Friday, October 24, 2008

If called by this Panther, don't anther

I've become convinced that at some point in my past, I have unknowingly offended Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada to the point that he has made it his life's work to ruin everything I have ever loved about Marvel Comics.

Under Joe Q.'s watch — and therefore, presumably, at his direction — Marvel has:
  • Retconned the 20-year marriage of Peter (Spider-Man) Parker and his precious Mary Jane out of existence, by having Spidey make a deal with the devil (or at least Marvel's version of the devil, namely Mephisto) to save the life of Peter's doddering, older-than-McCain Aunt May, who's already died a couple of times previously.

  • Murdered Captain America, the symbol of all that's good in these here United States.

  • Transformed Iron Man, formerly one of my favorite superheroes, into the world's most colossal jerk.

  • Killed off Dr. Bill Foster, a.k.a. Goliath, and dumped his body in a hole without even the dignity of a coffin.

  • Turned the mighty Thor into a murderous clone.

  • Devolved my beloved Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, the conscience of the Avengers, into a universe-altering whack job.
And that's just in the last couple of years.

The latest evidence that Joe Q. hates me? He and writer Reginald Hudlin are dumping T'Challa, the Black Panther — the first, greatest, and most prominent superhero of African heritage in mainstream comics — so they can replace him with a female Panther.

Now, I loves me some superheroines, as anyone who drops around these environs every Friday can attest. Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Storm, the Scarlet Witch, Mary Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Vixen, the Valkyrie, Isis... I'm all about the superheroines.

That said... the Black Panther does not need to be recast as a superheroine.

Why must you keep urinating on my boyhood companions, Joe Quesada? What atrocity did I ever commit to warrant such malice?

This is the Black Panther.

So is this.

And this.

Certainly this, too.

I don't know what this is...

...but it's not the Black Panther. Quesada and Hudlin are crazier than I already think they are if they believe that I'm paying a dime to read about it.

And that's your Comic Art Friday.

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8 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger Sam offered these pearls of wisdom...


1:18 PM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Sam: I couldn't have said it better myself.

1:23 PM  
Blogger MCF offered these pearls of wisdom...

Storm is married to him right now, right? Maybe she temporarily takes on the mantle of the Panther? In the Avengers Next DVD, T'Challa's son displayed some electrical abilities, which made me suspect an implication that Ororo was the mother. Not that an animated DVD is remotely canon.

I've heard good things about the new Cap, even though I'm sure Steve will be back at some point. It's just amazing if they brought back Bucky, made him Cap, and actually made it all GOOD.

But the worst thing is that Peter/MJ deal with the devil retcon. Out of all the things you listed which were done by other writers under Quesada's watch, that was one that he pushed for personally, an unnecessary step back in a character's years of development.

1:34 PM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

MCF: The Storm-as-Panther speculation is the most widely voiced speculation. As big a Storm fan as I am, I don't like that idea any better than some random woman (T'Challa's sister, for example -- another common speculation) replacing the man who's been the Panther for more than 40 years.

I, too, have heard good things about the new Cap. I even know people who like the "Brand New Day" version of Spider-Man. Even if the ideas are well executed, that doesn't make them good ideas.

Let me be clear: I'm not against comics characters growing or changing. I'm not even opposed to updating, or even completely reinventing, characters that were poorly conceived -- or perhaps just poorly received -- in their earlier incarnations.

But tossing out four decades of iconic history for no good reason -- there's nothing wrong with the Black Panther as he presently exists, other than the fact that Reggie Hudlin has done a wretched job of writing his adventures for the past three-plus years -- is disrespectful of and insulting to fans of the character.

2:29 PM  
Blogger DamonO offered these pearls of wisdom...

Couldn't have said it better myself.

9:44 AM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

DamonO: Thanks, amigo. I know you share my pain.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Lee offered these pearls of wisdom...

Wow, I didn't realise how offended I was by some of Marvel's decisions over the last couple of years until reading them in summary there.

I've had quite enough of SHIELD Stark thank you very much. And whilst I'm not the biggest fan of the Black Panther I think it would be a shame to mess with the character that much.

10:48 PM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Lee: Here's a stack of umbrage, my friend. Please feel welcome to take as much as you can carry.

I'll bring my own stack and walk with you.

10:53 PM  

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