Friday, June 23, 2017

Put Down the Shovel

Earlier this year, Marvel Comics canceled a couple of titles written by some well-known political and cultural writers, such as Ta-nehisi Coates and Roxane Gay. At the time, a company official decided to demonstrate how easily he could place both feet in his mouth by saying that buyers simply weren't interested in the diversity-emphasizing titles that his company was publishing. I have no idea if that's true or not, but it's a dumb thing to say.

I wonder, though, if readers might have some more interest in Hispanic or African-American heroes if they weren't such obvious attempts to pander to a way of thinking that wants them. A lot of readers might be interested in a Hispanic hero, but are they really happy when that hero blows up years of continuity by taking on the role of Spider-Man? The diversity may or may not be a problem, but the obvious smell of a stunt storyline almost certainly is.

Which brings us to Captain America as a Hydra agent, a recent storyline that has turned Steve Rogers into one of the evil organization's top fighters. It involves time-travel and a lot of silliness, and it is almost universally hated. But the tone-deaf leadership of the company isn't finished with it yet, although it's trying to tease some kind of resolution to bring back the real Captain America -- sometime.

The problem? A lot of readers are just tired of waiting for the company to wake up to their mistake and fix it. The writer at The Mary Sue is a little on the snarky side, but I'm betting her complaint is widely shared: Stop teasing us by saying you might end this ridiculous storyline soon and just end it, because we're pretty close to not caring and not picking up the title once it gets back to where it should be.

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