Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

More on the Thailand manga history exhibit

Here's another article in the Thailand Nation about the manga exhibition they're holding in October to commemorate 130 years of diplomatic relations with Japan.

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Dan Jurgens is unrepentent

I looked at Jurgens' Twitter feed, and shortly after the Superman story he penned came out and angered a lot of conservatives by scapegoating Americans as hostile to immigrants and Islamists, he said:

Sigh. He's clearly unapologetic about resorting to the cheapest of stereotypes, let alone serving a leftist agenda. Beyond this, Jurgens made no serious attempt to address the points unambiguously, or explain why he thinks his approach on that subplot was justified. He may say it's "a few" people, but I sadly get the feeling he means a lot more.

There may have once been a time I tried to overlook his more idiotic steps, all because I'd assumed he was at least a responsible conservative years before, and a realist. But thinking about this, it's clear I can't do that anymore. He lent his services to some of the worst crossovers in history, such as Zero Hour, and on that note, I thought to take a look at a fluff-coated interview taken by the ComicBook website 5 years ago:
How'd you come by the gig? Was it just a question of Superman's popularity at the time?

I thought it up!

Actually, I had been talking with Mike Carlin about a project with those general broad strokes for a while. At the same time, my old pal KC Carlson, who was then an editor on staff, had some similar thoughts.

So Mike put KC and I together and Zero Hour was the result.
It doesn't make much difference who thought up such a monstrosity; it's clear Jurgens was all for it from the beginning, and that's very sad.
I know you really respect Marv Wolfman's work. How did it feel to be doing what really amounted to an unofficial sequel to his biggest, best-known work?

You're right, I do respect Marv's accomplishments a great deal. I don't know that I consider Zero Hour a sequel, however. Crisis on Infinite Earths was a great achievement that stands alone.
Oh please. By going the opposite of how Wolfman handled Barry Allen, who sacrificed himself heroically to foil the plans of the Anti-Monitor, unlike how they handled Green Lantern in their bloated 1994 crossover? If he really respected Wolfman's COIE, he'd never have gone along with the idea of turning Hal Jordan into a lethal villain, something that's discussed just as sugarly in the following paragraphs:
How did Hal Jordan become the central villain? Was that part of your original pitch, or was it a question of DC saying, "We need a place to put this guy."?

The entire Green Lantern storyline was being developed around the same time.

Anytime you're putting something like Zero Hour together you talk about a lot of ideas that never make print. In this case, we were discussing some various ideas about how to handle some of the Green Lantern stuff and the idea of using Parallax as the major villain emerged. I remember sitting in Carlin's office when we started going down that road and we called Kevin Dooley in, who was Green Lantern editor at the time. He immediately latched onto the idea and we continued to build from there. [...]

With that in mind, was that why you wanted to get the time-displaced Hal into the story? It would have seemed a bit odd to see them all coming together without him.

Exactly right. Any story of that magnitude has to have the universe's biggest characters one way or another.

With Hal, the question really came down to whether or not we wanted to make him the villain. Based on where they were taking the character it was such a natural that it was, in my mind, a no-brainer.
He spoke about all that without a single sign of regret. In a way, he's right about one thing: they went into that whole affair with no brains in sight. Nor did he display any brains with the following:
And did that make the timeline coming out of Zero Hour (in this case, a literal timeline that you had to write and draw) a little more complex?

That timeline was a tremendous amount of work! It required an overwhelming amount of back and forth-- how would it look? How would it work? Can we say this? Will that fit?

But it was definitely worth it. That fans absolutely loved it and it provided great clarity and context to the DCU. I've mentioned more than a few times that we could use something like that again.
So Jurgens disregarded any and all Green Lantern fans who took offense at their taking a bad situation to worse. Tsk tsk. The worst part is that they've had awful moments like that again even before he babbled away with that gushy nonsense (Our Worlds At War, Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, Blackest Night). I think Jurgens did make a valuable contribution to comicdom with the creation of Booster Gold, along with a few other early works like art on the Warlord, Sun Devils and Green Arrow in the 1980s, but since then, he's gone downhill with several works in his portfolio like the Armageddon crossover from 1991, and the Death of Superman "event" from 1992, suggesting he doesn't have much faith in the DCU's other creations at all, let alone respect for stand-alone storytelling, which crossovers can make impossible. At this point, after he gave telling signs of what his politics could really be, I'll really have to take a lot of his better work with a grain of salt, because he sure doesn't seem very creative as a writer most of the time, and despite earlier suggestions to the contrary, he doesn't seem like much of a realist.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Aubrey Sitterson angered sensible Americans on 9-11

