Tom Brevoort: Marvel’s ‘King Nothing’ gives Stan Lee backhanded compliment after industry icon’s death

Tom Brevoort Stan Lee tweet

Stan “The Man” Lee’s death last week left fans across the world with a heavy heart. Kind words filled Facebook walls, Instagram pages, and Twitter feeds. There were random exceptions (e.g., professional wet blanket Bill Maher), but in general millions of people handled themselves as expected when a beloved public figure exits this world and enters eternity.

Marvel editor Tom Brevoort, however, didn’t get the memo.

Yes, that’s right, one of Marvel’s very own decided it would be a great idea to remember Stan Lee’s life by weirdly turning it into an excuse to play “Who Will Have the Greatest Legacy?”

Tom “King Nothing” Brevoort tweeted:

“Stan Lee was both the best-known comic book editor in the world and the best writer of his era, the 1960s. The fact that others surpassed him in this endeavor by building on what he did changes nothing of it,” (emphasis added).

Ask yourself this question: What kind of person uses the death of an industry giant to immediately begin figuring out creative and professional pecking orders?

Ask yourself this question: What kind of person gives a backhanded compliment about Stan Lee that translates: “Yeah, he was an pretty amazing guy — in the 1960s!

People ask me why and when the movement often labeled “Comicsgate” started. Giving an exact date is a rather pointless endeavor, but readers can glean important information merely by looking into the social-media musings of Mr. Brevoort.

Sadly, the kind of creator who would downplay Stan Lee’s significance right after his death is not the exception to the rule at Marvel Comics these days. Furthermore, the kind of man who is willing to rhetorically hit Mr. Lee below the belt is also the kind of man who is willing to do so to long-time readers.

There is much more to be said, but for a primer on the origins of Comicsgate I suggest watching my latest YouTube video. As always, make sure hit the ‘subscribe’ button if the video format is up your alley.

Related: Bill Maher: Stan Lee bad, Vapid celebs on ‘Real Time’ good. Beep. Beep. Boop. Boop.

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Dan Slott goes nuts over sales because he knows Spider-Man fans don’t respect him

Dan Slott Captain America shirt
In one corner we have Dan Slott, who thinks that typing insults and using all-caps gives his assertions more validity. In the other we have a comic fan who is willing to debate the issues and stay on point. Is it any wonder why Dan Slott only insults “conservative bloggers” from a distance?

There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “He who thinks one man can’t be effective has never slept in bed with a mosquito.” And so, it is with that mentality that I blog away, whether it’s something as important as exposing the truth behind North Korean gulags or the small stuff like Dan Slott’s treatment of American icons like Spider-Man.

Dan Slott has referred to me multiple times in his Twitter feed, although never by name. It’s always been, pejoratively, “conservative blogger.” And yesterday, after pointing out that everyone but Dan Slott knows Superior Spider-Man is inferior to Amazing Spider-Man, he upped the ante with an extended rant — again not tagging me in the tweet or even linking back to the original post.

Yes, according to Dan, I am an “idiot.” If that’s the case, why would he go off on such a diatribe? And why would he shy away from exposing me as an idiot for all to see on my very own blog? Nothing would be sweeter than to once-and-for-all put that ‘idiot conservative blogger’ in his place, right?

The reason why Dan Slott throws out ad hominem attacks from afar with me is because he knows I’ll tear him to shreds.

So now, I will deconstruct Dan’s drivel for all the world to see — and invite him to exchange in a lively debate in the comments section, where he can pummel me to the ground like Doc Ock in command of Peter’s body.

Dear Conservative Blogger who was upset that Peter Parker/Spider-Man
saved North Korean soldiers instead of LEAVING THEM TO DIE– BECAUSE
HE REVERED ALL LIFE…

False. As I discussed before, the reason why I was upset was that with 6 billion lives on the line, Dan Slott’s Peter Parker took precious time — when every second counted — to lecture his teammates about the sanctity of North Korea’s gulag overseers. Yes, that same North Korean regime that is now threatening to nuke the United States.

My point was that Spider-Man enters war zones, and then refuses to act like a solider because the truth is, sometimes you have to take a life in order to save a life. Or in Spider-Man’s case, six billion. That is real life. That is what law enforcement agencies and soldiers must deal with every day. And that is the kind of moral conundrum that would make for an interesting Spider-Man story, instead of the half-baked ideas Dan Slott dishes out on a regular basis.

