Monday, 17 July 2017

Marvel's baby steps: Miss America

After back in March Marvel's VP of Sales David Gabriel hinted in an interview that the reason for dwindling sales might be the readers' dislike of diversity, it was only a matter of time before they would do something about it. As always they were wrong, and at least partially right at the same time. This is all my opinion so you can take that for what it is. But what is most important thing, is that Marvel is finally taking the right steps out of this mess they got themselves into.

To start at the beginning, readers never had any problem with diversity. They had problems with revisionism. If you grow up reading the stories of a certain character you know that character in and out. And when a certain busy-body comes along proclaiming that he knows better and changes your favourite superhero to some unrecognisable abomination, the readers end up dissatisfied as they feel betrayed. All the years they invested in this hero become worthless with a blink of an eye.

Stories of superheroes are the modern myths. To compare the likes of Homer to the talent at Marvel might be too much, but the cultural impact is the same.We all know that Superman is Kryptonian who lost his planet, that Batman is an orphan who intimidates the crooks in Gotham, and that Wolverine has a bad temper and a set of claws to match it. The owners of the intellectual property might be the owners of those heroes on paper, but it is the collective people's perception that owns them in reality.

So when Marvel started their revisionist jihad against some of the most beloved superheroes in their universe, readers were up in arms. You can't have a female Thor, Puerto Rican Spiderman, black female Iron Man, Muslim Miss Marvel, or have someone else take over for Captain America. It doesn't fly with the readers who already have established who is who and what is what. It's betraying their trust. For the longest time the opponents of these changes maintained that they do not care if Marvel wants to push new characters, as long as the old favourites stay recognisable as what they were since their first inception.

Finally it seems Marvel listened, when they launched a comic with Miss America in the title role. Now the description of Miss America reads like any other SJW's screed on identity. She is a Latina, lesbian, who is splits her time between attending college and fighting aliens, if she's not too busy protesting some non-cause (that last part is my invention).

I have no doubt this comic will crash and burn just like all the previous revisionist attempts. How would it not, when even the loudest cheerleaders for such heroines among the SJWs openly admit they do not read these comics? But what is more important, and needs to be applauded is the fact, that Marvel made a move in the right direction. They are creating the new characters, new heroes with which they want to attract the readers. Now it is only a matter of time before they realise it is not all their imaginary check boxes that matter, but instead good stories.

Question remains, will Marvel realise this anytime soon, or will they spend next 15 years figuring out why their cardboard characters do not interest the remaining few readers?

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