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Friday, August 07, 2015 

Marvel loses audience from the left

A writer on Comics Alliance, of all places, and the same one who was critical of Mark Waid for his use of a Confederate flag in Strange Fruit, announced that she's going to boycott Marvel because they won't hire black writers:
Marvel, you and I are taking a break.

It’s not me; it’s you — and you made the decision really easy.

In the past two to three weeks, I have watched you disrespect and disregard marginalized voices and I’ve had enough.

First, came your quiet decision to hand the new Blade book over to two white creators. To be clear, I have no reason to think either creator will do a bad job on this book, but I was disappointed that one of Marvel’s most prominent black heroes would be handed to white people yet again.

I feel like I have to say this five or six times. Whenever this comes up, I get a tsunami of white people wondering what my problem is and suggesting I’m racist for saying white people can’t write about people of color. It’s not that white people can’t; it’s not even that they shouldn’t (except in some circumstances that I have written about almost ad nauseam recently) — it’s that white people are the ones who, historically and systemically, are consistently offered the opportunity. And in 2015, perhaps the right thing to do is to let people of color have a turn.
Okay, I guess I can understand how unfair it feels. But why should she be bothered just by failure to hire a talented black writer to writer Blade's book? What if there's a black guy or gal out there with talent who wants to write Spider-Man and the Avengers? It's not just Blade & Black Panther that matters; there's many, many more creations - not just blacks - for whom I'm sure there's a talented black/Asian/Latino writer out there could work a masterpiece script for...if they were able to contribute under the right circumstances, and with the right editors/publishers involved. And that hasn't been the case in a long time. What if there's a black writer out there who wants to do a story set in a coherent continuity with Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson as the couple they'd once been? It's already pretty clear Marvel's current staff would never allow that. In fact, has there ever been a woman who wrote Spidey past or present? If there was, I can't recall any. And you can be sure there's women out there who like Mary Jane, see her as an inspiringly developed character, and who'll sadly never get the chance to write Spidey now because Quesada and Alonso do not want a woman, married or otherwise, featured as somebody who could be depicted as a great role model.

Which brings us to a most vital topic: no matter what our skin color or nationality, nobody who cares about the best aspects of the Marvel/DC universe should be lending themselves to the joke that's now Marvel and DC's output. And while everyone expects there to be limits on what you can do or how far they can go with corporate-owned creations, do blacks/Latinos/Asians as a whole truly want to be held hostage to mandates like company wide crossovers and other dictations that limit their creative freedom? You can be quite sure there's plenty out there who don't, and that's why DC/Marvel are simply not good choices for anybody to work at now, no matter what their background. The smaller companies like IDW, Dark Horse and Dynamite are the better places to go.

Now, here's something where I believe an absurd bias of the writer's has come into play:
Beyond the general hand-waving and promises with minimal substance about black writers, Alonso — editor-in-chief, let’s remember, the person who is running the show in your editorial department — made it clear that your upcoming Hercules book would depict him, categorically, as straight. This, at a time when you are putting out z-e-r-o books with a queer lead character. Not a single one. Hercules, a character who is canonically — and I mean going back to the Greeks, canonically — bisexual, and a character who has been depicted as/alluded to as bisexual throughout your comics, and your editor-in-chief says, “No.”
As terrible as the current staff's writing efforts are, since when was Marvel and DC literally obligated to cater to LGBT activists? No more so than the SJWs they're already catering to regardless. Besides, they've never emphasized a superhero or a co-star based on their being Lithuanian, have they?

And what's this about Marvel's version of Hercules being depicted/alluded to as bisexual "throughout"? That was far from the case pre-1990s, and if they didn't do so before, I don't see why they're suddenly required to do so now. If it's such a big deal, at least create a new character, and quit trying to hijack every established hero/co-star as "your own". I'd guess the reason Marvel decided to back away was most for commercial reasons on the surface - it could be very embarrassing to market Wolverine as bisexual, the alternate dimension in the new X-Treme X-Men series notwithstanding. Or, maybe they did it because they didn't want to offend Muslims! Okay, I have no idea why they decided to drop the new rendition of Herc as bisexual. But I do know it's stupid to think it must be done no matter what, especially when quite a few of the SJWs demanding it likely aren't reading the books, bisexuality or not.

