Spider-Man, Diversity and "Who Cares?"

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JimB:

Travis Fischer:
Captain Falcon: Somebody explain to me how stripping away the identity of the first African American super-hero and putting him in the clothes of an old white guy is "progressive."

Did anyone say it's progressive? Seriously, I'm asking. Has anyone said that Falcon getting a promotion to Steve Rogers's job and getting his own title is "progressive," whatever that means in this context, rather than just being a promotion?

These guys did. I'm sure they're not the only one.
"Pow! Bang! Thud! That?s the sound of the new, progressive Captain America." - Chuck Ross
"the title?s otherwise progressive stance." - Oliver Sara
"Maybe a name change to ?Captain Progressive? would be a more accurate way Marvel could describe the character." - DW Robinson
"Is a black Captain America progressive enough to be worth celebrating?" - Robert Brian Taylor

And WTF are you talking about with Captain America being a promotion? You do realize that the "Captain" part is just part of the name, right? There's no line of progression. It's not something you work your way up to. There's no "Lieutenant America," and even if there was, that's not Sam Wilson. Wilson has his own identity.

Even calling it a promotion is a disservice to everything Sam Wilson achieved as The Falcon.

JimB:

Travis Fischer:
It's nothing but "Hey! Look at us! We have a black super hero with a name you recognize from the movies! We couldn't get a book with him to sell before, but now we're calling him Captain America so you have to care!"

I feel this assertion assumes a lot of facts not entered into evidence.

Your ignorance is not my problem.

Ask yourself, did stories get run in national news when The Falcon got a four issue limited series in 1983?

JimB:

Travis Fischer:
I dunno, is it racist that the Black Spider-Man's uncle is a criminal?

No, but it's a little racist people keep calling him black when he's half black and half Hispanic.

Now you're just being pedantic.

JimB:

Travis Fischer:
or the writers did, depending on how you look at these things.

That's how I'm looking at things.

JimB:
Since that's kind of a dumb and melodramatic thing for the Odinson to have done

Congratulations. You've identified the problem people have with it. Shocker. It's not because "vagina."

[quote="Travis Fischer" post="6.936340.23580588"]I was willing to get behind the book until the cringy as hell character assassination of Absorbing Man and Titania.

Both of their behaviors were in character.

Not even a little bit. Absorbing Man is a pragmatist that defies his stereotype by generally being above petty behavior and acting on the whims of a fragile ego. Instead Aaron turned him into a strawman caricature of exactly the opposite kind of person he is because apparently he thought the book was being too subtle about its message. (That or he couldn't afford to shoot a giant set of neon lights that say "THIS BOOK IS ABOUT FIGHTING THE PATRIARCHY" into space.)

It's true JimB. Black father, white mother. Yet he's considered black and not white.

While the citizens of the Marvel U may consider it a title, would the other heroes who have worked with Thor on so many occasions think the same? They'd know that is not the case. Why would the new Thor not reveal who she is to Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, whom she knows that Thor trusts (aside from that Civil War stuff with Tony), who would then vouch for her with the other Avengers. That would have made for a more interesting piece of storytelling to me than just instant acceptance.

As to why they'd question? Well in universe it isn't that long since a Secret Invasion.

JimB:

If you need to assert absolute omniscience over every member of a fanbase, no matter how many of them you have not been exposed to, then I personally do not buy it. Sorry, but I just don't. To speak in one hundred percent absolutes as if the entire fanbase is a hivemind bespeaks an attitude to me I cannot trust.

Believe what you want or need to believe, because I won't bother arguing it any more, but...damn, dude.

It's as valid as someone asserting that some mythical group of people hates it because she's a woman. Only difference is I'm not the one that needs to provide evidence, they are. They're making the claim that people hate it because she's a woman. Since they've got nothing to back it up, I can just say "that's not true" and guess what? It's not true.

That's what Thor is, but whatever.

A mainstay character that is already extremely popular, with instant name recognition and a major film franchise is not "digging into their library." It's riding off of the publicity. They could have very easily sidelined him in favor of Sif, or Valkyrie, or brought Earth X Thor back. They could have promoted their other characters. They chose instead to change an existing one, specifically because of his popularity and recognition.

It's exactly the same as it was with Iceman and Northstar. Northstar could have been the premiere gay hero that he used to be, they could have brought him into the spotlight. Instead they chose to take Bobby, who has in his entire history never been hinted at being gay, and make him gay because he's ICeman, he's recognizable. People know the name. Northstar, meanwhile, was cast off as having never existed in most coverage, with Bobby being called things like "trailblazer" and this being such a significant moment for Marvel, who "finally" have a gay hero.

It's not about good storytelling, it's not about making an actual statement and it's not about actual progressiveness, it's just bandwagon-riding "social justice." It's taking a popular thing and using it for an agenda, completely disregarding history and character identity in favor of a cheap stunt. Yeah, it'll be back to normal in a few months more than likely, and this whole thing will have been a forgettable event. That's arguably the worst part, that they had the opportunity to do something much better, something that actually brought other characters into the spotlight, characters that more than deserved it. Instead, we got New 52 level trash.

And WTF are you talking about with Captain America being a promotion? You do realize that the "Captain" part is just part of the name, right? There's no line of progression. It's not something you work your way up to. There's no "Lieutenant America," and even if there was, that's not Sam Wilson. Wilson has his own identity.

Even calling it a promotion is a disservice to everything Sam Wilson achieved as The Falcon.

This. Same exact problem with "Captain" Marvel. She's not a captain of anything, hell she was a Colonel in the USAF, but even that was a long time ago. It's not a rank, it's a title. Unless she's now part of the Kree military, of course. When did she enlist?

She had her own achievements, her own legacy--a much more involved one than Mar-Vell's--and yet only *now* is she truly a hero, now that she took on his name. Because his legacy is clearly the more important one. Clearly.

JimB:

Kameburger:
Female Thor? Was released at the height of tensions in the geek world, taking liberal swipes at its readership who had a problem with it.

