Sunday, June 17, 2018 

SJWs went after J. Scott Campbell again

Similar to the time Campbell was singled out for demonization at the time he drew a variant cover for Iron Man 2 years ago, its connection to a SJW-geared direction notwithstanding, now some more crude characters decided to after him again for drawing an adult Tiger Lily in the Fairytale Fantasies series, and this time, some of the attackers were definitely much more vile. The original poster apparently set her account to private, presumably embarrassed by the defense that rose for Campbell, but here's the text of the tweets still available:
I just use FB for fam/friends. So as I’m scrolling, looking @ cute babies- a promoted site assaults my eyes. Artist J-Scott-Campbell’s “Fairytale Fantasies” series. Granted he draws all women scantily clad but to also choose to make Tiger Lily as a tied up victim/captive is…😖

— untamed (@heather28df) June 13, 2018

I wasn’t expecting so much traction on this, but I forget that whenever you mention problems w/ nonNatives depictions of us, Ntv mascots, appropriation- they swarm. Bc it’s a threat to their sense of supremacy & fake fetishized Native images are good, real Natives- not so much.

— untamed (@heather28df) June 14, 2018

But I’ve heard all these same weak justifications before & the attempt to silence Native women & reduce us to just being “hyper-outraged” (artist’s words) or mad feminists & social justice warriors is typical erasure tactics & the violence Native women actively face is ignored.

— untamed (@heather28df) June 14, 2018

Lol, comic book stans. For the record I have zero problems w/ sexy images or even pornographic images & I think he’s a great artist. But when a nonNative man depicts a Native woman in a hypersexualized captive situation when there’s a real & ongoing history of that – problem.

— untamed (@heather28df) June 14, 2018
From the latter, it doesn't take much to guess she's only okay with drawing white women in any of these situations. In other words, she's basically saying white women are inferior. Fortunately for Campbell, he has his defenders, ladies included:

Except she didn't for long. Last time I looked, her page, even if not erased, was set to private mode. She apparently embarrassed herself so much by implying white women are the only ones allowed to be drawn in situations where they're tied up, and it doesn't make any difference if the adult woman as seen in the pic shows no fear of her captors, Captain Hook and Smee, the adversaries of Peter Pan. Say, does that SJW know the original Tiger Lily was also tied up in the original Disney cartoon? What's the point?

Campbell would add his own defense, and here's the amazing part:

Gotta give him some credit for recognizing something's gone wrong on the left side of the spectrum. The SJWs attacking him even included people using vile slurs like "racist" and "pedophile", and it goes without saying anybody that rude is not making a good case for themselves. BIC said:
This is pretty sickening behavior to label J. Scott Campbell as a racist and pedophile all because he drew a standard image of Captain Hook and Smee having captured Tiger Lily. There is nothing wrong with Campbell’s artistic style and the image is not racist and certainly does not promote pedophilia.

I also have to applaud Campbell for defending his artistic license instead of apologizing and putting his tail between his legs. There is nothing to apologize for and his art does not “perpetuate harmful stereotypes against Native women", just like Rafael Albuquerque’s Batgirl #41 variant cover didn’t perpetuate harmful stereotypes against women, despite a similar outcry that actually got DC and Albuquerque to pull the cover.
If memory serves, the artist of the Batgirl cover decided himself he wanted it removed, because he didn't think it represented the angle they were going for well, though the concern DC could also capitulate to SJWs is still quite valid. Some of the dummies attacking Campbell even included one or two who claimed Native women are major victims of sexual violence in the US, without presenting any statistical research, and without considering there's tons of women of ALL backgrounds in the US and elsewhere who've been subject to violence, sexual or otherwise.

It's stunning how many selfish, entitled people there are out there who supposedly care about one community, or just themselves, and take out their anger on all the wrong sources. All because they're apparently jealous of somebody for being more successful than they are. As noted, the woman who started this whole mishmash seems to have turned tail and ran, so we know who the clown is who won't even defend her worthless accusations. Campbell's artwork is fine, and far from crude, so the time has come to end these noxious attacks on him and not do it again.

