Marvel Exec Acknowledges Comic Sales Tanking After Focusing On SJW Topics
Marvel SJWs
(Last Updated On: April 2, 2017)

In one of the most no-brainer interviews conducted with ICV2, Marvel vice president of sales David Gabriel finally acknowledged that shoehorning in divisive, poorly written, forced-diversity, tokenistic Social Justice Warrior topics actually took a toll on the sales of Marvel comics.

First up, Gabriel acknowledged that adding in all the diversity changes to their core cast and bringing in new replacements to fan-favorites may have scored them social justice points with the media, and a lot of back-patting, but it didn’t translate into sales…

“I don’t know if those customers with the tastes that had been around for three years really supporting nearly anything that we would try, anything that we would attempt, any of the new characters we brought up, either they weren’t shopping in that time period, or maybe like you said their tastes have changed.

 

“There was definitely a sort of nose-turning at the things that we had been doing successfully for the past three years, no longer viable. We saw that, and that’s what we had to react to.”

Tastes didn’t change; consumers simply stopped buying. That’s not to mention that SJWs are notorious for being vocal on social media but not actually following through with financially supporting the media they talk about.

We recently covered the downturn in sales over a fiscal period for some of Marvel’s comic books, and it showed that Marvel’s line of comics centered around SJW talking points had major drop-offs in sales. In one case, the Hellcat series – before being cancelled – saw an 81% year-over-year sales delince.

Writers and artists adopting the politically correct, oftentimes “regressive” leftist ideologies have seen their comics tank and get cancelled. Heck, even websites like Comics Alliance — focusing heavily on “diversity” and “progressivism” — couldn’t turn a profit focusing on SJW topics, and thus has shut down.

Based on comments and discussions from around the web, a lot of readers just find the writing and story quality poor all the way around.

Nevertheless, in the same interview, Gabriel stated…

“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.

 

“We saw the sales of any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up against. That was difficult for us because we had a lot of fresh, new, exciting ideas that we were trying to get out and nothing new really worked.”

I don’t think it was that people “didn’t want female characters” — given that recent properties like Nier: Automata, Horizon and Senran Kagura topping sales charts shows people actually do like quality made, female-led media — but they didn’t want politically correct, SJW-themed comics with poor writing and forced-tokenism ruining their favorite brands, stories and established characters.

Based on comments from around the web, there was also a lot of negative feedback on Marvel and DC running too many events and crossovers, which made it difficult for people to keep up with their favorite characters.

Artist and illustrator Virgil Millington literally brought up this topic on a CBR article, where he stated…

“The biggest problem is in the first line: “diversify its line by REPLACING ESTABLISHED heroes”.

 

“Try creating new heroes, instead of taking away/killing off/orientation swapping favorites of (and alienating) the people who have been supporting the company for years and sometimes decades.

 

“It’s not a case of people not wanting “any more diversity”. It’s people not enjoying the particular changes Marvel has chosen to make. Create compelling NEW characters without sacrificing the old. Simple!

 

“Also: and yes, Event Fatigue is a problem as well.”

Readers complained to retailers and distributors about the SJW topics diminishing the quality of many of their favorite comics, and opted to stop buying comic books. Some retailers literally wrote to Marvel telling them to stop politicizing comics with SJW topics. It was killing sales.

Marvel responded by saying that they would go back to more traditional comics starting this fall.

The exact same thing happened in the realm of gaming as well, with the SJW-themed game Sunset failing to draw in a sizable audience, even with a sizable marketing campaign, as noted by The Astronauts. Heck, we also saw this happen with movies when Sony tried it with the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters.

Gabriel’s comments, after creating a backlash from the usual outlets and pundits, ended up seeing the sales executive offering an amended comment to ICv2, where he stated…

“Discussed candidly by some of the retailers at the summit, we heard that some were not happy with the false abandonment of the core Marvel heroes and, 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. 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.”

One of the things gamers have been telling publishers is that if they want to do the SJW thing, they can, but don’t ruin established franchises to do so. Make new games, with new characters, and they can do all the SJW politicizing that they want with those new franchises; just don’t ruin the old brands or try to trick people into thinking the game is something it’s not (which is what happened with Gone Home, which was promoted as a horror game).

Some developers have taken to that advice, with Horizon: Zero Dawn being a new IP that carries a certain brand of storytelling that was approved by feminists, while other developers have still tried to co-op established brands and force in SJW talking points to inculcate gamers, which is what happened with BioWare’s highly controversial Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Gabriel is right that there is a small contingent of consumers in the market who do like the SJW talking points and who do like the politically correct tone that some artists/designers/creators have used to create media, but based on the sales statistics the vast majority of people are not on board with the whole SJW ideology; even less-so when it means co-opting established characters and brands to push SJW ideologies.

