Friday, October 09, 2015

Marvel's Destruction of White Male Comic Book Super Heroes and Why It's Irrelevant

Despite the dashing looks, irresistible charm, and much-better-than-average-for-a-40-year-old-physique I have today, in my youth I was a nerd.  And not just "the kid who was shy" type nerd, I was a full on, 100%, grade A nerd.  I DM'd several D&D campaigns, played Shadow Run, didn't break 100 pounds until I was a sophomore in high school, and still to this day have my dice bag.

I was, and still am to this day, a nerd. 

So occasionally I like to geek out and listen to one of my favorite podcasts, The Bechtloff, wherein Chris (the host) hosts anywhere from 2-5 other nerds and discuss all thinks geekery.

Video games
Table top games, and

However, a common theme that is discussed on his show is the trend in the comic book industry to basically eliminate all white male super heroes and replace them with any one of a number of permutations of non straight white males.

The Green Lantern is now black.
Thor is a girl.
Peter Parker (spider man) is now gay.
But that's if you didn't know he was Hispanic before.
And then there's Ms. Marvel who is now a Muslim

Naturally, there is a backlash, but for more reasons than you'd think.

One, you are destroying the original characters as they were originally created.
Two, the obvious ploy amongst Marvel (and DC comics) to placate to leftist politics of diversity at the expense of the franchises (much like James Bond being black) ruins the comics.
Three, it insults true original creators of non-white male heroes such as Static Shock, Blade, Jason Fly (a video game called XIII), and Storm.
Finally, Marvel insults their fans as they're implying their readers are so shallow and stupid they'll respond positively to gender, race, or religious changes and not a good story line OR new original comics that contain new non-white male superheroes.

But while the assault on American comic book classics is under full swing by a new generation of talentless SJW wanna-but-never-will-be's Stan Lee's at Marvel's comic book division,


normal, everyday Americans are appalled at this assault

what we all need to do is step back, clear the gunk from our eyes, and look at the comic book industry through a different lens.  Specifically that of economics.  For if we do, you'll see why this destruction of "evil white male" comic book super heroes is not worth wasting one more calorie of energy getting riled up about.

First you need to know that Marvel is not Marvel anymore.  It is part of the Disney corporation which bought them out in 2007.  Previous to that it was a flailing company, one of which had filed for bankruptcy indicating Marvel, as a stand alone entity, was worthless and nobody wanted what they were selling.

Second, you need to ask yourself a question.  "How big is Marvel compared to the rest of Disney?"  And not just Marvel, but specifically the COMIC BOOK SEGMENT of Marvel?

Well, that's not as easy of a task as it seems. 

If you look at Disney's 2014 annual report, you'll note that Marvel is accounted for under two of Disney's divisions.  One, the "Studio Entertainment" division and, two, the "Consumer Products" division.  However, MOVIES are different than COMICS and thus the COMICS ONLY portion of sales would be accounted for in the Consumer Products division:

And when you look at Disney's total sales of $49 billion, the consumer products division accounts for a only 8.2% of that (though 10% of gross profits):

But here's the problem.  Consumer products include not just comic books but all of the merchandized crap that Disney sells in association with its movies.  Dolls, games, video games, music, lunchboxes, backpacks, you name it.  And when I walk through Target I can see every manner of merchandise with a super hero or Disney character slapped on it, but NO comic books.  So out of that meager 8.2%, it is likely much, much less.

How much less is hard to tell.  Because if you search Disney's 2014 annual report you'll come up with 37 instances of "Marvel" but only 6 mentions of "comic books."  And there was no data that explicitly stated how much Disney had in comic book sales.  It's almost as if Disney is ashamed they even produce comic books.

So off to teh interwebz I went and I found this helpful link that contains some comic book industry statistics from 2012.  Specifically, it contains total industry sales ($418 million) AND Marvel's percent of the market (39.06%).  This would imply that Marvel's TOTAL comic book sales in 2012 was no more than a whopping $163 million.  You know what?  Let's be affirmative actiony just like Marvel's SJW comic book artists and give them a helping hand by rounding up to $200 million.

So, in 2014 Marvel sold $200 million in comic books which accounts for (drum roll please)

.4% of Disney's total revenue.

NOT 4%,

And this is the reason why Marvel (and DC) going on an affirmative action campaign, replacing all the evil CIS gendered, white male super heroes with anything but doesn't matter.  It's because nobody cares.

While ruining classical comic books' canon may upset comic book readers, in the grand scheme of things Disney just doesn't care.  Disney bought Marvel for its ability to make movies, not comic books.  And either out of the leftist political CSR bias Disney has, a hope Marvel's comic book team would develop new comics that could be turned into infinitely more profitable movies in the future, or (and I would not doubt this) Marvel put a poison pill into their acquisition from Disney that they HAD to still produce comic books despite being bought out, Marvel's comic book division still remains.  Unfortunately it's staffed by talentless Millennial puke whose one trick pony is NOT to create new and exciting comics, but merely ruin previous artists' work by forcing "diversity" on it.  But so what?  They're irrelevant.  They're .004 of Disney's total sales and it's obvious Disney doesn't care what they do.

