(PCM) There is something going on at Marvel, and it’s all about the money. While it may appear the Disneyfication of Marvel has hit a higher gear by flipping superhero genders, races and sexuality, Disney isn’t behind the latest change. Money is behind it.
No one can argue that over the past few years the political correctness of comic books has become a hot topic with hard core comic book readers who are being looked over to appeal to the next generation of comic book readers. Yet if you think Marvel is making changes simply because they want to appease the needs of a minority of readers, you are wrong to think that. Marvel isn’t that naive. Sure hiring writers that fit that agenda (Mark Waid, Mahmud Asrar and Laura Martin) help, but the bottom line is always money.
The latest change however is more in your face that ever.
Look at this upcoming issue of the Avengers. What do you see?
Depending on who you are you could be celebrating or rolling your eyes or somewhere in between. Of course many long time readers will hit Tumblr, 4Chan and reddit, shouting “Marvel imposes affirmative action avengers.” The opposing argument will accuse bigotry throwing words like “inclusive” and “diversity” back in response. It will be a fun ride for Marvel as they try to steal the spotlight of an issue brought about from smaller publishers like Boom Studios Push Comics Forward initiative.
What? You don’t see it? Then let’s clear it up. Marvel even spells it out for you in the title, “All-New” and “All-Different”.
To put it bluntly there is a female Thor, a Muslim Ms. Marvel, and a bi-racial Spider-Man and black Captain America (Sam Wilson previously Falcon) as part of the new crew. Yes there is still Iron Man, Vision, and Nova (Sam Alexander).
Does it matter if Marvel imposes affirmative action Avengers? No and yes. It doesn’t matter because the Avenger’s constantly change. And those changes often include female super heroes from Spider-Woman to She-Hulk. The Avengers has included minorities and diversity for many years. Again, changes are to be expected and that is the argument as to why it doesn’t matter.
Yet it does matter because the editors and writers at Marvel do in fact have an agenda designed to provoke. They may appear to be catering to the highly charged politically correct atmosphere of present day. And while this change may thrill and appease the social justice warriors on Tumblr that are just as much a bully as any playground or lunch money antagonist, Marvel isn’t out to appease Tumblr’s social justice warriors.
The fact is Marvel’s elite want controversy in order to increase sales and they know by creating a super hero affirmative action program, they can appear to have taken the high ground while everyone argues the point. All the while, sales go up.
Don’t be fooled by Marvel, they don’t care if you like or dislike the changes in the Avengers. They want the title to sell. How can this assertion be proven?
Just look at the characters. Some changes have proven smart business moves. Thor’s sales a have doubled and only begun to fall slightly since the title changed to a female in October. Other changes such as Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales have not eclipsed the original character’s title, Miles has not broken the top 50 in sales. Neither has Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, the 16 year old Pakistani (American) Muslim, written by a female Muslim (G Willow Wilson) with declining sales. Captain America is more of the same.
There is no question why Marvel is making a sweeping change to the Avengers. The controversy should earn them money. Combining an “All-Different” crew of Avengers is a hip way to code word, “diversified” which begs controversy.
The question lost to most comic book faithful, or legacy readers is why take beloved characters and change their gender, race, or sexuality? Why not just create new characters with the gender, race or sexuality newer readers call for? Again, that argument is being drowned out by accusations of bigotry while the answer is right before everyone’s eyes. Marvel’s motivation is increased sales. So don’t get your feelings hurt by the changes. You always have back issues that may just become more valuable for you the comic book reader. Everyone can be a winner. In fact, FREE comic book day is always the first Saturday every May. You can pick up this first group appearance on free comic book day.