The modern world has now become a global village. Companies with wide geographical dominance must now instead of just focusing on their countries of origin, tend to take a global perspective. Marvel comics recently became a topic of controversy when one of its senior management indicated that diversity may be one of the factors contributing to dwindling sales of the company.
Marvel Comics’ decision to allow ICv2 to report on its retailer summit proved out to be a disaster. Marvel Comics’ senior vice president of sales, David Gabriel, in an interview to ICv2, in the summit blamed diversity as the number one contributor of Marvel’s decline in sales. While numerous other factors such as declining economy and too many Marvel titles were also mentioned the main focus was kept on study.
As reported by the Guardian: Mr. Gabriel, regarding the issue indicated that fans do not like female characters. He indicated that any character that represented diversity or something new did not stuck well with the fans.
In recent times Marvel is trying to make comics that focus on diversification and target different members of a society. The role of Iron Man will now be played by a black woman, Thor might be a female and Ms Marvel will be taken over by Kamala Khan a Pakistani American women. While diversity, if role allows, Marvel comics to tap new markets and segments, Mr. Gabriel is of the view that this is pulling the company behind. According to Mr. Gabriel the company should primarily focus on its core audience which is white and female.
When Mr. Gabriel’s remarks spurred up controversy, he tried to clarify the issue by indicating what he meant was that its core heroes shouldn’t be abandoned. Mr. Gabriel further explained his point by indicating that most of the current fans were interested in the company’s core heroes. However at the same time, some of its new heroes were also important and should be taken in line with the older ones. Despite the clarifying statement, the damage was already done.
Mr. Gabriel’s comments became the subject of intense scrutiny by the fans who believed the lack of creativity and repeated story lines to be the main issue. Marvel is known for rebooting characters and going with the same story again and again. This leads to a lack of interest from the readers. In addition the company also has high rates of comics which make it difficult to repeat purchases.
To sum it all up, sales figures give a somewhat different picture. According to CBR, the diverse comic range tends to well with the fans. Black Panther, The Mighty Thor and Invincible Iron Man were among Marvel’s 10 biggest sellers.