Ms Marvel Cock Knocker

Marvel comics has some interesting priorities. It allowed Dan Slott to kill one of the most popular characters of all time — Peter Parker — and has been dragging its feet on bringing him back ever since. It recently announced an embarrassing new origin for Tony Stark. Tens-of-thousands of long time readers might be livid, but Marvel wants you to know that it’s all going to be okay because this February they’ll be introducing … a Muslim superhero who has the ability to look a lot like “Cock Knocker” from Kevin Smith’s ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back’? Weird.

The Outhousers reports:

Marvel announced to the New York Times that G Willow Wilson (writer of the short-lived revival of the Crossgen series Mystic) will be writing a new Ms. Marvel series starring Kamala Khan, a Muslim American teenage girl with the ability to shapeshift.  According to the Times, Khan idolizes Carol Danvers and takes up her original codename after discovering her powers.

Okay. Fair enough. Marvel gets to put out a press release and pat itself on the back for being “diverse.” Sure. But questions remain: Is this going to be a book on how all Americans are apparently fearful of Muslims, or will the superhero use her powers to save Muslims like Malala Yousafzai before they’re shot in the face and left for dead by Pakistani Taliban psychopaths? Or, will the book primarily just be about the struggles of a teenage girl?

The New York Times sheds some light on the issues:

Kamala will face struggles outside her own head, including conflicts close to home. “Her brother is extremely conservative,” [Marvel editor] Ms. Amanat said. “Her mom is paranoid that she’s going to touch a boy and get pregnant. Her father wants her to concentrate on her studies and become a doctor.” Next to those challenges, fighting supervillains may be a respite.

The creative team is braced for all possible reactions. “I do expect some negativity,” Ms. Amanat said, “not only from people who are anti-Muslim, but people who are Muslim and might want the character portrayed in a particular light.”

But “this is not evangelism,” Ms. Wilson said. “It was really important for me to portray Kamala as someone who is struggling with her faith.” The series, Ms. Wilson said, would deal with how familial and religious edicts mesh with super-heroics, which can require rules to be broken.

It’s really hard to comment on the book before it’s come out. I want to give Marvel the benefit of the doubt, but how can I? History indicates that they’ll go the politically correct route. Remember when Marvel wanted Spider-Man readers to know that Muslims are safer in Iran than New York? I do.

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 is 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.”

Those darn white guys. Indeed, it was all just a “matter of time.” Maybe they were the same white Christian guys the Pentagon fears these days. Who knows.

Regardless, the point is, Marvel wonders why fans roll their eyes every time there is a new character seemingly invented for the sole purpose of throwing a diversity parade. Usually, those creations have less to do with adding an interesting new personality to the universe and more to do with beating readers over the head with a particular worldview. Don’t believe me? See DC’s Muslim Green Lantern.

Will I check out Ms. Marvel when it hits shelves? Perhaps. Although, quite honestly, it seems as though Marvel should get right with Spider-Man and Iron Man fans before it starts asking readers to fork over cash for teenage shapeshifters.

Related: Check out Hubes take over at the Colossus of Rhodey

Advertisements

About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

103 comments

  1. You know, the instant I heard this, I thought about the Simon Baz Green Lantern. I ultimately don’t care what a character looks like or what their religion is as long as he or she is interesting, but it’s so obvious that this is a PC stunt.

    If it indulges in anti-Americanism and the alleged “discrimination” against Muslims, I’ll give it three or four issues tops.

    1. Will Ms. Marvel fly to Iran and stop a woman who is being stoned to death? Will she go to Pakistan and stop an honor killing? Will she go to Saudi Arabia and … drive a car? 😉 Or, will she have to beat up some evil white teenagers who make fun of her hijab? Let me bust out my Magic 8 Ball, although I think I know the answers to those questions already.

      Just give me strong characters, Marvel. I don’t need you putting out press releases so everyone talks about how awesomely awesome you are for your diversity. Call me when you have a Coptic Christian superhero who has to live in Egypt if you want to play that game. By day he’s hunted down and persecuted; by night he’s saving the lives of the men who seek to kill him for his religious beliefs…

    2. Though she live in Hoboken, I think she’s supposed to be a NYC centered hero, so she’ll probably save a bunch of Firemen and Police Men, struggling to undo the bad impression all New Yorkers hold of Muslims, for reasons Marvel probably finds unjustified.

    3. I remember saying something similar regarding a Coptic Christian superhero a while back, in regards to the Simon Baz Green Lantern. The idea is very intriguing to me, since to my knowledge no one has created such a superhero.

      I’d be willing to bet that this will be an exercise in political correctness and instead of the ideas you suggested, Doug, we’ll see her being discriminated against by white dudes, pulled over by the cops and maybe even be framed for a bomb attack by Nick Fury (just as Baz was apparently set-up by DC’s top spy Amanda Waller) and SHIELD.

      And did you see Marvel’s editor EIC Axel Alonso say that “When you see Spider-Man strip down his mask and he looks like you, you are more inspired to pick up that book.” He’s referring to the black Ultimate Spider-Man from a few years ago, but to me the statement’s troubling. He’s basically implying that you can only like characters who look like you. That’s weird, because a couple of my favorite superheroes (Blade and Luke Cage) are black. I could name more, but you probably get my point.

      I just want intriguing characters and stories, but all Marvel seems to do is either kill them off and replace the with a villain that we’re supposed to root for instead (Spider-Man), alter their origin into something completely nonsensical (Iron Man) and create new characters for PC purposes. And pissing people off instead of telling good stories.

    4. Other characters Marvel could consider: Ainu from Japan or Armenians whose ancestors dealt with the Armenian Genocide, to name just two examples.

    5. There are plenty of nationalities and ethnicities out there that they could consider, but their view of diversity seems to be quite limited. More I can think of: the Magars of Nepal, the Magyars of Hungary, the Kurds, etc.

    6. Carl: Yeah, there’s plenty of ethnicities. Marvel is an American publisher. So they’re going to focus on minority groups within the US, at least for now. Maybe once the idea of a Muslim character in a solo title becomes commonplace, they’ll move onto something else. But for the most part, they’re going to use minorities that may actually read the books. A Muslim kid may see the new Ms. Marvel and decide to check it out because she’s a character whose life experiences aren’t that different from their own. The groups you named don’t have large numbers in the US.

    7. Marvel Comics is introducing its first major superhero who is a female Muslim. The female Muslim superhero can fly, which comes in handy because she’s not allowed to drive.
      – Conan O’Brien, November 06, 2013

  2. When I first saw the headline to this announcement from Marvel I was really hoping they were announcing Monet was going to become the new Ms. Marvel. You know the female Muslim mutant, who is no longer being used in the X-Factor comic. I mean she practically has the same powers as Ms. Marvel (now Captain Marvel), at least the flight and super strength. I can’t help but wonder what factors led to Marvel deciding to use a new character. Did Monet not meet the idea of a Muslim woman that they are trying to depict? Maybe they wanted a clean slate. Maybe they didn’t want to use a mutant. Honestly, if I were to guess, they probably just want to use an inhuman because the event creating a bunch of them just occurred.

    But considering she actually has a history in the Marvel universe, I would be a lot more compelled to support a comic focused on Monet than I am to pick up a comic focused a new character who will probably disappear from the Marvel universe as inhumans tend to do.

    1. Did Monet not meet the idea of a Muslim woman that they are trying to depict?

      I haven’t read X-Factor in ages, but I’m inclined to think this is the case. To some extent they’ll probably use Malala Yousafzai as a template, which is admirable, but then they’ll douse it in anti-American PC junk.

    2. Monet was a good character. She would occasionally deal with the double burden of being hated for both being Muslim and a mutant, but they were never heavy handed about it. There was actually a story-line where her father was kidnapped by terrorists who threatened to behead him if she did not surrender which is not really what you would expect from Marvel when dealing with Muslim character.

      Of course Peter David’s run on X-Factor has been mostly good and the comic seems to be fairly autonomous from the rest of Marvel. I’m skeptical about the team being used for the new comic next year, but I’m glad they’re letting him continue to write it.

    3. Really? I didn’t know that. Thanks for the clarification. I used to like Peter David (especially his original runs on Hulk, X-Factor and Young Justice) but his politics in recent years have alienated me from checking out his work; I remember an issue or two of YJ where he had an anti-gun storyline involving Arrowette that I thought was stupid and forced. I don’t read modern comics largely because of PC junk and how politics have crept into the superhero narratives.

    4. A few reasons I can see for not using Monet as Ms. Marvel. First, Monet would NEVER use someone else’s name. She has way too much pride and ego for that. She would never lower herself to being a legacy character. Second, she’s going to be in the adjectiveless X-Men come December. So she’s not being forgotten. A third reason might be that her faith has never been a prominent part of her character, and they want to explore a character whose faith is important.