Dear Same-Conservative-Blogger who is NOW upset that Otto
Octavius/Spider-Man took out a crazed gunman who killed over 30 people
in a shooting INSTEAD of letting the police cart him away to prison–
BECAUSE Otto thought that man (even though helpless at the time)
deserved to die, might later get out, and kill again…

False. Again, there is a difference between a murderer on the streets of New York — who is due his day in court by a trial of his peers — and the combatant on a battlefield, who does not have the same constitutional rights granted to Americans. Now that it’s obvious that Dan Slott doesn’t know the difference between the two, we can better understand why Marvel spent time sending Captain America after the Tea Party instead of Taliban head-choppers in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

You are an IDIOT.

No, Dan — you appear to be the one without the intellectual chops, as has been demonstrated above. I have calmly shown how the only way you appear remotely intelligent is by misrepresenting what I say on a platform where your drones can not compare our arguments side by side. To top it all off, the only way I know you’re talking about me is because those very same drones are Googling my work, which shows up in my Wordress statistics when they finally land on the site.

I’m not saying that BECAUSE you are a Conservative Blogger.

Everyone is entitled to their own political beliefs.

I’m saying that BECAUSE you, specifically– independent of the fact
you’re a Conservative Blogger– ARE an idiot.

When someone’s beliefs/ideologies/presuppositions BLIND them to their
own hypocrisies– WHEREVER those beliefs/ideologies/presuppositions
lie– CONSERVATIVE, LIBERAL, or WHAT-HAVE-YOU– THOSE PEOPLE (like
yourself) ARE COMPLETE AND UTTER IDIOTS.

Congratulations.

It says something about a guy who thinks because he writes the word ‘idiot’ multiple times and abuses the Caps Lock key that what he’s saying must be true.

You are NOT a rational, thinking human being. You’re an idiot who’s
had their brain removed and filled with the
pap/preconceived-notions/rhetoric/propaganda/talking-points of others.

There is no talking, conversing, or reasoning with you. Enjoy your
idiocy by yourself and those stupid enough to endure it, you brain
dead ideologue.

Again, Dan’s argument boils down to: “idiot-idiot-idiot-idiot-stupid-brain dead.” And yet, I’m supposedly the one who is “not rational”? Good one, Dan.

But it isn’t until the end that we see what really gets Dan’s goat:

And, BTW, it DOESN’T matter how many copies of SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN are
on the racks of your Barnes & Noble in Lynchburg, Virginia. The book
is doing PHENOMENALLY well.

How does one define “phenomenally well”? (I’m sorry if I don’t use all-caps like Dan. I understand that typing in big letters doesn’t magically give my point more validity.) If we’re talking about the tens-of-thousands of readers like me, who flip through Marvel comics these days only to put them back on the shelf to buy frozen yogurt, then I wouldn’t call that phenomenal. I still buy comics — just rarely anything Marvel.

It works like this: It’s a TOP 10 BOOK– one of Marvel’s BEST
performing titles– hell, one of the BEST performing titles in the
ENTIRE AMERICAN MARKET! Google the sales. THEN, once you see how it’s
ACTUALLY doing nationwide, factor THIS in: EVERY SINGLE ISSUE HAS SOLD
OUT ON THE DISTRIBUTOR LEVEL AND GONE BACK FOR MULTIPLE PRINTINGS– ON
TOP OF THOSE NUMBERS!

What does THAT mean? That means that LOTS of readers ACROSS the
country are buying enough copies that enough retailers are SELLING OUT
and having to place REORDERS– and that those REORDERS are eating
through whatever stock Diamond has. Not all books sell out. SUPERIOR
SPIDER-MAN does. So even though you’d like to paint its sales as “not
superior,” you would be DEMONSTRATIVELY WRONG. IN A VERY EASY TO PROVE
WAY.

Not once in my post did I make an argument for sales of Superior Spider-Man on a national or even a regional level. In fact, 95 percent of my post was about how Slott misses the boat when it comes to telling a compelling story. It has almost nothing to do with sales, except for one sentence about sales in Lynchburg, Va., specifically. Could I have talked about the comic shops in and around Washington, DC — where I actually live? Yes. Could I have talked about The Main Event’s take down of Slott and his on-the-ground experience with large comic shops in Philly? Yes. But I didn’t do that.

