Marvel Studios might not be showing up Comic-Con International, but Marvel TV certainly is. On top of all the live-action shows that are getting panels there are also some animated shows. One of the shows looking to bring in an entirely new demographic of Marvel fans is Marvel Rising: Initiation, and we got a first look at it today.
Entertainment Weekly spoke to several cast members and members of the crew about the production:
Dove Cameron, who made her Marvel debut on Agents of SHIELD, is playing Ghost-Spider — or, as fans of the comics will immediately notice, a version of Spider-Gwen. There also appear to be elements of the first run of Spider-Gwen comics that are showing up in this series, like Gwen being in a band.
“I see Ghost-Spider as a strong, rough-and-tumble, feminine energy who can face any challenge and become whatever she needs to be to solve the issue in front of her,” Cameron tells EW of her character. “She’s definitely got a sense of humor, and a sass and a lightness to her, but she’s also got a lot of darkness to her, because of her secret that she keeps and her family issues. I think Ghost-Spider deals with a few more issues than her male counterparts, not unlike most young women who deal with some different issues than their male counterparts in normal, everyday life. Some of these might be being underestimated by foes, expectations of what a girl or woman should be, the pressures to shatter those expectations, or the social pressures of the male-dominant job title.”
Marvel SVP of animation Cort Lane talked about how important it was to nail the character designs and mentioned that he made sure they got feedback from women. This wasn’t just how the girls would wear their costumes but their body types as well.
“We’re very interested in their opinions and they had a lot to say,” Lane says. “One thing many girls were asking for was different body types. In animation, characters all sort of look the same, there are similar body types based on model sheets, but here every female character has a different body from the other characters. They were also very open to the ethnic and religious diversity of the cast.”
Lane went on to say how important it was for the team to see female friendships on screen. So often women are pitted against each other, even more so when they are teenage girls, and they wanted strong female friendships as the baseline for this show.
“I haven’t seen much in American animation where story is driven by friendships between female superheroes,” Lane says. “Particularly with Kamala and Doreen, it’s gonna be especially be a focus of Marvel Rising. Ms. Marvel is a little more tentative, awkward. Doreen is the opposite, full of confidence and extremely unapologetic about being goofy. That puts her in conflict with other characters who are trying to be serious. Every kid feels unapologetically silly, and Doreen gives them license for that.”
The shorts will premiere back to back on Disney XD on August 13th while the TV movie Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors will debut later in the fall. The panel for Marvel Rising will begin on Thursday at 3:15 p.m. PT in Room 6DE. The panelists will include Dove Cameron (Ghost-Spider), Chloe Bennet (reprising her role as Quake from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Milana Vayntrub (Squirrel Girl), Kathreen Khavari (Ms. Marvel), Kamil McFadden (Patriot), Marvel editor Sana Amanat, Marvel SVP of animation Cort Lane, writer Mairghread Scott, and Animation VP Marsha Griffin.