A Message To Naysayers
To all the people out there who hear about the new female Thor or about the Falcon becoming Captain America and respond with “Well it’s only for a few months” or “it’s just a publicity stunt,” I’d just like to ask you one thing. Why?
I don’t mean, why is it only going to be for a few months, or why is it a publicity stunt. I want to ask you, why do you feel the need to instantly throw that in there. When I say I’m excited about the new Thor and Captain America, I’m not following that up with “Because those old ones were stupid and these new ones are going to be a thousand times better than your dumb old heroes.” No, nobody is saying anything of the sort, when people talk about how excited they are about the new Thor and Cap they aren’t insulting anyone or throwing any other characters under the bus. So why when you see a group of people honestly happy about something in comics, do you feel the need to step in and try to stop that? Is it just some need to feel superior, do you want to be able to look back and say “I told you so” if and when it ends, or do you just not want other people to be happy about a character because you’ve been hurt by something like this in the past? And what does that say about you when you say something to make yourself feel better even though you know it will make someone else feel worse?
And also, even if you’re right, why does it matter? So what if it is a publicity stunt? They said the same thing about Kamala Khan, and when her book came out I saw several Muslim women in my store who were honestly excited about a comic book character, and I’m seeing the same thing now. The day after Falcon was announced to be the new Captain America, an old African American man came into my store, easily in his sixties, and he asked if the book was out yet. Now just stop and think about that, think about how much discrimination and pain a sixty year old Black man has seen in America. And now imagine him hearing the news that the number one American super hero is going to be this guy-
Why on Earth would you want to jump in and go “Yeah it’s just for publicity and it won’t even last that long.” Let him and all the other people who are excited about this actually enjoy it.
And even if it is for publicity, who cares? If it gets more POC and women in comics, then I’m all for it. And how exactly would you suggest Marvel make one of their major characters a woman or a POC without it seeming like publicity? As I said, this was the same complaint thrown at Kamala Khan, and Miles Morales, and Northstar getting married. So you tell me, how exactly can Marvel jump ahead to join modern times without it taking another twenty years of stories building up to it and without it seeming like a publicity stunt? And, not to throw DC under the bus, but if my choices are between a company that thinks more women and POC is good publicity, or a company that thinks selfie and bombshell covers are good publicity, well I know where my money is going.
And as for the whole “it will only last a few months” thing, let me just say a few things about that. First, that’s exactly what they said about Miles Morales, so we’ve already seen that all the people out there who say “it will only last a few months” are fully capable of being wrong. And secondly, how dare you put an expiration date on someone’s fun. As I’ve said, let people enjoy themselves, you do not get to go up to people who have historically had very few strong characters in leading roles and tell them “Well enjoy it now because it’s not lasting.” And Marvel is pretty much pulling all the classic moves that made DC great back in the day, including the whole legacy aspect, so even if classic Thor and Cap come back, if people really like these new versions is it so hard to believe that maybe, just maybe we’ll get multiple Caps and Thors.
And even if it only last a few months and these versions are never seen again, they still happened, they still matter. So you might get to enjoy being right six months from now, but twenty years from now some young girl who enjoys comics will say she likes Thor, and someone will ask her, “Oh yeah? You like Thor?”
And she’ll reply, “Yeah, this one”
And they will either nod their heads and say “Cool,” and the comic book community will be a better place, or they’ll be a jerk and say, “Well that’s not really Thor,” to which she can confidently respond-
"Well Marvel says otherwise. Maybe you’d know that if you actually read the books."
So is it a publicity stunt? Is it only going to be around for a few months? The answer is “Who cares” because even if it only last one issue it’s doing good and moving comics forward, and that’s what matters.
I just read a number of the highly sexist and racist comments at Tom Brevoort’s tumblr page about the changes to Captain America and Thor. As a white male I’m not sure if I should be more ashamed of my race or my gender.