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Wednesday, January 18, 2017 

IGN admits Marvel's suffered from the diversity-pandering approach

Well, sort of. The IGN website's written about how the SHIELD books are the biggest victim of Marvel's arbitrary diversity tactics, but anyone who's taken a close enough look knows it's not just Nick Fury's crowd who've taken a toll from the pretentious writing that dominates their modern output:
Marvel has quite a busy spring planned when it comes to launching new comics, one being Nick Fury, the first ongoing series to focus on elite S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury, Jr. That series has a promising creative team in writer James Robinson and artist ACO. But it also faces a massive uphill battle. Five years after his debut, the younger Nick Fury still isn't the compelling character he needs to be. This is the make or break moment for Mr. Fury.
If Robinson's the assigned writer, it certainly is an uphill battle alright. After all, he's the one who concocted the overrated take on Starman in the mid-90s, and more recently turned first Green Lantern Alan Scott homosexual for no good reason, and even retconned the Invaders with an angle that was insulting to America. That's one scripter everyone would be strongly advised to avoid. His Starman series doesn't stand the test of time either.

As for the younger Nick Fury, who's of black background, is it any surprise he's not working out? He was an early example of pandering to diversity at the expense of the original cast members, and one of many contrived and forced steps Marvel took to reflect the movies at all costs, banking on the idea nobody cares about the older stories from the Silver/Bronze Age, and won't make any effort to research Stan Lee's own creations.
I've argued before about the dangers of publishers arbitrarily changing comics to bring them more in line with other media. And as far as Marvel is concerned, no franchise has suffered more from pointless corporate synergy than the S.H.I.E.L.D. franchise. I reread Jonathan Hickman's Secret Warriors recently, which only served to reignite my frustration over how the S.H.I.E.L.D. comics have been handled since. Hickman ended that series on a nicely open-ended note. Nick Fury finally left the life of a spymaster behind him in order to "break his girl outta jail," leaving the reformed S.H.I.E.L.D. in the hands of his protege, Daisy Johnson. It was a clear case of a torch being passed and a legacy being honored.

Sadly, Marvel's subsequent S.H.I.E.L.D. stories failed to catch that baton and run with it. Instead, Marvel began a long, ponderous process of bringing the S.H.I.E.L.D. comics more in line with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Daisy was quickly ousted as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in favor of Maria Hill. Agent Coulson and his team made the jump from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. And a new Nick Fury appeared to replace the old one, one who bore a much closer resemblance to Samuel L. Jackson.
And this has been the problem for well over a decade. They simply must align everything with the movie visions, yet they have no qualms with rendering the original cast members in the most awful of lights. Namely, turning the real Nick Fury into a jerk, or worse, a crook, in the crossover that saw him erase Thor's "worthiness" by whispering in his ear. And even the changes to resemble the movies are superficial at worst: there's no talented writing at hand, and the changes themselves are part & parcel of the problem.
The reasoning behind this decision, presumably, was that Marvel didn't want to confuse fans of the MCU who might gravitate towards the comics. We'll ignore the fact that Marvel's movies seem to have little impact on book sales in the first place. Why would such a superficial element make any difference? Couldn't it be argued that this new Fury would only be more confusing to MCU fans? He may look like Sam Jackson, but his role within S.H.I.E.L.D. is very different from Jackson's Fury. He's a field agent, not a director, and a relatively young one at that. He's really a completely different character in every way that matters, which makes his clunky origin story all the more perplexing. Why didn't Marvel simply port Ultimate Nick Fury over to the regular Marvel U if having an MCU-friendly Fury was so important? Why didn't they allow Marcus Johnson to be his own character rather than a pale imitation of his father?
Simple: for the same reason they didn't allow Riri Williams in Iron Man to be her own, or even the new, "totally awesome Hulk" to be his own. And even the same reason they arbitrarily came up with a Muslim Ms. Marvel while putting Carol Danvers in the role of the guy who helped her get her own superpowers in the first place, Mar-Vell of the Kree. And, the reason Jane Foster was made into a new Thor instead of the pagan deity she'd loved once. Is that so hard to understand?
Plenty of good characters have overcome bad origin stories. That has yet to happen for the new Nick Fury. He's popped up in all sorts of books since the Battle Scars days, often serving as connective tissue for Marvel's shared comic book universe in the same way Fury has for the MCU. But he rarely stands out as a very deep or memorable character. [...]
Nor will he, with the way they've politicized the whole environment in the MCU. Maybe if they rebooted him as a different character with no connections to Nick Fury and as more of a civilian businessman, they could put him to better use in other stories. But with such awful editors and publishers in charge, there's no way he'll ever be put to compelling use.

That told, let's remember that it's not just the SHIELD-related products that are in bad shape today. The whole MCU is too, thanks to all the bad steps Joe Quesada and company took ever since he got his foot in the door more than 15 years ago. So long as anybody with visions as terrible as his remains in charge, repairs will be impossible.

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Let's be honest about Carol. They only made her Captain Marvel in the continued attempt to keep DC Comics from getting the name back to Billy Batson. And you know, as much as we need more female superhero movies that aren't My Super Ex-Girlfriend in theaters, that the only reason there's a Captain Marvel movie coming is because Warner Brothers was planning one with the original Captain Marvel. Marvel Comics finally found a Captain Marvel that people would like, but only because of her previous years as a superhero and good character.

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