  3. OK, here’s the thing: Peter Parker will be back. The current story? It’s a temporary thing. It has two purposes: Destroying Peter’s life (because we all want him to be living in a state of perpetual misery), and showing why he’s actually the superior Spider-Man. Iron Man’s origin doesn’t really do much to destroy the character. So he’s adopted – so what? He’s still a genius. All his achievements are still his. So there’s nothing to make right there.

    But here’s the other thing: Let’s say those two are ruined. That’s two straight white male characters ruined. There’s still Captain America, Thor, Daredevil (who currently has two books), Wolverine (who currently has three books), Deadpool (who currently has two books), another Spider-Man mini that actually does star Peter . . . straight white males are still well-represented in terms of solo titles at Marvel. Now, let’s look at the Marvel solo titles that don’t fit that. There’s Captain Marvel, Nova, and Ultimate Spider-Man. And that’s it, right now. And Captain Marvel’s been cancelled until March.

    So guys like us, we’ve got a tons of representation. People who aren’t like us? Not so much. And those people want and deserve to have characters whose backgrounds and life experiences reflect their own. And a lot of people, like me, actually really enjoy reading about characters who have different experiences.

    This is not tokenism. This is not some sort of “political correctness” move. This is Marvel realizing, “Hey, wait, maybe we should give this a try.” The attitude you’re presenting here is very much a privileged one. It’s one that can really only be held by the group who’s already well-represented. It’s an “I got mine, why should I care about anyone else’s?” type of view. And that’s a problem.

    As for your question about whether she’ll be fighting oppression in other countries, well, no, I don’t imagine she will. Why would she? She’s a teenager from Jersey. She’s got plenty of her own problems to worry about. And the idea that because there’s worse things going on elsewhere, relatively minor problems over here shouldn’t be bothered with, that is, again, a privileged, stupid and offensive viewpoint. “They kill people in Pakistan, so who cares if someone uses a slur over here?” The writer and editor are both Muslims living in the US. So odds are, if they include any references to discrimination, it’ll probably be based on discrimination they’ve faced in their own lives. Like, say, I don’t know, the idiotic furor over the “Ground Zero Mosque,” which was actually literally none of those things. (It wasn’t a mosque, and it wasn’t at Ground Zero. It was a community centre a couple blocks away. And the majority of people in Manhattan – meaning the people who actually walk by that area every day – had no problem with it.) Or the towns that tried to ban the construction of mosques. Or even just casual discrimination they’ve likely faced, since – despite what a lot of straight white males would like to believe – discrimination actually does still exist.

    What Marvel’s doing here is great. It’s a positive move, and it deserves to be applauded. They’re creating greater diversity among their characters, and they’re also adding what looks to be an interesting character in her own right. Maybe you’d rather be cynical about this, but I choose to be excited and optimistic. Marvel’s been making some great strides lately in terms of diversity, and I’m glad to see them keep making more efforts.

    1. “What Marvel’s doing here is great. It’s a positive move, and it deserves to be applauded. ”

      No…it reeks of a bad diversity publicity stunt which the big two are all too fond of doing and failing to deliver on (Alan Scott in the New 52, anyone). Also white guilt which, coming from a Puerto-Rican dude who has delicious caramel colored skin, should logically mean to PC neo-libs that it smells ESPECIALLY bad.

    2. I don’t think it is a publicity stunt. While Marvel is obviously hoping it’ll get a lot of publicity, they hope all their books get publicity. The people involved in this are dedicated to putting out a good story. For the writer, artists, editors – the most important thing to do is to tell a good story. For the people higher up, they hope this book sells well and makes money. They hope it brings in new readers. That it maybe appeals to Muslims who are happy to see a character whose experiences reflect their own.

      I also don’t buy the “white guilt” argument. I think that’s ridiculous. How is it “white guilt” to put out a book that has a non-white character in the lead?

    3. This is nothing more than a PC liberal stunt. The blurb already tells us that her arch enemy will be her extremely conservative brother.

      The liberal media will lap this up and will blame conservative cobservative white men when is fails.

      Win-win situation here Marvel! Double thumbs up :D!

    4. That’s just stupid. It’s not “PC,” it’s not a stunt, and it’s only “liberal” if you think that promoting diversity is an inherently liberal ideal. Maybe I’m wrong, but I assume most conservatives aren’t racists who think non-white people shouldn’t be in the media except as villains. I like to think that most conservatives actually don’t have a problem with greater diversity in the media, and even support efforts in that direction.

      For the record, her brother is a conservative Muslim, which is exactly the kind of thing conservatives like to speak out against. He’s not conservative in the sense of wanting to audit the Fed. He’s conservative in terms of having a stricter view of Islam. And he’s hardly going to be her “arch-nemesis” – he’s just her brother, and she has to deal with him, much as many other teen girls have had to deal with brothers.

      Also, no one will blame conservatives if the book fails. If it’s just not a particularly good book, then we’ll blame the creators. If it’s a really good book that just never catches an audience, we’ll actually be blaming the audience for being unwilling to take a risk on any new characters, and especially female characters.

      And one more thing to keep in mind: This is getting a lot of attention because it’s unusual. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you actually have no problem with minorities in media, and that your complaint is when minority characters are specifically highlighted as minorities. Right? You’d say that’s a fair summation of your viewpoint? Maybe some details lost in the brevity, but basically accurate? And there’s probably a lot of black characters that you’re a big fan of. Right? But black characters are no longer unusual. They haven’t been for quite a while. Muslim characters still are. So for right now, whenever a Muslim character shows up, the fact that the character is a Muslim is going to get a lot of attention, simply because people aren’t really used to it yet.

      It’s also worth keeping in mind that a person’s faith is generally a pretty important part of that person’s life. So when there’s a Muslim character, odds are the fact that they’re Muslim is going to be something that defines them. Same as gender, nationality, age, and a ton of other things. Faith plays a greater or lesser role from one person to the next. For the new Ms. Marvel, it’ll be a significant part, but it won’t be the whole of who she is. The fact that she’s a Captain Marvel fangirl looks like it’ll be just as important, and so is the fact that she’s 16.

      It is not a “PC stunt” to have a character who belongs to a certain faith actually speak about that faith. A Christian talking about Christianity or a Jew talking about Judaism aren’t “PC,” either. It’s simply people talking about something they care deeply about. Should comics just never talk about religion? Should there be no Christians in comics? No Jews? For those of you who think yes, you clearly don’t much care about comics, or you’d realize that they’ve always tackled complex social issues and the things that define the human condition, including things like race and religion.

    5. How naive. I agree that a story about struggles of a Muslim would be worthwhile.

      However the struggles of an american Muslim pale in comparison. Its a PC liberal stunt as the liberal heads or marvel are using the characters religion as a selling point. Not the story!

      You also seem to have no idea about the liberal bias in the comics industry. Follow anyone on twitter and you can clearly see it.

    6. Marvel is an American company. They publish comics primarily for an American audience. So when they put out a book about the struggles of a Muslim, it’s going to be the struggles of a Muslim in the US. And the book is really about the struggles of a 16-year-old American girl who happens to be Muslim. Her faith is a part of those struggles, but it’s not the only thing.

      I’m well aware of the liberal bias in comics. It’s definitely a very liberal industry. Historically, it was very progressive, though the ’90s brought that to an end. Marvel is trying to move back to being progressive. Regardless, yes, it’s an industry dominated by liberals. Even so, most people know who to blame when a book fails: The creators for not doing a good job, the company for not giving it enough support, or the audience for not reading it. And in the case of Marvel’s audience, they have a bad track record of really only supporting the same books they always have, and being unwilling to take a risk. Which is how Kathryn Immonen’s stellar run on Journey Into Mystery ended after only 9 issues. And I will always resent the audience for not supporting that book, because it was brilliant.

      Anyway, my point is no one’s going to blame conservatives, they’re going to blame a market who’s afraid to try anything new.

    7. I agree it should be based in America.

      However, why not show the struggles of a Muslim family emigrating to the US?

      The struggles if moving from a Muslim society to America and the prejudices them come up against?

    8. They probably don’t make it about a person immigrating to the US because that adds needless complexity to their first Muslim solo title. If the new Ms. Marvel is successful, and it turns out that there actually is a market for Muslim solo characters, then sure, that kind of story will probably end up being told. But for now, it just makes more sense to make her a Jersey girl. They did already do the kind of thing you’re talking about with Dust, a character who really deserves to get a role in another team book. She was part of an ensemble cast. For a solo, though, they’re doing the right thing in making her an American who’s a Muslim.

