cwii-5

Brian Michael Bendis’ Civil War II #5 hit stores this week, and someone must have slipped something in his drink because he dedicated the entire issue to a massive brawl between Team Stark and Team Danvers. Is that a good thing? A bad thing? You’ll have to check out my latest YouTube video to find out.

After you’re done watching, let me know what you think in the comments section below — particularly you’re thoughts on the Inhuman Ulysses’ latest vision.

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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.

35 comments

  1. Great video! I’m really enjoying these videos you are doing. At this point I’m kind of done with Marvel. I’ll still pick up Carnage as long as they put it out, but at this point I don’t even recognize the characters and universe anymore. It’s just not fun for me to read, so I’m not going to waste money on comics I’m not interested in. CW2 just sounds like a slog to read through.

    On the flip side, the DC rebirth stuff has re-ignited my love for comics and the DC characters. The new 52 really bummed me out, but DC has really done right by me with rebirth. I’ve said it before, but they did everything so right. You have the old characters (that act like they should) the new characters (whether they are legacy, mantle-sharing, brand new, etc.) have a place and are entertaining, and changes made to classic characters make sense and are interesting to read. I’ve found myself picking up books on older characters I’ve never read before, or new characters comics, and have been enjoying them. And given that all of the books on my pull list (5 books total, which is the most I’ve had in years) are all $2.99 doesn’t hurt either.

    1. “Great video! I’m really enjoying these videos you are doing.”

      Thanks! I wanted to get at least one up per week, but sometimes my schedule doesn’t allow for it. I’m trying to figure out the right formula for getting them up quickly, but done in a way where viewers like you will still enjoy them. 🙂

      “At this point I’m kind of done with Marvel. I’ll still pick up Carnage as long as they put it out, but at this point I don’t even recognize the characters and universe anymore. It’s just not fun for me to read, so I’m not going to waste money on comics I’m not interested in.”

      “Fun” is the key word, and for whatever reason it seems like Marvel is sucking the fun out of it’s books. It’s weird. Either heroes are fighting heroes, or the writers are beating us over the head with political crowbars while screaming, “Care about my activism like I care about my activism! Doooooo it!”

      “On the flip side, the DC rebirth stuff has re-ignited my love for comics and the DC characters. The new 52 really bummed me out, but DC has really done right by me with rebirth. I’ve said it before, but they did everything so right. You have the old characters (that act like they should) the new characters (whether they are legacy, mantle-sharing, brand new, etc.) have a place and are entertaining, and changes made to classic characters make sense and are interesting to read.

      That is exactly what multiple employees at my local comic shop said. Why doesn’t Marvel get this? Arrrrg! It’s so frustrating.

  2. Sorry, I forgot to comment on the Miles thing!

    So what is Captain Marvel’s plan here?

    Carol: “Hey, I’m gonna arrest Miles on intel from a person whose visions of the future I have blindly put all my faith in but I’m not sure exactly how they work, or if this person is who they claim to be!”

    People with brains: “So, how long is he arrested for? When is the trial for the crime he hasn’t committed yet? Are you going to hold him however long you feel like?”

    Carol: “Uh…., just go with it, you’re embarrassing me here!”

    1. “Carol: ‘Uh…., just go with it, you’re embarrassing me here!'”

      Basically. It’s just, “Stand down, Tony! Let me have my way with this convoluted plan that I somehow convinced Spider-Man and a bunch of others was a good idea!”

      Even if Bendis was essentially going back to the “Guantanamo Bay” well, with al Qaeda terrorist those guys were picked up on the battlefield, they were buddies with known terrorists, etc. There was some form of intelligence a person could latch onto and say, “Yeah, this is a bad dude.” With this we’re supposed to take the word of some dude who showed up out of nowhere and makes claims about the future. And like you said, no one is really sure what is going on but they act as if he’s this infallible being. Bendis forces the heroes to behave in ways that are counter to common sense, but we’re supposed to just buy into it because…Bendis. No.

  3. Great video review Doug. AvX was the last event I purchased and that was a total crapfest.

    I’m over all the super heroes beating the crap out of each other, it simply isn’t utilising the characters to their best potential. As far as I’m concerned it isn’t storytelling, it’s carnival barking for a WWE style wrestling bout.

    1. Furthermore if I might add, where are Marvel’s super villains, supporting cast members and the general background public? For a company that uses the adage of “the world outside your window” it seems to ignore most other inhabitants except for the supers punching each other out.

      IMO, there are some writers at Marvel whose imaginative creative wells dried up long ago.

    2. “IMO, there are some writers at Marvel whose imaginative creative wells dried up long ago.”

