A writer at Cosmic Book News is arguing that Ike Perlmutter, the reclusive, right-wing, Republican-supporting businessman who’s been overseeing much of Marvel’s affairs as the chairman and former CEO of Marvel Entertainment for many years, isn’t the baddie he was thought to be for some time:
We may have an unsung hero in the form of Ike Perlmutter, the eccentric billionaire, who just may have gone so far as saved Marvel Comics.
Perlmutter, whom Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige booted from being involved with the movies and was blamed for massively interfering with the MCU by both James Gunn and the Russo brothers as well as the various Hollywood trade sites.
Perlmutter, who has been accused of being responsible for canceling and killing off the Fox Marvel X-Men and Fantastic Four properties in the comics, gaming, and merchandise.
Perlmutter, who has been blamed for there being no female Marvel movies or action figures.
Perlmutter, whom I even blamed for the downfall of Marvel Comics following the cancellation of Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy years ago, with me having recommended that all of Marvel come under Kevin Feige (boy, am I regretting that now).
Perlmutter, who has played the villain role opposite Kevin Feige’s MCU “champion” for years.
And now, because of Feige’s sharp lurch to social justice pandering, that’s why Perlmutter is suddenly not as bad as hitherto assumed. Yes, Feige does seem to have taken up the role of a bad guy within a year or so, especially since Stan Lee passed on. The post continues:
While Feige’s MCU Phase 4 plans continue to go in a leftist and politically correct direction, it is learned that Ike Perlmutter is going in the opposite direction with Marvel Comics, which has been going that very same route as Feige’s “new” MCU for even longer.
THR hints that Perlmutter is responsible for putting the kibosh and forcing Mark Waid to change a PC-oriented Captain America essay that was supposed to be released in today’s issue of Marvel Comics #1000.
Does Perlmutter have anything to do with this? I honestly have no idea, but even if he is, that’s not saying he didn’t have accountability for some of the worst paths Marvel took, in comics and movies alike, in the past decade. Most of the SJW-pandering elements were turning up nearly a decade ago in films like the Thor movies, where Heimdall was changed to black, and another deity was changed to Asian, and the mentoring sorceror in the Dr. Strange movie was changed from a man to a woman. And the Muslim Ms. Marvel, among other PC inventions, turned up several years ago too, at a time when Perlmutter was still a significant presence in either/both divisions.
And if Perlmutter got Marvel to shut down all comics and merchandise pertinent to the Fantastic Four, that was not being altruistic. In fact, it was just plain dumb a move that was more divisive than helpful. I realize Feige’s a bad lot, but because he seems more connected to the movie division than the comics, that’s why until now, he was surely overlooked, and with his shift to PC-land, that’s why he’s now coming under fans’ scrutiny.
Maybe Perlmutter’s not as bad as some might think. And I’m sure some of the things he was accused of earlier were phony, exaggerated or just taken out of context for the sake of conservative-bashing. But at the same time, he did little or nothing to win confidence of Marvel fans. He didn’t prevent awful managers like Sana Amanat from coming aboard, Joe Quesada from imposing draconian mandates against Mary Jane Watson, or Dan Slott from becoming such a horrible choice for an employee. And if Perlmutter wouldn’t take any positive steps in the past decade or so to prevent Marvel’s comics publishing division from becoming such a disaster, how are we supposed to admire him for the job he has? I just can’t see any reason why. Though I’ll admit the following from the article is interesting:
What a narrative that has unfolded that paints Perlmutter as some evil villain while Feige has been the superhero — when it seems the opposite is actually true! Now that is a villain plot straight out of the comics if there ever was one!
Make no mistake, I realize Feige’s a huge dismay himself, and in some ways, a villain. But that still doesn’t mean Perlmutter’s not responsible for failing to improve Marvel’s publishing business and creativity, which, even under C.B. Cebulski, continues to rate as an embarrassment. Company wide crossovers are still being churned out year after year with hardly any exceptions, they rely on too many variant covers instead of art gallery picture frames, and all that adds up to is a big waste of money. Let’s not forget specialty stores have still been closing down in the past year too. If Perlmutter’s done nothing on his part to improve the situation, assuming he really does have influence at the publishing arm, then, even if he’s not a villain, he can’t be considered a hero either. Just a pretentious failure.
As a result, I have to argue he’s only somebody we wish could be a hero, but isn’t, and as a result, we don’t deserve him any more than we do Feige. Neither one is any better than the other.
Fast facts about Isaac Perlmutter:
- Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter beat out fellow billionaire Carl Icahn for control of bankrupt comic book firm Marvel in 1998.
- He revived the company’s stock by producing action-hero movies like ‘Spiderman,’ ‘Daredevil,’ ‘Hulk’ and ‘Iron Man.’
- In 2009, he sold a majority of Marvel to Disney for $4 billion in cash and stock, but remains chairman of the company.
- Perlmutter immigrated to the U.S. from Israel with just $250 in 1967 and sold toys on the streets of Brooklyn, where he was introduced to Marvel.
- He and his wife have donated over $50 million to cancer research at NYU Langone Medical Center.
Originally published here.