I'd really like to know where this attitude comes from. Is it from her appearances in books other than her own? Because literally no one in the book said anything about Thor being female, either positive or negative, until the culmination of the first story arc was complete and issue #5 or #6 had Crusher Creel say stupid things. Frankly, I think anyone who feels that Crusher Creel's attitude is intended to be representative of their own needs to examine their own conscience and see why they think a writer who has never met them, never spoken with them, and never corresponded with them is somehow targeting them specifically with Crusher's rhetoric, because if he managed to nail your (hypothetical you, not specific you, Kameburger) attitude enough that you feel threatened by it, then that says a lot more about you, the things you said, and the way you said them than it does about him and his writing.

I will also point out that literally no one in the book brought up her gender after that, either positive or negative, until after the original series rebooted and Laufey made a single snide comment, somewhere around the #4 or #5 mark. If two references in two years is too much for the audience to tolerate, then again, I really feel like that says more about the sensitivity of the audience than the abrasiveness of the author.

I can appreciate what your saying, and to be honest Thor is a tough character for me in this particular argument because aside from God of Thunder I'm not big a fan of Thor in general.

Of course if I am a victim of all the hype surrounding Female Thor before it's release than I'd be more than willing to bow out and say I'm sorry. The truth is I actually really like gender swapped characters. But of course there was a lot of attention paid to this switch. Being that it was reported on by all sorts of geek sites with statements about superhero semantics. Marvel issues a statement making sure that we are supposed to acknowledge her as the actual Thor and that she's not just someone picking up the mantle of Thor but the other Thor (as I hesitate to use the word "real") still exists but he's no longer worthy or something so he's not Thor anymore? Marvel released a plot synopsis at some point explaining this but the message was very clear to me. They wanted to make the conversation center around this point whether the comic actually did or not. I couldn't get through enough of this to participate point by point, but the conversation surrounding it made sure I kept away. If you google female Thor there was a comic scan popping up about a line deliberately taking a swipe at gamergate, and while I could care less about that movement and I'm certainly not supporting them. in 2015 the last subject I wanted to talk about was gamer gate whether it was anti-gg or not.

I don't know, and while that look awful fake to me and it may have been, but with these kind of images floating around how could you not assume that this is the conversation that Marvel wanted us to have?

JimB:

Kameburger:
Her story is full of her villains quipping about her gender and her hitting them with a hammer in response.

No. It is not. I have gone through her entire run and provided a page-by-page breakdown of this on this site before, and I'll do it again if I have to, but what you are describing happens literally only twice; three times if you assume one insult Odin lobs is due to misogyny rather than the limitation of English insults against women tending to single them out for being women.

You don't need to break it down individually. I'll take your word for it. I personally don't view it as a reflection on myself so I wouldn't ask you to expend your energy that way. I said "full of" only because I remember posts like of break downs point to things like this. If percentage wise this is rather small than I'm happy to concede that too. Comics as an industry has done this for ages. They have tried to shock people into having conversations about diversity with these kinds of debates hitting all angles possible. Archie takes a bullet to save a gay guy. One of the flashes becomes gay, Spider-man is now black, these items get reported on fox news or otherwise on the internet trying to manufacture outrage. Right now whether we like it or not we're both playing into that manipulation. What if I start reading Thor now just to prove you wrong? I may not like any moment of that but Marvel still wins. So maybe my point about her is invalid, because if Female Thor is written just as well as Miles Morales, than I am wrong.

Personally I would like to see Miles Morales as Spider-Man and I would like him to see himself that way. Not just "black Spidey." But Female Thor isn't selling all that well and there are two ways to look at it. One is that the readership is just too misogynistic or the writing is not good enough to make the changes believable. Now since the book isn't selling to well, that would suggest the former is true, but since racists didn't stop Morales from becoming a now popular Marvel Staple, I'm not so sure I buy that. I think Thor #1 didn't generate the kind of word of mouth that would make people like me, who are not looking to be allies and would rather remain neutral (choosing a side is what my vote is for), I wasn't convinced that this comic wasn't interested in having that fight with readers who may disagree. Again I may be wrong, but a first impression is difficult to change.

Kameburger:
But Female Thor isn't selling all that well and there are two ways to look at it. One is that the readership is just too misogynistic or the writing is not good enough to make the changes believable. Now since the book isn't selling to well, that would suggest the former is true, but since racists didn't stop Morales from becoming a now popular Marvel Staple, I'm not so sure I buy that. I think Thor #1 didn't generate the kind of word of mouth that would make people like me, who are not looking to be allies and would rather remain neutral (choosing a side is what my vote is for), I wasn't convinced that this comic wasn't interested in having that fight with readers who may disagree. Again I may be wrong, but a first impression is difficult to change.

Thor isn't selling well because Thor doesn't sell. The latest volume of Thor isn't doing much different than the last few. It has nothing to do with sexism. Ironically, the people complaining most are probably the ones actually buying the book and the people defending it the most probably aren't.

Why? Because comic fans will bitch and moan their way through a series they hate just to keep their collection going (I know, I have the complete run of Chuck Austin's Uncanny X-Men) while the Tumbler snowflakes the book is marketing itself to don't actually buy comics.

StewShearer:
The thing is, a lot of fans weren't angry for those reasons. They were angry solely because they didn't want Spider-Man to be black.

Request proof of that statement.

StewShearer:
Many angry readers and pundits rejected them based solely on their perception that Marvel was altering classic characters to pander to recent trends of political correctness.

You just contradicted your previous statement. You first say that people didn't want Spider-man to be black or Heimdall to be black or Thor to be a woman, now you're saying they don't want to pander to trends of political correctness. Those aren't necessarily the same things.

Rebel_Raven:

Holy shit, is this actually real? Like it's serious? It seems like really, really bad satire.

Travis Fischer:
These guys did. I'm sure they're not the only one.

Huh. Okay. Thanks.

Travis Fischer:
And what the fuck are you talking about with Captain America being a promotion? You do realize that the "Captain" part is just part of the name, right?