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Friday, June 15, 2018 

Kevin Feige gives more hints Marvel movies could take the SJW direction of the comics

Bounding Into Comics found more information giving more reason to worry they plan to foist the ill-advised social justice directions Axel Alonso took with Marvel, and dumping them onto their movie projects after the 4th Avengers movie. Digital LA quoted him stating the following:

Which misses the point talent is what matters, not diversity of race and gender. But, it gets worse as he apparently repeated the same troubling comments during his recent BBC interview:

So, how come no interest in what a Judeo/Christian girl might be inspired by? Does he also know religion's not the same as race or ethnicity? Also, interesting they use a picture of Carol Danvers as Capt. Marvel from before the stories where she was denigrated and made to look more masculine. Anybody who cherishes Carol as the lady she truly was who finds out the terrible misdeeds done to her by crude artists and editors could wind up feeling very discouraged.

And then:

The takeaway from this is that the filming studio plans to mimic Marvel's social justice pandering by replacing some of the flagship protagonists with the "diverse" jokes of characters they conceived in the past few years. Why should anyone care about those either?

This suggests Feige and the movie division may be planning to go the SJW route more than we think, as Disney already did with Star Wars under Kathleen Kennedy's oversight, and I've got a feeling this could mark the moment where their film fortunes begin to dwindle. Why do they think the audience is suddenly going to embrace any social justice tactics they may have in mind? If it's not working with Star Wars by now, it won't work with their productions either, and it's not working with Marvel's continued SJW-pandering in the comics even now. That Marvel's still going this route underscores the fact that the fight against SJW propaganda is not over, and their antics are going to cost them big time sooner or later.

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Thursday, June 14, 2018 

Ethan Van Sciver's departing DC to work more on creator-owned products

Artist Van Sciver's leaving DC to work more in the creator-owned world with stories like his own Cyberfrog again:
Comic book artist Ethan Van Sciver will no longer be working with DC Comics following the expiration of his exclusive contract. Van Sciver will instead turn his attention to creator-owner work.

The creator will return to his work on Cyberfrog, which first saw publication in 1994 with Hall of Heroes and Harris Comics. He has already raised $187,000 using an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign in order to fund an original graphic novel. The 48-page Cyberfrog: Bloodmoney is expected to be the first in a series of four books.
First of all, that's Blood-HONEY; CBR would do well to get their facts and spelling straight. Second, I honestly think he's doing the right thing to leave their employ. With the way the Big Two are being run now, I don't see the point of lending his talents to what Dan DiDio/Joe Quesada managed to ruin, and from what I've read, when he wound up receiving harassment and threats from leftists in and around the medium, it may have even included DC contributors, which only proves they're not saints any more than Marvel's staff, and didn't defend him properly.

That said, I still can't overlook that Sciver was involved in projects and with writers who alienated me from the mainstream:
Van Sciver’s long career with DC Comics included extensive work on the Green Lantern and the Flash family of titles. He was also a frequent collaborator with Geoff Johns, working on such monumental series as Green Lantern: Rebirth and The Flash: Rebirth. His final solicited work is slated to be Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps #47, which goes on sale June 27.
As I'd once mentioned, I found the whole notion Barry Allen's background would be retconned, in-story or not, so it'd be little different from many other modern superhero stories with violent-filled premises, horrific in the extreme, and that's one of the leading reasons I find Johns so atrocious as a writer. Besides, it doesn't sound like Johns ever defended van Sciver, and I wouldn't be shocked if he'd be fully willing to throw the guy under the bus even after the collaborations they did on GL. I'm also very dismayed van Sciver once took part in introducing the Islamic character Dust, an early example of Marvel's SJW-pandering, to the X-Men. How am I supposed to fully appreciate somebody's talents when they wind up using them for the sake of a direction that's against what the products were meant to stand for, and which serve the cause of leftist social justice advocates?

Now that van Sciver's leaving the majors for creator-owned work, I may be able to forgive him for some of that, though it'd be a lot easier if he admitted he participated in projects with content that doesn't serve the products well.
In recent years, the artist has not shied away from controversy. Van Sciver has used his social media presence to share his conservative political views, often siding with controversial far right personalities on Twitter and YouTube. Despite all this, it would seem that he and DC split amicably.
What if they didn't? Let's not think a company who tolerated Eddie Berganza is incapable by contrast of antagonizing people whose personal politics don't coincide with theirs. Let's also recall they once threw Chuck Dixon out on his ear, after all the hard work he did for them, and even omitted mention of Dixon from at least one encyclopedia they published. So I think CBR should consider the chances they're letting DC off the hook again for tasteless steps.

