Marvel’s upcoming Secret Wars will bring about the end of The Avengers and start of an all-female group known as A-Force.
Marvel confirmed Feb. 6:
Marvel Comics is excited to announce the new group of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes taking over an all-new era with Marvel Comics’ A-FORCE co-written by G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite K. Bennett with artwork by Jorge Molina .
This May, beginning in Marvel’s Secret Wars, the Avengers are no more! …
“She-Hulk, Dazzler, Medusa, Nico Minoru and other fan favorites, will take charge,” says series co-writer G. Willow Wilson. “We’ve purposefully assembled a team composed of different characters from disparate parts of the Marvel U, with very different power sets, identities and ideologies.”
Given that the current crop of Marvel editors and writers tend to prioritize political correctness over sound storytelling, one has to wonder if A-Force will actually be a creative juggernaut or a forgettable mess loved only by feminists for what it aimed to do instead of what it actually accomplished. Series editor Daniel Ketch hints at the answer, and it is not good.
The Huffington Post reported Feb. 6:
“Marvel has always celebrated the diversity of its family of characters and creators,” series editor Daniel Ketch said. “This new series will unite Marvel’s mightiest heroines with the exceptionally creative minds of writers G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite Bennett to craft a story full of epic battles, personal triumphs, and heart-stopping peril … and an all-new character who will push the boundaries of diversity in comic books even further.”
If a character just so happens to break new ground, then that’s great. It is a completely different situation when the creative origin of a character is “How do I push the boundaries of diversity?” The probability that the project will turn into politically correct psychobabble increases exponentially with the latter scenario because a writer will usually compromise his or her character’s integrity at the alter of “diversity” before allowing said hero to enter uncomfortable places.
Regardless, Ms. Wilson assured fans on Friday that she wasn’t going to “create yet another amazon.”
Marvel fans who rolled their eyes at She-Thor hope Ms. Wilson and Mr. Ketch are telling the truth. If they are, then perhaps A-Force will be a comic worth reading. If they are not, then it will be another embarrassing stain on a company that employs men like Tom take-your-devil-dealing-OMD-“medicine”-and-shut-up Brevoort.
Exit question: Marvel’s Daniel Ketch says the company celebrates the “diversity … of its creators.” Really? How many openly conservative writers are employed at Marvel? Can he name one? Where is the Captain America book penned by a writer who shares Nicholas Irving’s worldview? Has there been one since September 11, 2001? I don’t believe so.
Marvel’s ideological diversity seems to include a very small spectrum of political thought, which begins and ends with people like Dan go to “Christ-Land” Slott.
Update: If you’re one of the people bashing me over at Bell of Lost Souls, then … thanks for reading! I find it strange that you have such animated opinions of me that you’re willing to share with your friends, but not in the comments section here…but to each his own. It is telling, however.
And for the record, my avatar isn’t Tyler Durden from “Fight Club”; it’s Mickey O’Neil from “Snatch.” It fits with my “bareknuckled commentary” tagline. Your insults aren’t as funny when you can’t even get those straight.
Related: Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: Like Kamala Khan, intriguing book doesn’t know whether to go big or go small
Diverse, except in the narrow sociopolitical sense of the term, is the very last thing Marvel is. Marvel’s books are imbued with a singular ideology. And it’s no secret what that is. Worse, the ideas of The House That Is Out of Ideas seem to have degenerated into politically correct revisions of existing concepts to create media buzz. Everything else is one pointless event after another to bolster, at least temporarily, stagnant sales. Marvel should really consider renaming its brand to PC Comics in keeping with its existing creative persona. Good stories do not seem to be the goal any longer when Marvel’s editor trumpets proudly the creation of an “all-new character who will push the boundaries of diversity in comic books even further.” It has become about the press, the shock value, and generating controversy. Marvel has transformed into Madonna and her epigones.
Zing! I got a good laugh out of that one, Alltoohuman. Direct hit.
Boom. Again, an all-star comment. There’s not much I can add to that one.
Yesterday was quite an embarrassing one for Marvel…not only did Brevroot continue to cause a tumblr stir trying to justify Secret Wars as not being an attempt to “correct mistakes”, but Marvel pulled the announcement of this book from The View, and didn’t take the time to inform anyone watching the programme. DC Comics completely trumped them with their post-convergence line-up, which promised to end the New 52 branding (but not the universe) and offer up some fresh and diverse titles (we’ll see how long that lasts before the usual conflicts in creativity kick in over there, I’ve heard the Superman book is once more being treated like a revolving door)
The thing about this A-Force book is, so much of it hinges on alternate universe versions of some characters, not the “core” characters of the soon-to-be-decimated 616 universe, as evident by some wearing retro outfits, and the insertion of Spider-Gwen, and I sincerely hope that this is not a sign of brand fatigue with this character, she’s not even had two issues to herself and she’s being inserted into everything. I get she’s lightning in a bottle, but this runs the risk of shortening out the electricity.
