Michael Breakfield of Lone Star Comics in Arlington, Texas, comments on the news that came out of the Marvel Retailer Summit (see "Marvel Retailer Summit -- Day 1, Part 1," "Marvel Retailer Summit -- Day 1, Part 2" and "Marvel's David Gabriel on the 2016 Market Shift")

I must say before I begin, I am a lifelong Marvel Comics fan going all the way back to the 70s.  The Marvel Retailer Summit report by Milton Griepp was extraordinary.  I really thought it was a great article because it beautifully laid out what is wrong at Marvel Comics right now, and it clearly showed Marvel's inability and/or unwillingness to do anything about it.  The most gut-punching moment of the article is when in regards to diminishing sales on a series after the first two issues, David Gabriel asked, "What do you want us to do?"  My response to that is - YOU are the people in the position to DO something about it.  Instead of deflecting and shooting down every single suggestion, maybe actually listen and consider a few of them. 

I had already sent in one response but after reading this again, I had to followup.  This is a quote from a Marvel exec - "What we heard was that people didn't want any more diversity.  They didn't want female characters out there.  That's what we heard..."   Absurd.  I have been in and around the business of comic books for over 35 years and I have never in my life heard anybody say they don't want female characters.  The X-Men lived off a female majority cast for years in the 80s and became the best-selling comic.  Hell, the 90s market was driven by comics with female leads.  I'm just smh.  And, it's not diversity that's a problem, it's the overuse of derivative characters.  Make these characters (who could be great characters by the way), but make them originals.  I don't think I can stomach one more exec referring to a derivative character as a "New Character."     

As I said, I have loved Marvel my whole life, but it just seems these days that it's not just that Marvel Comics are not the same, but that they are just not for me anymore.  Fingers crossed the boys and girls over at the House of Ideas get the ship righted, because it sure seems like things haven't been great now going on four or five years.  It's been okay, but for this industry to be strong, we need Marvel Comics to not just be okay, we need Marvel Comics to be GREAT!

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