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ADVANCE REVIEW – ‘Marvel’s Voices: Identity’ #1

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Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 celebrates Marvel’s Asian superheroes and centers AAPI creators. When I heard this was coming out for August, I was very excited. Not only are some of my favourite characters, like Silk and Ms. Marvel, included, but some of my favourite comic creators are also contributing to this anthology. My favourite thing about this anthology is the central theme of identity, especially the chapters that explored identity from the angle of being part of the Asian diaspora. 

Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 is available now at your local comic book shop! Spoiler-free Review! 

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Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 Cover by Jim Cheung

Writer: Christina Strain, Maurene Goo, Alyssa Wong, Gene Yang
Penciler: Jason Loo, Mashal Ahmed, Whilce Portacio, Marcus to
Cover Artist: Jim Cheung
CELEBRATING THE GREATEST ASIAN SUPER HEROES AND CREATORS FROM ACROSS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE! Some of the best Asian super heroes in comics are getting the spotlight in this special action-packed and heartfelt issue! Shang-Chi! Ms. Marvel! Jubilee! Silk! Jimmy Woo! Come celebrate these amazing and legendary heroes from new and established Asian creators that will surely expand the world outside your window! Plus: Be prepared for some big and special surprises that can only be told in the Mighty Marvel Manner!

REVIEW – Community Makes Representation Matter 

Marvel’s Voices: Identity is a robust anthology that features 8 short stories, an interview and highlights a range of AAPI superheroes and creators. The last year and half through the pandemic has been challenging, especially for diverse communities. It’s certainly had me, a Chinese-Canadian, reflect on what identity and positionality means to me. It’s wonderful to see not only a celebration of AAPI superheroes, but also a reflection on the tensions and pressure on diaspora identities, and how heritage and community informs our lived-experiences and perspectives. This is why seeing a range of Asian creators contributing to this anthology is so heartening. Representation matters not just on the pages of comics, but also in their production and how they’re situated in their respective cultural contexts. 

I personally love how many of these short stories explore the tensions of being part of the Asian diaspora, specifically those messy feelings of not being enough/not knowing. As much as this anthology is about celebration of identity, I appreciated how the stories did not shy away from difficult feelings around Asian identity in America, and the West more broadly.  These eight short stories not only highlight why representation is important, but more specifically,  these stories are grounded in community and cultural contexts for each of its respective heroes. In other words, Marvel’s Voices: Identity reflects a multiplicity of experiences and perspectives, which really highlights how Asians are not a monolith. 

Preview Page from Marvel's Voices: Identity #1
Preview Page from Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1

Like I mentioned earlier, I knew in advance I was going to enjoy this anthology because some of my favourite superheroes are included. One of my favourite local Toronto comic creators, Jason Loo, also contributed as the artist for “That One Thing” with writing and colouring by Christina Strain. That story definitely made me go hug my parents. But this anthology also introduced me to some characters I’m less familiar with like Silhouette in “Singular/Plural ” by Jeremy holt, Alti Firhamnsyah (Art) and Irma Kniivila (colorist). Other favourite stories from this anthology are: 

  • “What Is vs. What If’ by Gene Luen Yang (writer), Marcus To (artist) and Sunny Gho (colorist)
  • “New York State of Mind” by Maurene Goo (writer), Lynne Yoshii (art) and Sebastian Cheng (colourist)

I can’t wait until I pick up my physical copy from the comic store this weekend. My only wish was for these stories to be longer, but that’s how I always feel about short story collections or anthologies. I get hooked and want more. I truly hope each of these characters will have their own series, or mini-series at the very least, in the near future.  A key strength of this series is the theme, specifically how identity is multifaceted. And so, here’s to more rich and complex representation and stories!  

RATING – 5/5 Pocky

Pocky Rating 5
Erika Chung Profile pic min

Erika Chung is a fan of comics, pop culture and genre media. She’s also a grad student and her research interests are in comics, fan culture and the intersectionality of race and gender.

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