Sunday, February 14, 2010

Marvel's Civil War? or, Free Captain America!

From The Washington Post: "Marvel Admits to "Mistake" in Controversial Captain America Comic"

In issue number 602 of Captain America, a new story line has begun called “Two Americas.” In it the current Captain (there have been a few of them, apparently) is on the trail of a faux Captain America that is mentally deranged and getting chummy with some white supremacist, anti-government, survivalists types going by the name of “the Watchdogs.” While investigating this subversive group, Captain America and his partner The Falcon — a black super hero — have decided to try and infiltrate the secretive organization.
Here's the key scene featuring a nasty little leftist smear against the Tea Parties (click to enlarge). I expect this from the usual suspects, the Hannities, the Huffingtons, the Matthews, so I am not suprised to see Marvel plays the race card; The Falcon says: "I don't exactly see a black man from Harlem fitting in with a bunch of angry white folks."

Now, I am not a Republican, and I am not a supporter of a Republican/Palin takeover of the Tea Party movement (I'm an Objectivist, for one, and only support the Tea Party on an ad hoc basis), let me say that since I am not an "angry white person," but an "angry AMERICAN." Falcon, you're more than welcome to join us angry Americans; you too, Cap. But since you're simply the mouthpieces of Marvel Commie Comics, I won't be holding my breath...
Now, as for Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada and his apologetics:
Joe Quesada: Hold on. Before digging into this, you're starting from a false premise. There was zero discussion to include a group that looked like a Tea Party demonstration. Ed [Brubaker] simply wrote in an anti-tax protest into his story to show one of the moods that currently exists in America. There was no thought that it represented a particular group.

And yes, what Ed said is absolutely true, he does shy away from labeling things and did exactly that in this instance. In Ed’s story, there was no connection to the Tea Party movement, that’s a screw up that happened after the fact and exactly what some people are getting upset about.

In the interest of fairness, here's the link to Quesada's interview; believe what you want, but let me be the first to say it: BULLSHIT. Comics have a long history of saying in metaphor what people are hesitant to say outright; comics, fairytales, and other art forms have long been used as subversive means of propaganda. And Marvel has its own tradition of left-wing sympathizing; I'm not stupid. I remember what Marvel did with Captain America after 9-11. Stan Lee's own words betray the Marvel politics: "you couldn't have Captain America going around punching Muslims today, it wouldn't work, it would be silly." And since Barack Obama, the target of many Tea Party protesters, has appeared positively in a Spider-Man comic, I find it painfully hard to believe that this story was written with no intended reference to the Tea Parties whatsoever. (And let's not forget that Obama plays the game from the Saul Alinsky rules of engagement, so Quesada's reassurances don't reassure me.) Don't piss on my back and tell me it's just Storm passing by...

It's looking like Civil War will be more than just a comic book, so, once again, I bring you A Show of Hands: A Cautionary Tale of Heroes in Exile. (pdf)

Free Captain America! I have an idea: Riffing off of Dave Chappelle's "Racial Draft" skit, I propose a "Hero Draft '10." Marvel can keep all the other heroes, even Spider-Man, my all-time favorite, for Captain America...


Joe Maurone said...

Incidentally, I just noticed that the graphic novel edition was released today. The tea-party slogans were gone from the signs, but there are still anti-socialist slogans, with the racist connotation from the Falcon still present. By not removing that, the editors at Marvel just show that they don't understand the whole argument to begin with, and that their apologies were worth nothing. I think I'll stand by my indictment of Marvel on this one.