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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Hey Marvel, it’s not you, it’s your progressive agenda

Several months ago Bleeding Cool reported that Marvel Comics will shift its books away from politics and back to storytelling, action, and adventure. As I noted in my previous post about the change, Marvel’s sales took a hit in recent years. Their numbers are not low enough to result in bankruptcy, however, they are low enough to cause concern. The reason is that most of the books with low numbers are their newer titles. Many of these books feature so-called “diverse” characters. Despite Marvel’s active promotion of the books, the titles simply do not sell.

One person at Marvel has an explanation for this. ICv2 interview Marvel VP of Sales David Gabriel. Gabriel responded to several questions about the impact of the “diversity” initiative at Marvel:

Part of it, but I think also it seemed like tastes changed, because stuff you had been doing in the past wasn’t working the same way. Did you perceive that or are we misreading that?

No, I think so. I don’t know if those customers with the tastes that had been around for three years really supporting nearly anything that we would try, anything that we would attempt, any of the new characters we brought up, either they weren’t shopping in that time period, or maybe like you said their tastes have changed.

There was definitely a sort of nose-turning at the things that we had been doing successfully for the past three years, no longer viable. We saw that, and that’s what we had to react to. Yes, it’s all of that.

It is not a matter of people’s tastes changing. If it were, one would expect a greater audience, not the ever shrinking audience that the industry has seen in the past two decades. The problem here was that Marvel attempted to appeal to people who do not buy their product and are more interested in identity politics. The books that Gabriel claims were a success all saw dwindling numbers within a year of their release. Gabriel names several characters — Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel, The Mighty Thor, Spider-Gwen, Miles Morales, and Moon Girl — so let us look at the debut and current sales of their books: Continue reading

#DeleteMarvel: Revenge of the Hypocrites

What do you do when the CEO of a company that has pandered to you for half decade supporters new Hitler?

This is the problem faced by progressives who read Marvel comic books. Their problem begins with Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter, a long-time Donald Trump supporter. Perlmutter has a sordid history concerninh his penny-pinching and general indifference to his employees. However, that has history has little to do with the current situation.

The current situation, the #deletemarvel boycott, stems from Perlmutter’s support of Trump. That is it. There is no concern about the CEO’s handling of Marvel, how he treats his employees, or that his primary concern is money. It is solely that he committed the crime of supporting new Hitler.

That seems one of the pettiest reasons to boycott any company. Perlmutter has little to do with the day-to-day grind of the company. Progressives, however, do not like to miss a chance at virtual-signaling. If that means boycotting a company that scrubbed its line-up of iconic characters to meet their demands for more “diversity”, so be it.

Of course, the boycott will likely reduce the already dismal sales of the social justice themed books. Continue reading

A Dose of Stupid v128

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:

BET got trolled over Luke Cage

The only thing better than watching someone embarrass themselves faux outraging over racism is watching them do it over fake racism.

To cause this sort of stupidity one needs two things: a legitimate complaint that has been overblown and the  inverse situation stated in the complaint.

Marvel Entertain provided the latter. Marvel, or rather Disney, has milked the Marvel Comics properties for marketable ideas. Within the last decade, Disney released a dozen films, a network TV show, and several Netflix shows. The latest show is Luke Cage. The show focuses on a former inmate granted super powers as a result of an experiment. The experiment leaves Cage with super strength, which he uses to fight crime.

I have not seen the show, so I am not sure how much was changed from the comics. However, one aspect of the character that Marvel/Disney would not dare change is Cage’s race. Cage is black, and he presents the perfect token for the progressive left. They have clamored about the lack of “diversity” in Marvel properties. Cage addresses this in a rather ingenuous way, as the character was original a play blaxploitation tropes.

The progressive thoroughly congratulated itself for the new show. And then someone had to ruin the party: 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

Dear Marvel, You Can’t Win

Several months ago I wrote about an article featured on ComicsAlliance. Juliet Khan, the author, wrote a rant about Marvel and DC Comics’s recent attempts to appeal to progressive feminist female readers. Her complaint was that the new femalecharacters were bland and boring. Of course, this is precisely what feminists like Khan asked for. They want female characters who never do bad things, never make mistakes, never have bad things happen to them, and never have any character flaws. All this leaves creators with are characters who can only be snarky and sassy.

As I noted at the end of my post, people like Khan knew what the end result would be because comic book fans warned them. We told these progressives that their ideas were boring, yet they ignored us and demanded these characters anyway. And for inexplicable reason, both of the Big Two companies caved.

Now another ComicsAllaince writer shows us why capitulating to the so-called “social justice warrior” crowd is pointless. Continue reading