Hello. So seeing this title you probably are wondering, "Hey, is this about Spider-Man?"
Well, no, it isn’t. What it is about is my total disappointment and dissatisfaction with the company that created this Amazing character. And, so you know, this is going to be rather controversial and lengthy. But, I feel I need to voice what so many are either too afraid or desensitized to.
First, I have been a True Believer for roughly 30 years, which is more that half of my life. It began back in the mid-'80’s when I started watching Spider-man and his Amazing friends, and later I started reading Marvel’s comics. Although, my first exposure wasn’t really with Spider-Man, but, rather the X-Men.
From that time onward I was by all accounts a member of the Merry Marvel Marching Society. But, in the past few years, I have found my faith as a “True Believer” wavering. The Marvel I see today has abandoned its responsibility to the majority of its long-time readership in favor of appealing to a new generation. Or rather, those who adhere to a new age thinking.
It isn’t to say that I am against trying to reach out to new readers, but, I am deeply offended when the writers and editors and creative directors decide to make decisions with their characters that are out of character.
Example of statement: Marvel’s recent decision to make long-time original X-man, Ice-Man gay. What bothers me about this decision is that this character had been established as a heterosexual. For over fifty years Bobby Drake fought alongside his fellow X-Men, Angel and Jean Grey with both the original team and others like the Champions and X-Factor. And in none of these did Marvel Girl ever confront him about having a sexual attraction towards Angel or anyone else.
Rather Ice-Man was shown to have had several girlfriends one of which I remember from the X-Factor comics named Opal Tanaka. More recently he had a short relationship with fellow X-woman Kitty Pryde. In the X-Men films, Bobby is shown to have conflicting affections for both Kitty Pryde and Rogue. So, it’s pretty safe to say that he was, and is, a heterosexual male.
But all of this changed a year or so back when Brian Michael Bendis decided he was going to change the sexual orientation of young Bobby from original X-Men that were brought by modern day beast into the present. This of course conflicted with this characters previously established history, and so what does he do…he says that the Bobby we grew up with was faking it.
The whole way that Bendis handled Bobby’s “coming out” reeked of desperation, heavy handedness, and lack of imagination. Bobby himself seemed rather conflicted and ashamed to admit he had this previously unknown “attraction” to Angel. Jean Grey, in the way she is written, seems like she is trying to force this character to give in to this alternate lifestyle.
What makes me really scratch my head is that these characters have been together for some time because it was introduced 40 or so issues into the new series. The team itself had been fighting together before Jean confronted him on these feelings. And, so out of left field, we are told that this character is all of sudden gay, without any prior proof or anything to back it up. What’s worse is that to justify this, Marvel’s editors and writers, go to the lengths of dismissing Bobby’s other relationships as him trying to deny t his “real” nature. Bull. Shit.
It bothers me that Marvel is willing to forsake not only its own characters but its broader audience just so they can be relevant and appeal to a people,who up to the turn of this century were frowned upon. Now, not only are they to be accepted but everyone is to tolerate their lifestyle choices no matter what their own creed or religious beliefs tell them. It’s showing favoritism at the cost of great sacrifice.
But, this isn’t the only example of Marvel’s editors/writers abusing their power and being highly inconsiderate/irresponsible. Look at what they did to Cyclops. He was the X-Men’s golden child, set to carry on Xavier’s legacy but instead, he becomes the X-Man equivalent of Anakin Skywalker. An heir to Magneto.
What happened to the days when comics were written for everyone and we didn’t have alternate lifestyles or other political BS shoved in our faces? Where it was as simple as good vs. evil and heroes didn’t compromise who they were and cross lines they shouldn’t cross? I thought that editors on these comics were supposed to step in and correct inconsistencies, not find ways to rewrite a characters entire history to justify some ill-conceived, hack idea.
This new age attitude where they have no compunction against changing characters sexual orientations and you either accept it, or you can stop reading our comics is also an insult. Is Marvel for everyone, or just those who are gay/pro-gay? How much longer is it until Marvel feels compelled to start taking some of Stan Lee’s other creations and making them into transgenders?
When Marvel abandoned its Comics Code, who would have imagined they would have abandoned accountability and ethics? I am as you have guessed anti-gay and pro-heterosexual. And, I’m not ashamed of being that way. There isn’t anything wrong with me for being like that. I am that way both for how I was raised/taught and furthermore from my own personal/spiritual experiences.
Marvel also seems to think that the only people who read their X-Men comics are gays, minorities, and females. I even heard as much from Bryan Singer and the cast of the X-Men movies. Interesting since I am not gay, and that I am a white Christian male. And, I’ve been reading their comics for around 30 years. Oh, and my cousin who introduced me to the X-Men, he’s the same as me. And, so is large number of other people as well.
Yet, Marvel and these other people don’t want to seem to acknowledge this. Besides Christians like myself, there are probably atheists, agnostics, heck probably even some Cthullu-worshiping cultists that read their books, But, you don’t see Marvel’s writers/editors showing the same enthusiasm to show more Christian, Conservative, or traditional thinking folks in their books. Heck, if anything, I’ve noticed that some of Marvel’s characters come off as atheists, Democrats and Liberals more that I do the former.
As a matter of fact, when you get down to it, you find that much the writers personal believes spill into the books they write. This new change in sexual orientation for Bobby Drake has nothing to with this fictional characters previously established history and everything to do with Brian Michael Bendis’ personal sympathies for people of this alternate lifestyle.
If it was with his own characters in the Powers comics then that would be fine. I still wouldn’t like the lifestyle any better but, you know, his own personal creations so do what he wants. But, when you take a character that has been around longer than probably either one of us has been alive, then, yeah it is a problem to take upon yourself to change a fundamental part of their characteristics.
We as a people need to hold these companies like Marvel to some kind of accountability and standard of conduct. Because if we don’t, then whose to stop some future editor/writer from making other drastic changers that counter what we know? How much longer will it be before someone decides to make Batman break his code of not killing, Superman from becoming a world conquering megalomaniac, Captain America from becoming a Socialist?
How much longer will it be before Spider-Man is like “I have the Power, Screw the Responsibility?”