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Mar 22

Marauders #22-27

Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 by Paul in Uncategorized

Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artists: Matteo Lolli (#22 and #26-27), Klaus Janson (flashback in #22), Ivan Fiorelli (#23), Phil Noto (#24-25 and # 27)
Colourist: Rain Beredo (#22-23 and #26-27)
Letterer: Cory Petit
Editor: Jordan White

I’ve said before that the period between “Hellfire Gala” and Inferno showed some definite signs of drift for the X-books. Nowhere was that more obvious than with Marauders, which had been a very focussed, very successful book for its first 22 issues, but loses its way badly in the last few issues of the Gerry Duggan run.

The first 20 issues have a central spine to them, of Kitty feeling isolated, getting killed, returning to claim her identity and take revenge on Shaw, and so on. But that’s all finished by the time of the Hellfire Gala, and the book doesn’t really find anything to replace it in these closing issues.

By way of reminder, here’s what happens. Issue #22 is the Lourdes Chantel story, with guest art from Klaus Janson, which retcons the death of this minor character from a Classic X-Men back-up strip. It now turns out that Emma Frost created an illusion of her death to enable her to escape her abusive relationship with Sebastian Shaw, who to this day still looks back on that relationship fondly as his true love. This is the closest the book comes to a central theme in the closing issues, and it’s good enough as far as it goes, though Lourdes herself never really seems to develop much beyond a cipher.

More dubiously, the story is paralleled with the Stepford Cuckoos helping Wilhelmina Kensington to avenge herself on her abusive father, which extends into issue #23. The main focus of that issue, in fact, is a rather random fight between Banshee and the Reavers in a warehouse, which seems to serve mostly to introduce Tempo to the cast – only for her not to be seen again. There are a bunch of questionable choices in this issue – the general Oirishness, the weirdly out of character use of Jumbo Carnation as a combatant – but trying to do a serious revenge story with Wilhelmina Kensington is a genuinely bizarre one. Even by the standard of the junior Hellfire Club members, Wilhelmina has always been a one-dimensional joke character; ascribing her behaviour to years of abuse seems incredibly tin-eared and mildly tasteless. To plug a character as ridiculous as her into a subject as serious as that requires some really convincing character work, which we don’t really get here – she just whiplashes from one stock persona to another.

Then we get to the real filler. Issues #24-25 are a two-parter with alien mercenary Deen Lorix trying to steal back the Mercury; technically it ties up a loose end about where the Mercury came from, but there’s nothing especially interesting about it. There’s a moment where everyone works together to save the day, including Shaw, which seems like a nice turning point for him. And it’s got art by Phil Noto, whose facial expressions can elevate anything. But even his action sequences feel flat, and there’s barely enough story here to fill one issue, let alone two. Either Duggan is killing time with these issues, or he thinks Lorix is a really compelling character – but if so, it’s hard to see why. The guy’s just a stock rogue. Visually, the whole thing feels a bit Star Wars, which only serves to underline how derivative it feels.

Issue #26 is the return of Harry Leland and his appointment as Krakoa’s UN ambassador. This is a nice little issue, partly because it feels like it’s heading somewhere, but also because Duggan’s Leland is quite a likeable, charismatic sort. He’s a gregarious fellow who was never really cut out for supervillainy and actually finds his niche as a Krakoan diplomat – and he brings out another, somewhat more sympathetic side of Sebastian Shaw, who clearly sees him as another long lost friend who helped to keep him grounded through their drunken exploits. Padding the issue out with a random fight between Iceman and Fin Fang Foom is underwhelming, though, and it retreads old ground – yes, yes, Iceman is recognising that he’s more powerful than people thought. We’ve been doing variants on this story since the 90s, guys. How many times can he realise it?

Finally, issue #27 feels like a desperate race around stray subplots – if not to resolve them, then at least to acknowledge them as outstanding – with characters being abruptly written out and shunted into new positions in preparation for the new run. Nothing about it feels like it’s been set up, despite the previous three issues containing a heck of a lot of filler. The closing pages, with Kitty approaching Reed Richards, introduce an interesting plot, and there’s a certain sense of closure from Duggan going back and reprising the key elements from his run, but it just doesn’t feel like it emerges from what came before.

