Marvel boss says some retailers are blaming sales fall on diverse characters
A boss at Marvel says some retailers are blaming a fall in sales on its move towards more diverse characters.
David Gabriel told industry website ICv2 a number of comic store owners are reporting that readers are "turning their noses up" at diversity and don't "want female characters".
Comic book sales have been falling at the company since October.
But some fans argue it's actually rebooted and complicated storylines putting them off instead.
In the last few years, Marvel's brought in more gay, non-white and female characters.
But many are new versions of old characters and some fans aren't happy about that.
They include a female Thor, a mixed-race Spider-Man, a black teenager who took over the Iron Man story and a Muslim Ms Marvel.
Iceman also came out as gay.
However, The Mighty Thor is still Marvel's second-highest selling ongoing superhero series - according to Comic Book Resources.
The same publication insists diversity isn't "killing" Marvel's sales and instead says comic book figures are down across the board.
In 2015, figures suggested the female version of Thor was outselling the original male title.
But at a Marvel Retailer summit, David Gabriel said sellers had told him fans were sticking to old favourites.
"What we heard was that people didn't want any more diversity," he said. "That's what we heard, whether we believe that or not.
"I don't know that that's really true, but that's what we saw in sales.
"Any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up."
Gabriel later released a clarifying statement, saying some retailers felt a few core Marvel heroes were being abandoned.
He also argued there was a fan base for adapted characters like Ms Marvel and Miles Morales.
"We have also been hearing from stores that welcome and champion our new characters and titles and want more," he said.
"Let me be clear, our new heroes are not going anywhere.
"We are proud and excited to keep introducing unique characters that reflect new voices and new experiences into the Marvel universe."