However, Marvel seemed to bounce back in terms of captivating attention in a significant way by announcing that Kamala Khan’s Sana Amanat is now the chief director of character development at the company. Expect a lot more feminine synergy in the months to come.
A double-whammy! 🙂
That reminds me of the Dan Slott post from awhile back where he was saying that fans don’t know the truth about the industry, the reason Silk is getting her own title, etc. My response was that more or less the fans have a pretty good bead on what’s going on, and that Slott’s entire rant ignored the fact that Marvel is a company and its employees will hold the company line — even if that means lying. Heck, Slott himself said he felt bad that he lied to people during the course of Superior Spider-Man.
For Brevoort to say that Secret Wars is completely divorced from Marvel’s need to do a little house cleaning is laughable. I don’t know why these guys try to continue to lie in the age of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. It makes no sense. They could get away with that junk in the days when readers only really had the “Letters to the Editor” section to vent their frustrations (conveniently controlled by Marvel), but it doesn’t work in 2015. Sorry. No dice. Try being forthright with your readers, Tom. It’s a much better business model than spitting in their faces.
Geez, what’s next — a reunion of the Lady Liberators? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/26/ValkyrieAvengers83.png
I anxiously await a storyline straight out of today’s headlines: where one of the team claims she was raped while in college … because she did not verbally, and explicitly, consent to the sex act.
My big thing is that these sorts of events shouldn’t feel like a politically correct stunt. When it feels like a Tarantino-esque “Fox Force Five”-inspired event, then something is wrong. It has to feel natural. Having a team of, say, 3 women and 2 men — with a woman as the leader — would be natural. If it turns out that five random women got together to start their own team because “Women Power!” … that’s just weird.
Side note: If you’re not careful, Hube, the folks over at Bell of Lost Souls are going to get angry with you. 😉
Here’s a good one from “Mr. Mystery” on me:
The guy goes to my “About” section, and then gives me crap for talking about who I am. Yes, my readers like to know a little bit about me. Weird, huh? Was I actually in the military? Yes.
Even better is that now military service apparently isn’t worth his respect if I didn’t get shot at in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m sorry that I’m an old guy and volunteered to go infantry in the 90s. It’s not my fault Bill Clinton was getting blowjobs in the White House by his intern instead of focusing on the gathering national security storms to come.
But hey, “Mr. Mystery” totally respects the military. Yep. He just questions whether or not you served until you show him your DD214. And then he denigrates your service if you weren’t dodging RPGs in urban combat.
Here’s another gem from over at Bell of Lost Souls.
Notice that I didn’t talk about G. Willow Wilson’s Muslim faith in this blog post. In fact, the only thing I did was voice my concerns about the book while making it clear that I would have to reserve my final judgment until it actually came out. But to people like “Eldargal,” who aren’t really interested in having a debate, the conversation has to shift to “Muslim American G. Willow Wilson” and “Muslim American Sana Amanat.” I’m not really into talking about hyphenated Americans, Eldargal. No thanks.
Long story short: When you disagree with a critic (or even a potential critic) of Ms. Wilson, just start invoking her Muslim faith and her gender. Gotcha.
Whenever a liberal accuses you of something, just note that they are usually projecting. Case in point: I’m “whining,” and yet Eldargal is not by saying that American culture is “actively hostile to anyone who isn’t a straight white man.” Heh.
“A Crash Course in Feminism Mk. II (or, why everyone should be a feminist)”
This is supposed to be a wargaming forum. 940 pages of this? What the hell?
I was a little confused by that, too. I looked at the mission statement for the website and then read the pages about my post and couldn’t help but think that it was a feminist/LGBT website masquerading as a gaming website.
You didn’t say a thing about the backgrounds of the writers of the new book, and I never would have guessed from your blog post. So why did the respondent raise the issue? Seems to be a case of a red herring or poisoning the well fallacy. Then there’s his “straight white man” comment used implicitly as a pejorative. I’m hurt. Maybe he should have followed that comment up with, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”
Indeed, it is interesting how “white man” can be used as a pejorative my people like eldargal and no one on forums like that even blinks.
I feel like Tom in that one Tom and Jerry short, being fed castor oil by an obnoxious kid. This is pointless and solves nothing.
At least DC is doing something good, finally removing that “THE NEW 52!” tag, right? Right…?
I’ve never really been much of a DC guy, but I did hear about that. Without knowing much more than what you’ve said, it at least sounds like an improvement.