This happened last week during the 9-11 Memorial, and it's very disgusting. Sitterson, the writer IDW's currently got assigned to script one of their GI Joe comics, posted some very selfish tweets that outraged quite a few caring people who were devastated by the tragedy in 2001. Here's 3 of his most telling posts:

Yikes...look who's talking. Somebody who obviously wasn't around during WW1 and WW2 in the past century, and likely never traveled to Israel when there were suicide bombings striking the place, or to France and Britain when they had terrorist attacks in more recent years. And probably wasn't even around Fort Hood in Texas when Malik Nidal Hasan murdered 13 people there. And Sitterson shamelessly claims nobody living outside of New York City has the right to feel terrible when mass murder is committed? Sick. I was already discouraged from wasting time on his output after I discovered the artwork was horrible, and this only compounds my viewpoint. He doesn't even consider that the Pentagon was also attacked at the time, or Flight 93's crash in Pennsylvania either.

Sitterson's already caused some fallout: shortly after his comments were discovered, the webmaster of YoJoe announced they won't be promoting any of IDW's Hasbro-licensed books, and reveals that Sitterson's craziness goes back quite a bit:
"Previously, the G.I.Joe community had an issue with the G.I.Joe Collectors Club and the design of a third-tier but beloved character named Salvo. A large muscular character with a big missile launcher, the club's design was more of an average person's build. The Club took this constructively critical feedback and released a figure more in line with fan expectations. This is relevant because not long after this event, Aubrey changed everything about the character when Salvo debuted in issue #3. Instead, the character was a large, woman of color. Considering that the community had just gone through an episode with this character's design, most in the G.I.Joe community felt that Aubrey's changes were less story driven, and more of a way to illicit a reaction from the core fans. And that was in fact what occurred, when people questioned why Salvo was changed, they were accused of being bigots, just for wondering why a major change to this character occurred.

"This was our introduction to his personality, of Aubrey Sitterson the Wrestling fan, with a heel persona. We get it, he likes to be tongue in cheek.

"This hit a peak in June, when a cover variant had some subtle support for Pride month. Feedback was negative not because of the subject matter but the consensus was that the art just wasn't that good. Aubrey took great offense, and began calling members homophobic or other such slurs, regardless of how clearly users would articulate their opinions that it was about the technicalities of the art, and not of the pro-LGBTQAAIP subtext.

"That didn't matter. Aubrey took screenshots out of context of long discussion threads, and labeled the G.I.Joe community as nothing but white male, Trump supporters, to his Twitter following.

From that point to September, the community at large had completely dismissed Aubrey as nothing more than an antagonist and provocateur, for the amusement of his Twitter following.

"Then the more generic but offensive Tweets began, first with the burning of people's employers in effigy, and what really set our community into full outrage was his callous comments on 9/11 followed by half-hearted backpedaling and the rest is the little drama we have today.
Wow...he sounds reminiscent of Dan Slott. And the next thing you know, Marvel will probably be scooping him up for a contract to write Captain America even after he's nullified his qualifications to work on that. I took a look at the art by Milonogiannis, and it sure looks like the character designs were deliberately meant to resemble transvestites. All that aside, the art is just plain horrible. And IDW/Hasbro allowed this ungrateful screwball to mess with their products? This is very sad. Generals Joes and Hiss Tank have also joined the boycott of Sitterson's work, and much of the rest of IDW's output. And it looks like Larry Hama's stated he's furious at Sitterson for making such nasty comments. What's really sad is that Hama apparently got cursed at himself for daring to disagree.

The good news is that IDW, after initially standing by Sitterson, seems to have listened, since they published a statement in response. Unfortunately, it also looks like some SJWs in the comics medium have decided to support Sitterson. Most likely all the people who never gave a damn about A Real American Hero until now. And that makes this whole debacle even more of a disgrace. One example of hypocrisy here is Bleeding Cool:
I have generally opposed boycotts against all sorts of people and products. If Hasbro and GI Joe fire or suspend Aubrey Sitterson from the upcoming relaunch of GI Joe in December, Scarlett’s Strike Force, it sets the most dangerous precedent and emboldens a certain section of the fanbase who, having been granted one scalp, demand another. [...]
No kidding! If you're against boycotts, how about petty censorship? I seem to remember this guy sided with Marvel after they censored Milo Manara and J. Scott Campbell, for example. And this was despite the fact the SJWs who started all that mess in the first place didn't actually seem to be calling for a clear boycott. BC is just another weak news site whose contributors can't bring themselves to take the fans' side, let alone veteran contributors with better manners than today's dismal bunch. I think a boycott of BC should be in order, because they're not helpful at all. (By the way, why does he say GI Joe and not IDW, since they're the ones holding the comics license at the moment?) The attacks on Campbell, for example, only embolden many SJWs who're unlikely to be part of any fanbase, yet it doesn't seem to matter to him.

