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Monday, December 25, 2017 

Plummeting sales for diversity-infected superhero comics spells trouble for corporations and investments

Marketwatch says the hammered diversity that ate up superhero comics so badly does not bode well for sources like Disney and Netflix as the owners (Hat tip: Truth Revolt):
Superheroes matter for Time Warner, Disney, Netflix, Mattel, Hasbro and other companies

Does the world of comic-book superheroes have a diversity problem?

The question matters a lot for investors. Here’s why.

Consumers pay up for good, original content. And comic books come through in spades. They spawn a colorful array of endearing superheroes, followed by profitable movie spinoffs, action figures and collectibles.

Thus superheroes play a significant role in sales trends at Time Warner TWX, -0.61% and Walt Disney Co. DIS, -0.82% home of DC Comics and Marvel Entertainment, respectively. They also impact sales at Netflix NFLX, +0.70% which has produced two popular series based on comic-book characters, Cinemark CNK, -0.86% Regal Entertainment RGC, -0.26% AMC Entertainment AMC, -3.25% Hasbro HAS, +0.76% and Mattel MAT, +0.83%

So if the new wave of “diverse” superheroes has caused the recent slump in comic-book sales growth, that’s a trend investors need to sit up and notice.

In the past few years, Disney’s Marvel Entertainment has rolled out an Afro-Latino Spider-Man, a Muslim Ms. Marvel, a female Thor, a gay Iceman, a Korean Hulk, an African-American female lead in Iron Man, and a lesbian Latina America Chavez.

Now fans accustomed to more “traditional” characters may have come down with diversity fatigue. And they could be walking away in protest.
Very astute! They already did, years ago, when DC first pulled the stunt, putting black, Asian and Latino characters in the costumes of white third-tier heroes, thinking they could get away with it in every way, shape and form (Firestorm, Atom and Blue Beetle, for example). But despite the attempts of comics press sources to claim otherwise, most readers, even of different racial backgrounds, seemed to realize the wool was being pulled over their eyes, and did not flock to these pretentiously developed products, introduced in the wake of Identity Crisis. If the original protagonists were going to be degraded, that's just one prime reason why nobody truly accepts all the "diverse" replacements DC's still shoving down our throats along with Marvel. Another is because the new characters at both were introduced entirely based on their diverse backgrounds, not because the writing mattered, or because the characters could stand on their own.
Unsurprisingly, comic-book creators have no easy task when tackling diversity. This is the age of “social justice warriors,” populist “alt-right” and anti-immigration sentiment, and a highly divisive political climate. So publishers face big challenges in introducing minority, gay and lesbian characters.
Here's where it teeters on leftist propaganda. Nobody's against immigration, just against terrorists infiltrating the USA, to say nothing of whitewashing the Islamic religion. And why normalize homosexuality on the one hand, while denying Islam's violent hostility to homosexuality on the other? That's another grave mistake the publishers of propaganda are making. As is their continued antagonism towards conservatives.
Sheena Howard, an associate professor of communication at Rider University, and the author of the Encyclopedia of Black Comics, understands the pushback by many fans. “People have an attachment to these characters. They don’t like to see their superheroes change colors. They feel like it is gimmicky, and it is.”

But she rejects the idea that diversity hurts sales. Many “diverse” characters are actually wildly popular, and why not? A Disney film featuring the character Black Panther, due out in February, is one of the most anticipated movies of the year. “Captain America: Civil War,” which also featured Black Panther, had a bigger opening weekend in 2016 than the year’s Star Wars installment, according to Box Office Mojo.

