Riri Williams: Marvel’s Precious Little Sociopath

Marvel debuted the character Riri Williams in July 2016. The character replaced Tony Stark as Iron Man, adopting the name Iron Heart (which ironically turns out to be the name used in a porn parody of Iron Man). Riri’s claim to fame is that she is a 15-year-old black female super-genius supposedly smarter and better than Stark.

Brian Michael Bendis, the character’s creator, faced a backlash from progressives because Bendis is a straight, white, Jewish man writing a black female character. His critics ignored at Bendis and his wife adopted two black girls. They also ignored his reason for creating Riri Williams, as explained in the Time article. His critcis felt much more content to attack the man rather than give him a chance.

However, things have not been that great for Riri. The Invincible Iron Man series that Riri leads has seen its numbers drop dramatically since its November 2016 debut: Continue reading

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Milo Yiannopoulos interviews Chuck Dixon

Milo Yiannopulous interviewed comic book writer Chuck Dixon a few weeks ago. The interview concerned Dixon’s adaption of the book Clinton Cash.

I enjoy Dixon’s work. He wrote my favorite comic book version of Batman and Nightwing. He always added in a of instability to Bruce Wayne, specifically the way Batman would undermine or sabotage his relationships with the rest of the Bat family. It makes for an interesting read. His run on Nightwing is one of the best.

One thing I like about Dixon’s work is the lack of political spin. I do not mind politics in comics in moderation or if the creator wants to make a broader point. However, some creators cannot separate their politics from their creations. It hurts the story because the only fleshed out characters are those who adhere to the creator’s worldview. Anyone outside of it lacks nuance, and is often a foil for the more “politically appropriate” character. Continue reading

When Pandering Goes Wrong

For some reason, Marvel Comics allowed writer Brian Michael Bendis to remove Tony Stark as Iron Man. This is quite an odd move considering that amount of effort Marvel and Disney put into making Iron Man a household name. He is arguably the best known and most popular Avenger outside of Captain America, particularly due to the films. To strip Stark of the Iron Man mantle makes as much sense as stripping Thor of his hammer and name.

Granted, the latter happened, so why not with Iron Man.

Bendis’s plan is simple: in Civil War II (the comic storyline, not the film), Stark will give up the Iron Man mantle. He will be replaced by Riri Williams, a 15-year-old black girl who Bendis describes as:

Her brain is maybe a little better than his. She looks at things from a different perspective that makes the armor unique. He can’t help but go maybe I should buy her out.

Bendis explained his logic for creating the character to Time: Continue reading

The Rise and Fall of the Comic Empire

I stumbled onto SF Debris’ Opinionated Reviews a few weeks ago. The page features a fascinating history of the comic book industry. Some of the stories and information I knew, but much of it I did not. I have heard many stories about the dodgy tactics Marvel and DC used over the years to screw over each other and destroy their competition. Their mutual hatred of Valiant and Image is legendary.

I have not vetted any of the claims made in the videos, however, based on my understanding of the comic book industry I do not doubt any of it. Despite the industry being about “funny books,” it is still a business and that will always attract some of the worst humanity has to offer.

What is particularly interesting is Marvel’s behavior over the years. When Disney bought them in 2009, I thought that the Disney need to crush all competition would ruin Marvel. Little did I know that Marvel was as underhanded and vicious as Disney. Given the information presented in the videos, Disney’s buyout of Marvel looks practically incestuous.

The series is well worth the watch. Continue reading

A Dose of Stupid v108

It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:

Comic book heroes with average body types

Bear with me a moment and allow me to share my pain. My godson comes over to me and dangles his tablet in front of my face. I stare at it for a few seconds, stupefied by the image on the screen. It is so wrong, so viciously moronic that the only words I can manage are, “What the fuck are you showing me?”

What he showed me was this: Continue reading

Something Terrible

Originally posted on October 24, 2013

I stumbled onto a comic about sexual abuse:

Something Terrible is a short autobiographical comic by Dean Trippe, and deals with mature subject matter, including childhood trauma and Batman.

Dean Trippe is best known as the creator of the superhero parody webcomic, Butterfly, and as the co-founder and co-editor of Project: Rooftop, the superhero costume redesign art blog. He is also co-host of The Last Cast podcast, and you can follow him on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. Email for more information.

It is a powerful story, and reminds me much of my own. Continue reading