The truth is that the comic book industry is no different than the music industry or the book publishing industry.  The talented artists coming up with NEW and ORIGINAL art are on the internet and selling them directly to comic book fans.  The connected, the political, the ideologues, the ass-kissers, the talentless, and the hacks are employed (unnecessarily and charitably I might) by the old and now obsolete guard.  This presents a choice to true comic book fans who will determine the future of comic books.

Do you continue to buy what is nothing more than leftist propaganda posing as a comic book just because it has the brand name of "Superman" or "Thor" on it?

Or do you find new and upcoming artists who are creating the TRUE works of comic book art that will become the masterpieces of the future?
My Books
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Anonymous said...

I just want to point out that technically the Green Lantern is not black now, one of the five human members of the Green Lantern Corps happens to be black. John Stewart, the black marine Lantern, debuted in the 1970s and is just one of four other human Green Lanterns aside from Alan Scott (the original Golden Age hero who's essentially a magician with no connection to the future creation of the Green Lantern Corps). Three of the other Lanterns are white (Hal Jordan being the first and most well-known, followed by Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner) and a new Middle Eastern Lantern was added a few years ago, but I know nothing more about him because I don't really pay attention to the New 52 stuff. Each Green Lantern has his own personality and identity that certain writers latch onto to use for certain stories they write, but by no means is the Green Lantern officially a black man because there's numerous ones and one (who's been around a while) just happens to be black. I had to clear that up as a Green Lantern fan; otherwise, great post.

Peregrine John said...

I'm open to suggestions regarding excellent new talent to read.

HawkMan said...

This all sux too because Marvel is kicking DC's ass in the movie game. Because a couple of Bman flix, DC's not really in Marvel's league yet.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, not the biggest fan of either Marvel or DC, so my words will probably not weigh as much as yours. I don't really care if characters evolve or learn new things, that's part of a character. Yeah, sure, it's kinda weird that Peter Parker is gay, I mean, the love stories are kinda prominent in Spider-man and just change that, what the fuck?

But it's not the reason why I'm here, rambling drunk, complaining. As a Scandinavian, it's hella fucked that Thor - or Tor as HE!!! is called - is now a she. People are taking a dump on another religion, a somewhat dead religion, sure, but it's still a religion, and to change a god's gender, just like that, is fucked up and disrespects other cultures and beliefs as well. The Marvel movies with Thor and Loke are bad enough, but to make such a change, to change his sex. WHAT THE FUCKING HELL, MAN! Soon, Oden, NOT ODIN!, God-allmighty, will become a black, trans-japanese, thai-lady-boy, non-cis martian with one leg and two eyes, who is earthling-kin, AND I DON'T LIKE IT!

We don't have much culture here, we got our vikings and the vague memory of Norse mythology, please, please don't fuck it up, you racist, insensitive American Jesus-loving bastards! You are probably trans-abelists, too! Fuckers.


A pale arsed Scandinavian

Patrick said...

I've been thinking about how the market for everything has grown to be global in scope. You ask, "Do you continue to buy what is nothing more than leftist propaganda posing as a comic book just because it has the brand name of "Superman" or "Thor" on it?" It doesn't matter what you or anyone else does. The global market is so large and there are so many people globally that will buy the brand, that it completely drowns you and like-minded people out as a consumers. Look at the Transformers films. How is it possible that these not only keep getting made but also rake in a staggering amount of money?

Here is favorite passage of mine from a book of Russell Kirk's that I never forgot when I read it years ago:

"The new American revolution is not to everyone's taste," Williams declared unflinchingly. Those whose traditional positions of prestige will be overturned of course abhor it. But perhaps the greatest spiritual distress is felt by European and Asian intellectuals. To them, the American way of life appears crass and vulgar. Many American intellectuals would agree with them. But they would also warn them that the logic of mass production and mass markets cannot be resisted. The 'happiness' which the average man wants, and will get, is not yet that of the aesthete. The Communists of Eastern Europe showed a sound instinct of self-preservation when t hey banned American jazz as a corrupting influence. Cheap music, cheap comic books, Coca-Cola, and cars are what the people want - understandably, because they have had no opportunity to learn to want, or to obtain, anything better. Culture can no longer be preserved by being made the monopoly of the favored few. The much harder task lies ahead of educating the masses to want better and more satisfying things than they do now. So America's contribution to the universal "democratic capitalism" of the future (David C. Williams' premises granted) will be just this: cheapness -the cheapest music, the cheapest comic books, and the cheapest morality that can be provided."

