It’s time we talked about the Blue Marvel. A lot of you know him, some of you don’t. For the past 12 years, the Blue Marvel has been in some of the best written Marvel books around. Either way, it’s time everyone gave him the attention he deserves. Unfortunately, his popularity hasn’t reached the same heights as other newcomers like Miles Morales, Ms. Marvel, or Spider-Gwen, which is a shame.
It’s a shame because Kevin Grevioux created a character that adds several layers to the Marvel Universe’s mythos. Adam Brashear aka the Blue Marvel isn’t just an important character in the Marvel Universe but perhaps one of the most important black superheroes to hit comic panels. All you have to do is take a look at his story.
The Blue Marvel is one of the many Superman types running around the Marvel universe. Aside from power level and strength, that’s where the comparisons stop. Much of Adam’s story is entrenched in the ’60s. For a good amount of time, he was Earth’s greatest protector during a prevalent moment in American history – the Civil Rights era: time where black Americans faced extreme racism and fought for equality.
One fateful battle leads to the public not only discovering that the Blue Marvel is a black man but to the United States government discovering his secret identity. This revelation causes a rift in America. White people fear and hate a black man with that kind of power, while black people condemn him for not doing enough and taking extreme action against injustice. After President Kennedy asks Adam to retire because “it’s not the right time” for a Black superhero with his kind of power, Adam begrudgingly does, staying inactive for over 50 years.
What’s most striking about the Blue Marvel’s story and his original debut in the miniseries Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel are the reactions of other heroes to his retirement. Adam’s decision to step down from being who he is, a superhero, is met with contempt. It’s rich to see people with big egos like Tony Stark, Reed Richards, and Hank Pym tell Adam how he should have handled the president’s order to stand down like it was an easy decision to make. The politics surrounding what led to the Blue Marvel hanging up his cape is a heavily discussed issue.
It’s infuriating to see the Avengers navigate through Adam’s life but it’s done with purpose on Grevioux’s part. He shows that even though these men are heroes, they are flawed by their privilege. They look at everything through the lens of white men, and yes they try to do good but there is a certain level of ignorance there. There are so many players condemning what the government did to Adam while at the same time ignoring that no matter how much progress the world has made, that prejudice still exists in this day and age.
Adam’s story reveals a lot about the Marvel Universe, in a way that is rarely seen. Writers after Grevioux have gone on to expand his legacy, leading to some of the best world-building I’ve seen. Al Ewing’s run on Mighty Avengers and Ultimates shaped much of the character we know today and feature some of his greatest stories. One of the best moments comes in the form of Luke Cage and Adam’s discussion about representation and their approaches to doing right by the black community. That’s why more than any other character he deserves his own solo series.
When Kevin Grevioux created the original Legend of the Blue Marvel miniseries, he proved the character could hold his own. A character with that much power and that much insight into the world has the potential to create stories for generations. The Blue Marvel has gone toe-to-toe with the Hulk, knocked the Sentry into space with one punch, and is one of the smartest minds on the planet. Not to mention he’s traveled more universes than anyone can count. Who else do you know is damn near best friends with the Watcher?
His is a science fiction story in the vein of the Fantastic Four that’s just waiting to happen. And while Al Ewing has done great work with the character, there are a number of exceptional black writers at Marvel who would work wonders with Adam Brashear and can tell his story in a way others can’t. Have you read Ta-Nehisi Coates Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda run on Black Panther? Can you imagine what he would do with the Blue Marvel? Hell, there have to be stories left untold by Grevioux.
All you have to do is give Blue Marvel a read and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Start with Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel, move on to Mighty Avengers and work your way to both Ultimates series. He’s not only a powerhouse and a genius but a character with a lot of depth. With the potential for an Ultimates movie somewhere in the MCU’s future, it’s best to get the ball rolling now. Marvel got a diamond on their hands and it’s time they gave him the proper spotlight. Let people know who the Blue Marvel is.