Many of the classic comic book readers were not fans of the new characters in Marvel that added new diverse characters like the black female Ironman called Ironheart and a Muslim teenage girl as a version of Ms. Marvel. The sales for them have been low as mentioned in the article “Marvel executive says the emphasis on diversity may have alienated readers”. In this article, many retailers told a journalist in the Marvel retailer summit that
“What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity,” he said. “They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not.”
I don’t think diversity is the issue here. The majority of the comic book readers are a demographic of mostly white males which is shown in “Report: 63% Of Comics Bought By Men, 37% By Women”. Is this a bad, maybe? But people like reading what they are accustomed to. And to comic book readers that are the old traditional superheroes like the Hulk, Ironmen, and Thor. However, these comic books went through different types of storylines and different iteration of the same traditional superhero. So changing the race or gender of these tradition heroes will just give them a more interesting backstory and a fresh start from the overdone character of a White male superhero.
The comic book market is in trouble right now and these comic books about these diverse characters are new. Thee graph from “Are Marvel & DC Comics Really Close to Failing?” article shows that the unit sales for comics books are declining. The trend from 2016 to 2018 shows a steady decline. For example, in 2016, the sales were over 80 million units but in 2018 the sales were significantly lower. So according to the writers of this article on why the comic book market is doing badly is because the comic book market’s publisher and retailers are still trying to figure out itself in today’s market. So, these new diversity characters are being introduced in a comic book market that is struggling so it makes sense for them to do badly compared to other comic books with the traditional superhero that already has a built brand and a longtime fanbase.
I believe with the movies being made about these characters with diverse backgrounds; their popularity will skyrocket. These characters being new and having a negative feedback from the comic fans will quickly change with the movies coming out. More people watch the movies than read the comic books so just through the release of movies, the popularity of these characters will go up. This happened recently with a biracial character of Spider-man, Miles Morales in the movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Not a lot of people knew who he was except through reading comic books but with the movie, his comics and the character’s popularity went up.