Van Sciver's doing the right thing to make a departure. He deserves far better than the editors/writers he worked with, and so too in fact do the DC/Marvel creations themselves. He's raised plenty in crowdfunding already for another Cyberfrog story, so he does have a support base for potentially better stuff. If he plays his cards right, I'm sure he'll work wonders for the indie scene. He could contribute to Dynamite Entertainment, for example, where I'm sure his artwork would serve much better.

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Marvel's resurrecting 2 failed SJW titles, even though they're still unlikely to succeed

If you're looking for a bewildering case that defies logic, it appears Marvel's not done with their SJW-catering yet:
Marvel Entertainment on Wednesday announced the surprise return of two recently cancelled comic book series, both of which bring some much-needed diversity to its superhero lineup at a time when other titles are returning to predominantly white, straight, male leads.

Both The Unstoppable Wasp and Iceman will return to store shelves this fall, with the original writers of the titles — Jeremy Whitley and Sina Grace, respectively — returning for the new series. In terms of art, Gwenpool art team Gurihiru will illustrate Wasp, with Iceman’s new series gaining Nate Stockman on art.
Both were financial failures the first time round, as nobody cared about either one - certainly not the solo book turning Iceman homosexual - so why do they think it'll work this time? The Iceman series is actually the more troublesome, because it's clear they haven't abandoned the idea of turning Bobby Drake homosexual when he was never created that way by Lee/Kirby, and nobody asked he be changed, though I'm sure many would be happy if he were turned back to the version we once knew. Alas, it's clear the SJW mentality is just too precious to Marvel's joke of a staff, and C.B. Cebulski's pretty much proven he's not fit for the job.
Wasp, which starred Nadia Van Dyne, daughter of original Ant-Man Hank Pym, ran for eight issues in 2017, while Iceman launched in late 2017 and lasted 11 issues before ending earlier this year. In terms of print editions within the North American market — the only publicly released information about comic book orders — both series were performing poorly at the time of their final issues, with Iceman estimated at just over 10,000 copies ordered by stores and just under 7,000 copies ordered for Wasp.

It’s worth noting that these numbers don’t reflect final sell-through to customers, nor include digital sales; it is possible that both titles were outselling their print orders digitally, as is anecdotally the case with other comic titles from Marvel and other publishers.
I'm sorry, but without clear digital numbers, there's no defense for this farce. And, why whine about the oh-so desperate need for diversity if nobody wanted these books due to their social justice agendas, dreary storytelling and tedious artwork? They're always trying to justify everything by hiding behind alleged digital sales, but if the story's poor, why should anybody pay to access the PDFs containing the stories online? It doesn't compute.

And this pretty much proves C.B. Cebulski's not fit for the job he has now. It's a reasonable guess he's doing this to appease the people who want to rake him over the coals for his use of a Japanese pseudonym. But all he's doing is demonstrating his lack of courage to lead as an editor, and Joe Quesada's presence as a chief creative officer undoubtably has influence over his steps to boot. Well, if they want to bring down a once fine publisher for the sake of an audience that isn't there, I guess it's their loss. I realized there was little chance Cebulski would be the good news we hoped for, and if he's going to waste valuable resources on losing formulas, then he's only ensured why he won't be remembered fondly in history.

Update: artist Jon Malin had the following to say regarding their direction:

I have no doubt "intentionally" is exactly the problem with Marvel - wasting so much money for the sake of shelf space they don't deserve, when much of it could've been put to better use in hiring new talent and editors. And that's what really makes this whole matter so atrocious.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018 

Is the Hank Pym-as-abuser story being retconned away?

It's a shame that Mark Waid, after all the harm he's caused of recent, has to be the writer of this new Ant-Man & the Wasp story, because anybody in-the-know about his potential illegality could feel rightly discouraged from bothering. But here's an interesting development Marvel's taken of recent, though I realize it's probably not as impressive as it might sound to anybody who thought Jim Shooter's 1981 Avengers story was in poor taste despite that it may be a good idea. The problem is that the writer of the piece is putting words in the mouths of fans:
...Marvel has launched a new Ant-Man and the Wasp comic miniseries by the creative team of Mark Waid and Javi Garron. While the series stars legacy versions of the insect-sized heroes in the form of Scott Lang and Nadia Van Dyne, the original duo of Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne cast their inspiring shadows over the new pair’s adventure, but as the first issue of the series re-tells the story of the original Ant-Man and the Wasp duo, longtime fans might realize that Marvel is has chosen to ignore, or perhaps even retcon, a rather controversial aspect of their relationship.

