These days it seems that people – young and old – can’t get enough of Marvel superheroes. Comic books, film, television, and an unending stream of merchandise is everywhere you turn. In fact – and as you likely know – Marvel got so hot over the past decade that the comic book juggernaut was acquired by Disney.
Many diehard fans of Marvel were concerned that family-friendly Disney wouldn’t do their favourite superheroes justice, but so far it seems that everyone couldn’t be more pleased with Disney making the universe more modern and complex with more diverse characters…well, mostly everyone.
In a recent interview with ICv2, Marvel vice president, David Gabriel, suggested that the company’s comic books have had poor sales due to readers’ showing disinterest in stories with diverse characters, such as those featuring non-white and female superheroes.
“What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity. 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,” Gabriel said in the interview.
His words sparked an outrage over Marvel’s diversity blaming. However, it is important to point out that this burst of outrage erupted from lack of facts. While Gabriel’s words may sound harsh they were also taken out of context.
What went viral and what everyone seemed to focus on was a sentiment from the retailers who expressed why they believed their sales were low at Marvel’s summit with comic book retailers.
Gabriel was present when these remarks were made and the summit was where the ICv2 interview with Gabriel took place. In short: he was reiterating what he had heard from these retailers and explained that stories involving diverse characters, female characters, and new characters weren’t selling like the company’s core Marvel characters.
Who else isn’t happy about Disney taking over Marvel? Online gambling operators offering Playtech’s Marvel-themed content. This includes prominent online gaming websites such as bet365.
Back in 2013, the Walt Disney Company – Marvel Studios’ current parent company – made the decision not to renew Playtech’s license for the use of Marvel superheroes (e.g. Ironman, Spiderman, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, etc.) as themes for its casino games.
According to a representative from the parenting company, the decision was made due to Disney’s concerns that its image would be harmed by having its brand linked to the games of chance offered by Playtech.
As a result, all Marvel-themed content from Playtech – including its Marvel-branded slots and jackpot games -was removed from the websites of its clients on April 1st, 2017.
In spite of dropping comic book sales controversy and the end of Marvel-branded casino games, Marvel is still going strong on the film and television front.
With a brand new Spiderman movie hitting theatres in July and the continual release of the many Marvel TV series on Netflix, including two seasons of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and the upcoming Defenders, there is still plenty of Marvel content that fans are going nuts over.
So, sure, not everyone is happy about the expanding Marvel universe. Some like the modern diversity and some still like the classic core characters. That said, ultimately, what all Marvel fans want is great entertainment.