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Monday, May 30, 2016 

Stan Lee adds insult to injury

Anyone who knows Lee's MO well enough knows he never criticizes Marvel under any circumstances, being as he is a product of a time when it was believed you shouldn't speak negatively of your workplaces. But this time I think he's really stepped in it, and slapped Kirby/Simon in the face. His own best friends. When asked what he thought about turning Steve Rogers into a Hydra terrorist, he said exactly what the upper echelons at Marvel would want to hear, only this time, it's a lot more lugubrious:
The legendary Marvel comic book creator reacted to the Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 twist during a panel at MegaCon. “It’s a hell of a clever idea,” he said. “I don’t know that I would ever have thought of it for him to be a double agent, but it’s going to make you curious, it’s going to make you want to read the books, they’ll probably do a movie based on it.”
Maybe deep inside, he's disappointed. But that's still no excuse, especially at his nonogenarian age and after all the wealth I'm sure he's accumulated from his past careers in comics and other magazine writing. Does he value movie cameos and other residuals so much that he has to throw even his own reputation under the bus? That's what he's doing now, and his memory in the public eye won't end well as a result. It's only too well known that Lee and Kirby's relationship had fallouts, and the latter would surely be angry if he were still alive to witness all this degradation of a character who happens to be his creation, not Lee's.

Point: even if this is only temporary, the cynical and contemptuous way it's being marketed is exactly what makes it bad. Not only that, even if it doesn't change anything about the past stories, since it's nothing more than a retcon on paper, it could still have an embarrassing effect on merchandise, as parents who know about this might be reluctant to buy toy Cap action figures and party costumes for their children. Is that really what Lee wants? If a boycott of Marvel's new products is being called for now, I'm decidedly supporting it if that's what it takes to send a message.

And Lee will probably end up being viewed as a broken old man who can't think for himself, nor possesses the bravery the superheroes he oversaw had. Which is to be expected of some people in real life, but still very sad. There could be a story where Peter Parker's turned into a sex offender, Mary Jane Watson turned into a racist, Tony Stark turned into an axe-murderer, or Matt Murdock into a blind rapist, and Lee might not say a single negative word about that either. What was done to Steve Rogers does not make me want to read the new books, and if it were turned into a movie, it's more likely it'd flop.

Maybe worst of all, however, is that this was all intended to take attention away from Red Skull's transformation into Spencer's idea of what right-wingers are. I do wonder why nobody asked Lee or anybody else about that?

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Yeah I saw Lee at Megacon. Curse him for the old Establishment tool he has become. If he had any balls left he would have stood up and told the truth rather than be a tool. HE does not need the money or fame or heck how long does he think he can get his 10 seconds of cameo fame. A real sell out.

I could imagine Marvel doing a cliff hanger in the 1960's or '70's with the hero appearing to be a bad guy. The last page would have Cap or Nick Fury or Iron Man doing a "heil" salute and saying "Hail Hydra." But it would be explained and resolved in the next issue; it would turn out to be an imposter, or the hero had been hypnotized, or he was faking it to infiltrate the villains' organization. There would not be any writers or editors insisting that it was "real," or that the character had been that way all along. And of course, back then, there would have been no coverage or publicity in the general (i.e., non-comics) media, so no one besides fans of the comic would have heard about it.

I heard Stan was going to denounce it and they begged him not to. He's not a fan of this kind of stuff. Just won't say anything bad about it until it's over. It's just who he is. He's been vocally opposed to a lot of proposed social justice changes in the past too. And I doubt he even knows that much about the whole thing as he's been out of the loop when it comes to what's going on at Marvel for over ten years. Heck, he said a few months ago he can't even read comics anymore because his eyes have gotten so bad.

Thanks for the last clarification.

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