Marvel Comics is still planning publishing New Warriors, a five-issue mini-series written by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert writer and producer Daniel Kibblesmith. The team is made up of all new heroes with a diverse range of backgrounds, including two called Safespace and Snowflake. For some people this is the worst thing in the world, is a terrible comic (even though no one has read it, as it hasn't even been printed) and apparently is responsible for the entire edifice of the comics industry collapsing. Somehow there wasn't this much hatred over Marvel's clearly-virtue-signalling-to-elephantine Power Pachyderms which reinvented each of the x-Men as elephants. But, then, we didn't have Twitter. A video trailer for the comic from Marvel has been downvoted 226,000 times as opposed to 4,000 upvotes. Though it was watched by a million viewers so far
Naturally there have been dozens of YouTube videos from the usual suspects mocking the very existence of this comic and blaming all of the industry's ills on it. Something I thought was amusing considering an earlier example from the mid-seventies of a low selling comic that replaced all of its members for new characters as requested by the company's international sales department, including controversial heroic lead depictions of Germans, Japanese and Russians. That seemed to work out. Nevertheless, the mocking continued, reaching an apogee on The Joe Rogan Experience TV show in a section labelled 'Joe Rogan Learns About the Most SJW Comic Book Ever Made' racking up another three-quarters of a million views on YouTube alone.
Now, it's not like the criticism is all one-sided. Rogan says he can't believe the comic is not a parody and there are a number who believe it is. These are from folks less likely to make YouTube videos about it all, but they see the Marvel Comics PR for New Warriors as looking like they are mocking diverse comics or looking like a super-bigoted parody of diverse superhero comic.
With Kibblesmith's history as a satirical writer/producer on Stephen Colbert as underlining that for some. Maybe they're right, we don't know, we haven't actually seen the comic book yet. Marvel has been cancelling the printing of a number of comic books caught up in the shutdown, and switching some to digital-only, but there has been no mention of New Warriors. Yet. There has been the suggestion that the immense ridicule that the PR received will lead Marvel to cancel the comic.
New Warriors, New Opportunities
However, one comic book retailer has seen an opportunity. Lawrence Docherty of Larry's Comics, Inc in Massachusetts sees things very differently. Politically, Larry is generally on the conservative side of American politics. He's the kind of person who some might caricature as being against the existence of such a comic. But what Larry cares most about is whether he can sell the comic or not, he saw those million views on YouTube, and is enthusiastically supporting Marvel Comics decision to still publish the comic. He tells Bleeding Cool "No press is bad press. Marvel's upcoming title New Warriors has been taking a beating on social media and beyond. One posting has over 100k downvotes. There way too many eyes on this title for me to dismiss it. My opinion, fans aren't going to be able to not take a peek, it's that car crash you pass by on the highway, you try not to look, but you just have to. I ordered five hundred first issues. I like my chances."
I wonder what percentage of the print-run Larry's order may end up making up? Also, what kind of mark up he will be expecting to make by the end of the week? I mean who knew that a look at Batman's weiner would cause so much fuss? And that was down to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert as well. Here's the original solicitation from before everything went to hell:
NEW WARRIORS #1 (OF 5) BAGLEY VAR
(W) Daniel Kibblesmith (A) Luciano Vecchio (CA) Mark Bagley
DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK!
Or Night Thrasher will knock you out! Or better yet, he'll get one of the new recruits to do it! With Kamala's Law in full effect – forbidding unsupervised super heroics by anyone under the age of 21 – it's time for the New Warriors to step up. Thrasher reunites with Firestar, Rage, Speedball, Namorita and Silhouette to mentor a whole new generation of heroes…whether they like it or not. Introducing the NEW New Warriors – and the epoch of their thrilling new adventures!
Rated T+In Shops: Apr 15, 2020 SRP: $3.99