Every Single One Of Marvel’s GLAAD Award-Nominated Comics Has Been Cancelled

Every Single One Of Marvel’s GLAAD Award-Nominated Comics Has Been Cancelled

Every year, the LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD recognises and awards a selection of television shows, films and books that feature powerful portrayals of queer people. This year, a number of Marvel’s comics were recognised for the contributions they have made to queer culture, but those nominations were bittersweet for one incredibly disappointing reason: They have all been cancelled.

Image: Marvel

America (from Gabby Rivera and Joe Quinones), Black Panther: World of Wakanda (Roxane Gay, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Yona Harvey, Alitha E. Martinez and Afua Richardson) and Iceman (Sina Grace, Alessandro Vitti and Robert Gill) have each been nominated for GLAAD’s 2018 Outstanding Comic Book category, and with good reason. Over the course of their respective arcs, each series explored various parts of the queer experience in ways that, frankly, are new for comics. Iceman‘s dug into Bobby Drake’s coming out as a gay man later in life; America‘s focused on what it’s like to be a queer immigrant going to university for the first time; and World of Wakanda delved into the complicated intimate lives of the Dora Milaje.

But all of these books recently met their ends, as so many new, progressive comic books do these days. Low sales led to their cancellation just as an entirely new audience was sure to hear about the books, specifically because of their being nominated for GLAAD awards and other honours.

As has been the case with these sort of cancellations in the past, it isn’t difficult to understand the why of Marvel’s decision. The publisher is, above all else, in the business of making money, and if certain comics don’t sell, it makes sense to cut them. At the same time, though, it stings a little to see all of Marvel’s comics with queer leads up for awards like this – and it makes you wonder what might have become of the series and their sales numbers if they’d been given a chance to continue after this sort of high-profile nomination.


  • Have you read the books? they just weren’t good. an award may have spiked sales for an Issue or two but, as it turns out those LGBTQ+ characters were in fact horrible people that a seem to be disliked even by their target audience. Dunno why theyv’e been nominated for anything when they aren’t any good. Hell their writers were horrible people as well and that’s half the problem. Gabby (America’s writer) was rather blatantly racist and sexist on twitter and that really bled into the comic.

    tl;dr horrible comics that shouldn’t even be nominated in the first place really.

  • I tried to get in to few, but like the heavily political runs outta Marvel lately I find the characters to be a little boring and two dimensional.

    I can completely understand why representation is important to many, it’s not their sexuality that’s kept me away.
    I just don’t think a gay superhero is very interesting alone when you can have a complex and detailed character who’s also gay among a number of other things.

  • Like a lot of Academy Award nominated/winning movies, being relevant to the current political climate does not guarantee you sales and that is all that can keep a comics series in print. This isn’t just a Marvel issue, even DC’s Omega Men a comic written by the now wildly popular Tom King was cancelled and that was a great series with some awesome art.

    Then Marvel is also facing an issue where a lot of their more well known writers are crossing the floor to DC (this is obviously only temporary as talent changes hands all the time) at a time when their sales are weakening, but instead of consolidating their lines they are just releasing new ones means that someone in financing must be shaking their head.

    In 2017 Marvel had a higher market sale share (5-10% more), but the amount of series they were running was over double that of DC in 2017.

  • There is actually a little more to it than just making money though. Marvel makes most of its money off merchandise, it also makes a lot out of subscription services and trades (collected volumes). Thing is, digital reads and trades sales aren’t always taken into account when a comic is cancelled. Some get cancelled before the first trade is even published. Comic retail is stuck in an old model that was only ever good for short term market share. Presales are what counts for comics, even if it is a dying market. Old school comics fans spend the same, or less, but their dollar is earned sooner and is therefore more highly weighted. It’s a dying model, but the comic publishers haven’t caught up.

  • The issue here is that being gay doesn’t make a character, it’s a part of a character along with other traits. Marvel made sexuality the driving characteristic of most of the characters in those books, not going more than a few panels without needing to mention “gay this” or “progressive that” or “oppressive narrative” from someone in the book.

    Out of the three I was reading more of America than I thought I should. The story was trash but the character, once you got past all the modern “progressiveness” bullshit, was really good. She has a great background, interesting family she discovers and uses that to build upon herself. But bogging it all down with the University and having it mirror SJW police state campuses hurt the book too much.

    Case and point: I went into my LCS and was chatting with a couple of female readers who only just now heard about America because of the cancellations. They are only now picking the book up thanks to articles like this which are “too little, too late”.

    The only time sites report on books like these is when people take issue with them, they are cancelled, or some other negativity to be used for clicks. Maybe if places like Kotaku promoted these books more in a positive light when they are out there, then they might have a chance to sell.

    • Umm… You know Kotaku has been very veeeerrry proactive about endorsing a lot of these comics right?

      They’ve run articles on America, Iceman, Squirrel Girl, etc.

      Just do a quick search and you will come up with all the articles they’ve ran to try and endorse these series. You can only push a series so far but if the writing on the story or delivery of the characters falls flat to just being one dimensional you’re never going to hold people’s attention (heck you can’t even use ‘fanservice sells’ either since Silk also bombed).

      I am rather cut that Gwenpool is also another casualty here since it had very good premise and writing IMHO as well as having a generally great main character.

  • America has issue #12 due for release next month, but while there wasn’t an issue listed in the March solicitations it hasn’t been announced as cancelled.

    Iceman, though, is cancelled as of issue #11 in March.

  • I don’t give a damn if Iceman is gay. I don’t give a damn if he’s straight. He can be asexual, pansexual, quadsexual, whatever the fuck.

    I want to read about how he exploits his superhuman abilities (and how he mitigates his peer’s and is own weaknesses) to overcome outlandish situations in the Marvel Universe.

    For me, Marvel died in the arse years ago, when I read an X Men comic that was solely dedicated to a conversation between a teenager and his friend, about how the teenager wanted to cancel his date with someone because he felt ugly. Way too much filler on how the heroes feel about each other.

  • Geez who would of thought that making the comics more about the characters sexuality than about them using their powers to battle super villains would backfire…?

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