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.

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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

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.

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 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.

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.

riri-williams

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 #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.