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.

Marvel’s Fear Itself: More Liberal Claptrap This April?

Actually, Marvel, I don't fear "losing control." Fiscal conservatives will apparently occupy the next Congress (I'll withhold judgment until I see some concrete public policy exit the gates). However, it's completely valid to feel like you're losing control when the federal government racks up deficits that would flatten...The Hulk.

Marvel comics has announced its next big event: Fear Itself. Anyone who follows comics knows about the incredibly bad Bush-allegory that was Civil War. And they also know that Captain America spent a part of 2010 fearing, ostensibly, the Tea Party movement. If you head to Vegas anytime soon, place your bets that more liberal claptrap is on its way:

Marvel’s summer event starting in April, 2011 by me [Matt Fraction] and Stuart Immonen. I’ve waited a really long time to talk about this, so here we go. The story should be relatable to where we are today. Like the best of all Marvel stuff it’s something that speaks to the world we live in. It feels like there’s this great shadow over us all, this anxiousness, this anger. It feels like reason and discourse have taken a back seat to “mob mentality” and “hysteria”, and everyone is afraid of something right now. And if you doubt me, and you’re getting on an airplane in the next few days, enjoy that guy who touches your business and think a little bit about how afraid we are of each other.

The Marvel heroes versus the God of Fear: The more you fear him the stronger he gets, and we are all his weapons. This is the very best that mankind has to offer versus the very worst of the Gods. These are characters that we know and love fighting world-ending, extinction grade threat, and I promise you won’t feel underserved at any level involvement. Just wait until we start teasing who “The Worthy are and why they were chosen… So get ready. Get excited. This summer, when the whole world is watching Marvel characters and thinking about Thor and thinking about Captain American and aware of just how amazing these guys are we are going to be busting the doors down with the biggest story we have ever told.

Notice any red flags? “Mob Mentality” and “Hysteria”? It’s interesting how Matt Fraction wasn’t concerned about mobs before President Obama was in office, perhaps because he was busy enjoying Captain America’s “heroic” stance in Civil War, where he fought and died for a superhero’s “right” to anonymously walk around town with the ability to rape your wife in front of you, mind wipe you so you never remember it happened, and then start the process all over again the following weekend (because, as we all know, the government would have no vested interest in cataloging citizens who could do such a thing—at least not under the Bush administration).

When I go through airport security and someone “touches my junk” I don’t think about fear towards my fellow Americans—I’m just upset that our elected officials are always reacting to the last threat (e.g., Islamic terrorists who melt their testicles off during failed attempts to down jetliners during the holidays) instead of thinking outside the box to prevent the next threat. I don’t “fear” Americans, but I do want home grown terrorists—treasonous Americans—tried for said crime and put to death.

Do I fear what I've become? No. I do fear for the nation, which is filled with economic dunces modeled on the ramblings of Bill Maher and Seth MacFarlane.

One of Marvel’s promotional shots asks if the reader fears who they’ve become.  Actually, I do fear what the nation has become, if we’re talking about a nation filled with economic dunces modeled after Seth MacFarlane, who look at an avalanche of debt heading their way and respond by impressing their friends with their best “Stewie” voice.  The reason why the GOP took back control of Congress in a big red wave unlike anything seen in decades is because the Tea Party movement used the “reason and discourse” Matt claims isn’t there.  I suppose if you’re a liberal that got caught in the undertow your vision and hearing may have been impaired in the process…

Still don’t believe me?  I too always want to give Marvel the benefit of the doubt, but doing that usually means I’m just going to get burned.  I checked out Matt’s Twitter page, and it turns out he’s a card carrying member of the “try Bush for war crimes” crowd:

Dear Matt: Should Barack Obama be tried for war crimes? Maybe you should Google the frequency with which our drones have been operating in Pakistan as of late. Maybe you should take a visit down to Gitmo, since the doors are still open. Perhaps that's because Islamic terrorists around the world continue to devise ways to implement another spectacular event on par (or exceeding) 9/11.

I wonder if Matt also wants to try President Obama, since he’s taking part in a very real kind of Secret War, the type that Marvel is famous for writing about? Probably not. Like the hypocritical left around the world, whose rallies disappeared after Obama was elected, he’ll stay silent. The drones will continue firing on jihadist clowns, Gitmo’s doors are still open (thank Goodness), and our Special Ops are busy tallying up victories the average American will never hear about—kind of like the stories of Captain America in Afghanistan that Marvel refuses to create despite an existing, lethal, and determined enemy.

Conservative comic fans need to stop reacting to Marvel’s half-hearted backpedaling after every blatant liberal pot shot inserted into a major storyline.  If the “Brain Trust” at Marvel had any smarts they’d actually enlist a conservative writer or two who could weave some incredibly awesome tales. Note to self: don’t hold breath.

I’ll be buying Fear Itself, but the moment it turns into Liberalism Itself I’ll be withholding my cash.