      I think the “old boys club” mentality that they have going on there, where their retreats seem to serve no purpose but to ego-massage the guy to the right in the Marvel version of a bongo-circle, has really hurt the product. It encourages laziness. If someone comes up with an idea, they go with it. If you go back interviews on ASM, you’ll see random comments like, “Dan really had to sell me on this one…it took awhile.” Well, why? If a writer had to work that hard to sell you on the idea, then maybe you should have just stuck to your gut instinct.

      Where are the editors? As we’ve discussed before, it seems like most of them are out to lunch.

    3. “Great video review Doug. AvX was the last event I purchased and that was a total crapfest.”

      I should have explicitly mentioned AvX and I didn’t. Arrrg! Want to know why I didn’t? Because I checked out on that one, too. 😉 I bought the first issue and then literally threw it in the trash after skimming it.

      “I’m over all the super heroes beating the crap out of each other, it simply isn’t utilising the characters to their best potential. As far as I’m concerned it isn’t storytelling, it’s carnival barking for a WWE style wrestling bout.

      That’s a good way to put it. I can think of one writer in particular who is a good carnival barker…

  4. Q: Have any of the characters mentioned, “the last time we did this to each other”? You know, when clone-Thor ran wild, Bill Foster got killed, Tony Stark organized a death-squad of psychopaths, May Parker got shot,.. Which, in their MU time, would have been a mere 18 months ago?

    Kudos to Geoff Johns over at DC, then.

    We point these faults out to show that Marvel has no commitment to quality story workmanship at this time. Even when all you’re doing to producing superhero funny-books, you can try to make good ones. But all evidence points to Marvel being totally out of gas. Hence the gender-swapping fad, too. That’s a substitute for actual creativity.

    1. “Q: Have any of the characters mentioned, ‘the last time we did this to each other’? You know, when clone-Thor ran wild, Bill Foster got killed, Tony Stark organized a death-squad of psychopaths, May Parker got shot,.. Which, in their MU time, would have been a mere 18 months ago?”

      There have been a few things said in passing, but in general there is a kind of willful ignorance going on.

  5. Great video Doug.

    I have been curious as to whether or not the original plan was for Miles to kill Peter Parker in the future and not Cap…seeing as one of the rumours from the CWII summit meeting was that Bendis proposed killing off Peter but Slott wanted to keep Peter on the table so he could continue his storylines. I think by that point the RYV series was also in the pipeline so I’m wondering now if the idea was to kill off 616 Peter, only to then bring back the married one and fold him into the universe? Cookie Conspiracy Theories abound here, I need a realist to disappoint me

    1. If those rumors are true, that kind of sounds like Slott was the only thing standing between Peter and the Bendis chopping block. That’s kinda unsettling, even without throwing around theories on why Bendis wanted to kill him.

    2. “If those rumors are true, that kind of sounds like Slott was the only thing standing between Peter and the Bendis chopping block. That’s kinda unsettling, even without throwing around theories on why Bendis wanted to kill him.”

      Marvel has shown that none of the classics are safe. Peter was already killed during SSM; Iron Man was turned into a nut in Civil War I and is set to disappear in October; Captain America became Hydra-Cap; Thor was gender-swapped; Iceman had a sexuality swap; and Bruce Banner was assassinated. This current crop of editors has no allegiance to the original characters since they are often seen as a road block to a political agenda.

    3. “I have been curious as to whether or not the original plan was for Miles to kill Peter Parker in the future and not Cap…seeing as one of the rumours from the CWII summit meeting was that Bendis proposed killing off Peter but Slott wanted to keep Peter on the table so he could continue his storylines.”

      Hmmm. I can’t imagine Bendis proposing the death of Peter Parker unless it is already known for sure that Dan is stepping down when his contract is up. That would be the “ideal” time from a business standpoint to kill Peter (even though I would not advocate for such a thing).

      “I think by that point the RYV series was also in the pipeline so I’m wondering now if the idea was to kill off 616 Peter, only to then bring back the married one and fold him into the universe? Cookie Conspiracy Theories abound here, I need a realist to disappoint me.”

      That is plausible, but that would also box Marvel in for a bit. Once you bring RYV Peter into the current universe, then married Peter is there. And if the idea is über popular, which I think it would be, that would throw a wrench in Marvel’s plans to elevate Miles.

      I really think Marvel is confused, because there must be individuals who are chomping at the bit to kill Peter and make Miles “the” Spider-Man, but Peter is still a fan favorite. No matter how many times Marvel takes a giant dump on Peter, people understand who he is at his core and they love him for it. Readers know that they are always one story away from someone really “getting” Peter, and when that happens it’s magical.

  6. I’m struggling to remember the last big Marvel crossover even that wasn’t based partially or entirely on a hero-vs-hero plot. Both Civil Wars and AvX are obviously HvH. World War Hulk was too. Secret Wars? Ugh… Secret Invasion was all about heroes who were secretly Skrulls, so that’s kinda HvH as well. Fear Itself I think involved heroes turning into villains, but I was pretty checked out of marvel at that point. That leaves House of M, which is arguable since Scarlet Witch was an avenger and thought she was doing the right thing at the time. Even so that was over a decade ago. How can a company keep returning to the same dried up well for over a decade without even a little hesitation? It’s all just so befuddling when you look at it with some perspective.