    9. This is not tokenism. This is not some sort of “political correctness” move. This is Marvel realizing, “Hey, wait, maybe we should give this a try.” The attitude you’re presenting here is very much a privileged one. It’s one that can really only be held by the group who’s already well-represented. It’s an “I got mine, why should I care about anyone else’s?” type of view. And that’s a problem.

      Give me a break. You acknowledge that the industry is incredibly liberal in your other comments, and then refuse to acknowledge that political correctness is very likely to creep into the book. You go on about “privilege” (white privilege?) while completely discounting how political correctness and Progressive bents have been prevalent in titles like Spider-Man and Iron Man.

      Marvel could have made their Muslim character from anywhere. They could have given her any power. But they decided to plant her in New York. Why not create a character who was international? Maybe it could be a businesswoman who had more of a reason to travel on occasion. Maybe it could have been a young girl who was executed for trying to learn in Afghanistan who was reincarnated in an American’s body? She could have had any origin, but they chose one that would keep the focus (at least initially) on the U.S. But you don’t question that. Instead, you question me and my so-called “privileged” upbringing. Interesting.

      I said in the piece that I was withholding judgement on the book. Where did I say I’m opposed to diversity? I’m not. I’m opposed to people who go out of their way to make a big show about how awesome they are because they’re “diverse.” And I’m opposed to Marvel’s knack for going down the political correct route — again, which you acknowledge is prevalent in the industry.

    10. Honestly, I hate the term “political correctness” in general. Nine times out of ten, when someone talks about “political correctness,” it’s to justify being an offensive jerk. In the case of the new Ms. Marvel, it’s not being “politically correct.” It’s telling the story of a Muslim-American teenage girl who gets superpower and chooses to become a superhero to honour a hero she idolizes.

      Yeah, they could’ve made her international, but they’re writing primarily for an American audience, so they’re going to make the character American. They’re not trying to make bold political statements. They’re trying to make a character that Muslim-American teens can better relate to. They’re trying to give those teens someone who speaks to their experiences. Just like the new Nova is half-Hispanic in order to give kids like that someone to relate to. Miles Morales as the Ultimate Spider-Man was mixed race black-Hispanic for the same reason. Young Avengers has a same-sex couple at the heart of the story. Marvel and DC both want to appeal to a wider audience. Their numbers have been declining for years; straight white males are simply no longer buying comics in large numbers. So the publishers are hoping to reach out to new audiences by making characters that those readers can better relate to. A lesbian might see Batwoman and thinks, “Hey, a badass character who’s like me.” A Muslim might see the new Ms. Marvel and think, “Hey, she goes through some of the same things I go through.” The goal is always to make money, but the method is to tell good stories that appeal to a wide range of people. Once you show people that there are characters who are like them, it becomes easier for those people to also look at characters who are different from them.

    11. Honestly, I hate the term “political correctness” in general. Nine times out of ten, when someone talks about “political correctness,” it’s to justify being an offensive jerk.

      On the contrary — it actually means “progressives” hate when others point out “uncomfortable” facts which in turn justifies THEM (the “progressives”) acting like offensive jerks.

  4. One thing..

    Muslim girl receives super powers and names herself after a white woman..

    Backdoor message that she wished she was white?

    1. Actually, not so backdoor. The writer, G. Willow Wilson, has actually said that part of what Kamala admires about Captain Marvel is the fact that she’s never really had to struggle with racial issues. Because this is something that Muslim teens do experience, including the editor of the book. From the NYT article: Ms. Amanat said, “It’s also sort of like when I was a little girl and wanted to be Tiffani-Amber Thiessen,” from “Saved by the Bell.”

    2. Well, I’m assuming part of the intention of the book is to show the folly of that way of thinking, and why non-white teens should be proud of who and what they are. Obviously, we’ll need to wait until the book’s been out for a few months before we can start to see how well that message is conveyed. But it does seem to be something that the writer and editor are aware of, and specifically want to address.

    3. Who is this aimed at though?

      Will teen Muslim girls see this on the news and venture into their local comic book shop?

      Are you planning on picking this up?

    4. Well, it’s aimed at anyone who wants to read it. They always hope to bring in new readers, of course. So Marvel would certainly love it if some Muslim teen saw this and decided to check it out. I will definitely be picking this up, because I’m a huge supporter of greater diversity in comics.

    5. I have nothing against diversity, believe it or not, and I do not believe this is a good reflection of diversity.

      The writer of the book is a convert to Islam. She converted while at Boston University. as she was born in August of 1982 this would mean that she converted between 2000 and 2003. Forgive me for saying this but are her experiences as a Muslim likely to be the same as someone who was born into a Muslim family?

      And as for your repeated comments about it being a US company and therefore why should they have foreign superheroes, yada yada yada. Correct me if I’m wrong but weren’t the second generation of Uncanny X-Men foreigners? Nightwing? German. Colossus? German. Wolverine? Canadian. Storm? Half-Kenyan.

      Black Panther is from Wakanda and is highly popular with comic book fans.

      There are better ways of producing a Muslim centred comic book that could actually show the IMPORTANT issues females is Islamic countries face.

    6. Wilson’s said she’ll be drawing quite a bit on her own memories of high school, which would seem to be before she converted, which is something that sceptics should actually be pleased with. It means being a teenager will likely be more important to the book than being a Muslim. Wilson will, however, be able to draw on the experiences Sana Amanat, the editor, had as a Muslim teen in the US. So she should still be able to fairly accurately reflect the experiences of a Muslim teen.

      Yes, the All-New All-Different X-Men were primarily foreign. But that was a team book. This is a solo book. Books set outside the US have done poorly in general over the past few years, as shown with Alpha Flight and Captain Britain & MI:13.

      And Marvel likely doesn’t really want to show the issues women face in Islamic countries. That’s not something most of their readers can really relate to, for one thing. For another, it would make the book a lot darker than they want to do with it. It would change the focus. The kind of book you’re talking about is something best aimed at adult audiences. It’s best done through larger books that are specifically designed to deal with those issues. With Ms. Marvel, they just want a fun teen superhero story. Social issues are going to come into play, but it’s not intended as the focus.

      I do find it interesting, though, that whenever the topic of Islam in the US comes up, conservatives want to shift the focus instead to Islamic countries. There seems to be this weird assumption from conservatives that every Muslim in the world is responsible for dealing with human rights issues in Islamic countries. That even a 16-year-old girl from Jersey should be doing something about the complex cultural and political problems of countries she’s probably never even been to, based solely on her religion. Like I said earlier, it’d be like demanding every Christian in the US do something about Uganda’s draconian anti-gay laws. No one actually expects that, because the local priest has no responsibility for what happens in Uganda, and no power to change it anyway.

    7. So basically the characters religion is irrelevant to the story? Suggests that the fact she is a muslim is even more likely to be a PC stunt

  5. xmenxpert: Give us all a royal break. Look, personally I could care less what gender/race/religion a hero (or villain) is as long as there’s good stories. But it is more than a safe bet that this character will be used to do just what many commenters here have said: Pontificate about the “progressive” complaints regarding Islam; that is, it’s all America’s (and Israel’s) fault for what’s going on in Muslim countries, “rampant” Islamophobia in the States, how Islam is “misunderstood,” etc. Doug was spot-on when he asked (as I did over at my place) about women’s rights in Islam, not to mention the treatment of non-believers, among many other things.

    Look, let’s be real: This book ain’t gonna last beyond ten issues … especially if Wilson does what I think she will in the writing. The only people who’re gonna lap that stuff up are like her — hardcore “progressives” and/or grievance-mongers with perpetual chips on their shoulders. Frank Miller couldn’t even get Batman to after al Qaeda, for heaven’s sake, because of the “controversy.” CONTROVERSY!! For going after al Qaeda!! This is how ridiculous[ly PC] the industry has become.

    I suggest checking out Avi’s post, too, to see some background on Wilson.

    1. I really don’t think that’s what the book will be about. I imagine discrimination will pop up as a theme, but it’s not likely to be a dominant theme. I also doubt there’s going to be any anti-American or anti-Israeli sentiments. If any characters do blame the US or Israel for problems in Muslim countries, it’ll almost certainly be the view of those characters, rather than the writer, or Marvel.

      And women’s rights in Islamic countries have no bearing on Islam in the US. They’re different subjects.

    2. “And women’s rights in Islamic countries have no bearing on Islam in the US. They’re different subjects.” — xmenxpert

      Do you honestly believe that?

      Here’s a story for you:

      [H]er older brother tracked them down. Armed with an ax, he hacked to death Gul Meena’s friend, and then struck his own sister 15 times — cutting open her face, head and parts of her body.

