I honestly get sick and tired of comic fans whining that the majority of Marvel and DC superheroes are white guys. There is a perfectly good and valid reason why this is the case, a reason that these people simply refuse to acknowledge:
These characters sell.
Recently, Marvel announced that Thor was going to be a woman for a while and Captain America was going to be black. Reviewers complained that these weren’t going to be permanent changes and that they would ultimately be viewed as failures because they couldn’t carry the show.
But that’s the reality! Like it or not, the characters that sell comics are the white guys! If they kept Thor female or Captain America black, they’d lose sales over the long term. Publishing, whether it’s comic books or novels or anything else has to make money and if there’s one thing that’s been demonstrated over the years time and time again, it’s that the comics that sell the best just so happen to feature male, white superheroes. Don’t like that? Change it. Until it’s changed though, that’s what you can expect to see.
Now you have to keep in mind that I’m not defending this fact, I’m just pointing out that it is a fact. Facts don’t have to be popular to be true and this is undeniably true. That’s the problem with, I’m guessing, these largely liberal fans and reviewers. They want the facts to make them emotionally comfortable and this, simply put, does not.
It isn’t like there aren’t plenty of popular female characters in comics or popular black characters in comics (nobody really brings up any other racial group as much as blacks, it seems), but some people want comics, and pretty much everything else, to fit their quota system, it has to perfectly mirror the percentages that we see in society or something must be wrong! I’m sorry but superhero comics aren’t a women’s medium, that’s not an insult, just an acknowledgement of reality. 93% of superhero comic readers are male. Comics are going to cater to the audience that it has. The majority of comic book readers are single, that’s why most characters aren’t married, it’s a big reason why Marvel ret-conned Peter Parker’s marriage, so it would attract more unmarried readers. Should we be offended by that? Why would we be offended by reality? I was unable to find good data on the racial makeup of comic book readers, but I would surmise, and please, find me some good data if you can, that the majority are white. So it should come as no surprise that those characters that sell the best, the ones that have done so traditionally for more than 50 years, are the same characters that represent the majority of the comic-reading world.
The same can be said when these same comic fans and reviewers point out that there are very few, comparatively, black writers and women writers. Why? Because the books they write just aren’t as popular with the audience. Now that doesn’t make the audience racist or sexist, they largely has no clue what the race or gender of the creators is most of the time. There is no conspiracy here, it’s simple economics. Certainly, there have been very popular black writers in comics in the past, Christopher Priest comes to mind, and very popular female writers in comics, Kelly Sue DeConnick comes to mind, but at the moment, book per book, sale per sale, there aren’t any that happen to be working in the industry that sell as many books as other writers who happen to be male and white. That’s just the way it goes.
See, people, typically liberals, get really upset that things don’t meet their quota-based requirements. I’m personally offended that they’re trying to force Marvel or DC to hire people of a particular skin color or a particular gender, when Marvel and DC should just be hiring people who can write and sell comics! To do otherwise is absolutely both sexist and racist in scope and intent. It’s paying attention to sex where it shouldn’t make a difference. It’s making a big deal of race where it shouldn’t matter at all. I find liberals to be much, much, much more racist and sexist than anyone else around, simply because they put tons of emphasis on it. I don’t care who writes my comics. I only care if they can tell good stories. I don’t care what the artist’s skin color is, only so long as they can draw. It is a complete and total non-issue to me, as I’m sure it is to most comic readers. They don’t care because it doesn’t matter. The existence of four-color superheroes is not a social commentary. It’s a freaking comic book.
Seriously, maybe if you people spent more time enjoying what was actually in the comics instead of worrying what was going on behind the scenes in making the comics, maybe the comic market wouldn’t be in the bloody toilet right now.
People are going to buy what they enjoy and companies like Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Image are going to produce what people buy because that means they get to put food on the table for their families. Believe it or not, everything in the world is not some grand conspiracy by evil white men to rule the world and impose racism and sexism on everyone.
Whether you like it or not, sometimes a comic book is just a comic book.