So. Secret Empire. I read it and it's just a sickening mess. Everything happening is just in service of making the Big Event Happen (like civil war 2, bluh) and the only reason I'm really excited for this is so that we can just purge nazi-cap from our collective consciousness once this is over. I don't even have a question! I'm just venting about this shitty event! Fuck nick spencer, that guy is a moron with no respect for where cap CAME from. "Oh he was a nazi the whole time" eat SHIT SPENCER
poorsimon said:Do you think there is a slight possibility that we’ll get a fantastic four book in 2017 to celebrate jack kirbys centenary? Marvel is a hot mess right now with that boring fascist captain America and every series that I was enjoying is either ending in the next couple of months or crossover events are ruining them, looks like marvel is in the same place dc was during the new 52 era
Anonymous said:Thoughts on Dark Matter/Generations/Secret Empire? Specifically for secret Empire, Cap is on of my favorite heroes and I feel like this fundamentally breaks him in a really shitty way. Not to say we won’t get good stories with him in the future, but it’s sort of like Dr. Light where every time he shows up you can’t help but think of identity crisis.
There’s been a bit of a theme to my asks the last couple days.
So yeah. Spoilers ahead, obviously: in the midst of an all-out assault on the nation and world, just as it seemed everyone would make it through like always to see another day, America was betrayed by its systems and subverted from within, culminating in an overt fascist seizing of the White House. Don’t worry though, this week Marvel’s saying it isn’t political.
The cake-topper being that as it turns out via flashback, Nazi Cap (and in response to the inevitable um, actually’s: Hydra’s seminal story under Steranko showed their leader as a character created by Stan and Jack as a Nazi, pretty much all explicit Hydra-isn’t-Nazis material are retcons by Spencer for this arc, “Hail Hydra” is an obvious analogue for another fascist chant, the ‘real Hydra’ inner circle includes Nazis and Neo-Nazis, and this Cap’s vision for America includes white children hunting black children in the street. He’s a fuckin’ Nazi) isn’t a construct of the cosmic cube, but in fact the real Steve Rogers: the Axis won World War II, but the Allies used a cosmic cube to create a fake history where Rogers was on their side and they won the war - gotta ask why they didn’t deal with the Holocaust too - with the real guy now reactivated and fulfilling his true mission. Obviously, this not only delegitimizes every story of a character created by a pair of Jewish-Americans specifically to punch Hitler right in the fucking face, but does it by stating that in the natural course of things, the Master Race of course overtakes the Earth with their sheer superiority, with the very concept of the people they would annihilate having a chance at hope or justice or freedom being a lie currently in the process of getting torn down.
This is a little bit touchy.
There’s obvious franchising reasons for this: Chris Evans has made clear he isn’t sticking around for long if at all after Avengers 4, while as of that movie Anthony Mackie will still have at least 3 films in his contract, so it’s in their interests to set Sam Wilson up in the comics as Captain America to match. Problem is, they started the process before a movie about Steve Rogers, so they had to bring him back, and now have to figure out a way to get him out of the picture for a longer period than simply old age or death. And if you want to get him out of the running for the title of One True Captain America, not only making him a Nazi, and retroactively always a Nazi at that, but classifying literally every non-Nazi Captain America story essentially in-universe fanfic? That’ll get him off the board for awhile. It’s ruinously terrible, but also quick and easy, same as it was quick and easy to move Captain Marvel and once upon a time Iron Man into the spotlight in time for their movies by making them fascists. You’ll have to ask Marvel why fascism is their go-to shocking character twist, though.
I think the source point of the issues here stems from something simple I mentioned recently: I don’t think either of the Big Two necessarily believe there’s going to be a comic book industry in 20 years, or even necessarily 10, so there’s no real reason to attempt anything other than drawing as much blood from the stone as they possibly can. Clearly the creators are trying their best, middle-management I’m sure have long-term plans, and I doubt the powers-that-be want it to fail. But sales have been dropping for years, and neither of them have demonstrated any plan of substance whatsoever to reverse that trend. They both had their moments of attempting to right the ship, and both fell through – the original Marvel NOW! and its immediate follow-ups were major successes, but half their biggest writers left in the wake of Secret Wars and so they reverted to type with endless editorial interference and bullshit crossovers, while DC’s attempt at innovation with DCYou was scattershot at best, clearly born less of a philosophy of “let’s let our best talents try bold new things!” nearly so much as “let’s do weird new things that might grab headlines”.
Viewed in that light, many of their recent decisions start to make sense; after the New 52 trying to draw in 90s fanboys and maybe a couple teenagers fell through, DC’s explicitly banking on rolling back the clock and appealing to the core fanbase with Rebirth while simultaneously betting everything on the shock value of incorporating Watchmen, while Marvel has fallen back on its regular event-and-relaunch tactics, and if the “Make Mine Marvel” rumors are true, they’ll soon be returning to a predominately white and male cast of headliners with a handful of exceptions (hence why escape hatches were built into almost all of their recent successor characters – Mjolner was prophesied to return to the Odinson before the first issue of Jane Foster’s book, Tony Stark is only in stasis, the Ultimate Universe may or may not be waiting out there for Miles and his cast to return, etc.) They don’t think there’s a new audience to be won, or at minimum they clearly haven’t given any thought to the kind of formatting, publication, narrative or marketing breakthroughs that might let them reach that wider audience (probably part of why they’re so petrified of staying in retailers’ good graces – digital of the way of the future, but they don’t believe they’re going to see that future, therefore they’re sticking to appealing to the base while they can), and so naturally they’re going to the tried-and-true methods of drawing cash out of the existing audience until it all falls apart, by which time everyone currently at the top will have new jobs or be retired.
So that Marvel in particular has been overly contemptuous of progressive elements of their fanbase isn’t shocking. I doubt their leadership of middle-aged guys have any particular sympathy for their viewpoint, and if they don’t see them as a potential pathway to saving the industry either, then it’s not a surprise they clearly see them as a gaggle of mercurial, industry-ignorant whiners, to be discarded once the half-hearted measures at winning them over aren’t enough. And if they’ve decided they don’t give a shit about progressive ideals in the slightest beyond what’s necessary to avoid mainstream attention on their fuck-ups, and they don’t seem to be trying to bring about a workable model for the industry – especially given that they’re at this point unquestionably the secondary caretakers of these characters compared to TV and movies, so these franchises can go on without them – and they’re convinced shock value stunts and events are the only way to draw in dollars while they can, then yeah. Sure. Why wouldn’t they make Captain America a Nazi? To think that’s a bad idea would require meaningfully giving a shit about their own product, or at least thinking that anyone else will in a few years.
As for the Fantastic Four, that’s probably still in Fox’s hands, but I really do hope Al Ewing gets a crack at them someday.