Once upon a time the term “SJW” was a form of sweet music to the ears of writer Mark Waid. The comics industry veteran literally said in 2017 that he wore it with “pride.”
Something happened, however, between then and now to change his mind: He was sued for tortious interference and defamation by the popular YouTuber Diversity & Comics, aka Richard C. Meyer, aka ‘Ya Boi Zack.’
These days, according to Mr. Waid, calling him exactly what he wanted to be called is “the language of a bully.” Interesting, isn’t it?
One would think that a respectable journalist within the comics industry would ask Mr. Waid why he was allowed to use “SJW” as a rhetorical cudgel in 2017 while standing atop a self-made moral pedestal, yet now the term is a slur that can be used against the Comicsgate movement in court.
Sadly, dear reader, Mr. Waid only goes to shill outlets like Nerdist to discuss his lawsuit. And yes, “shill” is the correct description to use for the creator’s live-stream with Nerdist, given the following: a.) the moderators rushed to delete any chatroom comments on the lawsuit while Comicsgate was simultaneously being framed as a “hate” movement; b.) the host only asked softball questions and agreed with everything Mr. Waid said; and c.) the normal comments section was disabled after the live-stream ended.
If you’re asking yourself why all of this sounds familiar, then simply step into this blog’s time machine and travel to July 26, 2013.
Fact: Your friendly neighborhood blogger was covering “Comicsgate” before it was ever called Comicsgate. Anyone who wants to debunk the industry’s current lies can often do so by mining my old coverage of “Marvel’s Orwellian message boards” and the unprofessionalism by men like *cough* Mark Waid.
There is much more to be said about Mr. Waid’s hypocrisy and his lawsuit with Mr. Meyer, but for brevity’s sake I suggest checking out my latest YouTube video. Please make sure to hit the subscribe button if video content is up your alley.
Here is a social experiment for you: Ask your average person on the street what they would expect from the 700th issue of Captain America. Ask them what the cover might look like. Ask them about the themes a writer would be expected to highlight by his editors. Ask them how they should feel after closing it.
More than likely the individual will telegraph that a 700th issue of Captain America should be a celebration of Steve Rogers.
What they won’t tell you is that it should be a lament over the election of President Donald Trump.
What they won’t tell you is that Marvel Comics should design a cover that puts the hero into the background as a new character basks in the limelight.
Sadly, writer Mark Waid has delivered a book for long-time Captain America fans that is little more than a Trump allegory for angry people who don’t buy comics. He wished upon a mushroom-cloud star for the ability to shoehorn his personal politics into an important issue and the wish came true — at the expense of loyal customers.
You can get the full rundown in my latest YouTube video. Be sure to subscribe for regular updates if the format is up your alley, and let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Regular readers of Marvel Comics know all too well that its writers have been obsessed with Donald Trump since his primary campaign. Twitter rants coincided with weird editorial decisions (e.g., turning the man into an alternative-universe M.O.D.O.K.), and writer Nick Spencer used multiple books — including the Secret Empire event — to throw political tantrums.
Marvel scribe Mark Waid, however, has taken the industry’s Trump Derangement Syndrome to a whole new level for the company’s “Legacy” run. Captain America #699 is a fascinating read for all the wrong reasons.
Yes, it is boring. Yes, it is predictable. Yes, it comes across as if it were written by a freshman college student who just completed his first semester of political sciences classes.
What makes Captain America: Out of Time it interesting, however, is the psychology behind it all. Mr. Waid does not seem to even realize that all of his irrational fears regarding the president are rooted in his own ideological extremism. He fears Mr. Trump because he sees much of himself in the man.
Mr. Waid is, whether he wants to admit it or not, eerily similar to the villain referred to as “King Baby,” aka Donald Trump. Check out my latest YouTube video for the full rundown, and as always feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Fans have been scorned, taunted, and belittled by comicbook creators on social media for — politely now, mind you — daring to ask questions about altering long-time characters and stories all for “diversity’s” sake.
You know the routine by now. Doug, myself and many others have written about it ad nauseam.
Still, the creators have continued in their snobbish, egomaniacal ways.
However, now there is this from Newsarama (emphases mine):
According to David Gabriel, Marvel’s Senior Vice President of Sales, Print & Marketing, a sales downturn at the publisher that accompanied a “big shift in the entire industry” beginning in October 2016 came as a result of many factors, including, according to the executive, the market “turning up their noses” at any title not featuring a “core Marvel character.”
Suggesting the answer to the question of why people’s tastes suddenly changed was better answered by Direct Market retailers, Gabriel told ICv2 that “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity. They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not. I don’t know that that’s really true, but that’s what we saw in sales.”
“We saw the sales of any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up against,” he explained. “That was difficult for us because we had a lot of fresh, new, exciting ideas that we were trying to get out and nothing new really worked.”
And Jon Del Arroz’s (love that name) article from a couple of weeks ago is spot-on:
Marvel has a diversity problem.
