Nick Spencer Marvel

Imagine you are a Marvel editor on Steve Rogers: Captain America, which comes out Wednesday. You’re hoping the book sells well despite the new costume looking like something from Marvel’s NFL Superpro in the 1990s. Everything is ready to go, and then you glance at the writer’s Twitter feed and realize that he constantly advertises his own hatred towards [insert large group of potential customers here] and calls them “evil” instead of promoting the book. What would you do?

The answer — at least when it comes to having 20/20 hate-vision for Republicans — is nothing.

Yes, that’s right, Captain America writer Nick Spencer can tell the world he has an Orwellian “2 Minutes Hate”-thing for Republicans and there are apparently zero repercussions.

Nick Spencer blind hate

It is glaringly obvious that readers who are independent voters are even turned off by his rhetoric, and yet Marvel and so-called industry journalists do nothing. They sit back and watch as sales suffer because writers like Mr. Spencer tell potential customers they are evil — merely for disagreeing on public policy.

Nick Spencer Twitter politics

Take this in: The man who writes Captain America — a hero who should transcend petty politics — is a partisan hack of the highest order. He speaks of the “myth” of the “good Republican” because … they might disagree with liberal family members on complex issues.

Nick Spencer Twitter political rant

Mr. Spencer says conservatives turn “so evil” when discussing cultural issues. Let us now take a moment to examine the refugee crisis in Europe, for example.

CNN reported Jan 6:

Germany has been shocked by the apparently coordinated crime wave, in which Cologne police received more than 100 criminal complaints from women who said they had been sexually assaulted or robbed by gangs of men of Arab or North African appearance in the city center during New Year’s Eve festivities. Cologne police would not elaborate Wednesday on the total number of crimes reported, as the figure continued to rise.

Police have said that about a quarter of the complaints related to sexual assaults, including a rape, and that they believed the assaults were probably intended to distract the victims, allowing attackers to steal mobile phones and other devices.

Say you’re a young man who reads Mr. Spencer’s Twitter feed. You’re not particularly political, but you know that your brother is a conservative guy. You ask your brother about the refugee crisis and the conversation goes as follows:

Comic Kid: What do you think of the refugee crisis in Germany?

Conservative Brother: Did you hear about the waves of sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve?

Comic Kid: Yeah. What’s up with that?

Conservative Brother: Germany took in 1.1 million refugees from the Middle East and North Africa in 2015. They flooded cities with Muslims, and it’s going to have a huge cultural impact in the years to come. Many of these individuals have no respect for western values. They came from countries where women could be beaten for leaving the house without a related male escort, they could be executed in “honor killings,” etc.

Comic Kid: Hmmm.

Conservative Brother: There was one city, Sumte, which had a population of just over 100 people. They were ordered to take in 1,000 refugees. The German government culturally upended the city of Sumte with one stroke of the pen.

Comic Kid: It’s kind of hard to argue with that.

In the mind of Nick Spencer, pointing out irrefutable facts that make his preferred public policies less desirable is “evil.” Instead of simply acknowledging that reasonable people can disagree, he takes to Twitter to tell anyone who will listen that their conservative family members are “evil.” Mr. Spencer is a sick man.

If Marvel has any responsible editors left within the building, then someone will rein in Mr. Spencer’s behavior. We all know that if he said people need to “stop believing in the myth of the good Muslim” then he would be fired, but perhaps there is someone with a shred of integrity who will address the situation.

Congratulations, Marvel Comics. Your Captain America writer spends his time on social media telling about half your potential customers that they are “evil.” Good luck with that business model.

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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.

36 comments

  1. Congratulations, Nick Spencer. You have just been added to the list of comic book writers I will never support in any way, shape or form. That’s an astonishing feat considering that so far there is only one other name on that list (good old Scott Lobdell). Given that comic books are pretty much an endangered species as far as artistic mediums (media?) go, that’s the exact opposite type of behavior I would expect from a “professional” who should be doing whatever he can to try and bring in every potential buyer available.

    If Nick Spencer feels comfortable taking a fact like, “Republicans have their own opinions,” and warping it into a bizarre idea like, “All Republicans are evil”, then I feel completely justified in interpreting the message behind Mr. Spencer’s tweets as, “I hate comic books and will do everything I can to sabotage their sales by driving potential customers away.” I love comic books. More so than I love any of the actual characters, I love the medium and if Nick Spencer is out to destroy it then I wish nothing but failure and a short career upon him.