      Gul Meena shows me these scars — taking off her headscarf, her finger gently running up and down the raised, freshly healed skin. She touches her head where the blade hit her and then shows me the deep cuts that were made to the back of her neck and her arms. It’s clear to me she desperately tried to fight off her brother before she passed out. …

      And now, one from the America:

      Noor was estranged from her parents, who disapproved of what they considered her American ways — a fondness for tight jeans and makeup, and a reluctance to accede to their plans for her. Those plans included an arranged marriage to a man in Iraq. Her father, Faleh al-Maleki, was furious when Noor abandoned the marriage, later becoming involved with one of Khalaf’s sons. A few weeks before he turned up at the DES office, according to Khalaf, the father warned her that if Noor continued living with her family, “something bad would happen.”

      He meant it. Faleh, who had become a U.S. citizen two months earlier, told his son that he went to the DES to apply for benefits; he had lost his job. But after apparently seeing the two women there, he stalked out. Khalaf went outside to talk to him but couldn’t find him. It was a sunny day, in the mid-80s, so Noor suggested going to a Mexican restaurant across the parking lot for a drink.

      Walking slightly ahead of Noor, Khalaf glanced to her side and saw a gray jeep bearing down on them. Faleh was in the driver’s seat. Khalaf saw him turn the wheel sharply and head toward her and Noor. She made eye contact with him, throwing her hands in the air and yelling, “Stop!”

      Faleh kept going, plowing into the women and speeding off. Khalaf never felt the impact. She awoke on the ground to strangers huddled over her.

      Khalaf couldn’t see Noor, gasping for breath as blood gushed out of her mouth. The jeep had rolled over her. She suffered a head injury and multiple facial fractures, among other injuries. She never regained consciousness.

      On Feb. 22, Faleh al-Maleki was convicted of killing his daughter, committing aggravated assault against Khalaf and leaving the scene of a crime. His defense attorney argued that he had intended to spit on Khalaf and accidentally ran over the two women. Prosecutors had pressed a first-degree murder charge. They characterized his actions as an “honor killing,” a controversial term that refers to a family member or members killing a relative, usually a girl or young woman, whose behavior is judged to have tarnished the family honor. …

      Look how you twist yourself into intellectual pretzels to avoid facing uncomfortable truths. I’m inclined to think the the writer’s at Marvel will do the same. I hope they prove me wrong.

    3. If any characters do blame the US or Israel for problems in Muslim countries, it’ll almost certainly be the view of those characters, rather than the writer, or Marvel.

      LOL … right. IOW, we should all just assume that and that it has nothing at all to do with Wilson’s beliefs. Wow.

    4. Unless Wilson has a history of making anti-American or anti-Israeli comments, then yeah, we probably should assume that she’s simply writing what some people believe, not necessarily what she believes herself.

    5. Douglas: Honour killings within the US are rare. When they do happen, they’re a law enforcement matter. Same as when a white guy kills his wife (or vice versa), it’s a matter for law enforcement. But my point remains: The laws in other countries have no bearing on things that happen in the US. Just because Saudi Arabia doesn’t allow women to drive, that doesn’t mean any discrimination Muslims face in the US doesn’t actually happen, or doesn’t matter. The burning of Coptic Churches in Egypt has nothing to do with occasional efforts towns in the US have made to ban the construction of mosques. The issue of women’s rights in Islamic countries is a complex one, and I’m not sure what the right approach is to encourage them towards more progressive values (I’m inclined to think closer economic relationships with countries that treat women better – bribery, basically), but it’s still an issue that has absolutely nothing to do with what happens within the US. The new Ms. Marvel isn’t a Pakistani, or a Saudi, or an Iranian, or an Egyptian. She’s from Jersey. So obviously, her focus is going to be on things that are closer to home.

    6. Don’t you find it odd that you are discussing the rarity of honor killings instead of asking why they happen in Islamic culture to begin with? If other countries craft their own rules and regulations in accordance with Islamic law, then I would say that very much has some bearing on a Muslim character — wherever she lives. Given that this character will live a hop, skip and a jump from where the Boston terror attack and 9/11 took place, I would hope that someone at Marvel agrees.

      The issue of women’s rights in Islamic countries is a complex one, and I’m not sure what the right approach is to encourage them towards more progressive values (I’m inclined to think closer economic relationships with countries that treat women better – bribery, basically)…

      Again, the reason why you twist yourself into intellectual knots to make the case that what Muslims do in other countries has no bearing on an American of the same faith does is because you don’t know what the right approach is to “encourage them towards more progressive values.” You’re stumped, and the best you can come up with is “bribery, basically.”

      All Muslims are supposed to make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their life. Oops, that’s not in the United States. Using your logic, if I criticized Marvel for not examining the Hajj you’d say, “That has no bearing on an American Muslim in New Jersey.” Well, actually, it does.

      I’ve already said that I’m willing to withhold judgment until the comic hits store shelves, but that I’m reasonably sure this project will devolve into an intellectual flog-session for American writers and editors who never met a real or perceived worldly slight they wouldn’t apologize for. We shall see.

    7. I don’t find it odd at all that I’m saying honour killing in the US are rare, given we’re talking about a comic about an American character, written by an American, edited by an American, and published by an American company. Just because the character’s a Muslim doesn’t mean things that happen in Muslim-dominant countries have anything to do with her, any more than Israeli policies have anything to do with some Jewish kid in New York. e may agree or disagree with the Israeli government’s position on the right of return for Palestinian refugees, but in the end, it’s really nothing to do with him. A person of Chinese descent, raised in Vancouver, can be morally opposed to China’s totalitarianism, but it has nothing to do with him.

      The oppressive treatment of women in Islamic countries is something that will need to be dealt with through political and economic pressures of some sort or another. But that’s going to be up to the people working for the world’s governments to figure out. The rest of us have no real power to do anything beyond tell the government what we think.

      In terms of a comic, even a superhero can’t solve these problems. Ms. Marvel can fly over there and spend all day every day trying to protect women, but in the end, she’s not going to have much of an impact. She might save a few lives, but probably not that many, and the cultural factors that lead to the oppression won’t change. I’m pretty sure Superman has had stories examining how, for all his power, he can’t change systems. He can save individuals, and plenty of them, but he can’t change a society.

      But just as a Vancouverite of Chinese descent doesn’t spend much time thinking about oppression in China, the average Muslim in the US doesn’t spend much time thinking about oppression in Islamic countries. Because they’re not in those Islamic countries. It’s nothing to do with them. Same as Uganda’s draconian laws regarding homosexuality have nothing to do with Christians in the US, and aren’t something the average Christian thinks about. (Uganda is 84% Christian.)

      If the book doesn’t deal with the Hajj, it’ll be because the writer simply never saw any particular story purpose to do it. It’s not like there’s a specific age by which a person has to make the pilgrimage. The girl’s 16; she’s got her whole life ahead of her.

      I’m reasonably sure that the book isn’t going to be any sort of “intellectual flog-session,” and that anti-Muslim prejudice isn’t going to be a particularly major aspect of the book. The indications are it’ll be more an internal book than an external one. It’ll be more about being a teenager than being a Muslim. Being a Muslim will simply be one part of what the character is going through. Odds are it’ll likely be not much different from Northstar’s homosexuality – it’s a significant part of who he is, but it’s far from all he is.

    8. The oppressive treatment of women in Islamic countries is something that will need to be dealt with through political and economic pressures of some sort or another.

      Do you know where else it could be dealt with? In comic books. Shocker, I know.

      But just as a Vancouverite of Chinese descent doesn’t spend much time thinking about oppression in China, the average Muslim in the US doesn’t spend much time thinking about oppression in Islamic countries.

      So a Muslim teenager will wonder why Americans have misrepresentations about her, but she’ll never make the connection between those misrepresentations and, say, terrorists from Afghanistan flying jetliners into large metropolitan areas? That’s weird. She’ll wonder why those crazy white non-Muslim guys are suspicious of her, but she’ll never connect it with Muslim immigrants who came to the U.S., collected welfare checks in Boston, and then used that to subsidize terrorist training they received in Russia before setting off bombs at a marathon finish line? Very perplexing.

      And now I backtrack a bit. Again, I’m not sure how you square the following with your extremely high level of confidence that Ms. Marvel is simply going to be the gold standard for supercrazycooldiverse comics everywhere — and nothing more.

      I’m well aware of the liberal bias in comics. It’s definitely a very liberal industry. Historically, it was very progressive, though the ’90s brought that to an end. Marvel is trying to move back to being progressive. Regardless, yes, it’s an industry dominated by liberals.

    9. Entertainment media, such as comics, can have stories that talk about the oppression of women in other countries. But those stories aren’t really going to amount to much in terms of solving those problems. In this case, no one involved really wants to deal with such heavy fare in a book that’s largely intended for a teenage audience.