The main reason Sitterson should be let go by IDW in the end though, is because by the end of the day, his books evidently aren't selling, and the charts show they're only selling a few thousand, so it's clear that from a business viewpoint, the book is otherwise a failure, due in part to marketing. And Sitterson's attitudes will only ensure they remain that way if they keep him on. So IDW and Hasbro are going to have to make some serious choices now. Either they distance themselves from a repellent personality who's only alienating the fanbase for the Real American Heroes, or, risk putting all their sales in the toilet over degrading politics.

It's stunning how IDW has otherwise abandoned quality of artwork and writing to writers/artists only desperate to make a name for themselves by controversy. For all we know, they could end up costing themselves the possible success they might've enjoyed earlier by trying to duplicate Marvel's SJW pandering, which does seem to be the case of recent. How can they conclude Marvel's steps were a runaway success when it should be painfully obvious they're not? I'd also suggest they'd do better by moving away from the pamphlet format and switching to trade formats instead if they want to set a better example. For now, so long as embarrassments like Sitterson are kept around, they're bound to gain more trouble than they need. I'm proud of the major GI Joe fansites for taking a firm stance on this. If only some major superhero fansites would show the same guts and announce they're boycotting Marvel and DC's output until they quit with the political correctness and SJW pandering, then there might be a better chance of improving superhero comics too.

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Monday, September 18, 2017 

There's still no reason to read Spider-Man

Here's a telling sign Marvel's not giving any reason to resume reading Spidey:
Marvel Comics has revealed "Venom Inc.", a new six-issue crossover storyline that will unite the publisher's Amazing Spider-Man and Venom comics this December.

Venom Inc. will kick off with a one-shot special called Venom Inc.: Alpha before moving into the pages of Amazing Spider-Man and Venom later in the month and concluding in Venom Inc.: Omega in January. The crossover will be a joint effort between ASM writer Dan Slott and Venom writer Mike Costa. [...]
When the same writers remain in the stable, on the same books, no less, it's a clear sign something still isn't right. I'd rather read the Venom stories from the late 80s-early 90s than something Slott brews up, which is bound to be as awful as his prior efforts. And it'll be no surprise if Mary Jane Watson's marriage to Peter Parker still isn't restored.

No, the Legacy initiative isn't going to change much of anything. If writers as dreadful as these are on board, then there's still perfect reason to remain off the boat.

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Sunday, September 17, 2017 

Letter page from The New Guardians 6: was this what led to the mishandlings of Obsidian?

I stumbled over a back issue of The New Guardians #6, a short-lived series by 12 issues starring a few characters who first appeared in DC's Millenium crossover from 1988 (along with a handful ordinarily from the Green Lantern cast), and the letter page available proved to be quite interesting in its discussions of the first homosexual superhero they ever conceived, a character from Peru named Extrano, and also how the series was one of the earliest titles they produced dealing with AIDS. Here's the page and a half worth of letter entries, and look who the editor in charge of the correspondence was:
Yep, it was the one and only Kevin Dooley, who'd later become notorious for his horrific treatment of 2nd Green Lantern Hal Jordan in 1994, and even the story where Aquaman got his left hand mauled off by a school of piranhas. Anyway, to turn to the main subjects at hand, one correspondent at the time argued that Gregorio couldn't have gotten AIDS from scuffling with the Hemo-Goblin unless he had blood or saliva staining his hands. Maybe not, but if Extrano did get AIDS, what if it was from some other incident that I have no idea about for the moment, because I don't have any other helpful data available about this short-lived book? Dooley at least made a point of that to the conclusion-jumper, noting that the Hemo-Goblin of this story ate "with his hands", had assassinated some characters, and wiped their blood from his mouth in the premiere issue (here's another page about the debut that seems to back this up), so it sounds to me like this was an early case of social justice ranting from nearly 3 decades ago, long before the SJW abbreviation came into use. I think Jet, who sacrificed herself in this issue, was also injured by the villain, and so I'm wondering why only Extrano seemed to matter, but not her. Yeah, I know a letter column could only offer so much space alongside all those advertisements, but still...

