Dan Slott talks Silk follow-up — ‘Lady Liberty’ — the faster, stronger Captain America fans demanded

With Dan Slott’s creation Silk getting her own ongoing series in February, fans are wondering what he’ll do next to shake up with Marvel universe. It turns out that he hasn’t been resting on his laurels. “Lady Liberty” — a faster, stronger version of Captain America — is coming down the pike.

The creator of “The Superior Spider-Man” sat down with Comic Book Resources on Jan. 26:

CBR: First off, congratulations on your female version of Peter Parker who is better than him in every way. Fans have been clamoring for that for quite some time, so I’m glad you made it happen with “Silk.” We barely had time to catch our breath over her amazing ability to spin different colored costumes that can double as radiation suits before you announced Lady Liberty. Give us the scoop.

Dan Slott: Thanks! Well, I probably shouldn’t say it, but I know you guys will shill for anything I do — so what the heck?! Long story short, I want to make Red Skull into Captain America for a year. Then, when the real Cap comes back, we’ll have him discover the truth about Aiko Tinaka, a Japanese American who was the first truly successful applicant of the Super Soldier program (thanks to experiments conducted on Isaiah Bradley).

CBR: What?! That’s crazy town banana pants!

Dan Slott: Aiko is ironically inside an underground bunker in Hiroshima when the U.S. drops “Little Boy” on Aug. 6, 1945. The blast buries her and a secret unit of the Japanese military in a gigantic complex one mile beneath the earth. It is only after Steve Rogers puts all the pieces together and realizes that she may be alive that our story begins.

CBR: You had me at “female version of Captain America who is better than the original,” but now we’re really sold!

Dan Slott: Not only is she not white (score another one for ‘diversity for the sake of diversity!’), but Aiko will eventually discover that while she was serving her country, her family became prisoners of Japanese internment camps created by liberal icon Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

CBR: But…FDR was a liberal — and disabled. I’m a little uncomfortable with that.

Dan Slott: (laughing) Oh ye of little faith! That’s nothing a Republican Skrull couldn’t fix. Listen, I can’t tell you how many anonymous fans have been telling me at comic conventions that what the world needs is a female Captain America who is better in every way than Steve. I’m going to give it to them, but I’m going to do it the only way I know how — in Slottian style.

CBR: Dan, we can’t thank you enough. This was a real treat. I’m so overwhelmed with joy right now that I feel like I’m living in a piece of satire. I’m sure all of our fellow comic book “journalists” will be on board with this because it’s an insanely awesome idea. I’m sure that if you introduce Lady Liberty during a Captain America relaunch that a bulk of the sales will be because people want to know who she is and where she came from. Don’t be a stranger. Stop in again soon.

Dan Slott: I will. Thanks, buddy.

So there you have it! “Lady Liberty” — the faster, stronger version of the true Captain America, Steve Rogers. Dan Slott does it again. Genius. Until that comes out, make sure to buy Silk #1 this February — the title at the top of the pull list for every Peter Parker fan — written by Robbie Thompson with art by Stacey Lee.

Marvel announces ‘I am Groot’ for Phase 3; DC scrambles for response

Groot with girl Guardians of the Galaxy

Before the weekend was out on the Guardians of the Galaxy’s successful box office debut, Marvel Studios released some news the size of an oak tree. Or, perhaps a Groot. The reasoning is also likely to enrage DC fans. Marvel’s Phase 3 will include ‘I am Groot,’ to be released in the summer of 2017, which all but guarantees that the plant from Planet X gets his day in the sun before “Justice League.”

“We are Groot!” Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige said at a press conference late Saturday. “It’s a go. It’s happening. I know a lot of people are wondering how we’re going to pull this off, but I assure you that ‘I am Groot’ has an amazing creative team behind it. The screenplay is great and we’re close to sealing the deal with a director who I’m sure will knock it out of the ballpark.”

The Hollywood Reporter reached out to ‘Man of Steel’ producer Wesley Coller for a response and was told that a reply would be forthcoming. Entertainment Weekly likewise said that calls to DC’s front office were not returned.

DC’s silence, in many ways, speaks louder than words. ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ is scheduled to be released May 6, 2016, which would put Marvel Studios in a position to have ‘I am Groot’ in theaters before fans ever get a chance to see an official Justice League movie. While all comic fans can rejoice at the sheer volume of superhero films being made, it’s sure to inflame the rivalry between the two industry giants.

