News and Commentary

Marvel To Depoliticize Its Comics After Social Justice Storytelling Experiment

In recent years, Marvel comics has led a progressive revolution, changing their superheroes into social justice warriors, and their villains into thinly veiled “conservatives.”

One story saw Iron Man as a black teenage girl. Captain America is also a black woman in the Spider Gwen series. In the version in which Cap is still a white male, Marvel made him a Nazi (though they quickly back-peddled). Thor is now a woman as well. Miss Marvel is Muslim. A partially-robotic Donald Trump was made the villain in Spider Gwen Annual #1.

It’s not subtle; it’s obvious and forced.

Ian Miles Cheong of Heat Street recently penned an article in which he writes that Marvel has decided to return–at least in part–to storytelling that isn’t so obnoxiously political:

Marc Guggenheim, the writer of X-Men: Gold, spoke to Newsrama about the publisher’s plans and the direction of its upcoming comics. The writer said that the new books are “more about the X-Men as heroes than the X-men as a struggling minority fighting for their very existence.”

“The existential crisis is tabled for the time being,” said Guggenheim, referring to the social justice-related storylines in recent comics like Captain America: Sam Wilson, which sees a fictional conservative pundit calling for the deportation of one of the superheroes due to his Mexican heritage. The comic also sniped at campus leftism.

Cheong adds that “readers can expect Thor, Iron Man and Hulk to move away from the heavy-handed politics that made them difficult for readers to care about.”

Shoehorning politics into storytelling never works. Nobody wants a sermon about the evils of deporting illegal immigrants when they open up Captain America.

The Daily Wire spoke with comic writer and artist Bosch Fawstin to get his opinion on Marvel’s return to sanity:

“They’re hitting the wall that they built in the marketplace. It’s shameful; they’ve completely inverted the entire purpose of these comics. They’re made for entertainment; they’re made to tell stories of good versus evil.”

Fawstin pointed out the irony in Marvel’s transfiguration, noting that in their attempt to tell politically relevant stories, Marvel completely ignored the most politically relevant villains of the real world–jihadists. Instead, they choose to virtue signal by having Muslim superheroes talk about peace and “get out the vote.”

Interestingly, Fawstin claims he’s had multiple non-leftists within the industry contact him, saying they “can’t speak up because they’re worried about their career.” The industry’s hive-mind creates an environment in which creators who may disagree with Marvel’s social justice experiment are afraid to take a stand.

Further, he noted that although Marvel may be changing tides with their stories, they’ll keep the same writers, who will surely make their opinions known on social media, and possibly in more subversive ways through their writing.

In the end, however, Fawstin says it’s all about money:

“I had this one term years ago–affirmative action comics. Is it the end of that? No. It will never be the end of affirmative action comics because there will always be leftists, always liberals.

But right now, at this stage, they’re just not making enough money to compete with DC–and that’s really what it comes down to. They’re being embarrassed because DC went retro to some extent, they’re focusing on the characters more, and Marvel has to copy them.”

Hopefully, Marvel’s crash-and-burn experiment is over, and the comics giant will stick to creating compelling and readable stories–and roboTrump will be relegated to the dustbin of comics history.