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Thursday, May 07, 2015 

Marvel simply won't let go of the leftist narrative on 9-11

The AV Club wrote a fawning take on Secret Avengers, which is concluding with yet another message that's obviously a negative take on the war against terrorism post-September 11, 2001:
The final issue of Marvel’s third volume of Secret Avengers jumps past all the action that has been one of the book’s strongest assets, instead focusing on how the team recovers after saving the world from an invasion of “Cthulhuonic monsters” from the otherworldly realm of Tlön. The creative team has delivered plenty of thrills over the last 14 issues, and taking a quieter approach for this final chapter gives it a lot of emotional depth by placing the emphasis on character development over superhero spectacle. At the root of it all is Maria Hill, and this issue gives the S.H.I.E.L.D. director more dimension than ever while using her to comment on the actions of the U.S. government following the September 11th attacks and the start of the War On Terror. [...]

Maria Hill has been a stand-in for the real-world U.S. government throughout this series. With her character, Kot has criticized anti-terrorism measures like unrestricted surveillance and remote drone strikes in foreign countries. These are drastic measures taken out of fear, because there’s a whole world of potential threats out there, and safety must be guaranteed at all costs. September 11, 2001, was the day the United States faced the void, and since then, it has been operating in fear of the dangers that the void contains. Yes, there are bloodthirsty predators hiding in the darkness, but there are also plenty of harmless people, like the shark Maria sees first.

That shark is as scared of Maria as she is of it, but that initial surge of fear is what determines Maria’s perspective of the void. The dark expanse is just a mirror, and when she saw it after being frightened, her emotion was amplified. After being shaken by the September 11th attacks, the U.S. government looked out at a big world of potential threats and the fear became stronger, inspiring policies that have intensified resentment toward the U.S. It’s a vicious cycle, and at the end of Secret Avengers, Maria Hill realizes that she needs to break out of it if she’s going to live a happy, fulfilling life.
Haven't we already had more than plenty of critiques like these for the past 14 years? The Dubya government is long gone and they still worry only about western conservatives being the root cause of all problems for liberals. And I guess the aliens seen in this story are the stand-ins for Republicans here.

But character development? What they describe here sounds pretty hollow and worst, politicized. It's not hard to guess the development they speak of only counts when it's their idea of what makes for alleged development, which here is of the political variety. Interesting that a shark is depicted as a puzzling analogy here for countries that supposedly aren't hostile to the USA, and differences are blurred between sides. Also of note:
After deciding that a vacation would be nice, Maria visits M.O.D.O.K. in his small home in rural Ohio and thanks him for dropping the bomb that helped her come to this life-changing discovery. The relationship between Maria and M.O.D.O.K. has been the most intriguing aspect of this entire run, and their final scene together is a touching coda to the strange friendship that blossomed between these two former enemies. Kot injects some humor into the story with M.O.D.O.K.’s blowhard personality, but as has been consistently the case in Secret Avengers, the big-headed, tiny-armed character is far more than a joke. When M.O.D.O.K. clarifies the central idea of Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias” for Maria (a throwback to an earlier conversation between the two), he reinforces one of this comic’s major themes by stating that the poem is about the inability of dictators to have full control. Maria Hill is starting to realize this, and decides to trade in a life dictated by fear for one dictated by mercy.
And here I thought MODOK was supposed to be a serious villain whom no sane person would want to be chummy with. Now he's being used as a Dr. Strangelove variation and the SHIELD operative associates herself with him? Ludicrous.

And the tale's would-be criticism of darkness doesn't work since Marvel continues to shove darkness down the readers' throats in many other forms. That's not bound to change for a long time with these awful people in charge. The artwork used here is another serious drawback, because it's dull, which seems to have become the norm in some of Marvel's current output.

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