Got the character a new, legacy mantle that others will carry on, got him international attention, and got him a monthly ongoing. All of those sound better than the deal he'd been getting, so I referred to it someone euphemistically as a promotion.

Travis Fischer:
Your ignorance is not my problem.

I have not insulted you, Travis Fischer. I will thank you to return the favor. If you are not interested in actually backing up your assertions with provable facts and just want to make them without anyone being allowed to question them, then I think a public discussion forum, where any member of the public may discuss them, is a less suited venue for you than, say, a private blog over which you have banning authority.

Travis Fischer:
Ask yourself, did stories get run in national news when the Falcon got a four-issue limited series in 1983?

I was five in 1983, so let me ask you a question: Did any comic book story ever get national news coverage prior to "the Death of Superman?"

Travis Fischer:
Now you're just being pedantic.

Possibly. That is a thing I tend to do. Nevertheless, I think in America, where people have a tendency to act as if white and black are the only races that exist, ignoring Miles Morales's Hispanic nature is at least suggestive of the racism of forgetfulness.

Travis Fischer:
That's how I'm looking at things.

Then there's nothing to do but wait to learn what Nick Fury whispered to him that made him unworthy of Mjolnir.

Travis Fischer:
[Absorbing Man and Titania's behaviors are] not even a little bit [in character].

You and I have read different books, then.

Travis Fischer:
Aaron turned him into a strawman caricature of exactly the opposite kind of person he is because apparently he thought the book was being too subtle about its message. (That or he couldn't afford to shoot a giant set of neon lights that say "THIS BOOK IS ABOUT FIGHTING THE PATRIARCHY" into space.)

You may wish to avoid leveling accusations of strawmanning against someone whose mouth you're putting words in.

votemarvel:
It's true JimB. Black father, white mother.

Huh. Okay. Thanks.

votemarvel:
While the citizens of the Marvel U may consider it a title, would the other heroes who have worked with Thor on so many occasions think the same?

No. Would they think someone who has the hammer and therefore the cosmological proof of her worthiness to wield the power of Thor owes it to them to tell them her identity, particularly in the wake of the Hero Registration Act bullshit of not so long ago, particularly when pretty much every person who's ever worn spandex is present to see the Odinson give her his approval and vouch for her?

votemarvel:
Why would the new Thor not reveal who she is to Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, whom she knows that Thor trusts (aside from that Civil War stuff with Tony), who would then vouch for her with the other Avengers.

As far as I know, there's no canon answer to this, but if it were me? I wouldn't want to say anything Heimdall might overhear, because Heimdall would be compelled to answer the question honestly if Odin asked.

Kameburger:
I can appreciate what you're saying, and to be honest Thor is a tough character for me in this particular argument because aside from God of Thunder I'm not big a fan of Thor in general.

Thank you. I would ask, though, that if you haven't read the source material, you please limit your comments to what you have direct experience of. It's a good rule in general, not just here, though I'll freely admit I'm asking it here because I get tired of having this same argument about things the character has said and done that never happened.

Kameburger:

I have never seen that image, so I can't say. It never occurred in her own series. At a guess, I'd say it's not real, though. The "ethics in hammer-wielding" panel's color and light seem entirely different from the color and light on the rest of the page.

Kameburger:
So maybe my point about her is invalid, because if Female Thor is written just as well as Miles Morales, than I am wrong.

I like the book. I think divorcing the character of Thor from the decades of history makes her more accessible than her predecessor, and I enjoy the mystery as to why she alone of all the people in Asgard is worthy to heft the hammer. Is it because she did so not for the sake of personal aggrandizement, personal dependence, and/or blind devotion to an idol, but rather because lives depend on the mantle of Thor being filled? I like to think so, but we'll learn the answer eventually.

"who cares"? obviously the OP, since they made this thread. And, by that logic, so do I.

Batman wears a mask to conceal his identity. For all everyone knows, "The Bat" could be an Australian Aboriginal woman. It doesn't matter.

The Bat grows old. The Bat still has enemies, but The Bat can barely walk, anymore. The Bat discards the mask. The Bat's time is over.

Robin Picks up the mask. Who is Robin? Who knows? It's a unisex name. Robin fights, becomes tired or unable to fight, retires, and dies. Rorschach then picks up the mask. Who is Rorschach?

The mask, the gadgets, the training/backstory, the power, the costume, the methodologies, the ideologies- those are what makes a character, a character.

If an artistic creation lacks these essential factors, they have only their skin color and reproductive organs to stand on. That is not a character, that is a gimmick. That is Token, pandering, a diversity quota.

Can you imagine a creature trying to act using only melanin and reproductive organs? What a grotesque monster that would be!.... and actually, that's pretty cool, but more of a "creature of the damned" kind of cool, not the "Webshooting" kind of cool.

JimB:

Kameburger:
I can appreciate what you're saying, and to be honest Thor is a tough character for me in this particular argument because aside from God of Thunder I'm not big a fan of Thor in general.

Thank you. I would ask, though, that if you haven't read the source material, you please limit your comments to what you have direct experience of. It's a good rule in general, not just here, though I'll freely admit I'm asking it here because I get tired of having this same argument about things the character has said and done that never happened.

You are perfectly free to ask... I have to say though, the crowd that supports female Thor as not being this far outnumbers or at least is significantly louder than those who are in favor. Every clip, scan, or description I've read has been something to the effect of what I've mentioned earlier, and honestly, while again, I'm not stubbornly willing to stick to a particular thought on this one, I can say that the perception seems to be indicative of people no defending the writers of Thor, but resorting to labeling skeptics as misogynists. Which I'll be the first to say, is not my problem.

Kameburger:

I have never seen that image, so I can't say. It never occurred in her own series. At a guess, I'd say it's not real, though. The "ethics in hammer-wielding" panel's color and light seem entirely different from the color and light on the rest of the page. [/quote] I thought that might be the case as well, but it pops up in numerous places, and it seemed as legit as anything considering if you followed many marvel writers on twitter, this seems in line with their stance.