      She may (or may not) understand the hostility towards Muslims (though I still doubt hostility towards Muslims will be a particularly major part of the book). Any hostility would almost certainly be presented as wrong – because it IS wrong, it’s a fraction of a fraction of Muslims who actually engage in violence, and judging an entire religion based on the acts of a few individuals is always wrong, just as it would be wrong to judge all Christians based on Uganda’s oppression towards homosexuals, or judging all Jews based on Barbara Streisand (I kid, I kid). It’s especially wrong when talking about American Muslims.

    10. Do you think it’s weird that since 9/11 there hasn’t been one story about Captain America’s black ops in Afghanistan? Do you think there should be a Captain America tale where he goes in under cover of darkness into Africa to take down a supervillain cell composed of genetically enhanced members of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)? Do you think Marvel has shirked its responsibilities to cover one of the most defining geopolitical issues for over a decade (i.e., Islamic extremism)?

    11. Huh. For some reason, I though Captain America had done a story like that. I’ve never really followed his book, though. I know there was an anthology book that featured a character (I think it was D-Man, but I could be wrong) joining the Army and going to Iraq. There was a character in Avengers: The Initiative who had been a soldier in Iraq. Iron Man’s origin is now based in the war in Afghanistan. I know that Grant Morrison, during his New X-Men run, had Wolverine save Dust from a slave-trading ring in Afghanistan. (I thought she was Saudi. I was wrong. She’s Afghani.) There’s been a few stories, here and there, that have included elements of oppression in Islamic countries, or Islamic terrorists. I think the main reason there hasn’t been more, though, is because it’s something that a lot of people find downright scary. Aliens, supervillains, demons, monsters – they’re fantasy. They’re not something we actually have to deal with. Terrorism? That’s a much more real-world horror, and I think that makes it a lot more uncomfortable for a lot of writers to deal with. It’s the same reason why you don’t see many comics that deal with school shootings. It’s why alcoholism and cancer and AIDS are things that really only get talked about in “Very Special Stories.”

      We can understand Doom trying to conquer the world. We can’t really understand suicide bombers.

      Having said all that . . . yeah, I think it’d be cool if we had a Captain America story where he took down some Islamic super-terrorists. He can be helped out by an Islamic superhero, and they can get assistance from plenty of other normal Muslims, just to make it clear that the story isn’t trying to imply that the terrorists are anything more than a small group of fanatics.

    12. ‘Long Survior’ is an amazing book and a true story. It’s annoyed me for years that Marvel never used that as a template for Captain America tales in a post 9/11 world. If you ever want to get a truly nuanced take on “the war on terror” (I don’t like that phrase, but you get the point), it should be required reading.

      Or, like most people … you could watch the movie. I’m a little bummed that Mark Walhberg is playing Marcus Luttrell, but the world isn’t perfect.

      Remember “Civil War”? (Of course you do.) Marvel had no qualms with their weird little Bush allegory on the Patriot Act, but when it comes to Obama … when do we get our NSA tales? Not there. That’s the kind of thing that makes guys like Me, Hube, Carl, PersonisPerson and a number of other comic fans check out. The double standard is glaring, and after a certain amount of time my money stays in my pocket. Ask Hube about Ron “STFU” Marz sometime. I used to drop pretty large sums of cash on Marvel, but that stopped. Part of it is because they always have to club me over the head with politics.

      Whether or not the creators like it, we’ll say that at least 40% of America falls on my side of the political fence. The creators may think I’m a rube, but I’m not. In fact, I’m pretty darn smart. So when they digitally spit in my face online, why should I buy their work? I’m not. I obviously disagree with you on many issues, but I’ve been able to have an adult conversation that didn’t devolve into stupid name-calling. Why can’t Ron Marz do that? Why can’t Dan Slott do that? The list goes on and on.

      Update: Perfect timing. Ron Marz is going off on “far right nutbags.” Personally, I don’t follow Marz. Regardless, I think there’s a bit of projection going on…

    13. I’m about as liberal as it gets. I’m a Canadian liberal (but not Liberal) – that’s “far left pinko Commie” by US standards. But I actually agree that comics have a serious problem when it comes to depictions of conservatives. That seems to be something throughout the entertainment industry. It’s something I find a little odd, actually. But I’m a strong proponent of trying to understand those we disagree with, and trying to see them as good people who simply have a different view of the world.

      With Dan Slott, though, I will say one thing in his defence: He got death threats when he had Dr. Octopus replace Peter. At that point, it’s hard to blame him for becoming really dickish to his critics. (And as an aside, I think he’s been telling a fantastic story in Superior Spider-Man.)

    14. As I said in my review for Ender’s Game, the ability to understand — and even love — your enemy is a profound idea. Most people don’t get it. They just assume you’re an idiotbigotracisthomophobesexistclown (one word). It’s possible for people to disagree without being disagreeable. I’m not sure why it is that because I disagree with Ron Marz or Mark Waid on public policy issue X, that it makes me an evil person. In their mind, the belief that I should be able to own a firearm makes me some sort of bad person. It’s weird.

      With Dan Slott, I will first say (even though it goes without saying) that death threats are always out of bounds. With that said, I will also say that any public figure who engages in something controversial is going to get death threats or threats of violence from weirdos on the internet. There are six billion people on the earth and a whole heck of a lot of them a.) have the internet and b.) have a few screws loose. I have this little old blog I’ve had a guy start a hate website dedicated to me, I had a strange package mailed to my house, and I had a Silence of the Lambs-type email sent to my personal account. I’m not sure how that happened…but it did. My point is, if you “kill” Peter Parker, you have to know that unstable people will react in bizarre ways via Twitter, Facebook, etc. It doesn’t give you a license to be a jerk to critics.

      And with that, it’s time for me to catch some sleep. Nice talking to you, even if you are a “far left pinko Commie.” 😉

    15. Huh. For some reason, I though Captain America had done a story like that. I’ve never really followed his book, though. I know there was an anthology book that featured a character (I think it was D-Man, but I could be wrong) joining the Army and going to Iraq. There was a character in Avengers: The Initiative who had been a soldier in Iraq. Iron Man’s origin is now based in the war in Afghanistan. I know that Grant Morrison, during his New X-Men run, had Wolverine save Dust from a slave-trading ring in Afghanistan. (I thought she was Saudi. I was wrong. She’s Afghani.) There’s been a few stories, here and there, that have included elements of oppression in Islamic countries, or Islamic terrorists. I think the main reason there hasn’t been more, though, is because it’s something that a lot of people find downright scary. Aliens, supervillains, demons, monsters – they’re fantasy. They’re not something we actually have to deal with. Terrorism? That’s a much more real-world horror, and I think that makes it a lot more uncomfortable for a lot of writers to deal with. It’s the same reason why you don’t see many comics that deal with school shootings. It’s why alcoholism and cancer and AIDS are things that really only get talked about in “Very Special Stories.”

      We can understand Doom trying to conquer the world. We can’t really understand suicide bombers.

      Having said all that . . . yeah, I think it’d be cool if we had a Captain America story where he took down some Islamic super-terrorists. He can be helped out by an Islamic superhero, and they can get assistance from plenty of other normal Muslims, just to make it clear that the story isn’t trying to imply that the terrorists are anything more than a small group of fanatics.

    16. Why can’t Ron Marz do that? Why can’t Dan Slott do that? The list goes on and on.

      Ironically (and hilariously), Marz was clamoring for civility after his post about boycotting Ender’s Game. To quote: “Glad people are talking. Wish they were nicer to each other.”

      The problem is … Marz doesn’t do this on the Internet at all. His idea of a “discussion” with someone with differing views is to belittle and make fun of them.

    17. Marz is a lot like someone who has commented on this blog for about a year now. These people say the most insulting things, and then when you give it back to them they acted shocked (shocked, I tell you!) at the response. They act like you’re the uncivil one. They put on mental blinders and act as if all the mean and nasty things they said never happened. They say with a straight face that what they said is completely innocuous. It’s so bizarre.

      It’s sort of like President Obama saying: “If you like your doctor you will be able to keep your doctor. Period.” — and then when that isn’t the case he says, “Well, I never said that.” Huh?! It’s on video. Dozens of times. I’m watching it all right now, Mr. President. “Nope, I never said that.”

    18. Indeed, I find it ironic and sadly hilarious that Marz calls for civility on the internet (in regards to his column about Ender’s Game, to which Peter David had an excellent rebuttal, in the comments by the way) but continues to insult, belittle and degrade those with whom he disagrees. And his drones fall in line, calling you guys “bigots” and “asshats.” He is suffering from some severe anger and projection issues once more. Just more evidence that when liberals call for “civility…” they really mean “you conservatives should shut up, because your beliefs are causing people to be mean to each other or go on mass shootings and doesn’t add to the discourse.”

