Marvel’s vice president of sales has comment on the declining sales of comic books, blaming the studio’s efforts at diversifying their character roster. In recent years Marvel has expanded its wealth of diverse characters. They made Iceman gay, Thor is now a woman, and they made the new Spider-Man mixed race.
But maybe that’s the point people are trying to make.
The consensus from fans seems to be that they’re just sick of having rebooted characters, along with meh story-lines. Instead, it would seem people would rather have entirely new heroes, ones who intrinsically have diverse traits. So make another god, who is a female. Make her as strong as Thor. Give us new content instead of recycling the older stories and tropes of the last 30+ years of comics.
Make some new icons. Make them black, or gay, or trans, or Asian, who cares?
We’re sick of there being a newly rebooted hero every few months except this time they’re *insert race or sexuality here*.
But there’s another angle of this story. David Gabriel, the sales vice president, actually back peddled on his statement, stating, “Fans and retailers are excited by these new heroes. And let me be clear, our new heroes aren’t going anywhere.” But again, that “our new heroes” thing is all kind of redundant. Because they aren’t new; you might make a few of them different in how they look, their gender, race whatever, but the point is it’s boring.
Marvel’s most recent comic book success to date was Secret Wars, after which sales dropped from as many as 50,000 copies a month in speciality shops to a low of 22,972. These heroes are loved by millions of people, but would it not be more beneficial to come up with some newer heroes?
Come up with a bad-ass demi-god for a lady, or a cool new superhero from Harlem that isn’t a rehash of Luke Cage or someone we’ve seen before. It’d be nice to see some new symbols in comic stores, and if there were ever a time we needed heroes of colour, or heroes who aren’t just straight white dudes, it’d be now.