In that they have none in terms of diversity of thought. They are a pure social justice propaganda arm. This is dangerous when it comes to creating art, as if you have everyone thinking in lockstep, unable to get outside the box, you’ll have creative stagnation. More than that, when you turn children’s adventure fiction into adult message browbeating, you lose any semblance of fun that a product formerly had. It’s no wonder that sales have dropped by about half, when they have an entire writing core of every single one of their monthly writers hell-bent on a crusade of alienating half of the country in some social engineering through comics. I don’t exaggerate my numbers either, and I did some leg work for you all so you might better make educated purchases, or lack thereof, of Marvel Comics. …
According to marvel.com, there are 18 writers on the current releases. I went through each and every one of their twitter accounts to give you a summary of where they spend their time on social media in terms of politics. I don’t mind people getting political occasionally, or even necessarily holding left wing views, but when it’s constant beating the drum of anger and hate, that’s what makes an SJW, and that’s where one needs to stay away (and is a primary reason for Marvel’s steep sales decline in recent years). Here’s a brief summary of the writers’ twitter feeds, as I’ve gone through all of them for you:
Mike Costa – Constant Anti-Trump posts.
Jason Aaron – Anti-Trump, has #resist greenpeace retweet from inauguration. However, he doesn’t post politically very often, not pushing some anger crusade all the time.
Brian Michael Bendis – Anti-Trump posts, but posts so much it’s not a large percentage of his tweets.
Cullen Bunn – Rabid anti-Trump.
Becky Cloonan – a couple of snarky anti-Trump posts pre-election, but no political posts since. From the feeds, appears to be the sanest of the Marvel staff.
Gerry Duggan – Constant Anti-Trump posts, retweets Bernie (he can still win!).
Al Ewing – British, and doesn’t seem to post a lot of American politics, but very heavily steeped in globalism in immigration “rights” in his posts. Anti-Western civilization.
Roxanne Gay – Constant rants about feminism, anti-Trump posts.
Zac Gorman – Complains about Republicans as “joke”, but only one recent post as such. Low percentage of political tweets.
Derek Landy – Anti-Trump, not overwhelming in political posts. Mostly sticks to posts about writing.
Kate Leth – Regular anti-Trump posts. Constant complaints about some boogeyman “privilege”, rambles at racist, sexist, etc., “white dudes”. Rants about queer issues.
Stuart Moore – Regular posts anti-republican, anti-Trump.
Greg Pak – Complains about “representation” of different races. Lots of anti-Trump posts.
Dan Slott – Anti-trump rants all the time.
Charles Soule – Constant anti-trump rants.
Nick Spencer – Rants about trump/republicans and calls anyone who disagrees with him flat out evil.
G.Willow Wilson – “Muslim” Ms. Marvel writer, rants anti-Trump posts all the time.
Chip Zdarksy – Constant anti-Trump posts.
That is … “100% […] extreme left-wing ideologues who hate half of the country [and] have nothing nice to say about the USA or its president ever,” Del Arroz continues.
Comic fans of goodwill, those with nary a racist/sexist/homophobic etc. bone in their bodies, have been blasted as just that by creeps such as Dan Slott, et. al. all because they’ve asked simple questions regarding characterization and stories.
Many, like Doug and myself, have pointed out that Marvel’s permissive attitude towards horrendous creator behavior on social media is hardly an appropriate business model.
I feel like going on a Randy Quaid-in-Independence Day-style rant: “I’ve been sayin’ it. I’ve been sayin’ it for ten damn years. Ain’t I been sayin’ it? Yeah, I’ve been sayin’ it.”
I — we — knew all this nonsense was unsustainable. We knew the chickens would be seeking out that proverbial roost.
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.
The modern American comic book industry is a shadow of its former self. There are numerous reasons for this, but one contributing factor is the emergence of activist-writers. Companies like Marvel claim to want to reach a “diverse” audience, but these days its employees spend an inordinate amount of time demonizing nearly half of its potential customers.
Two writers who perfectly encapsulate the “activist-writer” problem for the industry are Mark Waid and Dan Slott.
If you have been wondering why Marvel’s sales are lagging these days, then check out my newest YouTube video below. Then, let me know what you think in the comments section below.
Also, make sure to subscribe if YouTube videos on the comic industry are up your alley. I try to get out at least one per week.
Your friendly neighborhood blogger recently picked up Marvel’s “Captain America Anniversary Magazine” in his local comic book shop. The (free) special edition is indeed quite special. Unfortunately, one of the ways it is special is its ability to show how spotty the writing has been over the course of 75 years.
A kind of moral clarity existed at Marvel years ago that allowed for Steve Rogers to literally punch out Adolf Hilter on the cover whereas, these days, the Islamic terrorist groups are ignored in favor of attacks on the tea party.
Writer Mark Waid inadvertently demonstrated why, 75 years from now, people will look back at this era and shake their heads in shame that Marvel was deathly silent on the issue of Islamic terrorism.
Marvel: A popular — and effective — approach writers take to the character is to look at what it means to be Captain America, the living symbol of a nation. You’ve certainly used this approach, and used it well. What makes him such a good character for that kind of examination?
