Marvel Comics, not Marvel Studios, is bringing back gay Iceman, Bobby Drake with his own series. When they fired editor-in-chief Alex Alonso and replaced him with Akira Yoshida (government name C.B. Cebulski), I thought Marvel Comics was taking a step back from forced diversity.
I guess not.
What’s odd about this move is Marvel Comics just canceled gay Iceman because of low sales. Why then are they bringing it back? Because of popular demand. Seriously, that’s what they said.
This is the headline from Marvel.com:
There’s no demand for the return of a gay Iceman book, popular or otherwise.
Why Marvel Comics canceled gay Iceman
The first solo book for gay Iceman was just canceled after 11 issues for low sales. The following are the sales to comic book shops for Iceman. Sales numbers are from Comichron.Issue six had a huge uptick because it came out the month Marvel unleashed the lenticular covers gimmick that required retails to order a certain number of books to get the lenticular covers.
Marvel Comics canceled gay Iceman because they couldn’t figure out a way to get comic retailers to order the book. Normally the best way to do this is to create a book readers, comic book shop customers, want. That wasn’t working with gay Iceman. Readers didn’t want it.
Readers will not want it when the new series comics out later this year. Nothing’s changed. The same writer who wrote gay Iceman #1 through #11, Sina Grace, is writing this new series.
Why is Marvel Comics bringing gay Iceman back?
My guess is they want an ongoing series that features a gay superhero. It’s a box they can check off and keep checking off on their diversity scorecard.
The problem I have with gay Iceman is I believe it sends the wrong message. It makes it appear that being gay is a choice. I don’t believe that it is. I believe a person is born gay. It’s one of the things that makes you who you are. I don’t think gay people choose to be gay any more than they choose to be tall or short.
Bobby Drake first appeared in X-Men #1 in 1963. He’s older than I am. I don’t get to say that very often. He wasn’t gay back then. He wasn’t gay in the 70s, the 80s, the 90s, or the 00s. Bobby Drake underwent reverse gay conversion by Marvel Comics in 2012.
That’s not the way it works. If a heterosexual can be turned homosexual, then the reverse must be true. Except it’s not.
If Marvel Comics wants a gay superhero than they should create a gay superhero. What they shouldn’t do is retroactively convert a heterosexual character first introduced in 1963 into a homosexual.
How Marvel Comics can boost sales of gay Iceman
If Marvel Comics wants to get comic retailers to order copies of gay Iceman, they need to get creative. I propose that they insert real money in each comic. They should insert one dollar bills, five dollar bills, ten dollar bills, and even twenty dollar bills in each issue of gay Iceman. Most issues will have a one dollar bill inserted into the pages. A few will have a five dollar bill. Few still will have a ten dollar bill. Rare books will contain a twenty dollar bill.
Retailers will order issues of gay Iceman and then go through them to see how much money they’ve won. It will be exciting for them. It will also help cover the financial loss they will endure from ordering books readers don’t want to read.
Granted, it will cost Marvel Comics a lot of money to insert cash into the pages of gay Iceman. Nobody said forced diversity was cheap.
Also published on Medium.