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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

because social commentary has no place in comics

Marvel Comics has caved to right-wing whingers who don’t like that their behavior — calling Obama a Muslim terrorist socialist who isn’t even an American citizen; engaging in cluelessly and hence hilariously hypocritical protests (“government hands off my Medicare!”) — makes them prime targets for satire, as a recent Captain America story targeted them, according to Yahoo! News:

The clear implicit attack on the Tea Party Movement was first noticed by Publius’ Forum’s Warner Todd Huston. When a minor uproar ensued, Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada spoke to Comic Book Resources and defended the issue while apologizing for the panel that seemed to tie real-life Tea Party protesters to the fictional group depicted in the book.

Saying that he could “absolutely see how some people are upset about this,” Quesada said that there was “zero discussion to include a group that looked like a Tea Party demonstration,” adding, “There was no thought that it represented a particular group.”

Quesada then went on to say that Marvel would “apologize for and own up to” a series of “stupid mistakes” that led to them “accidentally identifying” one of the members of the protest group “as being a part of the Tea Party instead of a generic protest group.” He explained that they were on deadline to get the issue to the printer for publication, and in the course of sending it off it was noticed that the signs in the scene contained no words or phrases. He said the editor then asked the letterer to “fudge in some quick signs” and that in the “rush to get the book out of the door,” the letterer “looked on the net and started pulling slogans” from signs captured in photographs at Tea Party protests in order to make them appear “believable.”

*headdesk* Seriously, Joe Quesada, Marvel Comics editor-in-chief? That’s what you said to these idiots? You didn’t laugh at them and say, “Hell, yes, we were making fun of you! Christ, have you not looked in the mirror? Have you not heard yourselves? Protest is fine, dude, but you’re a bunch of Emily Litellas who don’t understand that spayed dogs aren’t being hit with shovels!” Instead, you frakkin’ apologized?

A few choice panels from the “offending” comic:

I guess politics has never been a part of Marvel Comics. Except, oops! As Yahoo! News notes:

Since 1941, Captain America has been one of the most popular comic book characters around. The fictional super-patriot fought Nazis during World War II, took on those who burned the American flag during the Vietnam era, and raked in hundreds of millions of dollars for Marvel Comics along the way. Now, the appearance that he is taking on the Tea Party Movement in a storyline about investigating white supremacists has forced Marvel to apologize for the comic hero.

Issue 602 of the comic features Captain America investigating a right-wing anti-government militia group called “the Watchdogs”. Hoping to infiltrate the group, Captain America and his African-American sidekick The Falcon observe an anti-tax protest from a rooftop. The protestors depicted are all white and carry signs adorned with slogans almost identical to those seen today in Tea Party rallies like “tea bag libs before they tea bag you” and “stop the socialists.”

You gotta love that the Tea Partyers’ stock is trade in accusing others of being unAmerican, but they can’t take being called that themselves.

This has been your WTF Thought for the Day.



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