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Saturday, April 22, 2017 

One good thing Gerry Conway's done of recent

If there's anything Gerry Conway's done right in the past few weeks, it was issuing a negative response to Muslim artist Ardian Syaf for his anti-semitic reaction to Marvel's dismissal over his subtle insults in X-Men:

I guess we'll have to give Conway some credit for condemning Syaf. But if he disapproves of subtly injecting bad ideological themes into the books, does he also disapprove of books like the Muslim Ms. Marvel which are practically dishonest about the Religion of Peace? Point: a dishonest portrait through rose-colored lenses is no better than a scene with bad verses hidden in the background. And till now, Conway's seen nothing wrong with exploiting the codename of the role he co-developed with Dave Cockrum for Carol Danvers in the late 1970s (Danvers herself had already been created in 1968) for a concept and story setup depicting Islam through superficial, dishonest visions. How does that help?

Since we're on the subject, this reminds me of G. Willow Wilson's taqqiya defense. One of the things she said later, in her attempt to claim the koranic verse 5:51 wasn't what it happens to be, was what can be read in the following:
After all the chatter around Syaf’s drawings has died down, one of the few lasting effects of the controversy will most likely be that it will be harder for Muslim artists and writers to work for conflict-averse cultural behemoths like Marvel. As G. Willow Wilson, the creator of Marvel’s popular Muslim character Kamala Khan, writes: “Ardian Syaf can keep his garbage philosophy. He has committed career suicide; he will rapidly become irrelevant. But his nonsense will continue to affect the scant handful of Muslims who have managed to carve out careers in comics.”
See, I think what really bothers her is the realization that Syaf's slightly more open approach with Islam, as compared with her more stealth-based tactics, will draw people's attention to the fact she's writing a book whose own problems include being political and factually dishonest from the start. I'm sure she knows not everyone's going to take her own taqqiya tactics at face value, and some will wonder why she's never included any verses from the koran in her scripts, if she hasn't at all so far. Or, they'll do research, discover all those hundreds of different verses and themes in the koran, and start asking millions of questions, making it harder for her to "explain" each and every one. People could ask, "how can a company supposedly concerned about an artist slipping revolting verses into his art backgrounds be employing a writer who remains dishonest about the same in a book she's writing?" It's worth noting that some of the sites reporting on the topic earlier linked to encyclopedia sites for Islam featuring the verse, one more reason why it won't be easy for her to keep up the pretend act.

That's why, if there's hopefully more good news to come out of this whole affair, it's that Marvel may decide to back away from continuing to support the Muslim Ms. Marvel book. It's already been tanking further in sales, particularly since the election issue, one of the most blatantly political propaganda moments in the series' run so far, and they may figure it best not to make such characters into co-stars in the books featuring the heroes they were meant to "take after", since many audience members would rightly suspect the propaganda could continue even then. After all, the whole structural build of the diverse replacements for the earlier cast members is so obviously politicized in their own way, it's impossible as they're currently developed to take them as anything simpler. And DC may decide to eventually let go of the Muslim Green Lantern they shoved into their books too, for many of the same reasons, since, if the audience catches onto one example, they're bound to figure something's not right with the other.

For now, it's only something we can hope will be the result, but I think they may realize already that the public is catching on, and they won't be able to keep up their shameless charade for much longer without causing their sales receipts to sink.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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