Pre-Marital Sex, Extreme Violence, and Over-Misogyny is OK, But Smoking is BAD

9 08 2010

"I need to prove I'm a tough guy villain by holding a gun to this baby's head! It's not like I have an evil look on my face all the time..."

Another day, another Marvel rant. Surprised? Before I start I just want to say that this post is not for the closed-minded and the Marvel Zombies. You’ve been warned.

So I’m sure most of us comic fans know about the initiative where Joe Quesada (Editor-In-Chief of Marvel Comics) wouldn’t allow characters to smoke in Marvel Comics because someone he knew died of lung cancer. While that’s nice and all, I’m here to tell you all that there are many far, far worse things than smoking within the comic books at Marvel. Those things are:

  • Pre-Marital Sex
  • Extreme Violence
  • Over-Misogyny

You know what all of these things have in common? They’ve been appearing throughout many of Marvel’s comics. Don’t believe me? Please bear with me as I provide this list of evidence (this is going to be a long one, folks):

I will be providing where the evidence comes from and who wrote the book.

Extreme violence AND over-misogyny:

I find it funny how smoking is a no-no, but extreme violence and misogyny is A-OK. It’s quite ridiculous. The evidence for misogyny will be bolded.

– Ultimate Red Skull holding a GUN to a BABY’S HEAD, then later THROWING said baby OUT OF A WINDOW, with a nice little blood splat on the next page (Ultimate Avengers#5- Mark Millar)

– A nurse REPEATEDLY STABS her husband to death with a pair of SCISSORS, with blood flying in the panel (Ultimate Avengers#5- Mark Millar)

A ticked off S.H.E.I.L.D. agent shoots a skrull lady in the head, killing her (New Avengers#48- Brian Michael Bendis)

– The tip of a plane going STRAIGHT THROUGH Ultimate Red Skull’s chest, again, with blood flying (Ultimate Avengers#6- Mark Millar)

– 8 pages, count ’em, of Ultimate Punisher SHOOTING people left and right with little to no dialogue (Ultimate Avengers 2#1- Mark Millar)

Nick Fury shoots a Skrull lady in the head (Mighty Avengers#12)

– Venom eats somebody/something/anything (WAY TOO MANY INSTANCES TO COUNT)

The Sentry RIPS OFF Morganna Le Fay’s HEAD OFF (Dark Avengers#2- Brian Michael Bendis)

Words can't express the disgust I feel while looking at this panel... and people thought that this was a good and fun book?!? Give me a break...

– Bullseye shoots numerous arrows into Morganna Le Fay, with his team congratulating him (Dark Avengers#3- Brian Michael Bendis)

The Hood beats/rapes Tigra TWO TIMES while Jigsaw films the first time (New Avengers#35 and New Avengers Annual#2)

From New Avengers#35. Can you believe that crap like this sells? Unbelieveable.

– Wolverine chops up a guy in half, rips another guy apart, Hulk gang member eats half of an arm, Wolverine sticks his claws THROUGH a Hulk Gang member’s face/head, a few Hulk Gang members have sex with a bunch of girls INTO UNCONSCIOUSNESS (not joking, sadly), explosion kills and decapitates several Hulk Gang members, Wolverine slices his way through several Hulk Gang members, Wolverine slices off evil She-Hulk’s head off, Wolverine disembowels a cow, Wolverine stabs through old, evil Bruce Banner then Banner turns into Hulk and eats Wolverine, then Wolverine CUTS OPEN Bruce and escapes. (Giant-Size Wolverine: Old Man Logan- Mark Millar)

– WARNING! WARNING! CAN’T COMPUTE THE VIOLENT SCENCES IN OLD MAN LOGAN! TOO MUCH DATA! GOING TO EXPLODE! WARNING! PLEASE EVACUATE THE BUILDING! (spx: BOOM!) Ok, it’s all over. Nothing to see here folks! Please go about your daily lives.

