Marvel Comics moving away from political issues

As sales sag, Marvel moving away from political issues and trying a new stand.

By Robert Arias, Staff Writer 

In an interview with Newsarama, X-Men writer Marc Guggenheim said he wanted to keep the upcoming X-Men Gold series light and fun for readers. He elaborates, “It’s more about the X-Men as heroes than the X-Men as a struggling minority fighting for their very existence.”

However, Marvel Comics will use one last issue, the upcoming X-Men Gold series, to explore extremism. Guggenheim acknowledges this by explaining he will discuss the topic differently since “there’s more than one way to tell a story about prejudice.”

He reassured fans a return to form with innovated-story arcs every three to four issues,  a return of old characters and a much lighter tone.  “If you’re a fan of the Claremont era, I think X-Men Gold is a book you’ll really respond to.” Claremont era refers to writer Chris Claremont’s take of the X-Men series back in 1975.

Marvel told Comic news site Bleeding Cool that they are aware of the direction their comics have been going. Marvel acknowledges that the upcoming event Secret Empire is “probably too political” for some readers. It is too late to change it since the series is finalized. The event is being marketed as both a quality book and a last attempt for pushing politics though many fans are skeptical.

Marvel has received criticism from long-term fans for getting to political with their comics. Many fans feel politics do not have a place in comics because they often clash with narratives and characters. In an issue of Spider Gwen Annual, a caricature of President Donald Trump played by the antagonist M.O.D.A.A.K. appeared spouting his known rhetoric. Recent Captain America issues feature parallels to extreme cases of political divides in society. Jane Foster’s Thor attempted to silence critics against third wave feminism.

The antagonism against people with different beliefs has forced readers to stray away from comics. Marvel’s sales have been decreasing over the years due to the extensive changes of their characters. Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, and Hulk have received major changes with their identities much to the dismay of fans. According to Comichron, a source for comic book sales, Jane Foster’s Thor issues started with 150,862 estimated sales but dropped down to 86,222 by the end of its first run. Captain America: Sam Wilson made a bigger drop with 62,535 upon first issue to 21,229 for its recent edition.

Guggenheim explains that the political topics have been put aside for the time being. “It’s been awhile since the X-Men have really been able to catch their breath and not worry about the end of mutantkind. We’re really going back to the days where the X-Men could just be heroes, and play softball games, and have soap opera stories and romantic relationships. It’s something you haven’t seen in the X-Men books for a while.”

 

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