Iron Man #6: Brian Michael Bendis’ Riri sadly no Jessica Cruz

Comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis recently gave an interview with Marvel on his approach to writing, and during the exchange he took time to discuss Invincible Iron Man’s Riri Williams. He said that at this stage in the game the character “doesn’t know who she is yet,” which is interesting since it appears as though he is equally lost.

It is perfectly okay for a character to lack self-awareness, but readers should generally be able to peg the character and empathize with him/her within the first or second issue.

The problem with Mr. Bendis’ Invincible Iron Man after six issues is that he seems to think readers should just love his character because the entire Marvel universe loves her. Unlike DC’s Jessica Cruz, who became a hero after overcoming crippling anxiety and fear, Mr. Bendis’ creation stresses out because too many individuals and groups want to experience her awesomeness first-hand.

For those who have been wondering why Marvel’s sales have faltered over the past year while DC’s Rebirth continues to impress, look no further than IIM #6. It should serve as a case study in what not to do if you want to build momentum for a new character.

Anyway, check out my latest YouTube review for a full rundown of why IIM fails while books like Green Lanterns: Rage Planet have guys like me saying, “Who is this Jessica Cruz character? She seems kind of cool.”

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J. Michael Straczynski: Partisan writer hits the block button because douglasernst.blog is effective

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Regular readers of this blog know that on any given day there will be an honest comic book review or a post that exposes the hypocrisy of partisan writers within the industry. If a book is good — like Renew Your Vows — I’ll say it. If a book is bad, like Brian Michael Bendis’ Invincible Iron Man, then readers will know exactly why. Certain Marvel scribes have tried to claim over the years that this blog is irrelevant, but a strange thing keeps happening to me: Writers and editors who I never even talk about block me on Twitter. That seems like an odd action to take for someone who is not effective…

Consider J. Michael Straczynski, for instance. I never talk about the man in my blog posts, never tweet the man, and in the rare events I have mentioned him in my comments section I have been extremely kind. He was the last writer on The Amazing Spider-Man who got me excited about the book after years of mediocre writing. He “gets” Peter Parker, and if it weren’t for weird “Gwen-rape” stories then I would have even more nice things to say about his work.

Why, then, did he block me on Twitter? Tonight I ran across his name in a follower’s feed and thought, “Hmmm. JMS. I wonder what his tweets are all about,” before getting Twitter’s classic “you are blocked from following…” message.

I tweeted, “I guess he’s not a fan of limited government?” before checking it out via another account, and what do you know? I was right!

JMS Melania

Just like most of the other industry writers, J. Michael Straczynski is such a petty man that he turns First Lady Melania Trump into a vehicle to attack her husband — because it must feel so good to get dozens of “likes” or “loves” on social media for rage-tweeting.

Whether it’s Hydra-Cap writer Nick Spencer talking about the “myth of the good Republican” or ASM writer Dan Slott telling Christian supporters of Hobby Lobby to go to “Christ-Land,” this blog has consistently called out their mean-spiritedness and hypocrisy. And because it has a growing number of readers here and on YouTube, guys like Mr. Straczynski have taken notice.

Given this latest development, I will once again reiterate to you, dear reader, that if you want to see someone expose the self-proclaimed “tolerant” comic writers for the intolerant ideologues they are, then you have come to the right place. And since Mr. Straczynski was so concerned about what yours truly might find in his Twitter feed, I will give it extra attention going forward.

Stay classy, Mr. Straczynski.

Exit Question: How long will it be before Mr. Straczynski starts using weird comments about Barron Trump to attack his father?

Iron Man #4: Bendis turns biohack ninjas into foot clan clowns for Riri

Invincible Iron Man #4 hit the shelves of your local comic shop this week, which means Brian Michael Bendis’ biohack ninjas have returned. There’s only one problem: The professional killers who gave Tony Stark and James Rhodes a run for their money now have turned into foot clan clowns from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This move allows teenager Riri Williams — who isn’t scared of deadly assassins while in her civilian clothes — to prove once again how superawesomefantasticbrilliant she is compared to Tony.

Question: Does anyone believe the reports that Marvel will quick injecting politics into its books in 2018? It’s hard to believe this will actually happen, given the way writers like Mr. Bendis will torture their creations with perfection if wins them plaudits from politically correct Tumblr kids who don’t even buy the books.

