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Friday, October 06, 2017 

Another Marvel panel encounters criticism from retailers over their SJW politics

The Week discovered reports about another panel discussion for retailers with Marvel at the NYCC where things heated up after at least one vented his anger against their PC tactics, which executive David Gabriel already admitted hurt their sales earlier:
A closed Q&A between Marvel Comics and comic book retailers erupted at the New York Comic Con on Thursday after one retailer became vocally critical of the publisher's decision to change the ethnicity, gender, and sexuality of some of the classic characters, Bleeding Cool reports.

The tensions began when an unnamed seller "specifically [expressed] his distaste for Iceman 'kissing other men,' and Thor 'becoming a woman,'" Newsarama writes. "The retailer's complaints sparked an outcry among the other retailers present in the room, some echoing his frustration, with multiple attendees raising their voices to speak over each other."
I'm glad to learn there's more out there who aren't hesitant to complain about all the homophilia promoted in today's ultra-leftist atmosphere. Depending on one's viewpoint, the promotion of male homosexuality can have a more negative impact than female lesbianism. In hindsight, I recall some instances on television as far back as the 1970s where lesbians could be depicted as active in criminal behavior, but male homosexuals were more often given a break, with their orientation depicted as something that should be accepted in almost all instances. And Marvel's pretty much been pushing the whole male homosexuality as something to accept far more than lesbianism propaganda as far back as the time when Scott Lobdell, already having a reputation for hack writing, wrote a forced coming out story for Northstar in Alpha Flight during 1992. I don't think the Canada-based series ever recovered from that. Maybe what's really laughable is that earlier in the late 80s, after a bizarre incident, Sasquatch/Walter Langkowski temporarily became a woman when he transformed back to his human form, and Northstar's sister Aurora temporarily shunned him because of that bizarre transformation. All that did was make it look like objections to lesbianism are no big deal, but male homosexuality must be otherwise accepted, or Northstar goes the mayhem route, as seen in Lobdell's awful X-Men story, Eve of Destruction.

Bleeding Cool, for one, has been trying to put a negative spin on all this, because of some of the words allegedly used during the whole quarrel. Coming from such disrespectable leftists, that should be no surprise. It's pretty apparent at this point they were never against forced replacement and defamation of established heroes, and almost always saw fit to villify the core audiences. Newsarama's coverage was not quite as bad (though there's still some mistakes they made that'll be focused on below), and also stated that:
The original speaker called for “creating new characters and not messing with the old guys. The old guys are solid,” while a second said that Marvel has “never replaced its characters like this.”
Indeed no, they'd never done it so en masse before, within such a short time, although DC certainly did at the time Identity Crisis was published. Few may remember at this point, but that's why you should: they forcibly replaced Firestorm with a black protagonist, the Atom with an Asian, and Blue Beetle with a Latino. Oh yes, they even replaced the original Manhunter with a woman named Kate Spencer. All within less than 2 years. And what really made it tasteless was that at least 3 of the established white protagonists were killed off or villified/humiliated in the pages of Identity Crisis and Countdown to Infinite Crisis. It's one thing to replace older creations in the same costume, but another to treat them like filth. Even today, Dan DiDio and company have never expressed any genuine remorse for their ill-treatment of the heroes, and their co-stars. And let's not forget the time Alan Scott was retconned into a homosexual man in the Earth 2 series from 2011. Just one of the most blatant examples of their pushing SJW agendas after they'd done the same with Obsidian in prior years.
[Nick] Lowe pointed out that the changing nature of the identities of characters was engrained in Marvel’s history, pointing out examples from James Rhodes to Frog Thor. The retailer responded that Marvel has “never replaced them all at once before,” going on to say that he has had Marvel Cinematic Universe fans come into his store to find Avengers comic books only to leave “when they see that Thor is a woman and Captain America is a black man.”
Wow, what a cheap excuse. The difference is that Tony Stark wasn't brutally murdered or turned into a bad guy in the 80s like DC later did with Hal Jordan in 1994, and even the girlfriends/wives of superheroes in 2004, and Thor was the very one turned into a frog in the mid-80s; it wasn't some new guest star. I do have to wonder, however, what any of these retailers think of the way Spider-Man's handled now, with Mary Jane Watson kicked to the curb, and Peter Parker not doing much better. If I were in their shoes, I'd want to raise that issue too, because Spidey's been far from a blockbuster for over a decade now, the way they've mishandled Mary Jane is just one of the very errors they're still making. And, lest we forget, replacing Ms. Marvel Carol Danvers with a Muslim girl was another mistake they made; I don't think such changes were ever made so deliberately in the past like they are today.

