Well, it’s one of these posts so I guess here we go. One thing to clear up: I haven’t posted a while on this website due to life, so I will make it up by making a longer blog. When it comes to this topic I thought this was worth something to talk about. I also belive I’ll bring in a new voice into the conversation with 10 unique chapters.
It’s a lengthy ride and it will end up taking you where you don’t expect it to so strap on.
I. How It All Came to Be….
Diversity is a good thing. Of course it is! It tries to represent the world and people as they are therfore I do not see a problem with this at all. So why am I making this blog? To truly understand where we are, we will look at the recent history of the Big Two when it comes to the main topic at hand, DIVERSITY.
The modern day we can all agree is in a much bigger size when it comes to minority representation than it used to be 60, 40, 20 or even 10 years ago. That’s partly because today, we live in a a world where we support anyone who is discriminated against, well at least most of us do, anyway. The first impactful character in modern day to truly change the landscape is Miles Morales. Bendis introduced this character to the Ultimate Universe which made a lot of people scratch their heads including me. “Why do we need another Spider-Man that is not Peter?” I asked myself. Some people were mad, but it’s safe to say most weren’t mad, just a bit confused. The character quickly became a staple because Miles was so beloved, interesting, true to the Spider-Man mantle yet different enough from Parker. Bonus points for being a minority. Why is it Miles of all people, the one who changed the modern landscape for comics? Well he was the one to make publishers (especially Marvel) see, “Hey! I think people are buying this.”
Now, what companies usually do is look at something that is successful and try to replicate that. So far so good. Along came Sam Alexander, Robbie Reyes and the new fan favorite Kamala Khan. Success after success. This is also the time when Marvel is definetly beating DC in their comic book popularity among fans. DC even tried their own thing and went with an African-American Wally West. That obviously ended up hitting them in the face so, now they tracked back and we’re stuck with 2 cool Wally’s. Most people were impressed with Marvel and in some way DC when it came to handling diveristy.
In 2014 Sam Wilson and Jane Foster replaced Steve Rogers and Odinson in their respective roles. Most of us knew this is comics so, in few years Steve and Odinson would return. Fast forward to 2017 Steve is now Captain America, and Odinson is slowly getting back into his roots as Thor (read last issue of Civil War II…..or maybe better not). Keeping this in mind, why are we hearing so much backlash about diveristy now more than ever when we are getting these two characters back into their original roles? Shouldn’t there be less backlash?
II. The Reason Behind It All….
A thing to clarify is that Marvel doesn’t have a problem with diveristy, but with something else. Before I say what that ‘something’ is I wanna put out the fact that I’m in a state of loving a ton of Marvel comics right now! Plenty are beautiful but now we gotta mention what’s really responsible for Marvel’s main crticism.
So to repeat Marvel doesn’t have a problem with diversity, but with quality content for diveristy! Before you go all pitchforks and skip to the comments without reading the rest because you’re so fired up by what I just said, I suggest you let me finish. I realized that a lot of comics starring our diverse characters are dropping and dropping in quality. I don’t expect you to just belive what I say without any evidence which is why I brought some! Let’s take a look at the modern Captain America: Sam Wilson comic (minor spoilers for issue 17). The recent backlash the comic got was because of its depiction of the totalist extreme SJW(Social Justice Warrior) group at a college who were trying to interrupt a guest speaker, who according to them spread “hate speech”.
I truly didn’t understand the backlash for this as the Bombshells actually served a purpose. They were the comedic parody of a SJW in modern colleges and if you’ve seen any popular right-wing guest speaker presentations this is pretty accurate (for a parody). Some would say this was not a parody, but if you think screaming, “Consider this your trigger warning” or “stop manslapining” while getting arrested doesn’t sound purposefully laughable then IDK what does. Ok, maybe I get the backlash as they were pretty upbrupt within the context of the somewhat serious comic dealing with serious issues. So why am I explaining how the Bombshells weren’t that bad? Because another plot point happened within the issue that was 4X worse yet no one complained about it.
Sam Wilson #17 is about Falcon (new Latino sidekick of Sam) who so happens to turn on the channel with a speaker who talks about him. The speaker on TV points out that Falcon is an illegal immigrant who shouldn’t be in the country. What does Falcon decide to do? He goes out of his way to team-up with another hero, sneak onto the stage, interrupt her and have a debate in front of everyone! The worst part is that Sam let him go to do this.