Marvel appears to be in a pickle, though, because the media are hard-left SJWs but the majority of their comic book consumers are not.

Do they continue to win virtue signaling points from the media by funneling money into projects that cost them more than they make in return? Or do they bite the bullet and get scorched by the media by focusing on bringing in creative writers and artists who have more than Tumblr-tier fan-fic creations on their resume to re-establish the brands and heroes that made them popular in the first place?


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About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Braheem Hazeem III

    Apply this now to what BBC just did with Doctor Who.

  • Feli Aslan

    I’m pretty sure everyone here who at least came into contact with anime back in the 90s liked Sailor Moon, a series about female super heroes fighting for love and justice with their womanly power, with the male lead being a supporting member of the cast, a lesbian couple with one of them being a masculine woman and three woman who live as men and not to forget, every single member of the cast being non-white. And I think even those who are not Sailor Moon fans wouldn’t call it SJW.

    So maybe the problem lies with Marvel.

  • Emrah Dayan

    Rather old, but I have to say, It’s rather disgusting how Gabriel yet again blames their audience and paints them as sexist, racist assholes, instead of acknowleding that the people don’t hate female characters or diversity, but lazy writting and flawed political ideologies that only have the purpose of putting people against each other and trip people into feeling guilty and miserable because of stuff that happened like decades ago.

    People always enjoyed well-written female characters. People always liked good black or latino characters. Prince of Persia was fairly popular, a series that plays in Persia, also known as Iran these days, where all the characters are persians or indians. They should look at the fucking Anime-Community, which is very close to the gamer- and comic-communities, where we have stuff like Attack on Titan, where people hyped when two characters where confirmed a lesbian couple, Psycho-Pass, where nobody had a problem with lesbian couples or all the gay stuff there nobody has a problem with, Hunter x Hunter is fairly popular while having some LGBT-Stuff. Look at Fancommunities, man love My little Pony and from what I’ve seen fanwork is predominantly full of femslash-stuff, Legend of Korra where Korrasami was enabled by the popularity the ship hat in the fanbase.

    If people would start to write diversed stuff into their story because they feel like it, think it would be interesting or because it’s just the way the characters they created feel right and combine this with competent writing, nobody would give a damn. Some people wouldn’t like it, many people wouldn’t care, some people would like it.

  • Nicole Morgan

    “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.” This man is a tremendous cunt and I hope he dies bleeding from his ass.

    Marvel will continue to be a mess until the people making these bad decisions are fired. This asshole in particular is so willfully delusional that I have to wonder just how bad the culture over at Marvel has become amongst their staff. You know when X-23 sold comic books, for example? When she was her own character undergoing actual character development instead of being shoehorned into Girl Wolverine. Precious few people actually hate women, much less female characters, you stupid male feminist shits over at Marvel.

  • Raging Papist

    Remember! This does not mean to let up on boycotts or dissuading others from buying them. While they are learning about the perils of pandering to social justice, they clearly aren’t damaged enough to stop. Only when they stop, should you even consider buying a comic.

  • Lost Question

    surprise, surprise, the soc just types are a loud and poisonous minority that will demand things that will help kill off your brand and bring you nothing except ruin.
    -_- verily I am shocked -_-

  • GTKRWN

    One day business will understand that appeasing the Social Jewstice cult can never help you. They are not part of any fan base. They simply destroy what they infect, like a cancer.

    • They simply destroy what they infect, like a cancer.

      And when they blatantly do this, you’re not even allowed to disagree or say anything even remotely negative or make jokes about them. If you do, you’ll be censored, shut down and/or lynch-mobbed.

      I’m sure you know the saying: “To find out who rules over you, find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

      • GTKRWN

        Every company that has told SJWs to piss off, after the initial wave of (((MSM))) harassment campaigns and “moderate liberals” calling in bomb threats and threatening​ to (peacefully) rape your children to death, your business actually improves.

        Telling Social Jewstice to fuck off is the best thing any company wanting to actually profit can do. And the data supports it.

    • Nicole Morgan

      Like Lady Thor. Literal cancer. You really have to laugh sometimes.

      • Unlucky#

        Isn’t Thor a boy’s name? Ha! See what I did there?

    • John Snow

      Jewstice? You sound like an SJW. SJW are generally the anti-zionist/israel

  • Bitterbear

    They’re not even bothering with decent writing at launch. Moon Girl, Ms Marvel, femWolverine had decent runnings at the beginning, they have gone downhill ever since, specially with Moon Girl which now is using Mary Sue genius girl figures out what the dumb genius men can’t for several issues in a row now.