Some of the commenters at Newsarama seemed to recognize where Marvel's been derailed as well. One said:
"Marvel will continue to publish characters that fans of all backgrounds can connect to" -- Um, yeah, except your imaginary new audience of "diverse" new readers DOES NOT EXIST. Real-life minorities and women could not care less about these horrible new characters. The sales are terrible. The only people who can "relate to" Marvel anymore are lefty ideologues of a very specific brainwashed type. You've lost mainstream Democrats, Bernie Bros don't read comics, and actual black people couldn't care less about Ta-Nahisi Coates' boring Black Panther book.
And another noted:
They made sure to frame it as best they could to put retailers in a negative light. They quickly skipped over the problems with lenticular covers and made the retailers seem like bigots by paraphrasing. When all the comic stores are shutdown... Who will they blame?
Never themselves. Now that I think of it, while they may not have sounded as vicious as BC was bent on making it sound, their own coverage was still very dismaying, and what if Mary Jane Watson did come up as a topic during the panel? Then they're guilty of defending a terrible direction Marvel may never recover from, along with all the terrible writers and editors now littering Marvel, ditto the artists: if you know where to look, you'll see that some of their artwork's been dumbed down badly for the sake of appeasing the SJWs they've been catering to. Anyway, here's another interesting comment:
Disney needs to sell Marvel to someone who can actually make comic books.
And Time Warner needs to do the same with DC. They obviously don't care about the zygotes, so why do they hang onto them? Separating the publishing arm from the movie divisions could always be done, and I'd sure like to see some business managers who can afford it make a bid to buy both publishers. Another commenter said:
...Older writers knew how to write it in a way that made you think about the issues while still making the statement they wanted. They didn't attack the fan base and they knew how to write a good story without having to pound you in the head. These millinial writers have no craft skill and don't know how to take criticism.
At least a few of them look an awful lot like punks and hippies, or people who don't dress very respectably. I remember Gerry Conway even noting a certain one who wasn't married and had no children of his own. Quite a few seem atheist to boot, never bringing up Judeo-Christian religion, if at all. With such slobs messing up the comics landscape, is it any surprise they're failing? This is also the fault of publishers limiting the choice of writers/artists to hire, and IDW's recently made the same mistake. Another noted:
There is a difference between asking interesting questions, even about politics and exploring complex answers, and using your comics as a platform for ideological propaganda. Many of the classic writers were masters at exploring the questions and controversies of the day. SOmetimes ham handed, sometimes subtly. But never with the unwavering blunt trauma cluelessness of this current crop of fools.
You got that right. I will have to note though, that Roger Stern, a notable veteran, really let me down nearly a decade ago when he justified breaking up the Spider-marriage, regardless of how poorly handled it was, and he even refused to take a writing gig on Spidey in 1988, all because he didn't like the wedding. Yet he had no issues with Superman and Lois Lane tying the knot in the mid-90s. Why do some people hold certain fictional characters to different standards, and not recognize that writing talent is what makes all the difference? Another said:
Honestly, these political pushes make it even easier to pick up DC and Image comics. I read for action and story with great characters with great art. And you really only need 2/3 to enjoy it. With Marvel's demonization of fans and now retailers, projecting the worst onto people that are critical of their choices. I question who they are making comics for anymore. Themselves? I am finding it harder and harder to find 1/3 for Marvel, and I last found that in Old Man Logan. How poetic.
Unfortunately, as the recent Action Comics issue has proven, DC is still more than fully capable of succumbing to the most tasteless of politics, and so is Image. I think Erik Larsen recently wrote an attack on Donald Trump in the Savage Dragon, so it's not like they're entirely devoid of ultra-leftism either, and it's ill-advised to overlook what they're capable of. And on the subject of Iceman, somebody noted:
Didn't they do the same thing with Beast? If a character has been obviously one orientation in the comics, leave the character as such. Try to create a new character. It is not easy, but aren't these guys suppose to be professionals?
Unfortunately, yes, and even Kurt Busiek may or may not have featured a tasteless joke of that sort in Avengers, made all the more tasteless when Grant Morrison put in that dumb line to Trish Tilby on the phone in "New" X-Men. After somebody stated he thought it was a joke, somebody else put in:
no Grant Morrison, in his time as X-Men scribe, decided Beast would come out as a nasty attack to his ex-girlfriend Trish. Lasted a whole single issue for the shock.. then when Beast was confronted with how screwed up it all was he shrugged and said he was as gay as any mutant.. cause ya know.. same exact thing.
That's the problem with some of those overrated millenial-type writers. On which note, get a load of this hilarious defense made by another commenter for turning Bobby Drake homosexual:
So what your saying is a bunch of comic book nerds, which I am one, at a comic book convention couldn't accept diversity in comic books either? No wonder we have the issues we do in our country. These comic books have literally everything from Gods (Thor), Aliens (most of Guardians of the Galaxy), Monsters (Swamp Thing), and the thing you have an issue with is a gay character and female one? Look at the history of Iceman it isn't like he has had that many successful "straight" relationships. This is why they wrote him this way because it was at least plausible that he didn't understand his feelings. [...]
And another said:
I've never understood the resistance to Iceman being gay. I've considered him a repressed homosexual since the '90s, when he went on a road-trip with Rogue that fairly screamed typical tropes. I seriously don't understand why this one caught people left-field, because there's decades' worth of signposting.
It's enough to fall off the couch laughing. Instead of complaining that past writers didn't do enough to offer stories where Iceman would have better, longer lasting relationships with a particular woman (and I think he certainly managed well for a time with Polaris when Arnold Drake and company introduced her), the commenter uses the perceptions as a pathetic excuse for turning Iceman gay, because homosexuals supposedly have better relations in every way, shape and form than heterosexuals do. Such defenses are already a classic form of comedy, and they aren't altruistic either. This is exactly what led to the misuse of Obsidian from Infinity Inc. And isn't that great, they're using stories from a time when bad writers like Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza were mainly in charge to justify their lazy visions! Not to mention acting like Bobby and Rogue are real-life humans, which they're definitely not. Did I mention the way Rogue was handled at the time was truly awful, sticking her in a situation where she not only couldn't control her siphoning power, but had the added problem of being saddled with guilty conscience and lack of confidence? Anyway, somebody else said:
There are many straight men who are just terrible at having female relationships, especially sexual ones. That does not mean they are gay. They are just meant to be single or forever bachelors.
And that's how both Batman and Iron Man were handled for many years, though as I've been aware recently, DC's come up with a story where Bruce Wayne proposes to Catwoman, and she agrees. It'll remain to be seen how successful that actually is. Now, here's one more exchange on Newsarama, when somebody asks:
...honest question, but do you think DC would have this same problem if they did something like this today?
And gets the answer:
Most definitely yes. Especially long time fans of the more iconic characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. There was a lot of anger when Hal Jordan was replaced by Kyle Rayner. There was also a lot of outrage when red head Wally West was replaced with black Wally. DC fans do enjoy diversity, but don't want the original characters being replaced, nor do they want the original characters suddenly turning gay like what happened to Iceman.
And that's why nobody liked the changes made to the first GL Alan Scott either. In fact, the whole "alternate dimension" concept, which in the past wasn't much more than a means for featuring doppelgangers based on the same heroes and co-stars seen in the flagship universe proper, has been getting very tired lately. These SJW panderings only serve to drain the flavor from them even more. If there must be an alternate dimension within a fictional universe, let it be for brand new creations, and not clones of already established heroes.

