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There is a long tradition of comic book events making the mainstream news. The most famous probably being the “death” of Superman back in the 90s. Big institutions like The New York Times and People reported on it like actual real time news.
For reference, take a look at this incredibly 90s newscast from the halcyon days of 1992:
But such things didn’t stop when the Clinton administration did. With the spread of the Internet, comic book events had to be “riskier”, which made reactions crazier.
So for your viewing pleasure, I’ve assembled some the craziest reactions to comic book events and announcements. Everything from Youtube rants to the dark pit of the Internet: comment sections.
Ultimate Marvel is a parallel universe from the main 616 Earth of real-time Marvel. This is important. In it, Peter Parker dies a heroic death and a new kid — Miles Morales — takes on the mantle. That seems okay, right? Well Miles Morales is half-black, half-Hispanic. Still seems okay? Oh, we’ll then you’re probably just a well adjusted human being.
BUT MAN, it was a huge deal when this came out. Mostly from people who didn’t read comics and the thought of another universe was foreign to them. Most assume it was the main Pete, with skin as white as the driven snow, who had died.
First up, everyone’s favorite probably-a-character-for-pay-but-takes-it-a-liiiiiiitle-too-serious pundit Glenn Beck was on the scene to blame Michelle Obama for the creation of this new Spider-Man. Yeah. Don’t let that logic hit your mind on its way out.
Comments from around the web ranged from “I don’t care” to “Typical Liberals vs Dumb Conservatives” argument threads. I don’t want to start a political riot here, not after last time, so I wont post those.
No, for me the worst comments popping up were the ones that I started to agree with in the beginning, only to have them take a drastic turn towards the end.
NOPE, WAIT. This is actually the worst comment:
A few months ago, Marvel announced their new Ms. Marvel title featuring a 16 year-old Muslim Pakistani girl. It was good to have more diversity in comics, but it wasn’t the biggest event. I mean the X-Men had Dust, a Muslim Afghani girl, all the way back in 2002.
But the Internet can be a terrible place sometimes.
While most of the reaction was positive, articles popped up ridiculing everything from her costume to the fact that she doesn’t cover up her hair. In a weird twist, they weren’t mad she was Muslim, they were mad she wasn’t Muslim enough. I can’t speak to that idea myself, as my most recent spiritual encounter was finding a box of poptarts in my cupboard that I had forgotten about, so let me know if that’s not weird to anyone else.
DC put their hat in this weirdly specific ring earlier with Simon Baz, the newest Green Lantern who also happens to be Muslim. Offically, Geoff Johns wanted to use him as a way to deal with the negative Muslim stereotypes in America. Unfortunately, he chose to do this by having his suit include a type of ski mask and had him pointing a gun at the viewer on his appearance cover.
Most of the reaction to this event was centered around these strange choices, but there were a few outliers. Unfortunately, these outliers were just more attacks on one political side or the other.
However, I will post this comment because it’s a special brand of crazy and crazy is in the title. It starts with one idea then completely switches gears in the second sentence.
In Amazing Spider-Man #700, Doc Ock took over Pete’s body and became the Superior Spider-Man. It’s a story arc that earned writer Dan Slott some hot new death threats.
The only real mainstream media reaction was centered around the reactions of the fans (which is weird because now you really do have main Marvel Spider-Man dying. Huh). And man did the fans react. It was almost universally hated across the board by hardcore Spidey fans and the echoes of rage were heard across the Internet.
That man burned his copy of ASM 700 because “it’s a piece of crap”. He makes a brief rant, extolling the sins of Marvel, then sends it right to comic book hell in a plastic bucket. BUT DON’T WORRY! He makes it clear that he’s usually against burning literature, so… you know… he was pushed to the edge.
If you’re put off by book burning, don’t worry! There are hundreds and hundreds of rants online. Like this brutally Canadian fan for instance:
You made a Canadian swear, Marvel! You made a Canadian swear.
Maybe this is cheating because it’s mostly to do with movie casting. I don’t know… role with it…
Idris Elba is an awesome actor who has crushed roles in both TV and movies. When news broke that he’d be Heimdall in the first Thor movie, most people were okay with the decision. But then… there were others.
The recurring argument didn’t seem so bad. Basically, if the Norse gods were space vikings, you’d think they’d all be Norsemen, or a close approximation. If you missed it, take another look at the picture above and you’ll notice Idris isn’t exactly of the Norse persuasion.
So, sure, there’s some sense to it on the surface. However, there’s something(s) that throws a wrench in it big time. The Warriors Three.
You basically have Robin Hood, Paula Deen, and a weird Mongol stereotype. While these guys have mostly stayed white-ish they don’t really have much to do with Norse… things. And it’s not like they’re an obscure aspect of the comics, they’re in the movies. Both of them. Big time! They’re big characters. So the viking stuff is kind of a loose suggestion rather than an actual rule.
This didn’t stop The Council of Conservative Citizens who lambasted the choice, calling it an attack on European heritage and Norse mythology. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise since, in their Statement of Principles, they say:
(2) We believe the United States is a European country and that Americans are part of the European people. We believe that the United States derives from and is an integral part of European civilization and the European people and that the American people and government should remain European in their composition and character.
They made a Facebook page if you want to look at it. It’s still up today and has expanded beyond the narrow scope of Thor and onto more pressing matters like:
But it wasn’t limited to just the CCC.
Comment threads on these articles raged with crazy, off the wall arguments. The biggest point was mostly “HEY, IF HE GETS TO BE A MYTHOLOGICAL CHARACTER, CAN A WHITE GUY PLAY AN ACTUAL HISTORICAL FIGURE?”
Again, most of the reactions were positive, but this in particular hit some kind of nerve.
Although I never did find out from Glenn Beck which member of Obama’s family was responsible… damn.