  7. “Marvel has shown that none of the classics are safe. Peter was already killed during SSM; Iron Man was turned into a nut in Civil War I and is set to disappear in October; Captain America became Hydra-Cap; Thor was gender-swapped; Iceman had a sexuality swap; and Bruce Banner was assassinated.”

    Sounds like business as usual. Marvel (and DC) have been changing up characters, putting new spins, and killing off, and resurrecting, and then putting things back to “normal” for years. (Eric Masterson, She-Venom, Agent Venom, Hobgoblin, Lady Octopus, Beta Ray Bill, Barry Allen, Wally West, Kyle Raynor, “Az-Bats,” Dick Grayson, etc.)

    “That is plausible, but that would also box Marvel in for a bit. Once you bring RYV Peter into the current universe, then married Peter is there.”

    Frankly, I think I’d prefer RYV remaining its own thing. The odds of it needing to conform to the larger picture and editorial demands are less. (Since RYV had a long wait between the original series and continuation and Marvel has been very hostile to the idea of a married Spider-Man, I think it’s more likely that RYV was just intended to be a continuation than

    “And if the idea is über popular, which I think it would be, that would throw a wrench in Marvel’s plans to elevate Miles. I really think Marvel is confused, because there must be individuals who are chomping at the bit to kill Peter and make Miles “the” Spider-Man, but Peter is still a fan favorite.”

    To play devil’s advocate, wouldn’t there be a number of new fans who prefer the current Spider-Man and object to him being replaced by the RYV one?

    So, Marvel wants to eliminate their number one A-list character (and biggest cash cow) in favor of a C-lister who has nowhere near the same staying power, much less the popularity? I’m not sure if I buy that.

    1. “Sounds like business as usual. Marvel (and DC) have been changing up characters, putting new spins, and killing off, and resurrecting, and then putting things back to “normal” for years. (Eric Masterson, She-Venom, Agent Venom, Hobgoblin, Lady Octopus, Beta Ray Bill, Barry Allen, Wally West, Kyle Raynor, “Az-Bats,” Dick Grayson, etc.)”

      I really don’t want to lay into you, Weblurker, but comments like that make it hard to resist. Anyone who has read comics since at least the early 90s knows that the changes taking place these days are of a distinctly different variety than back then. There is a significant amount of political calculus involved, which anyone can see from the press statements and media coverage that follows. My goodness…

      “To play devil’s advocate, wouldn’t there be a number of new fans who prefer the current Spider-Man and object to him being replaced by the RYV one?”

      No. Would there be “a number”? Yes. Would it be a significant number? No. Call me when people are in the digital street with their pitchforks over Dan Slott’s Peter Parker-Wayne-Stark-Musk-Zuckerberg-Jobs. It’s not going to happen.

      “So, Marvel wants to eliminate their number one A-list character (and biggest cash cow) in favor of a C-lister who has nowhere near the same staying power, much less the popularity? I’m not sure if I buy that.”

      How about you try actually quoting me instead of just putting your own twist on what I said and reacting to that? I said “there must be individuals chomping at the bit” to kill off Peter. That is true. And if you can’t see that by now, then that’s your problem. It is a willful blindness on your part.

  8. Right. It was nothing more than a rumor. You can’t put it past the burned-out DiBlasio brains at Marvel to float horrible ideas like that, but there’s no proof it ever happened. I suppose some of us are suspicious that Marvel’s loony lefties would like to shove off Peter Parker and replace him with Miles, for no other reason than Peter is a white character and Miles is black. It would match the other pointless changes they’ve made with Iron Man, Thor, and whoever else. Because replacing classic, proven, low-selling, male Caucasian characters with faddish, no-following, low-selling, female POC characters strikes a blow for justice — that is, just-as the magazines fail. But it’s an unproven rumor, about as reliable as anything from Bleeding Cool (that is, not at all).

    1. What annoys me with some of Weblurker’s comments is that he totally ignores the evidence right in front of his face as to what is going on.

      Axel Alonso said of the new Avengers team: “Anyway — that roster! When [editor] Tom Brevoort laid out the cast for the new team, it just felt right — especially the inclusion of Ms. Marvel, Sam Wilson, and the new Thor. It felt like Next Level $#!#.”

      Bendis said of Miles Morales: “Our message has to be it’s not Spider-Man with an asterisk, it’s the real Spider-Man for kids of color, for adults of color and everybody else.”

      If gender-bending and race-bending the Avengers is “Next Level $#!#,” then it stands to reason that “Next Level Spider-Man $#!#” would be to replace Peter.