Kameburger:
So maybe my point about her is invalid, because if Female Thor is written just as well as Miles Morales, than I am wrong.

I like the book. I think divorcing the character of Thor from the decades of history makes her more accessible than her predecessor, and I enjoy the mystery as to why she alone of all the people in Asgard is worthy to heft the hammer. Is it because she did so not for the sake of personal aggrandizement, personal dependence, and/or blind devotion to an idol, but rather because lives depend on the mantle of Thor being filled? I like to think so, but we'll learn the answer eventually.[/quote] Could be, I hope so, I certainly am not trying to ruin anyone's enjoyment of the series. To me certainly Thor is not very accessible in any incarnation. This version may very well be more more grounded. I would say that it is a testament to how much I hate the tendency in the industry to try and create controversy to sell books, which I think certainly happened here regardless, because now I can't help but have that image in the back of my mind, that this book is trying to have a conversation that I don't really think is productive to have on the internet (yet here I am...). Spider woman, Spider Girl, the new wolverine, Ms. Marvel, all of these books came in with next to no controversy (and they tried with Ms. Marvel too which was the sad part) and I loved all those characters and don't feel threatened by them (not that I feel threatened by Female Thor either, but some do which I don't understand in the slightest...).

Really?
He got bitten by a spider too and just so happens to develop the exact same powers as spiderman?
That's what they went with?
That's just silly. If it's so common, how aren't there multiple "spidermen"?

The "Ethics in hammer wielding" bit is very real. Loki, Agent of Asgard issue 12. A series I liked at first. That was the last issue I bothered with.

It wasn't her main book, no, but from what I've read of that (~4 issues, give or take a few pages browsing) it's not much better. The Absorbing Man bit was cringeworthy at best, and Titania hasn't receded from fighting a woman in decades. Both instances, in character or not, were very overtly forced. After-school special-level forced. The rest of the writing ranges from bad fanfiction to bland prose. Everything else I've read involving her character has been similarly bad, with no exceptions that come to mind.

I tried liking her, I really did. I wanted this to be an interesting change, despite wishing it was Sif or Valkyrie or Enchantress under the mask (or that they'd have just flat out taken over the series, which makes a *lot* more sense than

). It was just so awful, I felt like I could write better without trying. I *rarely* feel that way about comics, considering I've tried writing them.

I gave Slott the benefit of the doubt with Superior Spider-Man, and I ended up loving that series (and being thankful Peter was back afterward). This I just couldn't stand. Gender had nothing to do with it, garbage writing killed it for me.

loa:
Really?
He got bitten by a spider too and just so happens to develop the exact same powers as spiderman?
That's what they went with?
That's just silly. If it's so common, how aren't there multiple "spidermen"?

Uh. Did you know about the storyline Spider Island where every single person in Manhattan gets Spidey powers? Spidey even fights alongside J.J.J.

image

Warning I can't get /spoiler to work below but it should be for a minor thing at this point since I figure anyone who cares enough about Marvel comics to be reading this is already aware of the events of the most recent Secret Wars, but I include this just the same.

As far as I'm concerned ethnicity-gender changing of existing characters is wrong. If they want more diverse characters, then they should create new ones and if they are good they will catch on. Yes, that is hard to do, but that's part of the process. Consider for example how DC-Wildstorm did a lot for diversity when it existed, and some of those characters were even popular enough to survive the company collapse into the main DC continuity.

To me you can't (correctly) protest the so called "whitewashing" in Hollywood, while at the same time saying that this is okay.

That said Peter Parker survives, and I'm sure Thor and Steve will inevitably take back their mantles, if they don't, I won't be supporting their books.

Right now one of the reasons we see the PC stunts I think is because it continues to generate attention from irate fans and positive press from the left-leaning media.

I'll also be honest in saying that as much as I loathe the entire PC movement I think some comic fans have been going overboard at times. Of course then again the writers putting political bait into the comics (Creel, etc..) doesn't help matters.

One thing I will point out though for racism hunters is that you don't generally see complaints about the two big heroes in the final equasion of "Secret Wars" (the most recent ones)both being black. I'd think if there was some kind of genuine racism involved there would be. [/Spoiler] Black Panther actually wields an infinity gauntlet, and Miles winds up giving Molecule Man a 3 week old cheeseburger [spoiler]. People are less concerned about minorities playing a role in the comics than changes to long-running characters as opposed to the creation of new ones. I'm sure there are some racists out there, but I don't think they represent much of the population.

Not something I'll argue or get into, that's just my take on the situation.

Nurb:
"Who cares?"

People obsessed with identity politics, that's who. It's tainted every creative medium.

People as a whole really don't have a problem with creators using other races/genders in a given role, people like Miles Morales as spiderman, they just don't want changes made because the creators feel they are pressured and "have to" or going down a checklist. Fans of a given genre sometimes feel they have to question the motives now. Of course comics are known for taking big turns out of nowhere anyway.

I accept that fans don't like the status quo being changed. The problem is that they will try to rationalise their annoyance. People complain about it being pandering to make a few characters non-white or female, but apparently don't think it is pandering to have 75 years worth of comic book characters being almost entirely white and male. There is a assumption that if a character is re-cast, it is because the creators are cowardly appeasers of tumblr, and not because they made a simple creative decision to change the comic (perhaps they might have even agreed with racial/feminist criticisms of their medium, and factored it into their decision).

I'm definitely in the "who cares" category of this discussion.

I don't know, I just don't really give a shit about Peter Parker the way he is portrayed. He is designed to be so very "Everyman", that he has no defining characteristics that are at all unique in any way.

Awkward, nerdy, smart, new yorker. That's about it. And none of those traits are at all unique to being a white person. Peter Parker is basically a tabula rasa for the reader to inject themselves into, and personally, I couldn't care less if the blank slate I'm reading about is black, white, male, female, whatever. If you make a character that is almost a Color By Numbers stereotypical hero cliche, then you've made a character who has no personal identity at all.