    Gwenpool is an interesting Mary Sue in the vein that she’s not in love with anyone or any self insert, but she’s more of a retrospective look on the absurdity comic books.

    Oh, and don’t bother with any new Marvel comic books starring female (ie. nuWasp, Hellcat, Mockingbird) leads. They’re just iterations of the nuBatgirl formula set by SJW artiste Robbi Rodriguez.

    • GTKRWN

      Wasn’t X23 hugely popular? She had a coherent reason to exist, a real back story, and didn’t simply replace an existing character by emasculation.

      I didn’t even mind the immigration “boo hoo the poor Meximutants just want to get over your borders…” overtones in Logan because it wasn’t rammed down your throat and actually made sense to kidnap children that wouldn’t be missed by anyone.

      I really liked that kid’s character. A lot. No heavy feminist bullshit. No empowerment grrrl powwah. (Yeah, she saved old Logan a few times, but it wasn’t forced “hur Just hur men are so useless, you need a grrrrrl!” saves.). Just a rightfully pissed off little girl from a very abused childhood. And claws.

      • Bitterbear

        X-23 is a solid character has herself. As Wolverine she’s pretty bland. I blame the writers because Dick Grayson was a solid Batman and my only complaint was that his stint as the caped crusader was too short.

        • Nicole Morgan

          THIS. And these fucking feminists react in outrage, ‘how DARE fans not like Girl Wolverine, they just hate women and want their Male Power Fantasy character back! The NERVE.’ Without knowing anything about Laura or the fact that Wolverine fans just don’t care about Girl Wolverine, the ones who HATE Girl Wolverine hate it because they loved Laura as the semi-autistic abused super weapon learning to be human and to forgive herself for what they made her do. She was tactical with a touch of blatant disregard for her own well being that was different from most character types. I didn’t want to like her because I was so sick of Wolverine already, but her fans got me to give her a chance and damn if I didn’t fall for her. I just wish they’d settle on a consistent design. Inconsistency will destroy her fan base as it did for a certain other tragic feral experiment victim I loved.

          • Feli Aslan

            Pretty much this. I loved Laura because I have something for this kind of character and her Comics as X-23 were, in my opinion, very well written and often well drawn. I would even say, as a Teen Laura was by far my favorite Marvel Character, again I have a thing for stories involving loads of suffering. Like, have you read NYX? Laura being a Teenage prostitute without loads of SJW Politics and instead all of the focus on her suffering as a character, this is something that wouldn’t be possible these days. Or Target X, which was also incredibly well drawn. I really hate her being Wolverine because it truly destroys her as a character and spits in the face of everyone who loved her for who she was, not Wolverine but her own person. She fought so hard to become a real person, turning her into Wolverine now destroys this story by taking away the identity she build up for herself. It is disrespectful towards both characters. I would it even call toxic. After all, what it says is that X-23 is not worth as much as Wolverine, that she can work as hard as she wants to be the best X-23 she could be, it is still not enough, while on the other hand turning Wolverine, the identity Logan build for himself over decades with pain and suffering, a name that became respected and feared through his work and unbreakable will to fight into nothing but a brand. Who wolverine is, who X-23 is, is not important, everything that matters is the name. This is the way SJWs see the world and its very sad.

  • Bamf

    These idiots still don’t get it.

    They rather call us us mysoginst, racist seal-clubbers than admit their own faults.

    • GTKRWN

      Liberals have never once been wrong about anything, according to liberals. They’ll never admit fault, and never apologize. It’s always the fault of a fucking white male.

      • Nicole Morgan

        To be fair conservatives are the same way about their issues and culture. You’re just trading one cancerous set of identity politics for another.

        • Unlucky#

          Just as there are liberals who don’t believe in all the “progressive” bull that’s being vomited out, there are conservatives and Republicans who don’t at all have a problem with any of what they stereotypically​ disagree with. It’s the establishment of both sides that are the real problem.

  • Gaijin-

    I wonder how the Sam Wilson / Captain America run fared saleswise.

    Of all the titles Marvel churned out, it was the only one that made sense to me. Not because Sam is black, but because having been Cap’s sidekick for decades it seemed logical for him to take up the shield at some point.

    • Never really came across many complaints about Sam as Cap, since most people said it just made sense from a story/character perspective. I may check into and see how well it did sales wise.

      • GTKRWN

        It was fine until they went full blown BLM with it.

