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Saturday, July 25, 2020 

Marvel's Coronavirus publishing schedule allegedly punished minority writers?

I looked at this website called Xavier Files, which makes the allegation that Marvel's publishing schedule as the Covid19 pandemic came about wound up belittling minority writers, as some lesser titles they were reportedly assigned to got cancelled or put on the back burner, including crossover connections:
Events are often criticized for their glut. There are tie-ins, miniseries and one-shots for the folks who have to have every aspect of the story. These lower-stakes titles, along with anthology books, are often how Marvel tests and develops new creators. They will get assigned a four-page backup, then a one-shot, then a miniseries, then, finally, rise up the ranks to an ongoing title. You tend to see established white men, like Dan Slott, Jonathan Hickman or Donny Cates, leading these events, while more diverse, developing talent get their opportunities in the supplementary books. In Iron Man 2020, for example, the main series is co-written by Slott and Christos Gage (who also authors some tie-ins). Tie-in miniseries like 2020 Rescue or 2020 Ironheart are written by new-to-Marvel talent Dana Schwartz and Danny Lore, respectively. Slott and Gage are both white men. Schwartz is a white woman. Lore is nonbinary and black.

When Marvel was forced to revamp its publishing schedule, event tie-ins were some of the key targets for cost-cutting. For books that weren’t yet printed, like 2020 Ironheart, that meant becoming a digital exclusive comic and having much lower sales potential. For books that were further out, like Indian writer Ram V’s Empyre: Thor, that meant just silently disappearing from the schedule. This impact was not limited exclusively to event tie-ins; Seanan McGuire’s Ghost-Spider was canceled after finishing out its run digitally, and Vita Ayala’s Nebula has yet to be resolicited.

Marvel now faces a tough 2020. Direct Market retailers (the primary buyers for its product) are more cash-strapped than ever before and asked the prolific publisher to space out its releases and thin out the line so their dollars would have a higher return. Marvel, in turn, sent some low-selling series to digital exclusive, outright canceled others and has been silent on the future of many of the rest. At the same time, it expanded projected big sellers, like X of Swords, and announced new books by older, white men with established fanbases, at the expense of diverse talent.
They do at the least make a point about the damage crossover events do. But all this continuing blabber about why there must be talent based on diverse backgrounds yet no request made for merit is laughable. Though a case can be made about Marvel's continued favoratism for Slott, who's definitely not talented. Indeed, if they're going to cancel books written by ideologues taking up social justice and "protected class" lifestyles, they could at least cancel Slott's projects so it'd all look fairer.

They also ran this item taking issue with whether Magneto eats kosher food, and whether it invokes antisemitism or cultural erasure:
As the previews for this issue included the scene of Magneto and Emma eating lobster, there’s already been some discussion about whether this scene represents antisemitism or the erasure of Jewish identities. I think there are several things we have to consider that play into this scene, all of which appear to be true. First, shellfish (and lobster specifically) are among the most famous examples of non-kosher foods, alongside pork. Not knowing this is a major cultural blindspot, one resolved with half a second of googling. Second, Marvel has long dragged its feet on acknowledging Magneto’s Jewish roots, as painfully described in this excellent article. Magneto eating lobster represents yet another instance of Marvel minimizing Magneto’s heritage. Third, the lobster being served in this scene is almost certainly a joke on the part of Hickman about fans’ repeated inquiries into the status of Bill the Lobster, which he has dismissed in the past and has likely grown tired of.

Fourth, we have no evidence that Magneto keeps kosher (nor, that I could find, is there any evidence that the other prominent Jewish mutant, Kate Pryde, keeps kosher). It’s hard to know how many Jews keep kosher, but one survey notes that only 22% of American Jews follow kashrut. This explains Kate Pryde, but Magneto is a European Holocaust survivor, not someone who grew up in America’s unique Reform Judaism environment which contributes to the low participation in kosher. Fifth, neither character in this scene comments on whether or not Magneto eats lobster. We can be charitable, and assume that Emma would know Magneto’s practices before inviting him to dinner, but it seems unlikely that a Jewish writer would include lobster in this scene without comment.
Oh, for heaven's sake. I don't care for Hickman's writing, if he's the one who concocted the scene with lobster. But I don't think it's such a big deal either. Even if Magneto's not depicted as a villain, it's a pretty minor issue. And if memory serves, wasn't it established at one point, possibly in the 80s, that Magneto was more a Gypsy? As for Kitty, if they're insinuating she adheres to Reform, I don't think it was ever clearly established she went by that interpretation of Judaism before the turn of the century, so what's their point? Have they ever been clearly depicted as religiously observant at all? I think it's petty, and I'm decidedly not making a fuss. Besides, these may be the kind of liberals who don't exactly respect Israel's right to Judea/Samaria/Gaza, and if not, then there's little use to arguing whether writers should research and depict characters following religious customs to the letter. Especially considering they don't have much respect for Christianity; only Islam is respected by these leftist phonies.

And of course, I'm not forgetting that Hickman had to go a laughable route turning Moira MacTaggart into just another mutant, taking away what made her special when she debuted in the Bronze Age.

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Claremont, Byrne and Cockrum established that Magneto was a Jewish Holocaust survivor, that he had been raised religious but lost his faith when still young. He would not be observant. In the early 1990s, one character in a story in X-Men Unlimited suggested that Magneto was a Gypsy survivor rather than a Jewish one. However, it has since been firmly established that he was Jewish. The Magneto: Testament series detailed his life under the Nazis and in the camps, and shows in detail his religious background.

Look, f you really want a great comic with a concentration camp survivor as an antagonist, read "Blacksad: Red Soul". Then read the entire series because it is GLORIOUS!

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