To make matters worse, the UK Independent is parroting some of the propaganda:
Marvel’s universe has often been criticised for portraying its heroes primarily as straight, white men.
Very funny. This only obscures any and all of the heroines they created since the Silver Age, ditto the guys and girls of black background.
When they do change a characters it often causes controversy – for instance when they decided to make Thor a women and Iceman gay – and they’ve done it again by making the once bisexual character, Hercules, a heterosexual.
Umm, what proof do they have Stan Lee ever created his take on Herc as bisexual? Got any Silver Age tales where this was the case (the official Marvel version of Herc debuted as early as 1966)? And how come they don't at least acknowledge that Iceman was not only never created as a gay man, he had affairs with ladies like Polaris? Or, why don't they at least ask why the change must be made to established characters?
Throughout the comic book series “X-Treme X-Men”, based in alternative Marvel universe, the character has a relationship with Wolverine.

Then, in the mainstream Marvel during in Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #1, it is strongly implied he had a relationship with Northstar, an openly gay character. Hercules is also listed on Marvel Wiki's Bisexual Characters list.
Wow, how much sloppy propaganda do they buy into? As I've long learned, Wikipedia and its affiliates aren't the most reliable source you can turn to, and some of their information can be inaccurate too. Or, they don't tell everything they could.
Fans have been quick to point out that Hercules being bisexual was a very natural progression for the character, especially considering he is inspired by Greek Mythology, where Hercules was bisexual.
What fans would those be, and hasn't anybody ever heard of liberties taken with source material? That's what Lee and Jack Kirby did with Thor, who was originally supposed to be redheaded and bearded in the Norse mythologies but became blond-haired in the MCU, with no beard (that honor would go to Odin). And Sif was emphatically blonde in the mythologies, but was changed to brunette with special storytelling strategies in the MCU (Loki only paid some dwarfs silver, so they only conjured black replacement hair). And nobody minded. So why is it such a big deal whether Herc's bisexual? That's just making a fuss over peanuts. What should matter is whether the stories are entertaining. And again, they have no interest in artistic value no matter how the MCU and DCU are depicted. All that matters to them is political correctness despite all the signs it's not working financial wonders for them.

In any case, Alonso's already proven himself a bad lot regardless of whether they're pandering to SJWs, and so long as Spider-Man's kept in the awful state it is, to name but one example, there's no point in paying them for such worthless tripe as they're publishing now.

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I think Fiona Avery was the closest in recent years, as she worked during JMS' tenure. I'm sure there are other female writers in the Spider spinoffs, but the main ongoing? Hmm. Have to look into that.

As for the OP's apparent bias, I almost have to admire that, as she acknowledges "It’s not that white people can’t; it’s not even that they shouldn’t (except in some circumstances that I have written about almost ad nauseam recently," except she's trying to have it both ways and it isn't working, since the whole piece is criticizing Marvel for the usual "too many White creators" shtick, in the first place. Or she pays lip service to being more balanced. Either way, like Avi says, there are many independent comic companies now, don't expect Marvel or DC to rouse from their inertia anytime soon. Except, it's not that, and it's about control or tearing down an institution. If the SJW and these comic bloggers were really honest about themselves.

And wait, I thought Marvel was doing hip-hop variant covers to address some of these issues? Heh.

WTF? Since when in Marvel canon is Hercules bisexual?

Someone with a clue probably pointed out how young the boys were in ancient times. That would get any corporation to change their mind real fast.

Hube -

She said Greeks, not Marvel.

Yeah, but we're talking about the Marvel Hercules, and at no point was it stated that he was bisexual.

At no point was it stated in Marvel canon that he was bisexual.

Carl -
Once is enough.

Drag: I posted twice because I didn't think my first comment went through. I don't need your smart aleck response.

Wasn't sure if it was a casual mistake or something else entirely.

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