      If Bendis views Miles as “the” Spider-Man, then there really isn’t much wiggle room for denying how the stage has been set to remove Peter at any time.

      Weblurker calls ASM Marvel’s “cash-cow,” but everyone knows that Marvel’s “cash cow” (for now) is the movie industry, likely followed by video games moving forward … and of course merchandise. (Imagine Virtual Reality Marvel games where you can play as certain heroes…).

      There will come a point where Peter Parker is killed off, if for no other reasons than the good press that political activism brings. Even if they bring Peter back a year later, you can see the Entertainment Weekly and CNN headlines now: “Marvel kills Spider-Man: Minority web slinger steps up to save NYC.”

      The articles will then imply that everyone who objects to the decision is racist. Sales will be strong for three months as it’s raining variant covers, and then it will limp to the finish line a year later when Peter unceremoniously returns.

    2. “What annoys me with some of Weblurker’s comments is that he totally ignores the evidence right in front of his face as to what is going on.”

      That annoys me as well. His playing the devil’s advocate for people who don’t deserve it also bothers me. Like you said, the evidence is clearly in front of his face yet he ignores it. It’s been rather apparent for years that Marvel is actively trying to sideline, kill and/or replace Peter Parker with Miles Morales, who gets sold solely on the fact that he is black and wears a Spider-Man costume. That’s it. The same applies to Alonso and the SJW Avengers line-up, whose members were chosen based not on merit but on diversity.

      “There will come a point where Peter Parker is killed off, if for no other reasons than the good press that political activism brings. Even if they bring Peter back a year later, you can see the Entertainment Weekly and CNN headlines now: “Marvel kills Spider-Man: Minority web slinger steps up to save NYC.”

      Exactly. Every time Marvel and/or DC pulls a stunt like that, it gets a ton of mainstream press. Today I saw something on CBR about how Wonder Woman writer Greg Rucka has said that she’s “queer.” I kid you not. Since a lot of people didn’t like this retcon, expect to see a series of articles soon where they defend Rucka’s comments and imply that anyone who disagrees with them are “homophobic.”

      And it’s true. Anyone who criticizes the religion of diversity (aka diversity for diversity’s sake) ends up being savaged by the SJWs on social media. They recently attacked Tim Burton for having an “all-white” cast (ignoring the fact that Samuel L. Jackson is in the movie) in his upcoming movie “Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children.”

    3. “They recently attacked Tim Burton for having an “all-white” cast (ignoring the fact that Samuel L. Jackson is in the movie) in his upcoming movie ‘Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children.'”

      I didn’t hear about that. That’s unbelievable. Haha! Thanks for sharing.

    4. “I didn’t hear about that. That’s unbelievable. Haha! Thanks for sharing.”

      Here’s a link: http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2016/09/29/tim-burton-slams-political-correctness-following-diversity-criticism-of-films/

      Apparently, Burton’s response triggered Rob “Iron Fist Never Should’ve Been White” Bricken of I09: http://io9.gizmodo.com/tim-burton-says-something-monumentally-stupid-about-mis-1787250999#_ga=1.113491457.705171027.1475258019

      Needless to say, Bricken went off the rails, and that’s putting it nicely. He basically says the same thing he did in his Iron Fist article, that “there’s nothing that requires the characters be white,” blah blah blah.

      Also, I know Web Lurker doesn’t think that Marvel wants to replace characters like Peter Parker and Tony Stark, but it’s rather apparent that they do. Check out this article where Bendis is whining about “hate mail” he received for replacing Stark with Ri Ri Williams: http://www.newsarama.com/31273-why-heartbroken-brian-bendis-got-hate-mail-and-head-shots-after-ironheart-announcement.html

      He also goes off the rails, and basically calls everyone who disagrees with him “racist.”

  9. Great review/vlog, Doug.

    To answer one of the questions you brought up in the review, yes, Steve Rogers is still Hydra Cap, and–since the vision also shows the Capitol building destroyed–is perhaps a vision of Miles acting in self-defense against a Hydra invasion. Which, of course, none of heroes would know about and makes Carol Danver’s attempt to arrest Miles for a crime he hasn’t committed even more egregious. It was also suggested in this weeks Steve Rogers: Captain America that Steve may also be partly responsible for the events leading up to Bruce Banner’s death.

    Moreover, even though the main Civil War II series is doing well sales wise, the aftermath my have dire consequences for Marvel when it comes to their Marvel NOW! 2.0 relaunch. There was a series of Tweets via Bleeding Cool made by a UK store called Big Bang Comics which go into detail about the comic sales in their particular store. According to them, they’re not getting any pre-orders for any Marvel title post-Civil War II. And they also mentioned the following:

    “Yeah , we definitely hit that point where being a CIVIL WAR II tie-in is costing a few sales, not getting extra ones in.”

    http://www.bleedingcool.com/2016/09/29/civil-war-ii-tie-ins-costing-sales-big-bangs-theory-and-practice-when-ordering-comics/

    1. “There was a series of Tweets via Bleeding Cool made by a UK store called Big Bang Comics which go into detail about the comic sales in their particular store. According to them, they’re not getting any pre-orders for any Marvel title post-Civil War II.”

