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  1. #1
    Incredible Member Samm's Avatar
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    Default Why are DC's minority character's lagging behind Marvel's?

    DC
    Green Lanterns #28 -- 30,024
    Green Lanterns #29 -- 29,451
    Bane Conquest #4 -- 17,615
    New Super-Man #14 -- 12,339
    Blue Beetle #12 -- 11,574
    Cyborg #15 -- 10,949

    Marvel
    Captain America #25 -- 40,428
    Spider-Man #19 -- 30,387
    Black Panther #17 -- 25,609
    Totally Awesome Hill #22 -- 24,995
    Infamous Iron-Man #11 -- 24,676
    Ms Marvels #21 -- 17,010
    Luke Cage #4 -- 12,330
    America #6 -- 9,548
    Moon Girl #22 --7,466

    So recently I got into a debate on social media about DC and Marvel's treatment of their minority characters. Somewhere along the way some fans started to claim that DC did diversity right while Marvel' s way felt more like an agenda or fulfilling a quota so to speak. Others felt Marvel's approach was correct and more successful. That got me curious to see which claim had more merit. To my surprise the second claim can actually be backed up by factual sales instead of ones opinion.

    I listed the comic sales for the month of August above. As you can see, Marvel's roster of minority character's is in a much healthier position than their DC counterpart. Now of course there are exceptions, Green Lanterns is in a healthy position whereas Luke Cage, America and Moon Girl definitely aren't. However the fact still remains, DC's are not only at a lower issue number but also much closer to cancellation.

    My question is why do you think that is? Why is their such a wide gap? Marvel has a few minority characters at 100+ solo issues (Shang Chi, Luke Cage, Black Panther) and some newer ones at 50+ (Miles, Miguel, Ms Marvel, War Machine) but DC has none at 100+ (unless you count Kyle who was reconned to be Latino) and their 50+ character's will likely never see a solo again due to fanboyism (Cass Cain, John Stewart, Steel, Static... Blue Beetle Is the exception here).
    Last edited by Samm; 09-16-2017 at 01:36 AM.

  2. #2
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    Other than Green Lantern, I don't see any name on DC's list there that is big enough to make the sales you might be expecting. Notable characters, yes, but you can't compare Bane, Blue Beetle, or Cyborg to Captain America, Hulk, Black Panther, or Iron Man. Even if most of those are different people, the brand is strong. Honestly, if you want a fair comparison, you should probably only be comparing Ms. Marvel and below and Bane and below, at which point it is actually pretty even.

  3. #3
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    I think one reason is that some of Marvels (Black Panther, Luke Cage) are way better established than the charcters you named for DC.

    The other reason is that DC still kept their classic heros around (there is for example still a Green Lantern Book featuring Hal Jordan, and several Superman Books) while marvel didn't (there is afaik no Bruce Banner Hulk or Tony Stark Ironman book currently).

    Most of DCs big charcters have also already quite alot of "teen side kicks" which makes it harder to add new ones, opposed to many bigger Marvel heros. I think for example the the Batman brand has kind of reached the limit in how many characters it can support (thats why I don't see much of a chance for Signal and Batwing, and even Batwoman isn't doing well), while the Spiderman brand can still support Miles Morales.

  4. #4
    Mighty Member TheFerg714's Avatar
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    Well first of all, you're leaving out a few minority characters at DC.
    Justice League (stars the GLs); Hal Jordan stars John Stewart and Guy Gardner (gingers are a minority!) as well; Batman & The Signal starts in November, and Duke's been a major character in Snyder's Batman runs for the last four years; Batgirl and Batgirl and the Birds of Prey (do women count as minorities?); Batwoman and Detective Comics; nuWally has shown up in Teen Titans, Deathstroke, and Flash; Black Canary is the costar of Green Arrow; Harley Quinn; JLA is chock full of minority characters; Supergirl and Superwoman; and the Black Lightning and Mystik U mini's start in November.

    Secondly, your reasoning is flawed. The only reason the top half of your Marvel examples do well is because of the title. If you take out all of those (and Green Lanterns, just to be fair), it looks like Marvel's in just about as bad of a position as DC, if not worse because they're so actively trying to push diversity. Personally, I couldn't care less about the skin color of the characters I'm reading, but for people that do, I don't really get how you can say that Marvel's pandering works better than DC's simply trying to make interesting and relatable characters.

