Marvel’s ‘Clerksification’: Dante Spencer’s and Randal Zdarsky’s effect on comics

Over 20 years have passed since director Kevin Smith made Dante Hicks and Randal Graves famous. Clerks put him on the Hollywood map and endeared him to a generation of young writers, but there is no doubt that many of them learned the wrong lessons from his 90s “slackers.” Two contenders include Nick Spencer and Chip Zdarsky, who are guilty of what I’ve deemed the Clerksification of Marvel Comics.

To give you an idea of what my latest YouTube video is about, consider the tagline for Clerks, which goes as follows:

“Just because they serve you doesn’t mean they like you.”

Indeed, Marvel creators these days make no secret of their disdain of long-term customers, and will even tell fans not to buy the product during political disagreements. To better understand what’s going on, we must examine Mr. Smith’s work and how its sensibilities continue to reverberate in the minds of Marvel’s employees.

If you read through Secret Empire and Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, then you should see the creative fingerprints of Mr. Smith, Quentin Tarantino, and a slew of others. Unfortunately, instead of Pulp Fiction-quality work fans received Hydra-Cap and Hipster Spider-Man.

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Marvel’s Secret Empire 4th of July: Celebrate Hydra-Cap, Post-Modernism or you’re a rube

It’s the 4th of July, which means Americans everywhere are celebrating independence and all things red, white and blue. Sadly, Captain America is not available this year because Marvel’s “Hydra-Cap” era is still going strong.

If you want to see what post-modernists have done to Marvel Comics, then check out my latest YouTube video. There are only so many times a company can blow up a hero’s integrity before it’s nearly impossible for a writer to put together what a long string of post-modernists have broken.

As always, I’d love to hear what you have to say. Sound off on Marvel’s Secret Empire, its post-modernist writers, and anything related to the subject in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: There is a “roast” of Capn. Cummings after the main video. Do not watch if strong language offends you. 

Secret Empire #3: Nick Spencer event is really his ‘Secret Lecture’

Marvel’s Secret Empire #3 came out this week, although at this point it really should be called Secret Lecture. As I have said before, writer Nick Spencer is an intelligent man who knows a thing or two about the technical aspects of storytelling. The problem, however, is that he uses his gig at Marvel as a psychiatrist’s couch and a college professor’s podium. He seems to care less about entertaining readers than he does about working out his own political issues and lecturing America for electing President Donald Trump.

There’s much more to say, but for that I invite you to check out my latest YouTube review. If the format is up your alley, then make sure to subscribe and leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Secret Empire #2: Nick Spencer sells the joy of joylessness

Is it possible to do convincingly write up a review for Marvel’s Secret Empire that requires references to C.S. Lewis’ Surprised by Joy, Viktor E. Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, and Elie Wiesel’s Night? Excellent question! Your friendly neighborhood blogger gives it a try in the YouTube review below.

Be sure to check out my analysis of writer Nick Spencer’s monument to post-modernism, and then let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Secret Empire #1: Hydra-Verse and Marvel PR damage control in full swing

Marvel’s comics division has been taking it on the chin in terms of bad press for well over a year now, and the official kickoff to its latest event is no exception. This week saw the release of Secret Empire #1 and a tie-in issue for Free Comic Book Day, which theoretically should bring elicit smiles across the country. Wrong. In fact, the project is so controversial that Marvel had to put out a statement earlier this week asking fans to be patient (even though the story has been building for well over a year).

My latest Youtube review covers the good, the bad and the ugly of writer Nick Spencer’s reality-warping Hydra-Cap tale. And yes, on some level it is good — but the whole situation is a bit complicated.

Anyway, check out the review and let me know what you think in the comments section below. Also: If anyone knows YouTube’s exact rules for using music clips without getting copyright infringement strikes, then let me know — I don’t want to make a habit of joke-singing songs like “Patience” by Guns N’ Roses…

Secret Empire #0: Nick Spencer pens love letter to postmodernism

Marvel’s next big event, Secret Empire, has arrived with issue #0. For those who wondered over the last year if writer Nick Spencer could craft an interesting Hydra-Cap tale, the answer appears to be “yes.”

The problem, however, is that once again a hero’s legacy is offered for sacrifice at the alter of postmodernism.

Just because a man could do something, it doesn’t mean that he should. While I must admit that Mr. Spencer is an intelligent and organized writer, at the same time he is rightly being criticized by fans who are disgusted with the idea of turning a cultural icon into a tool of Nazi Germany. No matter how much Marvel protests the Nazi-angle, there really is no denying it.

There’s much more to say on the topic, but for a full run-down I invite you to check out my latest YouTube video. As always, feel free to sound off with your thoughts in the comments section below.