When the “geek culture” magazine ICv2 popped the question at the Marvel Retailer Summit, why are Marvel’s sales down? Did we ever think in a million years that Marvel’s VP of sales, David Gabriel, would say it’s because of women? That’s a low blow.
“What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity,” Gabriel said. “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.”
Many of Marvel’s “new exciting ideas” as Gabriel puts it, involved a good amount of new female characters with a wide range of diversity between them. Gabriel said how this was difficult for the comic company because people wouldn’t read anything that didn’t contain a core character.
Although the company is just looking at the sales numbers to come to this conclusion, we can imagine the backlash that came rolling in.
Uhh, Marvel, I don't think diversity is why your comics aren't selling. This? Making Cap a Nazi? Just maaaaaaybe? https://t.co/mgUQpj6qII
— Megan Fox (@glassbottommeg) April 2, 2017
Marvel has diversity in characters. They have no diversity in genre. They are only a bad IP development firm now. https://t.co/LXk4KvTQWr
— #BROKEN Nick Ahlhelm (@ahlhelm) April 3, 2017
These Tweets suggest that the company has made poor decisions in which they choose to paint the light of their already established characters and they struggle in their lack of diversity for new story lines. Perhaps it isn’t just changing a male to a female for a similar story line, but maybe Marvel needs new stories altogether.
After the backlash to Gabriel’s words, he put out another statement, hoping to correct his previous words at placing the blame entirely on female diversity.
“…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” Gabriel said. “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.”