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Sunday, October 01, 2006
It's Like They're Doing It On Purpose Now
Oh Marvel, Marvel, Marvel. You so badly want to pretend to be the "hip" and "edgy" comics publisher, but your politics are so deeply mired in craven and reactionary pandering to the knee-jerk bigotries of your audience that it's almost comical. Even when you're not deliberately setting out to offend, your subtext comes shining through.
I speak, of course, of Civil War: Young Avengers and Runaways #3, and the ever so charming "let's torture the queers" scene:
Now, I might have been tempted to give Marvel the benefit of the doubt and read this scene at face value, as the "aliens have no legal rights and technically don't exist so we can do whatever we want to them" scene writer Wells seems to have intended it to be.
But, this is a scene in a comic published by the Marvel that brought us the "No gay characters in a comic without a mature reader label because we don't want to offend homophobes" policy. The Marvel that brought us the "Let's kill our most prominent gay character and bring him back as an evil zombie!"/"Hey, to top that, let's kill the character off in two other books set in alternate universe the same month" treatment of Northstar. And this is the Marvel that brought us the "What anti-gay policy? See, look, Freedom Ring, the gay headliner of one of our books! Ooops, he's dead" comedy of errors.
So, you know, I think they've forfeited the right to the benefit of the doubt by now.