Congratulations Dan, for inventing a case I never made about sales and then putting me in my place for it. Here’s what I said:

The bottom line is this: After six issues of the Superior Spider-Man, it is more apparent than ever that the decision to kill off The Amazing Spider-Man in the manner Mr. Slott did was not worth the cost in good will towards Marvel. For every interesting morsel readers are given to chew on, there are mouthfuls of spoiled stale ideas that remind them why “Superior” is vastly inferior to its predecessor.

This morning, a Twitter follower read my post and told me to check out Marvel’s press release for Superior Spider-Man #9. It reads in part: “The hottest comic in comics comes to a turning point that will get you angrier than you were after Spidey #700!” (emphasis added).

Again, Dan Slott’s entire run is fueled on anger. It seems as though everything Marvel has done with Spider-Man over the past handful of years has been predicated on channeling anger to motivate people instead of love for one of the greatest comic book characters ever. And that’s what’s so sad, because it doesn’t have to be that way.

It’s okay to have your own opinions. It’s not okay to make up your own
“facts.” Especially when you’re drawing gross assumptions from small
and biased samplings.

This is coming from a guy who took me to task on a sales argument I never made in the blog post he was referencing.

Also, idiot, no rape took place in the pages of Superior Spider-Man.
And the OTHER idiot who lead you to believe that– the guy who writes
Aunt May fan-fic porn, commissions naked pictures of MaryJane Watson
art from people on DeviantArt, and makes bogus sales charts for
Amazing Spider-Man while purposefully leaving off the TOP THIRD of all
the (inaccurate) data he can find? The SAME idiot who created the
#SuperiorSpiderRapist hash tag? The SAME idiot who tweeted well into
the triple digits how MJ would DEFINITELY be raped in the pages of the
book? Even THAT idiot came out and admitted that he was WRONG and that
no physical rape took place. So congrats on keeping THAT
misinformation flowing, you idiot.

Aaaaand rant over. 😀

Notice how Dan Slott got all Clinton-esque, there? No “physical rape” took place. But we all know that the Superior Spider-Man is for all intents and purposes a wannabe rapist. There’s really no way around it. So instead of actually talking about what it would mean to have Doc Ock misrepresent himself to Mary Jane while trying to get in her pants, Dan Slott tries to insinuate that I somehow frequent fan fiction websites that dabble in Spidey porn.

No dice, Dan. And no amount of all caps or emoticons or ‘idiot’ references can hide the fact that unless you’re attacking me from afar I will nail you to the wall.

If Superior Spider-Man is such a hit, why does Dan Slott scour the internet like he was Scott Bakula in Quantum Leap, trying to right the wrongs of “idiots” like me? He wouldn’t, unless he knew that all the sales in the world won’t translate into respect. That’s why he must use ‘conservative’ as a pejorative instead of referring to me by name. That’s why he resorts to ad hominem attacks. That’s why he lashes out. In the end, all he has left is a desperate attempt to rob his critics of their legitimacy, even if it’s through infantile “rants” that end in smiley faces.

Newsflash: It’s not working.

I bought countless issues of Amazing Spider-Man out of sheer morbid curiosity and at times anger before I gave up on Marvel. And there are many others like me out there. Would Dan Slott like me to run through some of the incredibly crappy titles from the early 90’s that sold more copies than the “Top 10” books in 2013, just to show you how far the industry has fallen?

The real measure of “success” for any creator is what the fans will say about him after he’s gone. And Dan Slott knows that he is seen by throngs of fans as a petulant man-boy who doesn’t take criticism well. Taking to Twitter to call people “idiots” instead of having a measured discussion doesn’t help his case any.

Update: Newsrama has seemingly blocked me from commenting on a blog about … me. I guess when you tactfully defend yourself you’re a troll. Or perhaps if you make Dan Slott look bad the powers that be cut you off. That happens when you’re friends with the writer.

Related: Superior Spider-Man: Everyone but Dan Slott knows it’s inferior to its predecessor

Related: Dan Slott’s moral relativism killed Spider-Man: One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter

Related: Dan Slott used anger to sell Superior Spider-Man 9, but people are really just sad — for him

Related: Dan Slott and Marvel’s Orwellian message boards can’t hide the truth: Fans want Peter Parker

If you thought something was so stupid you had to vent about it on Twitter, wouldn't you direct your followers to it? Of course. That is, unless you know deep down that the object of your anger is actually rather intelligent and capable of drawing intellectual blood.
If you thought something was so stupid you had to vent about it on Twitter, wouldn’t you direct your followers to it? Of course. That is, unless you know deep down that the object of your anger is rather nimble and capable of drawing intellectual blood.

