Are comic books institutionally racist? Well, according to one Marvel editor, the answer is yes.
Marvel editor Tom Brevoort had some unpleasant things to say about comic books and their audiences when he was asked about selling titles with non-American leads, saying that it was difficult to make any title with lead character that is anything other than a white, American male.
"Because we're an American company whose primary distribution is centered around America, the great majority of our existing audience seems to be white American males ... whenever your leads are white American males, you've got a better chance of reaching more people overall. "
It's a pretty damning statement, and one that most comic books fans will likely refute, but it goes quite a way to explaining the prevalence of white, male American superheroes. However, Disney's talent for marketing may change the landscape of comics; we'll just have to wait and see.