Marvel’s Fear Itself: You’re Safer in Iran than New York City.

According to Marvel, Iranian immigrants in New York City are “used to living in fear.” Not because of the real fear societies they came from in the Middle East…but because you never know when a mob of New Yorkers might use any excuse to pummel a Muslim. Dear Marvel: Google “Neda” and see what you find (besides the realization that you’re a bunch of ignorant clowns).

Back in December I wondered if Marvel’s next “big” event, Fear Itself, would be just another round of liberal claptrap force fed to us for $4.00 and issue. I was partially right—the claptrap was there, but it only cost me $2.99!

Let me set the stage. Something is very wrong in New York City. Citizens have been taken with fear, and they’re acting out in irrational ways. Spider-Man is working overtime (what else is new?) to keep the city from tearing itself apart. Cue Naveed Moshtaghi, a taxi driver and Iranian immigrant. Naveed’s vehicle is hit by an angry white guy, who then blames the accident on Naveed: “He’s one of the terrorists. He wants to kill us all!” says the aggressor. A mob swarms around Naveed, swallowing him whole until Spider-Man saves the day.

At this point I’m willing to give writer Chris Yost a break. Maybe the “God of Fear” is really behind it all. I’m even willing to shrug off a narrator who begins, “Naveed Moshtaghi is afraid of the same thing he’s been afraid of for ten years,” (i.e., Americans are just itching for an excuse to bum rush Muslims post-9/11 to infinity and beyond), right before the story unfolds that way.

But then something interesting happens. All alone on a rooftop, Spider-Man tells the man he’s dealing with the crisis very well. Naveed responds:

“I’m a second generation Iranian in New York City. Living in fear, that’s what I’m used to. What is happening down there, sometimes I think it was only a matter of time.”

Has Marvel been reading DC’s Superman (the kid from Krypton with a super-sized crush on the United Nations, even though they put countries with the worst human rights records on human-rights councils)? What’s with the Iranian love fests as of late, whereas police state goons respond to Superman’s “peaceful protest” by handing flowers to protesters, and Marvel Universe’s New York City stokes more fear than an actual fear society?

Dear Naveed (or should I say Chris Yost and Matt Fraction and Joe Quesada?),

You’ve probably never heard of Neda. And I’m not just saying that because she’s dead, murdered by police state thugs.  Or because you couldn’t recognize her as she went into shock. Or because her eyes rolled into the back of her head as she died. Or because she was covered in blood as her friends cradled her in their arms.

No, my liberal writer friends at Marvel, you don’t know Neda because you apparently don’t want to know. You stay willfully ignorant, creating fictional universes imbued with a liberal interpretation of what you think the world is really like. In the limited panel space you have, you chose to highlight an immigrant whose family left the Middle East so they could walk on eggshells in New York City. You write characters whose deepest darkest fears about what really lurks in hearts of Americans end up being true! Meanwhile, officers at West Point have to deal with a civilian population that increasingly doesn’t understand (or was that “fear”, Mr. Yost?) their mission. I wonder why that is, Marvel.

While I certainly don’t want a sanitized Marvel Universe any more than I want the “C” in DC Comics to stand for “Chomsky,” I find it just a little bit distasteful how often the liberal worldview is shoved down my throat by the “creative officers” and “talent” with each publication.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch video of Neda dying again. In Iran. In the real world. Where there isn’t a Spider-Man to save her or a Superman to sit idly by in peaceful protest. Perhaps it will remind me how much different America is from the authoritarian black holes littering the world.

DC and Marvel Use Letters to The Editor to Control Content, Liberal Editors Loathe Conservative Bloggers.

DC Comics has returned their Letters to the Editor page. Like Joe Quesada when he turned Marvel's Letter's to the Editor page into a scripted joke only Kim Jong Il would be proud of, I'm inclined to believe they're doing it because it's the one vehicle for information that allows them total control in the age of Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs (Glorious Blogs)!