Ultimate Blob eats Ultimate Wasp, then Ultimate Yellowjacket bites off Ultimate Blob’s head and spits it out (Ultimatum#2 and Ultimatum#3- Jeph Loeb)

Hawkeye, oops sorry, RONIN shoots an arrow through the Skrull Queen’s mouth. Then Norman Osborn shoots the Skrull Queen’s head off (Secret Invasion#7 and Secret Invasion#8- Brian Michael Bendis)

– The Lizard eats his own son (some terrible issue of Amazing Spider-Man- Zeb Wells)

Spider-Man RIPS OFF half of Sasha Kravinoff’s face (some terrible issue of Amazing Spider-Man- Joe Kelly)

– The Sentry rips open Ares with Ares’ entrails spilling out (Siege#2- Brian Michael Bendis)

– The Wasp mysteriously turns into a bunch of purple dots and disappears, assumed dead (Secret Invasion#8- Brian Michael Bendis)

Bendis LOVES The Wasp! Can't you tell?

 – Bullseye chokes the life out of the Sentry’s wife (Dark Avengers#15- Brian Michael Bendis)

This is one of the MOST SICKENING panels I've ever seen in my entire life.

– WARNING! WARNING! CAN’T COMPUTE VIOLENCE IN ULTIMATE AVENGERS#2! OH NO, I THINK I’M GOING TO BLOW UP AGAIN! I CAN’T HOLD IT MUCH LONGER!!! (spx: KA-BOOM!!!) *sigh* It’s all right guys… I’ll make sure this never happens again- oh who am I kidding? As long as Mark Millar lives this will keep happening! Sorry about the mess…

Pre-Marital Sex:

This is the one that gets me. As a Christian I believe that pre-marital sex is wrong. So when I see characters, especially the ones I love, running around with their pants down it angers me to a point where words can’t describe how angry I get. Plus it just fuels the fanboy power-fantasy where women are simply there to be objectified, which pisses me off even more.

– Peter Parker gets drunk and has a one-night stand with his ex-roomates sister (Amazing Spider-Man#601- Mark Waid)

– Moonstone persuades Marvel Boy, whoops, Captain Marvel- oh I’m sorry, he’s called Protector now isn’t he? Anyway Moonstone persuades Protector into her room where they bang each other (Dark Avengers#5- Brian Micheal Bendis)

– Moonstone takes off her shirt in front of Bullseye, in which it is hinted at that Bullseye quickly followed suit and banged each other (Dark Avengers#10- Brian Michael Bendis)

– Ultimate Nick Fury is shown to have slept with a numerous amount of the new Ultimate Black Widow’s friends in a flashback (Ultimate Avengers 2#4- Mark Millar)

– Sins Past. ‘Nuff Said (Amazing Spider-Man#514- J. Michael Straczynski with a huge amount of Joe Quesada’s stink mixed in)

– Ultimate Valkyrie sleeps with Ultimate Hank Pym (The Ultimates 2#6- Mark Millar)

– Ultimate Iron Man sleeps with Ultimate Black Widow on a videotape (The Ultimates 3#1- Jeph Loeb)

– Ultimate Valkyrie sleeps with Ultimate Thor (The Ultimates 3#2- Jeph Loeb)

– Ultimate Wolverine sleeps with Magneto’s wife (The Ultimates 3#3- Jeph Loeb)

– Ultimate Pyro and Mastermind are tempted to rape an unconscious Ultimate Valkyrie (The Ultimates 3#4- Jeph Loeb)

I could've gone without that, but ok... that's just... yuck...

