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Black Captain America leads comic book diversity

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Marvel Comics and DC Comics are leading a push for diversity in their industry’s mainstream characters. The new black Captain America comic book debuted in November. (AP Photo/Marvel) Marvel Comics and DC Comics are leading a push for diversity in their industry’s mainstream characters. The new black Captain America comic book debuted in November. (AP Photo/Marvel)

WASHINGTON (AP) — For decades, comic books have been in color, but now they are more and more reflecting the true hues of American society.

The new Captain America is black. A Superman who is suspiciously similar to President Barack Obama recently headlined a comic book. Thor is a woman, Spider-Man is part-Puerto Rican and Ms. Marvel is Muslim.

Mainstream comic book superheroes — America's modern mythology and the wellspring behind several recent Hollywood blockbusters — have been redrawn from the stereotypical brown-haired, blue-eyed white male into a world of multicolored, multireligious and multigendered crusaders to reflect a greater diversity in their audience.

Society has changed, so superheroes — at heart a reflection of life in the United States — have to as well, said Axel Alonso, editor in chief at Marvel Comics, who this month debuted Captain America No. 1 with Samuel Wilson, the first African American superhero taking over Captain America's red, white and blue uniform and shield.

“Roles in society aren't what they used to be. There's far more diversity,” said Alonso, who has also shepherded a gay wedding in the X-Men, a gender change from male to female in Thor and the first mainstream female Muslim hero in Ms. Marvel.

The change to a black Captain America is already having an impact outside of comics.

Read more at The Grio

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