Say goodbye to Bruce Banner and Tony Stark, comic book fans.
The iconic characters were replaced with a more diverse cast this month. News of Bruce Banner’s demise broke Wednesday.
The Hollywood Reporter has the story:
Marvel Entertainment's summer comic book storyline Civil War II has claimed the life of another hero — and it's a big name. Not just big, in fact — big and green. Bruce Banner, the original Hulk, has been murdered … by none other than Clint Barton, the Avenger known as Hawkeye.
The Hulk, a green humanoid character who gets stronger the angrier he gets, will not go away completely, however. Banner essentially will be replaced by Amadeus Cho, a Korean-American character introduced in 2015 who apparently absorbed radiation from Banner’s body. Or something.
Banner, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1962, isn’t the only character Marvel has ditched in recent days.
The BBC reports that Banner’s death “comes a week after Marvel announced Riri Williams, a 15-year-old African-American girl, will become the new Iron Man.”
Marvel, a company that has been declared a “culture-shaper,” has received pressure in recent years to diversify its hero lineup. Others have decried the company’s lack of diversity in its writing pool.
Will Marvel’s decision to replace the alter-egos of two of its most popular heroes with diverse characters take some of the pressure off the company? Could the decision feed into the angst apparently brewing in “white America”? Are such efforts actually helpful at increasing diversity and advancing racial relations or harmful?