Diversity In Marvel Comic Books – How Much Is Too Much? Or Is It Something Else Entirely?
I’ve been wanting to talk about this issue for a long time, ever since the introduction of Miles Morale. David Gabriel, an executive at Marvel made a stated that “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity. They didn’t want female characters out there,” it got people talking and I figured now would be the time for me to chime in on this matter…
Marvel allegedly reported that comic books with female characters or characters of other races/ethnicity just aren’t doing as well as comic book they used to in the past. This prompted to everyone opposing that stated saying that, that’s not the case and comics such as Miles Morale and Ms. Marvel comics have been doing amazingly in sales. But figures don’t lie and Marvel seems to think its their “diversity” comics that are to blame.
Many have argued that its the fact that Marvel still has a lot of white male writers handling the representation of other ethnicity/genders and are doing a poor job of that. Some blame all those cross event’s that sometimes get erased from the continuity.
Let me share with you my stance and opinion on this whole subject. I don’t like it when they replace an existing character with something new just to fit an agenda. What I mean by this is that I’d prefer if these comic book writers would take the bold leap and create a brand new character that can stand on his/her own two feets rather than take a well known title and slap a gender/ethnicity on it.
Before Miles Morale’s first comic book dropped and was just recently announced to become the next Spider-man, I had a hard time accepting him as the new Spider-Man. They marketed him as a replacement for Peter, killing him off just to introduce Miles. It didn’t sit well with me. Slowly we started seeing this type of writing in every corner of the comic book world. Well renowned characters are been replaced by other characters no one has ever heard of, just to fit an agenda. Some just pop up out of seemingly no where and claim to replace a certain hero, Just to please the masses and improve their corporate social responsibility. Honestly, Marvel problem is Marvel itself.
Marvel basically just hopped on the diversity hype bandwagon to reap all the benefit that came with it, but that’s not where the problem really lies. I personally think that the problem lies with these “diverse” characters not having a strong enough identity and history. Most people see them as just ” oh hey its female Thor or is that a Black Captain America?” and then write them off. Some feel like these comic books are forcing an agenda down their throats and because of that rejected these new heroes. You get what I’m saying.
Adding a female and/or minority character into the distinctive suit of a long-established and iconic superhero was and always will be a lazy gimmick. They never tried to actually tell or recreate the types of heroic tales which won the hearts of generations of readers like they did with the originals. They have no soul! Just empty gimmicks. Honestly, besides Miles Morale, Moon Girl & Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), everything else feels like what I stated above.
It also doesn’t help that they were releasing comic books at a ridiculous rate too. An average comic reader wouldn’t be able to keep up with that kind of pace, let alone buy every comic book Marvel was releasing at the time. Instead they should have introduced them along with established characters to help us get used to them until it was time for them to get their own comic book.
I want diversity in comic books trust me on this, but I don’t want it if it’s handled poorly. It has been suggested that if Marvel brought in more ethnicity/diversity into the work force, it might help with the creation and story-telling of these new characters. I believe in that to some degree. If they can create tales of heroics moments and coming of age type of stories us comic books fans have come to enjoy, while creating a character of diversity without been about diversity then I’m all for it.
Anyways, let me know how you feel about all of this. Hopefully Marvel doesn’t just stop making these comics book because I do enjoy them but rather strategies themselves.