      Hola, Stillanerd! Thanks for the link. 🙂

      I’ve been talking to my local comic shop owner for the past few months and he is not happy with Marvel. I think I mentioned this to Weblurker, but do you remember the free Preview book Marvel put out over the summer? My LCS called it a “poster book” because there were no details. They were just like, “How am I supposed to know what to order? How am I supposed to sell this to anyone? I can’t!”

      What the heck is Marvel thinking?

  10. These video’s are getting even better!

    So I have a lot of comments and thoughts, to kind of put on here…so this may be long

    1) Behind every lame event, there is a lame writer. And after reading up on marvel last year and the previous, I added up the events I found to be the most lame, incoherent and uninspiring: AvX, House of M, Secret Invasion, Civil War, Seige, and Age of Ultron…

    wow! look…it’s Bendis!!

    2) It’s frustrating to read a poor plot and be told ‘at least the writings good’. If the plot is crap, than all the dialogue in the world cannot save it. This thing looks like the same mess that AvX was. AvX was epic lame…the lead up’s were epic lame. Classic characters shoved into a poor plot so you can watch fights happen…they had a freaking play-by-play with announced victors…one-on-one face offs between 2 teams known for their teamwork…or something…LOLOL. These people suck. They suck at everything.

    3) Lets boil down the diversity marvel thing to it’s core components. Marvel has a gigantic history of introducing new, diverse characters that were popular and could carry themselves in team and solo titles. They spent years sabotaging this. One of the first ‘replacement’ characters, was one of my favorites, Monica Rambaeu, than known as Captain Marvel. She’s pretty much a permanent joke now.

    Marvel now says that it’s audience demands diversity and that it helps them sell comic books…but All the diverse characters I grew up with save Black Panther, Luke Cage and a few X-men are marginalized. The only diverse characters are the ‘replacements’. They don’t believe in diversity, they want to score cheap points. It’s disgusting from any angle.

    They can’t write a diverse character, they are not diverse themselves, and only see the word in terms of black and white.How can these poorly ranged people hope to write anything enlightening or interesting when they must obey their political and social overseers?

    4) The company itself…As in the Comics division of Marvel anyway…reflects the immaturity and socialite elitism of it’s editors and managers. This is a culture at Marvel and has an overall detrimental effect on the quality of their product. Axel Alonzo regularly shows the bearings of an adolescent, he isn’t a manager of an important entertainment company, he’s a child playing with toys he never liked, tossing them at the readers after trying to make them more to his liking. Brevoort is an angry troll-kin, checking the readers for proper clearance to cross his bridge, angrily denouncing criticism of his decisions even has he trashes the product he’s supposed to be selling. Nick Lowe is a suck-up and sycophant, smiling his support of every dumb decision and praying he gets the next opening, his job as editor…face down the fans and make the writers happy.

    5) The creative black hole. With thousands of characters, a fleshed out world and decades of material, Marvel cannot give us something new and fresh. It cannot entice or intrigue, it can only whine and complain when it delivers the same thing again, calls it different and blames you for criticizing them for doing something new that isn’t. Manga has stories based on a futuristic World War II, an apocalyptic fantasy world where giants eat human beings until there’s nothing left but a single city of desperate humans, and a Role-playing game turned into life or death struggle to survive and find love in a virtual world…these ideas may not interest all people, but they are different.

    We even have a movie about a superheroic family…this joke of writing talent equates family with ‘boring’ and can’t write such a story. They can’t think of one thing to say about a married Peter Parker and Mary Jane so they smash up what they don’t understand.

    When they destroy the world …again….due to some silly no action, unimaginative plot device that everyone has to try to ignore to even try to enjoy, or have the heroes fight each other…again…because they don’t even know what a hero is anymore, and personally believe heroism is an anachronistic ideal from a terrible past that they have a personal duty to lead humanity from (takes breath)….they betray an utter disdain for the things that drive and inspire humanity, it’s myths, it’s tall tales of heroism…everything that makes a child grow to become a bright light for another. You must be the right ethnicity, you must have the right thoughts, and most of all…don’t you dare subscribe to a better morality.

    These things aren’t written for children anymore anyway. How sad.

    1. These video’s are getting even better!

      Thanks, man. I listened to my wife on the intro music (shorten it!), which I begrudgingly agree was the right decision. No matter how much I may like intro music, people want me to get to the point. 🙂

      “They can’t write a diverse character, they are not diverse themselves, and only see the word in terms of black and white.How can these poorly ranged people hope to write anything enlightening or interesting when they must obey their political and social overseers?”

