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Sunday, October 19, 2014 

Vox distorts the history of the original Ms. Marvel

Vox wrote a sugarcoated article about Kelly Sue deConnick's work on the only true Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers, who's been turned into the new Captain Marvel, and doesn't start off very well:
[...] She's best known for turning Marvel's Captain Marvel, a character previously known for being sexy window dressing on The Avengers, into a hero whose courage and leadership stemmed from her experience as an Air Force pilot.
In all the older material I read, she never came off as just window dressing. Obviously, they never read the first solo book from the late 1970s, published alongside the first Black Panther solo, where they put Danvers to good use as her own person, and even in the Avengers, there were some good moments. But for anybody familiar with that era, yes, it's long known how she was all but dropped from the series in some peculiar editorial fiat and after a short stint as Binary, she wasn't used much again until the late 1990s, at which time she got put to better use again as Warbird.
Even though there has been a push in recent years for more female characters and more female heroes with solo series, and even though the female readership in comics has been growing steadily, there are still pockets of animosity and resentment from men who consider themselves comics gatekeepers, men whom the industry has traditionally catered to. DeConnick, alongside Marvel editors like Sana Amanat (Ms. Marvel) or the legendary Gail Simone (Batgirl, Secret Six) at DC Comics are role models female comic fans can turn to when faced with this adversity.
Ironically, some of these "men" would actually agree with Amanat's stand on Islam, and despite what they're saying, now that I think of it, most professional women into writing haven't taken this type of resentment as much as the critics have.
What makes this doubly puzzling is that comics, as long as they have existed, have (though the industry far from perfect) been stories about outcasts, often read by people considered outcasts (until very recently). They have been about understanding and appreciating outsiders. Yet, the bullied become the bullies — and turn this supposed safe space into a place where they have to prove their worth.
Yes, the bullied have become bullies, and interestingly enough, they're the editors who not only do little or nothing to condemn sexism from the audience, they have - and still are - greenlighting the works of writers who've taken sexist slants. And ignoramuses who only care for soulless entertainment buy these useless vehicles no matter what, throughly disinterested in story merit, and some are even influenced by the bad stories. Yet Marvel and DC's staffs will never come to terms with how they've been facilitating these mentalities for quite a while now. Towards the end, they turn to the Muslim Ms. Marvel and say:
Marvel's increased diversity and increased awareness of its female characters have also had a positive effect on readership. Ms. Marvel, a reboot of Danvers' original title and comic, now follows a teenage, Muslim, Pakistani-American girl named Kamala Khan (who has her own movement called the Kamala Korps). Written by the talented G. Willow Wilson, and edited by Sana Amanat, Ms. Marvel recently went into its sixth printing (a first printing is like a first edition; a sixth reprinting signifies massive success) — virtually unheard of for a comic, let alone a female-led comic.
And how many speculators are buying some of those copies in hopes they'll be collectors items in demand by museums one day? Why, how many are sitting in bargain bins now? The claim of increased diversity is disputable given they won't do anything to promote the new Fantastic Four movie, which may be built on "diversity", and awareness of its female cast is also questionable, since they recently got rid of Scarlet Witch and Rogue in Uncanny Avengers. Sure, they may resurface eventually, but if they subject them to that kind of startling abuse, then it's uncertain they really have an awareness. Let's also remember this is the same company that's marginalized Mary Jane Watson for several years now, and got rid of Karen Page in 1998 when Kevin Smith was writing Daredevil. They also say that at the convention:
There were also new comic books too. Ms. Marvel didn't exist a year prior. Neither did Storm's solo series, nor were the Black Widow and She-Hulk books. [...]
The claim the latter 2 didn't have books prior to this year is rubbish. Natasha Romanoff and Jennifer Walters had a few miniseries and ongoing titles in the past 2 decades, and they can only do short-range thinking? Figures. Some of these sites just aren't up to the task of researching past Marvel/DC history.

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Multiple people i've spoken to about changes to characters for reasons of "diversity" that are not comic book readers have always stated: Why don't they just create new characters instead of race swapping? It makes absolutely no sense to me, because it cheapens the character.

Black johnny Storm? Muslim Mrs Marvel? etc. Instead of creating a new character and writing them out to be awesome they choose to just race swap. I'm not interested in seeing a white Black Panther anytime soon.. We also know that will never happen because blacks may see that as insulting.

A friend of mine and I talked about this over the weekend. Hollywood and big corporations are taking the easy way out of creative development. Black little orphan Annie, black Karate kid etc. Does it hurt them that much to create a story?

Comic book characters have been around for a long time and well established history. I understand its hard to create a new character that can live up to the expectations or popularity of Spider Man, Captain America, Hulk etc but taking the easy way out to make everyone happy by race swapping is insulting to fans.

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