All that aside, what's eyebrow raising is the next letter writer's comment about Roy Thomas' creation for Infinity Inc, Obsidian/Todd Rice. "Speaking of which, I always thought Obsidian might be struggling to come out of his oppressive Catholic closet. After all, if ten percent of the population is gay or bisexual, ought not ten percent of comic book heroes be gay or bi also?" he asked in parenthesis. But, as more recent studies show, less than 5 percent really are, so there's another somebody who wasted his money into social justice propaganda, and even had the gall to say children should get homosexual role models to boot! Because that's all we need, rather than simply messages about being selfless and not intentionally setting yourself apart from the rest of society by adhering to such junk science. Certainly everybody needs positive role models, but to say homosexuality in itself is, does a terrible disfavor for everybody who believes in sanity. And as for Obsidian, from what I know, he did spend time with some ladies in Infinity Inc, so to turn him homosexual out of the blue, was preposterous. On a related note, when James Robinson, David Goyer and Geoff Johns had Todd kill his stepfather and turn crazy in the pages of JSA, that too was extremely awful.

But was DC trying to be "realistic" even then, as Dooley argues in his following response? Not by a longshot, and they certainly weren't when they got around to dismantling Green Lantern several years later. And it's very sad to think how this was surely one of the earliest places where the misuse of Obsidian could've been influenced by, all because of some lone person's bizarre assumption, which, if not confirmed in-story by the original creators, does not count as established character trait. It all brings to mind an old Peanuts strip where Lucy Van Pelt said, "greed makes you do strange things". I'll say. I hesitate to think what Dooley's real view of religion is, because something tells me there's certain bad religions he's not concerned about. This also reminds me of a comment made on the old Comics Should be Good section of CBR, by somebody who said Gambit from X-Men was doomed as a character the moment the first fan letter was opened, because one reader may have suggested pairing the "Ragin' Cajun" with Rogue, and it went nowhere fast thanks to the bad scripting of writers like Scott Lobdell, who's been on the side of lefty social justice himself for quite a while. I realize that drawing ideas from reader correspondence is nothing new, but this clearly demonstrates how "inspiration" can be drawn up for all the wrong reasons.

The New Guardians may have first been launched by Steve Englehart, but was taken over after one issue by Cary Bates, in one of the last writing assignments he got at the time from DC, and from the material I've read from the title, it looks like this wasn't one of his best jobs, nor Englehart's. Worst is at least one moment of embarrassing characterization ascribed to Extrano, when he makes comments about himself like "auntie". And given that the series wound up connecting with the Invasion crossover soon after, that's why this sloppy book doesn't stand on its own well either. At least the character design for Gloss by Joe Staton was attractive. The 2nd issue also gained some notoriety for its inclusion of a villain called Snowflame whose powers were gained by the use of cocaine! I also have to take issue with the idea of making Floronic Man a hero in this series: if they kept his murder of several people in the pages of Swamp Thing from 4 years earlier canon, then it makes the rest of the cast look like dummies to be welcoming a botanic killer into their ranks. Some of the characters featured in the series later fell victim to the prevalent mindset at the time to kill off characters because supposedly nobody cared about them, and the notion that their presence in a failed series automatically justifies such idiocy. What's the use of creating new casts if they're only going to get rid of them upon determining their books were failures? And why do characters like Extrano have to remain homosexual, if they do? I may have argued this before, and I'll do so again, but that's one of the biggest problems with how these serial fiction tales are written up - gay and lesbian characters are often required to remain that way by the editors, effectively dampening creative freedom, and homosexuality cannot be depicted as a negative example.

In conclusion, this does at least demonstrate how liberalism was prevalent in those days in poor ways, and how self-centered correspondence may have wound up having a bad effect on later characterization of established characters, possibly because they were 3rd tiers, and the contributors to DC thought they could get away with it easily. Sadly, they may have figured correctly, seeing how too few objected to the mistreatment of Todd Rice in the early to mid-2000s. And now, look where all their shamelessness got them - nowhere.