      I really think this may be the biggest problem facing Marvel. There is an extremely narrow band of ideological thought controlling the books, so as a result even technically “diverse” teams sound like clones of some East Coast liberal activist. Even if I were a liberal guy, I have to believe that it would get boring. It would be like looking into a mirror and just saying, “Your worldview is awesome…Your worldview is awesome,” over and over again.

      On some level, we can play armchair psychiatrist and say that all these “hero vs. hero” tales are an outgrowth of the the writers — deep down — being at war with themselves. To adhere to political correctness is to adhere to a dizzying maze of rules and regulations that are impossible to navigate.

      How do you write a memorable story when you have to worry about being accused of “mansplaining,” “white privilege,” racism, fat-shaming, and whatever other infraction the modern Thought Police feel like inventing or enforcing on any given day? You can’t. It’s a near-impossible task.

  11. “I really don’t want to lay into you, Weblurker, but comments like that make it hard to resist. Anyone who has read comics since at least the early 90s knows that the changes taking place these days are of a distinctly different variety than back then. There is a significant amount of political calculus involved, which anyone can see from the press statements and media coverage that follows. My goodness…”

    Look, I’ll concede I’m not a comics history expert. I’m I’m wrong about this, fine. It just seems likes the industry has always been oscillating between changing things up and resetting them back to normal. I mean, jokes about fanboys not liking change are nothing new. So, we’re on the same page, what would you say was different about old changes back in the day?

    “No. Would there be “a number”? Yes. Would it be a significant number? No. Call me when people are in the digital street with their pitchforks over Dan Slott’s Peter Parker-Wayne-Stark-Musk-Zuckerberg-Jobs. It’s not going to happen.”

    Okay. (I frankly find this a little hard to assess, though, since from poking around the web, Slott’s run seems to be generally well-regarded, at least, and considered among the best “Spider-Man” material in years, at best. I mean, with such bipolar opinions among the fanbase — did it destroy the character or is it the quintessential version? — how do even begin to unravel this stuff objectively?)

    “How about you try actually quoting me instead of just putting your own twist on what I said and reacting to that? I said “there must be individuals chomping at the bit” to kill off Peter. That is true. And if you can’t see that by now, then that’s your problem. It is a willful blindness on your part.”

    Okay, sorry, wasn’t my intent to twist what you said. On re-reading the original response, it came across rather sarcastic (which was not my intent). I think I got a little thrown because the comments suddenly shifted gears from mentioning that Bendis had proposed killing Peter Parker (which Slott disagreed with and had Marvel themselves ultimately support him), to discussing how Marvel would kill the original Spider-Man except for the fan following. That’s a pretty big jump.

    “If gender-bending and race-bending the Avengers is “Next Level $#!#,” then it stands to reason that “Next Level Spider-Man $#!#” would be to replace Peter.”

    Okay?

    “If Bendis views Miles as “the” Spider-Man, then there really isn’t much wiggle room for denying how the stage has been set to remove Peter at any time.”

    I thought Bendis was only in charge of the Miles Morales Spider-Man. Does he really have a say in what his bosses decide will happen to Peter Parker? (Out of curiosity, how well-known is Miles, anyways? Those of us who keep tabs on comic have a pretty good idea, but is the character really as famous and successful as Marvel says he is?)

    “Weblurker calls ASM Marvel’s “cash-cow,” but everyone knows that Marvel’s “cash cow” (for now) is the movie industry, likely followed by video games moving forward … and of course merchandise. (Imagine Virtual Reality Marvel games where you can play as certain heroes…).”

    It was my understanding that, of superhero character merchandizing worldwide, the original Spider-Man is by far the best-selling. Hence, a cash cow. And since he’s the star of a current cartoon and becoming a bit of a big deal on the big screen, I think he might stay a cash cow for a little while yet.

    “There will come a point where Peter Parker is killed off, if for no other reasons than the good press that political activism brings. Even if they bring Peter back a year later, you can see the Entertainment Weekly and CNN headlines now: “Marvel kills Spider-Man: Minority web slinger steps up to save NYC.””

    Since “Superior Spider-Man” already killed Peter off (and Miles creation was the result of the popular Ultimate Peter apparently getting killed off), is it possible that they’ve already worn out the shock factor of Spider-Man getting killed and replaced? (I’m just asking to start a conversation.)

    “That annoys me as well. [WebLurker’s] playing the devil’s advocate for people who don’t deserve it also bothers me.” — Carl.

    From my experience that there are two sides to every story and the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. If everyone agrees, there’s no conversation. That’s why I often play devil’s advocate. I like having more discussion on this stuff beyond the cursory and I’m pretty sure that the reality of Marvel is not quite the same as we perceive it.

