I hope everyone realizes that this thread is going to be a breeding ground for upcoming story ideas in DC comics new books...right now they are literally screaming "BRILLIANT!" after they read each and every one of your guys posts...just saying...
Damn right they are and for good reason. It's not our job to prop Marvel up and be their mommy and tell them everything they do is alright as long as they try hard and have good intentions in mind.
Every decision they've made since Disney acquired them (actually Sony bought it and gave it to Disney through some back door deal, look it up) has been worse than the last one. I knew there would be some kinda long standing changes but I never imagined they would be so extreme that it actually seems like Marvel is trying to self destruct. So I'm gonna address the giant elephant in the room cuz everyone seems to be dancing around the subject afraid to actually put it on the table and take a stab at it.
Let me preface this by saying I am a multiracial male. My immediate supervisor at my maximum security "real" job is a female. The general manager of the contactor I work for is female. I have African American, Hispanic American, Muslim, Hindu, Anglo, immigrant (both documented & non) friends & family. I have gay and lesbian siblings and step-siblings and friends with a wide range of ethnic roots. I even have a (future) transgender family member. There is almost no part of the social political landscape that hasn't intersected my life. Now, no one should have to put all that out there before simply stating their opinion, but that's the state of the world today and it seems like the one thing everyone is worried about is being called racist, sexist or any other of the numerous "ist" or "ic" labels out there. It is my opinion and call me what you will and label me what you want but I guarantee it will hold more truth & honesty than any of those labels. So here we go.
You can't just turn every character in the Marvel Universe that we know and love into a different gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious background and just expect us to accept it and forget about the character that used to hold that spot & then call us racist or sexist if we don't just shut up and accept it. I like RiRi. I think she could potentially be a strong leading character under some more development while first spending some more time as a supporting character, but you can't just have Tony Stark say "she's much more brilliant than I ever was" and then BAM, here's the new Iron Man from now on. I liked X-23. I liked the basic concept & story. I didn't even have a problem with the fact that she was a clone of Wolverine even though she was female, but damn it, don't tell me that we can't have the Wolverine we love & know and she's our only choice & were just gonna have to swallow it. Why can't we have Wolverine and X-23 still? Why do you have to replace him outright with a female character to make some kind of social statement?
Secondly, if you want a gay character then freaking make a gay character. What the hell is wrong with just creating a new character that happens to be gay? I have absolutely no problem with it. What I have a problem with is taking an established character who was created as heterosexual, developed as heterosexual and has always been unapologetically identified as heterosexual like Iceman and then one day have him just reveal that he's gay. It's not the fact that he is gay, but the fact that a it was never part of his development & don't just make it materialize out of nowhere just for the sake of having another gay character. I know it happens that way sometimes, but we've got characters like Northstar or Shatterstar that were ambiguous enough that it didn't really change the characters total background whether they turned out to be gay or not. I guarantee I, nor 99% of my friends & customers felt any differently about the characters even though Marvel was clearly fishing for some kinda shock value out of it. Believe me, Daken's portrayal as a badass was affected 0 to little by the fact that he was asexual. He was an awesome and popular character, almost on par with his dad, yet where is he now? How under utilized is he at this point? If you are, you are. If you aren't, you arent. Who freaking cares? Just don't change the entire history of a character just for political gusto. I assure you, none of my gay friends/customers were celebrating the fact that Bobby Drake is now gay, but almost all loyal fans were left scratching their heads asking WTF. Not angry. Not disgusted. Just freaking puzzled. Stop trying so hard to interject all the social engineering into the medium that we use as an escape from the real world.
