With apologies to Jeremiah Wright, Marvel’s ‘chickens come home to roost’

Fans have been scorned, taunted, and belittled by comicbook creators on social media for — politely now, mind you — daring to ask questions about altering long-time characters and stories all for “diversity’s” sake.

You know the routine by now. Doug, myself and many others have written about it ad nauseam.

Still, the creators have continued in their snobbish, egomaniacal ways.

However, now there is this from Newsarama (emphases mine):

According to David Gabriel, Marvel’s Senior Vice President of Sales, Print & Marketing, a sales downturn at the publisher that accompanied a “big shift in the entire industry” beginning in October 2016 came as a result of many factors, including, according to the executive, the market “turning up their noses” at any title not featuring a “core Marvel character.”

Suggesting the answer to the question of why people’s tastes suddenly changed was better answered by Direct Market retailers, Gabriel told ICv2 that “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity. They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not.  I don’t know that that’s really true, but that’s what we saw in sales.”

“We saw the sales of any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up against,” he explained. “That was difficult for us because we had a lot of fresh, new, exciting ideas that we were trying to get out and nothing new really worked.”

Dan Slott Renew Your Vows

And Jon Del Arroz’s (love that name) article from a couple of weeks ago is spot-on:

Marvel has a diversity problem.

In that they have none in terms of diversity of thought. They are a pure social justice propaganda arm. This is dangerous when it comes to creating art, as if you have everyone thinking in lockstep, unable to get outside the box, you’ll have creative stagnation. More than that, when you turn children’s adventure fiction into adult message browbeating, you lose any semblance of fun that a product formerly had. It’s no wonder that sales have dropped by about half, when they have an entire writing core of every single one of their monthly writers hell-bent on a crusade of alienating half of the country in some social engineering through comics.  I don’t exaggerate my numbers either, and I did some leg work for you all so you might better make educated purchases, or lack thereof, of Marvel Comics. …

According to marvel.com, there are 18 writers on the current releases. I went through each and every one of their twitter accounts to give you a summary of where they spend their time on social media in terms of politics. I don’t mind people getting political occasionally, or even necessarily holding left wing views, but when it’s constant beating the drum of anger and hate, that’s what makes an SJW, and that’s where one needs to stay away (and is a primary reason for Marvel’s steep sales decline in recent years).  Here’s a brief summary of the writers’ twitter feeds, as I’ve gone through all of them for you:

Mike Costa – Constant Anti-Trump posts.

Jason Aaron – Anti-Trump, has #resist greenpeace retweet from inauguration. However, he doesn’t post politically very often, not pushing some anger crusade all the time.

Brian Michael Bendis – Anti-Trump posts, but posts so much it’s not a large percentage of his tweets.

Cullen Bunn – Rabid anti-Trump.

Becky Cloonan – a couple of snarky anti-Trump posts pre-election, but no political posts since. From the feeds, appears to be the sanest of the Marvel staff.

Gerry Duggan – Constant Anti-Trump posts, retweets Bernie (he can still win!).

Al Ewing – British, and doesn’t seem to post a lot of American politics, but very heavily steeped in globalism in immigration “rights” in his posts. Anti-Western civilization. 

Roxanne Gay –  Constant rants about feminism, anti-Trump posts. 

Zac Gorman – Complains about Republicans as “joke”, but only one recent post as such. Low percentage of political tweets.

Derek Landy – Anti-Trump, not overwhelming in political posts. Mostly sticks to posts about writing.

Kate Leth – Regular anti-Trump posts. Constant complaints about some boogeyman “privilege”, rambles at racist, sexist, etc., “white dudes”.  Rants about queer issues.

Stuart Moore – Regular posts anti-republican, anti-Trump.

Greg Pak – Complains about “representation” of different races. Lots of anti-Trump posts.

Dan Slott – Anti-trump rants all the time. 

Charles Soule – Constant anti-trump rants.

Nick Spencer – Rants about trump/republicans and calls anyone who disagrees with him flat out evil.

G.Willow Wilson – “Muslim” Ms. Marvel writer, rants anti-Trump posts all the time.

Chip Zdarksy – Constant anti-Trump posts.

That is  … “100% […] extreme left-wing ideologues who hate half of the country [and] have nothing nice to say about the USA or its president ever,” Del Arroz continues.

Comic fans of goodwill, those with nary a racist/sexist/homophobic etc. bone in their bodies, have been blasted as just that by creeps such as Dan Slott, et. al. all because they’ve asked simple questions regarding characterization and stories.

Many, like Doug and myself, have pointed out that Marvel’s permissive attitude towards horrendous creator behavior on social media is hardly an appropriate business model.

I feel like going on a Randy Quaid-in-Independence Day-style rant: “I’ve been sayin’ it. I’ve been sayin’ it for ten damn years. Ain’t I been sayin’ it? Yeah, I’ve been sayin’ it.”

I — we — knew all this nonsense was unsustainable. We knew the chickens would be seeking out that proverbial roost.

