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J. JONAH JAMESON STRIKES AGAIN!

Marvel Mistakes

Jada Lecce, Head Writer

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Growing up, Marvel was always a huge part of my childhood. I grew up watching the old, admittedly cheesy, “Spiderman,” “Fantastic Four,” and “Daredevil” movies, and read a “Spiderman” graphic novel with my dad before bed. When I was four, I dressed up as Spidergirl, and when Halloween rolled around again in 2015, I donned the red, black, and blue once more. Marvel is life; it is one of the for-sure ways to brighten my day. It got even better when the movies coming out kept getting more and more complex and gripping. Then, Marvel made a fatal mistake. They started taking their characters, fictional heroes that people have come to love, and changing them drastically, and not just the back story or the love interest. They are whitewashing and gender bending.

No. Just no.

In 2015, Marvel came out with a new comic book. “Thor: Goddess of Thunder.” What the heck is that? Thor is one of the most well known Marvel characters in the entire Marvel universe. He’s an Avenger, the Prince of Asgard- heir to the throne after Oden. He has been a part of Norse mythology for thousands of years, and for thousands of years, he has always been a dude! He is not Thor, Goddess of Thunder. He is not Thora, or any other name you can think of. Thor is Thor. End of story. You cannot change decades of comic books or thousands of years of history with one new comic series. Really, it’s no wonder why it was axed after only eight volumes; there probably wasn’t a single satisfied reader.

Then, as if they hadn’t learned their lesson, they went out and created the new Iron Avenger… Ironheart… Just let that sink in. Rather than continuing with the character development of Tony Stark as a hero (genius, playboy, billionaire, philanthropist…) they are creating a new character to take his suit and become the new Ironman- oops sorry, Ironheart. Ironman is one of the most iconic characters from the Marvel universe! Leave him as he is. Don’t change him into a her, don’t give the job to someone else. If he needs an apprentice, give her new powers, or a different suit with a different color scheme.

Most recently, in Disney Marvel’s new movie, “Doctor Strange,” “The Ancient One” was changed from an incredibly elderly, all powerful, Asian man, into a middle aged white woman. Exactly how does that make any sense?

I can only think of one reason as to why Marvel would do this to themselves. They are scrambling for strong female characters (other than the love interests) that they can bring into popularity to feed the masses of “feminists.” If they want to bring in strong female characters, then they should be re-introducing already existing, and wholly ignored superwomen. You want more strong female characters? Bring back some of the forgotten heroines or anti-heroes like Firestar, Black Cat, Medusa, She-Hulk, X-23, or Spiderwoman (please do not confuse Spider Woman as being a gender bent Spider Man, as they have very different powers and superhero getups).

On the other (just as upsetting) hand, they have been changing the races of some of their superheroes. The basis for this issue is the same as the gender bending matter. They are afraid of being labeled as racist, so they are taking well-known characters and changing their ethnic origin. As of recently, Marvel producers are considering replacing the traditionally Caucasian Ironfist with a new Ironfist of Asian descent. Why isn’t it possible for a white man to learn martial arts? He started as a white man, so let him stay a white man. If Marvel would like to add some more Chinese or Japanese representation, then they should create a new character following those guidelines.

Changing iconic characters doesn’t make them look less racist when they are just ignoring the already existing minorities. Maybe they should instead consider bringing back heroes like Sunfire, Firebird, Anarchist, Luke Cage, Bishop, or White Tiger. There are so many out there that the world has almost completely forgotten about. Is originality really such a hard concept to comprehend?

Why do they think taking popular, already established characters and changing their gender or raced will make comic book artists and producers look less sexist or less racist? That just makes them look more racist! Stan Lee and Marvel comics have brought us so many superheroes and villains over the decades of both genders, in all shapes and sizes, in a wide variety of races! All they need to do is widen the spotlight, and stop changing the characters!

I remember the corny Saturday morning cartoons from my early childhood including “X-Men” and “Spiderman and his Amazing Friends.” In those shows are characters that most everyone in my generation, Marvel fans or not, have forgotten about and many of them have the potential to satisfy their growing fan base. Granted, there will always be those nitpicky observers and critics who will complain about anything, but if Marvel stops changing the genders and races of their already existing characters, then that will be one less villainous act to worry about.

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