that are absolutely losing their shit over the newly leaked “All-New, All-Different Avengers” cover.

The new line-up actually hews fairly closely to modern team incarnations: Thor, Iron Man, Captain American, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, Vision, and Nova (who’s not a regular, but there’s always an odd character out). For comparison, take a look at the very first issue of “The Avengers.”

Not pictured – Captain America, thawing off-panel

What is getting some of the more cantankerous web denizens riled up is the gender and race diversity on the new cover. Since its first issues, the Avengers team has been helmed by the big three, Iron Man, Thor, and Cap. And the new team has them as well, except Thor is now a woman and Cap is African American. Further, Ms. Marvel is of Middle-Eastern heritage, and Ultimate Spidey is also African American.

Vision is a robot. I think we can all agree he’s the truly dangerous presence on the cover.

I see why those that are less tolerant could feel threatened. Gender and race diversity has been trickling into comics at a snail’s pace over the last 10-20 years. But it’s finally caught on and is now a flood as Marvel (in particular) rushes to engage their newfound audience. It’s a lot of change, it’s all at once, and if you were using comics as a place to hide from shifts in population and society, well I suppose it would be a shock.

But when I look at that cover, I see an Avengers team that more accurately reflects the world around me. It seeks to engage, not just the traditional young white male audience, but everyone. And that’s exciting. No one ever said “Man, I wish my readership was more limited.”

Race and gender isn’t the only thing that gets me jazzed about this new team, though. The diversity that really excites me is in their power-sets!

Thor brings the mystical/supernatural to the party. Iron Man and Vision are technology-based. Captain America is your government-issue Real American Hero. Ms. Marvel is the Inhuman in the mix (to promote Marvel’s overall anti-mutant-because-Fox-owns-the-movie-rights agenda). Nova represents the “Superheroes! In! Spaaaaaaaaaaace!” contingency. And Spider-Man (aka Miles) is not only the “power by scientific/industrial accident” hero of the bunch, he does double-duty as possibly the sole survivor of his reality (the soon-to-be-gone Ultimate Universe).

I’m geeking out in a big Marvel fan boy way. It’s appropriate that coming out of the multiverse-flattening Secret Wars, Marvel’s flagship comic would take nearly all of their properties, stick them in a blender, and pour a team out. The story possibilities are limitless. That the cover has people talking is a good thing; but what’s going on inside is going to be the big win for comics fans.

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