Now, that being said, if you replace him with someone else, and then tell an equally bland, and superficial story (I'm looking at you FemThor), I will be annoyed, highly annoyed, and consider what you did utter crap. But I won't have an issue with the idea of changing up the character. I love legacy stories, the passing of the torch from one person to another. It hits a really strong emotional button for me that I just really can't explain well. So if you set it up right, like they did with Miles Moralis, I'm all on board. Yeah, the way he got his powers was a little heavy handed, but considering the spider had 42, on it's back, I felt like it was a bit of a nod from the writer "Yes, this is our deus ex machina, we needed to get him powers, and this was the easiest way, deal with it" :D Which I was ok with. But where they took Miles' story was what was engaging to me. I actually was rooting for him, I could appreciate his struggle, way more than I could Peter's problems. How Miles didn't become Spiderman out of some self inflicted martyr-complex of guilt (like every other fucking superhero ever), but that he just wanted to help people. And that he felt what Spiderman did for the city was a good thing, and that it should continue. That someone should carry on his legacy. And why not him? I'm all for that kind of a story, rather than another variation on Peter's perpetual teenage/early 20's problems that he usually inflicts on himself.

So please, change that shit up. The current iterations of the heros have have decades worth of time to have their way, and if fans have taught us anything, it's that they don't want you to dare make any changes in their heroes, or they will burn your house down in a nerd riot. "The heroes must not change!! It must be the same Peter/Bruce/Clark/etc that we've seen for 60+ years! We fear change!"

Fuck that noise. Change them up, but make the changes an improvement.

Kameburger:
But Female Thor isn't selling all that well and there are two ways to look at it. One is that the readership is just too misogynistic or the writing is not good enough to make the changes believable. Now since the book isn't selling to well, that would suggest the former is true, but since racists didn't stop Morales from becoming a now popular Marvel Staple, I'm not so sure I buy that. I think Thor #1 didn't generate the kind of word of mouth that would make people like me, who are not looking to be allies and would rather remain neutral (choosing a side is what my vote is for), I wasn't convinced that this comic wasn't interested in having that fight with readers who may disagree. Again I may be wrong, but a first impression is difficult to change.

Don't take this as a defense of it, as there are a litany of valid complaints against it, but Female Thor is not selling badly, it managing at least 50,000 of single issues (those are admittedly wholesale figures), keeping it in the top 20, and it always breaks the top 10 in digital sales, and none of this is taking into account the potential sales of Trades (collected graphic novels).

It does admittedly seem to be declining. (It's Pre-Secret War run didn't dip below 70,000)

Nazrel:

Kameburger:
But Female Thor isn't selling all that well and there are two ways to look at it. One is that the readership is just too misogynistic or the writing is not good enough to make the changes believable. Now since the book isn't selling to well, that would suggest the former is true, but since racists didn't stop Morales from becoming a now popular Marvel Staple, I'm not so sure I buy that. I think Thor #1 didn't generate the kind of word of mouth that would make people like me, who are not looking to be allies and would rather remain neutral (choosing a side is what my vote is for), I wasn't convinced that this comic wasn't interested in having that fight with readers who may disagree. Again I may be wrong, but a first impression is difficult to change.

Don't take this as a defense of it, as there are a litany of valid complaints against it, but Female Thor is not selling badly, it managing at least 50,000 of single issues (those are admittedly wholesale figures), keeping it in the top 20, and it always breaks the top 10 in digital sales, and none of this is taking into account the potential sales of Trades (collected graphic novels).

It does admittedly seem to be declining. (It's Pre-Secret War run didn't dip below 70,000)

hmm if that's true if stand corrected. I remember reading somewhere that the first issue massively under performed and it was closer to the 20,000 range but that could just be me remembering incorrectly. I also seem to remember the article I read talking more about physical book sales as opposed to digital so that's also possible. But I'll remember that. Thank you.

loa:
Really?
He got bitten by a spider too and just so happens to develop the exact same powers as spiderman?
That's what they went with?
That's just silly. If it's so common, how aren't there multiple "spidermen"?

This is the Ultimate Universe (which has now been destroyed with a few characters crossing over to the main Marvel U.

Here Peter got his powers through being bitten by a spider that had been genetically altered. Miles also got bitten by a test subject that had been altered in a slightly different way.

Miles don't have powers which are exactly the same. He doesn't have a Spider-Sense for example but has a bioelectric sting and a cloaking ability.

There were also more spider-people but they were clones. There were several flawed clones of Peter and Jessica Drew was a clone of Peter who had been created as a woman.

I liked the comic with its jab at putting race/minority representation above the actual acts and moral worth of the hero.

We have superheroes who are sentient trees that only say one line, we have superheroes who are the result of deals with demons, we have superheroes who were born by gods with great powers, and superheroes who were born into super magitech societies with kit that give them powers not unlike gods

nothing of the above says anything about the race or gender of those heroes

I personally dislike pandering greatly - same reason I dislike the fem-thor comic for increasingly blatant shoe-horning of contemporary pop-politics and SJW bullshit, never mind that it takes a huge crap on established comic-Thor lore. You wield the hammer, fine? You wield the power of thor, but you don't get his name. That has never been how it worked.

Miles Morales getting annoyed at a fangirl who cares more for his skin-color than the fact that he just rekt a freaking demon - ya, I would frankly get annoyed too if I was in his situation.

I think what pisses people of is the way they get rid of old characters to make way for their pandering counterparts. Thor gets disgraced and loses his powers? Peter Parker gets killed? There wasn't much kerflufle about Falcon becoming Captain America because Rogers was incapacitated not killed. And like people said before, he earned the mantle by being his own unique character. Not only that, Sam had a personal connection with Rogers so making him into Rogers' replacement made sense. Now if they did something similar with Thor, like Asgard needed him but he didn't want earth to be undefended in his absence so he gave his hammer to some one worthy I think people would have accepted it more. I think the issue isn't so much making them different race, it's more how they do it that's the issue. Killing a character or disgracing them in order to replace them with a more PC pandering version is the problem.

webkilla:
never mind that it takes a huge crap on established comic-Thor lore. You wield the hammer, fine? You wield the power of thor, but you don't get his name. That has never been how it worked.

