Over the last few years Marvel Comics gave readers A Black Spider-man. A Black Captain America, a Female Thor, a Black Female Iron Man. An Asian Hulk A Pakistani Ms. Marvel. And a female Wolverine.
Unfortunately no one bought any of those comics.
In their efforts to please critics like Social Justice Warriors who said that the Marvel Universe was “too white” Marvel Comics hoped to appeal to audiences of color by diversifying their catalog of titles by creating comics featuring characters of different ethnicities.
Unfortunately, Marvel Comics core audience was 40+ year old White males. And when they didn’t see the characters they grew up with in between the pages of the comics they bought on the regular every Wednesday, they just voted with their wallets.
And Marvel’s publishing division learned a hard lesson about social justice. And how full of shit many Social Justice Warriors actually are.
Many of the so-called Social Justice Warriors who complained about Marvel Comics being “too white” weren’t out buying the comics on the regular like middle-class White males were. And when Marvel went to cater to them, these same complainers didn’t put their money where their mouths were.
Proving to the world that the SJW is all talk and no action.
Most SJWs just don’t understand that Comic book publishing is a BUSINESS. If people want diversity in comics, they’d go out and support the titles featuring those characters. If people don’t put money on the table, a publisher is NOT going to publish that book. Simple as that.
White men put money on the table at the comic shops. White Men buy comics online. White men buy and collect action figures and Marvel mechandise at comicons. That’s why so many superheroes are White in comics. It’s a business decision, not a racial one.
Don’t get me all wrong, I’m all for diversity. However, the way diversity was done at Marvel wasn’t constructive at all. In some ways SJW Marvel reminded me of The Falcon’s first stint as an Avenger way back in the early 1980s. Back then Henry Peter Gyrich insisted that the All-White Avengers put The Falcon on the team to meet an Affirmative action quota. The result was Falcon, a street hero was an awkward fit for a team called “Earth’s Mightiest heroes and eventually wound up quitting the team because he couldn’t perform effectively against the super-heavyweight threats the team took on the regular.
Yes, we need more heroes of color at the Big Two. But we don’t need those heroes of color shoehorned into roles that don’t fit them. Diversity only works when it’s executed in a way where the character of color is seen as hero is someone distinct and enriches the universe with their presence like Black Panther, Mr. Terrific, Icon and Static do. All those characters are rich, multidimensional and each stands out in a roomful of other heroes.
As I see it, there was no need to create all these SJW diversity heroes. Many of them were redundant and weren’t doing anything existing characters weren’t already doing. Marvel already had a catalog of great characters of color who could be pushed and promoted in a serious diversity campaign. Who needs RiRi Williams to be a Black female Iron Man when we had Jim Rhodes as War Machine? Who needs Jane Foster to be Thor when he has Lady Sif at his side? Who needs Sam Wilson to be Captain America when he was already a competent hero as The Falcon? And NO ONE can replace Logan as Wolverine. He’s the best at what he does. PERIOD. Storm or Phoenix could have easily been pushed in a solo title to see if they could carry a book on thier own.
With a little creativity many of these characters could have been written in a way to make them interesting and compelling heroes. And with a little hard work quite a few of them could carry a book and have done so in the past.
But because the creative teams at Marvel want to push an agenda they tried to FORCE diversity down readers’ throats. And when you FORCE things people resist it.
Many of the diversity characters were just TERRIBLE. Not only were they shoehorned into roles where they didn’t fit, but their characters were never put through any of the hardships their White Male counterparts went through. What made them heroes was the fact that they were able to go through a character transformation arc, acknowledging their flaws and overcoming obstacles along the way. On that heroes’ journey we saw them change into the hero that went on to have those fantastic adventures and beat the bad guys.
With the SJW characters they were just There. RiRi Williams is as smart as Tony Stark at 15. Jane Foster is worthy of becoming Thor…Because. Amadeus Cho is the Hulk without any of the tragedy of Bruce Banner. X-23 is a test tube baby who never went through any of Logan’s trauma. Almost all the diversity heroes have no backstory that enables readers to relate to them or identify with them. Outside of their gender or the color of their skin, there was next to no content to their character.
With the comic book industry in a 25-year slump, Marvel is in desperate need of new readers. However, pandering to audiences who have not put any money on the table and refuse to put any money is not the way to reach them. The SJW experiment at Marvel was a hard lesson on how NOT to diversify a comic book universe or how to reach an audience of new readers. If a publisher like Marvel really wants to get new readers of color to buy their comics, they just have to write great stories and hire great artists. Good comics will find an audience, bad ones will just find a dumpster.