After Marauders was so strong in its earlier issues, this batch is disappointing. It’s hard to tell how much of this is due to the book marking time waiting for other people to settle on a direction, and how much is simply the classic error of a series that finished its story but forgot to stop. It feels like a bit of both, since on any view Duggan had finished his main storyline and found himself with six issues still to kill.

It has its moments, but we’ve come to expect better from Marauders.

Bring on the comments

  1. Moo says:

    Is that poodle draped over Kitty’s head asleep or dead?

  2. Si says:

    I like the naturally curly hair look myself. Nobody has curly hair in comics.

  3. Moo says:

    I guess not so much these days, no.

    I quite liked Starfire’s curly hair back when she was introduced… once I finally noticed that she had a head.

  4. Josie says:

    “Nobody has curly hair in comics.”

    Probably because it’s a pain to draw, I imagine.

  5. wwk5d says:

    Kitty has always had curly/wavy hair, though some artists tended to soften it at times. For whatever reason though, the artists on this title at some point decided she needed to have birds nest level curly…

    With regards to these issues and the title overall, yes, it was a pretty good title before Hellfire Gala. Post Gala, it does feel like it’s treading water but also introducing plot points and characters that go nowhere. We know Tempo will be on the team once the book comes back, but will anything be done with Lourdes? I guess a supporting role while she is working at Hellfire Trading. We’ll see if the plot with Kitty and Reed goes anywhere as well.

  6. Miyamoris says:

    I don’t mind the curly hair but the #27 cover looks weird and I think it’s mostly the coloring.

  7. Mike Loughlin says:

    For a while Kitty rocked a ponytail and straight hair. I was not a fan.

    I wonder why the last few issues of Marauders were about a series of disconnected vignettes rather than a coherent story. I assume Duggan & Co. knew they had until issue 27. Maybe Duggan wanted it this way, but Emma Frost makes a speech in issue 27 about not getting everything done that reads like Duggan writing about himself. Given the pacing in X-Men, I wonder if we’ll get a similar speech from Cyclops in a few issues.

  8. the new kid says:

    Eh… there’s probably some curly haired girl out there who’s thinking they have a character who likes them now, so that’s cool.

  9. Jaymes says:

    In the same way that Bobby was the X-Men’s Human Torch, his realizing his potential feels like the equivalent of Johnny’s recurrent acceptance of responsibility.

  10. Aro says:

    My guess is that the focus of Marauders drifted because Duggar’s focus shifted to writing X-Men …

  11. wwk5d says:

    “Eh… there’s probably some curly haired girl out there who’s thinking they have a character who likes them now, so that’s cool.”

    I miss the days when people didn’t care that there were characters out there who looked like them and just enjoyed the characters for who they were.

  12. wwk5d says:

    Actually I’m an Arab guy who grew up outside of the US and who 2 of my 3 favorite characters were and still are Storm and Kitty. Never really cared or needed to see an Arab character in the group to enjoy the titles and/or feel good about muself.

    Try not to twist your ankle once you dismount off of that high horse of yours.

  13. The new kid says:

    I just had a passing thought that someone young identify with a character and apparently broke some guy who couldn’t just scroll on. The internet is so predictable.

  14. wwk5d says:

    Nah, not broke. Just comfortable in who I am.

  15. Rybread says:

    Comfortable in who you are and intolerant of others. Gotcha

  16. […] Paul O’Brien reviews the disappointing filler of Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli, Klaus Janson, Ivan Fiorelli, Phil Noto, et al’s Marauders #22-27. […]

  17. wwk5d says:

    Nope being intolerant of others. But if putting words in my mouth makes you feel better…

  18. Miyamoris says:

    Buddy, no offense but you kinda brought this on yourself. There wasn’t even any heated debate, just one wholly positive remark and you got ticked off.

    If you personally don’t care about being represented or just about corporate media representation that’s understadable, but that’s hardly a simple topic. Hard to complain people see you as a reactionary white nerd when you do the exact thing reactionary white nerds have been doing for ages.