Well, no, but there's nothing stopping Foster calling herself Thor. As I understood it, she took the name because she believed the world needed a Thor in Odinson's absence-- much like Jean-Paul Valley or Dick Grayson taking the mantle of Batman. They're not literally becoming him, but they believe the role needs to be filled.

That's not a crap on Thor-Lore (Thore?).

irish286:
I think what pisses people of is the way they get rid of old characters to make way for their pandering counterparts. Thor gets disgraced and loses his powers? Peter Parker gets killed?

If people are upset about the original characters losing their powers, they need some memory-training. Heroes and supervillains lose their powers and die every other week, and almost always get them back-- and their role usually gets filled in their absence, too.

Kameburger:

Nazrel:

Kameburger:
But Female Thor isn't selling all that well and there are two ways to look at it. One is that the readership is just too misogynistic or the writing is not good enough to make the changes believable. Now since the book isn't selling to well, that would suggest the former is true, but since racists didn't stop Morales from becoming a now popular Marvel Staple, I'm not so sure I buy that. I think Thor #1 didn't generate the kind of word of mouth that would make people like me, who are not looking to be allies and would rather remain neutral (choosing a side is what my vote is for), I wasn't convinced that this comic wasn't interested in having that fight with readers who may disagree. Again I may be wrong, but a first impression is difficult to change.

Don't take this as a defense of it, as there are a litany of valid complaints against it, but Female Thor is not selling badly, it managing at least 50,000 of single issues (those are admittedly wholesale figures), keeping it in the top 20, and it always breaks the top 10 in digital sales, and none of this is taking into account the potential sales of Trades (collected graphic novels).

It does admittedly seem to be declining. (It's Pre-Secret War run didn't dip below 70,000)

hmm if that's true if stand corrected. I remember reading somewhere that the first issue massively under performed and it was closer to the 20,000 range but that could just be me remembering incorrectly. I also seem to remember the article I read talking more about physical book sales as opposed to digital so that's also possible. But I'll remember that. Thank you.

Those numbers are referring only to the single issue physical sales (admittedly the wholesale ones); they don't give out numbers for digital sales, just relative rankings.

Maybe it was Angela they were talking about? Her series has done poorly; which is why it's been canceled.

Silvanus:

webkilla:
never mind that it takes a huge crap on established comic-Thor lore. You wield the hammer, fine? You wield the power of thor, but you don't get his name. That has never been how it worked.

Well, no, but there's nothing stopping Foster calling herself Thor. As I understood it, she took the name because she believed the world needed a Thor in Odinson's absence-- much like Jean-Paul Valley or Dick Grayson taking the mantle of Batman. They're not literally becoming him, but they believe the role needs to be filled.

That's not a crap on Thor-Lore (Thore?).

Thlore is the word I'd go with. Those other examples though, have the benefit of having their name being a title. Thor is his actual name. I personally don't really care, as it's obviously something done so that they don't have to rename the comic line "Person Running Around Using Thor's Powers But Who Isn't Actually Thor". That just doesn't fit at the top of a comic like "THOR" does xD

It's a mantle of power, and also a specific person's name, so it gets a little fuzzy. I personally don't care, because my issues with FemThor is the terrible writing and direction they took the story. You want to shake up the story and do something new with it? Fine, I applaud you, go for it. But you better make it work, or kiss my ass.

Silvanus:

webkilla:
never mind that it takes a huge crap on established comic-Thor lore. You wield the hammer, fine? You wield the power of thor, but you don't get his name. That has never been how it worked.

Well, no, but there's nothing stopping Foster calling herself Thor. As I understood it, she took the name because she believed the world needed a Thor in Odinson's absence-- much like Jean-Paul Valley or Dick Grayson taking the mantle of Batman. They're not literally becoming him, but they believe the role needs to be filled.

That's not a crap on Thor-Lore (Thore?).

Thor wasn't gone, he was just unworthy to wield the hammer... because of "reasons".

He still had his inherit godly powers, still on the avengers, but gives up the name he was born with because of "contrivance".

Odin can't lift the hammer, despite the fact he controls the Odinforce, the thing powering both the hammer and the worthiness spell, and Mj?lnir has traditionally been the plaything of him and any others who might posses even the tinyist fraction of the Odinforce, including when old school God of Evil Loki was possessing his body... because of "reasons".

Jane, among all who might try to pick it up, is alone worthy because of "reasons".

She then appropriates the name of this still living god without permission (after the fact doesn't count.)

This half dead mortal with no martial training is now wielding it better then the actual god with the millennia worth of experience... because of "reasons".

There is a half Black half Hispanic Spider-Man, a Black Captain America, and a woman Wolverine, but these threads always inevitability turn to an argument about Thor.

Want to know why? Because it's the one that's stupid!!!

P.S. Read the Masterson arc to see this concept done competently.

Nazrel:

Thor wasn't gone, he was just unworthy to wield the hammer... because of "reasons".

He still had his inherit godly powers, still on the avengers, but gives up the name he was born with because of "contrivance".

Odin can't lift the hammer, despite the fact he controls the Odinforce, the thing powering both the hammer and the worthiness spell, and Mj?lnir has traditionally been the plaything of him and any others who might posses even the tinyist fraction of the Odinforce, including when old school God of Evil Loki was possessing his body... because of "reasons".

Jane, among all who might try to pick it up, is alone worthy because of "reasons".

Honestly, this doesn't seem any more contrived than a hundred other comic occurrences. Circumstances contrive to further the plot in highly unlikely ways on a daily basis in comics. Superboy-Prime punching time in order to reset certain events probably takes the cake.

Nazrel:

There is a half Black half Hispanic Spider-Man, a Black Captain America, and a woman Wolverine, but these threads always inevitability turn to an argument about Thor.

Want to know why? Because it's the one that's stupid!!!

