NPR

Beyond The Pale (Male): Marvel, Diversity And A Changing Comics Readership

Comments about diversity in superhero comics made last week by a Marvel executive unleashed an online firestorm. But heroes who look more like the growing comics readership are here to stay.

It's a Wednesday at Fantom Comics in Washington, D.C., and the store is bustling.

Every Wednesday is New Comics Day — when subscribers come in to pick up the week's new titles, check in with each other, and talk comics. This Wednesday is no different.

Well. It's a little different.

I'm used to comics-shop chatter that revolves around things like which new books are worth checking out, what storylines have gone one way too long, and which hero could kick which other hero's butt.

Generally speaking, the word demographics doesn't crop up as much as it does today.

"We live in 2017," customer Erin Lisette tells me, "in a day and age where there are so many different demographics reading these comics, and most importantly, children! And it's like, GUYS. Maybe this was okay in the '30s, '40s, maybe even '50s, but come on: there are these kids with brown skin

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