The X-Men and Deadpool writer is currently working on The Unbeatables
Comic book writer Fabian Nicieza is currently working on Marvel’s latest comic, The Unbeatables. Speaking to Resonate, Nicieza discussed his latest comic and diversity in the comic book industry.
Nicieza is best known for his work on Marvel classics such as X-Men, X-Force, New Warriors, Cable and Deadpool, and Thunderbolts. He is now involved with a brand new comic, The Unbeatables, which was unveiled at London’s Comic Con. The creation of the four new superheroes come as a result of Marvel Customs Solutions teaming up with Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company Limited.
The comic aims to highlight the strength of those living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). One of The Unbeatables superheroes is a character called Luminaria AKA Jiang Goh, who is a nurse from Singapore.
About The Unbeatables
“Marvel had been working with Takeda for a while to develop content that would help expand the IBD community and provide access points for the community – to create entertainment they could relate to and understand. They had done an 8 page mini story for the first character they created, Samarium. It’s being spearheaded by Marvel Custom Solutions editor Darren Sanchez. He was working with a writer, Buddy Scalera.”
“When the time came for the project to become bigger, when Takeda wanted to turn it into a 64 page novel with more characters and superhero team, that’s when Darren reached out to me. That was 6-8 months ago. We got down to developing the characters and a threat that would require them to come together whilst staying in contact with the IBD ”
Making Luminaria East Asian
“We wanted to be global. There’s a limited amount of characters and a lot of places in the world. We had different options and possibilities for different characters. We were looking to spot different points in the planet to make everyone understand that IBD is a global issue, not a global one. The community is global and you can make your issues smaller if you’re all in touch with each other.”
“Making Luminaria from Singapore wasn’t anything that said she had to be from Singapore or couldn’t be from Singapore – it was really a matter of spreading the wealth of the different characters across the theme and across the globe.”
“We had issues about where the bad guy was going to be from because no country wants to take ownership of the bad guy but every story needs one! Now you know why Marvel creates countries to have their bad guy come from.”
“I honestly believe that social media has tipped the perceptions of reality a little bit. I understand people’s desire to see of themselves in their entertainment, but I was 12 years old when I bought Luke Cage Hero For Hire Vol. 1 from Marvel comics and I’m not an African American kid. I bought it because it looked really cool.”
“I wrote a comic book in called New Warriors in 1991, which featured African Americans, bi-racials and Jews. When you’re working in the comic book industry, diversity is a pleasure and a preference because it allows you to tell better stories with more interesting character interactions. ”
“I’m often offended by people’s complete lack of historical perspective”
I don’t make something diverse because I think social media is going to like it. I make a character and a team diverse because I think it’s going to enhance my storytelling and my characterisation. I’ve been doing it for 30 years so it’s not today’s news for me.”
“I’m often offended by people’s complete lack of historical perspective on things in the entertainment industry when they decry things as being the extreme all the time. I’ve written X-Men, which were Marvel’s mutants, which were always synonymous with minorities and underclasses of people who were oppressed. I’ve written mainstream superhero books that had multiplicity of ethnic and gender diverse characters. I shrug my shoulders. I call it Monday.”
On representation in the comic book industry
“There isn’t enough representation in the entertainment industry for all different cultures. The reason is that because predominantly entertainment coming out of Hollywood was for mainstream audiences in the United States before everything became more global. The majority of the people who were purchasing those movie tickets or buying books were Caucasian. That’s not the case anymore. The whole planet is clearly more global and communication is more open.”
“I didn’t call it a social movement or caving into diversity or political correctness. I called it a story.”
“The desire to see yourself reflected in a character is obvious and understandable. That doesn’t mean that a creator has to make every single choice based on trying to appease every single individual person that has their own individual taste, preferences and wants. You have to do what’s right for the story and characters.”
“A lot of people are applauding if marvel makes an African American 15-year-old girl, Riri Williams, into Iron Man and a lot of people are decrying that. I’m 54 years old and I remember when James Rhodes put on the Iron Man armour back in the late 70s. He was an African American guy. I didn’t call it a social movement or caving into diversity or political correctness. I called it a story.”
“Monthly comics that have been published for 50 years require constant freshening of ingredients. Otherwise you’re producing the same sausage every single month. People want to have something different in their sausage but you’ll always going to get the people who complain that you put fennel into your sausage.”