But people do complain about Miles Morales being Spider-Man, and I don't doubt people moaned about a black Captain America and a female Wolverine, too. It's simply not true that it's just this example that provoked people.

Happyninja42:

It's a mantle of power, and also a specific person's name, so it gets a little fuzzy. I personally don't care, because my issues with FemThor is the terrible writing and direction they took the story. You want to shake up the story and do something new with it? Fine, I applaud you, go for it. But you better make it work, or kiss my ass.

Certainly, I agree. From what little I've seen of the writing, it doesn't seem stellar.

...But it also doesn't seem uniquely worse than a dozen other contemporary comics I could pull up. It only seems to grind peoples' gears to the same extent when it's a situation like this, in which political correctness (or what-have-you) can be blamed.

Silvanus:

Happyninja42:

It's a mantle of power, and also a specific person's name, so it gets a little fuzzy. I personally don't care, because my issues with FemThor is the terrible writing and direction they took the story. You want to shake up the story and do something new with it? Fine, I applaud you, go for it. But you better make it work, or kiss my ass.

Certainly, I agree. From what little I've seen of the writing, it doesn't seem stellar.

...But it also doesn't seem uniquely worse than a dozen other contemporary comics I could pull up. It only seems to grind peoples' gears to the same extent when it's a situation like this, in which political correctness (or what-have-you) can be blamed.

I'll take your word for it. I don't read a lot of comics, working in a comic shop for 2 years kind of burned me out on it. I picked up FemThor because I wanted to see where they went with it. It was terrible. And not because she's a woman, but because of the writing. If that's the typical level of writing today in comics then....well....shit how are they making so much money off so much shit? I mean seriously, if that's "average quality writing", why isn't the industry imploding in a giant turd of it's own writing?!

I mean, the Miles Moralis storyline was at least good for a while. I've heard it slacks off quality wise after a while, but the initial arc of him coming into his own was really damn good.

I'll run with just about any story you give me, if it's a good story. That's really my only hangup on these kind of things. I don't care if you make Spiderman a female, purple, alien transvestite drag queen, write a good damn story.

Silvanus:

Nazrel:

Thor wasn't gone, he was just unworthy to wield the hammer... because of "reasons".

He still had his inherit godly powers, still on the avengers, but gives up the name he was born with because of "contrivance".

Odin can't lift the hammer, despite the fact he controls the Odinforce, the thing powering both the hammer and the worthiness spell, and Mj?lnir has traditionally been the plaything of him and any others who might posses even the tinyist fraction of the Odinforce, including when old school God of Evil Loki was possessing his body... because of "reasons".

Jane, among all who might try to pick it up, is alone worthy because of "reasons".

Honestly, this doesn't seem any more contrived than a hundred other comic occurrences. Circumstances contrive to further the plot in highly unlikely ways on a daily basis in comics.

Wow... what a gross generalization, and horribly reductive view of the medium.

Your counter argument seems to be "Comics are nonsensical crap, so why are you complaining about them being nonsensical crap?"

No, well written they have an internal logic and consistency; badly written comics are nonsensical crap.

The issue isn't even that the explanations are contrived, it's that they're non-existent.

Silvanus:

Nazrel:

There is a half Black half Hispanic Spider-Man, a Black Captain America, and a woman Wolverine, but these threads always inevitability turn to an argument about Thor.

Want to know why? Because it's the one that's stupid!!!

But people do complain about Miles Morales being Spider-Man, and I don't doubt people moaned about a black Captain America and a female Wolverine, too. It's simply not true that it's just this example that provoked people.

I didn't say no one complained about them, I said these kinds of threads inevitability turn into an argument about Thor.

"There is only one true-", and "SJW's ruin everything." aren't real arguments, so the discussion turns to the one character that has valid complaints about them.

Though this is I suppose, based on my own subjective personal observations of these things, as opposed to an actual case study, so it's not exactly incontrovertible fact.

Nazrel:

Wow... what a gross generalization, and horribly reductive view of the medium.

Your counter argument seems to be "Comics are nonsensical crap, so why are you complaining about them being nonsensical crap?"

No, well written they have an internal logic and consistency; badly written comics are nonsensical crap.

No, that's not what I said at all. I love the comic medium, and read a lot of them. A criticism of one tendency in a medium I love is not a condemnation on all examples of that medium, or the medium itself. Not one bit.

Nazrel:

I didn't say no one complained about them, I said these kinds of threads inevitability turn into an argument about Thor.

"There is only one true-", and "SJW's ruin everything." aren't real arguments, so the discussion turns to the one character that has valid complaints about them.

Though this is I suppose, based on my own subjective personal observations of these things, as opposed to an actual case study, so it's not exactly incontrovertible fact.

Perhaps, though when people decry (what they see as) pandering, Miles Morales and others are brought up frequently as well. Good writing does not save them, which leads me to think that the quality of writing is not actually the metric people are using half the time.

Silvanus:

Nazrel:

Wow... what a gross generalization, and horribly reductive view of the medium.

Your counter argument seems to be "Comics are nonsensical crap, so why are you complaining about them being nonsensical crap?"

No, well written they have an internal logic and consistency; badly written comics are nonsensical crap.

No, that's not what I said at all. I love the comic medium, and read a lot of them. A criticism of one tendency in a medium I love is not a condemnation on all examples of that medium, or the medium itself. Not one bit.

You weren't criticizing it, you were using it as a defense.

Silvanus:

Nazrel:

I didn't say no one complained about them, I said these kinds of threads inevitability turn into an argument about Thor.

"There is only one true-", and "SJW's ruin everything." aren't real arguments, so the discussion turns to the one character that has valid complaints about them.

Though this is I suppose, based on my own subjective personal observations of these things, as opposed to an actual case study, so it's not exactly incontrovertible fact.

Perhaps, though when people decry (what they see as) pandering, Miles Morales and others are brought up frequently as well. Good writing does not save them, which leads me to think that the quality of writing is not actually the metric people are using half the time.

