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Monday, December 24, 2018 

Sugarcoated column about Aquaman does reveal his son may have been retconned away

In this recent Fort Smith Times-Record column about the history of Aquaman - delivered, as expected, with little or no objectivity - it does reveal something eyebrow raising:
7) Aquaman was once a father.

Aquaman and Mera got married in 1964, and Arthur Curry Jr. arrived a year later. Unfortunately, Aquababy was killed by Black Manta, which is why Manta is Aquaman’s arch-foe. However, as noted, Aquaman’s history has been re-written a couple of times. In one reboot or another, Aquababy was thrown out with the bath water.

Not only is Aquababy gone, but so Aquaman’s marriage. Everything before 2011 doesn’t count, so Aquaman and Mera are just dating, and never were married. But don’t worry, they still really hate Black Manta. (Although they’re probably not sure why.)
I thought DC backtracked 2-3 years ago with Rebirth, after it became clear their political correctness wasn't working? Then again, last time I looked, Cyborg was still cut from the Titans, so I guess it's no shock this would still be the case. But while I don't mind jettisoning the death of Aquaman and Mera's son, since the story from Adventure Comics in the late 70s looked awfully sloppy anyway, I do have to wonder why the son's got to be obliterated entirely, not unlike how Spider-Man and Mary Jane's daughter was years ago. Or at least why the marriage had to be done away with. That's exactly the problem with today's entertainment horizon - negative to the max about marriage. Even the Hulk and Betty Banner's marriage was apparently wiped clean, and in the Flash of recent, Wally West and Linda Park's marriage was obliterated to boot, all for the sake of going from there to Wally's needless death in Heroes In Crisis. And articles like these have a serious problem with not questioning whether it was a good idea to begin with, nor whether the jettison was at least tastefully executed or not.

Anyway, since this article was prepped for the release of the new live action movie, it's worth noting that, as predicted on Breitbart, the film's opened to well under $80 million, by far the lowest grossing of DC's recent films stateside, though it did surprisingly enough take in quite a haul overseas. But if it doesn't do well stateside, that's still not good news for a film franchise that decidedly just wasn't worth the effort.

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Today's current group of talented people have commitment issues and a major boner for villains. Case in point: Snyder and King's runs.

That is because comics are not a meritocracy anymore. Sales don't matter. People get jobs based on who they know. As a consquence, the current crop of "talented" creators are more interested in seeking validation from Very Serious People than making heroes heroic. Because Very Serious People don't believe in anything except progressive politics, today's current crop of talented creators use superheroes as metaphors for social conservatism, something that needs to be deconstructed. can't always deconstruct because superheroes are profitable for Hollywood so they merely settle for being subversive.Example: Cosplay philosophy is leaking into IP treatment: Wolverine is just a costume and claws. ANYONE can be Wolverine. Spider-man is just a set of powers. Anyone can be Spider-Man. Get with the Spider-verse, bro.

This not a far cry from this

If characters can not be definable by their ethnicity or history than they can be remade to be anything. This is great for the marketing department at many multinationals who can milk an IP forever.

My advice to to those who have read this far is:

Get out of the way.
You're taking up space.

What about the rest of the items on that list?

can't always deconstruct because superheroes are profitable for Hollywood so they merely settle for being subversive." Making villains heroes. Harley Quinn is the most glaring example. Ever since the movie was put into production they have tried to make her as a heroic character.


“Feminism is about showing women as fully fleshed out human beings, and that’s what Harley is,” Strand said. “She doesn’t make choices that are smart or good for a woman, but she gets to make those choices. Men are allowed to be fuck-ups in all kinds of characters, and women aren’t. We have to be idealized. She gets to not be.”


There's a difference between making mistakes and being pathological amoral mercenary who sometimes does the right thing. There is nothing aspirational about that. It seems to me that the feminism made fucked up women (Suicide Girls) the norm. Harley serves as piece of propaganda to remind women not to stick to the script and refuse to aim for anything higher.

I know what some people will say." Harley is just an anti-hero. They are not meant to be aspirational at all. DC is just going with the general trend in culture regarding showing more flawed female protagonists."

She was much more interesting the way she was introduced as a villain who was in love with the Joker. She doesn't make a very good anti-hero, imo.

This reflects a trend of DC trying to make their white male aspirational characters such as Superman more flawed, brooding or reluctant to be superheroes that began in 201l around of the time of the New 52, and is now coming back with Tom King's work and DC Metal stuff.

There is no attempt to hide the agenda.
" Disturbingly, the newly re-envisioned Superman is a good metaphor for this particular day and age in America, he said.

“Truth, Justice and the American Way are all under attack, pretty much however you would like to look at it,” Holtz said. “A lot of people don’t believe in Truth or Justice anymore, and the American Way used to be something that we would fight for, but now there are a lot of people who would say the American Way is inherently a problematic thing – and so it gets deconstructed in popular culture.”

I think it's worse than that. The idea of any man doing something altruistic is no longer believable--they must be fucked up in some way.

Then again, I may be overthinking it.
"DC's best money-maker has been Batman. Batman is dark and brooding a lot of the time (though not always, something the last several movies seem to have forgotten), and for some reason, Snyder and WB's suits seem to think that's what makes people like those movies. If we make them all dark and brooding, even ones for superheroes that are supposed to be beacons of hope (i.e. Superman), then that'll sell more tickets."

But, if that were, true, why don't people in music use angst to sell music...if people want to see most characters or performers as dark and brooding, then why isn't more music dark and brooding?

Harley Quinn was made into a heroic character long before the Suicide Squad movie came out. She is aspirational - she shows that no matter what your past, you can still be better and do good. Turning villains into heros has been a comic book mainstay for a long time: the Golden Age Catwoman reformed and the Golden Age Two-Face reformed after plastic surgery, the Golden Age Harlequin from Green Lantern and Paula from Wonder Woman turned good, Hawkeye, the Black Widow, the Scarlet WItch, Quicksilver, argubly the Silver Surfer, all started out as villains. Before the US entered the war, in a story that would not have been conceivable even a year or two later, the Spirit and Ebony convinced Hitler to change his ways; but when the reformed Hitler went back to Germany he was killed by the German deep state and replaced with a double who was with the hate program.

None of the old standard comic characters had any ethnicity or history; they were generic white people. All the DC characters were very similar with no ethnic background. Spider-Man was slavic when Ditko drew him, Italian looking when Romita drew him, overlaid with new york jewish energy; but he was mostly an everyman. None of the characters had any religion; that was a taboo subject. The major difference is that characters now do have ethnicity and history.

'The idea of any man doing something altruistic is no longer believable--they must be fucked up in some way.' - The comics are getting with the times and giving up virtue-signalling. Altruism was so Obama; greed is in again. Get with the program!

In other words, Gordon Gekko would be so proud with us today.

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