Back in December I wondered if Marvel’s next “big” event, Fear Itself, would be just another round of liberal claptrap force fed to us for $4.00 and issue. I was partially right—the claptrap was there, but it only cost me $2.99!
Let me set the stage. Something is very wrong in New York City. Citizens have been taken with fear, and they’re acting out in irrational ways. Spider-Man is working overtime (what else is new?) to keep the city from tearing itself apart. Cue Naveed Moshtaghi, a taxi driver and Iranian immigrant. Naveed’s vehicle is hit by an angry white guy, who then blames the accident on Naveed: “He’s one of the terrorists. He wants to kill us all!” says the aggressor. A mob swarms around Naveed, swallowing him whole until Spider-Man saves the day.
At this point I’m willing to give writer Chris Yost a break. Maybe the “God of Fear” is really behind it all. I’m even willing to shrug off a narrator who begins, “Naveed Moshtaghi is afraid of the same thing he’s been afraid of for ten years,” (i.e., Americans are just itching for an excuse to bum rush Muslims post-9/11 to infinity and beyond), right before the story unfolds that way.
But then something interesting happens. All alone on a rooftop, Spider-Man tells the man he’s dealing with the crisis very well. Naveed responds:
“I’m a second generation Iranian in New York City. Living in fear, that’s what I’m used to. What is happening down there, sometimes I think it was only a matter of time.”
Has Marvel been reading DC’s Superman (the kid from Krypton with a super-sized crush on the United Nations, even though they put countries with the worst human rights records on human-rights councils)? What’s with the Iranian love fests as of late, whereas police state goons respond to Superman’s “peaceful protest” by handing flowers to protesters, and Marvel Universe’s New York City stokes more fear than an actual fear society?
Dear Naveed (or should I say Chris Yost and Matt Fraction and Joe Quesada?),
You’ve probably never heard of Neda. And I’m not just saying that because she’s dead, murdered by police state thugs. Or because you couldn’t recognize her as she went into shock. Or because her eyes rolled into the back of her head as she died. Or because she was covered in blood as her friends cradled her in their arms.
No, my liberal writer friends at Marvel, you don’t know Neda because you apparently don’t want to know. You stay willfully ignorant, creating fictional universes imbued with a liberal interpretation of what you think the world is really like. In the limited panel space you have, you chose to highlight an immigrant whose family left the Middle East so they could walk on eggshells in New York City. You write characters whose deepest darkest fears about what really lurks in hearts of Americans end up being true! Meanwhile, officers at West Point have to deal with a civilian population that increasingly doesn’t understand (or was that “fear”, Mr. Yost?) their mission. I wonder why that is, Marvel.
While I certainly don’t want a sanitized Marvel Universe any more than I want the “C” in DC Comics to stand for “Chomsky,” I find it just a little bit distasteful how often the liberal worldview is shoved down my throat by the “creative officers” and “talent” with each publication.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch video of Neda dying again. In Iran. In the real world. Where there isn’t a Spider-Man to save her or a Superman to sit idly by in peaceful protest. Perhaps it will remind me how much different America is from the authoritarian black holes littering the world.