– Ultimate Hulk Annual#1 (don’t even want to go into what happened in this…- Jeph Loeb)

– Spider-Man/Peter Parker sleeps with Black Cat (Amazing Spider-Man#607 and Amazing Spider-Man#622- Joe Kelly and Fred Van Lente)- I almost had an aneurysm reading these issues, in fact I remember throwing #622 on the floor…

 I don’t know about you, but these problems are worse than smoking. Whatever Joe Quesada wants he gets, right? He thought there were too many mutants, so what happens? No more mutants, except the popular ones. He hated the Peter Parker/MJ marriage and what happens? No more marriage. *Insert fanboy voice here* “But Jim Shooter wanted to have Peter marry MJ and wanted Jean Grey face the consequences of her actions and die in Dark Phoenix Saga!” *Throw away fanboy voice here* That’s true, but he felt those story decisions would strengthen the stories. He didn’t do those decsions just because of personal preferences and look, Dark Phoenix Saga is considered (and is my personal favorite X-Men story) to be the best X-Men story.

If Joe Quesada makes his editorial descions based on his on his personal life that’s fine, but he should be more concerned about what would be beneficial to the story, not just about how he personally feels. What do the fans want? That’s another thing that needs to be considered. I hope Marvel starts to get their stuff together soon. They’re slipping from me very fast. I’ve said my two cents about the current Spider-Man status quo, so I’m not going to re-visit that. I know I’m picking on Marvel here. DC is guilty of a lot of violence in their comics, but they’ve kept pre-marital sex and misogyny to a minimum.

So ends my rant about the ridiculousness that is the fact that pre-marital sex, extreme violence, and over-misogyny is not as bad as smoking. Apparently you can have Ultimate Red Skull pretty much kill everyone he sees, but you can’t have him smoke! Let me know what you guys think about this topic by leaving a comment below! Thanks in advance!

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You just can’t polish a turd (GOOD comic book writers gone BAD)

2 08 2010

A Polished Turd, apparently…

 You know that time when your favorite writer, musician, performer, actor, etc. isn’t as good as they used to be? Well, that’s how I feel about a few comic book writers today. As an aspiring comic book writer myself one of the most painful things is seeing your creative heroes let you down. This post is about those writers:

Jeph Loeb:

My first exposure to Mr. Loeb’s comics was The Ultimates 3, then soon afterward Ultimatum. Those had to be some of the worst comic books I’ve ever read. I thought to myself, “Has this guy written ANYTHING good?” After searching around on the interwebs I found out that people liked his stories where he worked with Tim Sale. Soon afterward my dad had mentioned a story he had read called Spider-Man: Blue and he recommended that I read it. Little did I know that it was written by none other than Jeph Loeb. I ended up reading it based on my dad’s recommendation and I liked it. The ending was very heartbreaking and well thought of. Then several months I read Batman: Hush by Loeb and Jim Lee. I was blown away by it. In a good way. To me it was very engaging and it had some of the best comic book art I’ve ever seen. Then, come February this year I read Batman: The Long Halloween by Loeb and Sale. That became my favorite Jeph Loeb story very quickly and it was then that I realized that Loeb is/was capable of some really good storytelling. I want that Jeph Loeb back soon.

Frank Miller:

This is perhaps the most tragic downfall of a comic book writer in the industry. This man has written and drawn some of the best comic books in the world. In my Top 5 favorite comic book stories list, Miller has written two of those stories. Those are Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Daredevil: Born Again. Other wonderful work Miller has done is as following: Batman: Year One, Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, Daredevil: Man Without Fear, and his run on Daredevil. So why do I dislike his writing now? Dark Knight Strikes Again is THE WORST Batman story I’ve EVER read. So childish and pointless. You couldn’t have a man talking about a woman without them commenting on her butt. Then comes along All-Star Batman and Robin. The dialogue in this so-called “comic book” is HORRIBLE. I’m a big fan of Miller’s dialogue he used in his older work, but this dialogue in All-Star is just utter garbage. There was nothing attractive about it. But the final straw for me was the movie Miller made called The Spirit based on the wonderful comic by Will Eisner. While, some of the visuals were nice, the rest of the movie is sickening. The dialogue is on par with All-Star Batman and Robin. Evidently Miller and Eisner were best friends, and I can’t believe Miller just pissed all over Eisner’s creation. I honestly don’t know how he can live with himself after that movie. I just like to pretend that none of that crap exists and I enjoy Miller’s good work.

