Comic book sales have tanked ever since executives instituted forced integration into Marvel’s iconic superhero lineup.
While diversity is nice, comic book fans reject it when it unnecessarily complicates story lines and feels forced. David Gabriel, vice president of sales at Marvel, said that’s the message they’re getting from readers.
“What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity,” Gabriel told ICV2. “That’s what we heard. I don’t know that that’s really true, but that’s what we saw in sales. Anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up.”
During the past few years, Marvel has made a concerted effort to introduce more gay, non-white and female characters. To this end, Marvel recently rolled out a mixed-race Spider Man, a Muslim Ms. Marvel, a female Thor, and a black Iron Man. In addition, Iceman came out as gay.
Gabriel said fans have said they’re more interested in their old favorite characters than re-imagined new ones that have been completely overhauled.
“Discussed candidly by some of the retailers at the summit, we heard that some were not happy with the false abandonment of the core Marvel heroes,” Gabriel said. To ward off the inevitable accusations of racism and sexism, Gabriel underscored that Marvel remains committed to its diverse new characters.
“Let me be clear, our new heroes are not going anywhere!” he said in a statement. “We are proud and excited to keep introducing unique characters that reflect new voices and new experiences into the Marvel Universe and pair them with our iconic heroes.”
The trend is happening everywhere. Publishing giant Harper-Collins will soon release a book entitled “Santa’s Husband” that re-imagines Santa Claus as a gay black man who lives with his white husband at the North Pole.
It’s unclear how Santa’s elves will be reformulated, or if Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will come out as transgender.
— Daniel Kibblesmith (@kibblesmith) March 29, 2017
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