      The dude is three years younger than my dad, for Christ’s sake (according to Wikipedia, he was born in 1959)… time to grow the f*** up.

      Also, as I’ve said before, he has never written anything of substance before in his life and is best-known for killing off Hal Jordan. That’s it.

      Now that a black girl named Renisha McBride was accidentally shot and killed in Michigan, I fully expect idiots like Marz to be screaming “racism” and pronouncing the dude who shot her guilty before proven innocent. I swear these idiots still think it’s 1950s Alabama or something, and that Bull Connor is still around.

  6. I think the main issue is how the character is going to be handled.

    Most likely they’ll be too heavy handed with the PC factor and therefore it will not be a proper reflection of modern society (i.e. too fake). If anyone has ever seen TV shows like Degrassi when they were growing up, they will know what I am talking about when a TV show goes heavy handed with the PC factor. Modern society is always vastly different to the distorted reality portrayed in overly PC shows like Degrassi. Worst case scenario is that most issues will resolve around race/religion/discrimination rather than personality or plot development.

    The trick with writing storylines like this requires a soft touch. The characters religion/background should never be the main focus of a storyline because in real life, these things don’t matter in real life; it is a person’s personality that matters more than their religion or race (a mistake overly PC shows like Degrassi tend to miss). If all of the storylines revolve around race/religion/discrimination, you’re going to get cringe worthy storylines that won’t attract new readers (except maybe Joey Jeremiah Esquire from Degrassi lol).

    What is kind of sad though is that with a proper soft touch, a Middle Eastern character would be very interesting, especially if good writers could explore the cultural differences between characters.

    1. Just another point regarding storylines.

      You have to apply a different a different set of thinking with this sort of thing. The character is a teenage girl that becomes a superhero, who happens to happens to have a Middle Eastern background/religion.

      Marvel is most likely approaching it as a Middle Eastern character that becomes a superhero who happens to be a teenage girl. Note: This is not the same thing.

      In the above example, the teenage girl is the main focus whereas in the second “Degrassi” example, the characters religion/race is the main focus. Unless you happen to be Joey Jeremiah Esquire from Degrassi, a storyline revolving around the first example is a better read.

    2. The indications are that they actually do want to focus more on “teenager,” beyond “Muslim” and “girl.” The fact that she’s a Muslim girl will certainly play a major role, because those things actually do matter to a person. And those sorts of things particularly matter to a teenager. She’s going through a period of discovering who she is as a person. Gender and religious background factor into that sort of thing. In Ms. Marvel’s case, being a Captain Marvel fangirl is going to be another factor.

      Of course, we should also remember that there are, in fact, some people who are defined by their religion first and foremost. I’ve found Marvel has mostly avoided that. Monica Chang of Avengers AI was shown praying, but that was mostly a throw-away scene, and her faith hasn’t really defined her. Faiza Hussain (Excalibur) of Captain Britain & MI:13 was very clearly Muslim, complete with the hijab, but her medical background was more important. Dust of New X-Men is a bit of an exception, but it actually made sense – she was a teenaged Saudi Arabian girl who moved to the US, and was surrounded by people of completely different cultures, so she retreated, to an extent, into her faith. As the series progressed, she did relax a bit, and her faith, while still deeply important to her, became less of the focus of her character. And, of course, there was always more to her than just her faith, right from the start.

      Marvel has made, I think, very few missteps of late. So I actually have a lot of trust in them to handle this book well. Their relaunch of adjectiveless X-Men, with an all-female cast, was handled damned near perfectly. Captain Marvel has been great, and Red She-Hulk and Journey Into Mystery, before their cancellations, were also great books. The all-female Fearless Defenders suffered from having a distinctly middling writer, and even more mediocre artist (aside from the absolutely gorgeous #7, drawn by Stephanie Hans, which may have been the best-looking comic of the year). The new minority-heavy Mighty Avengers has gotten off to a very good start, aside from having the hacktastic tracer Greg Land as the artist (and even he’s toned down his constant pornfaces a little bit). Marvel’s been doing a lot of great work lately. So I’m confident that Ms. Marvel will be a solid book.

    1. And especially since Stan Lee stopped writing an allowed other BETTER writers than him to make the X-Men into their more recognizable and iconic forms today?

    2. Well, yes, they do. Because let’s be honest here, even the bulk of the diverse All-New All-Different X-Men were white men. Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Colossus and Wolverine were all white men. Storm was the only person of colour on the team for years. The New Mutants did a bit better job of it, with a mixed-race Brazilian and a Native American. Even today, much as I love the X-Men, I think they could do a better job at diversity. The just-launched Amazing X-Men has Storm and Northstar as the only minority characters, and All-New X-Men has only Kitty. In this day and age, the discrimination angle is diminished, just a bit, when the people being discriminated against are almost universally attractive, straight white people.

      Even beyond that, though, diversity should be something promoted across the line. To me, diversity is an inherently positive value.

    3. I disagree with him. I don’t think multiculturalism rejects discussion. I think there’s still plenty of room to argue over values. I look at multiculturalism as being primarily an acknowledgement that different people have different values, and that no set of values is necessarily objectively superior. Obviously, I believe oppression is a Bad Thing; I think the subjugation of women in so many countries is terrible, and I’m all for efforts to encourage those countries to make women equal in their societies. I believe the values I hold to be, mostly, correct. But I don’t think that’s an objective assessment. The people in those countries think their values are superior, too.

      The other facet of multiculturalism is to recognize complexity.

      But one reason I think diversity is inherently good is because it teaches us about other cultures. In the video, Steyn brought up the Romans. One reason the Romans learned so much about other cultures was because they spent so much time dealing with them. When we actually see Muslims on TV and in comics and wherever, we start to learn just a little more about them. (Comics taught me the difference between a burqa and a niqab!)

      Another benefit is that it leads to people belonging to those other countries feeling a little more sense of belonging. When a Muslim is standing beside Captain America, fighting off an alien invasion of New York, then Muslim readers will have an “America – Fuck Yeah!” reaction. Plus, if Muslim characters become popular and well-accepted even by non-Muslim audiences, it does kinda suck some of the wind out of the arguments from fanatical Muslims about the US hating Muslims. “The Americans hate us!” “What are you talking about? A devout Muslim character was a major supporting character in the billion-dollar-making Captain Marvel movie!” (Speaking of – get on that Captain Marvel movie, Marvel!)

    4. I think there’s still plenty of room to argue over values. I look at multiculturalism as being primarily an acknowledgement that different people have different values, and that no set of values is necessarily objectively superior. Obviously, I believe oppression is a Bad Thing;

      Do you see how your own stated value system keeps tripping up over itself? You say that no culture is objectively superior to another, and then say oppression (i.e., exactly what you see in the vast majority of majority-Muslim nations) is wrong. So instead of admitting that Western Civilization — by almost any standard you can come up with — is superior to the Muslim world (e.g., women’s rights, gay rights, religious tolerance), you find yourself saying that what happens in other parts of the world is of no concern to you. Saying that serves as a salve, which eases the pain that would come from objectively looking at the growing populations of Muslims in your own home town.

      Christianity had the Reformation. What has Islam had? Nothing. And instead of calling on it to get its house in order, creative types (in Hollywood, at Marvel and in the music business) clam up — probably because they fear for their lives. I think the creators of South Park have done a great job with this issue, but the rest of the entertainment landscape has been missing in action.

      Ask yourself this question: What would happen in Toronto if tomorrow the city woke up and the population was 50% Muslim? What would happen in New York City? Would gay rights be tolerated? Would women be able to walk around the city freely? Again, until someone can prove to me that the Islamic world has completed their own Reformation, I’d say civil rights would be in severe danger.

      And with that … I must prepare to see Thor 2.

    5. Like I said, I believe that the oppression is wrong, and I’m all for any efforts to encourage progress in those countries. I don’t think it’s an objective viewpoint, but I don’t particularly care. It winds up being partly a semantic argument.

      I don’t really consider it my problem for much the same reason I don’t consider oppression in China, crime in Mexico, or events in any other countries to be my problem: Because I’m just some shmuck with absolutely no ability to change anything going on in any other countries.

      I figure if Toronto ends up with a 50% Muslim population, Sharia law would be unlikely to be implemented. I think Canada actually does a very good job at assimilating other cultures into our society. I would argue we do it better than anyone else, because we take, I think, the gentlest approach. The US is a little more aggressive in trying to get people to assimilate into American culture. Canada has no particular culture. So as far as we’re concerned, if a person lives in Canada, they’re Canadian. I think, more than anywhere else, Canada celebrates diversity. And I think this approach actually makes it easier for people from other cultures to accept most of our values. They don’t feel like they’re being judged, so they feel no need to get defensive.

