Marvel flinches on hack writing after backlash, but actions speak louder than words

Iron Man 7

It appears as though sagging sales, fan backlash, The New York Times dropping comics from its “bestseller” list, and a general consensus that Marvel has lost its way has finally pushed the “House of Ideas” to return to its roots. Bleeding Cool reported Feb. 6 that a back-to-basics approach will take place in 2018.

The website said:

“Last week’s Marvel creative summit I am told by well connected sources who have proved themselves in that past there was more of a focus on what DC Comics internally called “meat and potatoes” comics that preceded their doubling down on the popular characters and bringing back old favourite takes with DC Rebirth.

I am told, as Marvel brings back the X-Men line with a bang, to expect a return to more of a status quo for titles such as Thor, Iron Man, Hulk and more. A more familiar looking Marvel Universe by the autumn – although, just as with Captain America, as classic-look-characters return, expect new characters to keep a number of their books. …

I am told to expect that Secret Empire will be a bit of a last hurrah for this kind of [politicized] storytelling from Marvel for a while. A little how Marvel writers were told to get the use of the Marvel 616 dimensional nomenclature out of their system before it was done away with for good…”

Twitter, YouTube, and other social media websites were abuzz — in a positive way — with this news, but your friendly neighborhood blogger would like to remind everyone that actions speak louder than words — and Bleeding Cool reporting.

While it is true that Marvel has flinched in the face of a growing number of fans who are sick and tired of political preaching shoved into their books, it is also true that its writers and editors only made the right decision when all other options were essentially taken off the table.

If Marvel had to hemorrhage fans to DC Comics for months on end before its top brass decided to retreat on their social justice crusade, then it stands to reason that they will return to their old ways as soon as possible. Even Bleeding Cool’s report indicates that this is merely a tactical retreat by the New Puritans.

At this point in time Marvel has done nothing tangible — I repeat, nothing — to engender good will among the fans it has alienated for years.

There has not been any admittance that loyal customers were treated like dirt while classic characters were needlessly dumped upon for the sake of diversity.

Now is not the time to let up, but to stay increasingly engaged in terms of holding the publisher accountable for partisan or sloppy writing. Until Marvel and its creative teams consistently deliver the goods and extend an olive branch to those who were told to “eat a bag of d***s,” then they should not be patted on the back.

It is time to be cautiously optimistic, but it most certainly not the time to shake hands with writers and artists who have rarely missed an opportunity to sucker punch long-time readers.

David F Walker Twitter bag

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Marvel’s Nick Spencer defends rule of law from mob that his rhetoric creates

It is probably safe to say that most people with a Twitter account on Inauguration Day saw video of white nationalist Richard Spencer getting cold-cocked in the face by a protester. The same individuals who lit a vehicle on fire and smashed the windows of businesses in Washington, D.C., also decided that street beatdowns are now acceptable for political opponents.

Marvel writer Nick Spencer entered the social-media stage and rightly defended the rule of law. His own followers predictably lashed out for the heresy, but at no time did it dawn on him that his regular rhetoric helped create the mob monster he now fears.

Check out my latest YouTube video, where I break down exactly why the Captain America scribe should take a step back and acknowledge his own culpability in terms of creating our worrisome political landscape.

Mark Waid: ‘Every superhero you love’ is a SJW

There was once a time when activist-writers tried to hide their attempts to hijack comic books and turn them into little more than social-justice propaganda. Writer Mark Waid has changed all that. This week he took to Twitter and told the world that “every superhero you love” marches (or flies or teleports) under a SJW banner.

Check out my latest YouTube video on Mr. Waid’s opinion that comic book writers should look to anti-free speech ideologues for inspiration.

Marvel’s Nick Spencer plays SJW long-ball with Captain America

The was once a time when comic book writers were able to weave tales that turned characters like Spider-Man and Captain America into cultural icons. Creators may have touched on politics, but in general those who penned Marvel’s adventures transcended partisan hackery. They delivered work that resonated with multiple generations, which is one of the many reasons why Marvel Studios is an industry force to be reckoned with in 2017.

