I love what John Romita Jr. has to say: I've been saying this since Marvel Comics replaced Richard Rider Nova!
Just make new characters! Don't piss off the fans by replacing their favorites (and Captain Marvel writer G. Willow Wilson agrees!)!
And that is exactly what DC Comics is doing with their new Dark Matter initiative!
DC isn't killing off and replacing Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman! No! They're using their top creators to launch brand new characters.
Common sense! Guess Marvel is missing that, though.
Newsarama reports at the press announcement for DC's Dark Matter that the diverse and replacement characters topic became rather "hot" with superstar artist John Romita Jr. specifically responding to recent comments made by Marvel Comics EIC Axel Alsono about artists not mattering and not being able to sell books, as well as Marvel's policy of replacing characters and ticking off fans.
I love this!
Here's what JRJR had to say on replacing characters with diverse ones:
"There's a cynical side to this, to your point," said Romita. "Why are you creating these characters just to add more diversity when everyone knows you're doing that?"
"If somebody had taken the Punisher, and made him female instead of who he is now - Frank Castle is now Francine Castle - that would piss me off. We've got two choices - well, three, but we're not doing any transgenders just yet. I just don't think of this as diversity, I think of it as just a new character. I think it's great to have a new character. I just don't look at is a diversity thing, because there have been great female characters and great characters of color through the decades."
One of the reasons it doesn't work is when you take a character that everyone's known for a long time, and because we want to create that diversity, you say 'I'm just gonna change this'," Romita added. "That's force-fitting, it's retrofitting, and it never works comfortably. The idea is to create new characters...to be judged on their own merit."
And on Marvel EIC Axel Alonso's artist comments:
"Marvel doesn't hire high-priced artists anymore. They hire high-priced writers instead, and they figure they can just fill in the artist later. And I take exception to that. We have written these books. We have helped create the story. We manifested the idea," Romita continued, saying he believes it is the partnership of artists and writers that makes for great comic books.
When it comes down to it: DC=fan friendly.
Marvel=not so much.