Let me give you a quick little history lesson on Comicsgate. For the last 5 years, many comic book readers noticed that the largest comic book publisher had seemingly dove headfirst into social justice. The comic books themselves had become platforms for progressive writers, artists, and executives to preach the ideals of intersectionality and take shots at the people who they viewed as “the enemy”. The overall catalog rapidly changed to fit a more diverse, social justice friendly narrative. Sales began to plummet and as the fanbase became increasingly unhappy, people wondered who was to blame for the downturn of their favorite property.
Many pointed the finger at Axel Alonso, who was Marvel’s editor in chief for many years. Then people moved to blame C. B. Cebulski who took over for Alonso in 2017, and despite the regime change, Marvel doubled down on social justice. As fans continued to point the finger at figures such as Erik Larsen, Sana Amanat, and Magdalene Visaggio, at the end of the day, those people were not the problem but just symptoms of it. The figure behind the downfall of Marvel Comics was Disney, it was always Disney.
Fans treated Marvel Comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as if they were two separate entities with no correlation. Even those who hated the comics held the Disney films in high regard convincing themselves the movies would never go the same route as the books. In 2012, Disney took over control of Marvel comics and the injection of intersectionality was almost immediate. Thor had become a woman, Captain America had become black, Ironman’s replacement was a black teenage girl, Hulk had become Asian, Iceman became gay, Ms. Marvel lost her feminine look when she became the more masculine Captain Marvel and her Ms. Marvel replacement was a Muslim teen. The list goes on and on, Marvel Comics had received a radical progressive makeover at the expense of their fanbase but no one pointed a finger at Disney.
The assumption was the MCU would never reflect the current state of comics, that my friends was a lie. Disney had turned Marvel Comics into the blueprint for future movies. During Saturday afternoon’s MCU panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Disney made a number of announcements about the future of Phase IV, but the one that drew the most headlines was the reveal that Natalie Portman, who had long walked away from her role as Jane Foster from the early Thor films was not only coming back, but she will be the new female Thor, a character ripped straight from the newer social justice era comics.
Outside of the obvious fact that Lady Thor did not have a successful run in the comics (the character was quickly reverted back to Thor Odinson), the elephant in the room is the actress herself. Natalie Portman was reportedly upset at Disney for the lack of female directors in the MCU and wasn’t happy about the firing of Patty Jenkins from the second Thor movie. Her character was considered one of the worst parts of the early Thor films (which themselves were considered the lowest point of the entire Cinematic Universe). Portman’s character of Jane had largely been written out of the movies following Thor: The Dark World in 2013 and she wasn’t particularly missed…but now she is female Thor…which means that everyone has to pretend this is awesome news or else you might be a sexist bigot. The same woman who was written out of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Thor: Ragnok with throwaway lines is now one of the biggest draws of Phase IV according to Progressive pundits. But of course, Portman wasn’t the only story of the weekend.
Disney also announced that Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie will be the first LGBT Marvel hero in the MCU. Shang-Chi will be the first Asian led MCU hero. Elizabeth Olson’s Scarlet Witch will have a prominent role in the latest Doctor Strange movie. Kate Bishop will take on the Hawkeye mantle, as well as such projects as Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2, and a Blade reboot in the works. It is here that you come to the realization that everything you have protested in the comics for the last 7 years is about to be presented in Disney films and Disney Plus, now you know who was really pulling the strings.
If the movies are to become anything like the books, say goodbye to the days of interesting characters and villains. Audiences will be lectured on the issues of feminism, white privilege, and Islamophobia. Writers and directors will become hostile to fans who don’t share their politics. Sales will begin to rapidly drop and Disney’s dominance over the box office could see the end to many movie theaters around the country. If life is truly imitating art then the last seven years of comic hell is coming to a big screen near you.