A surprising number of adults read superhero comic books. So the strange experiment that Marvel Comics conducted in “diversity” is news worthy story. The media organization noted that a great many of its superhero characters were white males. So its writers set to work repairing that state of affairs. The Mighty Thor became a woman. Iron Man became a teenage African American girl. People stopped buying Marvel Comics. So, the conclusion of the marketing wizards who came up with these absurdities is that the customer base for comic books hate diversity.

To be sure, one can get away with messing with the ethnicity of iconic characters. Samuel L. Jackson does an excellent job portraying Nick Fury because he is a great actor and a good fit in that role. But Thor is not a woman. He is never a woman. Norse mythology always depicts him as a big faired haired dude with a hammer. Iron Man must always be Tony Stark. Some things can only be messed with at great peril.

The problem with Marvel Comics’ experiment is not that involved “diversity” but that it involved messing with the nature of long established iconic characters for no other reason than they were the wrong race and gender. The way to do diversity is to develop new characters of various races, genders, sexual preferences, gender identities, and so on and add them to the Marvel Universe.

Do you want a female Norse superhero? The mythology provides plenty of examples. You want a teenage African American girl to wear a metal flying suit? There is no need to get rid of Tony Stark to make way for her. Stark could use the competition.

Marvel has already done diversity right. Black Panther was one of the very first superheroes of color, having made his debut in 1966.

Captain Marvel, one of the comics’ first female superheroes, showed up a year later, to be sure 26 years after DC rolled out Wonder Woman. But they didn’t replace any beloved characters.

One can hope that Marvel Comics does not take the wrong lesson from the failure of its experiment and conclude that its customer base is somehow unworthy. That is a prescription to further drive down sales.