The very first page of Waid and Garron’s Ant-Man and the Wasp #1 brings readers up to speed on the epic love story of Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne, a legendary crime-fighting duo and passionate lovers. The caption offers a quick recap about how the two started working together as a team, how “they shared a love so bright it shamed the stars” and… that’s it. To readers who are picking up their first Ant-Man and the Wasp comic in order to get hyped for the MCU movie, the story of Hank and Janet is presented an epic tale of mythological proportions.

However, there is one big asterix next to the love story of the original Wasp and Ant-Man. Yes, the two were a longtime married couple, fighting crime together as husband and wife, and yes, they loved each other. But their relationship reached a mighty — and quite controversial — crucible when Hank (during his Yellowjacket) days, infamously slapped Janet in 1981. At that moment, Hank’s character was cast in a much darker light considering that he had hit his wife, an irredeemable act to many of his and Jan’s fans.
Tsk tsk tsk. Almost immediately, they set out to make the fans sound like mental patients who blame a fictional character instead of the writers/editors responsible. Why not state it was an irredeemable example of writing from the pen of Shooter? Why doesn't he get the criticism he'll have to shoulder?
Now, the moment was not intended to be the turning point in Hank’s character that it became. Jim Shooter, who scripted the issue, is on the record as stating there was a miscommunication between him and artist Bob Hall, resulting in a scene that plays out different than planned. Shooter maintains that he wanted Hank to accidentally hit Jan as he flailed his arms about wildly, but Hall drew it in such a way it was clear Hank deliberately struck his wife. That’s how it was published, and the damage was done: Hank Pym became an in-canon domestic abuser.
First off, that's what Shooter claims, but Hall, IIRC, said he never raised any objections, and if the original script read as visualized, then why deny a mistake was made? It's ridiculous. Second, I figure the notion they couldn't ignore the storyline's specific writeup in later years and just retcon it away is precisely the weakness past administrations at Marvel bore. Third, the damage to a fictional character is only done so far as anybody wants it to be. What if there could've been a fan movement formed to demand the violent attitude Hank was written with be de-canonized? Well that's what should've been done to begin with - if DC could do it, then by the same token of logic, so could Marvel.
But none of that matters; on paper, Hank hit Jan, and it fundamentally changed the way fans looked at the hero. Tom Brevoort once told CBR that despite Marvel’s attempts to “fix” it in the years that followed, the publisher realized it was stuck with the interpretation because “that was the most interesting thing that had ever happened to that character, and so that really cemented it.”
Oh please! What about the background written for Hank in the mid-60s in Tales to Astonish, where it was revealed he was a widower whose first wife had been killed by commies while visiting her native Hungary? It could even be updated as a fictional country just to keep the basics effective. And what about that he was the inventor of Ultron, the robot that overpowered him and erased his memories so that it could continue developing itself into a monster unnoticed? In fact, what about the fact he'd been the inventor of the Giant-Man role to boot? And above all, can we be clear about something? If they wanted Hank to have what they call a "most interesting thing", I'd think they could conceive something more effective and memorable than Hank as abusive husband, which he did not have to be, and even fandom could prove they'd rather that not be the case. Brevoort's only looking for cheap excuses to justify continuation of an unfortunate storyline.
Now, some believe that the character has more than earned redemption after decades of heroism, but for most readers, Hank Pym’s big defining traits remain that he’s the inventor of the Pym Particles, the creator of Ultron, and a man who beat his wife. Though Hank has been given moment of heroic redemption after moment of heroic redemption over the years, fans remained vocal in reminding people of his darkest act. The moment has long remained an important one in Marvel history, and now it appears that the company wants to discreetly sweep it under the rug.
Sigh. What a disgrace the CBR columnist is. I don't think Hank should be stigmatized by something that was the fault of the writers like Shooter, and if I don't, there's bound to be more fans who think the same. The real life writers are those who must be held accountable, not the fictional characters. Most Spider-fans recognize writers like deFalco and Kavanaugh were responsible for the embarrassment of the Clone Saga where Peter Parker assaults Ben Reilly and then accidentally bruises Mary Jane when she tried to get him to cut it out, culminating in his fleeing from the lab where it took place rather than check her condition and apologize on the spot. We know Peter's a fictional character and not at fault, so let's get our facts straight about Hank Pym too.
...With such a title, people will be looking to learn more about the superhero duo and of their adventures together, and perhaps Marvel doesn’t want new readers to stumble upon a much darker period of the couple. It appears that, for better or worse, Marvel Comics’ love story between Hank and Janet is being quietly retconned into something less controversial.
To be fair, the idea itself may be a good idea, and for the best. If it's tasteless, let's not think a bad idea has to remain solidly canon till the bitter end of time. The bad news is that Waid as the writer has recently done all he could to cripple his career (and even shut down his social media accounts), so we can't blame anybody who'd feel discouraged based on that. If Waid's on his way out of the medium, it's probably for the best, because if he's going to interfere in other people's work and be potentially defamatory to his critics, then he's reduced himself to a liability for his employers. It's a terrible shame, of course, because he was the writer who retconned away Richard Bruning's horrendous Adam Strange storyline where Alanna was killed in 1990 a decade after it went to press. But if Waid's going to commit PR embarrassments in real life, then he's only scuttling what could've been a chance to do something creative for a change. Apparently, he's not even promoting the book, which should give an idea how far his reputation's fallen.