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NBC’s ‘Timeless’: Time-travel drama is standard fare, adds nothing new to genre

Because my daughter is such a fan of “The Voice,” I almost accidentally began watching the new NBC time-travel series “Timeless” since it immediately follows the “American Idol” knock-off.

Scientist Rufus Carlin has invented the world’s first time machine, but unfortunately for us all, unscrupulous former NSA agent Garcia Flynn and some henchmen steal it. Flynn’s goal is to alter history by preventing the United States from becoming a (super)power.

But unfortunately for Flynn, he forgot to take into account Carlin’s prototype time device (see below) which, although it looks much clunkier than the stolen model, works perfectly well. And even worse for Flynn — it can be used to track the stolen, newer machine’s movements through the timestream..

The first adventure takes place at the Hindenburg disaster — which still does occur, just not how we remember it thanks to our protagonists. After Carlin confirms that this point in time indeed is where Flynn has journeyed, he is joined by historian Lucy Preston and Delta Force member Wyatt Logan in an attempt to capture the renegades and the stolen timeship. Flynn’s plan in this case was to destroy the famous dirigible on its way back to Europe — as it was carrying numerous prominent Americans to the coronation of King George and Queen Elizabeth.

Carlin and co. believe that since the Hindenburg still burst into flames and fell into ruins (just not the way it was supposed to) that they prevented any serious alteration of the timeline. But this is not the case: Preston discovers, once back in the present, that her mother is no longer on chronically ill, and worse, her sister no longer exists.

The best of the four episodes to air thus far was the second, where the team tracks Flynn back to the date of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. And it’s really here that the show really misses the opportunity to be radically different.

Scientist Carlin, who’s black, asks historian Preston why the team simply can’t save Lincoln from John Wilkes Booth’s bullet … in an attempt to make the future (much) better for African-Americans. It’s a rather compelling argument, but Preston adamantly refuses on the premise that they have no idea what the overall effects of such a drastic altering of events would entail.

Logically, it’s hard not to disagree with that. But wouldn’t saving our 16th president be a lot more interesting than Preston trying to figure out what happened to her sister? Or Logan trying to resurrect his dead wife? Why not examine how black Americans would have fared under a continuing Lincoln administration (and policies)?

Carlin (played by Malcolm Barrett) does a great job conveying the emotional angst over this issue — I was hoping his argument would prevail, or, at least he’d act unilaterally. Let’s face it — the stakes aren’t (weren’t) exactly small.

The problem is that “Timeless” operates under the premise of a “closed loop” time geometry — the actions of changing events in the past will affect that same timeline’s future. If saving Lincoln created an alternate timeline — the other theory dealing with the consequences of altering past events — Carlin and co. might have been more inclined to act.

By not taking big risks like saving Lincoln, sadly, “Timeless” ends up being yet another formulaic, offers-no-surprises assembly line drama.

For yours truly, it has become exceedingly difficult over the last decade or so to find a new network/cable TV offering worth sticking with. “The Walking Dead,” the most recent show I regularly watched, lasted only three and a half seasons for me, and that was stretching it. It essentially became the same thing week after week after week.

Of the three other fairly recent faves of mine — “Nip/Tuck,” “Battlestar Galactica,” and “Fringe” — only the last remained true enough to its origins to stick with until the end.

“Nip/Tuck” took its adult theme warning to the limit each and every week and was so outrageously different in its  first two seasons as to be must-viewing. I liken its fall to that of “Friends” — the character entanglements became so convoluted and silly that the show became an eye-roller and yawn-inducer.

“Battlestar” started out similarly; however, as I chronicled at the time at The Colossus of Rhodey, the political lecturing started seeping in. The posturing initially didn’t make much sense (the few remaining humans refuse to take advantage of a means to wipe out their killers), and later became outrageous as the writers appeared to possess no sense of moral certitude (not to mention, they seemed to wing it, plot-wise, the last season-season and a half).

Chelsea Cain serves up Marvel’s outrage du jour, only proves she’s fed up with Twitter trolls like the rest of us

By now you may have heard about the social justice warrior OUTRAGE at the alleged harassment and general online abuse of Mockingbird writer Chelsea Cain.

Cain wrote the book from a feminist perspective, apparently, and the title culminated with this cover:

The Daily Dot reports (among many other outlets) that Cain quit Twitter after getting fed up with all the invective:

This cover, drawn by Joelle Jones, provoked a barrage of unpleasant messages to Chelsea Cain on Twitter. In a series of tweets that have since been deleted with the deactivation of her account, Cain wrote, “I’m in my office dealing w/ misogynist bullies on Twitter” instead of spending time with her 11-year-old daughter, adding, “I’m just done here. I’m amazed at the cruelty comics brings out in people.”

The Twitter campaign #StandWithChelseaCain got underway, with folks like above Nick BOOson participating. Here’s more:

Comics writers Ed Brubaker on Twitter, and Frank Tieri on Facebook, offered Cain words of support.

