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Monday, October 30, 2017 

IO9 posts canceled promo for Marvel's Northrop Grumman project

Assuming it actually was canceled, because they could easily be lying. Here's what the awful IO9/Gizmodo site has to say about the project Marvel capitulated on because a small portion of a much larger population protested:
It’s difficult to imagine what sort of response Marvel expected when it announced a partnership with Northrop Grumman, the fifth largest defense contractor in the world. But the publisher’s decision to axe the deal following a swift wave of backlash suggests that it didn’t anticipate people being turned off.
On the contrary, maybe they did, and didn't mind appeasing people who aren't reading their modern inventory anyway. For all we know, they probably also knew there was a certain segment out there of anti-military non-consumers whom they could expect to yammer against their project, and thus, one can only wonder why so much money is being wasted on something they possibly didn't like despite their going ahead with it, making themselves more of an unintentional comedy show.
The story was intended to be the sort of promotional, explicitly-branded tie-in that you see in comics all the time. Mars, for instance, has worked with Marvel in the past to advertise M&Ms by having their characters team up with Iron Man. Obviously, though, there’s a very big difference between advertising candy and advertising missiles, one of Northrop Grumman’s more widely-known products.
But the goal here was to promote aerospace tech, not missiles. Not that the exact facts matter to leftists like IO9. If no rockets were intended to be brought up as a topic, then they can't just simply say it's a missile promo.
In a public statement, Marvel explained that the planned comic book that would have seen the Avengers team up with a group of Northrop Grumman employees, was “meant to focus on aerospace technology and exploration in a positive way.” Critics of the partnership insisted that in partnering with a defense contracting company, Marvel was effectively marketing the military to a young audience—a message decidedly at odds with characters like Tony Stark’s views on the military-industrial complex. [...]
Something wrong with encouraging people to contribute to the US defense forces? The above only compounds the perception they're not fans of Captain America, Sergeant Rock, Nick Fury and the Punisher, who all served in the army, or even GI Joe, which certainly does promote the army to a younger audience via the very toys leading the whole franchise. So, what's their point? That Marvel, in their POV, is required to adhere firmly to their anti-war beliefs? Guess so. Furthermore, the story of Tony's disillusionment with the military/government came circa the Bronze Age, because he felt his products were being used just to play both ends against the middle and warmonger instead of peaceful environments. That's not an outright dislike for the army so much as it is a dislike for the notion the weapons could get into the wrong hands. IO9's logic and facts are are screwed up.
The optics of the partnership were obviously bad enough that Marvel felt it’d be better off without, but what’s remained unclear was just how bad (or harmless) the comic actually was. Thanks to an anonymous tipster, we got our hands on the first issue and it’s... a comic promoting a defense contractor. If you’ve ever read a tie-in comic before, it’s par for the course: it includes a team of tie-in characters getting to upstage the famous superheroes who guest-star, a barely-there plot, and awkward and clumsy writing. It’s just got an extra layer of awkwardness, since the thing being promoted in it is a defense contractor.
And again, that's an inherently bad thing? All that aside, how do we know this comic was totally canned? What if it was available all but for free at stores, and they just managed to get their hands on a copy of the special so they could be predisposed to hating it?
The cover was previously released, but it’s worth noting that it shows five very recognizable characters associated with the Avengers (Vision, Ant-Man, Nick Fury, Captain America, and Iron Man) teaming up with the Northrop Grumman Elite Nexus (N.G.E.N., pronounced “engine”). The Avengers look very much like they do in the movies, which would definitely catch the eye of more than just comic book fans. In particular, the Vision is clearly rendered to look much more like the version that appears in the Marvel’s recent films. The choice stands out because, of all the characters presented in the book, Vision is the most in line with the idea of the advanced artificial intelligence that Northrop Grumman is showcasing. Meanwhile, each member of the N.G.E.N. is introduced as a Northrop Grumman recruit with a vastly different background who develops a different technical skill set as a result of their work with the organization.
I'll admit I'm not especially charmed to know the Avengers are predictably drawn to look more like their movie counterparts, including the black Nick Fury. One could argue that change in the films is what led to some of the mass diversity tactics we've seen lately from Marvel back in the comics. But, their bias against the military is still showing, and not in a good way. Still, if there's something to worry about in this project, here it is in the following paragraph:
The book’s story, written by Fabian Niceiza with illustrations from Sean Chen and Walden Wood, opens in Newark, New Jersey where the Avengers have assembled to fight against the giant robot Red Ronin, a foe they’ve faced and defeated a number of times. The story, framed as a mission report filed by N.G.E.N. employee Alyssa Woo, implies constantly that working for Northrop Grumman is like being a superhero.
Aaaaahhhhh, now we're getting somewhere! Fabian Nicieza, who, along with Scott Lobdell, proved to be unworthy of the X-Men in the 90s? If memory serves, he was also the writer assigned to DC's ill-advised joint project with the Kuwaiti Islamic proapganda comic The 99 several years back, which sold dismally. Based on that, I could figure this project is a dud simply because Nicieza's not a very talented writer, if at all. Trouble is, the IO9 writer doesn't seem to care about any of this, and again, his leftarded bias is still poking through the seams.
At the same time, though, the issue ends with a very direct call to action for a now-canceled sweepstakes to be drawn into the next installment of the story. Throughout the entire issue, there are numbers and letters hidden within the illustrations that spell out a password that would have unlocked Marvel’s official Avengers/N.G.E.N. website, where readers could have entered the contest. “Want to join the adventure?” is clearly meant to entice readers into considering a future in which they join Northrop Grumman to become people like N.G.E.N. operatives, which is weird to see in a book that was meant to be given away to kids at a comic book convention.
Umm, given Marvel doesn't actually market their flagship output to kids anymore - unless it's the mentally adolescent we're talking about - there's not much use in claiming it was dished out to kids proper. Whoever picked it up could just as easily been 18-plus college students, and with a great resume, they could make great employees at these businesses too. An idea the left dreads, no doubt.
As a story, the Avengers’ team-up with Northop Grumman reads like—again—promotion for a defense contractor. The actual superheroes are noticeably inept at their jobs and the N.G.E.N. folks are made out to be larger than life figures that readers are supposed to see as aspirational. It’s unclear just how much of the comic’s science is grounded in reality and, at times, the book’s writing is so full of jargon that it’s difficult to imagine that the book’s for anyone except those who might have already been considering work in Northrop Grumman’s line of business.