  19. wwk5d says:

    I wasn’t ticked off, I was just offering my own viewpoint. The people reacting are the ones who are arguably ticked off and bit too sensitive. Also, a bit ironic for them to assume I am a reactionary white nerd could be seen as just as offensive on so many different levels.

  20. Mike Loughlin says:

    Ooh, “the people who call out _____ are the real _______!” I just got internet commenter Bingo!

    You might not think identifying with a super-hero because of race or culture is important, wwk5d, but lots of other people do. See: reactions to the Black Panther and Into the Spider-Verse movies. Hell, I’ve heard at least one Jewish woman comment in an interview that she identified with Kitty Pryde because of her natural curls.

  21. wwk5d says:

    And how sad is it in 2022 that people still need to…

  22. the new kid says:

    It’s not like we’re on a blog dedicated to a long running comic franchise known for its multi racial/ethnic cast, and its theme of strength through diversity. Who could have foreseen “representation is irrelevant and for sad people” posts would land with such a thud?

    Tone deaf of trolling.

  23. Moo says:

    I was going to stay out of this, but actually fuck that.

    I can certainly agree that wwk5d’s comment was wrong-headed and I understand why it ticked people off, but once he disclosed his ethnicity, didn’t any of you so-called tolerant people think to stop for a moment and try empathizing first BEFORE shitting all over him? Isn’t that the liberal thing to do? Or maybe I’m the only one willing to do that because I’m half-Arab myself (on my father’s side).

    Consider this: As an adult Arab, you’ve grown up on a steady diet of your people being depicted in fiction largely as villains. They haven’t been ignored or marginalized. Ignored and marginalized would actually be preferable. No, instead, your people are frequently cast as the bad guys. The guys the heroes have to stop.

    And for decades, the sum total of positive Arab representation in comics amounted to an an embarrassing stereotype on a flying carpet (until he was killed off in Thunderbolts #55- cover dated October 2001. That’s some interesting timing). Otherwise it’s been: terrorist, terrorist, terrorist, terrorist, token “good Arab”, terrrorist, terrorist, terrorist, terrorist. And it’s been that way for most of your life.

    But you enjoy comics, and you want to keep reading them, so you have to just learn how to not give a shit how your people are depicted. You condition yourself to disregard the negative portrayals either consciously or unconsciously because you have to. Because if you couldn’t do that, and if you actually cared, you wouldn’t have any money leftover for comics after paying your therapy bills.

    And that’s how you grow up.

    Years later, things start to turn around, which is doubtless great for the younger Arab readers, but by this point– well into adulthood– you no longer give a fuck. I certainly don’t, and I imagine that’s why wwk5d doesn’t either. I’m too conditioned NOT to care how Arabs are portrayed in fiction for me to jump for joy over the emergence of more positive depictions. Maybe if I was twenty years younger, perhaps. But now? Ehh.. whatever. I’m too numb to care.

    And after all of that, you come across a comment about how cool it is that some hypothetical curly-haired girl has a hero that they can identify with. Isn’t that wonderful?

    If reading that irritated me, which it did, then I can understand why it irritated wwk5d as well. And in his irritation, he made an ill-considered comment. And he hasn’t done himself any favors in trying to defend himself, but that’s how most people reflexively react when they feel they’re getting ganged up on.

  24. wwk5d says:

    @the new kid

    It is sad because we shouldn’t have to care about this at this point in time. People should be able to enjoy a show or comic book series regardless of who is on the show or isn’t. By your logic, I should only enjoy a show or series if I am represented in it?

    Also, calling someone who disagrees with you trolling is the height of lazyness.


    That is part of it, but at the end of the day, I like being entertained more than anything else. Growing up I enjoyed both the original 90210 and A Different World, even though I wasn’t represented on either show. Did I care? No. I was entertained and enjoyed both shows for what they were. One was a silly fluffy fun teen soap opera, the other was a funny comedy which also did a good job tackling relevant social issues that are still sadly relevant today. In the end, when both shows were good, they were good and kept me coming back for more. That’s all I need in pop culture that I enjoy.

