As excited as we all have been to hear about Marvel Comics diversifying their superheroes over the years, have you actually gone out and obtained the comics featuring these characters? It sounds like they could certainly use our dollars. Because according to the company’s senior vice president of print, sales, and marketing, trying to be more inclusive may have actually caused a slump in sales.
While at the Marvel Retailer Summit, David Gabriel implied that their core comic book fans may have felt alienated by the inclusion of people of color and women as superheroes.
What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity. They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not. I don’t know that that’s really true, but that’s what we saw in sales.
We saw the sales of any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up against. That was difficult for us because we had a lot of fresh, new, exciting ideas that we were trying to get out and nothing new really worked.
Because of that, Gabriel decided to issue a statement to the publication changing up his original comments. He stated emphatically that despite what people may think about the company’s choice to diversify, the new characters are going nowhere.
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 and, contrary to what some said about characters “not working,” the sticking factor and popularity for a majority of these new titles and characters like Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel, The Mighty Thor, Spider-Gwen, Miles Morales, and Moon Girl, continue to prove that our fans and retailers ARE excited about these new heroes. And let me be clear, our new heroes are not going anywhere! 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.
We have also been hearing from stores that welcome and champion our new characters and titles and want more! They’ve invigorated their own customer base and helped them grow their stores because of it. So we’re getting both sides of the story and the only upcoming change we’re making is to ensure we don’t lose focus of our core heroes.
Change is never easy for people. This was obvious when individuals on Twitter said some ugly things about the new Iron Man. But we hope that these new additions to the Marvel universe won’t go anywhere anytime soon considering how long it took to get them. With that being said, we’re off to order some copies!