1) I repeat! He TEAMED-UP with another hero to go scream at a lady. 2)Who cares about patrolling anyone that may actually need help, am I right? 3) All this occured because Falcon happened to watch the TV channel at a right time and get easily offended. The wirter (Spencer) basically used a “who cares how we get there as long as we get there” strategy which is the worst approach when creating a script. That is so lazy. Lazy at its finest. Thinking the writing couldn’t get worse the random out of nowhere Bombshells happen to attack the speaker who is standing next to the two superheroes. All of this is so unlikely to happen! All this is so stupid! Now, people who are mad because I’m calling the comic out stay with me as Marvel is hurting you the most.
III. You’re All Just Puppets Tangled in Strings…
You say Marvel is representing more diverse characters, huh? Name me a Marvel & DC minority character who was a prominent figure in a recent event? Ulysses? Where is he now and does anyone care about that abruptly introduced character? This is it. Whenever DC and especially Marvel tell you they are expanding their roster how is it that it’s always Tony Stark, Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, Wolverine, Flash, Steve Rogers, Thor Odinson, Wonder Woman and specific X-Men who are the major players in these events? If it’s Sam Wilson who is now Captain FREAKIN’ America how come he isn’t featured as a major player in any of the events? Even when Steve got his super soldier serum taken away Sam gets no love or attention in the events as the new FREAKING CAPTAIN AMERICA!!! They rather have him be a background character, same goes to Jane Foster Thor, Amadeus Cho Hulk, etc. Even Miles Morales and Ms. Marvel aren’t that important in the recent events.
Going back to Nick Spencer’s work let’s look at Cap. America: Sam Wilson but this time issue #13 where Sam Wilson had a cool team-up with Steve. Sam throws his shield to prevent a villain from shooting his target but Sam misses and fails. What you think would be an interesting and dramatic mistake of a hero at Sam’s part turns out to be a convuluted evil scheme by Hydra Cap. Get this, apparently Steve knew exactly where to place Sam during the fight for him to miss the villain. Read that sentence again. I am sorry for my language, but holy shit can this get any more lazy!!!!!????
IV. The Root of It All…..
What does this have to do with diversity itself? How do I know this is not just plain bad writing? Becausw this has been happening to so many titles starring minority characters lately!!! The truth is that there is no point of buying something that doesn’t understand principal ideas of good storytelling so, people are rightfully criticising. Marvel specifically is smart because they know they can get away with this sort of stuff. Whenever someone critiques this dumb-down in quality they are bound to see a reply like, “You’re just not accepting of change” or “You’re a bigot” or simply as extreme as “Yo’ racist!”. There will always be that person accusing you of not wanting diveristy. Marvel is using SJWs as their own vibranium shield but you might not realise they are also screwing you over in a way.
I’m sure there is that one person who is racist but we all know it’s not the majority. How is it that the “people who can’t change” today, 4 years ago were praising diveristy in comics? It doesn’t add up. Many comic fans are also getting tired of the writers’ obvious political opinions which come off too biased or crammed for enjoyment. Writers wanna express themselves so much about minority issues that they come off too preachy and forced! This leads to horrible writing like the current Captain America. Many have said Ms. Marvel is getting worse which I see why. When Kamala Khan first debuted it was about a girl of Pakistan-culture being fun, hero and quirky, fighting bad guys and so forth. Now, the writer keeps on pouring her ideas into the comic which come off super distracting.
V. Back Into the Evidence Room…
This isn’t just Captain America: Sam Wilson, mind you. I used him as my primary example so this blog wouldn’t take longer than it already is. Like I already said, Ms. Marvel got progressively worse by being preachy and more about author’s political views. Remember when Kamala used to be called modern Peter Parker? Well not anymore. Instead, she gives plenty of cringe or content like below:
This next one isn’t even trying to hide or be less “slap you in the face” with the message.
Thankfully Angela Queen of Hel got cancelled. It had a bisexual main character which was not the problem. I would say this was Marvel’s opportunity to shine, but instead they decided to include crap like this.
So Thor’s uncle somehow knows/cares about Israel? Wait, why am I even explaining? The approach alone is trash. Basic radical thing to do is silence someone and automatically label them as something horrible without hearing them out which is what the panel presents. Just wow. Good job Margaret Benneit.~ This goes to Chelsea Cain’s Mockingbird run as well. The chatacter of Mockingbird had ideals implemented which were a departure from usual. In the panel below some would call this “writer being self-aware of placing her own beliefs into a comic” which is actually worse because it shows the writer is self-knowingly doing these things.
And if you think your new Thor is safe well then apparently screw you! You can’t even enjoy that character without some ridiculous message that happens just cause.