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Saturday, September 16, 2017 

The original Jean Grey is returning after over a decade

Like a Phoenix from the ashes, as some would say. The lady once known as Marvel Girl, whom Grant Morrison killed a second time in his New X-Men run, as if that would solve problems any more than the other mistakes made since the end of the 1980s, is now being brought back, presumably reclaiming her own mantle from the badly written alternate timeline version Brian Bendis conceived a few years ago. Syfy says, however:
This is, put simply, a big deal. Of course, a time-displaced, younger version of Jean has been kicking around the main continuity the past few years, but not the OG Jean. The younger Jean has been anchoring her own (excellent) solo series, which focuses on the potential return of the Phoenix, and it sounds like that story will eventually come to a head in Phoenix Resurrection.
Oh please. Anything launched under the guidance of Axel Alonso and Joe Quesada is unlikely to speak excellence. Why, what Morrison did was very unappealing and didn't solve any mistakes made in the 1990s. Under his pen, the X-Men were hostile to non-mutants, spent time on weak drama involving Cyclops choosing to leave Jean for Emma Frost, as if that would serve any improvement after the Madelyne Pryor debacle of the late 80s (she later became the Goblin Queen), and when Jean is killed again later on, Cyclops said he didn't love her anymore. Wolverine's execution of Magneto disaster didn't help matters either.
A lot has changed since Jean died all those years ago (most notably the X-Men are no longer the center of the Marvel universe like they were back in the day), so it’ll be interesting to see where she fits into the new mutant status quo. Also, what does this mean for young Jean?
Chances are she won't be her own agency. It's one thing to resurrect her, as Claremont did, but it was "commercial reasons" as he put it, at the behest of Jim Shooter, meaning it was only so she could reunite with Cyclops at Madelyne Pryor's expense. I once thought it would've been a better idea to just have Pryor die of natural causes as could be expected for a clone, and that could pave the way to a reunion more satisfyingly, but Claremont and company had to go so far as to make Pryor into a Goblin Queen, as if that would make the case any better. It didn't. Did I mention the way Cable, as their son, was handled, was no improvement either?

If the X-Men are no longer front/center in the MCU, the reason was because of real life rivalry between Marvel's film studio and Fox Studios. Idiotic as it's been, the X-Men were probably better off in a downplayed role, though bad stories evidently never stopped.

As for the time-displaced Jean, I'll assume for now that they'll be sending her back into the vortex of the timestream again, while the actual Jean reclaims her position in the MCU. But so long as Quesada and Alonso are still around, no deal from me to buy any of their garbage.

Oh, and before I forget, Epicstream reminded:
It’s worth noting that the original Cyclops and Wolverine have died as well. Wolverine lost his healing factor during Paul Cornell’s run with the character, and was engulfed in Adamantium while trying to stop another Weapon X project during the Death of Wolverine story. Cyclops was killed by the Terrigen Mists during Death of X, which resulted in a mutant/inhuman war caused by Emma Frost, who wanted revenge.
Presumably, they'll be returning as well, and if Prof. Xavier's still dead, he'll be revived too, and Cyclops will be exonerated of that horrible Avengers vs. X-Men moment where he slew his mentor. And while may think the way a Cyclops/Frost affair was handled was dreadful, it will at least be appreciated if Frost is cleared of that stupid matter involving the Inhumans as well, because their cheap excuses for pitting mutants against Inhumans were disgusting.

But again, that's no guarantee there'll be better stories in the future, so long as Quesada and Alonso are still at the helm. Nobody who cares about the MCU should waste money on their output so long as they're still there.

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Friday, September 15, 2017 

Kyle Higgins exploits Nightwing for subtle political propaganda

Here's a pretty biased interview Inverse did with Higgins about a Nightwing story he wrote that's apparently meant to serve as an allegory for "evil conservatives", even if it was already written before the Trump administration assumed office. It may be an alternate world story, but it still sounds irritating:
When Kyle Higgins pitched Nightwing: The New Order to DC Comics in October 2015, the world was a different place. The threat of fascism was something that belonged in history books, not a shocking reality in contemporary America. But throughout 2016, as Higgins reunited with his New 52 Nightwing artist Trevor McCarthy on their new miniseries, everything changed. Current events, such as Trump’s Muslim ban and an emboldened white supremacist movement, inadvertently imbued their Elseworlds-style tale — in which superpowers are treated with prejudice — with a stunning relevance they hadn’t anticipated.

“There’s never a good time to put out a book like this,” Higgins admits to Inverse in a phone interview, “but as a writer, I think it’s good to be uncomfortable to level up your game.” He remembers DC editor Jim Lee telling him after his pitch: “Make it count.”