    “Years later, things start to turn around, which is doubtless great for the younger Arab readers”

    Somewhat, other than Simon Baz, I can’t think of any somewhat prominent Arab characters in comics, and TV isn’t much better.

  25. Moo says:

    Well, I think I’ll just grab some popcorn, sit back and see who else feels inclined to join Dazzl–err.. I mean Josie in going so far as to accuse wwk5d of white supremacy. That’s not small potatoes. That’s an accusation bold enough that Paul might be compelled to take action against either the accused or the accuser.

  26. Paul says:

    I am indeed going to delete Josie’s two comments. I have no problem with people robustly disagreeing with wwk5d’s view but I’m not having people jump direct to accusations of white supremacism and fascism on the basis of one sentence of fairly routine centre-right opinion. That’s grossly excessive and crosses the line into personal abuse.

    For what it’s worth, wwk5d has been posting perfectly sensible comments here since 2011 and has identified himself as Arab at least twice before that I can find (some years ago).

  27. the new kid says:

    ” By your logic, I should only enjoy a show or series if I am represented in it?”

    No, that is not my logic, or anyone else in this thread’s logic, or anybody on the planet’s logic as far as I know.

    This is dumb.

    Anyhoo, I hear Morbius sucks.

  28. Josie says:

    Nice, apparently “white supremacist” is the new n-word.

  29. Josie says:

    Note: “white supremacist” does not mean “supremacist who is white,” as there is no unmodified “supremacist” ideology.

    It means someone who adheres to the ideology of white supremacy. It can be a person of any color or ethnicity, like Candace Owens.

  30. Paul says:

    Josie, the problem is not the use of the words “white supremacist”. The problem is that they are so wildly disproportionate to the single sentence you were responding to that they cross the line into personal abuse.

    My point in flagging his previous comments was simply to make clear that what he was saying about his background was plainly not invented in the context of this argument.

  31. Moo says:

    I’m kicking myself for not seeing all of this coming when I made the poodle remark.

  32. Josie says:

    “The problem is that they are so wildly disproportionate to the single sentence you were responding to”

    This is the last thing I’ll say on this topic, and then I’ll let it go, since it seems no one wants to dwell on this issue.

    1. I’m familiar with the far right and the way they express their ideology. What may have come across to you as a fairly innocuous comment was a red flag to me.

    2. And then he doubled down after being called out.

    That’s all.

  33. Jerry Ray says:

    Josie, it may come as some surprise to you that other people have different beliefs, experiences, and opinions from you. It would serve you well to learn that those differences do not make other people “far right” or “white supremacists,” it just makes them people with different opinions. This isn’t the first time you’ve gone to insult and abuse in these threads because somebody holds a different opinion from you, but people here are mostly too polite to call you out on it.

    It takes some gall to call somebody a white supremacist, find out that they’re not white, reiterate the accusation, and then accuse THEM of doubling down because your unfounded attack didn’t immediately cow them into changing their opinion.

  34. The new kid says:

    I see we’ve found our pivot and given the toxic need behavior a pass.

  35. The new kid says:

    Toxic need behavior.

  36. Josie says:

    “It takes some gall to call somebody a white supremacist, find out that they’re not white”

    This is a misconception I’ve already cleared up by defining the term. You can find it in an earlier comment.

    Also, I’m not sure how disagreement is something that should automatically be given a pass. One must evaluate the thing being disagreed upon. Surely “whether or not some human beings deserve equal treatment” is a disagreement not to be brushed off easily.

  37. Jason Powell says:

    “Dazzl–err.. I mean Josie”


  38. neutrino says:

    Duggan seemed to be heading for a plot where Kitty’s increasing brutality had an external cause, with even Bishop commenting on it. It seems to have been dropped with all the fanboys saying how “badass” she was.

  39. Nu-D says:

    I’m late to the conversation, and I missed Josie’s original comments. I’d like to weigh in on two topics, though, the value of representation (and why I disagree with wwk5d), and the label “racist” and the difference between “being” a racist and having a view that “is racist.”. I’ll break it into two posts.