      Funnily enough, I would say the Islamic Reformation arguably came earlier than the Christian one. It’s just that over the past couple hundred years, it’s moved way, way backwards compared to a few centuries earlier.

    6. I don’t really consider it my problem for much the same reason I don’t consider oppression in China, crime in Mexico, or events in any other countries to be my problem: Because I’m just some shmuck with absolutely no ability to change anything going on in any other countries.

      That’s your problem. If you believe yourself to be a “schmuck with no ability to change anything,” then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy — does it not? I don’t believe you’re powerless, so why should you?

    7. Will do! Actually, at this point in time, it baffles me how there are people who still get up and leave right after the “end” of a Marvel movie. Oy!

      Anyway, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve heard good things so far.

  7. If Marvel really cared about diversity and this was not a stunt they would not attach this character they would allow her to stand on her own not on the shoulders of giants like Miles. She would be able to build her own legacy to rival that of all who came before. And why are conservatives supposed to pay for historical slights and not the Neo Nazi’s or the KKK. Isn’t it a fact that a Huge portion of the white people in America have no ancestors that were here during the civil war?

    Anyway on the Spider-Man front I read an interview of Wacker from 2010 he said that all of Peter Parker’s stories had already been told (BULLSHIT) and spoke gleefully about killing him off. As iv said before Superior was an idea Slott had for years Quesada and Wacker were told at some point on 2010 and he actually had to convince them to delay it. So yeah Marvel really loves the flagship character.

    1. Anyway on the Spider-Man front I read an interview of Wacker from 2010 he said that all of Peter Parker’s stories had already been told (BULLSHIT) and spoke gleefully about killing him off.

      He really said that? Yikes. No wonder what the title was so bad for so long. If the people at the top don’t believe in him, then they’ve basically doomed him from the get-go. That’s a really sad thing to say.

    2. “He really said that? Yikes. No wonder what the title was so bad for so long. If the people at the top don’t believe in him, then they’ve basically doomed him from the get-go. That’s a really sad thing to say”.

      I have to agree with this. I think it’s safe to say that the higher ups no longer know how to handle the character or where to take him. They’ve been trying to reboot/redefine Spidey for a while now with OMD, removal of his spider sense, horizon labs etc.

      Spidey storylines tend to revolve around his firm moral centre, with various villains and real life problems being introduced to challenge that (e.g. sinister six, Aunt May health problem etc.). This is why I think Superior never works as the “main” Spiderman title as the character has no moral centre is essentially contrary to what defines Spiderman. It is also the reason why you’d never see the Red Skull as Captain America (as a Nazi, Anti American Captain America would be contrary to what defines the character).

      It is kind of sad though because as a “spinoff” title with a more interesting villain such as Norman Osborne at the helm, Superior may have been a decent read. I dare say that not only do the higher ups not know how to handle Spiderman but given Slott’s sloppy inconsistency with Superior, they probably don’t know how to handle a Spiderman spinoff as well.

    3. It is kind of sad though because as a “spinoff” title with a more interesting villain such as Norman Osborne at the helm, Superior may have been a decent read. I dare say that not only do the higher ups not know how to handle Spiderman but given Slott’s sloppy inconsistency with Superior, they probably don’t know how to handle a Spiderman spinoff as well.

      I agree. I’ve said in a few different posts that I think there is room in the Marvel universe for weirdo megalomaniacs with spider powers who swing around New York City. If they wanted to do that with Ock, then fine. But they didn’t need to kill Peter. There were countless ways Dan Slott could have had his “anti-hero” (who almost killed six billion people, but whose counting, right Marvel?), while still keeping Peter alive. They chose not to do that, and once they bring Peter back everything will likely be more mucked up than ever. It’s a mess.

    4. For the record, Steve Wacker is a troll. I love the guy, I think he’s a funny guy and a great editor. But he absolutely loves trolling people. So take anything he says with a grain of salt.

      As for Superior, I’m pretty sure the actual point is to show why Peter’s strong moral centre was so necessary. This isn’t about tearing Peter down, or building Otto up. It’s actually the opposite. It’s showing why Otto makes a terrible superhero, and why Peter, for all his flaws, was a truly great hero. (It’s also about destroying Peter’s life for when he gets back. He’s going to have no friends, no job, no money, nothing. It’s taking him back to the very basics of the character.)

    5. @ xmenxpert
      I agree with the reboot idea. As I said in my post, I think they’ve been trying to reboot/redefine Spidey for a while now. Superior Spiderman is probably their latest and most radical attempt at it.

      I think if Slott’s intention was to prove the importance of Spidey’s moral centre and reboot the character back to the 1960s/1970s (where he was single, poor and disliked by everyone), he hasn’t done a very good job at it. A mini, crossover series would have been far more elegant at achieving this (maybe a Maximum Carnage style crossover).

      Given all of the spinoffs, I reckon Slott’s primary intention is to ride this out for as long as he can. I think Slott visibly prefers helming an “original character” he has created (rather than a character created by Ditko/Kirby/Lee). Slott has essentially managed to get his personal Spider anti-hero published as the “main Spiderman” (which took about 100 issues of ASM to do). Why would he give that up any time soon?

      It will be very interesting to see what happens when Amazing Spiderman 2 gets released. I can see Slott being very very hesitant at bringing back Peter and very very insistent to Marvel about keeping his character as the “main Spiderman”. I can also see Disney being very insistent at bringing back Peter to tap into the movie marketing potential.

  8. I’m sorry but I’m not going to buy any products from a company that’s definition of a cool hero is one that doesn’t snap children’s necks.

  9. Personally, I’ve always found it beyond laughable that because I’m a straight white dude that I’m somehow “privileged.” That would imply that I’ve had it easy throughout my life. Truth is, I haven’t. I’ve had to work hard to get things I want. At no point in my life were such things handed to me. I had to work hard to get things I wanted/needed. I had to earn it, in other words. I reject the whole notion that I’m somehow “privileged.” I think it’s childish thinking that needs to be abandoned.

    Here’s another thing: I have Asperger’s syndrome, but I don’t need to have characters who are just like me to enjoy the story, nor would I ever demand that a company cater to me because I have a disability. Like I said earlier in the thread, I’ve read PLENTY of stories (comics or otherwise) with protagonists that didn’t look like me and enjoyed them just fine. I just want a well-written story with great characters, regardless of what they look like/what their gender/whatever is. I’m not against diversity, either, but I don’t like the whole PC for PC’s sake. I don’t see why there needs to be such emphasis on a character’s race/gender/whatever. Just create a well-written character who happens to be black, female or whatever and you’ll have a better chance of garnering an audience.

    The PC stunts is just one reason why I stopped reading contemporary comics, at least from Marvel and DC. Others include the treatment of conservatives in comics (the last draw for me was probably Cap vs the Tea Party led by the Grand Director aka the fascist Cap from the 1950s.. ugh), the endless and pointless crossovers, gimmicks, etc.

  10. I think the original New Mutants handled mature themes pretty well for a comic ostensibly for kids and was a decent comic until the hack Rob Liefeld took over. I’ve heard the original Power Pack series featured mature themes while still being aimed at kids as well. So I don’t think that it’s entirely impossible that such themes could periodically find their ways into fantasy comics, even at an allegorical level.

  11. With Disney and Warner Brothers sheltering these clowns like there is no tomorrow how many years do you think we have to wait till they are replaced. Let’s face it until there is a change in management even the best writers will have to whore themselves or never write again.

  12. Whoa. He could’t take it. He just had to revert to his true self. I was reading most of the comments, and was stunned when I saw what xmenxpert said on the 7th at 11:50. I didn’t need to read anything else he said, but I still did. Amazing how liberals – usually opposed to nuclear weapons – tend to blow up like just like them. And right when you were being nice to him Doug!

    Great blog Mr. Ernst!

    1. Thanks for the read, ‘dead Spiderman’. In all fairness to xmenexpert, I think he was being sarcastic, given my previous comment.

      However, I did find this quote telling:

      “I’m just some schmuck with absolutely no ability to change anything going on in any other countries.” — xmenxpert

      That, I think, is a mindset that you will usually find on the left side of the political spectrum. When you believe that you as an individual are powerless, you will seek the comfort of the collective. The “collective” is powerful, to be sure … but those who put too much stock in it lose their own unique identity. I believe that xmenxpert is more powerful than he can imagine. For whatever reason he’s convinced himself he is “just some schmuck,” and to me that is a shame. There person who believes that about themselves will be perfectly happy abdicating individual liberties to bureaucrats he believes to be smarter and more influential than he. Wrong. Xmenexpert is just as smart and powerful as anyone with their hands on the levers of power — he just doesn’t realize it. When (or if) he does, his politics — and more importantly, his life — will change dramatically.