Check out my latest YouTube review for the full rundown and, as always, be sure to subscribe if you enjoy the video format.

Invincible Iron Man #3: Bendis gets his ‘Golden Girls’ vibe on

Writer Brian Michael Bendis may have been subconsciously affected by Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty more than he would like to publicly admit, because Invincible Iron Man #3 certainly has a Golden Girls vibe to it. Future installments of the series may involve Tony Stark’s biological mother — Amanda Strong — saving the day with Riri Williams, Pepper Potts, Mary Jane Watson, and Friday before all busting into song: “Thank you for being a friend!”

Translation: Girl power — with Ironheart armor!

For those who are new to the blog, let me state right up front that like most Americans I can sing the Golden Girls theme song and have zero problem with “girl power” in its proper setting. Is an Iron Man book where Tony Stark only exists as artificial intelligence the prudent platform to go about writing such tales? Good question.

Check out my latest YouTube review on Invincible Iron Man to see where I stand on the book, along with ways it might be improved. As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Civil War II #8: Marvel’s Minority Report no Cruise thriller

Marvel’s “summer” event, Civil War II, is finally over with its eighth issue! Or…is it? Brian Michael Bendis’ conclusion to this hero vs. hero tale “ends,” but not before warning readers that they are in for more good guys beating the tar out of good guys in 2017 and possibly beyond.

Anyway, check out my latest YouTube review and let me know what you think in the comments section below. As always, make sure to like and subscribe if the format is up your alley.

And, if you’re going out this weekend for New Year’s Eve festivities, then have fun but stay safe.

Iron Man #2: Bendis makes Riri Williams perfect, but perfect is boring

Question: When is an Invincible Iron Man book not an Invincible Iron Man book?

Answer: When Brian Michael Bendis needs to buoy sales while his new — seemingly perfect — female character named Ironheart tries to gain traction with potential customers.

If you want to know how the progression of Riri Williams is going over at Marvel these days, all you need to know is that the editorial philosophy seems to be that all new female characters need to be perfect to avoid criticism from feminists on Tumblr. The problem for writers like Mr. Bendis, however, is that “perfect” tends to translate “boring” on the page.

Humans have flaws, which is one of the many reasons why Peter Parker and Tony Stark are so relatable. When a character is the most intelligent, funniest, superaweseomecoolest (on word) person in the room, then it’s just lame.

Anyway, if you want to hear the full rundown, then check out my latest YouTube review for IIM #2 and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Civil War II No. 7 perfectly explained by Miles Morales: ‘This is weird. Even for people like us’

Brian Michael Bendis’ Civil War II #7 is finally out, although the “summer” event still has one more month to go. On deck is Marvel’s Inhumans vs. X-Men. If you want to know what the company’s obsession with hero vs. hero tales means for our cultural mosaic, then check out my latest YouTube video below.

If you like what you see, then make sure to subscribe for future reviews. And, as always, let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Brian Michael Bendis’ obsession with racial politics returns with ‘Invincible Iron Man’ relaunch

Imagine that you grew up reading Iron Man comics books. You love anything with Tony Stark, but for some reason Marvel’s Brian Michael Bendis was given the green light to make him disappear like a terrorist taken to a CIA black site. You’re annoyed, but at the same time you want to be open-minded about the creative possibilities of an “A.I. Tony Stark” mentor to some young kid named Riri Williams. You open the book, and just like multiple other stories by Mr. Bendis, you’re served up a giant helping of racial politics.

Question: Would you continue to read the book?

If you want a better idea of why so many readers want nothing to do with Marvel these days, then check out my latest Youtube review of Invincible Iron Man. If the format resonates with you, then make sure subscribe for future installments on your activist-writers within the comic book industry.

Related: Invincible Iron Man #1: Civil War II delays mar Riri Williams debut

Invincible Iron Man #1: Civil War II delays mar Riri Williams debut

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Months ago it was announced that Marvel would essentially be race and gender-bending Iron Man by handing the book over to a teenage genius named Riri Williams. Fans were not given much to work with in terms of the new character’s background, other than Brian Michael Bendis’ claim that she was “probably” smarter than the billionaire philanthropist (who would go missing before Invincible Iron Man relaunched).