    As to representation, it’s wonderful that wwk5d was able to identify with and find enjoyment in comics where he didn’t see himself represented. I suspect, as an adult, he values the strength of character and broad imagination that he’s internalized from the experience of relating to characters who are demographically different.

    I can relate. I was the only Jew growing up in my small American hometown. I remember really appreciating all the movies and TV shows about underdog kids who are swept up into great adventures. Even though they were usually not Jewish, I could see their outcast status as a metaphor for my own experience. In comics, Cyclops was my favorite, because he was the serious outsider, not the popular or gregarious one.

    And as an adult, I see it as a core part of my identity that I can recognize and relate to people who have that experience even if their not ethnically, religiously or racially similar. I am grateful that I learned that from comics.

    But that doesn’t detract from the importance of representation precisely because some children—and we’re talking about children here—will NOT make that leap, and instead will feel excluded. It is clearly a real experience for many, many people that by not seeing themselves centered in certain kinds of stories and mediums when they were children, it changed and limited their vision of who they could be as they grew into adults. The fact that some of us were able to relate to the characters and build that into a vision of ourselves as adults, doesn’t mean we can just dismiss and ignore the experience of people that didn’t or can’t.

    So yes, representation is important. I’m not sure “curly haired girl” is a particularly strong identity that frequently feels excluded; but the original comment was at least half-joking anyhow. If it is a strong identity that serves as a barrier to inclusion for some children, then it’s a good thing we’re seeing representation. If it’s not, then great.

    But lamenting representation altogether, simply because it wasn’t important to some of us as kids, misses the critical point that for many kids it’s really, really important. And the more those kids are systematically excluded or whitewashed or hidden, the more important it is for us to recognize and celebrate their inclusion.

  40. Nu-D says:

    As to the language of “racism” and “white supremacy,” I repeat that I didn’t see Josie’s original comment. From the later comments it appears s/he may have overstated his/her case.

    The term “racist” can mean bigotry. And the term “white supremacist” can mean a person who consciously seeks a social order where White people are empowered at the expense of non-White people.

    But there are other uses of these terms too. Modern speakers often use “racism” to describe a social order designed around principles of race. Much like “communism” is a system of laws and social practices designed around an ideal, these speakers are using the word “racism” to describe a system of laws and customs.

    In that sense, it may be correct to identify indifference or hostility to representation as “racist.” It is an idea which is part of a culture that seeks to devalue and marginalize the experiences and contributions of people who are not part of the dominant racial class.

    But a person who holds an isolated belief which is part of a racist system is no more a “racist” than a person who happens to like the UK’s health system is a “communist” or “socialist.” To be a “communist,” one must hold a systematic view about how to order society along those lines for those purposes. To be a “racist” in the sense Josie’s using it, one must hold a systematic view about organizing society to promote White power.

    As an example, in the United States, gun control laws have frequently been overt of thinly-veiled efforts to strip Black people of access to firearms. We stripped felons of their right to possess guns explicitly as a way to keep Black Americans from having guns. And then we created felonies (like marijuana use) deliberately to capture Black Americans in the net.

    This is a racist law. It was designed and implemented to fortify White power in the United States.

    But guess what? I support gun control generally, and I specifically support taking the right to own a firearm away from felons. But not because I want to fortify White power; rather, in spite of the fact that the policy was intended for that purpose, and in spite of any current effect to that end which persists.

    In my view, to the extent that law continues to entrench White power, we need to find a solution, but one that does not involve increasing (lawful) access to guns in America. (I’m open to hearing arguments that as a practical prohibition hurts Black Americans more than it helps Americans as a whole, but I’m loathe to agree to any expanded access without firm evidence that it’s more harmful than helpful).

    Do I support a racist law? Yes. Am I a racist? Well, on that point alone I hope we can agree the answer is no.

    So I do think it could be fair to say that wwk5d’s hostility to representation is a “racist” opinion, since it is a cultural view which justifies White status as the dominant and default identity, and expects non-White people to just live with it.

    But it is a bridge to far from that comment alone to attribute an identity of “racist” to wwk5d, or to draw any sort of moral judgment about the speaker’s values. Even the act of “doubling down” isn’t sufficient to really draw any conclusions. All we know is wwk5d doesn’t find value in representation and doesn’t appear to understand why other people might. Or possibly, he understands but finds there are countervailing values which in his experience are more important.

