We have no shortage of fantastic female characters, says Marvel's Stephen Wacker
NEW DELHI: Fans and critics have voiced concerns over women's representation in superhero genre but Marvel comics universe has always had "fantastic" female characters, says Stephen Wacker, VP - Creative Development, Marvel.
Wacker said these characters will soon make it to the big as well as the small screen and the process has already begun.
As the former senior editor of Marvel Comics, Wacker supervised and developed an array of top selling titles including Ms Marvel and Captain Marvel, believes people have seen only a handful of characters from their universe on the big screen, and there is more to come.
"For Marvel, female characters are not new. They have always been around. I believe we are the only company at which people have been looking at for the past decade. There have been a lot of Marvel superhero movies, but there hasn't been a lot of time yet.
"Marvel has no shortage of fantastic female characters. And all these characters are going to come out. 'Captain Marvel' is a great step on the movie side. We have 'Jessica Jones' and 'Cloak & Dagger' on television and both the shows have women as central characters," Wacker told PTI in an interview here.
As an avid comics reader since childhood, he believes it is only in last two decades that superheroes have been made to look like "something boyish".
"I think there is a stigma that superheroes are just for boys. But that was not the case in the early days with comics. Marvel always had strong female readership. Comics in general has strong female readership. I think something has happened in the past 20 years to make it seem very boyish. I don't know how accurate it is. But I don't think what we do is meant just for boys," he says.
Wacker says their aim at Marvel is to create content that resonates with people across the globe "regardless of opinion, background, gender or anything else." He says Marvel has a very diverse character line-up, but they are still working hard to bring in more inclusivity both on and off the camera.
"We already have a very diverse cast of characters, but we can still do more in terms of bringing inclusiveness.
It takes time, but it is something we definitely have on our agenda. On the publishing side we are very active in finding talent from around the world.
"For example, if our next is an Indian superhero, she has to feel authentic. She has to have a voice telling her story, who has knowledge of India or is an Indian. We always make sure to get it right. We are looking forward to do something like that."
When it comes to his personal favourites, Wacker says it has to be Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel.
"The character which sort of grew on me when I started working on is Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel. She was a test pilot, had a long hard history and was character that has fought a lot of challenges. That is one of my favourite characters.
"I was part of the team that kind of recreated that character, she was originally called Ms Marvel for years. So, I was there when we re-designed this character for the movies."
Wacker says not only him but his whole family is looking forward to the release of the upcoming "Captain Marvel" film featuring Brie Larson in the titular role.
"I am going to watch the 'Captain Marvel' movie as fan. I haven't read the script. I don't read the script unless I have to do some work on it. I am really excited about it. And my whole family is excited to see her on-screen."