Netflix recently had big hits with a series featuring a black Marvel superhero called Luke Cage, and another superhero series with a strong female lead named Jessica Jones.
Well that's because those characters were created as their own agency, not forced replacements for established white heroes and men. Black Panther was created in 1966, and has had solo books a few times, though by the mid-2000s, the quality of writing for T'Challa's solo adventures was already lost to the leftism Quesada first forced down everyone's throats. Even Luke Cage's adventures were ruined by Quesada's machinations, along with the stereotypical cliches Brian Bendis started forcing on him, like the bald head. That's why, even though his creation of Jessica Jones may be her own agency, I'm just not interested in books starring her, because I don't want to validate Bendis' forced directions with the older characters. Let's remember what he did to some of the women in the Avengers and X-Men, which was bad, and conflicts with whatever positives he's done with Jones.
Marvel also pushes back on the theory that diversity hurts sales. It won’t back its case with sales trends on specific characters, and public information is spotty. But Marvel notes that its Muslim Ms. Marvel single-issue and trade paperbacks have been best sellers since the character’s launched in 2014. Its “Miles Morales: Spider-Man” (featuring an Afro-Latino Spider-Man), and “Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet” books were on the New York Times Young Adult Hardcover Best Sellers List for several weeks this year. And its comic book featuring a female Thor was a top seller in 2017, as well.

So Marvel is sticking to its guns. “We have had such a great opportunity to create new and interesting characters that are truly representative of the way the world is,” says Sana Amanat, Marvel’s content development director who helped create Kamala Kahn, the popular Muslim Ms. Marvel. “We have made great strides, and we have more to go.”
Sigh. Here's where the article teeters into leftist propaganda again. Besides, the NYT is long recognizable to more knowledgeable people as one of the most dishonest rags around, and on that, why should we take their word at face value about best sellers? Last time I looked, the Muslim Ms. Marvel series was selling about 15,000 copies at best on the sales charts, which does not bode well. Like I've noted before, that election issue was clearly one of the last straws for many. If they won't provide any figures, it's an open signal they're an unintentional comedy.

At the end, they offer a suggestion to C.B. Cebulski as editor:
Your company, Marvel, loves to say it reflects the world outside your window. If so, why not step up and launch a series that features alt-right characters battling it out with social justice warriors? For better or worse, this theme has done wonders for cable TV news ratings.

Handled correctly, it could do the same for comic-book sales and, who knows, maybe teach us a lesson or two about how to cope with all the ugly and tiresome divisiveness.
Absolutely correct - IF handled correctly, they could make a point how SJWs are, in reality, very destructive, abusive people who're actually obsessed with draining all the entertainment value from other people's escapism, yet aren't very moral themselves, if at all. But in the current industry climate, the chances they'd be willing to condemn SJWs for causing all the trouble they're going to cause are very slim. And I actually wish they wouldn't use the term "alt-right" because it's not as indicative of goodness as we'd like to think. For all we know, "alt-right" could allude to the Never Trump crowd in would-be conservatives, who're actually quite problematic.

For now, if the publishers and corporations who own them really don't want to lose money even on the comics, they'd better start rethinking their approaches and cut out the politics.

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Alt right is in no way "indicative of godness" and they have little in common with conservatives. They are white nationalists (nationalism in the same sense as how the fascist movement in Britain began using the word to describe themselves back in the 1950s). They are strongly anti-semitic and bigoted, and revere Putin. They admire Hitler, although their focus is on the idea of a white race rather than an Aryan race. They tend to be younger and more internet-savvy than the old-guard fascists, and make up in trolling what they lack in numbers or physical presence. They were heavily behind Trump. More prominent figures include Andrew Anglin, publisher of the Daily Stormer website who is now in hiding to avoid process servers, and Richard Spencer, best known for shouting 'Hail Trump' at a post-election rally. Some people who identify with the movement try to de-emphasize Hitlerism and fascism on the theory that
identifying with the worst villain of the 20th century is bad for recruiting; they are often described mockingly by hard-core alt-rightists as the alt-light. A leading figure of the more sanitized version was Milo Yiannapoulos, who wrote for Breitbart until some pro-pedophilia comments of his made him an embarrassment. They have all fallen somewhat into disarray since the national revulsion against them after Charlottesville.

Some of them will describe Israel as an ethno-state, and say they want to create a similar state for white non-Jews in the U.S. But their view of Israel is strongly coloured by anti-semitism.

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