Why Can't Marvel Keep Politics Out Of Their Comics?

Why can't Marvel keep politics out of superhero comic books? Ever since Joe Simon and Jack Kirby first had Captain A On His Forehead smack some anonymous moustachioed fellow on the cover of his first comic that had nothing to do with any political upheaval at the time, superheroes have stayed completely out of politics, and that's the way things should be. Comic books are about escaping from the news, the world around us, into a world where people hurt each other a lot and stand around making big speeches.

But these days, things are changing. Major comic book publishers have been putting out comic books heavily steeped in political rhetoric, encouraging direct violent action when all you wanted to read was a fist fight. And identity politics has seen old familiar comic books upturned with female characters and ethnic minorities taking over the leads. I mean take a look at this recent cover. They've taken a traditionally White superhero team created as a White team and turned it into something unrecognisably politically correct.

I mean, they are still mostly White characters and they killed off one of the non-White characters straight away, but it's a betrayal of the original creators' intent for this Tumblr-influenced reboot of something that didn't need fixing. It's political correctness gone mad and another sign that the Marvel Comics of today is toadying to the worst elements of social justice warrior. I think we can also agree that it is guaranteed to be a sales failure.

I mean one of them is Canadian for goodness sake, like the guy who writes Squirrel Girl. What, is he going to have some kind of super-healthcare power?

And now the comic has been ruined forever. It's not like they could ever bring the original team back through a different title or time travel or something. Because this is comics and that could never happen.

But I think the most egregious example of Marvel losing their way is in the recent Secret Empire storyline with Captain America, it is blatant propaganda of the very worst kind.

The Secret Empire storyline portrayed a twisted, version of the highest office in the USA and as part of a left-wing agenda, corrupted it, portraying it as an ultimate evil at the highest parts of US political, interpreted as some kind of bogus parallel with current political moves in the country, and in the process utterly insulting a Republican President elected to high office by the people of this fine country.

Not only that, but after the predictable conclusion, Marvel Comics published an issue without any action, just Captain America talking, and desecrating the character even further in the process.


And now Marvel Comics is sending Steve Rogers on a journey to reconnect with its spirit. But the comic is written by someone known for their politically extreme views, and is likely not to satisfy anyone.

And yes, to add insult to injury, this is how they are still portraying Squirrel Girl.

As before I am continuing to boycott all the Marvel superhero comics I like (there are fewer and fewer) to send a message to Marvel, while buying all the comics I don't like (there are more and more) so I can better inform you what's going on. I urge you to buy all the comic books I hate too, so you can experience first-hand what is wrong with America – both the country and the comic book – and what we can all do about it.

UPDATE: It's happened again, sorry, I have just been informed that Captain America started off punching Hitler, an interventionist viewpoint that was not universally shared then, the X-Men I refer to are actually from the 1970s which kicked off on of the most critically and commercial successes in superhero comic books, as is the Secret Empire Captain America plotline. And I made the same Squirrel Girl mistake last week, I just forgot.

You know, I've started reading those Barbie comics again.



About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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