In a recent article with the Belfast Telegraph, actor Vin Diesel said that playing Groot was a challenge for him as an actor, due to the character’s limited vocabulary. When asked about the ‘I am Groot’ movie by the Los Angeles Times, he said “I love the character. He’s challenging, but it’s worth every second. The world fell in love with Groot this weekend because he’s innocent and pure and good. I consider it an honor to be able to bring this character to life in his very own movie.”

Besides DC fans, diversity activists voiced “serious concern” with Marvel’s decision.

“I…I can not get behind this,” said Eileen Einhorn, a Gender Studies major at U.C. Berkeley. “It’s troublesome that although Vin Diesel is not white that his true nature must be hidden behind tree bark. I’m worried that Groot’s limited vocabulary sends a coded racial message about the mental acuity of minorities and, worst of all…Groot is a man. Until Black Widow gets her own movie I urge anyone who loves diversity to boycott ‘I am Groot.'”

When asked during his press conference if Rocket Raccoon would be getting his own movie, Feige just smiled and said, “Phase 4 may have some surprises to your liking. That’s all I’ll say right now. Sometimes I feel as if all of this isn’t real. Like it’s satire. The fans have been good to us. As long as they keep seeing Marvel movies, we’ll keep making them.”

Related: Guardians of the Galaxy: Marvel gets its heroic misfits right on the first try

Democrats target Jack White with ‘Blunderbuss Act’

The solo success of musician Jack White has Democrats crying foul. In order to even the playing field and stop him from exacerbating income inequality, liberals in the U.S. Senate are crafting the ‘Blunderbus Act.’

Jack White blasted onto the music scene in 2003 with The White Stripes’ instant classic, Elephant. It’s now 2012, and it looks like the donkey is about to introduce him to the political scene. After the success of Jack White’s first solo album, Blunderbuss, Senate Democrats are not happy. Blunderlust sold an amazing 138,000 copies its first week in release, propelling White to the top of the charts for the first time in his career. It may be his last.

Senator Harry Reid, D-NV., put out a press release on Sunday, just hours after White’s crackling Saturday Night Live performance:

Jack White’s album sales, as well as his jaw-dropping performance of ‘Sixteen Saltines’ while on Saturday Night Live, may be celebrated in some corners, but their cheers are misguided. While conservatives see his immense talent, highlighted even more with the result of his solo debut Blunderbuss, as some sort of sonic victory for United States and the world, the Democrat Party does not. As long as men like Jack White exist, there will always be inequalities. They must be stopped.

We do not know why Jack White rocks so much harder than the rest of us, but we know that we do not like it. He is without a doubt in the top 1 percent of guitar players in the world, but that does not mean we can or should allow him to become one of the ‘1 percent.’ Senate Democrats are working to pass the ‘Blunderbuss Act’ within days to level the playing field for all Americans. More details are available at BlunderbussAct.gov.

Details of the act are still sketchy, with some Washington insiders claiming that a panel will be formed to look at musicians on a case-by-case basis. Those deemed to possess the kind of talent that could lead to a larger “rock and income gap” will be forced to play with sub par instruments and sound equipment. House Democrats are proposing their own version of the bill, which will include a package of taxes targeting quick-fingered musicians for success they deem “unreasonable.” A surtax would be imposed for solo albums.

Republicans now find themselves in an interesting position. For years they have been held in contempt by an industry that leans heavily left. They’re hoping their opposition to the ‘Blunderbuss Act’ will change perceptions.

“Rock has always sort of stood up for defiance,” said Congressman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. “Yet, somewhere along the line it stopped standing up to authority. It bowed down to the tens of thousands of federal regulations that not only dictate how a musician lives, but how a musician rocks. Remember when the Obama administration had the feds raid Gibson guitars not so long ago? I do. Republicans in both chambers plan to stand firm in opposition to the ‘Blunderbuss Act.’ God bless Jack White, and may Blunderbuss be the first of many successes to come.

Jack White said he will address the issue with fans at the appropriate time, but did not disclose when that might happen.