Comic-Con Episode IV: Morgan Spurlock Hypocrisy?

Morgan Spurlock is the documentary filmmaker most known for his 2004 hit Supersize Me, in which he comes to the shocking conclusion that shoving McDonald’s down your throat for thee meals a day for 30 days can be detrimental to your health. Many of the changes McDonalds made to its menu, and the legislative reactions by individual states (think of New York’s “trans fat” and “sodium” police) over the years can be traced to the film; the words “Supersize it” are no longer uttered at counters across America. Sure, obesity in American is arguably worse now than it was in 2004…but fans of the Nanny State still have those “victories” under their belt. Spurlock’s Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope looks to be an overall winner, but I can’t help smelling some hypocrisy.

Featuring cameos by comics legend Stan Lee, Kevin Smith, and Seth Rogen, the film appears to be a celebration of the annual event, four days of the most awesome nerdery you can imagine, accompanied by a media blitz. Cos-play, panels of writers and directors and artists, exhibitions, and attendees who love pop culture are what makes Comic Con one of those pilgrimages all nerds must make at least once in their life. (Similar insanity can probably be found at Atlanta’s Dragon Con, which this author has attended twice).

The trailer for Comic-Con Episode IV features three people, “The Collector”, “The Geek”, and “The Designer”. Their personal stories will undoubtedly convey to viewers why the event is so special. The thousands of fans who dedicate time, money and resources to everything Comic Con embraces are also ubiquitous. Perhaps the snippets from “The Collector” and Red State director Kevin Smith give the best glimpse of Spurlockian hypocrisy:

The Collector: “My wife is not to ecstatic about this whole toy collecting thing, but I will not leave that Con until I have those figures.”

Kevin Smith: “If I can go back in time and tell the 11 year old me, ‘one day not only do you go to comic con, you go to Comic Con every year, so much so that you get greeted by Stan Lee when you show up.’ And the 11 year old me would be like, “How did we get so fat?”

If Morgan Spurlock thought for a moment before making Supersize Me, he would have realized that there’s a difference between correlation and causation. Just because some people enjoy spending their cash on fast food—sometimes to the detriment to their health and interpersonal relationships—it doesn’t mean that businesses are at fault. It also doesn’t mean that federal and state laws should be changed so that Morgan Spurlock’s definition of “The Good Life” can be realized. In Spurlock’s world you get fat from McDonalds, but he could have just as easily come to the conclusion that perhaps Kevin Smith has an “unhealthy” obsession with comic books. His 2004 documentary could have been Don’t Make Mine Marvel. Since the liberal mind only seeks ways to control people in order to build a better world, it’s really a crap shoot as to what industry or behavior they target next. When a group of liberals come to a consensus that something is “bad” for you, it will be targeted.

Why is Kevin Smith fat? I don’t know. I don’t care, because I’m a conservative. It’s his life, and as long as he doesn’t infringe on my life and my personal liberties I’m not particularly interested. The liberal does “care,” which is why they need to find ways to “help.”

Why does “The Collector” have an obsession that compels him to fill his house with a bunch of action figures? I don’t know. I don’t care. It’s his money, and if his wife leaves him because he spends too much money on Marvel Secret Wars action figures from the 1980’s…that’s his business. I won’t be making a documentary about the marketing of Marvel executives, and how it brain washes little kids, who then become nerdy and obese adults.

I was a nerd before being a nerd was cool. I have a collection of comics and I eat a lot of food that would “concern” Morgan Spurlock and liberal do-gooders in New York. I plan on seeing Spurlock’s new movie, but it’s sad that in the back of mind I’ll always be thinking of the statist claptrap he preaches, and how it just as easily can be applied to the people who frequent comic conventions…

I eat large quantities of hamburgers. I go to comics conventions. And yet, I’m not fat, like the objects of a Morgan Spurlock hit job on McDonalds or liberals like Kevin Smith. So why do they feel the need to advocate for legislation that seeks to impose their version of the good life on me? Someone tell Morgan there’s a difference between causation and correlation.