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Tuesday, April 28, 2015 

Comics Bulletin pushes for contrived diversity, and can't distinguish fiction/reality

Comics Bulletin isn't satisfied with the announcement Iceman's time-displaced duplicate would be turned gay, implying illusion of change isn't enough, and repeats the classic distortions of fictional characters, acting like they're real people. First:
[...] I’ll focus on what is another example of a growing trend in superhero comics involving diversity and the creation of alternate, “not real” version of characters.

Spider-man is black! But don’t worry fans, it’s not the REAL Spider-man.

Thor is a woman! But not the REAL Thor.

Captain America is black! But not the REAL Captain America. He’s still around here somewhere, just like real Thor.

Iceman is the the latest in a trend of pseudo-diversification among superhero comics. It’s a kind of “well, we want to have a more diverse universe, but we’re scared to actually change anything,” which, really, is the calling card of Big Two comics: the illusion of change. But when it comes to this kind of thing, it trends closely to simply underscoring the second class citizen status of anyone who isn’t a straight, white male.
I don't see how that's any justification for forcibly turning a long-established cast member into something his creators never intended to make him back in 1963. I guess the day DC decides to turn Superman gay is the day they'll be backing it full force, right?

Furthermore, what about straight, white females? How come they get to keep their status, but not their male counterparts? And how come blacks, Asians and Latinos get to keep their straight status, but not whites?
And I’m willing to believe that Bendis has a plan with regards to Iceman. I am completely onboard with the idea that this will have real impact on older Iceman. But the fact that it’s originating with time displaced Iceman suggests that Marvel is unaware of the pattern.
No, the writer's commentary suggests he's unaware of how abusive he's being towards other people's creations, just like Bendis, and it makes little difference whether this is some alternate timeline version of Iceman or the real thing. As I said before, much of it's been done at Jean's expense as a character too. Sure, Bendis has a plan: insulting the audience's intellect.

Next, here's where the writer floats around with blinders on in fantasyland:
I understand that these days the only way to get a new character of any kind to stick is by associating them with a brand. If it’s not an X, an A, a Spider, a Bat, or a Lantern, it’s probably not going to last. I get that. And I get that replacing long time heroes with new versions is a tough sell no matter what. Believe it or not, people were up in arms when Wally West replaced Barry Allen, and not only were both of them straight, white dudes, but Barry Allen was incredibly boring.
Oh, Barry's the guilty party, is he? Did the writer happen to meet Barry at a carnival or a beer joint, and Barry only droned on and on about boring forensic cases where he only investigated robberies and car thefts, instead of the murder and rape investigations so many nuts want to see on TV today instead of anything simpler? Why is an imaginary character on paper to blame for boredom, but not John Broome and Cary Bates, the most notable names to write Barry's adventures? I think the Comics Bulletin writer is incredibly boring, because he only thinks to waste tons of kilobytes deriding a fellow who never existed when he had a big chance to say what he thinks of past scriptwriters for failing his laughable expectations.

However Barry was written, I don't think many people were "up in arms" about Wally West replacing him as they were about the shoddy way Kyle Rayner replacing Hal Jordan as Green Lantern (which is mentioned in the article, but unlike the Barry subject, there's no mention of negative audience receptions). Remember, Crisis on Infinite Earths may not have been such a great tale, but it did give Barry a heroic sendoff, and heroism is an important aspect. The Comics Bulletin writer, by contrast, is not somebody I'd consider a hero.

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Whoever said that writers had to be heroic?

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