    That’s not a moral failure, and it’s certainly not a clear and unequivocal sign of bigotry. It’s just a different life experience and a different balance of values.

    I hope that’s a helpful or thought provoking framework.

    One final personal aside: I have always felt that this use of the language of “racism” is more trouble than it’s worth. I understand it, and I understand why it’s being used and advocated now. But in my view, because of how the English language works, it too frequently confuses impersonal systems with personal motives; policy judgments with moral ones.

    I have always felt that when discussing systems and policies, we’d be better off using more impersonal language such as “racially discriminatory.” I get that it makes it feel technical and dry, and isolated from the real human harms and experiences it describes. But the confusion and hostility engendered by the more personal and moral language of “racist” seems incredibly counter-productive. I eschew deploying it, but I when I hear it used I try to be careful to ensure I’m hearing it in the manner intended by the speaker.

    And for those who want to use “racist” to describe systems and policies, I encourage them to speak carefully so as not to inadvertently proclaim a moral judgment where all that can really be stated is a historical or factual one. “The idea you are advocating has a racist effect because …” not, “you’re racist because you believe…”

    Just my $0.02.

  41. Nu-D says:

    Sorry, I’m going to add a third post, and bring this back to specifics.

    I miss the days when people didn’t care that there were characters out there who looked like them and just enjoyed the characters for who they were.

    The nostalgic formulation here suggests a view that I think is mythical. If you listen to what people are saying, there was never a day “when people didn’t care” about representation. People are telling us loud and clear how the absence of representation affected them.

    I’m an Arab guy who grew up outside of the US and who 2 of my 3 favorite characters were and still are Storm and Kitty. Never really cared or needed to see an Arab character in the group to enjoy the titles and/or feel good about muself. (sic)

    This suggests to me that the speaker is generalizing from his own experience. He’s suggesting since it didn’t matter to him growing up, it shouldn’t matter to others. That’s reinforced when he later writes:

    we shouldn’t have to care about this at this point in time. People should be able to enjoy a show or comic book series regardless of who is on the show or isn’t.

    The “should” here is important. It’s indicating the speaker believes his experience is the best way, and one we all should aspire to. It indicates he doesn’t see the value in representation. He knows from experience that representation doesn’t matter to everyone, and so he thinks representation “shouldn’t” matter to anyone.

    Again, in my view this is naive and tone deaf. We’re talking about children. And at this point there are thousands and thousands of voices telling us how the lack or representation affected them as children. The idea that all children across the globe “should” just not care is like saying we don’t need police because at this point in history everyone “should” understand that crime is bad.

    Humans are wonderfully complex, and children are joyously different. It is impossibly unrealistic to think that someday they’ll all happily see themselves in a comic full of White people. So many people are telling us they never visualized themselves in certain roles because they were never presented in those roles, that it’s simply not credible to think someday all children will be indifferent to representation, and unaffected by its absence.

    And I’m not sure we even want kids to all have whatever psychological and cultural traits are necessary for that to happen. While I value my childhood experience seeing myself in other kinds of people, I can’t say what would be lost if we had that level of psychological and cultural uniformity.

    And that doesn’t even touch on what we might loose when we don’t see people who are different represented in roles and experiences which are the same. If a White child only sees White characters, it is too easy to fail to learn that Black people have similar inner lives, experiences and capabilities. Representation is not just important to empower underrepresented people; it’s important to help over-represented people learn empathy.

    That’s why I disagree with people who are indifferent or resistant to representation.

    And though antipathy to representation often functionally contributes to White Supremacy, that may be an inadvertent or (in the speaker’s view) undesirable but unavoidable consequence of some other important goal.

    And while such antipathy to representation sometimes might be predicated on some assumptions about race and identity which are stereotypes or biases, it’s not inherently the case.

    Lastly, while antipathy to representation sometimes is part of a larger worldview that’s invested in advancing the power of the dominant racial class, without regard to or at the expense of other racial classes, it may also be based in entirely different motives, goals, priorities and experiences.