    EDIT: DC's got Batwoman headlining two books. Where's the LGBT representation at Marvel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Samm View Post
    DC
    Bane Conquest #4 -- 17,615
    New Super-Man #14 -- 12,339
    Blue Beetle #12 -- 11,574
    Cyborg #15 -- 10,949

    Marvel
    Ms Marvels #21 -- 17,010
    Luke Cage #4 -- 12,330
    America #6 -- 9,548
    Moon Girl #22 --7,466
    Last edited by TheFerg714; 09-16-2017 at 03:44 AM.
    Valiant- X-O Manowar / Bloodshot Salvation / Ninja-K / Quantum and Woody! / Shadowman / Harbinger Wars II / Brittania
    DC- Justice League / Hal Jordan and the GLC / The Flash / Aquaman / Mera / Mister Miracle / Silencer / The Terrifics
    Other- The Walking Dead / Mighty Morphin Power Rangers / Go Go Power Rangers

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samm View Post
    DC
    Green Lanterns #28 -- 30,024
    Green Lanterns #29 -- 29,451
    Bane Conquest #4 -- 17,615
    New Super-Man #14 -- 12,339
    Blue Beetle #12 -- 11,574
    Cyborg #15 -- 10,949

    Marvel
    Captain America #25 -- 40,428
    Spider-Man #19 -- 30,387
    Black Panther #17 -- 25,609
    Totally Awesome Hill #22 -- 24,995
    Infamous Iron-Man #11 -- 24,676
    Ms Marvels #21 -- 17,010
    Luke Cage #4 -- 12,330
    America #6 -- 9,548
    Moon Girl #22 --7,466

    Are they really though? There is a grand difference of three titles between the two lists and, as others have pointed out regarding sales #s, the Marvel characters have higher name recognition (given Marvel's success at the movies). While I don't know how the numbers have stacked up historically Marvel has typically published more books in recent years so you need to look at it through that lens as well.

    I tried to find some general statistics regarding the # of titles between the two companies and using Comichron for August I found that Marvel had a 39.5% share of all units moved and DC had a 31% share and of new comics released Marvel had 106 to DC's 78. Granted I don't know how these break down upon the superhero genre as I am too lazy to go sort out all the non-related books.

    Anyway, my point is that it might just be related more to the number of books published overall rather than anything else.


    As for the health of the books, none of them are in all that great of shape. 40k is not that good for a book named after a flagship character and 30k is awful for Spiderman (there are about 7 other Spiderman related books ahead of it right now), meanwhile GL is right around 30k as well which tends to be the point where companies start to wonder if it's worth keeping the book around.

    Everything else is in cancellation territory and is likely on the chopping block, except Black Panther due to the movie that is about to come out. Normally I'd throw Cyborg in there as well but those #s are so low that I doubt even the JLA movie will save it.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scribbleMind View Post
    Other than Green Lantern, I don't see any name on DC's list there that is big enough to make the sales you might be expecting. Notable characters, yes, but you can't compare Bane, Blue Beetle, or Cyborg to Captain America, Hulk, Black Panther, or Iron Man. Even if most of those are different people, the brand is strong. Honestly, if you want a fair comparison, you should probably only be comparing Ms. Marvel and below and Bane and below, at which point it is actually pretty even.
    This is pretty much it. Ultimately, the brand alone contributes a set number of fans. Some people just won't allow gaps in their collections regardless of the quality of work between the covers.

  7. #7
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    The top Marvel you listed, "Captain America", is a tad misleading here. The book isn't even really Sam Wilson's book at this point; it's transitioning back under a big EVENT (Secret Empire) to the original white guy (Steve Rogers) solely regaining that title. How many people bought that issue because it features a minority character, and how many people bought it despite the fact that it included a "minority character"?
    (And how many people who bought it don't give a $#!t whether it features a minority character or not?)


  8. #8
    Mighty Member Iconic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFerg714 View Post
    Well first of all, you're leaving out a few minority characters at DC.
    Justice League (stars the GLs); Hal Jordan stars John Stewart and Guy Gardner (gingers are a minority!) as well; Batman & The Signal starts in November, and Duke's been a major character in Snyder's Batman runs for the last four years; Batgirl and Batgirl and the Birds of Prey (do women count as minorities?); Batwoman and Detective Comics; nuWally has shown up in Teen Titans, Deathstroke, and Flash; Black Canary is the costar of Green Arrow; Harley Quinn; JLA is chock full of minority characters; Supergirl and Superwoman; and the Black Lightning and Mystik U mini's start in November.

