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Harmonic

Marvel’s transgender Asian teenage superhero story to promote diversity and inclusion

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Designers 

 

Kit Lam

Key Words

 

Equity, Inclusion, Media, Social Impact, Social Justice

SUMMARY
 

Harmonic is a Marvel comic book character created in an effort to help the Walt Disney Company increase its efforts in supporting diverse communities through its branding, stories, and products. Harmonic, a.k.a James Lee, is a trans-masculine 16-year-old Chinese-American living in New York, with his superpowers being soundwave manipulation. The character was created as an entity that Disney and Marvel could use to reach a younger audience to support their exploration of diverse groups and intersectionalities. The first issue of the comic book series explores Harmonic’s origin and how he obtains his superpowers.



challenge 
 

In Capstone 1, I was asking for ways to create a more LGBTQ-inclusive environment at Disneyland for all ages. Entering Capstone 2, the project pivoted from a themed walkthrough experience to a children’s storybook and eventually became a Marvel superhero comic book. There were a lot of challenges coming from all the pivoting, including coming up with new and exciting stories, maintaining the essence of Disney storytelling intact, and most challenging of all, having to let go - multiple times - projects and ideas. There were many times when I felt stuck, whether it was a writer’s block, finding my creative direction, doing and re-doing research, or seeing how this comic book could fit within a business equation.



Outcome
 

Stepping into this project, I knew Disney had shown support for the LGBTQ+ community, but not enough. The outcome of my project was a comic book. Many times, people are against another group of people because of unfamiliarity. With Disney’s ability to reach audiences of all ages and at a global scale, an accessible medium like a comic book with a character that touches many intersectionalities can hopefully help children become more familiar and empathetic with people who do not share the same identities as them.

MEET THE Designers:
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Kit Lam

Website: https://kxtlam.wixsite.com/portfolio/
Instagram: @peaceminusme
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