MCU star Anthony Mackie recently spoke about the lack of diversity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Could we see an adaptation of the comics’ All-New, All-Different Marvel as a result?
Recently, Marvel Cinematic Universe star Anthony Mackie expressed his concerns on Variety’s Actors on Actors when he spoke to Snowpiercer‘s Daveed Diggs about the lack of diversity at Marvel Studios behind the camera.
The actor – who portrays Sam Wilson/Falcon in the MCU – criticized Marvel for not having enough people of color play key roles behind the scenes. This isn’t the first time this issue has come up as it’s something that Marvel Studios President and Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige has addressed in the past – something that Marvel is steadily improving at.
Mackie went on to discuss how the rise in black creatives behind the scenes suddenly increased for Black Panther adding that it had “a black director, black producer, a black costume designer, a black stunt choreographer. And I’m like, that’s more racist than anything else,” because they were hired for the “black movie.”
Mackie then suggested the best way to achieve changes is to hire a new generation of people who can then add something as huge as working on a Marvel movie to their résumé, influencing major change going forward.
The issues of diversity and representation at Marvel could be solved if the MCU were to follow in the footsteps of the All-New, All-Different Marvel storyline from the comics. Could we possibly see ANADM in response to Mackie’s poignant argument about representation at Marvel?
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what ANADM actually was and how it came about, what happened to The Falcon character during that era and why it might be adapted in Phase Four and beyond in the MCU – while also looking at what Marvel Studios needs to avoid doing if they were to venture down this route.
The All-New, All-Different Project
All-New, All-Different Marvel was an initiative run by Marvel Comics from 2015-2019. It was essentially a rebranding of titles set within the Marvel Universe following the events of the 2015 crossover Secret Wars. This initiative merged Earth-616 and Earth-1610 as one Prime Marvel Universe.
ANADM was seen as an experiment in legacy and diversity in Marvel’s line of comic titles. Miles Morales (aka Kid Arachnid) the Ultimate Spider-Man was a huge success as was Ms Marvel (Kamala Khan). The initiative was supposed to broaden their audience by attracting new readership from the younger generation.
Marvel used characters who are successors like Hulk II aka Brawn (Amadeus Cho), Nova (Sam Alexander), Mighty Thor (Jane Foster) and more to increase the representation while relegating some of the legacy characters like Captain America (Steve Rogers), Iron Man (Tony Stark) and Thor Odinson to the background. But the problem was not so much diversity as it was the fact that it was neither “All-New” nor “All-Different”.
The problem was not only how the successors replaced legacy heroes at an unprecedented rate, but how swift the change was and how lacking in narrative quality and nuance it became. While sales were initially promising, they drastically began to decline by the final quarter of 2016.
In the wake of several controversies including difficulty within the direct market, Editor-in-Chief at the time Axel Alonso was replaced by C.B. Cebulski in November 2017. Following the 2017-2018 relaunch initiative Marvel Legacy during the ANADM era, Cebulski has overseen the current initiative “Fresh Start”.
The Black Captain America
Sam Wilson aka Falcon rejoined the Avengers within the comics during the first Marvel NOW! relaunch (2012-2015). He also participated in the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline where he assisted She-Hulk and several members of the Avengers contain students from the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.
During a confrontation with an enemy known as Iron Nail, Steve Rogers’ almost century-long Super Soldier Serum that pumped through his veins was neutralized in Captain America Vol.7 No. 21, causing him to rapidly age over 90 years. Rogers was a super-soldier no more and in Captain America Vol.7 No. 25, Falcon was appointed the new Captain America, with the All-American colors fashioned in his flight-harness suit.
As Captain America, Sam rescued a Mexican teenager, Joaquin Torres, from mad scientist Dr Karl Malus – who had performed experiments on him to transform him into an avian-human hybrid using the recent Cap’s pet, Redwing. His condition was diagnosed by Claire Temple to be permanent.
Captain America was then captured by the Serpent Society and was chucked out the window by Viper. Torres rescued Cap and once the Serpent Society was defeated, Sam delegated Torres to be his right-hand man, the second Falcon.
Sam, as the Captain, participated in numerous missions including Civil War II and Secret Empire, but his public image and leadership were put to the test following 2016’s Avengers: Standoff! storyline, as he was forced to relinquish the mantle and Rogers’ shield. However, the original Cap backed Sam and received a hero’s welcome.
All-New, All-Different MCU?
Following last year’s Avengers: Endgame, the culmination of 22 movies within the MCU saw the majority of the original six members of the Avengers either out of commission, retired or dead. That alone suggests that the next phase could be inspired by ANADM toat least some extent.
Thus far, the MCU has embraced the legacy model with Steve Rogers’ Cap (Chris Evans) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) who are seemingly set to pass on (or at least share) their mantle. Falcon will face shouldering the responsibilities as the successor to the Captain America mantle in his own companion series with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) The Falcon and the Winter Soldier; while Jane Foster will be reintroduced as the Mighty Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder. So there are definitely signs that do point to ANADM.
With much less event films on the horizon and Marvel Studios’ pivot to smaller standalone fiction in the form of the various Disney Plus shows, this writer believes they have a great platform for kicking off All New, All-Different in live-action form. If this is indeed the case, it’s clear that the MCU is on the right track and they will learn from the mistakes of the Marvel Comics run – hence the reason the current slate of Phase Four does not seem quite as eventful, as well as the fact that some of the major heroes are sticking around for the moment.
It’s an experimental time for the MCU and this could be their chance to showcase the diversity within Marvel Comis while also making sure it’s a success at the same time.
Would you like to see All-New, All Different storyline within the MCU? Let us know in the comments below!