In the end, I think discarding the Hank Pym-as-abusive story from 1981 is okay in itself, but chances are Waid, in his modern mentality, has still botched the story, rendering it a disappointment regardless, and I can only conclude it's best for him to retire from writing, for at least several years. A worthy idea has been damaged by an ill-advised choice of writer.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018 

A focus on villains is not a good substitute for heroes

The Hollywood Reporter says Warner Brothers and DC are planning film projects spotlighting villains, including one about the Joker, and the comics aren't immune to a supervillain spotlight either:
There’s a rise in villainy that is taking hold of the DC Universe — a rise that’s occurring in the comics and its in cinematic counterparts. This week saw two major developments on the dark side of DC. The first was the news of a Joker solo movie starring Jared Leto, who would reprise his role from Suicide Squad (2016). This news comes after the already-revealed Joker movie, directed by Todd Phillips and produced by Martin Scorsese, which will explore the character’s origin outside of the continuity the shared universe of films Warner Bros. has been building since Man of Steel (2013).

The second of the week’s developments came in the pages of Scott Snyder and Jim Cheung’s Justice League No. 1 which not only successfully relaunches the series, but officially introduces the supervillain supergroup, the Legion of Doom, into modern comic continuity. While these two developments are divided by medium, they do showcase an increased awareness in the popularity of bad guys as protagonists, and may point to a potential for synchronicity between DC’s comic and film divisions. It’s easy to make the argument that two Joker movies is overkill, in fact it’s easy to argue that one Joker solo movie is one too many. But perhaps Scott Snyder’s Justice League and the post-credit scene of last year’s Justice League movie may point the way towards a more interesting corner of the DC Universe to explore — one that doesn’t just rely on the popularity of Batman.
Well it shouldn't rely on spotlighting villains either. Such a direction risks sensationalism and even sympathizing with evil. And the spotlights Geoff Johns gave to at least a few villains in the Flash when he was writing it were downright tasteless, particularly Heatwave's and Mirror Master's.

All that aside, what's this about villains being popular in a literal sense, or worse, more so than their hero counterparts? I find that objectionable, and in fact, it is. Villains certainly aren't meant to be cherished, if what they do is repulsive and inhumane, and their suggestions they make a great source for starring vehicles is just the kind of propaganda we don't need.
While Suicide Squad was presented as a film about the “bad guys,” most of them ended up on the antihero side of things. A Legion of Doom movie gives Warner Bros. the potential to really delve into what makes these villains tick when separated from the heroic counterparts, and sets up for an inevitable Justice League v Legion of Doom film. And while comparing DC’s films to Marvel’s is often a meaningless exercise, the comparisons will be made anyway. Warner Bros. tapping into the potential of the Legion of Doom allows them to do something Marvel hasn’t gotten to yet: presenting its own super-villain team, the Masters of Evil. With the Legion of Doom already set to become the talk of comic shops this year, and Warner Bros. building a sturdy cabal of villains within the DC Extended Universe, it’s time for these elements to come together and showcase the greatest potential of DC’s characters, beyond simply Batman spinoffs. It’s time for DC’s villains, all of them, to have their night.
I think they already have, and it's not amusing in the least. Putting Sinestro in a good guy's role, as happened several years ago, was preposterous enough as it is. What the Hollywood Reporter's trying to encourage here won't do any favors for the DCU, and in fact, it'll only make it worse after the failures of Batman vs. Superman and Justice League. Besides, as they themselves hint, Suicide Squad was about villains - or former ones - in the service of good as part of a probationary program. That's why it could work better in its own way. But a whole reel starring a villain whose dealings could be downright disgusting is not what I view as a masterpiece, and I think the Hollywood Reporter would do better to argue WB should concentrate on writing better screenplays for heroes and not think spotlighting a villain alone equals a good movie. There have been stories toplining the villains already, and few of them are in very good taste. Bettering their approach to heroes is what should matter.

