I really appreciate Valerie Gallaher’s post on MTV Geek about the low chart placings for both Katana and Justice League of America’s Vibe:
As a person who has been in this business for a good long while, I expected from the moment I heard these two books were announced for them to have short runs. I expected this based on a mix of all the factors discussed in this post — the unwillingness of readers to read comics featuring diverse characters, the insular nature of mainstream superhero comics culture, and a generic look to the first preview material of said comics.
But DC Comics did try — as they have done many times before — to increase the diversity of their heroes. And they did promote the titles, not leaving them to die in the cradle unloved. So in the quest to have a more inclusive slate of superheroes and comic creators, what is the next step for them here?
It’s worth pointing out that DC has been continually trying when it comes to the New 52 and diversity: With books like Mister Terrific, Static Shock, Blue Beetle and Voodoo, it feels as if DC has been attempting to create new, non-straight-white-male leads with little-to-no response from the audience for months now. Both Katana and Vibe may have seemed like they’d have more success with the Justice League connection, but perhaps the only franchise at DC that is truly bulletproof right now is the Batman family – Batwing is still around, this far into the New 52, after all…
Gallaher’s point is well-made, too; if we want to have a more diverse slate of superheroic characters, and publishers are trying to provide it but the market doesn’t support it, what is to be done?