A Chinese Marvel superhero is fine, but when will we get an Indian Marvel superhero?

The US comic-book giant, Marvel, has just announced that it’s creating its first Chinese superhero. The Disney-owned publishing company will work with a Beijing-based company to create this first-ever, Chinese-American comic superhero.
And while that’s great news indeed–it’s the first time an Asian superhero will be created for the global audience under Marvel’s banner–we can’t help but wish that the company would also start working on an Indian-American superhero. The reasons behind this are quite simple.
It would cater to the rising Indian-American population in the USA, as well as appeal to us Indians at home. According to the 2010 census, the US has a 4 million-strong Indian-American population, which is growing steadily. The Chinese-American population, which is also strong at 3.8 million people, will be well-represented by this new superhero. So, it’s only fair for them to also work on an Indian-American one.

Nagraj is an Indian comic-book superhero.

Most Marvel comic heroes have an Indian connection. Or at least that’s what the movies have led us to believe. Dr Bruce Banner is shown curing people in Kolkata slums in a controversial scene from the first Avengers movie. The recent Spider-Man: Homecoming movie actually has an Indian wedding, with Robert Downey Jr dressed in kurta-pajama, surrounded by saree-clad women.

Parmanu is inspired by the American superhero, Atom

Marvel’s creations are gradually becoming more inclusive, and celebrating Indian culture. Wouldn’t an Indian-American superhero make this scene even better? It will also cut off the at-least-slightly racist ways South-Asians are depicted in American comic books, movies and TV shows. And if people like Sameer can be good sidekicks in movies like DC Comics’ Wonder Woman, then why not a full-fledged superhero or heroine?

India has always had a number of superheroes. Even if you don’t take Mr India, Shaktiman and Krish into account, there are numerous comic-book superheroes we’ve grown up with. Who in India hasn’t loved the amazing Chacha Chaudhary? And when it comes to heroes with supernatural powers, Nagraj, Doga and Parmanu stand as strong as a Spider-Man or Dr Strange do. And need we even mention Baahubali?


Seriously, Marvel, or any other US-based comic-book giant, wouldn’t lack in collaborative partners in India for an Indian-American superhero. It would make for better cultural and racial diversity, and help the American youth understand Indians better. So, how about it, Marvel?

via India Today



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