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Monday, June 11, 2018 

Geoff Johns steps down from a position he didn't deserve

From what I can tell, he's still associating himself with Warner Brothers on DC-based screen projects. But as the Hollywood Reporter states, he's leaving the "chief creative officer" and management position he maintained, following the resignation of Diane Nelson from her own role as the head of DC Entertainment:
DC Entertainment president and chief creative officer Geoff Johns — who went from authoring comic books to having a major hand in the making of movies and television shows based on famous heroes — is stepping down from his executive post and entering into an exclusive writer-producer deal with Warner Bros. and DC, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Johns is launching Mad Ghost Productions, a new banner that will see him work on content for films, television and comic books, and have his hand in current DC properties as well as new and reimagined creations.

At the same time, current DC Entertainment publisher Jim Lee will assume the chief creative officer position, taking on the duties while continuing to act as publisher with Dan DiDio. The two have jointly held the post since 2010.

The moves come in the wake of last week’s exit of Diane Nelson, DC Entertainment’s president, to whom Johns reported, and occurs the day before a judge’s decision will be announced in the high-profile anti-trust trial between the U.S. Department of Justice and AT&T, which is seeking to merge with Time Warner, the parent company of both Warner Bros. and DC.
Neither Nelson nor Johns proved effective for the projects they worked on, like the 2011 Green Lantern movie or the recent Justice League film. Johns also has credits on at least a few of the TV shows that fell victim to social justice machine, like the latter end of the Smallville series from 2001-2011, and also the Flash and Supergirl series. In fact, look what he's got coming up as projects in film next:
One of Johns' first projects will be Green Lantern Corps, based on DC’s intergalactic police heroes which Johns is already very familiar with, having spent nine years writing Green Lantern comics and its spinoffs and publishing events. Johns will write the screenplay and act as one of the producers on the feature film. Johns is already writing and producing Wonder Woman 2 and will have a co-writing and executive producing credit on Aquaman, this year's only DC offering that opens in December.
After the failure of the 2011 GL movie (and even the Jonah Hex movie), it's a real laugh riot to discover he's allowed to continue associating with a franchise I don't think he really loves.

One of the commenters said:
I'm so glad that he's leaving his leadership position. He's been terrible for DC, especially DC Films—I blame much of the failure of "Justice League" on his interference. Not happy that he's still writing for WB's DC properties. WB needs to cut ties with him completely.
Now that's a sentiment I can get behind. Overrated is probably the best starting description for Johns, whose writing style was filled with disturbing violence, and the most blatant political stunt he pulled in his comics writing career had to be in Green Lantern when he introduced the Muslim cast member Simon Baz in 2012, whose story setup was blatantly leftist and apologist for Islam. Even when he wrote a few books for Marvel in the early 2000s, there were a few times he went overboard, recalling I once discovered a few disturbing panels from Avengers #71 from 2003, where Whirlwind sexually assaulted Wasp by licking her. At its worst, his writing disrespected the visions of past writers and drained entertainment value from the books he touched considerably. Of course, the editors obviously have to shoulder some blame to boot, for not standing up to him and drawing a fine line in the sand.

Johns may have left his positions as a company president and creative supervisor. But he needs to be distanced from the company entirely after the bleak mark he left on their records, and again, lest we forget, Dan DiDio's departure is also long overdue.

