Originally Posted by Chewy
The problem is that the majority of the long-running, popular characters are white dudes. Most of Marvel's biggest characters are products of the 60s. And nobody wants to replace those characters - the fans like em, their books sell, they've been fixtures of the comics for 50 years. It's harder to take newer, minority characters and give them that push.
When Hickman sits down to plan out his Avengers roster, he has to use the movie 6, Spider-Man, and Wolverine. I think the other 10 characters he chose are a pretty good, diverse group. But you'll still get people complaining that it's not a diverse group, and there's a bit of truth in that - he started with 7 white dudes.
Marvel's been doing a good job at pushing characters like Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and soon Falcon, both in the comics and other media. They had to start with their big 4, those are their icons, but it'll be nice to see their movies expand to represent some of that diversity, too.
It'd be nice to see an LGBT character get that push but they still haven't really found/made one that works and can attract that kind of audience. They just need to get a writer who works with an LGBT character that clicks, and it'll come. Hopefully. But it needs to kind of come about naturally, I don't think forcing it will work on any front.
This. Forcing a character to be gay or creating an all new gay or ethnic character out of a desire just to have one for the novelty and not as a result of an organic storytelling will come off as trite and like a marketing scam to grab readers. We need it to be naturally occurring. Miles in USM who initially was felt by many to be a marketing move has, through not forcing his story, become the highest selling ( i believe ) Ultimate Universe book.
With regards to the religious aspect I've never felt the need to have to identify with the religious beliefs of the character in order to get more from it. Granted i'm atheist, but whether Captain Britain has a longer Lord's prayer than a Roman Catholic is a matter of in-consequence to me. Though are there any atheist superheroes or villains out of a matter of interest? None spring to mind really.
That all being said I always thought Peter Parker was some manner of Protestant whilst Bendis recently joked that he must be jewish because of the guilt