    “Like you said, the evidence is clearly in front of his face yet he ignores it. It’s been rather apparent for years that Marvel is actively trying to sideline, kill and/or replace Peter Parker with Miles Morales, who gets sold solely on the fact that he is black and wears a Spider-Man costume. That’s it.”

    Can’t speak for sure about Peter Parker being slated for execution (although considering he’ll be starring in two or three series this winter, he seems to be doing pretty well for a character Marvel is ostensibly sick of). As far as Miles, based on the reviews I’ve read, originally sold and continues to sell because people like the stories and writing of the comics. Whether or not you like Miles himself (I could live without him, esp. since the Ultimate universe is gone), but I think its disingenuous to say that the character only sells because he’s a black character. That doesn’t match the evidence I’ve seen.

    To put things on a more positive note, like the video review format.

    1. To be honest, I didn’t have much of a problem with what you posted. Just seems your missing the fact that much of what is complained about is admitted and even pushed by the writers and editors themselves…it’s not some hidden conspiracy. It’s out in the open and you seem to be thinking that it’s not what the people running Marvel say it is.

      I’m not a spider-man fan but the quintessential spider-man, as it were, is pretty obvious. As much as the discussion here and any other site may revolve around Spider-Man comics of now, the overall perception of him is much, much larger. Few know or care what parker industries is, who silk is, who even Dan Slott is. They know who Peter Parker is, where he works, who his girlfriend is, and his personality. Rather than develop a story around that character, they are trying to change him…which is fine if they do a good job, and subject to criticism if they don’t…thus the criticism. Most people I know who bought his comics in the 90’s don’t anymore because the stories started to suck…I’m willing to bet there are more of those people than people that enjoy this version…much more.

      Comics journalism is a circle jerk of industry people making each other happy for hits and sponsors…they are not a good gage of a comic book’s popularity. However, more independent guys like stillanerd and Doug here both enjoy some of Slott’s work, I can’t stand any of it. That’s just me though.

      Don’t mean to pile on as well, I always enjoy a devil’s advocate.

    2. “To be honest, I didn’t have much of a problem with what you posted. Just seems your missing the fact that much of what is complained about is admitted and even pushed by the writers and editors themselves…it’s not some hidden conspiracy. It’s out in the open and you seem to be thinking that it’s not what the people running Marvel say it is.”

      I wouldn’t have a problem with what he said either — if it was the first time he asked such questions. I’ll give Weblurker a more in-depth response, but we are constantly going in circles because he seems hell-bent on ignoring the activist component of modern comic book writers. The writers are openly political. They are hostile to those who disagree with them. They state that they have a political agenda. And yet time and time again Weblurker downplays or ignores it.

    3. “Look, I’ll concede I’m not a comics history expert. I’m I’m wrong about this, fine. It just seems likes the industry has always been oscillating between changing things up and resetting them back to normal. I mean, jokes about fanboys not liking change are nothing new. So, we’re on the same page, what would you say was different about old changes back in the day?”

      Sigh. Again, this has been covered ad countless times before on this blog. But Let’s give it another whirl. Did you ever see Stan Lee or any of the classic guys going off on weird political rants in the old days? No. They were writers — as opposed to activists who masquerade as writers. Changes might happen, but they happened naturally. If someone like Rhodey took over as Iron Man, then you weren’t beaten over the head with lectures about how you need to like it or else you’re a racist, etc. Granted, Twitter didn’t exist back then…but you didn’t see it in the letters to the editor section. When Wizard was around in the 90s I don’t remember any sort of social justice obsessions creeping into the mix. Something happened, and it started happening around the mid-90s by my estimation. That’s when G.I. Joe toys turned into “Eco-warriors” and Captain Planet came out and suddenly there were political messages creeping into cartoons. I’ll leave it at that for anyone who wants to jump in.

      “Okay. (I frankly find this a little hard to assess, though, since from poking around the web, Slott’s run seems to be generally well-regarded, at least, and considered among the best ‘Spider-Man’ material in years, at best. I mean, with such bipolar opinions among the fanbase — did it destroy the character or is it the quintessential version? — how do even begin to unravel this stuff objectively?)”

      You can start with the question: “What does Peter Parker, at his core, represent?” From there we can start talking about various different virtues that are one with Peter Parker’s “soul,” and if Dan Slott’s writing does justice to those virtues. By those standards, I think it is safe to say that Dan Slott’s run on ASM is a travesty.

      Okay?

      If you can’t see how Marvel editor-in-chief being the conductor of the Social Justice Express spells bad news for Peter Parker, then I can’t help you.

      “I thought Bendis was only in charge of the Miles Morales Spider-Man. Does he really have a say in what his bosses decide will happen to Peter Parker? (Out of curiosity, how well-known is Miles, anyways? Those of us who keep tabs on comic have a pretty good idea, but is the character really as famous and successful as Marvel says he is?)”

