It was easy to predict. As reported a couple of weeks back, news that Marvel’s sales were down, and that this slump was being blamed on, in part, Marvel’s forced diversity, its habit of removing prominent characters from circulation and replacing them with minorities and female characters just for the sake of having more female and minority characters, heralded a return to a more classic Marvel, the return of those aforementioned prominent characters to their prior statuses. Wisely, it doesn’t seem that Marvel is doing away with all those new characters, which would have been a PR nightmare, had they done it, but is going to offer readers both the classic and new characters—which is what it should have done in the first place.

Let’s look at that teaser image for LEGACY. Sam Wilson is back as the Falcon. (Making him Captain America just to have a black Captain America was a bonehead move to begin with.) Steve Rogers is back in his classic costume. The Hulk is back, as is Iron Man and Thor. But included are the faces of the “new” Thor, the “new” Wolverine, the Totally Lame Hulk, Amadeus Cho, Miles Morales (who will always be stuck playing that OTHER Spider-Man, unless Marvel gives him the proper respect and changes his name), and Ms. Marvel. Marvel’s readers, it appears, will now get to choose between these flavor-of-the-month newbies (along with the occasional new characters that could actually become permanent fixtures) and the established icons. About time, Marvel.

If you’re going to pull a tacky stunt and hide hate speech in the panels of the comic book you’re drawing, be man enough to admit to it when you get pinched. Don’t try to make the world feel sorry for you by claiming you were motivated by “love.” That is a classic sociopath behavior and strategy.

You’ve probably all heard by now about the fracas over Marvel’s X-MEN GOLD #1, wherein artist Ardian Syaf hid anti-Christian and anti-Jewish references. Maybe he didn’t expect to get caught. Maybe he figured others who felt the same way he did would pick up on the hints but no one else would. If so that was unbelievably naïve of him. He got busted and he got fired. Now he laments, “My career is over…” Ya think? Really? It’s a shame, too. He is a talented artist. He had a job that many would dearly love to have, have worked years to achieve. And he threw it all away to take a couple of impotent potshots at a couple of belief systems he hates. Oh, my mistake. He said repeatedly how much his actions were motivated by “love.” Yep. That’s it, alright. Love speech got him fired. Sure.

Hopefully there was too much market saturation for the issue he drew to become a collector’s item. A comic shouldn’t go up in value over something so ugly.

Continuing the conversation from last week: So people are “incensed” that Marvel blamed “diversity” for its current sales slump? Too bad! Marvel is right, so the PC crybabies need to deal with it. While I don’t think anyone with a brain is going to argue that this is only one factor among several, and no one with a conscience is going to suggest that diversity is a bad thing, the fact remains that Marvel’s move in recent years towards FORCED diversity has alienated many of their longtime fans. I am one of them, so I know of what I speak. To break it down for those not with-it enough to grasp the concept: diversity is good. FORCED diversity is bad.

We can lay the blame for the brouhaha not on Marvel’s VP David Gabriel, who spoke ineloquently, but on the PC police who inferred something from his statement that wasn’t there. (PC buffoons are good at that.) Here’s what he said: “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity…I don’t know that that’s really true, but that’s what we saw in sales.” The statement is a generalization, non-specific, but factual. Marvel has forced diversity and sales are down. Are the two linked? That would appear to be the case, but even Gabriel said he doesn’t know if it is “really true.” Marvel should take the time to find out, and the best way to do that is to ask the fans. Unfortunately no one can hear the fans right now because the PC wankers are squealing like a herd of gutshot hogs because they perceive that someone called into question the company’s kowtowing to their agenda. Shut it, feebs. No good is going to be accomplished, here, if Marvel keeps using a shoehorn to try and make us accept new minority and female characters—and you are only hurting your cause by giving them hell for realizing it.

IS Marvel slumping? Is the company experiencing a sales slump? I was under the impression that the entire industry was going through a slump, not just the Big M, but I admit I haven’t kept up with it that faithfully. I’ll take their word for it. The author of this linked article is careful not to assign blame himself as to the specific reason for Marvel’s lackluster sales as of late, but he sure quotes from plenty of people who DO assign it. The consensus seems to be that Marvel is overdoing the “event” series, and I would have to concur. The recent CIVIL WAR II was disappointing. It could be that if they do too many of these type series, too often, then there really isn’t enough creative steam to go around. In the past Marvel made the mistake of putting profit over the quality of its books. I’m afraid it is doing so again, not learning from the mistakes of the past, the mistakes that led the company to bankruptcy. Disney ain’t gonna put up with that, Marvel people. Better get yourselves sorted, pronto, lest the House of Mouse does it for you.

One thing with which I must vehemently disagree is the assertion that Marvel’s forced diversity isn’t in any way hurting their bottom line. Fans ARE sick of having this shoved down their throats, not because more diversity isn’t needed or even wanted but because it feels so artificial. I dropped IRON MAN, for example, once they replaced Tony with a (minority) teenage girl. This new “Iron Girl” could become a viable and valuable character, but you can’t shoehorn her into prominence like that. I know for a fact I’m not the only longtime reader who feels this way about Marvel’s mandate for forced inclusiveness, who has been driven away by it.