How is this ‘girl power’? Shouldn’t girl power be that you are willing to fight her because you find her a worthy opponent? Again, why am I explaining the obvious?!?!?! They made Titania such a woosy! But guess what, our boy Nick Spencer is at it again! Someone please get him to stop with this obvious bias. Guy doesn’t know how to tell stories without marking his checklist.
You weren’t hiding who you dislike, huh? Maybe that’s why he needed to then create Liberal villains, so people wouldn’t complain. Well that backfired even more. Now you got 2 sides going at ya because you can’t keep your personal views out of it. This next one just kills me.
“Hur, hur, it’s Hydra Cap pushing out a minority! Ooh! I wonder who that’s referencing?” Now you see? Your head can blow up. This is the finest example of writers trying to be pretentious. “Hey look at me! I am talking about important and seriouss things in my title! Aren’t I amazing? Aren’t I bold?”. The worst thing is these aren’t bad writers! Aaron, Benneit, Wilson, even Spencer and yes, so can Cain tell great stories, but since no one can stop them from doing these things they’ll keep on doing them.
I can go on with the amount of titles, but let’s move on for your sake. But what if you do love these comics?
What if you’re a person that despite all this still likes the comics I just mentioned? I will use an example I used on my pal that I thought was pretty good so why not use it here? Marvel COMICS are doing exactly what the DCEU are. Think of it this way: To me DECU is an enjoyable product so far, even though Warner Bros. only makes the films to take advantage off of MCU’s success. I realise DCEU forces fan service down people’s throats even though it leads to pointless/random story points (sound familair?). What we end up with was a jumbled mess like BvS. I liked Suicide Squad, but it was also a jumbled mess and the consensus seems to be that those two movies are horrible. Where am I going with this? Well think of DCEU as Marvel Comics, the fan service/films as diversity, and me as the person who enjoys current graphic novels with heavy elements of social justice material.
Marvel today makes comics that feature a ton of diveristy, but by the end of the day Marvel Comics’ diversity does cost their final product to be dumbed down in quality. Just like I am allowed to love Man of Steel and like Suicide Squad, you my friend are allowed to like the Marvel comics with the reckless diveristy messages. Even though I enjoy DCEU films I recognise their mistakes when it comes to editing, acting, plot, etc. The thing is some of you don’t choose to acknowledge Marvel’s approach/cramming when it comes to diversity in comics. You do it for a morraly right reason which is, “diversity is good” but you should also look both ways. You can still like your diversity comics, but you have to recognise people are disliking something for a reason and not because they don’t wanna ‘adapt to modern days’ or some similar reason.
V. A Count of Counter Arguments….
Someone once told me “diveristy cannot be forced, it’s the reality”. I agree. Reality indeed, but when it comes to story there is a certain way and approach to do everything. Another real thing is death. You don’t kill off characters randomly or carelessly within a story because it represents the reality. Random deaths are uneventful, lazy and pointless. There is a certain way to execute one’s death so that it has the right beats. Same for diveristy. If you integrate it in a certain wrong way you can really hurt the cause.
Then there’s the, “No one is forcing it upon you. Don’t read it” argument. Although I usually end up agreeing with the “If you don’t like it, ignore it” mentality this is a very different case. Why do I have to keep lowering my expectations as to what a good comic is? If I ignore it, it’s also likely to get worse and spread to even more comics until I have little reason to invest into an industry that offers little entertainment and I don’t want that to be the case. I don’t wanna abandon comics, simply because the writers found a way to make it easy on themselves to make lazy story plots. The only voices to question the lack of true quality within the comic will be labeled as someone who doesn’t “want the best for comics”. I think most people who are saying, “Diveristy is ruining comics” actually mean what I’m saying. They noticed a certain pattern with diverse characters having crappy comics so they automatically explain it as diveristy ruining their favorite universes.
VI. Shove It…
It’s also the forced political corectness and forced social justice ideas that don’t fit within a book. Can’t Marvel try to at least be a little less obvious with the titles like “All-New All-Different”? I won’t be surprised if in the future we will see Punisher spouting Social Justice Warrior battlecries. Many think there is no way of overdosing on a positive message but certain messages don’t blend with certain characters. That is why different characters exist in the first place so that each can bring something else to the table. One character stands for gay rights and other for having fun while kicking evil’s ass. Here’s another idea…..make a new comic character! We don’t need a double of everything! Nevermind, Marvel changed it to triple. Goodness’ sake there’re 2 Wasps now!