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New Cloak & Dagger TV show doesn't feature drugs as part of the origin, but does build on BLM propaganda

In this sugary column at the Decateur Daily, it's revealed the new TV show based on Bill Mantlo's Cloak & Dagger doesn't use the challenging subject matter his original work did. First, here's one inaccuracy regarding their history:
The pair have a grudge against drug dealers, obviously, so that is their focus in the early Cloak & Dagger stories. The absence of colorful supervillains resulted in grittier stories than you usually find with Spider-Man (whom they ran into frequently) and other “street level” superheroes. [...]
Umm, that's not entirely true they didn't face off against supervillains: an evil wizard named Mister Jip was introduced to serve that purpose during the late 80s. So it's just another laughable reduction of telling history to superficial levels. There's also this fishy part to consider:
One welcome change is scrubbing of the 1982 clichés that informed the kids’ backgrounds. On TV, Tyrone (Aubrey Joseph) is upper-middle class, with a bright future ahead. It’s Tandy (Olivia Holt) who is the budding criminal, a pickpocket essentially abandoned by alcoholic parents. Sadly, one element remains intact, because it is still true in our culture: Tyrone feels guilt and shame from a close acquaintance gunned down by police (in this case, his brother).
If this is meant to allude to Ferguson and imply the white man is always the guilty party, that's horrific.

And then, here's what the TV origin is going to be like:
Also, the origin is shifted back to when Tandy and Tyrone are children, where an accident involving the Roxxon Corporation is the source of their super-powers. Roxxon is Marvel’s all-purpose evil corporation, and we see the accident and its effects in a series of flashbacks. (Evidently drug dealers as villains just don’t have the cachet they used to.)
They don't even feature drugs playing a role in the release of Tyrone and Tandy's mutant powers? Gee, what's the point of this adaptation then? IMO, that's lazy. Personally, I consider C&D one of Mantlo's strongest works at the time he was in the business, and it was even respectable to Judeo-Christianity: C&D turned to NYC-based Father Delgado's church to ask him for guidance, which he was pleased to provide. The TV show may have elements of that, as noted below, but I won't be shocked if the show's writers don't respect religion, given how disrespectful Hollywood's become towards Judeo-Christianity, particularly since the turn of the century. (Plus, what if Roxxon serves as a stand-in for right-wing businesses in this rendition?)

According to this interview with cast members, although the show may still feature drugs as subject matter along with a few other challenging issues, the bad news is the political ones they're putting in here:
The first few episodes alone tackle sociopolitical, economic and health issues with grace, and with an honesty and awareness that doesn’t pull its punches. From sexual assault and the lack of justice that comes to victims reporting the crimes, to police brutality and racism that results in the horrific trend of officers shooting unarmed black men, to addiction and the opioid epidemic currently plaguing our country, Cloak & Dagger is putting the spotlight on it all to give its younger audience respect and awareness of what’s going on in the world today.
So it's relying on the Ferguson narrative, which amounted to a blood libel? As National Review notes, it's a phony narrative. At least this proves Marvel's TV fare is no more immune to leftism than DC's. Did I mention Jeph Loeb is one of the producers? The interview footage continues with the following:
The first four episodes alone bring awareness to the lives and perspectives of marginalized youth like Tandy and Tyrone, a homeless girl and a young black man respectively. What does it mean to you, getting to tell these kinds of stories in the current climate especially on a show geared toward young people?

Aubrey Joseph (Tyrone, a.k.a. Cloak): It’s especially important right now just because we have two groups of people—black men who have been completely dehumanized in our media and society, period, and women are always minimized—they always have to fight for equal pay or ask to be represented as equals. So we have this show that brings humanity to these two groups of people and it’s just time. It’s time for this to come out. I think this is going to jumpstart the new normal.

Olivia Holt (Tandy, a.k.a. Dagger): [Cloak & Dagger has] been around for 30 plus years. It started in the late ’80s/early ’90s and it was perfect for that time. But changing it up a little bit and making it more current and talking about topics that are happening right now in 2018 makes it more relatable. The audience is going to connect to it in a way that they wouldn’t if it was based in a different era or if they were going through things that were happening back then. Now it’s more current and talking about what it’s like to be a young black male in America in 2018 and what it’s like to be a young white female in 2018 is something that we’re excited about. And they’re not just learning how to cope with real teenage life stuff. They’re also learning how to cope with powers on top of all of it, so they’ve got a lot on their plate.
And the production staff sure does have a lot of liberal-influenced politics on theirs. Though there is a certainly oddity and irony in reading them say the media's dehumanizing blacks, because the liberal outfits are, if they validate the notion it's okay for blacks to commit crimes. But I've got a feeling that's not what they mean, and what they're really implying is that the media industry is largely "conservative" when that's far from the case. Also, why doesn't it count to take a look at what it's like to be white guys and black women in today's America? Or Latino and Asian?