  13. Honestly, these guys dont know when to quit. I guess the need for making money off of people is more important than listening to them, especially when theyve kept the company running for years. Ask DC comics, I guess Flashpoint wasn’t such a good news after all and this Marvel NOW! garbage isn’t either… I have a saying, if something has been running with good results, why experiment and change it? Some really strong stuff has got to be going thru the vents in that building cause I think they’re all hooked on it at Marvel…

  14. A year ago I made a list of all the trade paperbacks I would purchase to complete my collection it totaled about 40 and believe it or not included a little of Slott’s work. As disappointments have piled up however I have shaved titles of numerous times now its down to just five. Unless I see a serious 180 I’m just going to read the newspaper strip iv only been able to read the last month of it but I love it best stuff in 20 years. Does anyone know a site that has more of it?

  15. I am really getting the impression that Wacker is a maniac, wound rather tight and fantasizes about strangling critics. And we are not a “vocal minority” you can’t say that when there is proof that a simple act of repentance before Dying Wish would have doubled monthly sales.

    Okay let’s do a little head count in 1962 Stan Lee and Steve Ditko invented Spider-Man a hero no one thought would work it did and became a huge commercial success. Imitators sprouted up Ben Reilly, Spider-Woman 1-4, 2 Madame Web, 2 Spider-Girls, Venom, Kaine, Spider-Cide, 2099, Ultimate, Noir, 1602, Ezekiel, MiIes Morales and Spock not to mention the entire population of Manhattan in Spider-Island to name just a few and yet the character who was good enough to be copied that many times by his own company the most popular superhero of all time is not good enough. Isn’t it weird just think for a moment that Marvel’s 616 universe is going to have Spock, Kaine, Venom, 2099, (That’s right 4 “dark” Spider-Men) Miles and a half dozen female spiders running around at the same time and not Peter Parker the literal heart of Marvel and borderline messiah?

    At this point the only people I respect are Ditko, (a bit nutty but took a stand) Conway and DeFalco (The latter is the only one whose brain processes with great power as an important mantra rather than a blank check)

    Now from my own viewpoint after the product of two years of Quesada’s communist committee was brought to birth and after over half a decade of “lovable loser” do I believe Peter could be redeemed? Everyone talks about what they would do if they wrote their favorite character and I think a big problem with Spider-Man is that since he is so easy to identify with writers have a desire to mold him into their image rather than be inspired to follow HIS example. That is what is wrong with the industry they are exercising Character Negation instead of SELF Negation. If I was a writer who didn’t have a gun pointed at my head I would have Spock die in battle at the end of Goblin Nation just completely mess with everyone’s theories and have him resurrected at the morgue or something plain old divine intervention not because of any virtue of his own but out of respect for a couple of universal truths. He would still have to endure some punishment like David he would have either money problems again for a few years, his secret identity get out and be on the run or he’d be helpless to stop Sentry from killing all the bad people in NYC You’d get 50 issues of recovery and of course since Mephisto never actually saved his aunt mere knowledge of the deal is the only barrier to restoration not that the true architect of the clone saga and all of Peter’s woes would not take it well. Id go back to the early seventies format where Arcs where you could tell a good story in two issues and I would regularly meet with an equal representation of both true and casual fans of every age, race and gender to made the genre more democratic. Above all things I would never let the power corrupt me (as iv said in the past corruption is my greatest fear in life) I would leave a title rather than give into compromising mandates and to my dying breath I would live by these three principles.

    With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

    The Truth Will Set You Free

    Love Conquers All

    Do I believe either Marvel or DC could get better yes all it would take are those immortal words. Do I think either company will ever recover no. Do I think that there will be some form of resolution? Probably.

  16. Oh… Sorry xmenxpert, guess I wasn’t paying such great attention after all. I should have noticed because of how out of character it was next to your other posts.

  17. Iv read a couple newspapers articles last month and it looks like we may have a little problem. The year of 2013 has seen a significant increase in crimes with individuals in superhero costumes iv seen no less than three reports of people in Spider-Man costumes committing robberies two said they were inspired by Spock. Just a few weeks after Dying WIsh a man was tried for raping his girlfriend and the case was dismissed because the judges wouldn’t take the victim seriously because she said she had caught him reading it earlier. I said that there was a risk that Marvel might be responsible for the next Joker Shooter well sadly I am right shame on you Slott.

  18. So I haven’t had much luck searching for the Superior crimes there are for obvious reasons so many results for Spock’s murders and the near rape that finding those real crimes again might be as hard as finding that equation I’ll still keep an eye out. As for the increase in costumed crime that is pretty well documented. I wasn’t online for long but I found a couple of funny articles France wants a Batman for example. One very surprising thing I discovered is that in the US there are about 200 state approved costumed vigilantes no joke. They are in cities like New York, Seattle and Tampa Bay. With Superior I think this will probably be my last post till around issue 24 I hate Inferior so much but I am looking forward to seeing how Goblin Nation works out Marvel has finally admitted what most of us knew that this “mega-arc” is unsustainable. As many suspected one of the five casualties will be Marconi between her death the reveal of Spock and the Goblin’s identities and the Goblin controlling the underworld this will combine aspects of all the best Osborn stories from the beginning to the death of Gwen Stacy. One of the strongest avenues for Peter’s return is the Hand they are under GK’s protection and knowing Spock’s secret and probably possessing Otto’s missing body and who know’s about Madame Web it’ll get sorted out. I have no respect or faith in Slott there is a very tiny possibility that the fallout won’t be completely terrible but I don’t bother to hope for it. I don’t think this was meant to demonstrate anyone’s superiority or to reboot Peter’s life though those will be undoubtedly be outcomes of this atrocity. I think for Slott he planted the seeds from ASM 600-700 to extend his run and of course have fun writing the stories he wants. For Marvel I think there are two aspects to it one they know there entire company is dependent on Peter Parker and the Spider-Man brand has largely depended since the early 80’s on Mary Jane I think some of them hate this and part of their abominable treatment and attempts to replace the two is the equivalent of an old man trying to tear out their pacemaker. Marvel will of course always chicken out no matter how much they tarnish the two there are lines they cannot cross or at least not for long. The other aspect of Marvel’s attitude towards Superior is a financial one the “controversy” has led to an increase in sales which I never denied of course sales were higher before OMD but of course they don’t want you to remember that. Such a cash grab move readers buying Superior out of desperation to see how Parker will come back fans are so rabid that they will settle for Flashback stories and whatever else they can find. For Marvel’s pockets it is a win if a short term one when Peter Parker comes back it won’t matter what kind of hell he is in or what the actual stories are because Parker fans will buy anything with him in it. It is such a diabolical plan for Marvel for at least a year they will be able to write anything and people will buy it regardless of the quality they could print garbage worse than BND or toilet paper for all they care and people will buy it and if anybody whines about continued abuses they can point out all of the crap since the Civil War and threaten us like a mad god on Olympus not to test them. Bravo Joe, Alex, Steve, Dan and the rest of you all you really know how to destroy American Icons.

  19. Apparently it’s (the Ms. Marvel series) is selling less than 50,000 copies, although the comics review media is trying to sugarcoat it and make it sound as though it’s a “huge hit.” (You rarely see negative reviews of modern comics, unless it’s conservative-themed.) That isn’t very good in today’s market. I figure once it is cancelled, the moonbats will blame “Islamophobia” on its cancellation instead of the fact that barely anyone read it. I guarantee it.

  20. Just another melodramatic soap-opera, the Muslim bit is a new twist, but overall not something I can enjoy. But honestly, putting out dreck like Squirrel Girl and this makes it harder and harder for a person to enjoy comics. And don’t get me started on what Synder is doing with the Batman comics over at DC.

    1. Hazama, aka Dragolord09, may be going for the record for comic book projects and writers he doesn’t like. We have Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis, Scott Snyder, Dan Slott and the Marvel Netfix shows.

  21. It’s ridiculous to get bent out of shape over the islamic ms. marvel. This is no different from Captain America’s hero-worshipping original sidekick being a hitler youth member.

    Oh what’s that? He wasn’t?

    Well, Rick Jones became the junior version of the Hulk after being a long time member of the anti-American progressive movement though, remember?

    Oh.

    1. FYI I was being sarcastic of course – I despise the idea, the execution, the agenda and the character. American islamics are a terrible subgroup with profound social problems and this awful character trivialises and propagandizes on behalf of all of them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s