    • Bitterbear

      It all fell apart. The comic began with Sam dealing with the responsibility of being Captain America. Then, two issues later, he turned into a black Shaun King, complete with the same idiotic drivel.

      • Gaijin-

        Ouch. Was hoping to get the whole run and go through it one of these weekends, but from the sound of it looks like it’s not going to happen.

        • Bitterbear

          Complete with the It’s okay to use violence on people we disagree with ideology.

          Also, if you take a close look, Marvel segregates their characters by race.

      • GTKRWN

        >black Shaun King

        I see what you did there.

  • Disqusted

    “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.”

    That guy sounds like an arrogant piece of shit. It’s as Billy said, there’s a big difference between having well-written “diversity” and cramming forced trash quality political agenda bullshit into every pore of every thing under the assumption we must all be bigots. If there’s anything guaranteed to create actual bigots (on both sides), it’s probably that: obsession with progressivism.

    • Uncle Joey

      Bullshit of course. Female characters aren’t the problem per se, it’s the fucking agenda these characters try to push on us as you already mentioned. Turning Thor into a woman and the former Thor into what is basically a cripple for example is also part of it, along with numerous other, “progressive” changes in the same direction.

      A current series I’m enjoying is Gwenpoole, which features a female protagonist. It’s just a fun read and doesn’t try to push SJW agenda in my direction.

    • RichardGristle

      He sounds like he still doesn’t really get it. “Sales say that people hate female characters, those assholes!” He has no idea that people enjoy female characters now just as much as they always did, but they just don’t appreciate the old stories and characters getting fucked up in the name of diversity for diversity’s sake.

      • People have enjoyed female characters for decades in comics, the problem the feminist spastics have is that the original female characters are the “wrong” type of female characters for them.

        So instead of them admitting that people/fans want to see female characters who are sexy, strong, non-man-hating AND with weaknesses/faults, they make up this bulls**t lie that the low sales must be all down to “sexism”, “misogyny” and “racism”, and once again blame and label the fans/geek culture of this. They do this with video games and did this with the Ghostbusters movie remake.

        Basically the only type of female characters the SJWs want are the loud and obnoxious man-hating Mary Sues with virtually no sex appeal. Any female character that doesn’t conform to those rules is automatically “sexism” and designed for the male gaze, like as if there’s something inherently wrong with having something catering to straight males. And these are the same people who advocate for “diversity” and “inclusiveness”. Everyone except straight white males of course. Pathetic.

      • GTKRWN

        Liberals are unable to ever once accept fault for any of their own actions. They’re the ultimate Dindunuffin. Everything they do wrong will just be blamed on white raycisses. Every single time.

        • brian

          ye sim sure liberal will remember that, while they were fighting to end slavery, for womens rights, fighting against segregartion, fighting for. CONSERVATIVES ALWAYS LOSE beuc zthe onoly thiong you defend is the past no matter how wrong it is.

          • MadameMidlifeCrisis

            Psssssst, buddy boy; it was those eeebil, White conservatives that you “reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” over that fought to stop slavery! They also were the ones pushing for civil rights & to end “segreagartion” (& of which your pals at BLM are actually pushing to bring back!!!). You are apparently a young teen & most likely a window licking, short bused fool that bows & scrapes for anything [D] related as the indoctrination took hold, perhaps a little too well. As a woman; “women’s rights” were achieved & you & other Feminsim 2, electric boogaloo, lovers need a heapin’ helpin’ of STFU & reality. I miss the days of when the [D] agenda du jour wasn’t being shoved down my throat at every turn, esp. within comics & you & your ilk weren’t infecting society with your overt stupidity. Go back to Salon, Buzzfeed or a million other SJW “progressive” sites & zombie sheep can stroke your feels & overlook your craptastic writing skills.

          • Conservatives in the 1850s – 1865 were for conserving the status quo of slavery, progressives/liberals were opposed to slavery. Conservatives in the century after the U.S. Civil War were for segregation to keep whites & blacks & other darker-skinned people separate as much as possible and to prevent the latter from being able to vote or enjoy their other constitutional rights. Liberals were for civil rights for all people. And prior to the 1970s, there were many very conservative Democrats who opposed to civil rights and many liberal Republicans who supported civil rights, so don’t blather on about racist Democrats of the 1960s or earlier — nearly all of them later became Republicans.

          • RogerrRocks

            Eh no, it’s pretty well documented that It was the Democratic party that fought to keep slavery. Each leader in the confederate were registered Democrats. Even after the slaves were freed, Democrats consistently blocked any bills for equal rights. All that were passed where with majority Republican votes. All the records are online. Maybe you should stop listening to your liberal professors and do actual research. Even democratic leaders today do not deny this fact.

      • Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

        Jewish takeover.

    • Arcangel_cr

      That’s an SJW for you, either you share his/her believes or you are on the complete opposite line of thought.

  • Mochanator

    Marvel should take a page from the SJW playbook. Promote their products through social media instead of the stupid biased progressive media that is poisoning them like a cancer.

    The media is there to promote you, not tell you what to do. If they won’t promote you unless you do what they want, cut them off and talk to your customers directly. The media is easy to circumvent these days thanks to the internet and social media.

    • Nicole Morgan

      That’s good advice. They also need to make the product more accessible and affordable. Most people aren’t going to search for a comic store and travel some distance to ‘get into comics’ after seeing a movie or toon. They have the online sales and subscription, but then the physical copy becomes a pretty ineffective product, being high cost and inconvenient. But with the flat rate yearly subscription to Marvel Unlimited, how do they keep track of which books are doing well? Are Unlimited readers contributing to the metric by which a book’s lifespan is determined at all?

  • So we’re at the point where they acknowledge the problem, but their solution is still pretty vague. When they say they refocusing on their core Marvel heroes, do they mean they’ll stop the SJW shit completely, or will it only be the race- and gender-swapping they stop? If it’s the latter, then that means the progressive talking points will still be shoved down our throats, and then it will take them EVEN LONGER to realize that the WRITING is the problem.

    For a company with so many employees that probably all browse the Internet, they can be really fucking dense.

    (By the way, there was a rather intrusive ad just above the author’s bio. It literally played the entire ad, as loud as it could be, and it didn’t let me pause nor mute it. And even when the ad started again, pausing it didn’t stop it, and I still couldn’t mute it, either.)

    • Hm, it’s either Google AdSense or Amazon. I’m willing to go with Google AdSense (it’s served through another vendor who automates ads since we don’t have an active AdSense account).

      If possible, you might want to opt out of the ad if it shows the AdChoices tab. Unfortunately we don’t have control over what’s showcased in the ad containers. It would probably be better to just turn on adblock.

      • Well, this is the first time this has happened to me on this site, and I don’t want to turn on AdBlock, because there’s good content here.

    • Nicole Morgan

      And bad art. Marvel is notorious for cutting budget on the backs of artists and killing decent books in the process. Who they really need to cut budget on are some of their marketing guys and the editors who don’t seem to do any editorial work, clearly. You have to pay three dollars or more for twenty something pages of high quality glossy paper with expensive vividly colorful printing for art that has pixilized or blurry line work and panels that look like chicken scratch or adversely poser and porn tracing ‘artists’.

  • Hawk Hopper

    So this means we’ll probably never get to collectively kek when Marvel reboots its cinematic universe in the style of the Ghostbusters remake.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/139e647d7f1c66d64fced5590fadb30703f3404a47389315cf0c34a25a911f96.png

  • EroBotan

    typical SJW, their crap didn’t sell so instead of looking in the mirror to find what’s wrong with their method the first thing they do is blame someone else lol

    • the first thing they do is blame someone else lol

      And the sad thing is, it works.

      Don’t like something? Just get the entire SJW mainstream media to peddle how “sexist” and “racist” it is and watch all the normies and white knights come to the rescue on social media.

  • John27

    If they insist on being political Marvel should produce two lines of comics, one SJW and one /pol/ and see which one sells more copies. I’d buy ‘X-Men vs the Legion of Soros’.

  • LurkerJK

    Marvel appears to be in a pickle, though, because the media are
    hard-left SJWs but the majority of their comic book consumers are not.

    They should learn from Trump

    The ones that buy their products are the customers, the media is there just to promote their products to even more customers, if they are not doing that then money and time is being wasted with them

    Try talking directly to your customers, social media gives you the tools to do that (as long as you avoid getting censored) and it has been proven to be effective

  • Muten

    You guys are getting more diverse every year. I miss the time when Americans were either cowboys or rappers, now is fucking confusing.

  • Fear Me I Am Free

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5ae143541ecdb3f521f6cab5b1a40c2e994480964caedc57992da725694f4cb7.jpg

    SJWs don’t buy comic books. And they have alienated the people who do by releasing this trash.

    • Salt Miner

      Only thing its good for is for people wiping their asses with it.

      • Bitterbear

        That was the old comic books of yesteryear. These days comic books have a glossy, slippery coating on the paper. So instead of wiping the poop off, you end up smearing it even more.

        • Salt Miner

          Then its best to scoop it instead of wiping.

        • solidus311

          This guy shits.