Marvel Support/Sales Bias: Mockingbird vs Scarlet Witch vs All-New X-Factor



Most people are aware by now of the Mockingbird situation. The below cover was used for the comic book, and a bunch of assholes decided to harass the comic book’s writer for it until she had to get off Twitter.

Since yesterday, the comic book shot up Amazon’s lists, putting it at #1 for print copies of comic books and #5 for Kindle. The huge sales jump comes after Marvel canceled the solo comic book due to what it cites as low sales. Out of this, science fiction writer Annalee made an important point on Twitter: comic books worked on by women or that feature women not receiving marketing and reviews means people don’t know about comic books they might want to read.

This feed right into something I’ve been saying about how Marvel treated All-New X-Factor and continues to treat Polaris, so now I’m writing a Tumblr post about it. Read on for more.

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The reason Scarlet Witch hasn’t been cancelled is because she’s in the MCU movies. Kelly Sue’s last Captain Marvel run didn’t sell well, neither did Remender’s Captain America run.

She-Hulk is another one. The last run was selling at least 2000 copies above the Marvel minimum sales figure every issue when they cancelled it.

Alonso has been on record saying “if the movies do well, the comics will follow”. Basically, if a hero is in the movies or Netflix, they’ll keep getting solos because Marvel have no idea what it is they’re actually doing anymore.

There are two elements I’m aware of behind why the Scarlet Witch solo is still running while Mockingbird and ANXF were canceled despite their selling better while getting no marketing or support from Marvel.

The first element is what you pointed out: she’s in the MCU. Someone else I know has claimed that the comics are now nothing more than an advertising venue for the films, and this situation goes a long way toward backing up their assertions. Marvel seems to think that if the character exists in films, then the character should have a comic book no matter how it sells in order to show their support for the movie character.

The second element is the forced retcon on Wanda and Pietro’s parentage. Marvel blatantly forced that retcon to separate the twins from Magneto and the X-Men franchise, because Fox owns the sole film rights to all mutants/X-Men characters except the twins. Throughout the Scarlet Witch solo book, a lot of emphasis has been placed on Wanda “finding her roots,” in other words trying to build a backstory for Wanda to rip her further and further away from her actual roots with the Magnus family.

Peter David didn’t even know the forced retcon was coming, and at the time he was actively writing Lorna and Pietro as brother and sister on All-New X-Factor, and had an issue of Wanda and Lorna interacting as sisters with ANXF #14.

It’s also important to bear in mind that Quicksilver doesn’t have a solo book, hasn’t been provided with any such “looking into his roots” stuff, and only showed up on the Scarlet Witch solo for an issue to be written acting like a tool. This is also because of Marvel’s little spat with Fox. Fox got to Quicksilver first and gave him a much bigger platform, so Marvel doesn’t want people to notice him as much as Wanda.

For all Marvel’s talk about supporting women, listening to what fans want, etc, none of it’s true. If it was, they would have given Mockingbird and All-New X-Factor (Polaris) the same support and opportunities as the Scarlet Witch solo.

In my opinion, Marvel’s treatment of these three books and characters demonstrates that it’s all just a corporate strategy to them, a stance they’ll readily abandon the second it’s not a character they’re heavily promoting in the MCU or that they don’t have the film rights for.

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