IIM is now on the market, but technically Tony Stark is still around due to delays with Civil War II. That means that many customers who purchased Riri’s debut issue reached the last page and had the same reaction I did: “What the heck happened to Tony Stark?! We weren’t told in IIM 14 and we weren’t told in Infamous Iron Man #1. Thanks a lot, Bendis.”

Here is what you need to know for IIM #1:

  • A flashback sequence includes a Steve Harvey lookalike telling Riri Williams’ family that she is a “super genius.” She was five years old at the time of the diagnosis.
  • Riri’s stepfather and best friend were killed in a drive-by shooting in Chicago two years ago. Riri would have likely died had her stepdad not pushed her to the ground.
  • Teenage Riri, now in her Ironheart armor, flies to Cheyenne, Wyoming, to take on the mutant Animax and her genetically created monsters. The A.I. in the Riri’s suit is horrible, but eventually Animax is defeated.
  • Cops (seemingly raaaaaaacist because they come from Wyoming and are not as enlightened as Brian Michael Bendis and his pals in New York City…), see the color of Riri’s skin and then shoot her armored hemet between the eyes without warning. After shooting her they say, “On the ground now!” and “Dude! Weapons down!” (Note: Check out the “Hands up, don’t shoot!” pose on Riri before a bullet pings off her helmet. Subtlety is not Marvel’s strong suit these days.)
  • Riri crushes the officers’ handguns and takes off.
  • A mysterious package arrives at Riri’s house. She pushes the button as her mother watches next to her. The “essence” of Tony Stark, an A.I. version of the genius billionaire, says it’s time to “get to work.”

Here’s the deal: Technically, there is nothing wrong with Invincible Iron Man. It’s a decent first issue for a character, but the problem for Iron Man fans is that decent isn’t good enough when a writer is trying to replace Tony Stark.

Making matters worse for Mr. Bendis is the fact that Iron Man fans are being asked to fork over cash for his replacement (temporary, it seems safe to assume, as long as Robert Downey Jr. is starring in Marvel Studios films), without knowing what happens to him by the end of Civil War II.

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Right now Mr. Bendis is using A.I. Tony Stark like Dan Slott used “ghost Peter” during Superior Spider-Man, hoping fans will be placated enough by a talking shadow to keep the book on their comic shop pull list. That’s a tall order, and it’s made even more difficult by the politically correct predictions already being thrown about by industry reviewers.

Inverse reported Nov. 11:

Despite their similarities — their genius-level intellects, engineering abilities, and desire to help people — Riri’s background is going to define her in a way that is completely different from Tony. She’s a young black woman who’s known careless violence and who built her own flying suit as a teenager — she’s miles ahead of Tony both socially and intellectually.

On top of everything, Riri is going to have to deal with Tony’s attitude and privileged background. For once, Tony will have to take a backseat, and watching their relationship unfold throughout the course of the series will be half the fun.

Got that, Tony Stark fans? The prediction, which seems to be a safe bet, is that Brian Michael Bendis will spend the next year flogging you over the head with weird messages about “white privilege.”

This issue it was those darn racist cops from Wyoming, but next issue perhaps it will be A.I. Tony Stark letting you know that he is “socially and intellectually” behind the power curve.

My suggestion, at least for now, is to hold off on buying Invincible Iron Man until a.) Civil War II concludes, and b.) Bendis proves to readers that he is going to keep racial politics to an absolute minimum.

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Update: I’ve uploaded my latest YouTube review: “Brian Michael Bendis’ obsession with racial politics returns in Iron Man relaunch.” Check it for extended coverage of the writer’s “Hands up, don’t shoot!” politics that were inserted into the issue.

Civil War II #6: Brian Michael Bendis gets political when fans want escapism

Marvel’s Civil War II #6 is out, and Brian Michael Bendis could no longer contain himself. It was only a matter of time before his cautionary tale about racial profiling featured a “Hands up, don’t shoot!” or an “I can’t breathe” moment, but on some level it’s hard to be too annoyed because it was so predictable.

Anyway, check out my latest YouTube video and let me know what you think about the issue in the comments section below. It seems as though Marvel is so obsessed with scoring political points these days that it has forgotten that many readers turn to superhero stories as a form of escapism.