Glen Filthie said...

I'm neither a nerd or a geek Captain, nor is anyone else because they like comics. The medium really upped its game when they went from trashy comic books to 'graphic novels'. They were fun. They were engaging. Watching Batman morph from the comic, crime fighter of the 1960's Adam West - to the brooding and foreboding Dark Night - was the stuff of Great Storytelling. The art was far beyond the pulpy trash of anything before it, and the plots and themes were suitable for adults with triple digit IQ's. There is nothing nerdy or geeky about fun!

I agree in that this is nothing to get excited about: as a straight and average old white guy - I have been flipped off, insulted, mocked, derided, chided, laughed at and abused by any number of the SJW stereotypes. The include:
- the fat, bloated ugly she-twinks with pink and blue hair
- pedophiles accusing me of bigotry in the pages of
- sexually and mentally disturbed homosexuals
- race whores of every colour
- hairy chested feminists
- socialist howler monkeys and liberal meat holes

I'm immune now. I don't care what they think and I don't care what they say. You cannot outrage me with perverts, degenerates, and criminals. If the SJW's want to piss on the stories and characters of my childhood...I don't care. I am not going to buy their books, I'm not going to watch their movies, and I will actively avoid the works of cretins that use their medium as a political soapbox. I won't by books written by women anymore. I delayed going the last Mad Max flick because you and others warned that it might be yet another SJW lecture.

I'm gonna go off on a tear here - I am also sick to fuggin DEATH of 'powerful independent female' characters. I would really like to enjoy TV series like 'Blindspot' ... but when I see some petite, 110 lb. hottie beating the living pooh out of a 220 lb. Navy SEAL ... the stupidity of it kicks me out of the story and ruins the plot! I can't read or watch this chit anymore!

Forgawdsakes - can someone please start up a website that either flags these dumbass SJW lemons...or promotes old fashioned entertainment?

Unknown said...

The issue as I see it, is that merchandising now drives comic books. Start with a marketing plan for a new line of merchandise, and oh as an afterthought, add a comic book. I see a future where a hoard of really bad comic books fill the shelves, displacing the classes. Comic books that were only done to tie into some transgender pedophile action figure. And we'll get the movies too.

The buying public has been dumbed down enough to not only make it possible but profitable.

Hank Brown said...

"Forgawdsakes - can someone please start up a website that either flags these dumbass SJW lemons...or promotes old fashioned entertainment?"

Way ahead of you Glen. That's what both Virtual Pulp and the older site (the Two-Fisted Blogger) do.

Peter Parker is now a peter puffer? I almost wish I still bought comics just so I could quit because of this.

Vader999 said...

This is why I stick to anime and science fiction.

Don't get me wrong, the comic book universes are interesting, and I do intend to make my own versions of them someday, but they're just not worth my time. Especially with them recycling the plot of many of their characters and stories to the point where there's even a status quo now. The rot in comics has been there LONG before they tried to SJW-ize the characters. Them going for the SJW route is just the final nail in the coffin, their final gasps for air.

By the by, if you want Star Wars comics, go for the Dark Horse ones. The ones that were made back then when Star Wars was its own beast. I guarantee you'll find them to be more than a match for any Marvel or DC comic.

As for Anime, yes, there's a lot of weird shit going on, with all the Yaoi (male gay stuff) yuri (lesbo stuff) and waifu (I believe you know what that means) stuff, but there's still classic animes like G Gundam, DBZ, and many others that will serve your tastes. G Gundam is so manly it might as well have been made for Chuck Norris.

leeholsen said...

I didn't know this stuff because I dropped comic books and turned to cars at about 13 as most do and now to astrophysics as an adult.

But I still held the nostalgia when they came to the big screen.

and I was a regular reader of the fantastic four as a piss ant and was highly offended that the human torch was tuned into a black guy. HELLO ! the torch and invisible girl are brother and sister, but because of today's multiculturalism, we got to put a interracial marriage into the storyline and the black guy couldn't be the thing or mr. fantastic; no he has to be the torch, the coolest one and to interject interracial families.

I almost didn't go see it for that. luckily for them, they got kate mara to play the invisible girl.

YIH said...

Not surprised, I've said Disney probably makes more money per year on ONE popcorn wagon at Disney World than all of Marvel's comic book sales. All that market has left are aging fans and collectors. Try find any comic book at a general retailer such as newsstands or supermarkets, if you're lucky you might stumble across some of the 'digest'-sized Archie books - and that's only because Reader's Digest and TV Guide are both just about extinct.
So if Marvel does a she-Thor or Spiderfag few will care, or even know.

Unknown said...