Tip of the hat to DC, for figuring out a way to give fans on both sides of the argument what they wanted, to let them have their cake and eat it too. Superman can be seen as a perfect depiction of the larger DC universe, and of the reactions of the readers to the comic line’s relaunch, the New 52, which some loved and some despised. (As time progressed, more and more hopped the fence and congregated on the “hate it” side.) Then DC killed off the New 52 Superman and replaced him with the pre-New 52 Superman, the married Superman (who now has a kid) with all the history. Some fans cheered the move and a smaller number howled in anguish.

By revealing that the New 52 Superman and the original post-Crisis Superman were not, after all, two different characters, but different facets of the same character, and by rejoining those two separated halves, DC made a move that should satisfy both camps. Superman also gets a new costume that looks a lot more like his old costume—minus the red briefs. (I’ve argued in the past that the entire New 52 movement was all about getting rid of the red underwear.) Welcome back, Superman! A fully restored Superman, at that. And extrapolating from the thought processes that led to the reunification of the character, which suggests that the same “fracturing” is true of ALL DC’s characters, might we see a “fully restored” Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. and etc. in the coming months?

I should begin this tirade by stating that I am myself a feminist, if we are going to go by the original, dictionary definition of the word. Originally, to say you are a proponent of feminism meant simply that you believe men and women are deserving of equal treatment, in the workplace and in society. I do believe that. Originally, then, feminism meant equality. Nothing more and nothing less. Like any ideology or school of thought, however, feminism has been hijacked by its extremists, to the extent that, when one hears the word today, sadly, what is called to mind is the extremist elements rather than the original philosophy. That’s a shame.

We have now reached a new low, a new depth of asinine stupidity, in the existence of PC culture, this low masquerading as “feminism.” I blame the Internet. The problem with the Internet, despite all the benefits that it has bequeathed us, is that any idiot can use it and every idiot does. Before the Internet, nobody would have paid the slightest attention to a loudmouthed PC loon. Now, with outlets like Twitter, those rare morons are able to find each other and start a “movement;” all that is needed is to add a hashtag. I also blame Warner Brothers, in that it would appear they have themselves drawn attention to the issue. In the new trailer for WONDER WOMAN, it appears that the lovely Ms. Gadot has either bleached her armpits or else the pits have been CGI’ed to make them look that way. (Which is itself stupid and unnatural.) Now there are moronic fem-extremists bitching that the character doesn’t have armpit hair. Since she grew up on an island filled with only men, according to these nitwits, she should have hairy pits. Because apparently personal grooming is an indication of a repressive patriarchal society, and hairy pits are signs of liberation and enlightenment. Yes, it is every bit as stupid as it sounds. But that’s PC culture for you. Any lamebrain can join in, and every lamebrain does! Halfwits who used to write on bathroom walls now get to display their imbecility online! #getafreakinlife #darwinawardwinnerswaitingtohappen

I didn’t catch the new Netflix/Marvel series IRON FIST, so I can’t comment on its quality or lack thereof. Apparently it didn’t go over so well. I don’t honestly care; comics-related television and movie projects are a dime a dozen. We have reached and surpassed oversaturation. The TV shows and movies can’t ALL be good, not when there are a gazillion of them. It’s the sheer rule of probability.

I CAN comment on the idiotic compliant about Iron Fist being a white guy, though. I’m sick to death of this PC (talk about oversaturation!) faddish gotta-save-the-world-by- means-of-revisionism-and-censorship-of-pop-culture movement. I’ll see your “white savior” malarkey and raise you a fish-out-of-water scenario! What’s the difference between the two? Nothing at all except skin pigmentation. Making it all about skin color? You tell me who’s being racist, then. Oh, and Danny Rand’s mother was from K’un Lun, which though it is a mythical realm is generally interpreted as being populated by ASIANS. Which means Iron Fist is half Asian. That should suffice to shut up those bitching about the CHARACTER’s whiteness. (It won’t, but it should.) As for the ACTOR portraying the character, Finn Jones, he’s English. Is there any Asian-ness in his genetic pedigree? I don’t know. I doubt anybody asked him when he auditioned for the part. Should they have? Should they have made an issue out of his race? Wouldn’t that, by definition, constitute racism? If they’d wanted to be truly accurate to the character as he is presented in the comics, they should have cast an actor who is half Asian. But would even THAT have satisfied the PC wankers?

If you’re looking for a more mainstream review of the hit film LOGAN, head on over to our sister site, werewolves.com. As THIS site is dedicated to comics and comics-related subjects exclusively, Ima focus a bit more on the geekier side of things, on some of the ways in which the film lined up with the established comics canon and some ways in which it diverged. Before I really begin, though, I should announce a SPOILER WARNING. Just in case you’re one of the few who hasn’t already seen it and has managed to avoid anybody telling you what happens. (If you have managed to dodge all the spoiler talk, you deserve props either for concentrated effort or exaggerated luck, or else pity because you have no social life or social interaction.)