Pelosi seeks ‘windfall profits’ tax on Avengers ticket sales

If House Democrats have their way, your favorite Marvel superheroes will be hit with a "windfall profits" tax once an arbitrarily defined level of success has been met. Republicans argue that this will result in fewer superhero movies making it to the market.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is trying to find an 11th hour solution to Marvel Studios’ The Avengers, which is primed to be one of this summer’s biggest blockbusters. Sources close to producers Avi Arad and Jon Favreau have confirmed that the California Democrat has been in touch with Marvel Studios, and that a “windfall profits” tax will be in place before Friday, May 4 if Democrats can cobble together enough votes.

The Associated Press received the following from Pelosi’s office late Monday:

“Investments.” “Risk.” “Reward.” Such is the language of the Republican Party. Extremists. The GOP would have you believe that it was a “risk” to set up an Avengers movie with a series of films based on many of the individual characters: Thor, Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America. They would have you believe that an Avengers movie was no sure bet, and that the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on these movies and their marketing campaigns by no means guaranteed success. Rubbish! It’s high time Hollywood paid its fair share. If Democrats have their way, Marvel Studios will be the first to pay a windfall profits tax on its flagship characters, in addition to their corporate taxes (which also need higher rates). Warner Bros. will then follow suit in August, when The Dark Knight Rises takes number one at the box office. Behind every Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark movie are greedy Hollywood producers; that will change starting today.

The Hollywood Reporter seems to back up the Minority Leaders predictions, at least in this isolated case, although the philosophical debate is something that will have to be settled inside the Beltway on on cable news airwaves:

Avengers also is tracking better than Lionsgate’s blockbuster The Hunger Games, which posted a record March bow of $152.5 million to score the third-best opening of all time behind Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Dark Knight, respectively.

According to first tracking, unaided awareness in Avengers is 13 percent, compared with 10 percent for Dark Knight and 11 percent for Hunger Games; first choice is 23 percent, tying with Hunger Games and higher than the 19 percent for Dark Knight.

Total awareness is 85 percent, compared with 76 percent for Dark Knight and 74 percent for Hunger Games; definite interest is 61 percent, versus 62 percent for Dark Knight and 54 percent for Hunger Games.

Asked to comment, House Majority Leader John Boehner set up a stark (pardon the pun) contrast between Republicans and Democrats:

“The windfall profits tax proposed by Democrats will go nowhere because Americans want more Marvel movies, not less—and taxing Marvel Studios will result in less movies. Let me tell you what House Republicans will do to this bill in a way that Marvel fans—and fans of The Hulk—can all understand. BOEHNER SMASH!

Liberals Target “Discriminatory” Homeschooling Success.

The Department of Education is "troubled" by the success of home schooling families. Their standards are higher than national standards, which can only mean one thing: they must be controlled. As a nation, we need to be equally mediocre.

In what is bound to be the talk of the town in the coming months, prominent liberals have decided to target homeschooling. Long viewed by conservatives as an alternative to failing schools, a new philosophy has taken shape on the left: homeschooling is discriminatory. The logic goes as follows:

  • Homeschoolers tend to come from intact families. Low income areas have higher rates of divorce and single-parent homes.
  • Homeschooling families cite religion as an important part of their life, and report regular church attendance at higher rates than families that attend public schools.
  • The homeschooling community could generally be painted on a national portrait with one color—white.

What does all of this have to do with Education reform? Dennis Van Roekel of the National Education Association weighs in:

School choice, homeschooling, and a number of other conservative “solutions” to education reform have proven track records of success. But at what price? The improved test scores overwhelmingly benefit a white crowd. We did away with “separate but equal” years ago, but the homeschooling community doesn’t seem to have received the memo. We’re all in this together—or at least we should be—and that includes the growing pains involved with improving public education.  There’s a dark underbelly to all those improved tests scores and college degrees touted by homeschooling advocates. Let’s just word it this way: they get an A for effort when it comes to hidden racial agendas.

The United States’ Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, would not go as far, only willing to go on record as “troubled” and “concerned” about reports of homeschooling success. Likewise, he indicated that a “special task force” would be put together to look into the “disturbing” trend among the American population to advocate for a return to federalism when it comes to education reform.

