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Marvel Comics Wants Diversity, But Not in Terms of Hercules and His Bisexuality

Sure, he can be gay ... in the alt universe.

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Diversity is a reality, but we know that’s not the case for much of our fave pieces of media, including comics. So that’s why it’s easy to get super psyched when someone like Marvel Comics Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso says there’s more and more diversity coming our way both in terms of new comics and the people who are writing them. But that’s also why it’s easy to get upset when someone like that doesn’t follow up on a prime opportunity to continue create diverse works of art.

In a new interview with CBR, Alonso talks heavily about how Marvel is trying its hardest to diversify through the “All-New, All-Different Marvel” initiative, making big, sweeping statements like this one to show his workplace’s hard work:

We have incredibly exciting stuff to announce in the next few months–titles, artists and writers– building to a crescendo for Black History Month.

And this one:

We are always looking for the best new talent — male, female, White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Straight, Gay. A perusal of the writers and artists who’ve become regular contributors in just the last 2-3 years shows that: Felipe Smith (All-New Ghost Rider), Stacy Lee (Silk), Mahmud Asrar, (All-New X-Men), Robbi Rodriguez (Spider-Gwen), Sanford Greene (Runaways), Damion Scott (All-New Ghost Rider), Mike Del Mundo (Weirdworld), Joe Quinones (Howard the Duck), Ramón Pérez (All-New Hawkeye), Ramon Rosanas (Ant-Man), Erica Henderson (Squirrel Girl), Jorge Molina (A-Force).

And this one too:

We are experiencing a lull in African-American writers at this moment, but it is temporary. We will be announcing new series very soon that will prove that. I’m talking about new voices, familiar voices and one writer whose voice is heard round the world.

This is all great. Real great. Super great, even. But then things turn to Hercules, a character that just recently got his own new series from Dan Abnett and Luke Ross and had a bisexual relationship with Wolverine in X-Treme X-Men. When asked if Hercules will indeed not be straight in his solo series, Alonso responds with this:

Hercules and James Howlett’s relationship in X-Treme X-Men took place in a unique alternate universe, similar to how Colossus was gay in the Ultimate Universe, but is straight in the 616. Same goes for Hercules here.

So, in other words, Marvel is not going to jump on the opportunity to have a bisexual male protagonist. Oh, and those times he was into more than just girls, those are strictly going to remain an alt universe phase? Sigh.

CBR attempted to get Alonso to talk a bit more about this decision, he declined to answer further Herc questions. So, we can talk about diversity at great length until it comes to actually talking about diversity? “All-New, All-Different”? More like Same-Old, Same-Old.

(image via Marvel Comics)

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