In the 1984 miniseries which featured their origins, Tyrone's fellow basketball player Billy was mistaken for a robber/murderer after a thief gunned down a store manager in close proximity, and he fled in fear, while Tyrone's stuttering prevented him from trying to tell the patrolman who shot after Billy that he was innocent (it should be noted the policeman didn't target Tyrone, but demanded he stay out of the way). If the TV show makes it look more like police just gun down anybody they choose as easy targets, that'll be as cheap as it's offensive.

This interview with producer Joe Pokaski (via Breitbart) gives some more insight to how deliberate their approach is with the political bent:
“When I was a kid and opened up my ‘Spectacular Spider-Man’ and saw these two people that didn’t look like me at all, I loved it,” showrunner Joe Pokaski said in an interview with TheWrap. “But for something that was so progressive in the time, it needed a little bit of an update for the now.”

In the original series, Tandy and Tyrone are a vigilante superhero duo — a young white woman from a fabulously wealthy family who wields daggers made of light, and a black man from the Bronx who literally consumes people with his darkness. In the 1980s, the characters marked a big step forward for representation in the Marvel library, but in hindsight, the series’s tone-deaf take on race and woefully impractical costume design leaves something to be desired.
Ah, so in other words, it's just not enough for them, and never is. I can only guess: Dagger's outfit is going to be "practical" in this rendition, or they're going to rely strictly on ordinary clothes. And what's this about the race relations being "tone deaf"? Sounds more to me like an insult to Mantlo, probably because they're confident that with the mental damage he's been suffering from for a quarter century now after the terrible hit-and-run accident he experienced in 1992, he'll never have any comment to make, as he can't think clearly or fully understand their mindsets. The article's definition of takes on race is also unclear. And Tyrone was from Boston, Massachusetts, not from the Bronx borough of New York City.
“So we made some adjustments to Tyrone and Tandy’s stories, in the same way the other MCU movies and television shows do right now, to update them for current times,” Pokaski said.

In it’s first two episodes, which premiered on Freeform on Thursday, “Cloak & Dagger” makes clear it’s out to tell a different story. In this iteration, Tandy is the one with a poor family and troubled home-life, while Tyrone comes from money and attends a posh Catholic private school. In place of the reductive gender and race stereotypes at work in the source material, “Cloak & Dagger” tackles issues like racial profiling, police brutality and the opioid epidemic sweeping across the country.

“Telling this story, particularly of a young man who lost his brother and grew up in a gilded cage surrounded by a world made of fear, felt like the best type of story to tell in 2018,” Pokaski said.
Do I sense he's suggesting wealthy people are all ignoramuses? It sounds ridiculous to me. I've read Marv Wolfman's origin for Cyborg from the special New Teen Titans miniseries printed in 1982, and as a guy who came from a pretty wealthy background via his scientist parents, Vic Stone was anything but uninformed. The C&D producer's reasoning is ludicrous.
Their backstories are almost reversed from the comics, with Tandy coming from this struggling household and Tyrone being much more well-off. Why did you approach it that way?

I don’t remember who it was, but during the election somebody was very much conflating race and socio-economics, and it raised an eyebrow for me. If we removed one from another, it allowed us to look at race independent of socio-economics. Telling this story, particularly of a young man who lost his brother and grew up in a gilded cage surrounded by a world made of fear, felt like the best type of story to tell in 2018.
Would that someone happen to be Donald Trump or another Republican? And why does race matter but not issues like terrorism and people who lazy about on socialism at the expense of the wider public?
How much input did Marvel have? Was there some amount of guidance or were you free to make the show you wanted to make?

A little of both, actually. They care in weird pockets, like the logos and stuff like that, but to be honest, the people at Marvel are very creative. Geoff Loeb is just a great collaborator and a person who’s a brilliant writer in his own right. So they were excited that we were telling a different story, and they were really supportive of what we were trying to do.
Oh please. Loeb, whose first name is spelled Jeph, was one of the most overrated writers when he worked in comicdom proper, all style and no substance. His presence doesn't inspire much confidence he knows what he's doing with the material.

I think this is another reminder that, if Marvel and their production partners for films and TV so desire, they'll shove heavy-handed politics down the viewers' throats at the drop of a hat, just as DC's TV adaptations like Supergirl are now. Much like with the Runaways adaptation, this too looks like it'll be a SJW-influenced vehicle.

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Sunday, June 10, 2018 

Canadian art teacher's comics thesis

Here's an article at the Simon Fraser University about a Vancouver art teacher writing a thesis in comics form, which they describe as a first for Canada.

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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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