In Nightwing: The New Order, Dick Grayson — Batman’s first Robin evolved into his own entity, Nightwing — took it upon himself to stop a catastrophe in Metropolis by eliminating superpowers. Exactly how and why will be laid out in upcoming issues, but for now, all readers need to know is that Nightwing made a judgment call that changed this alternate DC Universe forever.
Dick's being turned evil in an alternate world? I'd heard that a decade ago, Dan DiDio wanted to kill off the character, as per the approach that was prevailing at the time (and likely still is), but this is just as tasteless. And it's not all that different from Marvel's Civil War, where an accident performed by the New Warriors leads to demand for registering superheroes and superpowers, in an attack on the Patriot Act. I'm sure DC had at least a few variations of their own even before this story, even if I can't recall them just now. What's telling about Higgins' story is that it sounds like a metaphor for gun control, with superpowers standing in.
In case it may look or sound like The New Order is about a superhero dictatorship, Higgins says it’s not. “It’s not a dystopian story,” he says, because objectively, things are better in this alternate DCU. There is, in fact, less crime, and as it turns out, citizens are at a much lesser risk when there aren’t superpowers out and about. “That’s part of what made it really interesting from a premise standpoint, because things are better.”

But how Nightwing achieved “peace” is where the book’s true conflict lies. “As people see in Issue 2, Dick joins the Crusaders, which is a program the country wanted and Dick joined it believing he could be a moral compass to it,” Higgins explains. “There’s the quote that the Mayor of Charlottesville used: If you dance with the devil, you don’t change the devil, the devil changes you. That’s that problem when you’re looking to be kind of the arbiter of all that is good and right.”
The current Charlottesville mayor is a leftist who's been trying to turn the burg into a sanctuary city. And - surprise, surprise - he also scapegoats Trump. So it's not hard to guess where Higgins is coming from. Or, what his story could bear similarities to:
This new light on Dick Grayson is a compelling thought experiment, but many comics fans weren’t sold when previews of Nightwing: The New Order surfaced last spring. Internet reactions were divisive. Timing played a part; the book’s announcement came right when rival publisher Marvel released the first issue of its controversial series Secret Empire, which wrapped up late last month. Although there are key, fundamental differences between The New Order and a totalitarian Captain America, critics and fans dwelled on the similarities.
Obviously, there are some vague similarities here, but what's clear is that the books share the same political approach, and that is what's reprehensible. So, just like no sane person should buy Secret Empire or the Captain America series written by Nick Spencer, they shouldn't buy these Nightwing stories written by DC's most blatant leftist writers either. Again, if anybody needed proof DC could be just as ultra-leftist as Marvel, here it is.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017 

Dan Jurgens turns Superman into defender of illegal immigrants and Islamists

Until now, DC's own political propaganda may have been overlooked up to a point, demonstrating why I find it bothersome whenever Marvel's the focus of concern on political issues but not DC (and even smaller publishers). But with Action Comics #987, it appears they've boomeranged back on more ultra-leftism, and the worst part is that a writer thought to be conservative gets credit for the script:
Superman saves a group of immigrants from a hate crime in the latest issue of Action Comics, and fans and critics are divided over the message DC Comics is sending.

In Action Comics No. 987, Superman encounters everyday people who commit crimes driven by greed, fear, and pettiness.

In one incident, the Man of Steel comes across a gunman -- an angry, unemployed American -- who opens fire on a group of immigrants because as cheap laborers they stole his job from him. (Two are women wearing Muslim chadors and one of the three men pleads with the gunman in Spanish.)

Superman disarms the gunman, turns him over to the police, and asks that the officers make sure the immigrants are safe and taken care of. There is no mention as to whether they are undocumented or not.
It doesn't make much difference. That a typical white guy is the culprit and at least one of the workers is a Spanish speaker, to say nothing about the Muslim women lumped in with the group, only attests to the propaganda this issue represents. Oh, and if it matters, how come the immigrants are the scapegoats, and company managers never get the blame for ludicrous poor employment choices? Or, has anyone ever found it disturbing how these disenfranchised white workers in stories like these seem to think big money is all that matters? Anyway, here's at least 3 panels I found from the issue:
Obviously, such a story is going to make people wonder if DC's editors have more political horrors in store. But the worst part surely has to be that a writer who's been known to support conservative politics - Dan Jurgens - was behind this monstrosity. In fact, I vaguely recall reading another Superman tale he wrote in 1991, one of several stories from past decades where Superman and Flash competed with each other in terms of speed, that bore a sugarcoated view of Islam.