However, at least one Twitterite began asking questions about all these abusive tweets Cain supposedly had received:

That’s author Rob Kroese who correctly noted in subsequent tweets that just because Cain deleted her Twitter account doesn’t mean all the (alleged) harassing tweets will disappear as a result.

And then lo and behold — it seems a mountain was made out of the proverbial molehill:

I loved Twitter.  I made friends.  I maintained friendships.  I was delighted when I got to exchange texts with my favorite podcaster or a TV actor or writer I love.  And I had a huge network of other comic book industry professionals who offered me daily support and invaluable advice.  I mentored teenagers and exchanged tweets with readers and tried to be funny sometimes.

But know that I did not leave Twitter because of rape threats or because someone had posted my address, or any of the truly vile tactics you hear about.  I left Twitter because of the ordinary daily abuse that I decided I didn’t want to live with anymore.

Emphasis mine. So what we ended up with was a manufactured social justice warrior controversy over a (female) writer vamoosing Twitter because she had had it with its general negativity.

I don’t fault Cain whatsoever for what she did. Twitter, and social media in general, can be a pretty discouraging place if you don’t have a tough exterior. She had little to do with the hyperbolic tweets  which appeared faster than a Quicksilver dump following the announcement her resignation from the platform. But for SJWs, the fact that Cain imbued Mockingbird with feminism, and the fact that she is a woman, well, they just KNEW she had to have been subjected Christian Szell-like torture!

And need I mention that that of which Cain got weary is what many comics creators themselves subject their fans to day in and day out? How many words on that subject have Doug, Avi, and myself written over the years?

I asked Ed Brubaker about just this in a reply to his Cain-supporting tweet:

There has been no response from Ed after those queries, seven and a half hours ago at press time.

 

Typical ‘progressive’ reactions to terror attacks on U.S. soil provide unintentional comedy

Here we are again, dealing with yet more instances of radical Islamic terror, and “progressives” in politics and in the media are, again, figuring out how to handle it all. ( I use quotations on the word “progressive” because all too often it is a contradiction in terms.)

We’ve already seen how some of our usual “buddies” have dealt with it, like our pal Dan Slott slamming GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump for having the unmitigated gall to refer to the bombing in New York City as just that — a “bombing” — before, allegedly, all the facts were in. He even retweeted a tweet from a transgender activist who said Trump was “actively rooting” for the bomb to be terror-connected. Nice.

But … where is Slott, et. al. regarding Hillary Clinton doing the same thing — not to mention the mainstream media, in the form of CNN this time, covering for her by selectively editing out where she referred to the attack as a “bombing”??

The polls not going her way and desperately seeking an opening, Hillary upped the ante today, spewing the typical “Trump’s rhetoric is giving terrorists an excuse” nonsense:

I don’t want to speculate but here’s what we know and I think it’s important for voters to hear this and weigh it in making their choice in November… We know that a lot of the rhetoric used by Donald Trump is being seized on by terrorists… Wea [sic]also know from the former head of our counter-terrorism center, Matt Olson, that the kinds of rhetoric and language that Mr. Trump has used is giving aid and comfort to our adversaries.

“Aid and comfort?” Why, that sounds like … treason! 

Naturally, in cases like these (CNN Clinton assistance aside), the media provides no shortage of qualifiers — like “potential”:

This is where we are in early 21st century America with the Left, folks: For offering solutions to Islamic terrorism, however unpalatable they may seem to some folks, Trump is helping groups like ISIS.

All the while the Fourth Estate is busily helping Trump’s opponent.

I am no fan of Donald Trump. I never thought his candidacy would last, that he would poll lousy and eventually drop out. I don’t believe he is really conservative, and given many of his statements and his temperament, he potentially could make Barack Obama’s abuse of executive authority seem like our first African-American president is the greatest constitutional adherent ever.

But the Left really has no one to blame but themselves for the rise of Trump. It is comical to watch the disbelief coming from the Left: “How can anyone support this guy?” they angrily exclaim.

Even though many on the right have reservations about the GOP candidate, they are weary of the last eight years’ collection of lies, obfuscations, political correctness, and outright criminal activity.

Not to mention, when the media ponders how they’re having little effect on Trump’s outrageousness, one only has to look at how they treated the two George Bushes, John McCain, and worse, Mitt Romney. When a guy like Romney is portrayed as evil incarnate, it’s going to be rather difficult to make people believe what you have to say in the future … even when it is warranted. Like with Trump.

To coin a cliché, “The Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf.'”

So, I, for one, am enjoying watching Trump take on the ridiculous PC which has overtaken us, and thumb his nose at the mainstream media. By the media and the Left routinely giving average Americans the middle finger — calling them “bigots,” “hateful,” and “xenophobes;” refusing to call “radical Islamic terror” just that; championing “sanctuary cities” while belittling those who want immigration laws followed and enforced — they’ve helped make Trump the very manifestation of the reaction to that middle finger.

Side note: I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Doug for allowing me to voice my thoughts here now that it had become impossible to keep The Colossus of Rhodey updated regularly. As Doug mentioned, you can catch my regular writings over at The College Fix.