    I myself do not identify as a Republican. On many issues I am moderate or completely indifferent. But in the past few years it’s the behavior of people like Nick Spencer who have me suddenly feeling as if my right leg is a couple feet shorter than it should be. How a person can be an advocate of peace, love, understanding and acceptance and simultaneously be so hateful and intolerant of anyone with a different opinion is beyond me, but what seems plainly obvious is that a mentality like that (when shared by millions of people) is far more dangerous to American freedom than any terrorist, drug dealer, dictator or monarch has ever been.

    1. “Given that comic books are pretty much an endangered species as far as artistic mediums (media?) go, that’s the exact opposite type of behavior I would expect from a ‘professional’ who should be doing whatever he can to try and bring in every potential buyer available.”

      I think the saying is “silence is consent unto the law,” which must mean that Tom Brevoort endorses the sort of invective Mr. Spencer spews on a regular basis. It’s absolutely stunning that someone can work on a key title at Marvel and get away with having a social media account that, for all intents and purposes, runs on a bizarre hatred for people who disagree with his politics.

      “I myself do not identify as a Republican. On many issues I am moderate or completely indifferent. But in the past few years it’s the behavior of people like Nick Spencer who have me suddenly feeling as if my right leg is a couple feet shorter than it should be. How a person can be an advocate of peace, love, understanding and acceptance and simultaneously be so hateful and intolerant of anyone with a different opinion is beyond me, but what seems plainly obvious is that a mentality like that (when shared by millions of people) is far more dangerous to American freedom than any terrorist, drug dealer, dictator or monarch has ever been.”

      He rails against Republicans without having the self-awareness to know that he is the mirror image of those he despises in the Republican Party. There are psychos across the political spectrum, but they never can see just how much they have in common with those they detest.

      I have liberal relatives, which is one reason I would never tweet, “We need to get over the myth of the ‘good liberal.'” Who does that? Do I disagree with some of my relatives? Sure. Of course. Do I think they’re evil? No.

      I’ve said this before, but Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements” is a stellar book. It really does explain what guys like Mr. Spencer are all about.

    2. Gail Simone and John Layman are also both incredibly snobby and unable to grasp the concept of someone who could disagree with them and fail to be a horrible person.

      I got into a conversation once with Jimmy Palmiotti where we disagreed on politics, and he was polite, so there are some with some class.

    3. There’s fact that him and some many other SJW’s and ultra-conservatives never seem to realize is America is a Republic(For an example of when conservatives types are weird is saying America needs a weak central gov’t when that’s an antithesis to Republicanism). Like he does realize by saying Republicans are evil he’s essentially saying America is fundamentally evil as being Republican is actually the default political stance. I’m a liberal and a democrat but s**t, it annoys the f**k outta me how little these extreme political types know about politics.

    4. “For an example of when conservatives types are weird is saying America needs a weak central gov’t when that’s an antithesis to Republicanism.”

      The colonies fought a war to free their citizens from a king — the ultimate in consolidated power — and then put together a form of government with co-equal branches (sorry, Executive Branch). They ratified the U.S. Constitution, which clearly and unequivocally lays out the limits of the federal government, which should be a fraction of the size of today’s bloated bureaucracy.

      The federal government should be able to protect the people from foreign threats — secure for the common defense — and a few other clearly delineated tasks. It should not be regulating our lives down to what is and is not considered eggnog.

  2. No rational debate on immigration reform, or any other subject, is possible. One side tries to express valid concerns (the possibility that some “refugees” could be terrorist Trojan Horses, the problem with adding unskilled immigrants to our population when we have too few unskilled labor jobs). The other side screams “racism” and “Islamophobia,” and the discussion is over.

    1. “No rational debate on immigration reform, or any other subject, is possible. One side tries to express valid concerns (the possibility that some ‘refugees’ could be terrorist Trojan Horses, the problem with adding unskilled immigrants to our population when we have too few unskilled labor jobs). The other side screams ‘racism’ and ‘Islamophobia,’ and the discussion is over.”

      And that’s the rub, isn’t it? Refusing to have a rational discussion actually produces the very kind of extremism Nick Spencer says he loathes. For all intents and purposes he tells people with legitimate concerns, “Shut up and accept millions of people into your country who don’t share many of your cultural values and if you raise any concerns then you’re a racist.” How do they respond? They get angry. Really angry.

      Nick Spencer is obsessed with Trump, which is funny because the brand of divisive politics he spews are in many ways what brought the billionaire’s candidacy into existence.

    2. That’s not the case in Europe, there are almost no jobs to go around period as there are more people even without refuges than there are jobs.

  3. I honestly don’t think Marvel cares anymore about its comics division when I read stuff like this. The movies are the bread and butter now.

    I remember Kurt Busiek arguing a couple years ago that “half the customers” wasn’t actually correct (purposely missing the point?). He said that Republicans are more like 30-some percent of the country, as if writing even that figure off right off the top is some sort of good business model.

