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Tuesday, December 15, 2015 

A most super-fawning take on Marvel's "reboot"

I'm not the least bit surprised that this column on Arcamax is gushing all over Marvel's absurd, diversity-laden rebootings. Here's the worst examples:
MS. MARVEL #1: Strangely, this book also stars a non-white, non-male, non-sexualized girl, who is Muslim. Pakistani-American Kamala Khan has been Ms. Marvel for a few years now, and is a big seller, as far as it can be known, in digital form. As a teenager in New Jersey, she's got the sort of problems Peter Parker used to have when he was a teenager in Forest Hills, but she's so gosh-darn optimistic and likable the comparison really doesn't feel too familiar. She also appears in ...

THE ALL-NEW ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS #1: There's a smattering of books with "Avengers" in the title already with more to come, but this appears to be the "main" one, if there is such a thing. I say that because it has core members Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Vision -- or it will. (The story, by veteran writer Mark Waid, hasn't yet got to the point where the team forms.) The cover also promises three youngsters for training/comic relief, in the form of Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales (the black-Latino Spider-Man from an alternate dimension) and the new teenage Nova (Sam Alexander). Waid is one of the best writers in the biz, and artist Adam Kubert gives good superhero, so if that's your jam, this is your book.
Non-sexualization of the lead is fine. It's the accompanying - and whitewashed - ideology that isn't. And do keep telling us the book's a big seller, when sales to date have been very far from spectacular; it doesn't sell in hundreds of thousands, and any "boosts" Marvel's books have gotten from the ad nauseum relaunches have been predictably brief. As for Waid, he was once a good writer, and his left-wing politics weren't that overt in the 1990s, but he's gone way downhill since, sinking into a lockstep mode with the Big Two, and doing little better working with the smaller companies he's worked with like Boom Studios. And this is another project where one of the junior Kuberts' talents are wasted on a pretentious mess, where diversity is the emphasis, not writing merits.

However, it looks like Wolverine is back, and presumably "aged":
EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN#1: Like the Avengers title earlier, this one appears to be the "main" X-Men book out of several, due to its cast: Storm, Iceman, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Jean Grey (the teenage version), Wolverine (the geriatric version) and Magik (younger sister of Colossus). X-fun as usual, with veterans Jeff Lemire (words) and Humberto Ramos (pictures).
Yeah, it figures. They weren't going to let go of Logan for long. Just long enough to ensure a publicity stunt.
MIGHTY THOR #1 stars the current, Y-chromosome-challenged Thunder Goddess, who is actually Jane Foster, a major supporting character in the 1960s. She was a nurse then, to Thor's secret ID Dr. Don Blake, but Blake's gone and Foster's now a doctor – and suffering from cancer. Worse, changing into Thor keeps her chemotherapy from working, so all the hammer time is literally killing her. That gives Marvel an out should they want to return the original Thor as the Asgardian Avenger, and I imagine sales will be the determining factor if or when that happens.
So that's what this particular PC-laden balderdash is about. But will sales determine anything? Seeing how selfish and self-justifying Marvel's become under Quesada/Alonso, don't be surprised if they'll cling to this vision at all costs. Yet this could contradict the notion they ever wanted to please a female audience, if they're going to undermine Jane's health that badly. It sounds a lot more ludicrous than it did a year ago when this was first concocted.
VISION #1 started out as a saccharine Pinocchio story, with the Android Avenger now somehow having a Vision wife and two Vision kids and living behind a white picket fence in an Arlington, Virginia, home. But by the end of this issue people are dead, Visions are dismembered and "don't tell your father" has a chilling connotation. This vicious turn promises a violent, unpredictable future. I don't know if I like this series or not, but it's sure got me curious.
It's sure got me discouraged. Yet another example of the wipeout cliche that's become a sad staple of modern superhero tales' emphasis. And that's just one more reason why Marvel's products are no longer worth reading.

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Funny how they keep bragging about sales, but the numbers tell a different story. The only number they can brag about is digital sales and they do not share that to prove if the book is doing well at all. It is marketing, pure marketing, 30K books sold is not impressive in comics.

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