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Friday, July 24, 2020 

New Marvel documentary on Disney Plus brings past lady contributors into focus

Entertainment Weekly wrote about a new documentary anthology airing on Disney Plus, "Marvel's 616", covering past history of the publisher, and one of the directors, Gillian Jacobs, puts their lady contributors into focus, proving there were women working in comicdom decades ago, contrary to social justice distortions of the past several years making it seem as though there never were, although the downside is that it appears to cite some of the more recent, far less respectable women working for them too:
"I inadvertently made a piece about the history of comics, not just Marvel which I did not think I was doing going in!" she says with a laugh. "For a more casual fan of Marvel who doesn’t know a lot about the history of it and for me who didn’t know anything about the history of it, it was really exciting to discover not just the names that Marvel fans know of like Marie Severin who is a really important artist there but a whole host of other women who worked at Marvel over the decades and then also talking about the really exciting women who are currently working there."
Some more of those past artists and writers include Louise Simonson, Florence Steinberg and Bobbie Chase, whom I expect will be getting some mention here in the docuseries. That's the upside, and it all demonstrates why the propaganda fed by MSM sources over the past number of years that "more" are supposedly needed in every way, shape and form regardless of personal merit is just a lot of baloney. The downside, however, is if more recent women like Sana Amanat, Kelly Sue deConnick, Alanna Smith and Heather Antos are given focus here, after all the social justice damage they did in the past decade. And of course, if it matters, there's modern menfolk at Marvel who've lent themselves to this past decade's whole catastrophe in artistic merit and sales, not the least being Joe Quesada and Axel Alonso, with C.B. Cebulski becoming the latest. If they get sugarcoated focus here, that'll honestly be bad, ditto if their mistreatment of Mary Jane Watson is glossed over.

That said, as mentioned before, the citation of past contributors with more talent like Severin is certainly good in its own way, because it proves that contrary to recent SJW narratives, Marvel did have women contributing to their productions in the past, and attempts to make it look otherwise are shameful, and hurtful to Stan Lee's legacy.

There's also another segment of the docuseries that doesn't make me feel very encouraged:
But Scheer then jokes that he might be the most obscure Marvel character of them all. "I am in the Marvel universe!" he says. "I am flirting with Scott Lang’s daughter in Astonishing Ant-Man #4 written by Nick Spencer, yes I memorized it. I show up to a basketball game and I get Scott Lang upset. So honestly that character must come back."
Even if Spencer's mended fences of recent with his writing on Spider-Man, which finally brought back Mary Jane Watson into a relation with Peter Parker after nearly a dozen years following One More Day and the faustian pact with Mephisto, all engineered by both Quesada and J. Michael Straczynski, Spencer's work on Secret Empire and the embarrassingly awful spectacle of Capt. America/Steve Rogers becoming a Nazi/Hydra agent is still is a big stain on his resume, and still enough to make one shudder. If that's glossed over as well - and it's entirely possible it will be - one has to wonder what's the whole use of the documentary apart from the better elements if it won't be honest about modern mistakes?

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Feminists have been celebrating the women artists who worked at Marvel and other companies for years; Trina Robbins and Cat Yronwode have written extensively about the history of women in comics, there is a coffeetable book about Marie Severin subtitled Mistress of Mirth, a recent book about Jackie Ormes, Max A Collins based one of the characters in his Seduction of the Innocent detective novel on Tarpé Mills. Trina Robbins even did a graphic novel biography of Lilly Renée.

The claim is not that they didn't exist, or that there were never any women in comics. The claim is that, in the comic books although perhaps not the strips, that they were exceptional, that the industry was predominantly, not exclusively, male, and that women artists were not remembered when male hard-core fans began to write the history of comics. It is like racism; a few good people are still going to succeed, but they have to work twice as hard while the mediocrity members of the majority just sail on by.

I wouldn't expect a Disney doc to be anything but flattering to a Disney-owned company. But who wouldn't agree that a story about an alternate reality Steve Rogers raised by Nazis who became a covert Nazi and took over the world is enough to make one shudder? That was the intent of the story, and saying it is enough to make one shudder is giving it the biggest compliment it could receive.

"Some more of those past artists and writers include Louise Simonson, Florence Steinberg and Bobbie Chase, whom I expect will be getting some mention here in the docuseries."

Minor correction: Flo Steinberg never wrote any comics for Marvel. She was Stan Lee's secretary, and later edited and published an underground comic book. Bobbie Chase wrote the odd script here and there, but was primarily an editor.

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