As beautiful as the father/daughter dynamic in the film is, I had to inform my lovely movie-attending companion that in actuality Laura, aka X-23, is NOT Logan’s daughter. She is his CLONE. They only had access to half of Logan’s DNA, the X instead of the Y chromosome, so they just duplicated it and then created a clone from that genetic material. That’s why she’s a girl. It’s a fine point, perhaps, but it is a fact. (Apparently they found the other chromosome at some point, though, because X-24 is a perfect MALE copy of the ol’ Canuklehead.)

As for why, as my lovely companion asked me, I didn’t tear up at the end, when Logan died, I had to explain that he has been killed off numerous times before and always comes back. Never doubt the powers of popularity! (The same is true of Professor X.) He even got trapped in Hell once and came back from it, after laying the smackdown on the devil! Death from a slowed-down healing factor, massive injuries, and adamantium poisoning ain’t nothin’ for him. In point of fact I believe he’s ALREADY come back from that scenario in he comics.

The question is whether or not we will see Hugh Jackman back in the role. Don’t bet against it. LOGAN has been a whopping monster hit—and Jackman has already said he’d play Wolverine again if he got to appear in an AVENGERS movie. Considering that the yokels at 20th Century Fox have now painted themselves into a corner—they’re going to want to continue making money off the character, but where do they go from here?—it would make perfect sense for them to take the step of reuniting with Marvel Studios, especially if the new Spider-Man flick makes a shit-ton of money, which I’m betting it will.

No worries, peeps. Wolverine will be back. You can’t keep a good (X) man down.

The Oscars lost credibility forever on the night a Woody Allen flick beat out STAR WARS for Best Picture of the Year. A film that completely reinvented popular culture and changed moviemaking for all time. And a Woody Allen comedy. Yeah, which one is REALLY the most deserving of recognition? And then there’s Oscar’s refusal to recognize genre work, the innate snobbishness that also severely hinders its legitimacy. As little as the Oscars mean, though, their dark companion, the Razzies, mean absolutely NOTHING. They never had credibility to lose. They are an embarrassment to themselves.

I don’t know what movie “won” the Razzie for worst picture this year, and I don’t care. I’ve never followed the Razzies and I never will, again because they are meaningless drivel. I did hear that BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN got nominated. Seriously? Even by Razzie standards, this is embarrassing. I could, with little effort, name dozens of movies deserving of that “honor.” BVS doesn’t even belong on the list. If it WERE a bad movie—which it ISN’T—I doubt it would be even in the top (or bottom?) one hundred.

Try to wrap your mind around this concept, BVS haters. A movie can be well made, well executed, and still not be well LIKED. A lot of folks didn’t like BVS, but a lot of people DID, and there were far more of the latter than the former, as statistics bear out. Numbers don’t lie. But you wouldn’t know it, listening to all the self-important wannabe Hipsters who lazily throw around the word “suck” as if it means something. They may not have LIKED the movie, but the amount of viewers who did not care for it is NOT equivocal to the quality of said movie. It is simply that the final product was not to their tastes. That doesn’t mean it was a failed execution. With BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, the creators set out to make a certain kind of movie and they made it. Technically, it is sound. It’s like a chef preparing a special dish for a dinner party. Not everyone at the party cares for the taste. That doesn’t mean the chef is a lousy cook or that he fouled up the recipe. Only that not everyone has a common palate.

I figure all this is over the heads of the tryin’-ta’be’trendy pilers-on who make up the Razzie fan base and I’m probably just preaching to the choir, here, but it needed to be said, anyway. People who use their brains, well, they do just that. People who don’t? They wait for the Oscars and the Razzies to tell them which movies are any good and which ones “suck.” Know what REALLY sucks? Not thinking for yourself and following a vocal (but not too numerous) crowd in a pitiful effort to be a part of said crowd. Oh, and the ones who pander to those lemmings as they march along blindly. The rest of us sit back and chuckle as we watch them all play follow the leader right off the nearest convenient cliff.

Who’d want to have a COMMON palate, anyway?

A couple’a three weeks back, I reported that the long-awaited second HELLBOY sequel was likely in preproduction, as writer/director Guillermo del Toro had conducted a “poll” on his Twitter page to see how many fans were interested, and as I pointed out, he wouldn’t have mentioned it at all if some progress hadn’t already been made on the project. Sadly, Del Toro just announced, also via his Twitter account, that the film would “100%” NOT happen. This would seem to be the final word on the subject. What happened?

If Del Toro wants to do the project and star Ron Perlman wants to do it, it would seem a logical assumption that the holdout is character owner Mike Mignola. I don’t know WHY Mignola wouldn’t want them to do another film, as it could only help sales of the HELLBOY comic book. Maybe Mignola has reached a level of success where he no longer has to worry about book sales and royalties? There might be other reasons, too, why it all fell through, but it’s hard to figure what those issues might be. Del Toro is himself at a level of success where he can get projects made, even if the studio involved isn’t crazy about said project, so we can probably rule out the studio as a contributing factor. We’ll never know for certain, but it’s sad news to all fans of the films that the planned finale to what was supposed to be a trilogy will never get made. As Hellboy would say, “Crap!”