I think you don't see the real threat. The system has gone to Anti-White propaganda. They seem to be willing to lose money just to insult Whites now. These comics are nothing much, but do you really believe they won't push this drivel into the movies? They want James Bond to be black. That will kill the overseas market. People in China aren't going to waste there time seeing that. This is just Anti-White propaganda. Its like the Kulak demonisation before the Holodomor. The system wants Whites dead. Its going hot now. They seem to either think they can win or they have nothing left to lose.

Anonymous said...

Jason Fly (XIII) in the comic books (drawn by W. Vance) looks pretty white. The video game adaptation shows him to be pretty white as well.

Anonymous said...

THere's been a black Green Lantern since the 70's. It's hardly recent.

Plus, I never knew that "Miles Morales" was Spanish for "Peter Parker"!
Odinson is still around - and it's not like the mantle of Thor has never been passed on to another person before. Or frog. Or robot.
Personally, I find it pretty hilarious that you spend this long ranting about the 'SJW' takeover of comic books when you obviously don't read any.

Madame Ringading said...

Graphic novels and manga are where the action is now. The days of the print periodical comic are numbered, have been since the 80`s

I still have some comics from that time, was rebagging them and checking their worth. Just in case.

Anonymous said...

THe modern comic book industry doesn't actually care about the fans anyway. They HAVE to publish something under the title to maintain copyright and trademark control. This way they maintain control for the actual money making aspects of the IP as you discovered, movies and "lunchbox" crap. You will notice that they don't have black captain America, gay Hispanic spiderman, nor cancer ridden female thors merchandise outside the crappy books. Furthermore, the industry is constantly doing "take-backs". When their "groundbreaking" new ideas fail in the market, they just cancel the book and retcon it out, restart under a new title with all the same original white, straight characters and start the process again. They always get a surge of sales as the collectors come out to grab issues 1-12 of the "new" title. Hell, when they introduced the miles morales spiderman in marvel unlimited there were at least 5 different spiderman books (unlimited, spectacular, spiderman, amazing, Web of, marvel team up, and he was in a couple of avengers titles at the time). No one gave a single shit about the new one, and other than the collectors that come out to buy the "death"/"introduction issues, no real blip in sales.

It remains to be seen if Disney, having spent BILLIONS of dollars on intellectual property that appeals to boys ( Marvel, Star wars) whether they have a board of directors cognizant enough to see WHY it appeals to boys and leave it alone, or whether they become obsessed with princessifying the shit out of it till boys stop paying money for it. THAT will be what to watch. And they are already starting to slip that kind of PC/Feminist/SJW BS into some of it. ( Female Stormtrooper captain, Marvel agents of shield, Sharon carter (TV) etc ) Are they so far gone they simply don't know what appeals to men and boys so they just spend a few billion on new IP every few years they have NO UNDERSTANDING of, and just disney it up till it appeals to no one but the diversity board?

John VI

Unknown said...

Yeah, I'm old enough to remember when Nick Fury was a white guy.

PhantomZodak said...

I blogged about this last month when it was announced that The Hulk is now Asian.

I try to let people know on my blog if it's sjw nonsense or not, but there is almost too much content to review.

Anonymous said...

I want to sincerely thank you for providing me with substantial evidence proving that racism is alive and well and the theory of "new racism" is just as valid today as it was in the 1980's. Good on you. Why can't characters by minorities? Sam Wilson was Steve Roger's friend and sidekick for years so it makes perfect sense why he would take on the mantle. Why can't all of these minorities who have some kind of relationship with white characters take one the name of their friends and mentors? It's not a destruction of white characters, it has nothing to do with money, even though diversity title perform INCREDIBLY well, it has nothing to do with a PC culture, or any other kind of BS you keep spewing, it has to do with the question of: Why not? Why can't we have a black Captain America, a Muslim Ms. Marvel, or, not that this is real in any stretch of the imagination, a gay Spider Man? You can call yourself a rational conservative or any other foolish self-pandering thing to help you sleep at night, but to the vast majority of readers you're nothing be a racist, arrogant, prick.

Captain Capitalism said...

Ummm, fuckface Anon 657,

You didn't read my second latest book did you?

Take your accuastion of racism and shove it up your ass, you little whiny race whore.

Ingot9455 said...

The thing of it is that comics COULD be seed corn. A company COULD use comics to plant properties that would pay off later in the movies/books/merch if they took off, if they had quality, if they were the in thing.

But Marvel is not doing that. They are pissing that away.

Anonymous said...

I don't really care what is going on with comics since I barely read any. You really need to chill out, company need to attract new readers by coming up with new ideas, character, and stories even if it mean making some changes.

Veronica said...

Thank you for posting this. I had a suspicion, and now can see where the numbers are really at. People would come in and tell my friend who runs a comic shop "I used by buy these comics for 40 years but Marvel doesn't give a shit about me anymore so I gave up" and they are right to feel forgotten. Not even just forgotten, but completely disenfranchised and derided.