In fact, if memory serves me here too, Jurgens was the same writer who took the assignment of writing a Superman story in 1993 where Cat Grant's son was murdered by the Toyman, in a blatant example of mishandling supervillains, was a willing partner in the Zero Hour crossover where Hal Jordan was put through one of the worst renditions ever as Parallax, and even wrote one of the earliest stories at the time where Obsidian was implied to be homosexual. This latest story he's penned is just another example of a would-be right-winger putting his credentials in doubt by going in lockstep with his more leftist editors.

A writer on Fox said:
I reckon it's only a matter of time before DC Comics unleashes other superheroes in its corporate quest to defend the alien invaders.

So don't be surprised to see the Flash rushing Mexicans across the border or Wonder Woman using her lasso to round up Texas ranchers trying to defend their property.

It's unfortunate that DC Comics is turning its stable of iconic heroes into political pawns – hell-bent on indoctrinating our kids.
Or, going by how business is run today, ensuring many parents won't want their children reading these new products. When it's not the jarring violence they've become notorious for over the past two decades that's posing a problem, it's their ultra-leftist politics that are.

On the other hand, the Hollywood Reporter - surprise, surprise - is defending the notion of siding with illegal aliens:
It shouldn't come as any surprise that Superman protects an undocumented worker in this week's issue of DC's Action Comics. Beyond the fact that he is the long-standing defender of truth, justice and the American way, he also took a stand against racial intolerance in a recent DC promotion that restored an anti-bigotry image from the 1940s. "THAT KIND OF TALK IS UN-AMERICAN," the 1949 image, originally created for an offshoot of the Anti-Defamation League — helpfully explains with appropriate emphasis.

Superman has, of course, literally made a career out of standing up for the little guy — as recently as 2015, the character made headlines for standing with citizens of Metropolis against police brutality. But when it comes to the issue of immigration and racial intolerance, the superhero is almost uniquely placed to offer metaphorical commentary on the subject.
Just another example of moonbats hijacking a famous creation for the sake of their politics, fudging up the fact that Kal-El came to Earth as an infant refugee from an exploded planet with nowhere else to go, and was found/adopted by a couple from a farming community. I guess if Krypton blew up while Kal-El was still on it, they wouldn't care less, right? There's a difference between being an "immigrant" who doesn't care about his/her native country, and a refugee in distress who needs a place to recover, as do many Christians forced to flee from the Islamic dictatorships in the middle east, like Syria, Iran and Egypt.
Superman, as envisioned by his creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel back in 1938, is not only the literal embodiment of the immigrant dream, he's the perfect example of those currently at the center of the decision to rescind the DACA program: someone who arrived in the United States as a child as the result of his parents' actions, without paperwork or going through the right channels, who had dedicated his life to not only fitting into U.S. society, but making U.S. society a better place.

The immigrant part of Superman's origin is often glossed over, or outright ignored, by those who see the hero as being "all-American" in every way — in 1986, his origin was even rewritten, temporarily, so that he was actually "born" in the U.S. with his spaceship being reclassified as a "birthing matrix" because Kryptonians weren't brought to term biologically — but it's an important piece not only of his history, but of the vision of the United States that Superman represents.
Keep going, please. Beyond the destruction of Krypton, Kal-El wasn't in any actual danger of being annihilated by totalitarians during his infancy. That only came during the Silver Age and adulthood, when General Zod turned up and wanted to force all subjects to kneel before him. The dumb reporter who wrote this piece obscures the whole Golden Age premise, to say nothing of the "anchor child" mentality used by infiltrators to undermine rule of law.

And look who's talking about glossing over! By his twisted logic, even nazis would be able to enter the USA. Not to mention he also completely ignores the rules of science fiction. If Clark Kent went through the standard immigration process, he'd surely have to have his superpowers revealed to boot! McMillan is just another moonbat who would doubtless politicize the origins of Martian Manhunter and Starfire at the drop of a hat, and I think he knows perfectly well that if anybody's ignoring precise details, it's him. He even had the gall to say:
For years, Superman was often considered a dull figure, a square representing the establishment who paled in comparison to other superheroes who could stand more easily for counterculture narratives: Batman, with his outsider melancholy, or Green Lantern as he traveled America to find the "real" country in the 1960s.