Agence France-Presse thinks I, as a conservative comic book nerd, am going to take their bait on the French Muslim Batman ally, Nightrunner. They write:

Batman has battled many enemies but now has to face the anger of rightwing US bloggers furious that the comic book caped crusader has recruited a Muslim to run his crime-fighting franchise in Paris…

The hero he picks in France is called Nightrunner, the alter ego of a 22-year-old from Clichy-sous-Bois, a tough Paris suburb where urban unrest sparked riots in immigrant districts across France in 2005.

Bilal Asselah, a Frenchman of Algerian origin, was caught up in that unrest and at one point he and his friend got beaten up by police who mistook them for rioters.

“Furious”?  Umm…no.  While I would normally revel in the chance to grab the hook you’re dangling into conservative waters, intellectually pull you into the deep, chew you up, and then spit you out as chum for another blogger…I’ll pass today, AFP. Instead, there’s a different angle I’d like to take, which is DC’s decision to reinstate their Letters to the Editor section:

Posting comments via Facebook or Twitter seems faster than a speeding bullet, but DC Comics is going back to its Silver and Bronze Age ways, returning readers’ letters to the pages of its comic books…

Letters pages were once common in comic books and gave far-flung readers the chance to weigh in on stories, heroes, villains and make requests about what should happen next. Those pages gradually disappeared not only in DC’s comics, but those of other companies, too, as the Internet, e-mail and the rise of Facebook and Twitter all but rendered them obsolete.

David Hyde, DC Comics’ vice president of publicity, quietly announced the change on Monday, in DC’s own blog, The Source. Reaction was positive with one reader remarking that “as a fan of DC Comics since boyhood (more years than I care to remember), one of the things I looked most forward to was the letter page, so very excited.”

Someone needs to ask this anonymous reader what he thinks of Nightrunner, or Wonder World Consensus Woman, or Superman: Earth One. Then they need to ask him whether or not he thinks DC’s Letters to the Editor page would ever print his point of view if it differed in an intelligent way with the powers that be in their corporate offices. My guess is, they wouldn’t.

Robert Gibbs recently tried to make the claim that the White House was somehow more transparent due to Twitter.  This is a blatantly misleading statement, as it confuses information with the vehicle that provides it! Some DC readers might think the company is doing a great thing, but I’m inclined to believe one reason they’re doing it is because in the age of Facebook and Twitter it’s the one area where they have total control over the feedback readers see.

Don’t believe me? Anyone who read Marvel’s One More Day, in which liberal Joe Quesada destroyed Spider-Man for tens of thousands of fans by allowing the character to make a deal with the Devil, knows what I’m talking about.*  In the wake of One More Day they’ve filled their Letters to the Editor page with reviews from readers who are giddy over the direction of the book.  As I said my nerd-tastic response at the time, (jump in at 3:20 if you’re not an uber-nerd) it was as if the editors of Marvel went to the Kim Jong Il School of Journalism.  Reading the page was often hilarious, as it was 180 degrees from reality: readers left the book in droves.

If the editors at Marvel and DC can get you looking at their hand picked (and perhaps hand-written?) responses to controversial story lines or creative missteps instead of online—where “right wing bloggers” give you a heads up that stories like Marvel’s Fear Itself might be more liberal claptrap—they’ll be happy.  New technology has destroyed liberalism’s ability to silence the conservative point of view, whether it’s on the radio, television, or in print.  Conservatism, honestly articulated, is always a winner.  They hate that.  And they really don’t like to have the spotlight (or was that the Bat Signal?) shown on them.  But if we don’t want to keep shelling out money for tales that tell us our worldview is beneath theirs, we need to redouble our efforts.

I’ll see you in DC’s Letters to the Editor page, dear reader…and if I don’t, I’ll see you here!

*I’m sorry, my fan boy friends, but for all intents and purposes Mephisto is the Devil.