Lastly, stop trying to push the race issue so hard. It's enough that we hear about it all day through media & social networking, but stop pushing underdeveloped characters under the guise that your trying to integrate ethnic diversity. If you're gonna do it, do it the right way. Introduce a new character in an existing successful title as a supporting character or in a team setting, concentrate on developing the character and creating a background, test how they resonate with the fan base and then give them a series if it's warranted. Stop just stuffing new series about characters we don't care about down our throats and stop recasting roles of characters in successful series in a forced attempt to create racial diversity. I read Nighthawk and I kInda liked it and I really wanted it to do well, but it didn't. It wasn't because the lead was African American. It wasn't because it was a bad story or concept, both of which were okay to good. It was because no one knew who the hell he was or what he was about. Basically, no one cared. If we sold one copy, we sold 100 and we didn't do either. I honestly read that comic out of pure boredom and the cover art was cool & only did so because I ran the store and didn't have to pay for it. Comics are expensive and a lot of people are not ready to pay $4 a pop for some character they have no attachment to. Have him team up with a marquee character, put him on a team with mass exposure, anything to get him more exposure before making him a headliner. It's just common sense man. And what's this about kicking Steve Rogers to the curb in favor of Sam Wilson. So now Wilson is Captain America & Steve is Captain or Agent Rogers, or whatever the hell else they're calling him these days. I still don't honestly know what's going on on that front cuz I seriously lost interest some time ago. Wouldn't it have been smarter to keep the established Rogers in a successful series and install Wilson as a SHIELD asset or as Captain Wilson & build him up enough to eventually helm his own series? Don't just tell us Rogers is out, Wilson is in. Here's Captain America now and you have to deal with it cuz he's African American and we're progressive and socially responsible and we're gonna make you see it our way whether you like it or not.
Do we need more ethnically diverse characters? Absolutely. Do we need more strong female leads? Definately. Do we need more representation of the LGBT community? Without a doubt. Yes to all, but damn, it's just too much too soon. You can't just level the field, oust most of characters & dynamics we've learned to love over the years and just dump the entire Marvel Universe on its head for the sake of Disney's little social experiment. Hell, you never used the resources you already had on hand & your forcing all this new stuff on us. As I mentioned before, we all loved Daken. Where's he at now? I personally loved Monica Rambeau when she was the strong black female leader of the Avengers & what did you do with her? You made her a parody of herself when you put her in that juvenilistic Nextwave and she's only now recovering as a respectable character, yet still very underutilized IMO. And for all you who don't believe Disney is using Marvel as it's own little pitre dish, how about they alter some of their own most recognisable properties? Let's see them make Mickey Mouse gay, ignoring his entire history with Minnie. How bout we kick Goofy out of the circle of friends and replace him with a well educated, strong, empowered female named Genius? It'll never happen cuz it won't work and they know it. Do you hear me Marvel? IT DOESN'T WORK! You wanna create more diversity in the Marvel Universe, then just do it. Create it by creating as many new and unique characters as your hearts desire from any and every part of the social spectrum, but do it right. Come up with an original idea. Give them an endearing story. Develop a strong background story. Make us care about them or even love them. Then, and only then should they be given a shot at their own book. There's no freaking shortcuts, no easy way to the finish line. They gotta pay their dues just like everyone else. Stop jacking with our favorite characters & books that we've built such emotional and nostalgic attachment to over the years. Some of us, over decades. What's wrong with keeping those proven selling books and having these newer books replace the poorer selling titles, and believe me, there are quite a few. Don't just scrap the entire thing and try to build it up from scratch, cuz honestly, the writers of the modern day are a far cry from the master storytellers of the Claremont's, Byrnes', Shooter's & Lee's of the story driven days of less flashy art and glitz. Nowdays they give off the aire of a buncha ravenous fan boys with these grand schemes that never had anyone in their lives to tell them "no".
So, yes DC is watching everything Marvel's doing right now and they are learning from their mistakes as well as their own. They're recovering from their own debacle that was The New 52 and going back to what worked with their own "Rebirth" event and they are destroying Marvel in the sales charts, usually at a rate of 7 to 2 in the top 10 with the only consistent outlier being a little black and white book about deceased pedestrians. I originally thought it was a regional thing cuz my shop is in the Bible belt, after all, but over the last few months I've come to find it's a national trend and most likely world wide. Marvel's success in the box office vs DC's are maintaining Marvel's overall dominance for the time being but that capital is only gonna slow this nosedive for so long before the eminent crash if things don't change soon and DC is gaining ground every day. Did anyone happen to catch the season premiers of Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow? Things are looking up for DC and as a lifelong Marvel fan it hurts me to say that they are in serious trouble and DC does not need me, you or anything said in these posts to alert them to that most obvious fact.