    1. “I honestly don’t think Marvel cares anymore about its comics division when I read stuff like this. The movies are the bread and butter now.”

      That is true, but I think when the post mortem is performed on the comics division it will be important to have the behavior of Mr. Spencer and others chronicled. Every year I write on this stuff more and more people are reading these blog posts. The Marvel editors can laugh, but I have the WordPress stats to back it up if I wanted. If I spent 5 hours digging through and organizing all the numbers I could probably put together a punishing blog post. That might be one for a future YouTube video…

      “I remember Kurt Busiek arguing a couple years ago that ‘half the customers’ wasn’t actually correct (purposely missing the point?). He said that Republicans are more like 30-some percent of the country, as if writing even that figure off right off the top is some sort of good business model.”

      Mr. Busiek can dissect the numbers all day if he wants, but the country generally falls along 50/50 lines in terms of political philosophy. When people are responding to Mr. Spencer’s tweets with, “Ummm, what’s with your weird hatred of Republicans?” that’s a good sign that independent readers don’t like it.

      The “evil” tweets definitely alienate moderate readers. You might have a guy who has serious empathy for immigrants, but at the same time he realizes that having completely open borders is a recipe for disaster. The guy wants to be compassionate, yet practical, and then he runs across Spencer’s tweeter feed. Where is that going to push him?

      When I first got out of the military I considered myself a default Democrat. I didn’t care about politics, but then I ran into guys like Spencer with teaching degrees. It was those sorts of hate-filled rants that prompted me to look into the writings of Thomas Sowell, etc., in the first place.

  4. Doug thanks for letting me know about Nick Spencer.

    I really don’t understand these guys and their social media presence. If I were a writer or artist I would have personal and professional accounts. Your professional account should be about promotion of your work ONLY. Marvel allows employees/contractors to damage their brand for the sake of their personal politics. If one of my employees (I’m in property management/real estate) were spewing hate and alienating large segments of the population from accounts that they allowed tenants/customers to access, they would be terminated. We operate apolitical as a company, so should Marvel.

    I have wondered for some time if Marvel Comics actually had interest in making money, sustainable growth and retaining customers. We’ve suffered years of pandering and gimmick events. I wish I saved the link that showed how little the comics division actually made up of Marvel’s total revenues.

    These fools can’t see the writing on the walls and how every reader these days are important.

    1. “I really don’t understand these guys and their social media presence. If I were a writer or artist I would have personal and professional accounts. Your professional account should be about promotion of your work ONLY.”

      That’s the key — you’re a professional. These activist/writers are not. There are all sorts of things I would like to say on Twitter, but a.) I don’t want to make my employer angry, and b.) it’s probably better if I didn’t, anyway. Regardless, as you point out, most employers simply would not tolerate the kind of antics on display by Marvel’s writers. The fact that these guys are totally rampant with their rhetoric speaks volumes out Marvel’s editors.

      “I wish I saved the link that showed how little the comics division actually made up of Marvel’s total revenues. These fools can’t see the writing on the walls and how every reader these days are important.”

      I suppose they figure the industry will hobble along for enough years that they’ll be able to make a career out of it. Maybe they’re right, but it’s sad to see comics primarily turn into catnip for rabid political activists.

  5. These guys are not writers, they are activists that write. This isn’t opinion to them, it’s a war between good and evil and they are completely, utterly convinced they are good…making them completely unable to see how absolutely off kilter his views are or be able to see others who disagree with him in anyway that would even help him wtrite a decent character.

    One of the tweet streams you put here from him betrays a man that is seriously on the edge also. It’s actually pretty frightening. Basically saying that even a ‘good’ republican is actually evil…implying that anything he would have to say would be evil toward minorities…This is the exact kind of sick thinking that makes it possible for men to murder innocent people and feel justified about it. It’s the justification of the terrorist, the fascist, the homophobe even…and Nick would probably be the last to recognize that he would be an enabler, if not a participant if his life had a different context.

    1. “These guys are not writers, they are activists that write. This isn’t opinion to them, it’s a war between good and evil and they are completely, utterly convinced they are good…making them completely unable to see how absolutely off kilter his views are or be able to see others who disagree with him in anyway that would even help him write a decent character.”

      Boom. Well said.

      “One of the tweet streams you put here from him betrays a man that is seriously on the edge also. It’s actually pretty frightening. Basically saying that even a ‘good’ republican is actually evil…implying that anything he would have to say would be evil toward minorities…This is the exact kind of sick thinking that makes it possible for men to murder innocent people and feel justified about it. It’s the justification of the terrorist, the fascist, the homophobe even…and Nick would probably be the last to recognize that he would be an enabler, if not a participant if his life had a different context.”