Waid: First and foremost, it’s the thing that makes him unique among superheroes. You’re always going to be making a mistake if you just tell a generic superhero story with Cap because then it comes across as, “Well, this could have been a Spider-Man story or a Hulk story.” You look for the point of view that makes Cap unique and the reason for what he does. In his case, he’s out there being literally a symbol not only for a country, but also for an ideology. And what makes him a complex and interesting character for me is that it has become a much more difficult ideology to define than it would have have been when he first undertook his mission.
Wrong. The principles espoused in the Declaration of Independence are universal. Those principles are codified into law by the U.S. Constitution and transcend petty politics, which is why anyone who writes Captain America should not have a hard time doing so — unless said writer is a partisan guy who finds it “difficult” to rise above his personal biases.
Question: Why on did Joe Simon and Jack Kirby have a moral compass that allowed them to call out the Nazi regime in print, but Mark Waid and modern Marvel writers cannot find it within themselves to do an issue on ISIS sex-slaves?
Answer: Because they are so politically correct that they would rather attack opponents of illegal immigration than the Islamic terrorists who rape young women over and over and over.
The modern Marvel reader can find Captain America taking on tea party members, but they cannot find an issue where their hero stops Syrian members of ISIS from lighting caged innocents and Christians on fire.
The idea that it is harder to write Captain America as a symbol for the country in 2016 than it was in March 1941 is a myth. There are plenty of stories to tell that would capture the nation’s highest ideals as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. If a writer is incapable of doing that then it isn’t because the world is more complex — it is because he willingly chooses not to expose pure, unadulterated evil.
Editor’s Note: For a glimpse into the mind of Mark Waid — and why he might have a difficult time writing Captain America — one needs to simply glance at his Twitter feed.
In Marvel’s quest to prove how supercrazydiverse (one word) it is, its ‘All-New, All-Different Avengers’ actually has a cringe-inducing vibe. The company is lumping all of its new minority heroes — already derivatives of the classics — onto one team and calling them ‘All-Different.’
After the announcement, Comic Book Resources asked Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso about its obsession with diversity for the sake of diversity:
Albert Ching: Axel, looking at the recently revealed lineup of the “All-New, All-Different Avengers,” you see the female Thor, Sam Wilson as Captain America, Miles Morales, Kamala Khan — it feels like a reflection of the changes and greater diversity that Marvel has seen in the past few years. Was that a motivating factor — or the motivating factor — in putting this lineup together?
Axel Alonso: Waitaminute, is that Miles Morales? Or is that someone else? Someone new? Someone from Spider-Verse? Or maybe it’s Peter? Or maybe it’s someone he recently Googled? [Laughs]
Anyway — that roster! When [editor] Tom Brevoort laid out the cast for the new team, it just felt right — especially the inclusion of Ms. Marvel, Sam Wilson, and the new Thor. It felt like Next Level $#!#.
Got that? Marvel is taking diversity to the next level, baby. Tom “take your medicine” Brevoort has decided that fans are so sick with anti-diversity fever that the only way to cure them is to go Voltron-level diversity and then have Mark don’t-buy-my-comics Waid write the adventures.
- She-Thor (derivative)
- Spider-Man (Miles Morales, derivative)
- Ms. Marvel (derivative)
- Captain America (Sam Wilson is filling in for Steve Rogers)
- Iron Man
Strangely enough, Mr. Alonso hints that it might not be Tony Stark beneath the mask. Perhaps I shouldn’t have joked that Marvel will one day totally lose it and go with Toni Stark, The Invincible Iron Woman.
Alonso: Yeah! You’ve got a healthy mix of characters — a core nucleus of veterans that have proven they can kick ass: Cap, Thor, Iron Man — but is it really Tony inside that armor…? Then you’ve got some newer, younger characters that are still proving themselves: Ms. Marvel and Nova. And then you’ve got some wild cards: the Vision and whoever it is in those black Spider-Man tights. The diversity of the cast is going to allow for very different perspectives on the Avengers-scale problems they’re going to face.
Although Marvel’s ham-handed and self-congratulatory diversity spiels are embarrassing, perhaps the most laughable aspect of this ‘All Different’ cast is how the rules have changed. Teenagers like Miles Morales and Kamala Khan apparently get the equivalent of a ‘Monopoly’ “Advance to Go — Collect $200” card.
Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Peter Parker have to put in years of time proving himself before he even became a reserve member? Was the bar lowered for becoming an Avenger? If so, then that’s embarrassing.
Here is the bottom line: All of the heroes mentioned above are just that — heroes —but there is a difference between doing the hard work of building up a character’s reputation and prestige over time, and trying to convince fans that just because a character is a minority that he or she deserves a spot on the world’s most elite team.
Falcon? Sure. No problem. Kamala Khan? Give me a break. Miles Morales? Sure — when he matures like Peter Parker before him.
At some point in time, Marvel ceased to be the “House of Ideas” and morphed into the “House of Race and Gender Politics.” The company is still capable of churning out good stories on occasion, but more often than not it just embarrasses itself with transparent attempts to insert “Next Level $#!#” into its books when all that is called for his good storytelling.
Hat Tip: Colossus of Rhodey