It was easy to predict. As reported a couple of weeks back, news that Marvel’s sales were down, and that this slump was being blamed on, in part, Marvel’s forced diversity, its habit of removing prominent characters from circulation and replacing them with minorities and female characters just for the sake of having more female and minority characters, heralded a return to a more classic Marvel, the return of those aforementioned prominent characters to their prior statuses. Wisely, it doesn’t seem that Marvel is doing away with all those new characters, which would have been a PR nightmare, had they done it, but is going to offer readers both the classic and new characters—which is what it should have done in the first place.

Let’s look at that teaser image for LEGACY. Sam Wilson is back as the Falcon. (Making him Captain America just to have a black Captain America was a bonehead move to begin with.) Steve Rogers is back in his classic costume. The Hulk is back, as is Iron Man and Thor. But included are the faces of the “new” Thor, the “new” Wolverine, the Totally Lame Hulk, Amadeus Cho, Miles Morales (who will always be stuck playing that OTHER Spider-Man, unless Marvel gives him the proper respect and changes his name), and Ms. Marvel. Marvel’s readers, it appears, will now get to choose between these flavor-of-the-month newbies (along with the occasional new characters that could actually become permanent fixtures) and the established icons. About time, Marvel.

If you’re going to pull a tacky stunt and hide hate speech in the panels of the comic book you’re drawing, be man enough to admit to it when you get pinched. Don’t try to make the world feel sorry for you by claiming you were motivated by “love.” That is a classic sociopath behavior and strategy.

You’ve probably all heard by now about the fracas over Marvel’s X-MEN GOLD #1, wherein artist Ardian Syaf hid anti-Christian and anti-Jewish references. Maybe he didn’t expect to get caught. Maybe he figured others who felt the same way he did would pick up on the hints but no one else would. If so that was unbelievably naïve of him. He got busted and he got fired. Now he laments, “My career is over…” Ya think? Really? It’s a shame, too. He is a talented artist. He had a job that many would dearly love to have, have worked years to achieve. And he threw it all away to take a couple of impotent potshots at a couple of belief systems he hates. Oh, my mistake. He said repeatedly how much his actions were motivated by “love.” Yep. That’s it, alright. Love speech got him fired. Sure.

Hopefully there was too much market saturation for the issue he drew to become a collector’s item. A comic shouldn’t go up in value over something so ugly.

Continuing the conversation from last week: So people are “incensed” that Marvel blamed “diversity” for its current sales slump? Too bad! Marvel is right, so the PC crybabies need to deal with it. While I don’t think anyone with a brain is going to argue that this is only one factor among several, and no one with a conscience is going to suggest that diversity is a bad thing, the fact remains that Marvel’s move in recent years towards FORCED diversity has alienated many of their longtime fans. I am one of them, so I know of what I speak. To break it down for those not with-it enough to grasp the concept: diversity is good. FORCED diversity is bad.

We can lay the blame for the brouhaha not on Marvel’s VP David Gabriel, who spoke ineloquently, but on the PC police who inferred something from his statement that wasn’t there. (PC buffoons are good at that.) Here’s what he said: “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity…I don’t know that that’s really true, but that’s what we saw in sales.” The statement is a generalization, non-specific, but factual. Marvel has forced diversity and sales are down. Are the two linked? That would appear to be the case, but even Gabriel said he doesn’t know if it is “really true.” Marvel should take the time to find out, and the best way to do that is to ask the fans. Unfortunately no one can hear the fans right now because the PC wankers are squealing like a herd of gutshot hogs because they perceive that someone called into question the company’s kowtowing to their agenda. Shut it, feebs. No good is going to be accomplished, here, if Marvel keeps using a shoehorn to try and make us accept new minority and female characters—and you are only hurting your cause by giving them hell for realizing it.

IS Marvel slumping? Is the company experiencing a sales slump? I was under the impression that the entire industry was going through a slump, not just the Big M, but I admit I haven’t kept up with it that faithfully. I’ll take their word for it. The author of this linked article is careful not to assign blame himself as to the specific reason for Marvel’s lackluster sales as of late, but he sure quotes from plenty of people who DO assign it. The consensus seems to be that Marvel is overdoing the “event” series, and I would have to concur. The recent CIVIL WAR II was disappointing. It could be that if they do too many of these type series, too often, then there really isn’t enough creative steam to go around. In the past Marvel made the mistake of putting profit over the quality of its books. I’m afraid it is doing so again, not learning from the mistakes of the past, the mistakes that led the company to bankruptcy. Disney ain’t gonna put up with that, Marvel people. Better get yourselves sorted, pronto, lest the House of Mouse does it for you.

One thing with which I must vehemently disagree is the assertion that Marvel’s forced diversity isn’t in any way hurting their bottom line. Fans ARE sick of having this shoved down their throats, not because more diversity isn’t needed or even wanted but because it feels so artificial. I dropped IRON MAN, for example, once they replaced Tony with a (minority) teenage girl. This new “Iron Girl” could become a viable and valuable character, but you can’t shoehorn her into prominence like that. I know for a fact I’m not the only longtime reader who feels this way about Marvel’s mandate for forced inclusiveness, who has been driven away by it.