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Wednesday, January 04, 2023 

A list of several comics that were deemed too much

Listverse presents 10 examples of comics that were subject to moral hypocrisy. One example is Jason Aaron's take on Conan:
The second issue of Volume 2 of Marvel Comics’ King Conan (2022) showcases a new character, the scantily dressed Matoaka. Both her name and her costume—a brass breechcloth, a brass bra, and matching neck rings—offended Native Americans. The image both “sexualized” Powhatan’s daughter and appropriated Native American culture. Matoaka was the “private name” by which the historical Pocahontas chose to be called; Pocahontas was a nickname.

The character’s origin also offended Native Americans. According to the fictional Matoaka’s backstory, she was exiled from her South American homeland after she fell in love with an explorer from another land. She then revealed to him the location of her country’s treasure, which led, in turn, to the rape and the pillaging of her own country. In a Twitter comment, Kelly Lynn D’Angelo, a Native Haudenosaunee writer, summed up another related reason for the disgust she and other Native Americans felt. “The sexualization of a real young girl that was r*ped and killed affects our murdered & missing indigenous women TODAY.”

The comic book’s editor, Jason Aaron, apologized for the comic’s depiction of the character. To atone, he announced he would donate his pay for the offending issue to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center and promised that the “character’s name and appearance [would] be adjusted for the rest of this mini-series and in all digital and collected editions.”
And soon after, Marvel lost the license to continue publishing new Conan stories, and possibly even to continue archiving older ones like the 1969-95 issues they'd originally been famous for. Their wokeness certainly cost them pretty quickly. (By the way, curious they refer to Aaron as an editor, when he's actually the book's writer. Very sloppy.)

Another example is Michael Turner and Jeph Loeb's revival of the Kryptonian Supergirl, Kara Zor-El, and this involves quite a bit of hypocrisy:
Walmart inked an exclusive contract with DC Comics to sell reprints of original stories, some of which are collected in DC’s Giant-Sized Superman, issues 9 and 10 (2018–2019). However, mindful of its shoppers, Walmart insisted that some changes be made to the original artwork by the late Michael Turner, finding some of his female characters’ manner of dress a bit suggestive.

The “material” of Artemis’s thong-style bodysuit, latex by the looks of it, worn in an issue of Superman/Batman, was extended to cover her hips, lower buttocks, and upper thighs. In a Supergirl from Krypton reprint, Superman lifts Artemis aloft as he chokes her. The choking survives in the censored version of the comic book cover, but Artemis’s original costume does not. Again, its “material” has been extended, this time to cover an expanse of her upper thighs.
Now that's very eyebrow raising, when a nasty act of violence is considered acceptable, but sexuality is not. There's only so many reasons why Walmart is otherwise a bad lot, one being that almost 17 years ago, they sold Totenkoph t-shirts, which bore a skull symbol worn by one of the Nazi organizations of WW2. They may have apologized, but the company's wokeness is still prevalent, and what's the point of buying there if this is how they're going to run their business?

Next, there's Heroes in Crisis:
If choking was found acceptable, so, apparently, was the depiction of a dead or dying villain bleeding onto the floor. On the cover of issue 7 of the Heroes in Crisis series (2019), Poison Ivy lies prone on a mat, bleeding from the side of her head and from a slashed wrist. As Andrew Rodriguez points out, after the image was “leaked online somehow, DC retracted the cover, changing it because five people thought that the image of Poison Ivy was too sexy.”

Her exposed cleavage was objectionable; her bleeding was not
. In the revised version of Turner’s artwork, her costume is extended to cover her offending bosom. Oddly, in the process, her costume’s trademark green color turned blue, and the floor mat vanished. The blood beneath her head is now concealed by her hair, and the blood around her wrist has been made to resemble a strand of red ribbon.
Most likely this alteration was via computer art technology, but that's beside the point. What matters is that, yet again, you have a case of violence viewed as less objectionable in every way than sex. That the subject this time was a villainess is no alleviation.

Then there's Milo Manara's Spider-Woman cover from 2014:
When Milo Manara, the well-known illustrator whose drawings tend toward the erotic, posed her in a variant cover for the 2014 issue of Spider-Woman, issue 1, the title character became sexualized. Leaning forward on her hands and knees, her legs apart, the female wall-crawler creeps over the edge of the top of a building, several skyscrapers behind her, suggesting the height of her apparent climb. Her familiar costume, rendered in pastel colors, is more pink and light peach than its standard red and gold.