I think it's good store managers are speaking up, and shameful the press is going out its way to make them sound like baddies, all the while excusing even the most minor errors made by both Marvel and DC alike, ditto some of the smaller publishers. There's still a lot more the retailers could do, however, and IMO, they should stop carrying Marvel's products if that's all they can offer. I'd sure like to know if any similar arguments arose in DC-sponsored panels, past and present, because as noted above, they too made grave mistakes that, while they may have repaired some of them, still haven't exactly apologized for.

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G Willow Wilson made the same point: if you replace an established character with a new one in a way that trashes the heritage of the character, why should anyone care about the new character?

Northstar, however, was gay almost from the beginning; his creator John Byrne wrote a series of stories in the first issues of the Alpha Flight book in the 1980s that strongly implied he was gay, to the extent that was allowed at that time by Jim Shooter and the Comics Code Authority. Scott Lobdell was picking up on this, not making any radical change to the character.

Mary Jane and Peter remain a married couple in the Spider-Man comic strip, written by Stan Lee and Roy Thomas; you can't get more canonical than that. And they are an older married couple with daughter in the Renew The Vows series.

And if you look at the writers and artists of the Silver Age, most of the younger ones would definitely qualify as hippies!

The parallel world concept was introduced as a way of bringing back the old Golden Age versions of the DC superheroes. The fun of it is showing the might-have-beens, the what would have happened if these characters aged and had children. DC made a mistake when they abolished them in the 1980s, and I am happy to see they brought them back, even if they are not handling them as well as one might hope.

What is the Judeo-Christian religion? Judaism, Christianity and Islam share common roots and some religious texts, they arguably worship the same God, but they are very different religions.

Comics creators who never married, some gay and some not, include Steve Ditko, Craig Russell and Phil Jiminez, among many others; they have done awesome work and don't deserve that kind of judgment of their personal life. And Carol Danvers is still around and published monthly with star billing! She has not been replaced, just promoted to a captaincy.

Well Green, do the contents of the link below fill you with pride or shame?

http://www.cbr.com/marvel-northrop-gumman-partnership-angers-fans/

As for your opinion of Northstar being gay a fairly recent event, here's a counter-example of it being present from the beginning:
https://web.archive.org/web/20130126025406/http://www.byrnerobotics.com/FAQ/listing.asp?ID=2&T1=Questions+about+Comic+Book+Projects#106

You can scratch off that new comic book series listed above, it's been cancelled in wake of recent events: http://www.cbr.com/marvel-northrop-grumman-partnership-dissolved/

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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