Perhaps Illinois Senator Dick Durbin put it best for proud liberals everywhere:

These homeschoolers oppose national standards. Why? Because they want to hold their children to higher standards than everyone else. Long story short—unacceptable. Washington should determine that sort of thing, even if it means we’re all equally mediocre. The last thing this country needs is a class of self-motivated scholars thinking they’re better than the rest of us.

It’s unclear if the Obama administration will take up liberalism’s newest battle cry, but if it does one thing is certain: they’ll lead from behind.

Editor’s Note: This post brought to you by The Administrative State, with special thanks given to the United States Department of Satire.

Next: Left to Use Gay Rights Logic On Fiscal Crisis.

Jason Alexander believes New York’s gay marriage law was a great step for “humanity.” Next up for liberals: applying gay rights logic to the laws of supply and demand.

Hollywood was certainly happy with New York State’s passing of a gay marriage bill. In fact, liberals everywhere were so psyched by the development that some have already surmised that the same logic can be carried over into the budgetary realm, where the law of supply and demand and its conservative disciples have thwarted “progress” for centuries! Faced with skyrocketing national debt and no way to pay for it, New York’s gay marriage victory has instilled hope that the world will finally “advance mankind” when it comes to knuckle-dragging creditors (as Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander might put it).

Wiping tears from her eyes in Greenwich Village, a young Bongo Studies Major at New York University puts it best:

I’ve never been attracted to men. I’ve never had a desire to be with one. Now society has progressed to the point where a majority of New Yorkers understand. The conventional wisdom and the Laws of Nature strongly suggest that a union between men and women should have a special institution set aside for them—but that’s not true. Likewise, certain mathematical properties suggest that algebraic equations only work if strict adherence to the rules of dead white men are followed. Well, I’ve never had a desire to live within my means. I’ve never had a desire to balance my budget. And millions of others around the globe haven’t either! Perhaps those old dead men…were wrong. Did you ever think of that?

Paul Ryan may have a budget plan, but it appears as though his hard data may be up against a new foe: “progress.” For years conservatives have based public policy on the idea that prices mean something, that they’re not just arbitrarily decided upon by “greedy” businessmen (playing poker with liberals like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in a smoke-and-cocaine-filled hooker closet). Now, if the left gains traction, the right will have to convince millions of Americans that unprecedented debt isn’t something to be embraced. What’s an easier sell: fiscal conservatism or Repudiation Pride parades? Long story short: free market conservatives have their work cut out for them.

Editor’s Note: This post was written in a Safe House for Satire.

Car Warning Label Bill Gains Liberal Support After Ryan Dunn’s Death.

The Federal Government has announced new warning labels for motor vehicles, inspired by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Liberals in the House of Representatives are busy working behind the scenes on a new “Car Label” bill that would mirror the recent cigarette labels chosen by the Department of Health and Human Services. Tentatively titled The Family Driving Prevention and Motor Vehicle Control Act, even high ranking Obama Administration officials do not deny the similarities to The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (which Obama signed into law in 2009). At one point, even the President—who still occasionally leans on nicotine to get him through the day—commented on the nascent driving bill:

”I know —I was one of those teenagers,” he said, standing beneath a punishing afternoon sun at a Rose Garden ceremony. ”I know how difficult it can be to break this habit when it’s been with you for a long time.”

Oddly enough, no one from the press asked him about the quote, which was identical to his statement on The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, however, did weigh in:

The bottom line is this: Cars are dangerous. Really dangerous. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that there were over 37,000 fatalities in 2008 due to car crashes. That’s not including the effects on the rest of the 84,000 who were involved in an accident, whether something as serious as a loss of a limb to lasting psychological damage. If more people walked to work (with a helmet), we would have a safer, happier, and greener U.S. population.  Ryan Dunn’s untimely death should serve as a catalyst for the change America needs—not tomorrow—but now. If the federal government cares enough about its citizen-smokers to put labels on cigarettes, it should care enough about its citizen-drivers to put massive labels on the hoods of their cars. I’m looking forward to the recommendations the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration comes out with after our August recess, as are millions of other Americans.

When asked to comment, Speaker John Boehner got in his Jaguar XJ220, revved the engine, and peeled out down Washington Ave. towards Interstate 395.

Liberals in Congress want to know: If it works for citizen smokers, why won’t it work for citizen drivers?

Editor’s Note: This post brought to you by The Family Satire and Humorless Government Act of 2011.