James Robinson:

This one will be short because this isn’t as painful as all the others. I’m a big fan of his Starman stories. That was one of the best books to come out of the 90s. But recently his JLA stories have been AWFUL. You’d think that he could write superheroes after seeing what he could do in Starman, but apparently not. In JLA not only is it just not a fun read, you have the heroes killing each other and ripping body parts of each other and it’s just… ugh. What is this? The Teen Titans?

Geoff Johns:

What? How come Geoff Johns is on this list? I’ll tell you why. Brightest Day SUCKS. You’d think with a title like that it would be a happy story and FINALLY we’d have a light-hearted story in the DCU… right? Nope. Brightest Day has to be one of the most depressing and boring comic book I’ve ever read in my 10 years of reading comics. Don’t get me wrong I have LOVED some of Geoff’s earlier stuff like the stuff he does with Gary Frank, his Green Lantern stories are good (not anymore, too much same old same old for me), his Avengers stories were good, and Blackest Night was great up until the end. The truth and my honest opinion is that Johns is just not doing his best work right now. I hope something changes soon.

Brian Michael Bendis:

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love Ultimate Spider-Man and his indy comic book Goldfish. So imagine my disappointment when I read his Avenger stories. New Avengers was boring, Dark Avengers was a joke, and his current Avenger books aren’t good. His current disregard for continuity is astounding. His lack of respect for female characters (for the most part, he doesn’t that as much recently) was/is disgusting. For months and months I have begged and prayed for the Bendis I know and love to come back. Well, thankfully my prayers have been answered with Scarlet done by Bendis and Alex Maleev. Sadly that is only going to be a mini-series. His work in the mainstream comic books outweighs his great work on Scarlet. To me, Bendis is more of an independent writer than a mainstream writer.

Mark Millar:

To me, this is the most painful and tragic downfall of a comic book writer. Millar was one of my early influences as a comic book writer. I liked his work on Ultimate X-Men, The Ultimates 1+2, Wanted, Chosen, and Superman: Red Son. Then he started letting me down with Civil War, Fantastic Four, Kick-Ass, Nemesis, War Heroes, Ultimate Avengers 1+2, Marvel 1985, and Old Man Logan. I remember the day I first read Old Man Logan. It was not a good weekend for me. I had suffered a lot of emotional pain the week before and all I wanted to do was read a good comic book story. So I picked up some issues of OML because most people said they liked it. I read it and never before have I felt so dirty about buying and reading a comic book in my entire life. The story had way too many continuity gaps in it and it just wasn’t an enjoyable read for me. In fact, I got really mad at the part where Wolverine finds out he accidently kills all of the X-Men due to Mysterio (which would never, NEVER happen). I had gotten so mad that I threw the issue into the air and yelled, “That’s bulls***!” (Don’t worry fanboys, I didn’t damage the book too much. You can breathe now).

Two weeks later my dad bought for me the trade paperback of Superman: Red Son. To this day Red Son is my favorite Superman story and my favorite Mark Millar story. In fact, towards the end I started crying because I just could not believe that the man who wrote this awesome story, had written OML. To see what Millar has become now just breaks my heart. It seems all he does not is steal from movies and doesn’t try as hard as he used to. Have any of you noticed that his new upcoming comic, Superior, sounds just like Dancing with Wolves and Avatar? It’s true.

Those are the comic book writers whose work I’ve enjoyed, but lately I haven’t been enjoying their work. I know I bash Bendis, Johns, Millar, Loeb, and Marvel a lot. Not because I dis-respect them, but because I know they’ve done better work and are capable of so much more.

Thanks for bearing with me and please leave a comment to let me know what you all think! Thanks!