I am sorry if this seems like a “Hate Marvel” blog. Like I said a ton of current Marvel comics are off the shelf, but they have a huge problem right now us fans aren’t just gonna let slide. In another post called, Understanding the Iron Heart Dislikethe most impressive thing the writer wrote was, “While I applaud Marvel for diveristy, it seems to be lacking in diveristy of stories.” I’ll take it a step deeper. While I applaud Marvel for diversity, it seems to be lacking in diveristy of stories FOR diverse characters. What I mean by that is you have so many new ‘minority characters taking up new roles’ that we’re also in need of something new from Marvel. We’re at a time when it feels like a gimmicky cycle. It feels like we’re gonna get a new mantle for Squirrel Girl (JK-ish).
VII. Solution Time….
Imagine, if instead of your ‘minorities’ replacing ‘majoritiy group characters’ we get a Caucasian replacing another Caucasian. I think Marvel would have been called out a long time ago for their constant mantle/legacy games. And that’s not to blame the people who are liking this. People want diveristy, but the right sort of type. This is why the best solution is new and exciting characters! Why can’t we have a new person of color this time be an original character and later they have characters spinning out of them? That would be NEW and DIFFERENT in a good way. Also ease up on your “inspiring” messages. Implement them only when they fit into the storyline. Don’t one day decide to, “Huh, I think I wanna add Girl-Power elements into the story. Let’s add this…HERE!”
VIII. Tough Competition….
You think why DC doesn’t have as vocal complainers? Reason 1. They don’t have so many new legacy characters coming out within a short period of time. DC’s legacy heroes were build over decades and decades while Riri only had couple months before replacing Tony Stark. Reason 2. DC doesn’t have enforcing writers who will throw their obvious political beliefs into the system. I just read Green Lanterns starring a Muslim and a Hispanic. Zero of that forced SJW bias views garbage. ZERO! Midnighter & Apollo who are 2 gay men!? Excellent action/fantasy adventure with zero of that shoved behavior. Whenever DC announces a new comic starring a ‘minority group’ I find myself excited because I don’t think about the book trying to preach me or other people.
IX. To Sum It Up….
So of course diversity isn’t a bad thing, but there is a reason people complain about Marvel more than they do about DC. When people say, “Marvel is adding too much diveristy” or “Hey, Marvel! Scale it back a bit” they don’t really mean less diveristy. They just don’t got the time to explain their entire thought proces like me (I got no life). Marvel is handling it worse than it used to. They’re getting away with lazy story points because “as long as it promotes the right message it is good”. If you are a fan of these stories, great job! Power to you, but listen and realize where these problems are coming from, from our perspective.
X. The Change (Big Announcement)….
I was hesitant to write this blog, I must say. Actually, I was supposed to write something like this a while ago by the end of 2016. I wrote planety of material, but ended up deleting it because I was making a post based on a touchy subject matter. This is where I made my first mistake. I should have never been hesitant to hold back my opinion or view on things. NO ONE should be. We should create an environment where people can debate! We need to learn how to talk to each other and do it so peacefully! We need to challange our opinions! We need to represent every opinion out there no matter how much we think we’ll always disagree with it(diveristy in opinion). This is why we need people and leaders who are willing to feature opinions they don’t like.
I am happy seeing different opinions being featured, but I think we’re a bit scared of confrontation. By challenging others with different opinions only then we can know if our opinion does really hold water. This is why I am doing this. I was thinking about this for a while, and I’ve decided this should to be done. I am hopeful to annouce…..
Watchmen will be a group dedicated to WATCH for every person out there with any voice they wanna share respectfully. We are against forced, badly presented diversity/social justice elements that hurt the cause itself. We also advocate diverse opinions no matter how positive or negative they are. All opinions must be heard so we can create a discussion that will progress all of us. We will stand for #DiveristyAtItsFinest! We will stand for the Unity of the Divided! I have created a schedule and ideas as to what we have to accomplish as a group. I have planned huge ideas for this team. I am willing to be fully dedicated! The group will operate on the app ComicsAmino which is a social app created for comic book users.
The name comes from the 1989 graphic novel by Alan Moore that proves comics can tackle issues of the world in a harmonic, unforced way. We will also WATCH for every person out there with any voice they wanna share respectfully. We are against forced, badly presented diversity/social justice elements that hurt the cause itself. We also advocate diverse opinions no matter how positive or negative they are. All opinions must be heard so we can create a discussion that will progress all of us. We will stand for #DiveristyAtItsFinest! We will stand for the Unity of the Divided!
If you wanna join the Watchmen e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org. We have great plans to make diversity and Social Justice Warrior concepts work again like they used to.
I am a comic book geek! I love comic books! #1 fan right here.