      “On the edge” is a great way to put it. The guy has his own Twitter followers politely saying, “Ummm, dude, you’re got a blind rage thing going on here that you might want to address,” and his response boils down to, “No…I see everything…so clearly. You’re the blind ones.”

      If you could hear Nick Spencer’s internal monologue it would probably have a feverish tone or something out of Heart of Darkness.

  6. If he couldn’t handle comedy in Superior Foes (one of many comics in which I don’t see what all the praise and awards are about), what made people think Spencer could handle drama in Captain America?

  7. Funny, I see this article today when a bunch of SJW morons on Twitter are demanding Captain America be made gay because shut up that’s why. I have the feeling Spencer would be quite receptive to that.

    “If Marvel has any responsible editors left within the building, then someone will rein in Mr. Spencer’s behavior.”

    Oh, I’m sure everyone here could come up with sizable lists of all sorts of things responsible Marvel editors would’ve reined in. As it is, there’s no one left–either because they agree with the Spencers of the world or because they’re too afraid of incurring SJW wrath. Disney’s checked out, too. They’re too busy focusing on (as Hube put it) the bread and butter to notice or care. But sooner or later, Disney’ll realize they can make more money selling reprints than producing new comics. Spencer and the gaggle at Marvel certainly act like they’re on borrowed time.

    1. “Spencer and the gaggle at Marvel certainly act like they’re on borrowed time.”

      The “Nothing Left to Lose” theory does increasingly make sense… Sigh.

    2. Disney has already realized, considering Star Wars Episode 7 is essentially A New Hope: PC Edition.

  8. Doug,

    I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but I want to start my own comic publishing business. In doing research trying to find out what i need to do to make my company successful, I went into the history of comic publishing in America. I wanted to know why comics weren’t successful here as they were, in say, France, Japan, or Belgium.

    As I went through and did more and more research I came to a conclusion that shocked me: the industry has been continually declining since the 50s.
    It wasn’t bad writing, social justice, obnoxious writers, television, the Comics Code, or video games that killed it. It was the fact that the mainstream industry is relying on a business model that’s been out of date since, at the very earliest, 1950.

    That’s why it fails, and until the people in charge at these companies realize this and do something about it, they will continue to fail.

    1. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but I want to start my own comic publishing business.

      I would have definitely remembered that one because I’d be very interested in the process. Keep me updated!

      “In doing research trying to find out what i need to do to make my company successful, I went into the history of comic publishing in America. I wanted to know why comics weren’t successful here as they were, in say, France, Japan, or Belgium. […] It wasn’t bad writing, social justice, obnoxious writers, television, the Comics Code, or video games that killed it. It was the fact that the mainstream industry is relying on a business model that’s been out of date since, at the very earliest, 1950.”

      I would not be surprised if that is the case. Whatever problems they are having are only exacerbated by advances in technology, demand for a better digital platform, etc.

    2. Ever since Vox Day had success in starting Castalia House, I’m convinced that there’s a market for non insane fiction and non-fiction comics. However, I have many obstacles.
      I can barely draw, I have very little money, I’m easily distracted, no business experience, I’ve never written a fiction story, and just to put the cherry on top, I have terrible time management.

      I have a very long road ahead of me…

    3. When I was recently thinking about this, I thought that, by the time I acquired all the skills necessary, the industry would be fixed and I would be late to the party. The way the industry is going, I’ll need to arrive early to steer it the way I think it should go.

  9. Dear Doug: Have you read today’s announcement from brevoort and Spencer, in which they announced that Steve Rogers has been an actual Hydra agent — not faking, not mind-control — for his entire Captain America career?

    I just throw my hands up in disgust. I think it deserves its own article.

  10. Hey,

    I came across you blog and I’ve enjoyed your writing. I’m a Libertarian writer, and I’ve also written on small government themes in comic book materials. In fact, I posted an article about this just the other day.

    http://jeremyasims.blogspot.com/2016/05/captain-america-civil-war-second.html

    Would you be interested in promoting each other? I could share some of your articles. You could share some of mine either on the blog itself or on social media? Drop me a line and let me know.

    1. Jeremy,

      Thanks for reading! I appreciate it. I gave your blog a quick look and it appears as though you have a strong writing career ahead of you. I’ll definitely make sure to add it to my circuit of websites to check out.

      In terms of your other questions, I’m not opposed to linking to other websites when appropriate. I don’t really share entire blog posts here and my Twitter feed is almost exclusively used for work-related material.

      I’ve had a few people ask me to team up on projects before, but I have always politely declined. I am more than happy to talk through these sorts of issues in the comments section, though. 🙂

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