This isn’t the first time that a comic book publisher has offered up its properties to advertise very adult businesses and products to a younger audience. Marvel has marketed everything from candy to hair removal creams in the past, but the point still stands that Northrop Grumman is a defense contractor and this comic makes no real effort to clearly explain just everything this line of work entails.
Based on Nicieza's past record, I could definitely concur that depicting the EMH as goofs while the N.G.E.N are more expert is sloppy, no matter how you look at it. But again, they're not making the case properly, and above all, they're insulting the whole aerospace industry for the sake of their petty politics.

Inverse also spoke about it, but doesn't make the case well either, and says:
This comic outright establishes N.G.E.N. (Northrop Grumman Elite Nexus, yes it’s tiresome to type out) as the heroes even the Avengers call upon when they fail. The goal, of course, is to inspire kids to pursue a career in defense contracting because it’s the closest thing to being a superhero, or something. Because what kid wouldn’t want to be the one who helps the Avengers save the day?
And that kind of wish fulfillment is wrong too? Gee, by that logic, Rick Jones was a huge mistake of a creation, when he first tried helping Bruce Banner as the Hulk, and also became a special ally to Mar-Vell of the Kree during his 15 years of operations before succumbing to cancer in Jim Starlin's notable graphic novel from 1982. Just like being a superhero with superpowers is wish fulfillment, so too can be serving as an ally to them. Why, that's also what Snapper Carr served during the 1960s with the Justice League of America. Inverse's bias shows through even more clearly than IO9's.
Thing is, the Avengers don’t exist. But their ideals do. And what sparked controversy among comic book fans at Comic Con, aside from the ethical dilemma of encouraging kids to pursue work in making missiles more effective, was that the very partnership ran counter to what characters like Tony Stark and Steve Rogers stood for. The first Iron Man movie was all about how Stark saw his war profiteering up close and sought to change things.
I think they just hinted at a big fault in the first IM movie. Furthermore, does it really run contrary to what characters like Tony and Steve stand for? In terms of defense against deadly weapons like enemy tanks, no. Self-defense is not something most superheroes were usually depicted opposing in the past, even if Batman was depicted as anti-gun in some iterations.
It’s also wildly out of character, iO9 points out, that the Avengers would have the U.S. Department of Defense on speed-dial, since the Avengers have clashed with the government before. That’s what makes the comic’s ad pages dedicated to Northrop Grumman all the more strange.
Is that supposed to imply the Avengers are against the government and its representatives at all times? I'm sure they'd see no problem when presidents like Clinton and Obama were in office, so there's no use in saying otherwise if that's their position.

In the end, there is a valid argument you could make about this book, based on the specific writer assigned and how he himself scripted everything, and that the story fails as a result of employing a hack writer who's not worthy of the superhero material he was undeservedly given to work on. But neither the leftist sites seemed to realize that, and didn't know how to lay it all out in a way that would make clear Nicieza's not a writer worthy of our time. If the book costs money, I certainly wouldn't want to put any in his pocket after all the awful items he turned out, and if he depicted the Avengers as incompetents, I don't think that was good. But for all we know, despite their attempts to claim otherwise, chances are the book was distributed free and quietly in the end, since, if Marvel's under a contract with Northrop, they'd surely have to respect the agreement if they didn't want a suit filed for breach of contract. And if it weren't distributed at sales stands after going to press, how would we be able to form some kind of judgement? One the two lefty sites aren't qualified to make because of their bias, which they couldn't keep themselves from shoving in, and thus ruining a chance to let the world know Nicieza's one dreadful scribe.

Maybe the biggest irony is that, despite being more or less as leftist as they are, the two news sites still turned against Nicieza, proving various liberals aren't loyal to one another.

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