Black girls rock, and one of the largest comic book companies has seemingly heard the message.
Marvel Comics is reviving one of its more obscure superheroes called Devil Dinosaur and Moon Boy, but this time the comic dynasty is adding some diversity to it. Instead of having the character Moon Boy as an ape-like sidekick, the character is being revamped to be a Black girl called Moon Girl. The character, whose real name is Lunella Lafayette, will discover that she has an inhuman gene that makes her smarter than most and will allow her to communicate with her 30-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex sidekick. The original comic dates back to 1978, and was created by the comic book legend Jack Kirby.
“It’s great to be a part of the creation of something which can mean something special to so many people,” said Natacha Bustos, the artist who will be drawing the comic, in an interview with EW. “I myself have come up against this dilemma – I’m half Afro-Brazilian and half Chilean besides being Spanish – of finding few or no cultural references, especially in Spain, a country where there is isn’t any community comparable to the African American community in the states.”
“It’s really important that the mainstream throws up new references like these and it’s an honor to be a part of that change that Marvel is bringing to the comic book creative landscape.”
The announcement came after Marvel was recently criticized for its hip-hop tribute covers. Industry insiders and fans pointed out the company’s dismal history of hiring minority writers and artists, and how seemingly few non-white artists illustrated the covers. Some said the efforts to diversify the comics needs to occur behind the scenes as well, and that more minority artists and writers need to hold higher positions in the company. The hip-hop comic covers were likened to cultural appropriation by some as famous Marvel characters have been acknowledged in the music, but rarely has the favor been returned.
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