Decrying a character just because they are a woman/ethic minority is idiotic; conversely, so is blanketly defending said woman/ethic minority characters from criticism, with a total disregard for the validity of said criticism.

Nazrel:

You weren't criticizing it, you were using it as a defense.

I know my own intention, y'know. It was a wider criticism, intended to place the specific example of Jane Foster in context.

Nazrel:

Decrying a character just because they are a woman/ethic minority is idiotic; conversely, so is blanketly defending them from criticism, with a total disregard for the validity of said criticism.

Indeed! Glad we're on the same page.

I didn't do that.

Silvanus:

Nazrel:

You weren't criticizing it, you were using it as a defense.

I know my own intention, y'know.

Well other people don't.

Silvanus:

It was a wider criticism, intended to place the specific example of Jane Foster in context.

How was it doing that?

Please be clear, I'm very confused at this point, cause it came off as hand waving the criticism away.

Silvanus:

Perhaps, though when people decry (what they see as) pandering, Miles Morales and others are brought up frequently as well. Good writing does not save them, which leads me to think that the quality of writing is not actually the metric people are using half the time.

Those characters are typically brought up by people trying to defend FemThor, in a "you OBVIOUSLY hate these characters, too, you racist homophobic islamophobic ass" context. Which leads the accused to the good-writing defense, which is rarely believed by the accuser. Otherwise, they're brought up as examples of how to make a change, even a pandering change, in the right way: with well written stories that prove the character to be a worthwhile addition rather than a cheap stunt.

If the question is, "Who cares," the answer is that if it's written well no one actually does. No one that reads the comics, at least. These changes are not targeted at comic readers, though, and particularly FemThor was not targeted at people that actually read comics. It was an attempt to leverage Thor's name and mainstream popularity in order to draw in readers of a certain demographic by being "progressive." That's not how to draw in readers, though. It may draw in spectators, but not readers. Readers want engaging, well-written stories. The demographic they targeted does not care about the story, only the spectacle.

This whole, "comics are almost entirely white and male" nonsense is just that, nonsense. It's stated by people that know very little of the depths of Marvel's and DC's (and Image, and every other major publisher's) libraries. There are a number of characters of all genders, races and even religions (I'd bet the average "diversity" complainer doesn't know or even care that Kitty Pryde is Jewish, for example) but these characters never took off in a massive way. That doesn't make them good characters, but it doesn't negate their existence. What annoys readers isn't necessarily that Marvel is choosing to make changes, but that they're making the cheapest, stuntiest changes they possibly can. They have many female characters they could be promoting more, but they chose to change Thor instead. That's worse than just not creating a new character (which can, of course, be very difficult), it's insulting to the fans of the existing ones, their writers and artists and the characters themselves.

When the writing is such garbage, it just amplifies those issues. It's Marvel showing disrespect to its own history and library. That's what annoys me most, the flagrant disrespect.

Nazrel:

Well other people don't.

Well, you didn't. But now y'do!

Nazrel:

How was it doing that?

Please be clear, I'm very confused at this point, cause it came off as hand waving the criticism away.

Well, it was pointing out that contrivance (or unlikely circumstance) are actually fairly common in the medium. I say that as a fan. The point being that Jane Foster is not a unique example of contrivance, nor actually a particularly noteworthy one.

Jetfan007:

Those characters are typically brought up by people trying to defend FemThor, in a "you OBVIOUSLY hate these characters, too, you racist homophobic islamophobic ass" context.

I... don't believe you, frankly. I've never seen that sentiment expressed, and it looks like a pretty big exaggeration.

Silvanus:

Nazrel:

There is a half Black half Hispanic Spider-Man, a Black Captain America, and a woman Wolverine, but these threads always inevitability turn to an argument about Thor.

Want to know why? Because it's the one that's stupid!!!

But people do complain about Miles Morales being Spider-Man, and I don't doubt people moaned about a black Captain America and a female Wolverine, too. It's simply not true that it's just this example that provoked people.

If anyone has a problem with Miles Morales, I think they have stopped caring over the years. But I think that no one has a problem with the in-universe reasons for him becoming Spider-man. And TBH, that's all I care about.

All I know is, very little people have a problem with female Wolverine. First, because the old Wolverine is actually dead (while Steve Rogers and Thor Odinson are just lounging about), and not killed off just to have a new one (ala Ultimate Peter Parker). Second, she makes sense. Laura Kinney is X-23, a clone, and is literally Wolverine except without a metal skeleton and has the third claw on her foot. She truly was Logan's sidekick, hell she's pretty much his daughter, and considered taking up the mantle out of respect for him. She is the most obvious and reasonable choice for the new Wolverine. Third, her comics are just plain good. And that what's important, no?

TLDR; If you want to have a new character take up the mantle without people throwing shitstorms a) Don't do random shit to the original just so you can have the new one b) take time to develop your character, so that people actually care about them and the character actually makes sense for the role and c) don't turn the comic into a mouthpiece for some agenda, and just make GOOD STORIES.

I just felt like replying because the new Wolverine series is one of my favorites of the post-Secret War Marvel lineup.

Silvanus:

But people do complain about Miles Morales being Spider-Man, and I don't doubt people moaned about a black Captain America and a female Wolverine, too. It's simply not true that it's just this example that provoked people.

.

Very true, however it's more accurate to say that people want Steve Rogers and Peter Parker in the respective roles, just as they want Thor to be Thor as he's always been. The racist accusations seem to mostly be the political spin thrown onto this entire thing. To be fair when it comes to Cap for example people didn't want Walker or Barnes (Winter Soldier) filling in for him full time either. Neither X-23 or her precursor "Wild Thing" (pretty obscure) were an issue because they were treated as separate, and distinct entities, never pretending to be "the" Wolverine.

I've been of the opinion for a while that if they decided to stop calling Milo, errr excuse me Miles "Spider Man" there likely wouldn't be an issue either. Having other spider-heroes around has not been a big deal, but they have their own, unique, names. "The Scarlet Spider" is a good example of how to properly handle such things.

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