    Secondly, your reasoning is flawed. The only reason the top half of your Marvel examples do well is because of the title. If you take out all of those (and Green Lanterns, just to be fair), it looks like Marvel's in just about as bad of a position as DC, if not worse because they're so actively trying to push diversity. Personally, I couldn't care less about the skin color of the characters I'm reading, but for people that do, I don't really get how you can say that Marvel's pandering works better than DC's simply trying to make interesting and relatable characters.

    EDIT: DC's got Batwoman headlining two books. Where's the LGBT representation at Marvel?
    1st paragraph: People of color headlining is the obvious topic based on the original post.

    2nd paragraph: Green Lanterns should count alongside Black Panther and Spider-Man. They own those titles. Those are titles that won't revert to any previous character. When you read those titles you know you're reading about a person(s) of color and not a place holder.

    This seems more of a fair comparison:

    DC
    Green Lanterns #28 -- 30,024
    Green Lanterns #29 -- 29,451
    Bane Conquest #4 -- 17,615
    New Super-Man #14 -- 12,339
    Blue Beetle #12 -- 11,574
    Cyborg #15 -- 10,949

    Marvel
    Spider-Man #19 -- 30,387
    Black Panther #17 -- 25,609
    Ms Marvels #21 -- 17,010
    Luke Cage #4 -- 12,330
    America #6 -- 9,548
    Moon Girl #22 --7,466
    Last edited by Iconic; 09-16-2017 at 07:36 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFerg714 View Post
    EDIT: DC's got Batwoman headlining two books. Where's the LGBT representation at Marvel?
    Iceman and America got that covered.

    But as for the OPs question, I am just annoyed that Vixen (and Monica Rambeau) aren't better loved and able to carry solos, and that neither DC nor Marvel seem to have more in the way of good non-Legacy Asian, Latino, etc. representation. (I feel like too many are 'Chinese Superman' or 'Latino Blue Beetle' or 'Middle Eastern Green Lantern' or 'Korean Hulk' or 'Black Captain America' and not enough are like Bumblebee or Katana or Black Panther, kind of doing their own thing and not carrying somebody else's flag.)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samm View Post
    [B]

    DC has none at 100+ (unless you count Kyle who was reconned to be Latino) and their 50+ character's will likely never see a solo again due to fanboyism (Cass Cain, John Stewart, Steel, Static... Blue Beetle Is the exception here).
    Not entirely sure how DC's biases have affected Static and Steel (The former is an issue of rights to my knowledge and aside from the long-past (though excellent) 52, there hasn't been anything to really drum up interest in Steel, whose solo did end with bad sales), but if not for editorial's favoritsm, Cass would definitely and John would likely be in the 100+ club.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member El_Gato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    Iceman and America got that covered.

    But as for the OPs question, I am just annoyed that Vixen (and Monica Rambeau) aren't better loved and able to carry solos, and that neither DC nor Marvel seem to have more in the way of good non-Legacy Asian, Latino, etc. representation. (I feel like too many are 'Chinese Superman' or 'Latino Blue Beetle' or 'Middle Eastern Green Lantern' or 'Korean Hulk' or 'Black Captain America' and not enough are like Bumblebee or Katana or Black Panther, kind of doing their own thing and not carrying somebody else's flag.)
    I agree with you. More originality is what I want to see from DC/Marvel and not just setting these characters up for failure because they'll always be the ethnic version of a popular mantle most notably held by a White man. Poor Jessica, Simon, Ryan, Jason, Kenan, and even Jaime are just being set up to fail.