    In conclusion:

    I think representation is important. I think it is a powerful tool to erode structures of racial power. I think resistance to representation is—in general—more destructive than productive. (I can imagine that there may be specific cases where representation accomplishes little and might cause more harm than good; but generally it’s something we should be applauding and encouraging).

    I also think most people’s resistance is not a moral failure. Only very, very rarely is it some peek into the secret ideology of a bigot. Usually, it’s simply a different priority of values, weighing what is seen as a minimal benefit from representation against some other value that is lost or perceived lost. Sometimes that’s due to a lack of insight into the value of representation, sometimes it’s due to weight given to something I don’t think is very important.

    But you can’t conclude that antipathy to representation, by itself, signifies a commitment to a social order that supports a dominant racial class.

    And there’s way too little here to draw those kinds of conclusions. If Josie’s bigot radar pinged, that’s fine; antipathy to representation could be a “red flag.” But a red flag is far from clear proof. The proper response is to make inquiries and explore the issue, not just cast wild accusations.

    So yeah. I’ve said my bit. I’m certainly no authority. But that’s how I see it. I’ll sign off, since I’m way over my allotted word count.

  42. Nu-D says:

    I’ll take the deafening silence as a sign that I went way, way beyond anyone’s patience or interest in the topic. Lesson learned, I hope.

  43. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I was going to say this was way more in-depth than I expected from what happened in this thread before, but then I realized I don’t have anything to add or refute and in the end I thought writing anything would be pointless.

    So to refute (or prove) that point, I’ll add this:

    I’m a white cis hetero guy, so representation isn’t an issue for me (I think it’s important and I applaud it, but I never felt its lack). On the other hand, I’m Polish, so I’ve always consumed superhero comics with the awareness that I’m outside the intended American or maybe American-Canadian-British audience (it often is hilarious when Poland makes incredibly brief appearances in Marvel comics).

    On the other other hand, Polish fandom is starved for any Polish characters anywhere.* For decades we assumed Magneto was ours, until Magneto: Testament took that away by explicitly making him a German Jew who wound up in Warsaw by happenstance.

    *- anywhere outside Polish culture, that is. If I want Polish characters, I read Polish stuff.

  44. Allan M says:

    I also didn’t have anything to refute. All I would consider adding is that representation in comics has always been a conscious choice by the creators, even if we as readers weren’t as aware of that fact as we are nowadays. Claremont used to have a sign or poster in the Marvel offices that read “Why not make it a woman?” A challenge to his fellow writers that if they introduce a new character, to stop and consider if they should default to assume it’s a man. Many years later, he was publicly proud that X-Treme X-Men had a majority nonwhite cast. Claremont’s track record with representation is definitely fair game for criticism but he certainly tried.

    Tying back to where this began, with Kitty, her being Jewish (and with curly hair) was a Claremont/Byrne thing, and Claremont repeatedly wrote stories to spotlight her being Jewish. I expect there was a segment of the fandom back then that felt he was pushing an agenda, but today, these are foundational stories that established who she is. The difference between attempts to promote diversity in big two superhero comics is less about intent and more about execution. Sometimes you get the New Mutants. Sometimes you get the New Guardians.

  45. Nu-D says:

    representation in comics has always been a conscious choice by the creators, even if we as readers weren’t as aware of that fact as we are nowadays.

    Good point, which I hadn’t thought of. It’s always been a deliberate choice to deviate from straight White male in the superhero role. And it’s always been a choice to deviate from the straight, White female in the love-interest role.

    An interesting take on that, of course, is the very original: Clark Kent and Superman. Created by Jews, cast as non-Jewish, but coded very heavily as Jewish for anyone who knew too look.

    Claremont used to have a sign or poster in the Marvel offices that read “Why not make it a woman?” A challenge to his fellow writers that if they introduce a new character, to stop and consider if they should default to assume it’s a man.

    Didn’t know that anecdote. Makes me respect his forward thinking even more. It makes it clearer than ever that he wasn’t just doing his thing, but that he was consciously pushing for his principles.

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