Today, because of the changes in popular culture in general and political culture in particular, Superman feels more at odds with the mainstream than he has in decades. And, because he has never stopped standing up for tolerance, acceptance and the belief that anyone can succeed no matter where they came from if given the chance, he might be more necessary than at any time since his creation.
Well gee, if Supes seems at odds with anything today, it's because left-wing apologists (and phony conservatives like Jurgens) are doing their damndest to make them wind up outdated, hijacking them solely for their own twisted politics as they see fit today. It's also galling how he insinuates Superman was thought to be "dull", all because he supposedly couldn't represent counterculture. And I don't buy into the notion he was always depicted representing the establishment. On which note, now that I think of it, doesn't that claim contradict the earlier one that he was frequently depicted standing up for the little guy? Let's be clear: a lot of famous creations can be depicted representing the better interests of both sides, and I think it's ideal to point out that if Supes only represented "little guys", he'd wind up being depicted siding with petty thieves, burglars and carjackers to boot. Criminals who aren't usually wealthy by any stretch. Why, what are the odds today's SJWs would be willing to depict Supes representing drug traffickers? Sadly, if it's illegal immigrants today without question, it may be drug pushers tomorrow as well if such bad writers and editors remain.

In recent years, DC's put out apologia for hatemongering movements. So, it's no surprise they could put out a story this horrific now. What makes it disturbing this time around is that a would-be right-winger like Jurgens would take the assignment, putting his understanding of all these issues under a question mark.

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Sales this autumn were at least a quarter less than last year's

Bleeding Cool looked at Diamond charts and found that this year's sales for August were less than last's:
Diamond has released their sales statistics for August 2017 for products sold in the North American direct market. And it makes a worrying read.

August was a five-Wednesday month. Five weeks of new product rather than four. Usually that means the dollars spent on comics and graphic novels for that month is around 20% higher than a four-week month. But August was only up 10% on July, which is not good. And from August 2016, also a five-week month? Down 25% — that’s a whole quarter less spent on comics in the direct market in a comparable timeframe.

This is a game-changing drop; sales have fallen over a cliff. Overall, year on year, that’s almost 7% down on 2016 at the same time. July’s figure was 3% down. Things are getting worse, not better. 2017 looks like it may be an annus horribilus for the comic book direct market.
Well, they could always try to abandon the pamphlet format, for example, and turn to paperbacks instead, rather than spend so much on two formats simultaneously. And sites like BC could even write op-eds urging that too (can't say I've seen them do that, unfortunately). But alas, they keep on with ambiguous directions, putting their love of the medium in serious doubt.

Since we're on the subject, Inverse, on the other hand, tried to sugarcoat this news by claiming Marvel's transformation of Steve Rogers into a nazi "sold shocking well". Ugh! Here's what they're blabbering:
In a time when American fascism looks less like a dystopian trope and more like a plausible reality, comic book fans were mighty uncomfortable when Captain America became a puppet for the evil Nazi-esque occultists known as Hydra. Still, something about Marvel’s Secret Empire, written by Nick Spencer, clearly worked, because Secret Empire issues eight, nine, and ten landed in the Top 10 selling comics of August this year, based on new reports from Diamond Comic Distributors. [...]

However, there are a lot of caveats and asterisks to Marvel’s success with Secret Empire. As some experts have pointed out, Marvel has a vast market share over its competitors, and Marvel still lost DC for the tippy-top number one spot. (Dark Knights: Metal #1 was the absolute best-selling comic of last month.) Still, it is telling that in spite of harsh reviews and lethargic apathy towards Secret Empire, Marvel still managed to sell a lot of issues of a fascist Captain America.
The Diamond reports are difficult to figure out easily. The ICV2 charts give clearer information, and show that the miniseries' last parts sold well below 100,000 copies, and you can be sure that was largely at store level, not units sold to consumers. It's a disgrace they're sugarcoating the topic, to say nothing of being so fuzzy about the exact picture. Being in the top ten these days is more like moldy cheese being on the top shelf of the refridgerator.

That's the reality Inverse's writers sadly won't acknowledge, and they're clearly in the tank for the Marvel editors' direction with Cap, otherwise, they wouldn't have gone out of their way to fawn over such an alienating storyline that was only written as a publicity stunt so they could get attention for all the wrong reasons. Inverse is decidedly one of the crummiest sites of their kind. Secret Empire is nothing more than the kind of crossover that's precipitating the demise of superhero comicdom.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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