Although her suggestive posture implies movement, the type of action it is intended to imply is open to interpretation. Enough members of the public saw the possibility of lewdness in Manara’s depiction to protest, and Marvel’s editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, responded with both an apology, explaining that the variant cover was for a limited edition of the comic book meant for collectors. For that reason, the company was okay with retaining the image of Spider-Woman as the artist saw her. Manara’s version of the character was sold at auction to a collector who paid $37,000 for the privilege of owning it.
The reaction to this too was silly, but it was hardly an entire public that protested. Rather, it was leftist SJWs who did. But, of course a mainstream news site's unlikely to admit it. What's annoying, however, is how a story that was nothing to write home about was being given all this attention, yet in the end, the series volume was cancelled shortly after, and never made any genuine impact.

There's also a DC miniseries of recent called Dark Knights of Steel, which sounds like a severely ugly variation on the Elseworlds alternate universe tales:
The limited series Dark Knights of Steel (2021–2022), set in an alternate universe to that of Earth’s, unfolds a complex, convoluted plot. Part of it involves Superman’s sister Zala-Jor-El’s avenging the death of Superman’s father, King Jor-El, after Green Man assassinates him at the behest of King Jefferson. Her vengeance takes the form of her own killing of the king’s son before she embarks on a murder spree, during which she kills the alternate universe’s Metal Men with a fury of which only she is capable.

Her slaying of Gold is especially brutal: she thrusts her left arm through him so fiercely that her hand, emerging through his back, is covered in and drips his blood. To censor the extreme violence of the drawing, a sound effect, “RNNGH,” was added to cover her bloody hand.

The same tactic is employed in a subsequent panel, a different sound effect concealing the emergence of the ship’s spar through Jefferson’s abdomen. As Ben Sockol observes, in writing about these censored panels, Zala-Jor-El, unlike her brother, isn’t bothered by moral scruples concerning the commission of acts of violence in the interests of personal vengeance.
And this sounds like an ugly excuse for depicting a variation on Supergirl committing horrific crimes. Put another way, a shoddy excuse for a sensationalized depiction of a woman going on a murderous spree.

Finally, there's the Punisher:
Originally, Punisher was depicted as an unscrupulous, murderous vigilante. In 1974, when he made his debut, and for the last two decades of the twentieth century, such a character was not altogether unacceptable. Crime, including murder, was on the increase, and drug abuse was rampant. The fact that Punisher was himself a victim of crime also made him sympathetic. As times changed, the antihero became an increasingly unfavorable and less bankable character. The Punisher’s weapon of choice, an M16 automatic rifle, also puts him at odds with a growing number of people concerned about gun violence, as does his oft-demonstrated willingness to kill his adversaries.

In 2021, Marvel began seeking to “reboot” the character by adding horns and tusks to the white skull logo he wears on his black shirt to make it resemble the Japanese demon known as an oni and by having Punisher fight his battles without the aid of his trusty M16 rifle or other guns. His fans may not be on board with these censorious revisions. Screen Rant’s senior writer Francesco Cacciatore, for one, is not convinced that Marvel’s modifications of the character’s costume and character will succeed. The company’s efforts to make Punisher more appropriate for today ignore the fact that “the character, as he was originally conceived, is simply not suitable for these times.”
Oh, they're right these changes aren't a success. But then, what is these days, financially, artistically or otherwise? It's dumbfounding how this article is throughly oblivious to how crime has skyrocketed in a number of places around the USA, in cities run by leftists, and drugs have practically become legalized too, so why do they want us to believe a creation like the Punisher's now viewed unfavorably? Better still, do they believe even Batman should be viewed unfavorably, even if Bruce Wayne usually isn't depicted killing criminals by contrast? And what about Wolverine, who was? Again, it never ceases to amaze me how Logan's exempt from the PC allegations of liberal commentators.

Also, notice the irony of alluding to the Punisher's fandom, when some could argue that, if we go by the awkward logic of the news site, even Marvel fans could suddenly all view Frank Castle as out of date as his own creator, Gerry Conway, sadly does today. What's really out of date, however, and was probably the reason for cancelling the 3 ongoing series in 1995, is the Vietnam veteran premise. Why, that was apparently a reason for dropping Sha-Shan as a recurring cast member in Spider-Man 16 years after she first appeared. There may have been modifications to the original premise written up since, but as evidenced by the disastrous artistic directions Marvel's taken since, that's why it's just too late and hardly worth it.

What Aaron and C.B. Cebulski have done with the Punisher is nothing more than a sad joke. And what DC's done at the behest of Walmart is some of the most hypocritical, insulting excuses for marketing ever seen in recent history.

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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