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IronHeart, Lady Thor and Ms. Marvel (Marvel Comics)
IronHeart, Lady Thor and Ms. Marvel (Marvel Comics)

A top Marvel Comics executive blamed diversity and female characters for declining sales


Marvel Comics had a rough year. Sales have been declining since October.

David Gabriel, Marvel's vice president of sales, blamed those numbers on Marvel's efforts to feature more diversity and female characters, The Guardian reported.

Gabriel told geek news site ICv2 fans were "turning their noses up" at diversity and "didn't want female characters out there." Recently, Marvel unveiled a black female Iron Man replacement named Ironheart, a biracial Spdier-Man and  a Muslim Ms. Marvel.

What we heard was that people didn't want any more diversity. They didn't want female characters out there ... I don't know that's really true.
David Gabriel

Gabriel later clarified, saying that some retailers thought core Marvel heroes like Tony Stark as Iron Man were being abandoned, but the new, diverse cast also had dedicated fans. He insisted the new cast was "not going anywhere."

But fans bashed Marvel for what they saw as an intolerant response.

Others bashed the tendency to reuse plotlines.

Still others pointed to a controversial decision involving Captain America.

The iconic superhero was revealed to be a Nazi traitor in a 2016 issue.

Some accused Marvel of being too focused on the money.

Diversity as a form of performative guilt doesn't work.
G. Willow Wilson

The writer of the new Ms. Marvel series featuring Muslim teen Kamala Khan bashed Gabriel's remarks.

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