Speaking of PC bunk, listen to this log-line for a possible short, ten to fifteen minute film I’ve read from a student of mine from my scriptwriting class:
“After beating the odds to adopt two twin boys, gay partners fight to get their kids back after they are kidnapped by their anti gay grandparents.”
I’m wondering if I should critique this idea as about as truthful and original as Milk that will only get praise because it follows the zeitgeist to a capital T and that, if the guy truly wants to make something new and different, he’d make something where the grandparents are actual, devout Muslims and all this happens in a country with a sizable Muslim population who only let this happen out of fear of Western military response. It’d certainly add to the tension for our two gay parent protagonists and be far more edgy and topical.
I’m not familiar with gay adoption rules, so I’ll refrain from speaking on that sort of thing.
Regardless, I’d rather keep the conversation on Marvel/DC, G. Willow Wilson’s work on A-Force, her fans and their reaction to any form of criticism, and industry creators. I specifically went out of my way not to mention G. Willow Wilson’s religion for a reason.
Marvel has yet to prove any digital sales, and the print sales of the Ms. Marvel book are less than stellar. This is screaming of a marketing hype tactic of bragging about a books sales to get readers while in reality it is not doing great. I do not think it is at the more common cancellation point yet (now around 22K, which is lower than it used to be) but it is far from a great selling title.
Is there even a site that tracks digital sales? I thought Marvel didn’t release that information.
No there is not, and that info is not released. With that said they have yet to prove that it is a big hit and regular copies numbers are far from great.
We’ve talked about this before, but it really bothers me that using sales is a one-way street; the creators use whatever numbers they want to talk about how great a book is selling, but then the second you use their own numbers against them they say, “Oh, well, you don’t see the real numbers.” What?! Either be transparent and put all your cards out on the table, or don’t talk to me about the numbers at all.
Sales in the low 30K range are not very good. If they also add that same amount in as digital they would still be at around 60K which is I guess by today’s standards good. They have never really had good sales with digital so I tend to not believe them very much when they brag about them now.
With the amount of exposure Marvel and its products have today, I would hope that any half-way decent character could eke out 30,000 in digital sales worldwide. Maybe I’m wrong, but it would be rather depressing if that was not the case.
In the 1960’s, a comic book that sold 100, 000 copies might be considered marginally adequate. In fact, Mystery in Space was selling about 180, 000 when DC cancelled it for low sales in 1966. Admittedly, the Batman TV show fad may have temporarily (and artificially) boosted sales of Batman and Detective Comics that year, making everything else look bad by comparison. But Marvel’s Avengers and related titles (Thor, Iron Man, Captain America) today have a similar advantage (multimedia tie-ins to increase publicity), and still apparently have sales figures that are a fraction of what they were in the Silver Age.
Are there any comics selling 180, 000 copies today without movie/TV/video game tie-ins (as Adam Strange and Space Ranger did in the Silver Age)? Are there any comics now selling 180, 000 copies, period?
For that matter, Uncle Scrooge routinely sold over 800, 000 ca. 1960.
And I suspect that Marvel would not be hesitant to release digital sales figures if those figures were good.
I think it’s likely that the medium is simply obsolete and dying out. And maybe it’s just as well.
I wish I had the money to conduct a study on comic book fans. I’d see how many libertarian and conservative-leaning readers scaled back their purchasing (perhaps all together) because of the blatant politically correct pap that keeps getting churned out by Marvel/DC. When you see some of the social media pages of these creators and they make it clear that they want to be seen as activist/writers instead of just “writers” … you can’t help but shake your head.
The Batman show saved the Batman comic it was close to being cancelled at that time.
Personally I think when it comes to storytelling, diversity has to come naturally as part of the story/location and forcefully grouping together random characters doesn’t always work. Additionally a diverse range of personalities is more important than a diverse range of demographics.
Remember those cringe worthy TV shows from the 90s that had loads of diversity but all of the characters had wooden personalities and they didn’t gel together? That’s the mistake modern day storytellers make in then they’re inserting diversity to target demographics instead of simply telling a good story that just so happens to have a diverse range of characters (that gel together).
I think maybe Marvel could learn a lot from say how the James Bond franchise handles characters/diversity. Each James Bond film is usually set in a different country with a diverse range of characters/personalities that naturally fit into the story without getting that feel that they’ve introduced a character just to “tick off” a demographic.
If they wrote this like real life in the business world, then all the women should start fighting with each other over who’s the most popular, and who’s the prettiest, while the only sensible woman pulls out her hair in frustration. You know, like Celebrity Apprentice. Then an organized all-male team annihilates them, and takes over the title.
P.S. Ms Marvel had direct sales to retailers of about 30K + in December 2014, according to Diamond.