      You’re missing the point. Bendis clearly has clout at Marvel, and the Editor-in-Chief (along with numerous others), share his thirst for inserting their activism into the books. Heck, they’re pushing Champions and Hawkeye as blatantly political endeavors. What more does it take for you to believe that these guys would replace Peter with Miles in an instant if they realistically can make it happen? The only reason it doesn’t because Spider-Man, like Batman and Superman, is nearly untouchable. He is a worldwide icon, which means that in many ways screwing with him is like touching the third rail.

      “It was my understanding that, of superhero character merchandizing worldwide, the original Spider-Man is by far the best-selling. Hence, a cash cow. And since he’s the star of a current cartoon and becoming a bit of a big deal on the big screen, I think he might stay a cash cow for a little while yet.”

      Thank you for proving my point. The love for Peter Parker is so enduring that he has a kind of creative force field around him that other characters do not. And the activist-writers hate it. They loath it. They can’t just randomly make Peter a woman. They can’t turn him gay. They can’t just race-swap him. They tried to make him Spider-Atheist, but even that backfired because “Amazing Grace” was an absolute disaster.

      “Since ‘Superior Spider-Man’ already killed Peter off (and Miles creation was the result of the popular Ultimate Peter apparently getting killed off), is it possible that they’ve already worn out the shock factor of Spider-Man getting killed and replaced? (I’m just asking to start a conversation.)”

      If you were going to officially de-thrown Spider-Man as superhero royalty, then how would you do it? You would first establish that on some level he is expendable. He can be killed off — even for a year (i.e., SSM). Then you would turn him into a background player in his own book (e.g., Spider-Verse). Then you would turn him into something unrecognizable (e.g., billionaire tech businessman) while trying to convince readers that the decision was completely logical. While all this is happening, you would introduce his future replacement and rhetorically make sure he is “the” Spider-Man. He would be placed on equal footing as the original, and anyone who questioned that decision would be slimed as a racist.

      Shall I go on?

      “From my experience that there are two sides to every story and the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. If everyone agrees, there’s no conversation. That’s why I often play devil’s advocate. I like having more discussion on this stuff beyond the cursory and I’m pretty sure that the reality of Marvel is not quite the same as we perceive it.”

      But sometimes the other side is obviously wrong, and to try and make its case is absurd.

      Say a man confronts you with numerous statements, which all point to [insert claim here] being true. Those statements are all based on a very high probability that [X] is true, but it’s obviously not 100 percent. Well, after a certain amount of time…when enough “statements of probability” pile up, the reasonable thing to do is to acknowledge the underlying “truthiness” that is present. It becomes undeniable, and to try and continue to argue otherwise becomes odd.

      “Can’t speak for sure about Peter Parker being slated for execution (although considering he’ll be starring in two or three series this winter, he seems to be doing pretty well for a character Marvel is ostensibly sick of). …”

      There’s the rub. Again, the political activism of Marvel’s staff has found its match. Their ideological desires are at loggerheads with financial reality. The impact Peter Parker has on the bottom line trumps their activist agenda — for now.

      “To put things on a more positive note, like the video review format.”

      Thanks!

  12. Have you seen Bendis complaining about people, well, complaining about the Riri Williams thing? I think Newsarama wrote about it and of course, the comments are just filled to the brim with people saying that the only people who have a problem with Riri are racist.

    1. “Have you seen Bendis complaining about people, well, complaining about the Riri Williams thing? I think Newsarama wrote about it and of course, the comments are just filled to the brim with people saying that the only people who have a problem with Riri are racist.”

      Haha. Feel free to share a link, whether it’s new or old. I’d like to see that. I assumed that would happen.

      I have nothing against an imaginary character because she is colored brown. I have a thing against writers who expect me to go head over heels for a total question mark of a character who is replacing a classic superhero. Dan Slott and Brian Michael Bendis should flip a coin for who gets the superhero name “The Red Herring,” because they both seem to really want it.

    2. http://www.newsarama.com/30725-replacement-iron-man-riri-williams-new-name-will-be.html

      Looks like the comments were pretty critical for this article.

      I like some of the points..”Why not rename the title Ironheart?” and the response is the standard “it wont sell!!!!” but it will because the title is Iron Man with Ironheart starring?…guess readers are considered stupid.

      Hell no I wouldn’t consider buying a title called Ironheart to read about Ironheart!!! It has a title I don’t know!!! Dur?!

      The biggest problem Riri has is Bendis. It’s guaranteed to fail. Well, I guess they may end up shoving her in the fans face for a decade…eventually the 10-20 people that continue to buy won’t be the complainers…marketing!

      I don’t think Riri is so bad…Bendis is just trying to make Marvel look like the world around them…Including all the ‘weird’ people as villains.

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