    Thankfully we have Silencer (Black woman) coming in December and Sideways (Latino man) coming in January to look forward to. Those are original concepts like Vixen, Black Lightning, Vibe, Fire, Katana, Cyborg...etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Assam View Post
    Not entirely sure how DC's biases have affected Static and Steel (The former is an issue of rights to my knowledge and aside from the long-past (though excellent) 52, there hasn't been anything to really drum up interest in Steel, whose solo did end with bad sales), but if not for editorial's favoritsm, Cass would definitely and John would likely be in the 100+ club.
    Yeah I agree with this. John and especially Cass would be in the 100+ range if it weren't for editorial favoring the silver age versions. Such a shame really! Thankfully Jaime is closing in on that 100+ range, though it might take a 4th volume to reach that milestone.
    Done with DC. Can't handle the constant whiplash! Time to go on a hiatus!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    But as for the OPs question, I am just annoyed that Vixen (and Monica Rambeau) aren't better loved and able to carry solos, and that neither DC nor Marvel seem to have more in the way of good non-Legacy Asian, Latino, etc. representation. (I feel like too many are 'Chinese Superman' or 'Latino Blue Beetle' or 'Middle Eastern Green Lantern' or 'Korean Hulk' or 'Black Captain America' and not enough are like Bumblebee or Katana or Black Panther, kind of doing their own thing and not carrying somebody else's flag.)
    I kind of doubt that the previous Blue Beetle, would do better than the 'Latino Blue Beetle' it is just not a really popular brand. And Jamie has actually more solo issues under his belt than Ted.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samm View Post
    My question is why do you think that is? Why is their such a wide gap? Marvel has a few minority characters at 100+ solo issues (Shang Chi, Luke Cage, Black Panther) and some newer ones at 50+ (Miles, Miguel, Ms Marvel, War Machine) but DC has none at 100+ (unless you count Kyle who was reconned to be Latino) and their 50+ character's will likely never see a solo again due to fanboyism (Cass Cain, John Stewart, Steel, Static... Blue Beetle Is the exception here).
    The folks who scream DC does it right-DON'T read the books. Most can not tell you a thing that has gone on in any of those books. They are judging by covers.

    Folks who bother to read DC understand. It's not perfect over here either. Fanboyism has been an issue at DC and it has been for years.

    Green Lanterns-many complain about the characterization of both leads at least in the beginning. Some have said it gotten better and others say it has not. So it's where it should be and seems to be doing well on Amazon.

    New Superman-I would say it's in the same boat as Vision-a good read that doesn't get readers. One of those why didn't I read it when it was still begin published.

    Blue Beetle-script issues and Ted fans not happy with how Ted is done.

    Cyborg-He was hard sell to start with. Folks want him with Dick and the others. Other fans of black characters who got screwed over in favor of Cyborg won't touch the book and you got the same old man vs machine story that is now on issue 18. Thus you get a book that looks up to many others and even gets beat by Moon Girl and is the least selling Rebirth trade on amazon.

    Also NONE of these books are getting attention. All these trolls who HATE Marvel have done nothing but give attention to those books. So guess what folks get curious and try those books be it floppy, trade or digital and they end up doing better in some field.

    No one set fire to Cyborg's book like they do to Ms Marvel's book. No one attacked the resume of New Superman's writer like they did Mosaic.

    If DC was doing it right-where are all the articles and youtube vids that support these books? Or show how they are doing it right?

    How is Variant in Cyborg being done right? She is nothing more than damsel in distress in his book. His little buddy is another one of these messed up black boys with no dads turning to crime like Oracle in Birds of Prey.

    What about DC's top selling POC-DUKE THOMAS (since he sometimes appear in Batman) done right? 110 pages out 2500 pages of Batman led books-he has been in. How is that the right way to do a POC?

    How is burying your 3 most successful POC in background roles the right way to do it? Kyle, Cassandra & Steel?

    Right now collectively what have the POC of DC done better than all the POC of Marvel? How many have been given decent role in events? And how sad is it if it's Duke being the first in Dark Forge/Metal-say about the rest of your roster?

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member The_Greatest_Username's Avatar
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    DC's female and LGBT led titles sell better than Marvel's. It's a shame their non-white characters aren't doing the same, but maybe they'll think of something.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by skyvolt2000 View Post
    Blue Beetle-script issues and Ted fans not happy with how Ted is done.
    Just as an aside, I'm a Ted/Blue Beetle fan who is perfectly happy with the role he has in the current series. (Which is different from saying I'm thrilled about how the whole thing is being written.)

    I think it's perfectly reasonable for a superhero - even one I like - to get too old for the game, retire, and become a mentor for a younger hero (or for younger heroes). And that can be an interesting direction for the overall arc of the character to take.

    (Not all characters, mind you, but some.)

    I like Jaime, too. I didn't like the Beetle being a "violent amoral alien symbiont that gives him spiky armor," but that's just my taste.
    Doctor Bifrost

    "If Roy G. Bivolo had seen some B&W pencil sketches, his whole life would have turned out differently." http://doctorbifrost.blogspot.com/

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