Somewhere along the line it was decided within the Mighty Marvel Offices that superheroes should be transformed from modern mythological figures into vehicles for forwarding a political agenda. They were diminished into little more than tools for political manipulation, and for evidence of that one needs to look no further than the work of Nick Spencer, writer of Sam Wilson: Captain America.

My latest YouTube video covers Mr. Spencer’s savvy strategy and tactics for influencing culture through comic books, which seems a bit similar to those employed by comedian Jon Stewart. As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section blow. I’m always interested in hearing your opinions on the writer at hand or the industry as whole.

Marvel’s zero-sum politics needlessly damage the comics industry

The partisan politics of modern Marvel Comics creators is a mainstay of this blog, but for the most part it is usually discussed within the context of whatever “red state vs. blue state” argument makes headlines each week. Today, however, I’d like to dig a little deeper into the zero-sum politics of these writers and artists. In short, they act as if any positive development for “Character A” means that “Character B” is negatively affected.

For instance, Tony Stark’s existence as Iron Man was problematic for writer Brian Michael Bendis’ to introduce Ironheart — Riri Williams. Normal people have no problem with a young girl named Riri flying around the Marvel Universe while Mr. Stark does his thing. That is not the case for Marvel writers these days. In the mind of the modern Marvel creator, Mr. Stark needed to be hurt or sidelined or have his reputation sullied in some way so that a minority female character could succeed.

This line of thinking has poisoned Marvel’s decision-making from the top down in recent years, and as long as it continues the industry as a whole will needlessly suffer. For more details on this, be sure to check out my latest YouTube video on the subject. Then, if you like what you’ve seen, be sure subscribe for regular updates.

As always, make sure to let me know what you think 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.

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.

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.

Civil War II #5: Team Stark v. Team Danvers throw down

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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.

Nick Spencer demonizes police for Marvel: Racist ‘Americops’ target minorities

Americops Marvel

Marvel writer Nick Spencer, the guy who uses his Twitter feed to say all Republicans are “evil,” recently made national headlines with the company’s “let’s turn Steve Rogers into a Hydra agent” gimmick. He somehow managed escape the media radar with his tenth issue of ‘Captain America: Sam Wilson,’ which creates a nameless, faceless group of racist cops — ‘Americops’ — for hunting down minorities.

SW10 Americop

The end of the issue even features “Rage,” who tells a group of black kids that it’s “time we start hitting back” against the racist, left-hand saluting police patrolling their streets.

Ask yourself this question about Marvel Editor Tom “capture the zeitgeist” Brevoort as the nation comes to grips with the Dallas shooting of 12 police officers by Micah Xavier Johnson, which killed five: Why is it off limits to “capture the zeitgeist” of Islamic terrorist groups — real evil — in Marvel comics due to fears about how it will reflect on all Muslims, but yet it is fair game to create “Americops”?

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The vast majority of cops are good men and women, and yet every single time someone like Alton Sterling is killed in Baton Rouge or Philando Castile is killed in Minneapolis, the Nick Spencers of the world use the moment to rhetorically slime over 12,000 local police departments across the country.

Dallas Police WFAA screenshot

Here is another question for you: Have you ever seen an issue where Nick Spencer’s Sam Wilson must combat super-powered gangs of black kids in Chicago or Detroit who deal drugs, murder innocents, and make life a living hell for the majority of good citizens (and cops) in the city?

Answer: Of course not.

David Brown

The lesson at Marvel under Tom Brevoort is clear:

  • If a writer wants to pen cartoonish versions of irrational and angry white men, then he or she can do that.
  • If a writer wants to take the actions of a few to incite anger against the whole, then doing so against cops and law-abiding gun owners is permissible.
  • Capturing the “zeitgeist” at Marvel is defined as, “Write or draw whatever inflammatory idea you have towards white people, but don’t you dare cover inner city violence or Islamic terrorism — even if you planned on handling the latter issues in a measured manner.

If you are sick and tired of Marvel hyper-politicizing its books while engaging in obscene double-standards, then stop buying any title that fills its pages with partisan bile. Sound off on social media and let everyone know exactly why you are walking away from the title.

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