The Washington Post theoretically made the points detractors have made about Disney serving as an example of corporations destroying what they get their mitts on, yet at the same time give strong hints of double-standards at work:
But while Disney executives appear convinced that Marvel’s star will make Disney+ the center of gravity in the vast and dangerous streaming universe, the consolidation of Marvel’s canon on Disney+ presents a fresh opportunity to reflect on the company’s domination of mainstream American culture — and all that comes with it. Marvel’s radical storytelling made the company a fixture of the comic book ecosystem, but the growing stakes present fresh problems. Corporations are notoriously obsessed with unrestrained growth, and their politics (and many compromises) have come to usurp the political efforts of the source material itself. Burning bright with commercial and mainstream success, those pressures threaten to strip Marvel of its radical roots — and to destroy everything that made the weird, wonderful property so valuable in the first place.
Indeed, there’s a growing anxiety over the hegemony of the Marvel Universe, captured in Martin Scorsese’s recent critique of Marvel’s place in the American cinematic cosmos. While Scorsese’s main target is corporatized entertainment — “market-researched, audience-tested, vetted, modified, revetted and remodified until they’re ready for consumption” — the subtext of his complaint is that Marvel lacks the daring to produce an impactful cultural product. […]
My, there’s something fishy in their allusion to political efforts. I don’t deny politics were alluded to in the older material, but it was never in such a blatant way as modern ones have come to do. Here’s where things become really troubling, and reveal the hypocrisy of the writer’s arguments:
But now that Marvel is a central pillar of American culture, Feige and his corporate paymasters are not immune to the politics that shape cultural products such as TV and movies. Sure, readers have complained about changes to their beloved characters for years — establishing African American Sam Wilson as Captain America or Jane Foster as a female Thor, for example — but Marvel enterprise has faced growing criticism for this apparent corporate spinelessness in recent months after the comics publisher pulled a pair of essays from upcoming collections. One, by “Maus” author Art Spiegelman, referred to President Trump as the “Orange Skull” — a reference to Captain America’s Nazi foe, Red Skull. The other, by longtime Marvel scribe Mark Waid, criticized the current state of American civil society as “deeply flawed.” Both removals, in the eyes of devoted Marvel readers, represented acts of political cowardice. There’s also Feige’s feeble response to Scorsese’s criticism: that “Captain America: Civil War” was a powerful piece of cinema because it included a “very serious theological and physical altercation” — not, despite the movie’s focus on a piece of legislation, a political debate.
I beg your pardon? Who says most people have a serious issue with Marvel avoiding the kind of politically charged leftist items Art Spiegelman and Mark Waid came up with? Isn’t it funny how this reporter is making it sound like leftist-liberals are the only devoted fans who find the diversity-pandering tasteless? Besides, Feige and his filmmakers are already preparing their movie and TV slate for the very type of politics the Washington Post is advocating, and they’re not in charge of the comics per se.
In my opinion, those essays themselves were cowardice. And if the Washington Post thinks such leftist essays are valid, then rightist essays should clearly be considered the same. Yet in all their own bias, they have no interest in pondering that.
With this kind of double-talk and obsession with politics, it’s no wonder this pathetic article holds no weight. It’s just more tedious attempts to blur out what truly went wrong with Marvel in any capacity, while failing to admit that the obsession with far-left agendas is exactly what has brought down the publisher. What made Marvel special was their entertainment value and the story merit, not their politics.
Originally published here.