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Marvel Entertainment goes the social justice route (again)

Marvel Comics has long since jumped the shark on creativity, competent editing, and actual entertainment within the pages of its superhero editions, and the recent announcement of a new title looks to maintain that trend.

University of Chicago assistant professor Eve Ewing was sought out by Marvel to pen a new series featuring Iron Man offshoot character “Ironheart.” Ironheart’s alter ego, Riri Williams, is a 15-year-old African-American female genius who has created her own version of Iron Man’s armor.

Or, to put it another way, “Riri’s intellect is so incredible that she is able to re-create the Iron Man suit on her own, without all the resources of a Tony Stark.” (Of course — gotta defeat that white supremacy!)

Upon the announcement of Ewing’s hire, some on Twitter complained she wasn’t qualified, and that the company was just engaging in more diversity feel goodisms. While the latter has merit, Ewing sure seems qualified enough to write Williams’ character. She certainly has a better curriculum vitae than many other modern creators currently employed.

Her situation is akin to that of Ta-Nehisi Coates, a well-accomplished African-American writer who has been scripting Marvel’s Black Panther. These days, certain titles require the creators to look like the characters — for authenticity’s sake, you see.

Ironically, however, many of the company’s writers remain old white guys who, if they didn’t hold far-left political positions,  would probably be out on their keisters. One of them, Brian Michael Bendis, is the creator of Riri Williams.

Also ironically: A long-time black comics writer believes the whole notion of “having to look like your character” with associated “relevance” is a bunch of bullshit:

I later found out that Marvel and, to a lesser extent, DC moved into a trend where they were no longer hiring writers—they were casting writers. They’re listening to chatter on Twitter insisting that only a black lesbian writer could write a black lesbian character, and that’s nonsense.

No doubt Mr. Priest has since drawn the ire of the leftist guardians of social media (among others).

Probably the most heavy-handed example of this racial/cultural “casting” came with the hire of Gabby Rivera, the Latina-lesbian writer of America. With exclamations like “Holy menstruation!”, a “sanctuary” university named after Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor, and, of course, white supremacists galore, it’s an Antifa reader’s wet dream.

It lasted a dozen issues.

Is Ironheart destined to become the latest in Marvel’s silly attempts at social justice relevance? Here’s Ewing in her own words:

Riri’s identity and the place where she comes from means she sometimes has a different perspective than some of her peers on how to deal with people who are doing wrong …

Specifically, what does it mean to be a teenage black girl from Chicago? Somebody who has lost family members to gun violence, somebody who understands the realities of the community is going to bring something very different to questions about justice and who the good guy is and who the bad guy is and what you do about that.

With this in mind, it’s a good bet Ironheart won’t last much past ten-twenty issues. It’s bad enough the social media habits of contemporary comics creators constantly trash conservatives and their beliefs; worse, still, is putting that same crap into the books.

Long gone are the days when the personal politics of a creator didn’t dictate the direction of a title. Though Marvel Comics founder Stan Lee was vehemently opposed to Vietnam War, he made sure his characters’ books didn’t overtly take sides on the issue.

“I think it’s an utterly indefensible war. I think it’s a ridiculous war,” Lee said in 1968. But according to Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, fan letters coming into the office “were almost evenly split between support for and opposition to the Vietnam War.”

If Lee had acted like a writer in 2018, he’d have responded to pro-war comics fans with a hearty “f*** you,” and would tell those who disagreed to stop buying his books.

MORE: Race, gender bean-counting studies ruin your entertainment

MORE: Prof whines new ‘Spider-Man’ flick isn’t sufficiently diverse

IMAGES: Konnor/Flickr.com, Twitter

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 18 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.