You may have heard the recent news of Marvel Comics creating a social justice based comic book featuring superheroes named ‘Snowflake’ and ‘Safe Space’. What you haven’t heard is the full story of how we got to this point. Marvel’s deep dive into progressive politics has been years in the making and it’s breaking point not only has defecated on the legacy of Stan Lee, but has destroyed an industry that maintained its popularity since World War II.
Industry professionals will use the convenient excuse of the Coronavirus as the reason comic book shops around the world are suffering but the industry’s downfall comes at the hand of progressivism.
In 2011, Axel Alonso was named Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics. While the world was enthralled in a big screen cinematic universe, the state of it’s comic book property would take a turn for the worse, a move the company would never recover from.
As the year progressed, Marvel would hire writers, editors, and artists that would radically change the comic book property that loyal readers had become accustomed to.
Marvel decided to replace long standing characters with ‘diverse counterparts’. In a matter of years, Captain America became a black man, Thor became a woman, Hulk became an Asian teenager, Ms. Marvel became a Muslim teen and much more.
By 2015, Marvel had become a brand where writers and artists used comic book properties to further their own political agenda. Readers were treated to lectures on feminism, white privilege, and Islamophobia instead of engaging battles between good vs evil.
Readers became increasingly unhappy with the quality of storytelling that they were receiving from the largest comic book publisher in the world. The war between creators and fans came to a boiling point in 2017.
A Youtuber by the name of Richard C. Meyer, created a channel named “Diversity & Comics”. Meyer used this channel to review comic books that had been infused with social justice. Meyer’s popularly grew rapidly as readers who had become fed up with modern comics used him as a platform to discuss and criticize the industry.
However, his channel upset many industry creators, famously Heather Antos (Who currently serves as the Senior Editor of Vaillant Comics) and Maggs Visaggio (former Marvel writer). These creators accused Meyer of harassing female and LGBT writers due to the harsh criticism of their works. Things would get so heated on social media, creators would block anyone who followed Meyer on Twitter for associating with him.
This would lead to a civil war in the comic book industry know as #Comicsgate. Comicsgate is described as either an alt-right hate movement or a group of individuals who are fed up with progressive ideologues, depending on which outlet you choose to read.
By 2018, famed comic book artist Ethan Van Sciver had joined the war in comics and was one of the first people to come up with a new solution to the industry’s problem. If Marvel and other outlets refused to create quality books, they would create them independently. Ethan along with Meyer would proceed to create their own feature books using crowdfunding and sell directly to customers.
Comicsgate proved to be a very profitable alternative to the mainstream comic industry drawing over well over a million dollars for project such Cyberfrog and Jawbreakers.
The fan unrest could no longer be ignored as Axel Alonso stepped down as Marvel editor in chief in favor of C. B. Cebulski. Marvel fans thought they had finally won the war but victory was
In 2018, Sana Amanat was promoted to Vice President of Content and Character Development at Marvel Comics. The woman who created the Muslim version of Ms. Marvel had been put in charge to make Marvel ‘more inclusive’ that it had been before.
Amanat was everything Marvel fans were fighting against, a progressive ideologue who was going to use the brand to promote ideals over entertainment.
One of Amanat’s first moves was bringing controversial author Ta-Nehisi Coates to write Captain America. Within the couple of issues, Coates has written the character to denounce his country because the President of the United States had become a Russian Agent…Marvel never recovered and fans gave up on the brand.
When Stan Lee, the heart and soul of Marvel Comics died in 2018, his daughter Joan Lee, shortly afterwards scolded the company for disrespecting her father’s legacy. Joan told TMZ:
“They have commoditized my father’s work and never shown him or his legacy any respect or decency.
In the end, no one could have treated my father worse than Marvel and Disney executives.”
Six months ago, Joan’s words came off as extreme and harsh. That was six months ago, which brings us to Marvel’s New Warriors.
Marvel introduced ‘The New Warriors’, a superhero team whose members include ‘Trailblazer’, an obese teenager girl with a magic backpack. ‘Screentime’, a superhero whose power comes from “experimental internet gas”. ‘B-Negative’, a Gothic queer vampire. Finally, ‘Safespace’ and ‘Snowflake’, two gender non-binary twins who will go by the pronouns ‘they/them’.
This is what Comicsgate spent years fighting against, ideological comics that only appeal to Twitter users and don’t sell comics. Even before Coronavirus, comic book shops were having a difficult time as Stores across the country were going out of business. For these small businesses that rely on sales to survive, the largest publisher of books has decimated their cause.
The Current age of Marvel has detached fans from the decades of good will that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had built. Shortly before his death, Lee said regarding the state of comics:
“We must learn to live in peace and with respect for each other”
But how can peace be achieved when the people running Stan’s legacy have a clear disdain for a large portion of their readers?